Precision at Your Fingertips: The Best Drill Presses for Gunsmithing and Metalworking

Gunsmiths use drills to bore precise holes in metals and other materials, and this requires great accuracy and precision. If you are a professional gunsmith or hobbyist, you need to be sure you have the right drill press to do your job right. We will discuss the top 5 drills for gunsmithing, talk about what to look for in a drill press, and give some helpful advice so you can make the right choice.

Understanding the Requirements of Gunsmithing

Gunsmithing involves a range of drilling and sanding tasks, from creating precise holes for pins and screws to contouring and finishing workpieces. To achieve exceptional results, a drill press specifically designed for gunsmithing is essential. These machines offer the necessary power, stability, and adjustability to meet the unique demands of working on firearms.

Top Recommendations: Best Drill Presses for Gunsmithing

After sifting through a mountain of data, we’ve whittled down the options for the best drill presses for gunsmithing. These drill presses were hand-picked because they offer the best combination of features, durability, and performance necessary to meet the rigorous requirements of gunsmithing jobs.

1. JET JDP-17 Drill Press

JET JDP-17, 17-Inch Drill PressWhat a sight! Wow, this drill press really does the job well and efficiently. Because it is not just any drill press, but rather one specifically made for drilling holes to perfection, this fantastic device will guarantee that your drilling is quick, easy, and precise. It’s the best drill press money can buy for do-it-yourselfers at home.

This electric corded drill press has a maximum rotational speed of 3,500 rpm, making it an unrivaled tool for gunsmithing and AK construction. This drill press’s 1Ph 115V motor with 0.75 horsepower offers a wide range of rapid speed changes and increased stability, and it comes with 16 speeds.

Furthermore, the JET JDP-17 is a versatile power tool for use in construction and production environments. Featuring a 14″ x 19″ precision-ground work table, it is equipped with twin T-slot grooves and four table slots, thus providing a variety of table-top functions. This drill press also features a one-handed belt tensioning system, which allows you to easily adjust the belt tension while in use; an integrated depth stop that allows you to set the exact depth of your workpieces; a built-in safety key; and a large, paddle-style off button for extra safety.JET JDP-17, 17-Inch Drill Press table
Yet that is not all; this drill press is embellished with an inbuilt LED work light that endows direct lighting, mitigates shadows, as well as a maximum chuck size of 13 millimeters. The JET JDP-17 is an indispensable tool, be it for a professional gunsmith or a DIY enthusiast.

You may settle for less when it comes to buying a drill press, but you cannot compromise on the paramount power and precision that will take your projects to the next echelon.

You should invest in the paramount Jet 17-inch Drill Press, the ultimate drill press for gunsmithing and AK building, and experience the paramount power and precision that will take your projects to the next echelon.

2. WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press

WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press

Introducing the WEN 4214 12-inch Variable Speed Drill Press. This powerhouse bench-top drill press packs a punch. This mechanical variable speed machine enables you to easily adjust the speed to suit your project needs, while the LED readout ensures precision and accuracy. With a 2-HP induction motor, ample torque and power are guaranteed, and the ball bearings are perfect for extended motor life.

The Wen 4214 is a great option for anyone looking for a reliable and inexpensive drill for gunsmith projects. This drill has a 12-speed motor and a 5/8-inch chuck, as well as a laser guide for added accuracy. It also has a variable speed feature, as well as a variable feed mechanism that allows you to adjust the speed of the drill based on the material you’re drilling. This is a great drill for gunsmiths who need a dependable, affordable option.

The WEN 4214 is an outstanding drill for its price point, built to last with a rigid frame made of cast iron for accurate drilling operations, the 5/8” chuck with MT2 spindle taper and onboard chuck key storage provide versatility and convenience, and the slotted table allowing for mounting clamps and vises for effective mounting. The X-pattern of the Class IIIA 2.5mW laser centering device shows your drill’s center points, saving on guesswork and sparing expensive materials.

This drill press is a great choice for hobbyist gunsmiths and 5D tactical enthusiasts. It boasts an incredibly sturdy frame, variable speed, and torque settings, accurate drilling, and a strong motor, making it a top contender for the title of “best drill press for gunsmithing.”

3. Shop Fox W1848 Gunsmith’s Dream Oscillating Drill Press

Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill PressUpgrade your gunsmithing arsenal with the unmatched versatility and precision of the Shop Fox W1848 Gunsmith’s Dream Oscillating Drill Press. This powerhouse machine combines exceptional drilling capabilities with effortless contour sanding, making it the ultimate tool for crafting your firearms to perfection.

Featuring a robust 3/4 HP motor and a generous swing of 13-3/4 inches, this drill press effortlessly handles the demands of gunsmithing projects with ease. The drill chuck, ranging from 1/64″ to 5/8″, ensures you have the perfect grip for any task, whether you’re working on AK building, 80 lowers, or 80 percent lowers.

With the W1848’s unique oscillating spindle, switching from drilling to sanding operations is a breeze. In just seconds, and without needing tools, you can transition between tasks, reducing heat build-up and achieving impeccable finishes on your firearms.

Imbued with meticulous precision, this drill press encompasses an impressive range of 12 speeds (250 to 3050 RPM) for versatile adaptation to different materials and drilling depths. Featuring a spacious 12-3/8″ diameter table and a dual 90-degree tilt mechanism, it empowers you to effortlessly maneuver workpieces and attain impeccable drilling or sanding angles.

Gunsmithing requires attention to detail, and the W1848 delivers on every level. Its sturdy construction and reliable performance make it the best drill press for AK buildings, 80 lower, and 80 percent lower projects. Whether you’re a seasoned gunsmith or a DIY enthusiast, this drill press will be your trusted companion in creating firearms that exemplify precision and quality.

Unlock the full potential of your gunsmithing endeavors with the Shop Fox W1848 Gunsmith’s Dream Oscillating Drill Press. Elevate your craft to new heights and take pride in the exceptional results you’ll achieve with this superior tool. Order yours today and experience the ultimate satisfaction of owning the best gunsmithing drill press on the market.

4. Grizzly G7945 34″ Radial Drill Press – The Ultimate Gunsmithing Powerhouse

Grizzly G7945 5 Speed Bench-Top Radial Drill PressUnlock the full potential of your gunsmithing projects with the Grizzly G7945 34″ Radial Drill Press. This exceptional drill press, recognized as the best in its class for gunsmithing tasks, combines power, precision, and versatility to elevate your craftsmanship to new heights.

The Grizzly G7945’s 1/2 HP motor and five spindle speeds from 550 to 3000 RPM make short work of even the most demanding drilling projects in a wide range of materials, including 1/2″ mild steel. This drill press’s radial construction makes angle drilling possible, giving you unprecedented control over the creation of finely wrought gunsmithing details.

Experience unmatched adjustability with the headstock’s 90° tilt to the right, 45° tilt to the left, and smooth sliding forward or backward over the column. The rack-and-pinion vertical table movement, operated by a convenient crank handle, ensures precise control and ease of use, while the precision-ground cast-iron table guarantees stability and accuracy.

The Grizzly G7945 can take drill bits from 1/16″ to 5/8″ thanks to its JT33 keyed chuck its 3-1/4″ of spindle travel and its impressive 14″ swing. The threaded depth stop, which can be adjusted, enables precise, repeatable drilling depths, guaranteeing reliable outcomes every time.

This drill press is sturdy and long-lasting thanks to its cast-iron construction, making it ideal for the demands of gunsmithing. Its cushioned quill handles let you work for extended periods in comfort and control.

Unleash your creativity and achieve unparalleled precision with the Grizzly G7945 34″ Radial Drill Press – the go-to choice for gunsmithing enthusiasts. Invest in the best drill press for AK building, 80 lowers, 80 percent lower projects, or any gunsmithing endeavor, and witness your creations come to life with unmatched precision and quality. Take your gunsmithing skills to the next level with the Grizzly G7945 – the true epitome of excellence in the world of drill presses.

5. Delta 18-900L Laser Precision Drill Press

Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill PressExperience the epitome of precision and versatility with the Delta 18-900L Laser Precision Drill Press. Designed for professional use, this rugged 18-inch drill press is the ultimate companion for gunsmithing and woodworking projects, providing unparalleled accuracy and power to bring your craftsmanship to perfection.

Featuring a heavy-duty motor and an Auto-Tensioning Belt Drive System, the Delta 18-900L effortlessly delivers powerful performance while enabling effortless speed changes. With a full 16 drilling speeds ranging from 170 to 3,000 RPM, you can confidently tackle a wide range of materials, including the toughest metals and woods, making it the best drill press for AK buildings, 80 lower, and 80 percent lower projects.

The highlight of the Delta 18-900L is its innovative Class IIIA laser system. Adjustable laser lines intersect precisely, marking the drilling point with utmost accuracy, ensuring your gunsmithing projects are flawlessly executed. The high-quality less than 5mw laser, equipped with precision crosshairs, guarantees pinpoint accuracy and precise drilling every time.

Equipped with a generous 6-inch quill stroke, the Delta 18-900L boasts the best-in-class drilling capacity, allowing for deeper drilling and accommodating industrial applications effortlessly. The oversized woodworker’s table, with its 0-90 degrees left and right beveling capability, provides unmatched versatility, ensuring precise drilling angles and perfect alignment.

Crafted with robustness in mind, the Delta 18-900L features a 3/4-horsepower induction motor, ready to take on demanding gunsmithing tasks with ease. The non-tip cast iron base provides maximum stability, allowing you to work with confidence and precision. The LED lamp illuminates the work surface, enhancing visibility, while the micro-adjustable depth stops and independent depth scale enable quick and accurate setup for repetitive drilling, saving you valuable time and effort.

Invest in the best gunsmithing drill press, the Delta 18-900L Laser Precision Drill Press, and elevate your craft to new heights of excellence. Backed by a five-year warranty, this drill press ensures durability and reliability for years of outstanding performance. Discover the joy of precise drilling and witness your gunsmithing projects come to life with unparalleled accuracy and craftsmanship.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Drill Press for Gunsmithing

When selecting a drill press for gunsmithing, there are several factors to consider. These are capacity, precision, adaptability, and ease of use.

Let’s discuss each of these factors separately:

The capacity of the drill press

You will need a drill press with a high capacity and enough space to store your various tools. A drill press with more capacity will allow you to do more things at once.

The precision of the drill press

You will need a drill press with a high level of precision to meet the specifications of your projects. Precision is important in order to minimize the chances of damage to your project. A drill press with lower precision will make it difficult to drill holes precisely.

The adaptability of the drill press

You will need a drill press that can fit the requirements of your projects. A drill press with less adaptability will not be able to handle some of the thicker materials or heavier metals.

A drill press with great adaptability can handle a variety of different jobs, including drilling through various materials, drilling holes in many different sizes and depths, and drilling at various angles.

Swing and Spindle Travel

The distance between the spindle’s center and the column is referred to as a drill press’s swing. It establishes the largest diameter of workpieces that the drill press can handle. When working with various-sized firearms parts, a swing of 13-3/4″ is suitable. Additionally, 3-1/4″ of spindle travel enables drilling deeper holes without compromising precision.

Drill Chuck and Arbor

A reliable drill chuck is crucial for secure bit gripping, preventing slippage or wobbling during drilling. Look for a drill press with a chuck that can accommodate drill bits ranging from 1/64″ to 5/8″. Additionally, ensures compatibility with JT-33 arbors, which are commonly used in gunsmithing applications.


The size of the drill press determines its swing, which affects the drill’s ability to hold the workpiece steady, as well as the depth of the hole. For larger pieces, a chuck with a higher swing can be used to drill holes in that workpiece. For smaller pieces, a chuck with a lower swing can be used to drill holes in that workpiece.


A drill press is a powerful tool used to drill holes in materials, including wood, metals, and plastics. To determine how quickly a drill bit will bore through a material, you must measure the power of the drill press, which is measured in horsepower.

The larger the horsepower of a drill press, the more powerful it is. It can handle more material in a shorter amount of time and is generally more expensive than a small-horsepower machine.


Accuracy is crucial in gunsmithing since even slight inaccuracies might lead to disastrous consequences. Find a drill press that can precisely drill holes in your material, preferably with a laser guide or digital readout.


A drill press is said to be versatile if it can be used with a wide variety of materials and drill bits. Depending on its features and capabilities, a more expensive drill press may be able to handle a wider variety of materials and workpieces.

The Top 5 Gunsmithing Drill Presses Are Compared

best drill press for gunsmithingWe can observe that each of the top 5 drill presses for gunsmithing has particular advantages and disadvantages after carefully examining them. Although the Jet JDP-17 has remarkable power and precision, some users might find it to be excessively big and pricey. The WEN 4214 is a less expensive choice with flexibility and a laser guide, although it might not be as powerful as other options. A premium alternative with great power and precision, the Delta 18-900L is also expensive and can be too big for some users. With its oscillating spindle sander feature, the Shop Fox W1848 adds versatility, although it might not be as powerful as other options. The Grizzly G7945, a heavy-duty alternative with good power and stability but also a huge size and a high price, is the last option.

These considerations lead us to conclude that the Jet JDP-17 is the best drill press for gunsmithing. It has outstanding power and accuracy, a digital readout, and an adjustable worktable for greater adaptability. It is the most well-rounded choice on this list, even though some users may find it to be overly big and pricey.


Considerations such as drill press size, power, precision, and versatility are essential when shopping for a drill press for gunsmithing. Based on our in-depth analysis of the features and performance of the top five drill presses for gunsmithing, we recommend the Jet JDP-17. Whether you’re a professional or amateur gunsmith, a high-quality drill press is an investment worth making if you care about precision and accuracy in your work.

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