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WEN 4212 Drill Press Review

Review of WEN 4212 10”

Editor Rating: 4.3/5

Build Quality

Review Summary

WEN manufactures a drill press line that contains four bench-top models and a pair of floor standing models. The 4212 sits next to the top offering in the bench-top portion of the line. What differentiates this drill press from the two models below it is a mechanically adjusted variable speed drive that controls a more powerful motor while still providing the ability to accommodate stock up to 20” wide.

This drill press offers enough features and capability to satisfy the more serious homeowner or DIYer, and begins to meet the needs of contractors and small manufacturing operations. It still lacks the precision of a CNC machine, but is durable and reliable enough to play a role in a production environment.

WEN 4212 Drill Press – a Quick Look

  • Continuously variable speed control (mechanical)
  • Does not offer a professional or primary manufacturing tool level of precision


Brand name: WEN

Model: 4212

Motor details: 120VAC, 4.5A, induction, ball bearings

Horsepower: 2/3

Speeds (number, RPM): Variable (530 – 3100)

Laser: Yes

Chuck capacity: 1/2” – the maximum shank size it can accept

Drilling capacity: 2-5/16” – maximum hole depth it can drill

Swing: 10” – maximum width of stock it can accept and drill holes on the centerline

Table size: 7-5/8” x 7-1/2”

Table tilt: Yes, 45o L/R

Height: 36”

Shipping dimensions: 27-1/2” x 17-3/4” x 10-3/8”

Shipping weight: 70 pounds

WEN 4212 10” digital

Tilting work table

A work table that tilts is especially useful for complex milling and drilling projects. An example is drilling a hole on the corner of a piece of stock. Being able to position the workpiece accurately below the drill bit is easier when the work table tilts. There is no need to build or buy a special jig for the job.

More power and continuously variable speed control

The 4212 is a step up from the 4210 drill press in the bench-top line. It handles the same size of stock (up to 20” wide). It has a more powerful induction motor (2/3 hp, 4.5A), and provides continuously variable speed control, allowing better matching of drill speed to project demands.

Respectable stock capacity

This drill press provides users with a respectable stock handling capacity. The 10” throw allows users to drill holes along the centerline of stock 20” wide. It also can drill holes a maximum of 2-5/16” deep to accommodate longer workpiece assembly components (screws, for example) and drill through thicker stock.

WEN 4212 10” control


Why do I need variable speed capability?

Whether a continuously variable speed motor benefits you will depend entirely on what tasks you are performing with your drill press. Some tasks require varying the speed of the drill bit to allow for maximum operator control and to provide different levels of power. For example, you may be drilling through a combination of materials such as hardwood and steel. The power needed to drill through the steel is greater than what’s needed for the wood. Not having to change belt position is a time saver.

Can I use this drill press to drill and mill a 7075 billet of aluminum?

The 4212 has more than enough power to drill this type of aluminum. However, milling may be a different issue. Depending on what you want to accomplish, you may need additional accessories like a cross slide table, which likely costs more than the 4212 itself.

I have a height limitation. Can I modify the height of the drill press?

You can shorten the height by carefully cutting the support column, being sure to maintain a straight cut. Users have made it taller by using regular steel pipe of the same diameter.

WEN 4212 10” measure

What the Users Say

Our research into how users feel about their 4212 drill presses reveals that most are extremely satisfied with the performance and value of their purchase. Let’s take a look at what they like and what they dislike.

Users report satisfaction with the wide range of stock the 4212 can handle. Where drill presses can falter is in drilling extremely hard wood and toughened steel. Users indicate this tool drills everything they throw at it when paired with the correct drill bit and speed.

The variable-speed motor control is a popular feature. A single-speed can serve many users, but for the most convenience and versatility, nothing beats the variable speed capability. A clear LED display shows the speed, making it easy to get it just where you need it.

Users reporting dissatisfaction with their drill press frequently cite issues with the chuck. It can be difficult to install properly, which affects accuracy. In some cases, the chuck itself is defective, requiring a telephone visit with the WEN customer service staff. Users suggest investing in a high-quality chuck.

Unhappy users also report dissatisfaction with customer service. They feel like the representatives are talking down to them by asking questions such as, “Are the laser batteries in the right position? Did you wipe off all the grease and follow the chuck installation instructions?” For a competent user, these questions can seem insulting, and that is the type of user who will gravitate to this tool.

Users also report being unhappy over the slop in the rack and pinion mechanism. There seems to be play in the mechanism, which introduces movement during repositioning. This “slop” makes it more difficult to easily and accurately adjust the work table’s position.


The WEN 4212 is an excellent drill press for the more experienced user and for selective use in small manufacturing operations. Contractors should be satisfied with the capabilities and accuracy of the 4212 for general work. Like the other options in the WEN line of bench-top drill presses, the 4212 uses durable materials and shows the same attention to detail in design and manufacturing found in more expensive brands. It offers excellent value for the money.

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