9 Best Mag Drill Presses That Can Ultimately Cut & Drill Holes in Steel

Best Magnetic Drill PressDo you have some drilling jobs to do? Are you looking for a machine that will complete the task successfully? Then trust only the magnetic drill press for a perfect job. A magnetic drill press or mag drill is used to drill and carve out holes on metallic objects while its base magnetizes to the metallic workpiece. This machine comes in handy when the job seems very difficult and will handle everything in no time.

In this article, we’ve compiled to you a guide on the best magnetic drill presses the market has to offer you. These are the best that money can get you. We’ve further highlighted a buying guide to help you in choosing the right machine; what factors to consider in magnetic drill presses. Our aim is that by the time you finish with this article, your knowledge of magnetic drill presses will have shifted from that of a high school kid to a university student. Read on!

Also read

Best Metal Cutting Circular Saws in 2019

Why choose a Magnetic Drill?

As mentioned earlier, the function of a magnetic drill press is to drill and carve out holes on metallic objects. It comes with a powerful magnetic base which strongly magnetizes on a workpiece or stand as it drills. The magnetic drill press is superior over the other types of drill presses for steel as its level of precision is unmatchable, thanks to its electromagnetic base.

Parts of Mag Drill
Parts of a mag drill you should be familiar with. Image by Hougen

This tool has four major parts; the magnetic base, the motor, housing, and the arbor, also known as the chuck. The drill needs to be compact and lightweight for domestic operations. Its lightweight makes it easily portable, which is a good thing because you can work anywhere and move around with it without any problems.

These drill presses come in different models; there are those that are electrically operated, others are pneumatic while there are others those are hydraulic. A core difference between these types is the loop system. The hydraulic models, for example, comes with a closed-loop system and is suitable for working underwater.

The pneumatic, on the other hand, doesn’t operate using electricity and is suitable for severe weather conditions. Using this machine is simple, and we will look at it later in the article. However, let us find out about the different types of magnetic drill presses in the market.

Types of Magnetic Drills

The market isn’t short of the types of magnetic drills, and there is an array of options to choose from. There are the basic portable magnetic drill presses, and then there are the powerful magnetic drill presses. There are also other low-profile drills that will assist you in limited spaced areas. Each of these types come with different features, and it is important that you know them.

Swivel Base Drills

These are the most versatile among all the magnetic drill press types. They allow for both horizontal and vertical drilling. The swivel base drills are designed in such a manner that they allow the user position the drill and afterwards activate the magnet. This assists in precision and accuracy. This is because you place the drill in position prior to starting work.

Low Profile Magnetic Drill Presses

If you’re planning to drill in space deprived areas, then this type of mag drill is a good option for you. Normally, they are referred to as horizontal drills because they operate using a single feed handle as opposed to the normal three on large presses. These drills make use of the quill feed to assist them in drilling in tight conditions.

Low profile mag drills are very lightweight. This makes them highly versatile. They can be used up on a ladder and in situations where confined drilling is needed.

Variable Speed Magnetic Drills

This type of magnetic drill comes in larger sizes and this means that their drilling capacity is also high. They have a fixed profile and this means that you can maneuver with them through confined spaces in which the standard press drills aren’t able to fit into.

These drills come with a quill feed which makes work quicker and easier. Also, it ensures that the results are smooth. The feeds come in handy during deep drills when high levels of consistency are required.

Automatic Feed

These types are gaining a lot of popularity nowadays. They are fitted with an automatic drill feed, hence their name. they are convenient as they save energy and time and have larger production.

Cordless Drills

The motor of these drills is operated using a battery. The battery is rechargeable. The magnets attached to them are either permanent or electromagnetic.

Manual Drills

These are also known as hand drills. They are the oldest type of drills. They aren’t powered using any form of electricity but manually by the operator.

9 Best Magnetic Drill Presses to Buy in 2019

DEWALT DWE1622K Magnetic Drill Press – Editor’s Pick

DEWALT DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press, 2-InchTopping on our list is the Dewalt DWE1622K, and its number one position on the list should imply how close to perfection it is. This mag drill press combines power, sophistication, and engineering to bring out one outstanding product that you’ll definitely appreciate. It is easy to use and will make drilling through steel holes feel easier than you imagined.

This drill comes with tons of amazing features that are worth mentioning. First, it has a quick-change chuck system which allows you to shift between the Weldon Shank and the Keyed Chuck without the use of tools. The feeding handles are also able to be placed on either side of the drill without the use of tools.

This product comes with a coolant bottle for cooling purposes to ensure that your drill doesn’t overheat when in use. The drill is also equipped with electronic protection features that will automatically switch off your drill when it reach a certain high temperature. Apart from the great features, this drill’s durability and quality are impeccable. It will last you for years, without any defects.

Specifications

Motor240V, 10A
Speed (No Load)300/450 RPM
Max Annular Cutting Capacity2-inch
Max Cutting Depth2-inch
Cutter Shank 3/4″ Weldon
Twist Drill Capacity1/2″
Power Cord Length8 Ft
Weight33 pounds
Warranty3 Years
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Impeccable quality and durability
  • Its feed handles are placeable on either side
  • Equipped with a powerful 10Amp motor
  • Automatically switches off in case of overheating

Drawback

  • Its chuck change system isn’t the best; can be improved

Evolution Power Tools EVOMAG28 Magnetic Drill – Editor’s Pick

Evolution Power Tools EVOMAG28 1-1/8-inch Magnetic DrilIf you’re tight on budget and are looking for something that will provide value for your money, look no further.  The Evolution Power Tools EVOMAG28 is a durable and solid magnetic drill that will suit both the professional steelworker and the handyman. It comes at an affordable price, and you won’t have to break your bank to own it.

One thing that we like with this drill is that you can place the handle on either side that you like. It comes with a heavy-duty magnet that makes both horizontal and overhead drilling very simple. When it comes to the measurements, its drilling range has a diameter of roughly an eighth of an inch and the cutting depth is two inches.

We, however, have to deduct a point from this drill because of its turning speed. The drill is only able to turn at a speed of 570 RPM and not any slower. Don’t get us wrong, this speed is great when you’re drilling aluminum or steel but very high when you’re drilling stainless steel or titanium. Apart from that, everything else is okay. It is very long-lasting and will last you for ages.

Specifications

Motor120V, 10A
Speed (No Load)570 RPM
Max Annular Cutting Capacity1-1/8-inch
Max Cutting Depth2-inch
Cutter Shank3/4″
Twist Drill Capacity1/2″
Power Cord Length8.5 Ft
Weight31 pounds
Warranty3 Years
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Strong and durable
  • Good value for money
  • Comes with an integrated cooling system
  • The feeding handles are placeable on either side

Drawback

  • Turns at only one speed

Jancy Slugger JMU 137-2 QW Magnetic Base Drill

Jancy Slugger JMU 137-2 QW Magnetic Base DrillAnother drill that impressed us with its performance is the Jancy Slugger JMU 137-2 QW. It comes with a conventional design but has a reliable and strong build. Most of the parts are constructed using metal, and this assists in enhancing their performance and durability. With this, you are assured that this drill press will last you for a couple of years.

What you will love with this product is that it comes with a handle on either side. This allows you to operate using either hand, and this mostly favors left-handers. The drill is able to drill two inches deep, making it suitable for heavy metals.

One other thing that cannot go unmentioned is its RPM speed. Since this mag drill has reversible operation, left or right rotation, it has also two gears. On its first gear, right rotation, the RPM is 550/min while the second gear, right rotation has 1700/min. On the other hand, the first gear, left rotation has an RPM of 370/min while the second gear, left rotation has 1140/min. This makes drills or cutters easier to get right back up after drilling deep holes.

While some of the mag drills above have magnetic coolant tank, the Jancy Slugger JMU 137-2 QW has integrated coolant tank. This beast doesn’t need any tools to change drill bits and cutters. Moreover, it has a power sensor that ensures the magnetic foot is functioning properly. If not, the motor will not start. In that way you know which part is defective.

Specifications

Motor120V, 9.2A
Speed (No Load)1700 RPM Right/1140 RPM Left
Max Annular Cutting Capacity1-3/8-inch
Max Cutting Depth2-inch
Cutter Shank3/4″ Weldon
Twist Drill Capacity5/8″
Power Cord Length13 Ft
Weight24.3 pounds
Warranty1 Year
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Reversible operation
  • Power sensor for safety
  • Simple to use for both left and right-handed people
  • Its wiring is sealed for safety purposes
  • Changeable positions of the handwheel
  • Integrated coolant tank

Drawback

  • Comes with a hefty price
  • Only 1 year warranty

Jancy Holemaker II Portable Magnet-Base Drill

Jancy Holemaker II Portable Magnet-Base Drill, 120V, 11.5 Amp MotorThe features that the Jancy Holemaker II comes with are shocking. This machine incorporates technology and safety to provide you with a comfortable drilling process that you will absolutely appreciate. The designers took time with its design which is super, and you will fall in love with it right from the word go! The machine will easily handle plastic, wood, glass, and not to forget metallic objects.

One feature worth commending with this drill is its vibration sensor which makes the drill halt functioning immediately it falls. This level of safety is unmatched. Also, if its workpiece becomes loose, the sensor will notice the change and come to a sudden halt. With this, your safety is a top priority. Careless accidents are avoided with this drill.

The only con that we found with the Jancy Holemaker II is that it is a little bit heavy for a 120V motor, and you might struggle to transport it from one point to another. This, thus, makes it unsuitable for works that require lots of movement. Other than that, we love everything else about it, and especially how the designers have gone the extra mile to ensure that your safety is assured with their product.

Specifications

Motor120V, 11.5A
Speed (No Load)450 RPM
Max Annular Cutting Capacity1-3/8-inch
Max Cutting Depth2-inch
Cutter Shank3/4″ Weldon
Power Cord Length7 Ft
Weight30 pounds
Warranty2 Years
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Suitable for heavy-duty works
  • Its vibration sensor ensures your safety
  • The speed changes automatically

Drawback

  • It is a little bit heavy

Bluerock Black Brm-35a-b Magnetic Drill

 BLACK BLUEROCK Tools Model BRM-35A Typhoon Magnetic Drill Roto-BroachThe Black Bluerock BRM-35A comes at an affordable price, and you won’t have to part with huge sums of cash to own it. Moreover, with its outstanding performance, every penny spent on it is worth it. Its motor is the center of everything; so powerful that it can produce a speed of 570 RPM. You might dispute this as not fast enough, but it’ll surprise you how fast and precise it can penetrate a two-inch hole.

Upon purchasing it, you are awarded some accessories. These are inclusive of a safety chain, an adapter, a case, and an oil bottle. The case comes in handy when transporting the machine from one place to another — all these accessories aid in providing great services.

This mag drill press weighs a mere 28 pounds, which makes it one of the lightest and portable drills that the market has to offer. With this low weight, transporting it from one place to another won’t be a problem for you. We will, however, have to deduct a point from it because of its magnetic strength which may not be powerful enough to provide you with a smooth drilling process. For this matter, be sure to use the safety chain at all times.

Specifications

Motor120V, 10A
Speed (No Load)595 RPM
Max Annular Cutting Capacity1-1/2-inch
Max Cutting Depth2-inch
Cutter Shank3/4″ Weldon
Twist Drill Capacity1″ w/ Step Drilling
Power Cord LengthNot Specified
Weight28 pounds
WarrantyNot Specified
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Very lightweight and easily portable
  • High RPM ratings
  • Comes in a compact design

Drawback

  • The magnet isn’t strong enough to hold the workpiece

Hougen HMD904 Magnetic Drill

Hougen HMD904 115-Volt Magnetic DrillThis mag drill isn’t as perfect as the Dewalt DWE1622K in the context of performance, but it is equally good that it qualifies for our list. If you’re looking for something simple that will do you a neat job, then you should consider adding this to your arsenal. It is very lightweight and comes with a swivel base magnet and thus making it ideal for horizontal and overhead jobs.

This drill is equipped with a powerful motor, 8 Amp, that drills holes with 1.5-inch diameter and two inches deep. Its versatility is another thing worth commending. It features a magnet which powers it up by 30% more. That’s not all; it is fitted with a pilot light which adds lighting and makes working in inadequate lighted areas easier and more accurate.

Another cool feature is that it is fitted with a drive arbor which makes changing accessories easier and more convenient. Designers of this drill manufactured it specifically for heavy-duty and industrial uses. You will work for long hours and hard situations with it without any problems. As earlier stated, it is versatile and can be used by the professional steelworker and handyman as well.

Specifications

Motor115V, 8A
Speed (No Load)450 RPM
Max Annular Cutting Capacity1-1/2-inch
Max Cutting Depth2-inch
Cutter Shank3/4″ Weldon
Twist Drill Capacity1/2″
Power Cord LengthNot Specified
Weight28.9 pounds
Warranty2 Years
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Made using high-quality materials
  • Features a pilot light for convenience in light-deprived areas
  • Suitable for both horizontal and overhead uses thanks to its swivel base

Drawback

  • Comes with a hefty price.

Hougen HMD130 Ultra Low Profile Magnetic Drill

Hougen HMD130 Ultra Low Profile lightweight right angle drill with large capacity. Replaces HMD115 and HMD150Talk about popularity, and this Hougen HMD130 mag drill enjoys a wide range of popularity in the market, and there is a good reason for that. All the features that come with this drill are the ones expected from Hougen. And what’s even better is that it’s designed compactly to be able to fit in those hard-to-reach spots. Moreover, it is lightweight, and you won’t have any problems using it leave alone, lifting it.

A unique feature with it is the RotaLoc Cutters that assist in installing and removing accessories without using tools. Its gearing system is okay and comes with a positive slug ejection. We love it for its performance. It is top-notch and will provide smooth cuttings not to mention that its maintenance levels are very low.

The handles of this drill lock for easy and convenient maneuverability. The drill weighs only 23.8 pounds, and as earlier mentioned you won’t have any problems moving around with it. This is a low-profile magnetic drill that leads in performance. Its price might be slightly higher than others in the market, but with its performance and design, every penny spent on it is totally worth it.

Specifications

Motor120V, 8A
Speed (No Load)450 RPM
Max Annular Cutting Capacity1-3/8-inch
Max Cutting Depth1-inch
Cutter ShankBayonet Style
Power Cord LengthNot Specified
Weight23.8 pounds
Warranty2 Years
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Very lightweight
  • Handles have a lock design for easy maneuverability
  • RotaLoc cutters allow for installation without the need for tools
  • Its gearing system gives out high power

Drawback

  • Its price is slightly higher than others in the market

Mophorn MD40 Magnetic Drill

Mophorn MD40 Magnetic Drill 1100W Compact Electromagnetic Drill Press 12000N Traction 550 RPM Precise Cuts Tapping Magnetic Drilling System With Magnetic Drill Press 40mm + 11 pc Cutter KitWhen Mophorn MD40 is mentioned, what should come to your mind is absolute power. This product is one of the top models in Mophorn’s product line. The manufacturers were keen to reflect comfortability, safety, ergonomics, and precision in this machine. Its magnet is also strong enough to keep both thick and thin metals in place when you’re drilling.

The magnet of this drill is designed in such a manner that it exerts less force for thinner metals and higher forces for thick metals. With this, the durability and longevity of your drilling press are assured. The drill weighs a mere 29.1 pounds, and you will not have any problems transporting it from one place to another.

All in all, this is a powerful drilling press that you will appreciate. An interesting thing about its magnet is that it is able to adjust itself depending on the weight of the metal. With this, you are assured of the longevity of your drill press. This machine is suitable for any metal drilling operations.

Specifications

Motor110V, 15A
Speed (No Load)550 RPM
Max Annular Cutting Capacity2-inch
Max Cutting Depth7.5-inch
Cutter Shank3/4″ Weldon
Twist Drill Capacity1″
Power Cord Length6.3 Ft
Weight29.1 pounds
Warranty1 Year

Advantages

  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Solid build at this price point
  • Suitable for various metal drilling operations

Drawbacks

  • Relatively heavy
  • Short warranty

Champion Cutting Tool AC50 Portable Magnetic Drill Press

Champion Cutting Tool RotoBrute MightiBrute AC50 Portable Magnetic Drill PressThe AC50 by Champion Cutting Tool has gained an outstanding reputation for being one of the most powerful drill presses the market has to offer.

You can use annular cutters, stack cutters or twist drill with  RB1234 chuck adapter to give you an ultimate drilling experience. Another reason that qualifies it for our list is that it has been constructed using high-quality materials suitable for both heavy-duty and workshop use.

The magnetic strength of the AC50 is also a great factor. It can hold 3,370 lbs which is stronger than the Hougen HMD904.

This drill is fitted with stack and annular cutters which help in optimizing its performance. They assist in simplifying the cutting process and makes work much easier. In addition, it comes with a lubricant that aids in ensuring the drilling operation is as smooth and fast as possible. This machine comes with an external coolant that assists in prolonging its lifespan though you need to install it manually

We love this product for its impeccable strength. It is able to hold still even through harsh working conditions. Also, it is not quite heavy, and transporting it from one place to another won’t be a problem. You will enjoy every second working with the RotoBrute AC50.

Specifications

Motor 1100W, 2 Speed Motor
Speed (No Load)300/450 RPM
Max Annular Cutting Capacity2-1/8-inch
Max Cutting Depth2-inch
Cutter Shank3/4″ Weldon
Twist Drill Capacity1″
Power Cord LengthNot Specified
Weight33 pounds
Warranty1 Year
Parts and ManualParts, Manual

Advantages

  • Suitable for both lightweight and heavy-duty drilling tasks
  • Can be used with annular cutters, stack cutter or twist drill
  • Easily converted to use twist drills or chassis reamers
  • Strong and durable

Drawbacks

  • Short warranty period
  • The lock might be a nuisance at rare occasions
  • Hefty price

How Magnetic Drill Presses Work

How Magnetic Drill Presses Work
Mag drill presses are very useful in industrial work. Product featured above: Jancy Slugger JMU 137-2 QW

If you are actively engaged in construction, welding or anything that involves metal drilling, then you’re the top beneficiary for the mag drill press. Now to how the magnetic drill press work; it is no rocket science and learning its operations is easy. Before beginning your work, the workpiece needs to be attached to the magnet firmly as they are connected. This assists in having precise and highly accurate results.

An important thing to know is that you have the freedom of inclining them to any position that you’re most comfortable with and which will provide you with the most accurate drill. Different drills come with different strengths, and based on the strength, you can position them either horizontally or vertically.

A huge advantage of these drills is that they are very lightweight and highly portable. Many operations will require your physical movement from one place to another. And with their weight, this isn’t going to cause you any inconveniences. Moreover, their precision is more accurate and precise than other types of metal drills.

Best Cutter Tool Type for Magnetic Drills

How to select annular cutter for mag drill
How to select annular cutter for mag drill. Illustration by BDS Maschinen

When we talk about types of cutter tools for magnetic drills two names ring the bell – twist drills and annular cutters. Don’t get us wrong, there are other types such as the masonry and spur point bits, but these two are the main ones.

Twist Drill for Mag Drills
Twist drills can be used in mag drills.

Twist drills are very popular and easily available in the market. They come with edges at the front to cut the materials and a spiral design to get rid of any debris that may be produced. This type is constructed using high speed steel; an upgrade of the carbon steel. They are highly effective only that they are best-suited for small holes.

The annular cutter is basically the best tool type to use for magnetic drill presses. A mortising chisel is to wood, as an annular cutter is to steel. It is designed to cut the outside edge of the steel. What makes this cutter the best, is that it is highly accurate and you don’t require pre-drilling steps. Also, it requires less force to drill large holes.

So, you may ask yourself, why should I use the annular cutter. The answer is simple; it is fast, requires less force, highly accurate and precise and also produces a nice and clean hole finish. It is also able to be re-sharpened in case it becomes blunt. Materials that can be cut by the annular cutter are inclusive of aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel, titanium and Hastelloy.

How to Select a Magnetic Drill Press

Mag Drill Buying Guide
Drilling clean holes quickly and easily in steel is mag drill’s specialty. Be sure to buy the right one.

It is important to be aware of the factors to consider when making your magnetic drill press purchase. We know the frustration that comes with buying poor quality products, and we don’t want you to experience that. With this guide, we outline to you the factors to consider when buying a magnetic drill press.

Power

The first thing to determine prior to making your purchase is the purpose of buying the drill. If you’re planning on using your drill press daily to dig through thick steel plates, then you ought to go for ones with powerful motors of 9 Amp and above. Powerful drills normally come in large sizes, and if you will be working in limited space areas, then it’s also important to put the size of the drill into consideration.

The quality of the motor should also be considered. Most drills come with in-built protection features that ensure the safety of your motor. This allows your drill to withstand and take on heavy-duty tasks. Some of the features integrated to ensure the protection of the motors are inclusive of overload electronic protection and cooling systems.

Magnetic strength

The magnetism of drill presses differs in the context of operations and strength. If your operations will include vertical and overhead operations, then it’s particularly important to consider the strength of your magnet. The strength will also come into play when the environment is unstable or shaky. With adequate strength, your magnetic drill press will be able to stay on point during severe vibrations and give you the accuracy that you desire.

Different magnetic drills work in different ways. Some magnets only start working after the press is turned on. It is, therefore, important that you acquaint yourself with how the drill functions to ensure that your needs are met.

Comfort

Comfort is essential, even though many people overlook this factor. You want to select a drill that is lightweight, comfortable, and ergonomic in design. Your hands should be comfortable when holding the press. Look at the weight of the drill; it shouldn’t be too heavy that will be a nuisance for you when working. You should, therefore, limit your drill search to the ones that are lightweight and comfortable if you want to achieve high-quality work.

RPM

The RPM rating of magnetic drill press determines the speed of the drill when it doesn’t have any load on it. It is normally written in bold on the body of all drill presses. It is essential that you consider it prior to making your purchase. Having its knowledge allows you to compare with other products before making your final decision.

Weight and Size

The size and weight of the magnetic drill press play a major role in determining its portability and stability. You want something that is very lightweight and which will not be a problem to move from one point to another. The benchtop drill types suit this description well as they are highly lightweight and easily portable.

Magnetic Drill Type

Last but not least, we have the types of magnetic drills. Different types are suitable for different situations. If you will be working in confined and space-deprived areas, for example, you definitely need a low-profile magnetic drill press. These come with only one handle and are designed to work in limited spaces. They are lightweight and compatible for drilling at vertical positions. The low-profile drills are also known as small magnetic drill presses.

Conclusion

Our review is entirely based on merit. We have carefully provided you with a detailed description of the different magnetic drill presses based on their outstanding performances and features. These are the best the market has to offer.

There are other great products, but they didn’t qualify on our list because of one shortage or another. All in all, one common thing with the products listed above is that they will have the work done neatly and in no time.

We are confident that we have stayed true to our course, and now the ball is in your court. You now have all the relevant knowledge. Remember, there is no wrong choice. It all depends on your taste and preference. Go make your magnetic drill press purchase and start working!

Featured image by Evolution Power Tools


Leave a Reply