If you are a metalworker, you would know the importance of using one in your day-to-day dealings. As a worker for the past three years, I would say this is the best thing I have found to make drilling projects easy and quick. These alternatives are not the best at drilling through tough and thick metals, but also provide you with precision and time efficiency.
So, if you are planning to invest in one, there are a number of things you need to consider, such as the basic specifications, individual requirements, cleaning process, drilling shapes, and much more. If you still don’t know where to proceed, don’t worry as I have included some best floor-standing drill presses for metal along with important buying instructions and simple tricks. So, dive right in for more.
1. Powermatic PM2800B, 18-Inch Drill Press
I am starting my list of the best floor standing drill presses for metal with this Powermatic, all thanks to its variable speed. I have been using it for the past six months and can say it is the most stable alternative out there. In addition, I found the laser guide a great help in making the holes precise and accurate.
The first thing to note about this press is its sturdy aluminum construction that prevents vibrations to a great extent. It also includes a grip handle, making it convenient for beginners. Similarly, it is powered by a 1HP motor that is more than enough to facilitate heavy-duty and intermediate tasks remarkably well.
In the end, another thing to appreciate here is its laser guide which is great at making the holes precise and accurate. It is further accompanied by variable speeds that range from 250 to 3000 RPM. Likewise, as a person using this for quite some time, I can say it is absolutely precise and fast in its application.
Wrapping up, this Powermatic press drill is a great choice for anyone in search of something functional and convenient. It is equipped with digital speed settings and a laser guide that facilitates you well. Moreover, the fact that it is accurate and precise in drilling different depths makes it of great value.
2. JET JDP-17, 17-Inch Drill Press
The runner-up on this list of the best floor standing drill presses for metal is this Jet JDP-17. It is specifically designed to be used at workshops, all thanks to its high power and sixteen different speed settings. Similarly, the fact that the spindle can travel up to 5 inches gives it an edge over others.
First of all, this one is made up of steel that is highly durable and resists vibrations well. It further includes a 14 inches workbench that is extendable and can go up to 19 inches. So, you can even use it for big metal sheets. All in all, it can travel up to 5 inches which is perfectly suitable for professional jobs.
Finally, when it comes to performance, this one has a 3HP motor and sixteen variable speed options. The speed ranges from 210 and 3500 rpm, so you can set it as per the task requirements. It is equally worth mentioning that the speed changes are quick which makes the entire process easy and fast for the most part.
In essence, this Jet JDP-17 is yet another alternative for professional jobs. I have used this at a workshop and can say it remains pretty much stable and efficient, even with big and long metal sheets. Moreover, the quick speed changes and built-in LED light make the process fast for you.
3. SHOP FOX W1680 Floor Model Drill Press
This Shop Fox floor drill press is another quality alternative for hard and big metal sheets, all thanks to its variable speed range. It is equipped with a fairly decent thickness that allows you to use it for a number of tasks. Moreover, the cast iron table is sturdy enough to resist the shaky feeling while you are working.
When it comes to the design, it is made up of cast iron which is highly durable and weighs 200 pounds. This is further accompanied by a grip handle, making it easy to handle for the most part. It is powered by a 1HP motor that is more than enough to facilitate basic to intermediate tasks, even at low frequenciesx.
In the end, for performance, its spindle can travel up to 3 ½ inches, which is quite considerable. It can also pass through big metal sheets. I also really like the fact that it offers a tilt angle of 90 degrees for the working tilt. So, you can easily achieve a comfortable working position in no time.
In conclusion, this Shop Fox drill press is one of my favorites to be used at workshops, all thanks to its powerful motor setup. It is further equipped with a grip handle and tilt adjustments that help you with convenience. Finally, the fact that it has the ability to work with different sizes of metals makes it valuable.
4. JET J-2550, 20-Inch Drill Press (354402)
Coming from Jet, this one is yet another best floor-standing drill presses for metal, owing to its well-organized construction. The highlight of this model is its tilt adjustments and motor power which works great for intermediate tasks. Likewise, the ball-bearing spindle makes it of great value.
Starting off, this drill press is all steel, so you don’t have to worry about vibrations or shaky feelings while working. It is further accompanied by a built-in LED light that helps you with precision and accuracy. Here, the model is powered by a 4HP motor that is more than enough to accommodate heavy tasks.
In the end, another thing to appreciate here is its variable speed settings that can be set through the screen. All in all, you can set them between 15 and 4200 rpm, based on your individual requirements. Here, the 45-degree tilt adjustments and ball-bearing spindle lock make the process convenient for beginners.
In conclusion, this Jet J-2550 drill press is perfectly equipped to support basic to heavy-duty tasks. It comes with a powerful motor and variable speed that provides you with precise drilling. In addition, the ball-bearing spindle lock makes it suitable for drilling through metal, even at low velocities.
5. WEN 4208T 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press
If you are a budget enthusiast and want to invest in something functional, this Wen 4208T press can do the job well. The highlight of this model is its variable speed range that helps you in drilling different thicknesses of holes as per your requirements. Also, the small size makes it easy to carry around.
The first thing to note about this model is its sturdy build that resists corrosion well and prevents vibrations. It also weighs only 62 pounds, making it easy to handle. It also is an 8-inch drill press, equipped with a 2-inch spindle travel capacity. This is good for smaller tasks, however, will not work for heavy-duty tasks.
In the end, another thing to appreciate here is its five different speed settings. These range from 740 to 3140 rpm which is great for beginners, so you can adjust it as per the task’s suitability. Here, the manufacturers have also added a ½ inches of key storage which is quite considerable for the price.
Final thoughts, this Wen benchtop drill press is yet another quality alternative for anyone in search of something light and affordable. It is known for its variable speed and locking depths that serve you well. In addition, the fact that its sturdy frame doesn’t produce vibrations makes it worth the money.
6. Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press
Coming from Shop Fox, this oscillating drill press is one of my favorites, for its accurate operations. It is best known for its twelve different speed settings and angle adjustments, making it suitable for different skill sets. Similarly, the fact that it is lightweight and has a small size gives it an edge over others.
To begin with, it is made up of steel and is sturdy enough to resist any vibrations well. Also, you don’t have to worry about the weight as it only weighs 122 pounds. Here, it is powered by either a 3 or 4 HP motor that is more than enough to facilitate basic to heavy tasks, with absolute precision and accuracy.
Lastly, when it comes to performance, it is equipped with twelve different variable speed settings. This can be adjusted through a digital screen which is fairly easy for beginners. Another thing I absolutely loved here is its tilt adjustments that allow you to set the working table up to 90 degrees for convenience.
In essence, this Shop Fox W1848 is a suitable alternative for beginners as well as professionals, if you are up for spending a bit more on functionality. It comes with twelve different speed adjustments and a power motor setup that serve you well. Moreover, the locking storage space adds to its value.
7. Genesis GDP1005A 4.1 Amp Drill Press
If you are new to drilling work and have no previous experience with metals, this Genesis drill press can do the job. It is great at learning speed adjustments and changes for the most part. Similarly, the manufacturers have added a number of unique features that makes the job convenient for you.
Starting off, it is made up of steel which is highly durable and resists corrosion well. This model only weighs around 52 pounds which is absolutely easy to handle. In addition, it also has an oversized chuck of ⅝ inches, so you don’t have to worry about passing through large pieces of metal with accuracy.
Lastly, for performance, it comes with five different speed settings that are perfectly suitable for beginners. It also operates a 4.1-amp motor that generates a large amount of power for the task. In the end, I really like the fact that it has a built-in LED light, so you can achieve precise results in no time.
Wrapping up, this Genesis GDP1005A is undoubtedly one of the best floor-standing drill presses for metal for beginners, all credit to its unique set of features. It comes with a powerful motor and variable speed that serve you well. Moreover, the inclusion of LED light and large chuck makes it worth the money.
8. JET JDP-20MF, 20-Inch Floor Drill Press
For budget enthusiast beginners, I have this Jet JDP-20MF on my list of the best floor standing drill presses for metal. It is known for its fairly decent thickness adjustments and speed settings that allow you to make certain adjustments. Finally, the small size and lightweight make it easy to handle.
First of all, it is powered by a 1.5 HP motor that is suitable for basic and intermediate jobs. This setup further integrates ¾ inches chuck, which allows you to make holes of different sizes. Moreover, the design includes a built-in LED light, so you don’t have to worry about making precise and accurate holes in metal.
Lastly, when it comes to performance, this one has twelve different variable speeds that can easily be adjusted through a screen display. It also is accompanied by 45 degrees adjustments, so you can set the working table, as per your suitability. All in all, the ½ inches diameter depth adds to its value.
In conclusion, this Jet JDP-20MF press drill is an affordable alternative for beginners who have just started the process. It is equipped with a powerful motor and tilt adjustments that allow you to do the job conveniently. In addition, the LED light and a deep chuck make it worth the investment.
9. Sunex 5000A Floor UL/CSA Drill Press
If you are someone like me who has never liked spending too much on a drill press, this one from Sonex might work well. It is equipped with a sturdy frame and large chuck that can work with different sizes of metals. Moreover, I found the tilt function really serviceable in making the process comfortable for you.
Firstly, speaking of the design, it operates on a ¾ HP motor which is absolutely powerful in facilitating heavy-duty tasks. It further is made up of an iron cast that is durable and prevents vibrations well. Moreover, the tilt adjustments make it suitable enough to change angles and make precise and accurate holes.
Lastly, when it comes to performance, it has sixteen different speed ranges, from 200 to 3850 rpm. So, you can easily adjust the speed, as per the task’s suitability. I also really like the large ⅝ inches chuck as it can work with metals of different sizes and shapes, so you can scale up your projects easily.
Final thoughts, this Sunex 5000A is another popular option for professionals, all thanks to its tilt adjustments and time-efficient operation. It comes with a powerful motor and adjustable speed that has the ability to pass through different metal sizes. Finally, the sturdy frame makes no vibrations at all.
10. NOVA 58000 Voyager DVR Drill Press
Last but not least on my list of the best floor standing drill presses for metal is this Nova 58000, all thanks to its powerful motor setup. I have used this in the past and can say that it has quick speed changes and can pass through large pieces of metal. I also found no issues with the vibrations throughout the drilling process.
To start with, it has a 2HP motor that generates a lot of power to facilitate the process. It is accompanied by a grip handle and iron cast construction which makes the process easy and resists vibrations well. One of my favorites here is the 45-degrees tilt adjustment that helps you with a comfortable position.
Lastly, another thing I really like is the variable speed adjustments that work great for a number of metal sizes. It also has a direct drive function that provides you with stability and control over the process. I also found no issues with the quality of the work despite having weak eyesight, all thanks to its LED light.
Wrapping up, this Nova is my favorite for workshops, owing to the fact that it is easy and comfortable to use. I found it absolutely stable and efficient when it comes to speed changes and powerful motors. Moreover, the sturdy frame and tilt adjustments made sure I was not bothered by the vibrations.
Things You Need to Know Before Buying the Best Floor Standing Drill Presses for Metal
How Did I Test The Best Floor Standing Drill Presses for Metal?
Before making a buying decision, I make sure that it is perfectly equipped to stand at a high position in my test. There are certain parameters I designed to get the right product in my hand. Here are some important things I consider before making a buying decision;
The first and foremost thing I test is its torque capacity as it is largely important when it comes to drilling difficult materials like metals. Hence, for this purpose, I make sure to run a stress test to check whether it is equipped to drill through thick and tough materials. However, make sure that, with thick metals, you are performing this test in professional places like workshops as it is the only effective way to get original results. If the machine works fine, it is absolutely good to go for the job.
If you have been doing metal work for quite some time, it is important to make sure the press drill has quick speed changes. To check this, you need to check whether it works well, even at low-speed settings. This is because, while working with tough materials, the only problem workers face is that the machine starts to bite the metal at a low-speed setting as it is using all its power to facilitate the job. For this, it is important to make sure that the speed range and the number of speeds are perfect for the material to be drilled.
You wouldn’t want to waste money while making such a significant investment, right? For this, you need to make sure that it has the perfect set of features that prevents vibrations and has a long service life. Hence, you would need a firm structure and a sturdy working frame to facilitate the job. So, make sure it is made up of either stainless steel or cast iron as both of these materials are long-lasting. Also, check whether it makes vibrations while working and you are good to go.
Last but not least, it is equally important to make sure that the process remains stable, otherwise, you will not get the desired results. Here, I would advise you to look for a firm table stand that can hold a large piece of metal. For this purpose, use a thick and tough metal log to pass through the drill and check whether it is making vibrations or is shaking. If it is, you would not want to invest in one. Just make sure the stand is firm and can hold materials, with needed stability and balance.
Finally, I hope you will be able to get the right one, after performing these simple tests
Must-Have Features of The Best Floor Standing Drill Presses for Metal
Choosing a floor drill press can be challenging, considering the many specifications it involves. It is equally important to have a proper idea of your individual requirements as it makes a huge difference in making a buying decision. To save your day, I have included some things you need to consider before making any decision regarding these floor drill presses;
Material Construction/ Durability
The first and foremost thing you need to consider is its material construction as it determines its service life for the most part. Here, most commonly, you can find a number of materials, including stainless steel, cast iron, and even ball-bearing motors, all of which are highly durable and resist physical damage. Hence, it all comes down to your budget. Just make sure that your stand and working space are not producing vibrations, as it can interfere with the working operations.
Spindle travel is another thing you need to look into while buying the best floor drill press for metal. It can be defined as the vertical length up to which the drill is able to go. Hence, it largely limits the depth of the holes you are going to make with drills. On average, irrespective of the skill set, you would need something between 3 and 6 inches as it usually works with the majority of the materials, specifically metal.
Similarly, another thing that goes hand-in-hand with the spindle travel is its chuck size. It can be defined as the thickness you’ll get for the drill holes. Here, the floor drill presses are the best companions as they have a bigger chuck that works with the majority of the metals out there. Otherwise, changing the chuck can be really challenging and require a significant investment which is not practical at all.
It is equally important to look into the motor power as it is going to determine the overall power of the drill press. Hence, when it comes to metal, the simple formula is that the more power, the better it will be to work with difficult and tough materials. Hence, for professionals, I would recommend either 3 or 4 HP as they are efficient to work with, even with low frequencies and tough materials. In contrast, for hobbyists, anything below 4 HP can work with thin and weak materials.
In simple words, speed range can be defined as the speed with which the drill rotates. It is usually measured in RPM or rotations per minute. The rule of the thumbs says the more the speed, the more it has power and faster will be the operation. However, it is equally important to note that for thick and tough materials like metal, you will have to go slow in order to be precise. For this purpose, you will need a variable speed range, as per your budget allocation.
Number of Speed
Similarly, when it comes to adjusting the speed of the material you are working with, you will have to consider the number of speeds. In simple terms, it means the different settings that the manufacturers have included to be used. For instance, if you are working with weak and thin materials, you would need a high speed. On the contrary, for thick and tough materials, I would advise you to use a slow speed and more power for a smooth and precise operation.
Does it Have an LED Light?
If you have just started working with metal, it is important that you go for some advanced functions, one of which is a built-in LED light. This is because one of the primary problems people face while working with metal is low luminosity. Here, a bright light is a perfect solution that can help you with a precise application.
Another thing that can influence your buying decision is the working table of your drill press. Here, it all comes down to your individual requirements. For instance, if you are a beginner, you would need a small table as compared to professionals. This is because, for heavy-duty tasks and large metal pieces, you would need a large working space. Here, I would advise you to at least go for 14 by 14 inches as a beginner. For heavy-duty tasks, nothing is sufficient and go for the one that suits your budget.
Weight of the Press
Last but not least, it is equally important to look into the weight of your drill press as a heavy one can be really difficult to use, specifically for beginners. However, we can also not compromise on power. The general rule of thumb says the more the power of your drill press, the heavier it can be for users.
Henceforth, if you are a professional and will be using the press for workshop tasks, you cannot go for a lightweight model and vice versa. Here, I would recommend you go for at most 200 pounds as it can be fairly easy to use. I would further advise you to get help from a friend while assembling these heavy tools as it can be a bit difficult for one person.
In the end, I hope you soon will be able to find the right floor drill press for metal, as per your individual skill set and task requirements.
How to Drill on Metal with a Floor Standing Drill press: Step-by-Step Guide
Although drilling a hole can take some time, by any stretch of the imagination, it is not a difficult job. All you need is patience and regular practice. To save you from the struggle, here are some simple steps that can guide you on how to drill through metal with the help of a standing floor drill press;
Gather all the Tools and Materials
Well, although it is common sense, you need to look into the tools and materials you will be needing for the process. It is absolutely understandable that you would require the right drill for the job. Coupled with this, make sure to use safety equipment for the process to prevent potential accidents. You would also need some basic things like a ruler, an angle iron, a permanent marker to make points, a center punch, a tape measure, and finally, the clamp to keep everything in place.
Prepare for the Process
Now, once you are done, it is time to make all the important points that will guide you throughout the process. For this, use a permanent marker and a center punch, so that you get perfectly angled and centered holes. Make sure the points are clearly identifiable as it can be a bit difficult in the later stages of the process.
Getting Familiarized with the Drill
Now, let’s identify some important parts of the drill that will be guiding you through the process. First, we have the shank at the top part that generally goes into the press. This is intentionally hardened to keep the drill in place. Then, we have flutes which are the spiral channels and are largely responsible for chipping or drilling the material. Followed by this, the chisel tip is designed sharp and angled, so it can lift up the material and can provide you with a precise application.
Load the Drill in the Press
After this step, it is time to load the drill into the press. You will see a chuck mounted in the press that opens and closes as you twist the chips into it. Hence, using the technical language, you will have to chuck the drill in and make sure it is centered. For thick and tough materials, it is ideal to go for a big chuck. Use the locking key and keep the drill in place and tighten it, so that it doesn’t move away while you are in the process of drilling through the metal.
Center the Drill on the Material
While many people undermine this step, I would always advise you to keep the drill in the center position. Here, the point you made previously with the market can help you in reaching the right alignment. Now, lower the quill and make sure you are touching down the drill. Once you are done, make sure the chisel tip is perfectly aligned with the center. Check it from different angles to get a perfect outcome.
Clamp Down your Work
It is equally important to clamp down the work or else the material is going to spin away the material from the working space. It can also lead to potential accidents and injuries. In simple words, these are threaded rods that are used to tighten and hold the working material in one place.
Drill the Material
Finally, now that you are all done and prepared, it is finally time to drill the metal precisely. For this step, I would advise you to loosely drill it at a slow speed to check whether it is working well for the alignment you have chosen. Hence, start with at least 500 RPM and gradually begin to increase the pace. With the drill going into the material, you would increase the speed. During the process, lighten the drill and make sure you are using both of your hands to press down the quill.
It is Time to Clean
Finally, you have drilled a hole in the metal and it is time to clean up the mess. First of all, clean up the dirt and metal chirping that has built up throughout the process. Use the spray and scrub away the buildup and make sure there are no irritants. Now, you are all done.
What’s the Advantage of a Floor Standing Drill Press for Metal?
Many people wonder whether you should invest in a standing drill press or not. To make the decision easy for you, here are some reasons why you should invest in a quality floor-standing drill press. Hence, dive right in to know more.
These are highly Precise/ Accurate
The most apparent advantage of a standing floor drill is its precision. The motor capacity and torque provided by these machines are absolutely great at making accurate holes. Hence, with these tools at hand, you can also facilitate detailed threading work in no time. The fact that these machines are great at working with thicker diameters and tougher materials, with incredible precision makes them worth the investment.
These are Great for Big/ Heavy Duty Projects
This is the reason why people are so fond of using the standing drill presses for big and heavy projects, all thanks to their variable speed changes. They are equipped with a relatively higher number of speeds and speed range which makes them great to work with tough and thick materials like metal. Hence, you can also use them for big metal sizes, irrespective of any stability or vibration issues at all.
These are Time-Efficient/ Fast
Another advantage of using these drill presses is their ability to do the work in no time. This is because they are operated with a motor and relatively high power. The power provides you with a fast speed and makes the process time-efficient for the most part. Hence, even for workshops, you can use them on a regular basis, without having to worry about facilitating consecutive tasks.
They are Advanced in Working
Similarly, the fact that they come with a unique set of specifications makes them great for advanced and sophisticated jobs. The majority of these alternatives have functions like spindle tilt, extension tables, and drilling adjustments that provide you with maximum utility and efficiency. In addition, the fact that they have a big chunk makes them great for a variety of tasks, irrespective of the skill set.
What Kind of Metals Can a Floor Standing Drill Press Drill?
Here are some common materials with which a standing floor press drill works the best;
- The cardboard and foam core
- Thick foam such as XPS, EPS, and Polyamide
- Woods, including hard and soft, such as cedar, pine, walnut, and maple
- Plastics, including hard and soft, such as polycarbonate, PVC, PP, and PE
When it comes to metal, generally standing drill presses are used for soft materials such as brass and aluminum. However, some sturdy and advanced models can also work fine for difficult materials like cast iron and stainless steel. I have used these power tools for steel, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, and other hard materials, with absolute accuracy and precision. Finally, to check whether it works well with your desired material, you must check it on the website of the manufacturer.
It is equally important to note some factors that play a part in determining the materials you are going to be drilling with the press drill. For the most part, you need to look into the type of drill you will be using. For instance, a cobalt press drill is relatively more impressive in drilling holes in metals as compared to twirl drills. On average, a cobalt drill is not only stable but can pass through metals with considerable thickness easily.
In addition, it also is dependent on the thickness of the metal you will be using. Hence, for thick and rough materials, you will need high power and speed range. For this purpose, make sure your desired drill press has at least fifteen speeds and variable speed changes. Quick speed changes can also produce incredible results when it comes to working with metals. You can also look into some online guides as they help you significantly in making the process easy for the most part.
How to Clean a Floor Standing Drill Press?
Well, many people wonder how you should clean a floor-standing drill press after completing the task. To answer this question, I would say that it is absolutely important that you have taken care of the machine as it can prolong its service life. Not maintaining it would result in the compromised working efficiency of the power tool.
Now coming to the real question, when it comes to cleaning, you just need to take care of the dirt and the metal shavings that build up over time because of work. To get rid of this, I would advise you to spray it with a WD-40 and scrub the machine. This will surely get the metal shavings out of the machine and will make it look brand new.
In the end, as a metal worker for the past three years, I would say these floor-standing drill presses are the best tool I have found to make drilling projects easy and time-efficient. These alternatives are absolutely precise and can facilitate heavy-duty tasks ideally. Finally, here are some of my favorites from the list;
- JET J-2550, 20-Inch Drill Press (354402) is best known for its durable construction, considerable thickness, and quick speed changes.
- Sunex 5000A Floor UL/CSA Drill Press is one of the best for its tilt adjustments, powerful motor setup, and easy assembly process.
- Powermatic PM2800B, 18-Inch Drill Press is hugely popular for its laser guide, durable construction, and easy drilling operation.
Finally, I hope you soon will be able to find the best floor drilling press for metal, as per your individual requirements.