In this day and age, most buildings use steel frames that the average saw or drill can’t penetrate. Apart from being as thick as tree trunks, steel beams are also quite heavy and won’t fit on the average drill press work surface. To drill holes into metal obelisks, you’ll need a magnetic drill press.
A magnetic drill press – mag drill for short – is a portable drill that adheres to ferrous metal and punches holes into the piece with a drill bit. The most common bit used is an annular cutter which cuts the circumference of the hole.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at one of the most highly rated mag drills out there – the EVOMAG28 from Evolution Power Tools. This is an industrial-grade tool that’s built to take punishment in stride. The user-friendly control panel makes it one of the most enjoyable mag drills out there.
Enough with these vague statements about why the EVOMAG28 is so awesome. Let’s take a closer look at the tool’s most prominent features.
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The EVOMAG28 is equipped with a heavy-duty 1200W motor that can reach a maximum speed of 570 RPM. This is not as powerful as numerous other models, but what we love about it is that at its moderate price range, it’ll deliver all the power you’d need to drill through thick steel beams effortlessly.
Even though this is a heavy-duty tool for its price range, it’s not something that you could use for super-demanding steel-drilling projects. If you need something for regular use on huge construction projects, perhaps the EVOMAG28 is not a viable option.
The 50 x 80 x 165-mm magnet base provides 2,860 pounds/foot of magnetic force. This is more than sufficient to keep the 40-pound tool adhered to ferrous metal surfaces without the slightest risk of dipping or dropping. The tool can be used in all orientations – horizontally, vertically, and even upside-down – to let you drill after setting up the steel framework of your construction project.
However, like any electric mag drill, it’s unwise to rely fully on the magnetic base to keep the unit adhered to metallic surfaces. That’s why Pro Evolution Tools has included a handy strap to use as a form of extra insurance to prevent the tool from being introduced to the ground at high speeds.
The EVOMAG28 has a maximum stroke length of 6 inches so drilling through half-foot pieces of metal is a breeze. The tool only comes with 2-inch bits straight out of the box so if you need to drill anywhere from 2 to 6 inches deep, know that you’ll need to invest in longer bits.
We talked about the depth at which the tool can drill. Now, for the width of the hole, the EVOMAG28 can drill between 7/16 to 1-1/8 inches. Once again, this isn’t the widest you’ll find in a mag drill, but as an entry-level tool, this is a lot wider than you’d get from comparable models.
The one thing we and numerous customers constantly praise about the EVOMAG28 is its construction. The 19 x 19 x 13-inch mag drill weighs roughly 38 pounds fully assembled (dry weight minus the coolant reservoir – more on this later). It’s compact, lightweight, and is extremely easy to transport. Positioning the tool in any orientation is effortless.
For a mag drill in its price category, we feel that the overall construction of the tool is something to appreciate. The tool is made of durable materials that won’t warp or bend during transport and can even withstand falls of up to five feet or more (according to a couple of customers).
Built-in Coolant System
The problem with drilling through metal is that it produces a heck of a lot of heat which could potentially ruin the drill bit and even the tool’s motor. Lubrication is crucial to prevent premature death of any mag drill, which is why we absolutely love the fact that the EVOMAG28 comes with a built-in coolant reservoir and delivery system which shoots ample amounts of coolant/lubricant right at the drill bit and surface of your work.
However, the coolant system doesn’t work when the tool is upside down (blame gravity) which means you’ll need to manually dip or splash a coolant on the surface of your work. Keep your eyes and mouth closed while doing this.
Out of the box, the EVOMAG28 comes with a 6-piece cutter kit (1/2-inch all the way up to 1-1/8-inch cutters), and a chuck and key for replacing drill bits and cutters. The only problem is that the kit doesn’t include a Weldon shank adapter for the chuck. For most people, this won’t be a deal-breaker, but for those of you who absolutely need the adapter, prepare to shell out a few bucks to purchase the adapter separately.
This tool comes with a 3-handle lever that can be attached to either side of the tool. This not only accommodates both left- and right-handed users, but it’s also a handy feature when there’s not enough clearance on one side to swing the handle freely.
The EVOMAG28 comes with a 3-year manufacturer warranty. This is the standard coverage that companies provide for their entry-level mag drills, but it’s impressive to have protection for 36 months after purchasing the tool. From the experience of a couple of customers, some of their products had problems straight from the box, but Pro Evolution Tools handled all of these in a timely manner. Excellent customer service!
Essentially, if you’re expecting the Evolution Power Tools EVOMAG28 Magnetic Drill to perform as well as $1,000 models, then don’t hold your breath. It provides ample power for a light- to medium-duty metal-drilling jobs. Its built-in coolant system works great at providing enough lubricant to the drill and workpiece when operating the tool horizontally and vertically but not upside-down.
The only problem we have with the tool is that the Weldon shank adapter is not included in the kit. Don’t bother asking the company to send you one since, if you read the box carefully, it’s not supposed to come with one. Other than that, it’s an amazing budget-friendly mag drill that we highly recommend.