Think of this review as Family Feud meets Goldilocks. We pit the four models of the WEN bench-top drill press family against each other to see which one is too big, too small, or just right. With that image in mind, let’s get this show on the road.
WEN is a tool manufacturer that dates back to 1951, when its founders established the company to design and build quality tools at an affordable price. Its engineers are credited with many innovations, including the orbital mechanism most polishers use today.
WEN’s bench-top drill presses all reflect their quality and value heritage. There’s an option for anyone, from the 4208 for beginners and simple tasks to the 4214 for advanced users and small manufacturers. Which one is best for you depends upon where you fall within this spectrum. Regardless of your choice, all the models fulfill the original mission of the company: quality tools at an affordable price.
The tables below list the specifications for each model, so you can compare them side-by-side.
|Feature/Specification||WEN 4208||WEN 4210||WEN 4212||WEN 4214|
|Motor VAC, A, HP||120VAC, 2.3A, 1/3||120VAC, 3.2A, 1/3||120VAC, 4.5A, 2/3||120VAC, 5A, 2/3|
|Speeds, RPM, Drive||5 (620, 1100, 1720, 2340, 3100), belt||5, (570, 900, 1390, 2050, 3050), belt||Continuous variable 530-3100, belt||Continuous variable 530-3100, belt|
|Table size, material||6-1/2” x 6-1/2”, cast iron||7-5/8” x 7-5/8”, cast iron||7-5/8” x 7-1/2”, cast iron||9-1/2” x 9-1/2”, cast iron, fence|
|Table bevel||Yes, 45o L/R||Yes, 45o L/R||Yes, 45o L/R||Yes, 45o L/R|
|Table vertical adjustment||Sliding||Rack & Pinion||Rack & Pinion||Rack & Pinion|
|Weight||35 pounds||58 pounds||70 pounds||95 pounds|
In the “most power to get work done” category, the 4214 leads the family with its 5A, 2/3 HP induction motor. This is more than enough power to tackle hardwoods, steel, and aluminum. For advanced users and specific applications in small manufacturing processes, the 4214 will perform well.
No contest here, as the 4214 provides the largest capacities in swing, drilling depth, and chuck size. To get more capacity than this drill press offers will mean looking at either floor models or more expensive bench-top alternatives.
The compact 4208 is an ideal choice for users with limited shop space, especially if height is a serious constraint. The 4208 has the smallest overall “footprint” of the line. It is also the lightest, so taking the tool to a job site is not going to break the user’s back.
Users with little or no experience using a drill press cannot go wrong with the 4208. It is a basic tool that lends itself to learning by doing. The caveat to this is that users may quickly outgrow the 4208’s capabilities and find themselves shopping for a drill press again.
Users rate the 4208 and 4214 equally at a 4.3. Interestingly enough, they also rank the 4210 and 4212 the same at 4.0. The takeaway here might be that the 4208 is the best for beginners with simple needs, with users leapfrogging the two intermediate models to grab the most machine for their money.
The WEN bench-top drill press line can be characterized as rugged. It uses cast iron in the places where durability matters most, including the motor housing, the worktable, and the base. This adds weight to the tool, but that means increased stability and resistance to vibration while in use.
Most users report very positive experiences when contacting WEN customer service. They cite the positive attitude and responsive nature of the reps, with follow-up being prompt and accurate.
People’s reviews after using their WEN drill presses generally show favorable reactions to their tools, regardless of the model purchased. Things most often noted include value for the dollar spent, the quality of the drill press construction, quiet and smooth operation, and providing the power necessary for their tasks. Where customer service contact is involved, most users rate WEN very highly.
The WEN line is not without its detractors. The most commonly reported issues include inadequate power, receiving units damaged during manufacturing, poor precision, and bad customer service.
Let’s wrap this review up with the question, “Which drill press is right for you?” Answer: “That depends.” Okay, that is a terrible answer from a review. If you have the money and space, always buy the most powerful tool you can. You will rarely regret buying more tool than you need, since you can grow into it. In this case, the winner is the 4214. You will be happy with how this drill press performs.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!
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