Are you thinking of replacing the old drill press at your workshop with the new electric drill press? If yes, then I must say you have reached the right place. I am going to explain every aspect of a drill press that you should know before buying it.
What is a Drill Press?
Drill presses are stationary machines. They need to be clamped with the surface of your table or to the ground. If you are thinking of investing in them, then buy a machine that lasts you at least 5 to 10 years without replacement. I don’t prefer to replace the stationary machines at my workshop.
Here I have made a comparison between two drill presses: the Wen drill press & the Harbor Freight drill press.
Wen vs Harbor Freight Drill Press
Wen and Harbor Freight, both these companies provide mechanical tools & machinery products. These products are usually not available at your local nearby stores. Both of these companies have almost equal brand value in the US. The products provided by them always have similarities between them. Hence, the consumer still gets confused while buying any product from them. But when it comes to drilling presses, the scenario changes.
Wen itself manufactures the drill presses that are sold by Wen, while, Central Machinery manufactures the drill sold by Harbor Freight. Both of these companies provide drill presses of every range. They have drilling length from 8 inches to 20 inch & variable speed ranging from 5 speed to 16 speed. The difference between the smallest & the most significant drill press is only of their size. The build quality remains the same.
Hence, here I am going to compare the Wen 8 inch, 5-speed bench drill press with Harbor Freight 8 inch, 5-speed bench drill press. So let’s start this detailed comparison between the two.
1. Color Combination
At the first look, you can observe that the Wen drill press comes with the color combination of orange and black. It looks far better than the black and grey color combination of Harbor Freight drill press.
One other thing to notice is that the fit & finish of Harbor Freight drill press looks not as good when compared with Wen drill press.
3. Power Switch
The power switch in the Harbor Freight drill press feels cheap & old, while the power switch on the Wen drill press feels sturdy, and the metal sheet used in Harbor Freight drill press is thinner than Wen drill press.
4. Tubing Gauge
The tubing gauge in Harbor Freight drill press is thinner than the tubing gauge in the Wen drill press.
5. Motor Fan
The motor fan covering of Harbor Freight drill press is made up of plastic, while the motor fan covering of Harbor Freight drill press is made up of metal.
6. Gear System
Both these drill presses come with a belt-drive gear system that can be varied between 5 speeds according to the need. The gears of the Wen drill press are made up of metals, while the gears of Harbor Freight drill press are made up of aluminum. Hence, the weight of the Wen drill press is more than the Harbor Freight drill press.
The lid is covering of the belt-drive gear system in Harbor Freight drill press rattle while drilling. But in Wen drill press, there are rubber caps on it, due to which the rattle sound while drilling reduces a lot.
The RPM of the Harbor Freight drill press has a variation of 760, 1150, 1530, 2180 & 3070 RPM, while the RPM of Wen drill press has a variety of 740, 1100, 1530, 2100 & 3140 RPM. As the speed increases from 1 to 5, the RPM increases accordingly.
9. Hydraulic Mechanism
The hydraulic mechanism of the Harbor Freight drill press is very rough, which comes with significant handles. On the flip side, the hydraulic mechanism of the Wen drill press is smooth, which comes with small handles. Also, the finishing of the Harbor Freight drill press in the quill is not done correctly and looks very cheap while the finishing of the Wen drill press in the quill seems shiny.
10. Light Stand
The Harbor Freight drill press has a light stand attached to it, which is available at every model. When it comes to the Wen drill press, a light stand is only possible with a 13-inch and a 17-inch model.
11. Key Holder
The Wen drill press has the key holder to chuck in it. It is not available with Harbor Freight drill press.
You can buy the Harbor Freight drill press at $70 (approx.) from Harbor Freight official site. While the Wen drill press is available for $85 (approx.) Please note that the price may differ during the times of sale & peak months.
Concluding the Wen vs Harbor Freight Drill Press review, I would like to say that drill presses are one-time investment products. So better to pay a few dollars more and buy the right quality products according to your budget and requirements. Happy drilling 🙂