Last Updated On 12th Jul, 2021
You can’t just get the best drill press for 80 Lower simply by giving your seller a call and expect that someone will deliver it to you.
Almost all the sellers tell you their drill press is the best. However, as we’ve done our research, we’ve seen how customers make a fool out of themselves.
Like come on, how many drill-presses in the market have got as much as 3 to 6 inches jaw? What about the cast side knobs? Most of them vibrate a lot, and to make things worse, they don’t offer you great RPM.
But today’s not your typical regular day. We’ve done hours of research on your behalf, and yes, even though it was a bit difficult at first, finally, we’ve come up with the top 5 drill press that you can use.
Please read the reviews and see which one blends in with your taste.
5 Best Drill Press for 80 Lower
While shopping for a brand new drill press, minute details like jigs, pinholes, etc., matter a lot. So, make sure to browse through these brief in-depth reviews of the best drill presses to get a better idea.
1. WEN 4208 Drill Press: 8 inch drill press for 80% lower
The WEN 4208 Drill Press is our top choice for the day because of its multi-purpose functionalities in the most reasonable price range.
For people who have major issues in controlling the speed of a drill press, this model is a godsend. You can set up the drill to operate at five different speed systems, and they are 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, and 3140 RPM, respectively.
As for the chuck, the configuration includes a half-inch keyed chuck, so no problems there, chief. In addition to the keyed chuck, you’ll have access to onboard key storage.
Also, as it’s often hard to notice the proper depth stops in time, many people end up over-drilling at times. That’s why WEN 4208 includes locking linear depth stops with a clear marking track.
So, now you can drill in peace and ensure that it’s accurate and to the point drilling without overshooting it. And all of that is possible because the spindle travels up to 2-inch with seamless efficiency.
It’s important to note that the cord length is only 6 feet, which is pretty perfect for normal drilling purposes. We cannot guarantee the same effectiveness if you have some high-profile drilling job in mind.
Again, considering the entire set-up, the weight of the wen 8 inch drill press for 80 lower is 31 pounds only. A good weight usually indicates that it’s made from high-end materials, so that’s a plus point.
- Strong frame, base, and cast iron head makes it durable
- Offers five different speeds up to a high 3140 RPM for precise drilling
- It comes with a height-adjustable work table for more convenience of work
- The locking linear depth stops when it notices over-drilling
- The chuck is a bit problematic
All in all, you should get the WEN 4208 if you’re on the lookout for a premium quality drill press in just over 100 bucks.
2. Hardware Compound Vise Slide Mill: Best mill for 80 lower
If you thought that the WEN 4208 wasn’t exactly your cup of tea, you could go for the Hardware Compound instead.
It’s common knowledge that drilling presses aren’t exactly made for milling purposes. They can, however, handle light milling here and there, like during completing an 80 lower in the workshop.
But heavy milling will often render them useless by breaking off the important parts. That’s why, for special cases like those, it’s best to go for a tool that’s best adapted to the milling functionalities.
The Hardware Compound, for example, will provide you a long-lasting service and take care of all your milling needs. Even though it’s only 15 pounds, it has a durable cast iron construction with powerful serrated steel jaws.
As a result, it can handle most of the heavyweight 80 lowers you throw at it.
(That’s just a metaphor, by the way. Do not throw your unfinished firearms at the drilling presses. You will, inevitably, ruin the set-up and might even break the press in the process)
So, back to the point in hand. We were saying that the Hardware Compound’s strong jaws are capable enough to hold an 80 power super steady and balanced while you work on it.
And understandably so, as its framework is completely made of metal. The jaw of the sliding mill comes in four different widths, ranging from 3 to 6-inch respectively.
To complement the strong jaws, you’ll have access to cold-rolled steel screws. And as for the throat opening, it’s about 3.5 inches, so you’ll have ample space to work with, so don’t worry about that.
- The product has a durable construction with powerful and serrated steel jaws
- It is also suitable for both woodworking and metalworking
- To add to its security, it comes with a few bolt down slots
- This product is extremely cost-effective and won’t break the bank
- It needs a lot of time to perfect the process
Overall, if you find that a regular drill press cannot handle your workload, you can go for the Hardware Compound Slide Mill instead.
3. Wilton Cross Slide Drill Press Vise CS4 4″ (11694)
The CS4 Drill Press Vise should be your next stop if you are after accuracy and attention to detail.
The CS4 is a great tool, if not the best drill press vise for 80% lower. At only 20 pounds, it’s got a framework of steel that can just as easily support all your drilling needs.
The thing that most people have problems with while setting up an 80 lower is maintaining the proper accuracy. Especially for beginners, this is an even bigger problem.
Lack of accuracy can cause various misplaced drill holes in your 80 lower that you don’t want. Fortunately, the CS4 offers you a surefire solution to that problem in their drilling vise press.
In the CS4, you get to move your workpiece both longitudinally and horizontally for better positioning and placement. As a result, your attempts at drilling are more precise and fruitful.
There’s more that adds to the overall precision. In the CS4, you’ll have access to cast side knots that accurately dial in up to 0.1 mm in increments.
You don’t have to worry about the stability either, as it’s got a pretty durable base system. In addition to the durability, it’s locked down with five-bolt lugs for easy mounting and balancing.
Oh, and the durability itself comes from materials such as fine-grain cast-iron castings. As a result, even though it doesn’t weigh as much, it can support heavy-duty construction with ease.
Another thing we loved about this 80 AR lower drill press was that it could handle round-shaped objects as well. The drill press has hardened V-groove jaws that are perfect for holding circular objects both horizontally and vertically.
- This drill press features an adjustable workpiece that ensures high accuracy
- Coming with cast side knobs, it offers much better precision
- The drill press is mountable to the machine table, allowing you to work on it
- Heavy-duty construction makes it more durable than others
- The vise itself may be ‘poorly functioning’
All in all, if accuracy and versatility are what you’re looking for in a drill press, the Wilton CS4 definitely wouldn’t disappoint you.
4. Proxxon 37110 Micro Mill MF 70
As the name suggests, this drilling press will offer you a much better service if micro-milling is what you’re after.
From an expert’s point of view, the Micro Mill 37110 from Proxxon accentuates the features mentioned in the previous product. Just like the CS4, it’s famous for the accuracy level and extreme attention to minute details.
In fact, this is the best option out of the five if you need something for intricate and precise drilling. It will take care of all your detailed tasks with ease.
Especially, this is a must-have mill for all the opticians and jewelry makers out there. And something that can take care of precision in a piece of jewelry can take care of an 80 lower as well.
You can operate this mill by just placing it correctly on a tabletop. No matter how high the operating speeds are, the mill will stay stable at all times.
But what we appreciated among the features was how quiet it was while working. Like, you’d think that something of this caliber would produce really loud noises, right?
But, nope. The Proxxon 37110 works not only precisely but also in a super quiet way. In addition to the silent performance, there’s no noticeable vibration as well.
I mean, what more could you want while finishing an 80% lower with a hand drill? The lack of noise and vibration allows you to get in the proper mindset, and you can complete the task way faster.
The Proxxon 37110 comes with high precision tools as accuracy is its main selling point. But it also has a slim design with low weight, which is impressive for a piece of equipment like this.
However, this micro mill is pretty heavy on the pockets and certainly the priciest one on the list so far. So, if you have a high budget and are looking for a precise drilling press, feel free to go for this one.
- Provides outstanding accuracy and precision for perfect drills and cuts
- This product is suitable for tabletop, offering you more convenience
- It does not produce any noise, so there’s no noise pollution
- The vibration-free mechanism provides greater stability
- It might be out of your budget range
If you have the budget and want to enjoy the tremendous accuracy and vibration-free mechanism of this bad boy, we recommend this one.
5. Wilton 11696 6-inch Cross Slide Drill Press Vise
Wilton is making a comeback for our final product of the day with their drill press vise model 11696. Similar to the features of the CS4, the 11696 provides a better configuration and style in its vise.
So far, all the drill press vises from Wilton have one thing in common – they pack a bunch of outstanding supporting gears. As in, all the supporting gears come together to create the perfect configuration.
And the Wilton 11696 is no different as well. Even though it weighs a lot (59 pounds, to be exact), it provides better and long-lasting performance than most other presses on this list.
Again, more weight means that it can support heavy-duty construction. Furthermore, the increase in weight indicates that it’s made from a durable and sturdy material that can outlive most other presses out there.
But the problem with heavyweight drill presses is that you often have to compromise with the accuracy of such tools. But not with the Wilton 11696; you don’t.
It didn’t make the list of best mill for 80% lower for nothing. With the Wilton 11696, you can position the workpiece both longitudinally and horizontally however you want for better precision.
In addition to that, like the CS4, you will also have access to cast side knobs that can accurately dial in increments up to 1 mm.
Another impressive feature similar to the CS4 – you can handle round-shaped objects by using hardened V-groove jaws. However, due to its high quality, it doesn’t come cheap at all.
- It offers wide movement on both sides, offering versatility while working
- Ensures strong clamping force to maintain great accuracy and precision
- The performance is enhanced thanks to the vise
- Provides better stability to work comfortably and conveniently
- The vise doesn’t technically have a lock-in position
- It is not cheap
If you’re willing to extend your budget range over 200 bucks for a long-lasting drill press, be sure to go for this one.
How to Complete an 80% Lower?
If you have already made your decision on what drill press to buy for your 80 lower, it’s time to find out how to complete it.
After this short guide, you’ll know the tidbits of what goes into making an unfinished 80 lower to a fully functional AR- rifle.
Set the Jig: drill press 80% lower jig
The jig is the single most crucial part in an 80 lower. It would be best if you placed the 80 lower appropriately so that you can move on to the next steps easily.
To adjust the jig, place the steel pins along with the pivot. Place the receiver on each plate respectively and arrange them straightaway.
Arrange the Template
The templates will help you to cut and drill through the 80 lower. For that, place it on the previously arranged jig and receiver.
Align the same holes to that of the side plates and drill through them. Now you can arrange the template on top of the jig by using specific tools like Allen keys and hex-bolts.
Do the Pilot Template Next
It’s time to take care of the pilot template in a similar fashion. You’ll find that the pilot template already has a lot of holes in it. So, use an Allen key and hex bolts as before to align the pilot template next to the jig set-up.
Secure the Vise
Once you have tightened all the knots in the jig assembly, secure it to the work-holding vise for better stability. Make sure whether the screws are properly placed and tightened before you start to work on it.
Mismanaged screw placement will cause the jig assembly to fall apart at minor inconveniences. And that might lead to extreme injuries as well.
Set the Drill Bit up
Once everything’s settled, remove the excess aluminum by drilling pilot holes. Now, you have a point of entry.
After the receiver, repeat the same process with the template. Remember to remove the wastes from time to time for better accuracy.
Drill into the Receiver
Time to work with the mill instead of the drill bit for this part. Remove the drill bit carefully and place the end mill to carry on with the process.
Remember to use the mill of proper size and specifications according to the 80 lower and drill press that you’re using.
Furthermore, use additional gears like calipers to set up the assembly correctly.
Do the necessary plunge cuts (best to see a YouTube video for this part as it’s pretty intricate), and then continue to do so until you reach the desired depth.
Ensure to clean away the drilled bits and dust so that you have a clean point of reference with which to work.
Make Place for the Trigger Slot
After that, it’s time for the trigger slot. Place the necessary end mills per requirement and drill away for the receiver and trigger slots, respectively.
Drill the Pin Holes
For the final step of the day, use the correct drill bit (usually the ⅜” one) to drill the pin holes on both ends of the receiver. After that, you need to make the hammer holes as well with a different but wider drill bit.
You might need some extra trigger holes as well. Once all the drilling is done, simply arrange all the bits and pieces together to formulate your own AR-15.
Frequently Asked Questions About 80 lower Drill Press
Drill presses are the best way to drill the necessary slots in an 80 lower. Conversely, you can use routers and mills as well, but they won’t work as well.
You don’t necessarily need it, but it’s best to buy one that’s on the heavyweight side. They are more durable, stable, and long-lasting than other drill presses out there.
According to our research, the WEN 4208 is the top choice as the best drill press for an 80 lower. It comes with astounding features at a pretty reasonable price.
But if you have a high budget, we recommend that you go for the Proxxon 37110 or Wilton CS4 instead.
An AR rifle is the readymade version of an 80 Lower. After you buy an 80 Lower, you can customize it yourself to prepare a fully functional firearm.
As of March 2021, 80 Lowers aren’t considered a proper firearm in most states and thus aren’t illegal to purchase or prepare.
By now, you are all aware of the best drill presses in the market as of now. So, choosing the best drill press for 80 lower is no longer a ‘pressing’ task at all.
Even though all five of these drill presses have their respective strengths and flaws, they still visibly outrank the others. And for a more specific suggestion, we’d recommend going for the top choice, i.e., the WEN 4208.
And if you have some time on hand, we’d suggest that you give a thorough read to the other reviews as well. That way, you can take care of the minute details properly. Best of luck!