Drill Press - Jet vs. Wen

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by mark76wa posted 02-18-2014 07:32 PM 27241 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mark76wa's profile


97 posts in 3420 days

02-18-2014 07:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press

I am in the market for a drill press. I was originally looking at the 12 in Jet (JDP-12). It looks real nice with lasers, a work light, variable speed adjustment (no belts to move) and a 1/3hp motor. All for $375.

I just saw the Wen 4214 12in drill press on line. It looks almost exactly like the Jet except the color. All the features are the same that I can tell except it has a 2/3hp motor – For only $290

Has anyone heard of Wen, its reputation, and quality? I would like to save the $80 but I am completely done purchasing crappy cheep tools.

Wen Amazon page: – pick the 12 in variable speed button.

Jet Amazon page:

10 replies so far

View CharlesA's profile


3329 posts in 1822 days

#1 posted 02-18-2014 07:35 PM

Your Wen link is to a smaller far less expensive model. Must have been an accidental paste.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2658 days

#2 posted 02-18-2014 08:10 PM

I’d skip the Jet. You’re paying for a lot of features that are useless (imo). Variable speed is cool, but I think you’ll find you use one single speed 90% of the time. And belt adjustments only take 1-2 minutes.
The laser’s accuracy is typically questionable at best. And I believe you have to re-adjust the laser everythime you move the table or switch material thickness.

Any particular reason you want a benchtop model? A floor standing DP has a small footprint. There are better ways to save space, imo. You might consider the Porter Cable DP from Lowes. $300. Bigger motor, bigger table, and longer spindle stroke than most other DPs.

View macgee's profile


49 posts in 1662 days

#3 posted 02-18-2014 08:15 PM

Wen has been around for many years making drill press’s for many companies and yes your right, they look almost identical but not quite but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Wen made the Jet.

I like the 12” Wen but you only get a 2 year warranty instead of three and I doubt (and I’m guessing) it would be easier dealing with Wen than Jet if something did go wrong. Having the extra power is a nice advantage but that’s the only advantage I can see over the Jet aside from price, although with the Wen you also get a fence. I would say keep doing some more research and keep an eye out for sales which could make the difference, now a days all the big companies are having there drill presses being made by the same private label companies in asia and are all very similar.

Having said that, a lot of them look identical but may have different levels in qualities in the bearings and in quality control which will reflect in price but not always.

Sorry if I’m making it more confusing.

View macgee's profile


49 posts in 1662 days

#4 posted 02-18-2014 11:48 PM

I have to agree with Tedstor,

Can I make a suggestion? Try shopping on Craigslist, you live in the Seattle area and there’s a ton of really good ones available. You can get a really nice one for less. Drill presses are a pretty simple machines so it’s one of the safer tools to purchase used. You pretty much just need to check for runout wobble (loose bearings) and that it runs.

Here’s a suggestion:


I have both, a bench top and floor version. I love my floor version with a wheel base (Rockler HTC 1000), I stash it out of the way along with my jointer and band saw when not in use. The bench top is 8” and does take space up on my bench top.

I think the laser sight for a drill press is a bit overrated unless your doing production work, drilling the same thing over and over again other wise it can be off with different sizes and heights, it’s a different story for miter saw lasers.

I had a variable speed drill press but never was satisfied it was working at the quoted speed. I find my current set up with belts easy/quick to change and I know what speed I’m working with (call me old fashion) but can totally understand getting a variable.

Having a built in light is a very nice feature to have and with me it’s mandatory, couldn’t imagine not having one.

View mark76wa's profile


97 posts in 3420 days

#5 posted 02-19-2014 07:54 AM

I just don’t have the room for a floor drill press. I have made a few purchases of craigslist, including my current drill press. I’ve decided I do not want to spend money on cheep tools and I just haven’t had any luck with used tools. I would rather spend the extra on new, quality, and reputation.

I hadn’t thought about the laser thing and moving the table. That is a good insight.

I just want a good tool.

View macgee's profile


49 posts in 1662 days

#6 posted 02-19-2014 09:40 AM

You may want to look at the Grizzly 12 sp. drill press, it sells for $325 and has a 3/4 HP which can tackle anything you would want to do on a bench top. I think Grizzly currently has better quality control, better finish and customer service than Jet does right now and it’s not too far of a drive (Bellingham, WA) for you to see one and pick one up.

Maybe you should skip on the Wen with concerns that it could be a hit or miss, it doesn’t have much of a domestic track record.

For ”new, quality, and reputation” you may have to spend more. The used older american made drill presses are generally better than the new ones of today but you already mentioned you don’t want to go down that road.

The key is get a new one with high quality bearings and no runout with a good chuck.

Currently there are very few good companies that are making top notch bench top drill presses. The ones in your price range are all pretty much coming out asia from the same factory, just with different paint jobs and different levels of quality.

I hope you find what your looking for. Cheers

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3673 days

#7 posted 02-19-2014 10:10 AM

I have a knock-off of that JET. It may be a Wen. I bought
it new from a guy selling it as new… I think it was a display
model at a trade show of some kind. It’s a very satisfactory
tool for what I paid and the undemanding ways I use it
on wood and smaller metal parts.

Anyway, that reeves drive is nice to use but I don’t have
any illusions about its durability. If you want a tough drill
press, get one with pulleys instead.

View Bill7255's profile


427 posts in 2310 days

#8 posted 02-19-2014 12:04 PM

You will need to decide about the DP you want. I will comment about the laser. There are/were two lasers on drill presses when I bought mine. I thought I needed a laser as I was end drilling small stock. One laser crosses at 45 degree angle and one crosses At 90 degree angle. The 45 degree one would need to be adjusted each time the material thickness changes. To me it is about useless. The 90 degree one is accurate regardless of material thickness. I have a DP with a 90 degree cross and it is accurate. However, I only use it if I am drilling a line of holes and 90% of the time I don’t use it. Really don’t need it. I don’t have variable speed, but think I would like it. It doesn’t take long to change the belt speed, but many times I am drilling at the wrong speed as just don’t take the time to change the belts.

-- Bill R

View JVFdesigns's profile


1 post in 118 days

#9 posted 03-08-2018 02:52 PM

I have been dealing with WEN and buying WEN tools for a while now. This company has been around for a long time and many of their tools are exact duplicates of Grizzly, Jet and other manufactures for slightly less money. When I have seen comparisons of WEN to other manufactures they usually stand up well and given the price difference they are a sound investment. I was pleasantly surprised that if you need to call WEN you get a knowledgeable English speaking person based in the united stated person that can send you parts or answer questions immediately.

View brtech's profile


1029 posts in 2947 days

#10 posted 03-08-2018 04:08 PM

I have a Wen 4227 that I got on a super special ($488 shipped). It’s been great. The laser is not the best, the stock chuck only goes down to 1/8”, but I’ve had no issues at all with it. Picked it up at the local Walmart (ship to store for free) and dragged it into my basement shop & set it up with no help. Pretty impressed for the price. I see very few fit/finish issues, and it works great. Big improvement from my Griz bench top press.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics