When it comes to drill presses, one of the most often talked-about brands is WEN. The company is well-known for making tools that excel in the cost-performance department.
If you are considering getting a WEN drill press, make sure to continue reading. In this article, I will look at how the company’s four most popular models – the WEN 4208, the WEN 4210, the WEN 4212, and the WEN 4214 – compare against each other.
A Quick Look at the Four WEN Drill Presses
All four drill presses are made by the same manufacturer – WEN. These four units are designed for varying levels of users. The 4208 model is the smallest, least powerful, and least expensive. As we move down the list they get bigger, more powerful, and more expensive.
All four are benchtop units which are used primarily to drill into lower-density wood and thin metal sheets. They will have a hard time drilling thicker, harder metal.
All four have a manually operated crank that will bring the drill head towards the worktable. The first two drill presses have preset speed settings, but the last two have variable speed abilities.
WEN 4208 Review
Starting with the smallest drill press in the lineup, the WEN 4208 has a lot to offer. It has a 6.5 x 6.5-inch worktable and a small but powerful 1/3 HP motor. It offers five different speed settings ranging from 740 to 3,140 RPM to accommodate different project requirements.
Its spindle travels up to 2 inches, has a swing of 8 inches, and the machine only weighs around 33 pounds. Its overall dimensions are 18 x 13.5 x 9.13 inches.
The big drawback to the WEN 4208 is its size. Since it’s the smallest, it obviously can’t accommodate larger projects. Since it is also the least expensive drill on this list, it’s ideal for a hobbyist.
This small, base-level WEN drill press does not come with any special features worth noting. It is a barest-bones model in this lineup.
If you want to learn more about the WEN 4208, make sure to check my full review here.
WEN 4210 Review
The next largest drill press in this lineup is the WEN 4210. It boasts a 7-5/8 x 7-5/8 inch work table, and a slightly larger 1/2 HP motor. It also has 5 preset speeds, but the speed range is slightly lower, from 600 to 3,100 RPM.
Its spindle travel is 2.5 inches and the drill press has a 10-inch swing. It weighs 51 pounds. Fully assembled, it stands at 21.5 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches.
The features worth noting that are available on this drill press include a light on the table, a depth gauge, and a precision laser.
WEN 4212 Review
As you probably guessed by this point, the WEN 4212 is larger than either of the previous two. Its worktable is 8 x 7-2/3 inches and the drill is fitted with a 2/3 HP motor. This is the first of the drill presses in this list so far to offer variable speed. It ranges from 530 to 3,100 RPM.
This drill press offers spindle travel of 3.1 inches but has the same 10-inch swing as the previous one. Overall, its dimensions are 33.9 x 13.5 x 11 inches, and it tips the scale just over 62 pounds.
This machine offers the same laser, depth gauge, and light as its smaller relative. But this unit has been upgraded with a digital readout screen that will show your current speed. It is also noticeably noisier than the other drill presses in the WEN family.
WEN 4214 Review
The largest drill in this comparison is the WEN 4214. It has a 9.5 x 9.5-inch cast-iron worktable. It has a 2/3 HP motor with more amperage than the 4212, making it the most powerful of the four. It offer variable speed between 580and 3,200 RPM.
It has a 3.1-inch spindle travel, and a 12-inch swing. Its assembled dimensions are 36.6 x 16.8 x 13.5 inches, and it weighs just under 90 pounds.
It has all of the same features as the 4212: a digital screen, depth gauge, and light. This drill press, however, has an X-pattern laser for more accuracy. The price point, power, and size of this drill press make it a better candidate for more serious hobbyists or semi-professional woodworkers.
If you want to learn more about the WEN 4214, make sure to check my full review here.
WEN 4208 vs. 4210 vs. 4212 vs. 4214: Similarities
With all the drill presses in this comparison being made by WEN – and all of them being benchtop machines – there are a couple of similarities shared among each of the models that are worth noting.
All of these drills offer a 45-degree tilt to the left and right – 90 degrees in total tilt range. Other drill presses in a similar price range may not offer this. If you’ve ever used a drill press with head tilt, I’m sure you quickly understood this function’s value.
As this article alluded to earlier, WEN is a brand known for its build quality, especially considering the price at which its products sell.
Each of the four drill presses is made mostly from metal and hard plastic. They are very durable, strong, and well-built units.
As indicated a number of times above, WEN is not only known for build quality, but also for its lower-than-expected price-point. These units are priced lower than most of their competitors’ units, despite the quality and similar – or even superior – functionality.
WEN 4208 vs. 4210 vs. 4212 vs. 4214: Differences
With the similarities out of the way, let’s look – perhaps more importantly – at the differences.
The most obvious and intended difference between these drills is their overall size. The smallest 4208 drill press has a volume of about 2,200 cubic inches, while the 4214 has a volume of 8,300 cubic inches.
Besides their overall assembled size, there is also a difference in the worktable size, and the spindle travel size. The worktable starts out at 6.5 x 6.5 inches and works its way up to 9.5 x 9.5-inches. The spindle travel ranges from 2 to 3.1 inches.
Not only does the overall drill size, worktable area, and spindle travel size change, the swing size also changes.
The smallest WEN 4208 has a swing of 8 inches while the largest WEN 4214 has a swing of 12 inches. This is not a subtle difference – it could make or break your project.
Each of these units has a different power as well. The power of the drill press will determine what kind of material you can drill through, how thick of a material it can drill, and how big of a drill bit you can use.
The smallest WEN drill press in this lineup has a 1/3HP motor, and the largest has a 2/3 HP motor. Again, this is a big consideration when picking out a WEN drill press.
Finally, while the two lower-end models – 4208 and 4210 have fixed speed settings, the higher-end 4212 and 4214 have variable speed settings.
What this means is that with the latter two, you can adjust the speed to fit exactly the type of material and drill bit you are working with. That said, with five settings for the first two, you should not have many issues relying on the fixed settings.
Whether you are getting started with woodworking or a more advanced user, there is likely something in WEN’s basic lineup of benchtop drill presses to fit your needs.
If you are only working on smaller projects, go with the WEN 4208. If you need a bit larger size but don’t need all the bells and whistles that the higher-end models offer, then go with the WEN 4210. If, on the other hand, you need variable speed, then choose either the WEN 4212 or the WEN 4214.
Putting the above aside, if you have the budget, I recommend going with the last of those no matter what your case to future-proof yourself. It will offer the most power and versatility.
Once you get your drill press, you might also want to check some of the must-have accessories.
On the other hand, if you are not sure whether you need a drill press at all, make sure to read through my guide to using the tool.