You might think that a handheld power drill would be the only drilling tool you’d ever need, but if you’re serious about your craft, then a drill press is definitely a tool worthy of the investment. The main benefits of a drill press is its ability to drill straight holes that are perfectly perpendicular to the surface of your material. If you’re connecting boards with dowels, then you know the importance of perfectly drilled holes – width, depth, and angle – for a flush connection.
Today, we’re going to look at an extremely popular benchtop drill press – the WEN 4214. There are several things to love about this tool such as its compact size and portability, but there are several other things that will make this the perfect addition for your workshop. Let’s see what they are.
The first thing we noticed about this tool is its 5-amp motor which delivers enough power to drill through all sorts of materials. Woodworkers would definitely appreciate the WEN 4214’s ability to drill not just through tough woods but also plastic and metal of varying thicknesses.
The WEN 4214’s powerful motor gives it the ability to handle bits that measure up to 5/8 of an inch in diameter. Wider chucks and drill bits are used for drilling wider holes, but you can also attach smaller 1/4- or ½-inch bits to this unit’s chuck. Essentially, this tool can handle a wide range of drilling projects for small and even large woodworking projects.
Large Variable Speed Range
When it comes to drilling through a block of wood or metal, the speed of the drill plays a huge role in determining how well the hole will turn out. The WEN 4214 comes with a variable speed lever where operators can determine just how much speed the tool will deliver. The speed ranges from 580 to 3,200 RPM – slower drilling speeds for metal and quicker speeds for metal and plastic. The versatility of this tool is endless.
Oftentimes, we find drill presses with a variable speed system which doesn’t let you know just how quickly the drill bit is spinning. This requires a lot of tampering with drive belts and guesswork, putting the quality of the drilled hole at risk. The WEN 4214 overcomes this problem with its digital readout which lets users know the maximum drill speed when adjusting turning the variable speed lever, as well as the current speed of the drill bit when turning the feed lever.
Cross Lasers for Increased Precision
When operating a drill press, inexperienced users may find it difficult to gauge just where the drill bit will penetrate the surface of their workpiece. Many models, including the WEN 4214, have cross lasers which indicate where exactly the point of the drill bit will penetrate the surface of the material. The lasers do not need recalibrating as frequently as other drill press models thanks to the study design of this tool.
The WEN 4214 comes with a massive 9-1/2 x 9-1/2-inch cast iron worktable where users place their wood or metal workpieces. This worktable offers enough support to carry circular pieces that measure up to 12 inches in diameter. For rectangular pieces, you can extend the amount of support by pulling out the table roller extension found just below the worktable.
The rack and pinion system lets users adjust the height of the worktable to accommodate larger or smaller pieces. When working with oddly shaped stock, you can adjust the tilt of the table by up to 45° to the left or right, makings straight drilling in an angled workpiece super-easy.
Drill Depth and Accurate Depth Gauge
The WEN 4214’s spindle has a maximum travel distance of 3-1/8 inches. The depth gauge found on the side of the unit allows you to determine just how deep or shallow the drill bit will penetrate your piece. We found the depth gauge to be straightforward and easy to read, but customers have complained about the small writing.
Even though it’s not recommended that you operate a drill press in poorly lit areas, there’s no denying that the head of any drill press can block out the light in a room. Because of this, we’re thankful that WEN included an onboard work light found below the variable speed lever that will illuminate the work table and work material.
All in all, we found the WEN 4214 to be a solid drill press. It’s not unlike many other drill presses out there, and it’s extremely similar to many of WEN’s other drill press models. However, its versatility, wide range of features, laser guide, and large motor combined make this a great tool to have for woodworking and metalworking projects.