An 8-inch drill press. Offers great cost-performance.
In a hurry? The WEN 4208 is an entry-level 8-inch drill press made by one of the lesser-known brands. That said, it is one of the best selling drill presses and is popular especially among the amateur woodworking crowd. That’s mainly because while it is perfectly fine for drilling into wood and even softer metals, it doesn’t have enough power for more serious metalworking.
If you found yourself here, you are likely considering getting the WEN 4208 drill press. Considering its entry-level price and popularity, that’s no surprise.
Continue reading to learn more information about the product including its specs and quality as well as advantages and disadvantages. Once you read through this review, you should have a better idea of whether the tool is the right fit for your needs.
WEN 4208 Drill Press: The Basics
Before diving into WEN 4208’s advantages and disadvantages, let’s take a look at the basics.
What does the tool come with, what is it capable of, and how good is it in terms of quality?
The WEN 4208 drill press comes packaged with all the tools and information necessary to assemble it. Once assembled, you’ll have all the equipment you’ll need to get started on your woodworking project. The drill press includes a 1/2-inch keyed chuck and onboard key storage.
The drill can operate at 5 different speeds: 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, 3140 RPM. The 1/3 horsepower induction motor provides enough power to drill through both wood and soft metal. However, it cannot provide the torque to drill through metal thicker than 1/2 inch or hardened steel.
Stick to using this drill for plastic, wood and other lower-density material, and you’ll face no issues.
The drill press’ 6-1/2 x 6-1/2 inches worktable’s height is adjustable and bevels up to 45 degrees both left and right. The table, drill head and other important parts are all made of cast iron, providing the press with a rigid and stable structure. The drill press weighs about 32 pounds which is less than some of the other similar models in the market.
The press stands 23 inches tall and is quite compact, as expected of a budget model.
The spindle can travel up to 2 inches and has easy to read, locking linear depth stops for accurate and repeatable drilling operations. In addition, the WEN 4208 has minimal chuck and spindle run-out which means it offers high precision.
The build quality, finish, and durability of the WEN 4208 are more than a match for its price. The tool does not look or feel cheap and it delivers professional results. It performs its function with ease and is rugged enough for long term use.
The warranty period is 2 years for consumers and 90 days for professionals. However, keep in mind that only purchases from authorized resellers will be covered by the warranty.
One of the best things about this drill press is the user-friendly design that makes it particularly easy to use for beginners.
If all that is required by the user is to drill holes in a variety of materials, this tool is more than up to the task. It won’t take up much space in the workshop and is easy to transport or move to other locations.
Being an 8-inch drill press, it means the WEN 4208 can drill a hole in the center of a disk that is up to eight inches in diameter.
Should You Buy the WEN 4208?
Just as with any other product, there’s no universal answer to the question. Whether you should get the WEN 4208 will depend on your individual situation.
The advantages and disadvantages of the tool that I outline below should help you with the decision.
Pros of the WEN 4208 Drill Press
Let’s start with the pros.
There are three main ones to keep in mind.
This drill press offers great value for money due to its relatively low price and robust features.
It has the capability to drill into materials quickly, fairly precisely, and consistently. However, do not expect the very high levels of precision that some higher-end drill presses can deliver since the WEN 4208 tends to wobble from time to time.
Thanks to its ability to drill both wood and thin metal, the tool is flexible enough to be used for a decent variety of projects.
The drill’s five-speed option allows you to vary the drilling speed depending upon the material and bit being used.
This is particularly useful when working with different materials of varying hardness – it enables accurate and quick drilling regardless of what needs to be drilled into. The ability to choose speed helps deliver the best possible results as long as the user knows which speed should be selected.
One of the main reasons – if not the main reason – behind WEN 4208’s popularity is the affordable cost and good cost-performance.
For users who only need a drill press for personal projects or casual crafting, it doesn’t make sense to spend heavily on a professional drill press. This handy little drill press does the job relatively cheaply and adequately meets the needs of DIY woodworkers.
Cons of the WEN 4208 Drill Press
While the best drill presses are absolutely stable at all times in order to ensure accuracy, the WEN 4208 has a tendency to wobble sometimes during usage. This might be a matter of concern for some – especially those who need to work on high precision projects.
The 1/3 horsepower motor is not recommended for hardened steel or high-density metal over 1/2 inch thick.
In case you need a powerful drill for metalwork, look for a model with a more powerful motor.
Who Is the WEN 4208 Drill Press Ideal For?
The WEN 4208 drill press works the best for hobbyists, beginner woodworkers, and anyone with a low budget who is working on plastic, wood, ceramics or soft metal of less than 1/2-inch thickness.
On the other hand, this model is not suitable for professionals looking for a high powered drill that can be used on hardened steel or other hard metals. It is also not suitable – as indicated numerous times above – if great and repeatable precision is required.
What Are the Alternatives?
If you already have an impact driver or a regular drill, first, consider whether you need a drill press at all. To get a better idea of what uses a drill press is the most suitable for, make sure to read this article.
Assuming you are absolutely sure you want a drill press but do not want to get the WEN 4208 for one reason or another, you have two options:
- Different brand: If you still want an 8-inch drill press but would prefer to go with a different brand, make sure to check the HICO and the Shop Fox ones among others.
- Different size: If you like the WEN 4208 but think you will need more reach, consider getting the 12-inch WEN4214, for example. Alternatively, you can also look at products from other brands including the Skil 10-inch one.
If you are still undecided, you should also make sure to read my comparison of the four most popular WEN drill presses.
Overall, the WEN 4208 is a great product – as long as you understand the trade-offs you are making by not getting one of the higher-end products.
The tool offers just enough power to be sufficient for most woodworking and even some lighter metalworking. It’s also stable enough to be a considerable improvement over simply using a hand drill.
That said, it does not offer the level of precision that some higher-end models do. Neither does it offer enough power to drill through thicker – or harder – pieces of metal. If you need either of those features, you will need to look at other models like the Shop Fox W1667.
An 8-inch drill press. Offers great cost-performance.