7 Best Column Drills for Metal Work [2022 Updated ]

Whether you are a model maker, craftsman or hobbyist, a pillar drill is an important resource that you absolutely cannot do without, but which one to choose among the numerous models available on the market?

Our guide will help you to better evaluate the characteristics of the different drills, putting you in a position to choose the one that best suits your needs. To make it easier for you, you will also find reviews of the models most popular with buyers.

The best, according to buyers’ opinions, are the Einhell BT-BD 501 E , a model for hobbyists with a good degree of precision, and the Fervi 0012 , thanks to its professional performance.

7 Best Column Drills for Metal Work [2022 Updated ]

1.Dremel Drill Press Rotary Tool Workstation Stand

The BT-BD 501 E bench column drill is one of the two models produced by the Einhell company that we examined in the guide, both characterized by low prices. Despite being an inexpensive product, however, according to buyers’ opinions it is one of the best pillar drills of 2021, among those sold online in the range of low-cost hobby tools.

Among its specifications, in fact, we find the belt feed system for adjusting the speed on the pulley, nine different speeds starting from 280 up to 2,350 revolutions per minute, a fully adjustable, tilting and tilting worktop, and the switch On / Off with release coil.

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  • Articulating Drill Press Stand: Drills perpendicular and angled holes in 15-degree increments, up to 90...
  • Tool Holder: Holds rotary tool at 90 degrees horizontal for tasks such as polishing metal objects,...

Buyers were impressed with the accuracy of the BT-BD 501 E, which is significantly higher than the average for similarly priced hobbyist pillar drills. The only flaw is the overly sensitive safety microswitch, which many recommend changing.

Pros

Powerful and versatile : Its 500 Watts of power allow it to drill up to a maximum thickness of 50 millimeters and to work without problems both with wood and with plastic and metal.

Precise and silent : Its precision is above the standard average of drill presses, moreover it is also decidedly silent compared to the models produced by competing companies.

Economical : As in the best Einhell tradition, the price of this drill is among the lowest you can find, easily accessible even for beginners who have limited resources.

Cons

Safety : The safety switch located near the straps is a little too sensitive and many advise to modify it or have it done by someone with electrical skills.

2.  Drill Press Table Drill Stand Attachments for Drill Workbench Repair

For those who are wondering where to buy a professional column drill, however, we suggest the 0012 model produced by the well-known Italian company Fervi, whose characteristics are similar to those of the Einhell drill examined previously, but the performance offered is of a completely different level. .

The Fervi column drill, in fact, is driven by a 650 Watt electric motor that generates a variable speed from 280 to 2,380 rpm. It is capable of drilling holes of 20 millimeters in diameter in cast iron and 16 millimeters in diameter in steel, obviously with pre-bored holes, and has a continuous drilling capacity with 12 millimeters diameter drills. The self-locking chuck is compatible with bits and blades from 2 to 16 millimeters in diameter and has a stroke of 80 millimeters.

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  • [Stable and Accurate]: This Plunge Drill Stand is ideal for holding your drill steady during use and...

Aside from the excellent performance, the Fervi 0012 is extremely solid and weighs an impressive 51 kilograms.

Pros

Almost Professional : While classified as a hobbyist pillar drill, the Fervi offers an almost professional level of performance. In fact, there are numerous buyers who, in this respect, consider it the best pillar drill among all those examined.

Solid and resistant : With a structure with a total weight of 51 kilograms, the Fervi column drill is at the top in terms of solidity and longevity.

Functional : The worktop as well as being tiltable is also rotatable, which makes it extremely functional and also increases ease of use.

Cons

Details : The finishes are somewhat coarse unfortunately, which is a little out of place with the price, but overall it is a very good drill.

3. ANAHAF Buffing Wheel for Drill

The 0242 bench column drill, produced by the Italian company Fervi, is a power tool with semi-professional characteristics which is however also appreciated in the pure professional field. Art. 0242, in fact, stands out for its excellent mechanics or the excellent level of precision; the manufacturing materials are of high quality and the assembly is well cared for and free from play, it also comes with a digital depth measurement system and integrated LED light to illuminate the work area.

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It is driven by a 750 watt motor, which generates an adjustable speed from 180 to 2,770 revolutions per minute, and is equipped with a keyless chuck compatible with bits from 2 to 16 millimeters in diameter. The only flaw is that the Fervi company has no service centers, so in case of problems or breakdowns you can only rely on the seller, with everything that comes with it.

Pros

Performance: Despite being in the top segment of the hobbyist range, the 0242 pillar drill has the advantage of offering a level of performance capable of satisfying even the professional user.

Precise: Thanks to the solid and play-free assembly, as well as the presence of the digital depth measurement system, this Fervi pillar drill also ensures a high degree of precision.

Versatile: The keyless chuck is compatible with bits from 2 to 16 millimeters in diameter and is capable of drilling holes in all types of materials, from wood to steel and cast iron.

Cons

Assistance: Unfortunately the Fervi company does not have after-sales assistance centers, so in case of breakdowns you can only rely on resellers.

4. Buffing Polishing Wheel For Drill 

The Bosch PBD 40 column drill belongs to the Hobby line, recognizable by the typical green color of the body, and its main strength is the high quality of the electronics, in particular the digital system for reading the speed and depth of drilling, and the speed regulation system that allows you to adapt the revolutions according to the type of material you are working on.

From the point of view of mechanics, however, it suffers from some limitations that prevent it from fully exploiting its potential.

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The wheel that regulates the descent of the drill, for example, not only acts on the spindle but also on the motor unit, and according to some buyers this is decidedly uncomfortable; then it is limited in height, the worktop is not tiltable and its 710 Watts of power generate high noise and very consistent vibrations, which negatively affect the accuracy of the appliance.

Pros

Electronics : The electronic systems of regulation and digital reading are of high quality and allow to optimize the work according to the materials and the type of project to be carried out.

Versatile : Its flexibility of use is remarkable. From DIY and modeling work to the construction and restoration of furniture, the possibilities of use are manifold.

Powerful : The 710 Watts of power generate a maximum speed of 2,800 rpm and allow it to work without problems with wood, plastic and metal.

Cons

Inaccurate and noisy : Due to the high power, unfortunately, it is very noisy and generates such vibrations as to make it unsuitable for precision work.

5. Buffing Polishing Wheel For Drill – 

Among the various economic models that we have compared, the Valex TR13RD column drill stands out, which is intended exclusively for hobby use.

In fact, its power is modest, only 350 Watts, but it still generates an adjustable speed on five different levels, from a minimum of 630 up to a maximum of 2,800 rpm; these characteristics make it ideal more for wood than for metal, although it is foreseen by the specifications. It has a 13 mm spindle with B16CM2 connection, a tilting work surface in cast iron and the classic three-lever system for the vertical movement of the spindle.

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The compact dimensions, including those of the base, make it ideal for those with limited space available and further underline the hobbyist character of the tool; therefore its greatest limitation is that it is not very versatile and suitable only for those who work with wood.

Pros

For wood : In the instructions there is a table with the cutting performance for cast iron and steel (to be drilled with HSS drills not included in the package); despite this, many buyers recommend using it only for wood, given its low power.

Compact : The dimensions, especially those of the base, make it particularly suitable for hobbyists who work in environments where the useful space available is limited.

Economic : The affordable price is a further strength; In fact, the Valex TR13RD is in the same price range as Einhell drills and is one of the best sellers in its category.

Cons

Not very versatile : As mentioned above, it is a hobbyist drill that offers the best of itself only with wood, with metal and plastic it tends to strain excessively instead.

6. SCOTTCHEN Cotton Buffing Polishing Wheel 

And here we are at the cheapest of the devices examined in our guide: the Einhell TC-BD 350 pillar drill which, as indicated by the abbreviation, has a power of 350 Watts and is naturally recommended for home use.

The speed is adjustable on five different levels, from 580 to 2,650 revolutions per minute, the work surface can be tilted up to 45 ° on both sides and the drilling height is continuously adaptable, as well as being adjustable without the aid of any tool. The maximum drilling depth is 50mm and the B16 chuck is compatible with drill bits from 1.5 to 13mm in diameter.

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The chuck, however, is not self-locking and the manufacturing materials are of just sufficient quality. Furthermore, the mechanical handling of the belts is not the best and also the opening system of the pulley compartment is somewhat inconvenient and cumbersome.

Pros

Price : Much of its market success is mainly due to the fact that it has a fairly low cost, easily accessible to anyone.

Tilting top : Unlike other economic models that have a fixed top, or one that can only be tilted on one side, the Einhell one can be moved from both sides, ensuring greater comfort of use.

Simplicity : Both assembly and installation and use are remarkably simple, specially designed to suit the needs of novice hobbyists.

Cons

Mediocre quality : Some mechanical components and the assembly, from a qualitative point of view, are mediocre but given the cost of the device you cannot expect more.

7. Goodthreads Men’s Slim

The Vigor VTC-550XL is a floor column drill that stands out for its competitive price, therefore recommended above all to those who do not have great use requirements and prefer to save money.

It is neither more nor less than an electric tool for hobbyists, but unlike the similar model produced by the Fervi company, examined previously, its performance is significantly lower and the quality of the manufacturing materials and assembly is also just mediocre. According to buyers, however, if you just use it occasionally and not intensively for modeling and other small craft projects, the Vigor offers quite satisfactory results.

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Its main flaw, as mentioned before, is related to the assembly and mediocre materials, which cause a certain instability and force you to fix the machine to the floor with pins, or to a wall using a support arm, to avoid risk of overturning.

Pros

Price : For being a floor column drill, it is a decidedly economical model, and therefore it was appreciated above all by less demanding hobbyists who use it occasionally and not intensively.

Easy to Assemble : Assembly is simple even for a beginner, and this factor has further affected those who have chosen to buy it and give it a chance.

Transmission : Despite its objective and yield limitations, the VTC-550XL has an excellent transmission system for speed regulation, with aluminum pulleys.

Cons

Mediocre quality: The quality of the manufacturing and assembly materials is poor and the Vigor pillar drill is not very robust and quite unstable.

8. Column Addition and Subtraction Workbook up to 1000:

If the time has come for you to buy a new milling column drill, we suggest you take a look at the MICRO MF 70, produced by the well-known German company Proxxon, specialized in the production of precision power tools for hobby and professional use.

The materials of manufacture are of high quality, the base of the machine is solid cast iron while the arm body is aluminum, the assembly is also excellent and completely free of play. The special 24-pin motor has a power of 100 Watts and generates a continuously variable speed from 5,000 to 20,000 rpm, moreover it is silent and completely free of vibrations.

The worktop is made of aluminum and is engraved with a precision millimeter scale, the package also includes the steel step clamps, to fix it to the workbench without having to bolt it.

Pros

The pinnacle of precision : Proxxon tools are used above all by professionals such as watchmakers, tool makers, opticians, goldsmiths, precision mechanics and model makers, and guarantee top precision.

High structural quality : The manufacturing materials are of first choice, well worked and the assembly is cared for down to the smallest detail. None of the components play a role, not even the slightest bit.

High performance : It generates very high working speeds, from 5,000 to 20,000 revolutions per minute, but it is extremely silent and with the original Proxxon tungsten cutters it is able to drill any material.

Cons

Price : The cost is considerable and places it in a market niche intended mainly for professionals and the most demanding hobbyists.

9. Dremel Drill Press Rotary Tool Workstation Stand

The German company Holzmann Maschinen is known above all for the production of machine tools for industrial and professional use; in fact, despite the low price, the bench column drill SB3611RMN_230V is a specialist electric tool intended for drilling metal.

It is driven by a 230V mains powered motor with two operating modes: S1 with 600 watt absorption and S6 with 900 watt absorption; has a maximum drilling capacity of 16mm in diameter and 80mm deep. The worktop can be tilted by 45 ° both on the left and on the right side, furthermore the head can be adjusted radially at 360 ° around the column. The chuck is compatible with all types of drill bits for metal from 1 to 16 millimeters in diameter.

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  • Articulating Drill Press Stand: Drills perpendicular and angled holes in 15-degree increments, up to 90...
  • Tool Holder: Holds rotary tool at 90 degrees horizontal for tasks such as polishing metal objects,...

The Holzmann drill is sturdy and well made, with the exception of the work surface which tends to flex and which, therefore, represents the least convincing aspect of the appliance.

Pros

Price: Also in this case we are faced with a column drill with a relatively affordable cost, especially considering its specific intended use for mechanical workshops.

Ideal for metal: The Holzmann drill, in fact, is specifically designed for drilling any type of metal: aluminum, steel, cast iron and other alloys; but it can also be easily adapted to other materials, using the appropriate tips.

Radial movement: The adjustment of the movement is not limited only to the inclination of the work surface, as occurs in other hobbyist pillar drills, but also occurs in a radial direction around the column, at 360 degrees.

Cons

Worktop: It is the only piece of mediocre quality, and during drilling it tends to flex; however, it can be easily replaced with a better quality media.

Buying guide – How to choose the best pillar drills?

Spending limits

What is the main reason that drives you to buy a pillar drill? Do you need a machine to work on large or small pieces? For professional or hobby jobs? For intensive or occasional use?

As you can see, the factors that determine how to choose a good drill press are different, and affect not only the type of device but also its cost. Only by having the answers to these questions very clear, therefore, will you be able to understand which pillar drill to buy without running the risk of spending money on a tool that is completely unsuitable for your needs.

Excluding the flag pillar drills that are intended for industrial use, which have a cost that is almost an understatement to define high, the cost for the purchase of one of these stationary machines is between 80 and 500-600 euros approximately. , depending on the model and its features. Not all cheap specimens are of low quality, however, and professional instruments do not always fall into the most expensive range, which is why you have to be careful and try to understand what exactly the market offers.

Economic models for the less demanding

Unlike other tools where the various price ranges tend to determine the category of application, pillar drills are one of the exceptions to the rule. One of the primary requirements for this type of machine, in fact, is precision; it is true that the models of the hobby sector, being the cheapest, are often penalized by the mediocre level of some aspects, such as the manufacturing materials or the assembly, but depending on the type of application the need to have the top of the yield in all respects it is not an exclusive prerogative of professionals.

If the aim is to equip yourself with a machine to be used occasionally for home maintenance or to have fun creating small pieces of craftsmanship on weekends, such as furniture or other artifacts for example, you can also stay in the basic range and calculate an expense included. between 80 and 250 euros or a little more, with the possibility of choosing both a bench drill and a floor drill.

This type of device, in fact, can indistinctly satisfy both the needs of hobbyists and professionals who do not require a high degree of precision.

The precision and high precision pillar drills

On the other hand, however, professional figures such as goldsmiths, watchmakers, sculptor artists, model makers, artisans carvers, need to make use of tools characterized not only by qualities such as solidity and resistance, but above all by assembly and mechanics. high precision operation.

This need is fully shared also by those who practice the same activities but only as a personal hobby; although the use is limited to the home and free time, therefore, the precision required of the work tools is the same. Column drills intended for this range of users, therefore, have a fairly complex cost depending on their type.

The small-sized models intended for high-precision work have a price ranging from 280 to 500 euros approximately; those produced by the Proxxon company, for example, are considered among the best on the market since this well-known German brand has a long experience in the production of high precision tools, and has patented the best motors, characterized by very high operating speed and high silence.

The bench and floor drill presses at the top of the range for precision, on the other hand, such as those produced by the Italian company Fervi and intended for carpentry and joinery work, have a cost ranging from 400 to 1,000 euros, depending on the model chosen. .

Frequent questions

What is the pillar drill used for?

The pillar drill is a stationary electric tool which, depending on its size, needs to be fixed to a workbench or installed on the floor. It is designed to drill different types of materials: wood, plastic materials, resins, sheets and profiles of steel, aluminum or other metal alloys, for a maximum depth that can vary from 30 to 80 millimeters depending on the type of machine.

Consequently, it offers a wide range of applications, starting with the industrial sector, but the largest slice of the market mainly concerns drills intended for carpentry, joinery and precision mechanics, both in the professional, artisan and hobby sectors.

Therefore, its main feature, given the nature of the machine, is its level of precision; in fact, since they are stationary, pillar drills only drill on the vertical axis and it is the piece on which you work that must be inclined, if necessary. The drill is therefore firmly fixed to the support column and is operated by the operator via a wheel or lever with two or more arms, so it is far more stable than a manual drill.

As mentioned before, pillar drills vary in size according to the field of application of the machine. The largest specimens are used on an industrial scale for drilling large or particularly thick pieces, to be used later in the assembly of machinery, vehicles or other artifacts.

Bench column drills represent the largest slice of the market, in fact they are used by hobbyists and small artisans.

A particular category, on the other hand, is represented by micro-drills, or micro-cutters, i.e. small bench drill presses for high precision drilling on any type of material, which in the professional category are used by opticians, goldsmiths. , watchmakers and precision mechanics, while in the hobby field they are very popular among model makers, sculptors and hobbyists in general.

How is a pillar drill made?

The drill press consists of a base on which a column is fixed; the base is made of cast iron, in order to offer the maximum possible stability, as is the worktop with adjustable height, also applied to the column. The worktop supports the pieces to be drilled, and is itself made of cast iron.

In some specimens the top is tiltable, in others not, it depends on the type and cost of the appliance. The cheaper models tend to be spartan, and in fact many have a fixed worktop. In all models, however, regardless of the price, the top is designed for mounting a vice.

At the top of the column, on the other hand, there is the head with the motor, the drill and the transmission system, which can be belt or gear, that of the speed change and that for lowering and lifting the spindle, that is a rudder that the operator moves in a circular direction.

How to use a pillar drill

How to build a pillar drill

To build a pillar drill there are two possible alternatives depending on the case. Since we are talking about a stationary machine in fact, and in this case of one whose primary requirement is precision, if you are particularly demanding and want to build it with new materials you will have to be motivated by a specific purpose, because the costs to be incurred for its realization they could be far superior to buying one already done.

You can save some money, however, if you are lucky enough to have a small craft workshop and the tools needed to get the job done. In this case, by recycling the electronic components and the motor from other disused power tools or appliances, and using recycled materials for the construction of the base and the column, you can build one with very little expense.

For the specific work to be performed, however, it is advisable to use a detailed paper guide, perhaps complete with diagrams that can help if you do not have your own personal project, or a video guide, both easily available on the net.

How to replace the chuck in the drill press

The spindle of column drills has the same type of attachment used on lathes and cutters, namely the Morse taper; it is a particular connection system composed of two metal pieces of conical shape, in fact, with the shape of male and female, and is characterized by the total absence of welds.

To engage the spindle in the head, therefore, just place it in its housing and push strongly upwards until you hear the metallic click of the cones, after which it will be enough to drill one or two holes to fully secure the spindle in position.

To detach it, however, you have to lower the spindle to the maximum limit allowed by the lever, at which point, observing the shaft where it is inserted, you will notice a slot, or a rectangular hole, at that point the extractor must be inserted, which is a piece of triangular metal 10-12 centimeters long.

Place the tip of the extractor in the hole and tap the back of the hammer lightly to unlock the mandrel. It is advisable to put something soft and hold it with one hand, however, or put something thick and soft under it that can cushion the impacts, because the chuck will fall immediately as soon as it is unlocked.

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