How to Find the Best Drill Press for Metal
Metal is a very durable and long-lasting material which is why a lot of appliances and other important items are made using the material. There are several different types of metal varieties out there which can make machining them very difficult without the appropriate equipment or tools to assist you.
While there are many traditional methods of working metal into your desired shape or accessory, thanks to the advancement in technology you can now work virtually any piece of metal with ease and precision. There are several different metal drilling working machines available on the market all of which offer their own distinct benefits and features that you can use to create beautiful pieces of metal art of furniture that anyone will love.
Given all of the various metal machine working options that are out on the market, finding the right option for your particular needs can be a bit of a challenge. There are a lot of factors that you have to take into consideration when choosing the right metal fabrication machine that you’ll use long-term.
One of the most commonly used types of metal fabrication machines out there is metal drill presses. Metal drill presses give you the ability to easily mold and shape any type of metal into the design of your choice.
When it comes to metal drill presses, there are several different options for you to choose from. Before making a final purchase decision about which metal drill press is best suited for you, you must take a lot of different factors into consideration.
You want to make sure that you choose a metal drill press which will allow you to maintain your current work capacity at bare minimum, any metal drill press that you select should actually boost your production rate.
Things such as size, power, and speed will all affect your decision when it comes to the right metal drill press for you. Given all of these factors, it can be a really tough process trying to find the perfect metal drill press for your commercial shop or DIY home metal fabrication shop.
You should also take into consideration the type of work that you’ll be performing with your selected metal drill press because this will allow you to accurately gauge how much money you spend on any given metal drill press that you happen to come across.
In this guide, we’re going to cover all of the important information that you need to know before proceeding with any metal drill press purchase.
We’ll cover all aspects of metal drill press buying in-depth so that you’re not out in the cold when it comes to what you should be looking for in your selected metal drill press.
Before you finalize any metal drill press purchase, you should use this guide as a way to assist you during the buying process.
There is no stone that we’re going to leave unturned so to speak, so you’ll be able to make the right purchase decision on your new metal drill press.
Types of Metal Drill Presses
Before you even start looking for a metal drill press, you need to understand that there are several different types of metal drill presses available.
This is important to know because it will help you in deciding which metal drill press model is best for you.
There are two main types of metal drill press options that are sold, these metal drill press types include floor metal drill presses and bench metal drill presses.
In the following section, we’re going to cover both of the metal drill press types in-depth so that you’ll be able to make an accurate decision about which metal drill press will provide you with the most benefit in terms of your production rates and overall workload.
Floor Metal Drill Press
Floor metal drill presses are typically much large and more powerful than when compared to bench metal drill presses.
However, due to their size and power floor drill presses are also practically immovable so if you decide to purchase a floor metal drill press you need to make sure that the location you put it in is one that you’ll be using for a long time.
Floor metal drill presses are typically the best option for those who know that they’ll be working with large pieces of metal.
While you can use a floor metal drill press in your home fabrication shop, they’re best in commercial settings or high production volume businesses.
There are a wide variety of floor metal drill press options out there so you won’ be limited in your options.
Bench Metal Drill Press
Bench metal drill presses are mainly the go-to option for those that have a rather small fabrication shop or just do it as a hobby because they are a lot smaller when compared to their floor counterparts.
Bench metal drill presses offer many of the same benefits and customization options that you will find in floor metal drill press however with decreases in areas such as power, speed, size, and more.
If you are a metal fabrication enthusiast who wants access to a portable and compact metal drill press, bench metal drill presses will be the best option for you.
There is a lot of bench metal drill presses out on the market so you won’t be limited in terms of the options you have to choose.
Key Factors to Look for When Choosing A Metal Drill Press
Before you go out and make a final purchase decision on which metal drill press option is best for you, there are several factors that you must consider throughout the entire buying process.
These various factors will play a key role in how successful you’ll be at machining various pieces of metal that you select. That’s why it’s so important for you to do the proper amount of research before going out to look at the various metal drill press options that are out there.
This next section is going to go into detail about the various factors to look for when selecting the right metal drill press for your needs.
Make sure that you read this entire following section in full so that you know everything to look for when shopping for your desired metal drill press.
When it comes to machining metal fabrications, precision and accuracy are two of the most important details that will ensure high-quality work.
Various metal drill presses have varying rates of accuracy and precision that they’re able to achieve which is why you need to pay attention to the specifications of the machine you’re interested in very closely.
If you plan on cutting very intricate metal projects that require extreme attention to detail, you’ll need to purchase a metal drill press that can accommodate your needs.
There are a lot of great options to choose from on the metal drill press market so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right one that fits your needs.
You need to make sure that your chosen metal drill press can cut holes in the precise location that you want because if not you’ll only be wasting money.
Metal drill presses typically display motor power in terms of horsepower which is basically the amount of force that your selected metal drill press can exert on any given piece of metal that you’re trying to fabricate. If you know that you’re going to be machining very large pieces of metal, you need to purchase a metal drill press that will be able to withstand your workload.
You can find tons of great resources online that you can use to get a gauge of how much horsepower you will need to complete the jobs that you have lined up.
Having an adequate amount of motor power in your selected metal drill press will also allow you to complete jobs much faster and easier than a machine with an insufficient power rating.
Most if not all metal drill presses come with their power rating listed on the box that it comes in so it will be very easy for you to find out which particular metal drill press has the kind of power that you need to complete your metal fabrication job.
The thickness of the metal slabs that you’ll be cutting will also play a huge role in how much overall power your metal drill press will need to have.
The speed rating of your metal drill press is determined by how many times the drill rotates in a minute. The unit of measurement that will be displayed will read out in RPM which is a unit commonly used to calculate speed.
Different metal materials have various tension points so you’ll need a good metal drill press that has a variable speed rating in order to work with different metal materials.
Typically, the thicker your metal is the slower you want to drill at it and the reverse is applied to pieces of metal that are fairly thin.
The pre-configured speed of your metal drill press will also be the maximum speed so it’s nice to purchase a metal drill press that allows you to adjust the speed range according to your specific needs.
Most metal drill presses allow you to customize the speed of your machine at any given times which makes it extremely easy for you to work on a variety of metal materials without any issues.
Maximum Drill Load
The maximum drill load of your chosen metal drill press will determine how large a piece of metal you’re able to work with at any given time. The larger your maximum drill load is, the bigger the pieces of metal you’ll be able to work with.
If you’re unsure about the maximum drill capacity that you need, you can always go online and do some research to find out about what metal drill press capacities are recommended for the type of metal pieces that you’ll be working with.
You don’t want to purchase a metal drill press that doesn’t have the maximum drill capacity you need to successfully complete your projects because it will only be a waste of money.
Metal Working Table
Virtually all metal drill presses come with a standard work table that will allow you to position your piece of metal into the desired position needed to achieve your design goals.
The overall size of your metal drill presses’ work table will also determine how large a piece of metal you’re able to work with so it’s important to take this into consideration before finalizing your metal drill press purchase.
Your work table will also allow you to angle your metal pieces at different slants so that you can get even more intricate and precise with the types of designs that you create.
You should try to purchase a metal drill press that comes with a work table that has grooves because it will make it easier for you to keep your metal pieces in place during the fabrication process.
Some metal drill presses will also allow you to actually switch out the work table that comes standard with the machine so that you can adjust your work table size to accommodate your specific metal machining needs.
Size of Your Chuck
The chuck on your metal drill is the three-jawed piece that holds your desired drill bit in place. The overall size of your chuck will determine how large of a drill bit you will be able to use on any given project.
It’s best to know the type of drill bits that you’ll be using on your metal work prior to purchasing a metal drill press so that you can ensure your metal drill press will be able to accommodate your chosen drill bit size.
Some metal drill presses will even allow you to change the size of your chuck so that you can customize your drill bit size according to the type of metal that you’re going to be working with.
Always check the size of the chuck on your selected metal drill press before finalizing the purchase to ensure that you’re not wasting time or money.
Durability & Build Quality
It may be obvious; however, some companies are very good at hiding the true quality of their metal drill press options.
That’s why you should always do in-depth research about the metal drill press that interests you before buying it to make sure that you’re buying a metal drill press that will last a long time after you purchase it.
The best quality metal drill presses will always be made out of a metal material whether it be steel or any other sort of regular metal material.
Avoid purchasing a metal drill press that is made out of any sort of plastic or malleable material because they won’t last long once you begin machining metal pieces on a regular basis.
By choosing a well-built metal drill press, to begin with, you won’t have to worry about costly repairs over time or having to constantly replace your metal drill press because it breaks down.
Dimensions & Weight
The overall dimensions and weight of your selected metal drill press will determine the space that you’ll be able to place your metal drill press into.
If you own a large commercial factory or building, the best metal drill press for you will be a floor metal drill press because they are large and very heavy so they will fit into your work area perfectly.
If you own a DIY metal fabrication shop that is fairly small, you’ll probably want to choose a bench metal drill press because they are a lot smaller in size and much more portable than any floor metal drill press that is available on the market.
Always consider the overall weight and dimensions of your selected metal drill press before making a final purchase decision.
The quillon your metal drill press is the shallow tube that rotates the spindle which will determine how thick a piece of metal you’re able to machine through with your chosen metal drill press.
Always consider the thickness of the pieces of metal that you’ll be working with before finalizing any metal drill press purchase to ensure that you’re chosen machine will be compatible with the type of metal pieces you’re cutting through.
Questions & Answers
Q: I don’t know how to assemble my metal drill press, will it come with instructions?
A: Yes, most if not all metal drill presses will come with either an assembly manual or the machine will already be assembled. If you still have trouble assembling your metal drill press, consider contacting the customer service department of the company who makes the machine or ask for professional installation assistance from the store or retailer that you purchase the machine from.
Q: How do I maintain my metal drill press?
A: Metal drill presses don’t require much maintenance over time because they are very simple machines. If you notice that your metal drill press is getting dirty, simply clean it with a clean cloth and some WD-40 or some other kind of lubricant approved for use on metal.
Top Metal Drill Press Recommendations
Now that we’ve gone through all of the various features and key elements you need to look for when selecting a metal drill press option, we’re going to give you our top metal drill press recommendations.
All of the metal drill press recommendations listed below have various power ratings and speed capabilities so you need to make sure that you take all of those factors into consideration before making a final purchase decision.
These metal drill press recommendations come in various models, sizes, and types so make sure that you chose the right machine that fits your current workspace and area.
#1 Rockwell ShopSeries RK7033 Metal Drill Press
The Rockwell ShopSeries-RK7033 is a great choice for anyone that is looking for a portable and compact metal drill press that was made for the DIY metal fabricators out there.
The ShopSeries RK7033 comes packed with a nice sized work table and gives you the ability to make 45-degree cuts in any piece of metal that you’re working with.
The RK7033 is also packed with a useful adjustment knob which allows you to adjust the quill travel for different pieces of metal.
The RK7033 provides a very comfortable work process and seamless cutting capacity so that you can work virtually any piece of metal that you’ve cultivated.
The entire assembly process for the RK7033 is very easy and you’ll be able to use the machine as soon as it comes out of the box.
The RK7033 is the perfect option for anyone that is looking for an easy to use metal drill press that is compact and powerful.
#2 Jet 354301 IDP-22 Industrial Drill Press
The Jet 354301 IDP-22 Industrial Drill Press is packed with 21 different speed modes which allow you to work on a variety of different metal pieces varying in thickness and type.
The Jet 354301 IDP-22 Industrial Drill Press also comes standard with a 2yr warranty which protects you against any potential malfunctions or issues with the machine while using it.
It comes in at an astonishing weight of 364lbs so you’ll want to make sure that you have adequate amounts of assistance during delivery and set-up of this metal drill press hints why the name has “industrial” in the title means that this metal drill press was designed for commercial and industrial use
The Jet 354301 IDP-22 Industrial Drill Press has a 1.5HP motor inside of it that provides more than enough power for you to work on vastly different metal materials and types. It has a speed rating of 175-3,050 RPM which is suitable for most commonly used metal pieces that are used during construction and other building processes.
The et 354301 IDP-22 Industrial Drill Press also comes with a LED work light so that you can see precisely what areas your cutting and where the holes that you’re drilling are making contact on your piece of metal. It also has a spindle safety guard to ensure that no accidents happen while you’re machining the pieces of metal that you have in your shop.
This Industrial Drill Press also comes with a drill chuck key which allows you to interchange the chunk size in order to accommodate various drill bit sizes and it’s the perfect metal drill press for those who work in an industrial capacity.
#3 NOVA 58000 Voyager
The NOVA 58000 Voyager is a great choice for those who want a great all-around metal drill press that comes packing a lot of power and precision capabilities.
The NOVA 58000 Voyager comes in at a total weight of 307lbs which is enough for either a commercial or residential workspace as long as it’s large enough.
The NOVA 58000 Voyager comes standard with a 2yr warranty on every single part of the machine and it also has an extended 5yr warranty that covers the electronics and motor of the metal drill press.
The NOVA 58000 Voyager has a speed range of 50-5500 RPM which is more than enough power to handle even the toughest pieces of metal. It is a very robust and customizable metal drill press that gives you the ability to tackle virtually any metal machining project that you have lined up.
The Voyager even has integrated power saving technology which allows you to save energy on your electrical usage while the machine is on and running and it does not specify the exact number of speed modes that the machine comes with but you can customize the speed variable at any given time during your metal drilling project.
The NOVA 58000 Voyager is packing a 2HP DVR motor that provides more than enough power for you to drill through a variety of different metal materials so it’s perfect for virtually any metal fabricator that wants a reliable metal drill press to work with.
The 58000 Voyager can machine virtually any piece of metal that you want whether it be thick or thin.
Conclusion: How to Choose a Metal Drill Press You’ll Love
Now that you know all about metal drill presses and what to look for when deciding on which one is right for you, it’s time for you to choose the one that you want and begin working any metal piece that you want.
All of the information and tips included in the article will help anyone seeking a professional grade or DIY grade metal drill press to assist them in their metalworking project and endeavors.
There are a wide variety of floor metal drill press options out there so you won’t be limited in your options.