WEN 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
Last updated date: May 25, 2019
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We looked at the top 1 Drill Presses and dug through the reviews from 8 of the most popular review sites including Cut The Wood, Wood Working Toolkit, Tool Powers, The Spruce, Drill Press Guide, Tool Crowd, Toolspeek, Pick Best Ones and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Drill Press you should buy.
A speed regulator automatically shifts between the WEN 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press's 580-3,200 RPMs. The mechanical variable speed mechanism also provides consistent torque, ensuring all of your projects complete reliably. This drill does make it tougher to power through some sturdier metals, making it a better choice for those who plan to primarily work with wood. In our analysis of 65 expert reviews, the WEN WEN 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press placed 3rd when we looked at the top 8 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note May 25, 2019:
Checkout The Best Drill Press for a detailed review of all the top drill presses.
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From The Manufacturer
Remember when power tools were actually powerful? WEN’s 12-inch swing, variable speed drill press with laser centering device, is a powerhouse for your shop. Packed with features that you’ll find in larger more industrial type drill presses. This bench-top, cast iron drill press has the power to drill through metal, wood and other materials. Max drill capacity is 5/8” in 1” thick cast iron. The variable speed feature allows you to target in the exact speed (infinitely from 580-3200 RPM) that works for your project. While you are working you simply move a lever and adjust the speed as needed. No pulleys and belts to change! Our design uses a mechanical variable speed which allows for the same power and torque through the entire speed range. A digital readout powered by LED’s displays the running speed. Constructed with a rigid frame consisting of cast iron: head, table, and base, ensures accurate holes. Its powerful induction motor features ball bearings for an extended life and it all comes together with smooth and balanced performance even at high speeds. The 5/8” chuck with MT2 spindle taper gives you versatility with a variety of bits and features on-board chuck key storage, so you never have to hunt around for it. Worktable bevels 45° left and right for those tricky operations for the perfect right angles consistently. Base has predrilled holes for mounting onto a bench or work stand. Slotted table allows for mounting clamps and vises for effective mounting. The X-pattern laser locks-on to your drill points saving on guesswork and sparing expensive materials. A versatile and valuable tool for any shop especially when you expand its range of use with optional accessories such as mortising attachments, drum sanders, circle cutters, etc. Since 1951, WEN has proudly produced innovative powered tools focused on value delivering meaningful features that will help you complete and enjoy the work as much as the project. Remember when you could drill with laser precision? Remember WEN. DO NOT use power tools in the presence of flammable liquids or gases.
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An Overview On Drill Presses
Drilling into metal, wood and other materials can be tough, especially if you have nothing to anchor it in place. A drill press helps you drill holes into almost any type of material both quickly and efficiently. There are two major types of drill presses: floor and benchtop. Although floor models can tackle bigger projects, benchtop drill presses take up less space and can handle most drilling tasks with ease.
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure your drill press can handle the challenges you’ll put in front of it. That generally means versatility. Drill presses with speed control built in make it easy to switch from one speed to another to customize your drilling power. You should also look at how many options you’ll have for speeds. Some drill presses only have a couple of speed settings, while others give you the option of as many as 16 speeds.
Weight is another factor. Drill presses usually aren’t portable items, so heavier can actually be better. It will provide a sturdiness you’ll need when you’re working with heavy-duty metals. But some bench drill presses are much larger than others, so make sure you have room for the model you choose.
Your first concern when you buy your drill press will be setting it up. Weight factors into this. You may invest in a heavier drill press due to the stability it provides when you’re tackling tougher jobs, but keep in mind that when it’s time to set it up, you may need help. A 300 pound-plus drill press will be tough to tackle alone.
There are many little things that add up to accuracy when you’re drilling. One is the type of drill bits and chucks you use, but another is simply the ability to see what you’re doing. Many drill presses have lights to illuminate your work area, so be sure to look for that, especially if your shop isn’t well lit. Some drill bits have a built-in scale to help you choose the depth and keep things consistent throughout a project.
Lastly, there’s the issue of price. You can pay more than $1,000 for a drill press, but you can also find them in the low hundreds. Determine your budget and exactly how much you’re willing to spend. You may find some of the more advanced features aren’t worth the extra money they’ll take from your bank account.
DYWM Fun Fact
A drill bit is a specialized tool made to cut through materials in order to make holes. You can buy drill bits in a wide variety of sizes, geared toward the type of work you’re planning to do. When you’re choosing a drill bit, you’ll find that there are certain features that play into how they work. One of those features is shank size, with many shanks designed to fit into a 3/8-inch chuck. If you have thicker, tougher materials, though, a hexagon-shaped shank can make a big difference in your results. The length of the flute on your chosen bit also determines how deep it can cut into the material you’re using. At the same time, the length of the bit itself, minus the shank, will factor into how accurate your cuts are.
The Drill Press Buying Guide
- One of the first factors to consider when you’re looking for a drill press is versatility. Since you’ll probably be working with different materials, you’ll need a drill press that’s versatile enough to shift from drilling a hole in a thin sheet of metal to handling an extra-thick piece of wood. The Delta 18-Inch Laser Drill Press offers a choice of 16 different speeds, letting you adjust according to the particular job you’re doing. However, to adjust the speed, you’ll have to change the relative position of the belts, which can slow you down. The DEWALT 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press, on the other hand, has a quick-release feed handle to change the speed, even though you’ll only get two speed settings: 450 or 300 rotations per minute. The WEN 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill ranges from 580-3,200 RPMs, building in a speed regulator that you simply turn when you want to adjust the speed. The WEN 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill’s variable speed mechanism is mechanical, giving you consistent power and torque no matter what speed you choose. The LED screen on the WEN 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill makes it even easier to control the speed since you can see how fast your drill is working at all times.
- One of the key elements in your drill press is the belt drive system. The Delta 18-Inch Laser Drill Press has auto-tensioning for its drive system, which means speed changes flow seamlessly and your tension and motor alignment are consistent from start to finish.
- Your drill press will be fitted with a chuck that will need to be changed from one project to the next. The DEWALT 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press makes it easy to switch between a ¾-inch and ½-inch keyed chuck – no tools needed. Some don’t like the looser fit they get with a quick-change system, though. The 5/8-inch chuck size on the JET 15-In Bench Model Drill Press offers more options, making it easy to squeeze in various drill bit sizes.
- The motor on your drill press also plays into how powerful it is. The Delta 18-Inch Laser Drill Press has a ¾-horsepower motor that can handle a wide variety of materials. With the DEWALT 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press, you get a 10-AMP motor that can power right through even heavy steels. The JET 15-In Bench Model Drill Press has a ¾-horsepower motor that can also tackle tough jobs.
- The WEN 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill’s 2/3 horsepower, 5-AMP motor struggles with metal sheets, which means it may take longer than you expect. It’s best for those who plan to primarily work with wood.
- The table on the JET 15-In Bench Model Drill Press tilts, which may give you more leverage while you’re working.
- Although it’s powerful, the Delta 18-Inch Laser Drill Press is also much larger than many other bench drill presses, measuring 59 X 30.5 X 13 inches. Compare this to the DEWALT 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press, at 22.4 x 6.5 x 19.3 inches, the WEN 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill, at 13.5 x 36.6 x 16.8 inches and the JET 15-In Bench Model Drill Press, at 22.5 x 12 x 32 inches.
- Build contributes heavily to how long any tool lasts, but with a drill press, it also offers a sturdiness that helps with your projects. The Delta 18-Inch Laser Drill Press has a rugged build and a weight of 261 pounds, so you can rest assured that it will last through many jobs. In addition to a heavy-duty build, the DEWALT 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press also has a strong magnet. The design can lead to some wobbling in the cutters and the drill chuck with certain jobs, though. The JET 15-In Bench Model Drill Press weighs an astounding 150 pounds, which may not be good news if you ever need to move it, but it does ensure rigidity through even the toughest jobs.
- Another factor impacting the DEWALT 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press is the fact that it has a 4-3/8-inch drill travel that helps it reach even farther than competitors.
- Chances are, accuracy is a concern when you’re working on various projects. The Delta 18-Inch Laser Drill Press features micro-adjustable depth stops, as well as a scale that helps you precisely drill multiple holes to the exact same depth. The JET 15-In Bench Model Drill Press has a large quill to achieve more accurate results than competitors.
- If you’re looking for a low price on a drill press, the Delta 18-Inch Laser Drill Press may head toward the top of your list. It retails for between $200 and $300. The JET 15-In Bench Model Drill Press and DEWALT 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press are midrange, selling in the $600s and $700s, respectively. With the Delta 18-Inch Laser Drill Press, you’ll likely exceed $1,000, although the advanced features may make it well worth it.
- One bonus on the JET 15-In Bench Model Drill Press is the fact that the cast iron head swivels. That means your items will have a better finish than with other drill presses.
- The Delta 18-Inch Laser Drill Press has handy guides on the head of the drill. These guides make it easy to see what you’re doing, improving your accuracy while you’re drilling.
- Another feature that can help you monitor your work is a light. The Delta 18-Inch Laser Drill Press, WEN 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill and JET 15-In Bench Model Drill Press all come with work lights to help with visibility.
- As powerful as it is, the Delta 18-Inch Laser Drill Press has a tendency to overheat with more intensive projects, which could mean you can’t work for long periods of time without stopping to let the unit cool down.
- Assembly can be a bit complicated with some models, so keep that in mind before your drill press arrives. The WEN 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill is easier to put together than most. With the heavier drill presses like the Delta 18-Inch Laser Drill Press and the JET 15-In Bench Model Drill Press, keep in mind that you may need a second person to maneuver it while you’re putting it together.