Drill presses are must-have tools for woodworkers and even metalworkers of all skill levels. Common tools like hammers, saws, and power drills can perform the exact same tasks, but if you value your time, get a drill press. They work much more efficiently than a combination of handheld tools and elbow grease. In addition, drill presses offer greater depth precision. They come in a wide range of size and capabilities, so finding the right drill press can be a bit challenging.
Luckily, we don’t have to search far and wide for a great-working bench-top drill press. A China-based company named WEN produces drill presses that are accurate, powerful, and cost-efficient. There are some similarities between the models but we’re mainly going to focus on what sets them apart. Essentially, the greater the model number, the more features and power you can expect. Let’s dive right in and see how each of these WEN drill presses compares against one another.
Swing and Stroke
This model lets users drill in the exact center of materials measuring up to 8 inches in diameter. The spindle also travels up to 2 inches deep into whatever stock you’re working on.
The swing capacity of this model is 10 inches. The spindle travels only slighter farther than the WEN 4208 model (2-1/2 inches deep).
The WEN 4212 has a swing of 10 inches. However, the spindle travels slightly shallower than the previous model – only 2-3/8 inches into your stock.
The largest model of the bunch has a swing capacity which supports accurate drilling into the center of 12-inch diameter pieces of wood. The spindle can travel up to 3-1/8 inches, though users should proceed patiently as deeper depths mean an increased risk of burning and jamming.
Motor and Speed
This model features a 2.3 amp (1/3 horsepower) motor. It’s not the most impressive motor on the market, though it’s adequate for simple DIY projects and light-duty applications. Users can set the rapidness of spindle rotation by choosing one of five total speed options. The spindle rotates between 740 and 3,140 RPM.
This model comes with a 3.2 amp (3/4 horsepower) motor which is slightly more impressive than the previous drill press but still far from being the most powerful. In terms of speed, operators can also select one of five speeds which deliver between 600 and 3,100 RPM.
This improved model sports a 2/3-horsepower (4.5 amps) motor which delivers between 530 and 1,300 RPM. What separates this model from the two previous models is that the speed is controlled by a dial, giving the user infinite control of how fast they want the spindle to rotate.
You can see where we’re going with this. The WEN 4214 comes with a 4.5 amp motor (a little more than 2/3 horsepower). The infinite speed dial can be set to deliver speeds as low as 530 RPM and as high as 3,200 RPM.
The only notable add-on you get with the WEN 4208 drill press is a simple built-in key holder. This is where you place the key chuck so you’ll always know where it is for when you need to make quick bit changes.
Apart from the key storage, this model comes with a laser guide which we found to be as accurate as can be. There’s also a work light which might be somewhat of a nuisance since the shadows produced from the light can interfere with measurements.
You get the same add-ons as you’d get with the 4210 Drill Press, but it comes with the digital readout to show how quickly the spindle is rotating. This is especially helpful since, without a gauge, you’re basically guessing how quickly the bit is spinning which can lead to ruined stock.
You get the same additional features as you get with the other three units, except it also comes with a table roller extension. The table extension helps users hold onto and balance longboards and awkwardly-shaped stocks.
Essentially, the larger the size of the table, the more space you get to work with and the greater the swing capacity. The smallest drill press here features a 6-1/2 x 6-1/2-inch table. Although it’s rather tiny, it’s more than enough to get DIY furniture and household projects done with ease. The table can also bevel up to 45° to the left or right.
The WEN 4210’s table measures 7-5/8 x 7-5/8 inches in area. It’s significantly larger than the previous model, and it provides a rather sizable swing capacity. The bevel capacity of the table is also 45° in both directions.
This is the only drill press in this list that doesn’t feature a perfectly squared table. The table measures 8 x 7-2/3-inches wide. We would have liked to see an extendable table here, especially due to the awkward dimensions of the drill press’ table. Once again, bevel capacity ranges up to 45° to the left or right.
The table of the 4214 model is quite large – 9-1/2 x 9-1/2-inches. This supports the 12-inch swing capacity of the drill press. The table bevels both directions (up to 45°). Finally, the table of this unit can be extended to help support long boards.
4208, 4210, 4212 and 4212
They all feature the same depth-locking mechanism, namely a single rod on the left-hand side of the drill. The only problem is that excessive downward force when pulling the drill head can cause the depth gauge to shit, regardless of how tightly it was locked.
WEN 4208 vs 4210 vs 4212 vs 4214: Bottom Line
It can be quite difficult to determine what kind of drill press to get. In a nutshell, we prefer drills that have larger tables, quicker max speeds, and accurate depth gauges. Depending on how frequently you plan on using your drill press, as well as how much work you’re accepting and how quickly you need them done, you should think closely about which drill press to buy. One thing we don’t like about the 4212 and the WEN 4214 drill press is their respective work lights.
The shadows produced from the lights can be problematic, especially if we can’t see our own measurement markings. However, with all things considered, if you need heavy-duty work done, the WEN 4214 drill press can be a great choice. If you’re a first-time buyer who’s looking for a smaller, personal-use drill press, the 4208 and the 4214 drill press can be excellent solutions.