If you’re in need of a drill press, but do not have the space for one, here are 6 of the best mini drill presses for your workshop or home. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you’ll be able to find the perfect one!
You can drill holes with a drill press by holding your work piece steady and using its built-in tools. Although mini drill presses are smaller versions of traditional drill presses, they still offer all of the features you need to create quality products.
There are many things that go into making sure that there is enough clearance around each small part of your project (especially if it’s jewelry). It may be a lot of gears, chains, or tiny wires that need to be considered.
These types of projects are where mini drill presses shine because they can provide the right amount of space for your work without compromising on power and stability.
1. Ryobi DP103L – Best Overall
2. Shop Fox W1668 – A premium choice
3. PROXXON Bench Drill – best value
What Are the Benefits of Having One?
With a handheld drill, it doesn’t get much more frustrating than drilling holes in something. For hours on end, you have to apply the right amount of pressure, hold your arm awkwardly and hope that you don’t nick the thing you’re drilling into by applying the wrong amount of pressure.
When you hit metal or hardwood, these things tend to kick back like crazy, so don’t lose control of what’s going on. With a mini drill press, you won’t need as much muscle power because it provides precision where it is needed.
The Best Drill For Jewelry: What Should You Look For?
Besides, there are a couple of other factors that might be crucial to saving money and getting the best value for your jewelry drill purchase. Their use in jewelry crafts is the most important thing to know about them.
Jewelry drills come in a variety of speed calibrations, some with single, preset speeds and others with adjustable speeds. The drill speed is measured in RPM (Rotation Per Minute). The best drills are those with a higher speed, but they need a firm grip and a person with experience working with jewelry.
One downside to fast RPMs is their price- be prepared to spend a lot.
For jewelry-making tasks that require small, delicate pieces of metal, it is best to purchase drills with variable speeds.
For softer gemstones and wood, you’ll need to adjust the speeds. The higher the speed, the better, as long as your activity consists mostly of drilling small holes and not polishing.
The accuracy of
The one made for jewelry is preferred because it is more accurate. A decent handheld jewelry drill should be able to drill to an accuracy of 1/64″.
It is important to note that larger drills typically have drilling bits that are up to 1/4”, a size that cannot accommodate small jewelry crafts that require tiny drill bits. Therefore, you should always make sure that the drill bit is the right size, regardless of whether your online vendor says that the drill is suitable for jewelry crafts.
The power of
The power ratings for drills vary from 2 to 24 volts. High-voltage drills have more power than inferior-voltage drills. However, because of their added features to accommodate their power capacity, powerful drills often carry more weight. They have things like large batteries and heavy-duty motors.
Battery-powered drills typically use lithium-ion batteries, which deliver twice the energy as nickel-cadmium batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are lighter and the most popular fittings on power drills.
Some brands offer NiMH batteries, which are a type of backup power battery with no cadmium and are therefore less hazardous when disposed of than nickel-cadmium batteries.
Even though it’s not as important…
In terms of powering your drill, you should also consider charging. Fast charging may be good, but it can damage your battery by producing excessive heat unless the battery is specifically designed to handle the power. Cordless drills carry a charge, which takes about 15 minutes to three hours to charge.
Additionally, there are manual jewelry drills that do not require electricity. These drills are great for small tasks like drilling holes in necklaces, beading bangles, adding small engravings, and polishing soft jewelry.
The most confusing part of getting a drill for jewelry is the wide variety of accessories it comes with. Even though you may be tempted to go for the ones with gizmos and gadgets, remember to check out the ones with other more important features first.
If the drill is powered, make sure it includes a charger and basic components, such as diamond drill bits.
If you are looking for comfort, the first thing you should consider is how the drill grips your hand. I recommend that you opt for an ergonomic grip so that you can work for long hours without fatigue.
With an adjustable shaft, you can work on the jewelry surface in different ways. Mini drill presses are also convenient as they can be mounted on the tabletop and you don’t have to move too much to work on it.
The best drill press for jewelry making
1. Ryobi DP103L 10 in. Drill Press
On a budget, the Ryobi DP103L is a great tool to have. Even though the model is small and compact, it can easily handle long working hours, making it a great choice for amateurs, hobbyists, and beginners. It offers decent performance and precision and is versatile enough to work on a variety of jewelry projects.
Ryobi DP103L small drill press comes with five speed selections, unlike many models within the same price range. With more speed selections, you can drill in smaller and more delicate jewelry pieces with greater precision.
There are five speed settings on the Ryobi DP103L small drill press, unlike many models within the same price range.”
Additionally, Ryobi DP103L offers superior versatility for handling jewelry. Its rack-and-pinion table can be adjusted for height, it is swivel 360 degrees, and it accepts mortising attachments. The tool is capable of drilling holes in large, thick, or small pieces. Plus, you can adjust the angle for more complex designs.
Furthermore, the Ryobi features a built-in LED work light that enhances visibility when working with smaller items.
- Compact design
- Multipurpose tool
- I had to tighten pretty much every bolt and screw because the laser light is way off center.
2. Shop Fox W1668 3/4-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press
Our next pick for most people is the Shop Fox W1668, as it offers the best value for the money. The Shop Fox W1668 is a powerful oscillating sander that is also extremely affordable. With its tilted table, this model can be used for a variety of applications. Smaller jewelry workshops as well as professional jewelry studios can benefit from the Shop Fox W1668.
Its out-of-the-box sanding capabilities make the Shop Fox W1668 Oscillating Drill Press a great choice. A drill press can be converted from drilling to sanding in a matter of seconds with just a few tool-free steps. In addition to reducing heat build-up when sanding jewelry, it leaves a very smooth surface because it oscillates.
By oscillating, it reduces heat buildup when sanding jewelry pieces and leaves them very smooth.”
As a result of its heavy weight and powerful motor, the Shop Fox W1668 can drill through a wide range of jewelry materials with ease. Even high-end models like the Jet below aren’t any more powerful than this one due to its 3/4 horsepower motor. It has enough drilling power to cut through any material at high speed.
As for speed, the Shop Fox W1668 offers 12 speeds ranging from 250 to 3,050 RPM, which should suffice for most folks, and certainly a big step up over budget tools like the Ryobi.
- Design with ergonomics in mind
- Value for money is excellent
- A multipurpose tool
- I have not been able to properly seat the teeth for the table lift.
Also Read: How are drill presses measured (Important Considerations)
3. WEN 4208 Drill Press
Although the WEN 4208 drill press is one of the best small drill presses for the money, it’s not inferior just because it’s affordable compared to some of the other drill presses we tested. It’s dirt-cheap compared to the other drill presses we tested, but it still has all the features you’d expect.
A 13.5-horsepower (HP) induction motor delivers plenty of power and torque with variable speeds ranging from 740-3,140 RPM and 5 speeds to choose from.
Like many similar devices, this one features a worktable that bevels 45° to the left and right. The 11.2-inch keyed chuck provides a firm grip on your bits, but there is some chuck wobble present. We found it to not negatively impact our work, but if you want to drill super precise holes, it might be more of an issue.
- A work table that can be modified
- Multiple adjustments and high speeds
- Tightening and untightening a large bolt underneath tilts the bed.
4. RIKON 30-120 13-Inch Drill Press
With one of the highest prices on this list and some of the best build quality we have seen on this list, Rikon makes high-quality tools that usually come with a higher price tag as well. With 16 speeds to choose from, you get a lot of control over this machine, which can spin from 200-3,630 RPMs. It is also one of the most versatile machines on this list.
You won’t find cheap plastic parts on this drill press as it’s crafted from solid steel and cast iron. Of course, that means it’s quite hefty, at just over 100 pounds. Although it is very stable at this weight, it is also taking up a lot of space in your shop and losing some portability.
As one of the strongest drill presses on this list, this machine has a strong motor pushing 1 12 HP, and it has one of the longest throats at 6.5 inches, so you can drill a hole in the center of a 13-inch disk. Overall, it’s a substantial investment, but it’s well worth the price if you’re looking for a precision tool with outstanding features.
- A large throat length of 6.5 inches
- The motor produces 12 horsepower
- Precision control with 16 speeds
- Solid steel and cast iron construction
- RPM range: 200-3,630
- With a larger size, you lose portability.
5. JET J-2530, 15-Inch Benchtop Drill Press, 3/4-HP, 115V 1PH (354401)
The JET J-2530 is the machine we recommend if you want accuracy, stability, and versatility. The JET J-2530 mini drill press is the right choice for professionals with many years of experience who need a superior model. It features a powerful motor and a wider variety of spindle speeds than other machines in its class.
The JET J-2530 is constructed to provide a heavy and solid base for drilling. It weighs 157 pounds, which is 7 times more than our budget pick and 2.5 times more than our best value pick. For maximum head and table support, the head is constructed from cast iron, with a large ground steel column. A total of four permanently lubricated ball bearings support the enclosed spindle assembly, so friction is reduced to the maximum.
In addition to being extremely secure and precise, this kind of build quality ensures you can keep using your Jet for years to come. A solid base is provided by the JET J-2530 for drilling.
The JET J-2530 allows you to perform any jewelry task with unparalleled control and versatility. Unlike our other two recommendations, which offer 5 and 12 speeds respectively, the JET J-2530 offers 16 spindle speeds ranging from 200 to 3,630 RPM. That’s more precision than any other model in its class.
- Heavy and solid base for drilling.
- Powerful motor.
- •Wide variety of spindle speeds.
- Accurate and stable.
- The price is higher than other drill presses in its class.
6. PROXXON Bench Drill Press TBM 115, 38128
This bench drill press from Proxxon is perfect if you need a machine that drills ultra-precise holes, particularly micro holes as small as 1/64-inch in size.
We have some complaints about this machine, but there is still a lot to like about it, even if it is too small and somewhat limited in capabilities. Still, there is plenty to like about it.
As a starter, this machine is lightweight and compact. It measures 14 inches long, 9 inches tall, and 10 inches wide, and weighs just 17 pounds. You can move it wherever you need it and store it when you don’t.
There is a maximum distance of 5.5 inches between the worktable and the spindle on this unit, with a feed of just 1 3/16 inches. You won’t be able to fit large materials in here, but it’s perfect for jewelry.
It has no slow settings, so you won’t be able to work with larger items. We discovered that the motor gets very hot during use, even though it has a weak 85-watt motor. The lowest speed is 1,800 RPM and it goes up to 8,500 RPM with three speeds to choose from.
- Compact and lightweight
- 8,500 RPM is the maximum speed
- There are three speeds to choose from
- Accurate to an extreme degree
- Micro holes can be drilled down to 1/64″ in diameter
- Warranty of two years
- 1,800 RPM is the lowest speed.
- The motor is weak at 85 watts.
Also Read: What drill press speed to use? – 8 Metal Drilling Tips
Is it expensive or cheap to drill jewelry?
The price of standard drills is higher since they are used more professionally than jewelry making drills.
In fact, cordless drills are the most expensive (and most advanced too!) But when we look at drills for jewelry, the story changes. There are a number of items that are affordable, and the prices can even be reduced depending on what kind of craft you wish to create.
Jewelry drills usually have accessories included, so you won’t have to spend extra money on them. However, you should know a little bit about jewelry making in order to avoid getting scammed.
How Do You Clean Drills For Jewelry?
Keeping your drills clean is the key to keeping them working for longer periods of time. In order to prevent corrosion, overheating, and chafing, it is recommended to wipe the drill down after each use. Some drills may require lubrication.
Consider using a lubricant if you notice some friction between drilling sessions. Small fragments may have stuck inside the chuck, causing friction. In addition, make sure you are using the right drill bit for your project. This is a sure way to prevent damage to the drill’s internal parts. Whenever you use drill bits of the wrong size, you put your jewelry craft at risk as well.
What are the features of a metal drill press?
There are a few features that would make a metal drill press ideal for jewelry making. First, it should have a solid build and be able to handle heavy abuse.
Additionally, the drilling spindle should be adjustable to provide precision control when drilling small or large holes. And finally, it should come with an attachable workbench so that you can easily clamp your workpieces in place while drilling.
Why use a diamond coated metal drill bit?
Diamond coated metal drill bits are a great option for those looking for a more accurate drilling experience when working with Jewelry. Diamond coating on the bit helps to resist wear and tear, increasing the lifespan of the bit.
Additionally, diamond coating confers a greater degree of accuracy when drilling compared to other types of bits. This is due to the tiny ridges on diamonds that cause them to act as tiny bearings when drilling through materials.
Where to get metal drill bits?
There are a lot of places where you can purchase drill bits for your jewelry making needs. The most popular way to buy drill bits is through an online retailer such as Amazon or eBay. You can also find drill bit sellers at local craft and hardware stores.
However, if you are looking for the best drill press for jewelry making, you may want to consider purchasing a pre-made kit. This type of kit comes with all the necessary drill bits and instructions to help you get started crafting jewelry.
Safety precautions before using any tools
When using any power tool, it’s important to take safety precautions to avoid injury. Here are a few tips for using a drill press:
1. Always wear safety goggles and a dust mask if working with wood or other dust- laden materials.
2. Use a drill bit that is the correct size for your task – For example, if you’re drilling into metal, use a bit that is sized for metals.
3. Make sure the workpiece is secure – Use clamps if needed, or place the workpiece on a sturdy surface.
4. Keep your hands and arms firmly positioned against the workpiece – Don’t hold on to the drill chuck!
5. Use your body weight to rotate the drill chuck – Never use your hands to twist the chuck or the drill bit.
6. Stop drilling immediately if you notice any problems – If the drill bit starts to spin too fast or if the workpiece starts to come off the drill chuck, stop and take safety precautions.
Tips and tricks for getting started with metal work on a drill press
If you’re new to metalworking with a drill press, there are a few tips and tricks that will help get you started. First, it’s important to have a good understanding of how the drill press works before starting. Read the owner’s manual thoroughly and familiarize yourself with the different settings on the machine.
Next, make sure your tooling is properly aligned and calibrated. This will ensure accuracy when making holes in metal. Finally, follow the safety guidelines that are included with your drill press.
By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to start creating beautiful pieces of jewelry on your drill press in no time!
If you have any additional questions about metalworking with a drill press, don’t hesitate to ask a knowledgeable sales associate at your local hardware store or online retailer. They are more than happy to provide guidance and answer any questions you may have about the process.
Also Read: Do drill presses need special bits 5 drill bit kits for DIYers
What is the best way to drill holes in crystals for jewelry?
If you use a small drill press and a lubricant, you can drill holes in crystals for jewelry. Even crystals can be drilled easily and quickly with these three elements. However, you should follow some vital tips to avoid cracking the gems. To learn more, read the article “Drilling Tips and Techniques”.
Is a drill press really necessary?
Small drill presses offer a high degree of precision and accuracy while you work, plus their versatility enables you to express yourself creatively in a wide range of jewelry-making projects.
Jewelry Drills: What Are They?
Drills for jewelry have been made specifically for the purpose of making jewelry. They are an essential tool for jewelers and DIYers, along with pliers and other tools. A drill for jewelry does more than just drill holes they can be used to sand down rough edges, saw a pattern, and add jump rings to pendants with the right technique.
How can a drill press be used?
Small drill presses can be used in jewelry-making in several ways, from drilling holes in stones and gems to metalsmithing type drilling or laying out micro pave.