Homedit is supported by our readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How To Choose A Mag Drill If You Deal With Metal Projects

When it comes to finding the best mag drill, it depends on how often and how you’re using it. If you’re using it for work, you’ll be using it quite often and will need heavy duty. But if it’s just around the house, you’ll probably get a smaller and less powerful one. The point is, what matters the most is quality so that you can get the best results.

Mag Drill

This guide will help you decide what kind of mag drill is for you and what to look for when it’s time to go shopping. Plus, we’ll show you the best mag drills on the market so you can be informed of the very best ones.

Top 3 Picks

Best: Milwaukee Magnetic Drill

This was our top pick out of the 3 because it’s portable thanks to running on a battery. It’s also because it comes with a lot of features and it’s super lightweight.

Evolution Heavy Duty 1-1/8 inch Industrial Magnetic Drill

This runnerup by Evolution deserved a spot because it’s the best industrial mag drill. It has a powerful 2 stage magnet and it’s also surprisingly lightweight.

Mophorn 1200W Magnetic Drill Press

Morophorn made this list because it’s good for most household projects. It also has magnets that’re fueled by electricity so if your battery dies on it, you can still operate it thanks to the magnets.

What is a mag drill?

A magnetic drill press (also known as a magnetic tool, or mag drill) is a tool that you use to drill into metal.

How to use a mag drill

For the inexperienced user, they think you can just turn on the drill and away you go. While the magnet holds the drill, you will still need to handle this tool very carefully. Here’s how:

  • Learn the Control Panel

This is something you’ll want to get familiar with. You will need to know where/what the dials, the settings and the display (safety, magnet and motor switches) are. Without knowing what or where they are, it can be very daunting trying to use a magnetic drill press.

  • The Chain

The chain should always be used at all times. Without it you’ll be susceptible to injuries and you’ll also damage your new tool.

  • Safety Switch

When the safety switch is on and usually emits green light, it means that your tool is working as it should. But if there is a red light on it, you’ll need to look into it. What triggers the red light would mean either the drill needs to be surfaced or you’re working on an uneven surface. So, before you start any project, test the drill to make sure it’s working properly.

  • Operate

If your drill comes with the pilot light switch, now it’s the time to turn it on and make sure it’s not blocked in any way so you can see what you are doing.

Place the drill by feeding the arbor steadily until the pilot point just touches the middle of the cavity to be poured through. Use the safety chain to lock the drill, then toggle the magnet switch. Switch the feed handle to make sure the field is cleared of strokes before the pilot is over the working floor. Don’t hold down too hard if the computer is not stressed. When you are finished, cast out the slug and separate the magnet from its power supply. All chips that have been made must be removed.

As always, consult the manual that comes with your mag drill or watch an instructional video if you are unsure on how to use the drill.

Mag Drill Maintenance tips

Following the tips below will ensure that your tools will last a long time, which is what you want because some of them costs more than others.

  • Make sure all fasteners are tightened on the regular
  • Always check motor brushes, replace if worn or damaged
  • Before using, check for cracks or cable issues, send to manufacturer for replacement (should be under warranty)
  • You’ll want to treat all the parts such as slide dovetails and feed gear rack to grease
  • Always keep safety plunger clean and lubricate when necessary
  • You should remove the magnet and make sure the back area is clean.

Brands to Consider

Milwaukee Mag Drill

Milwaukee Mag DrillView in gallery

Milwaukee has been around since 1924 and has been one of the leading tool companies all over the world. They’re popular because of their innovation and their time saving accessories. Milwaukee always strives to get feedback from real users of their tools so they can continue to make improvements.

Dewalt

View in gallery

Dewalt was founded in 1922 by Raymond Dewalt. This company started as a woodworking company, then eventually became the leading company for other tools, such as mag drills. The quality of their tools alone is always worth it because all of the tools are made in the USA. (note they do use global materials, but it’s still made in the USA)

Evolution

View in gallery

Evolution was founded in 1992 and is widely known in a few countries. They have offices in the US, UK and Asia. Their first multi-purpose professional range tools came out in 2005 and they have at least 12 manufacturing sites to create high quality tools. While they do use global materials, their saws are high quality and affordable, which is why they’re popular today.

Hougen

Hougen is a small family-owned company that was created over 60 years ago by Dr. E Douglas Hougen. They are located in Swartz Creek, Michigan and it’s the only place they manufacture their popular portable magnetic drills. Customers choose Hougen because they’re reliable and of course their tools are top-notch performance.

Morphorn

View in gallery

This is a relatively new company that makes high-quality tools such as the mag drills. They’re also known for their high-quality materials used making their tools. While globally sourced, customers love Morphorn products because it’s high quality and durable.

Black Bluerock

View in gallery

Black Bluerock was founded in 2005 that was founded in the US. This company is known for their high-quality materials and workmanship. They’re also known for their innovation and being in tune with their customers so they can continue to make improvements with their tools.

The 6 Best Magnetic Drills

Milwaukee Mag Drill

Milwaukee Mag DrillView in gallery

We are starting off with the Milwaukee Magnetic Drill because we think it was worth looking at first. Weighing in at 29.5 lbs, it’s lightweight enough where you can bring it anywhere in the workshop while you’re drilling or cutting metal. We want to mention that it’s portable too, running on high-quality Lithium-Ion batteries. A super cool feature that we do want to mention is that it has permanent magnets that you can use that can run on electricity. So, if your battery runs out, fret not. It can run at 400 RPM making this pretty powerful for its size. It also has Auto-Off if it detects the drill moving so in our books for safety, that’s a huge thing.

The Milwaukee Mag Drill can cut up to 2 inches deep maximum, so this makes this the ideal choice if you need it for whichever project that you take on.

Pros:

  • Lots of features comes with this drill
  • 2000lb holding force with magnet base
  • 2 speed gearbox

Cons:

  • Expensive if on budget

DEWALT Drill Press

DEWALT Drill PressView in gallery

The DEWALT drill press is one of the best sellers for a reason. It has 10 amps and it’s 2 speed so you can control the speed that you need for your project. It can run at 450 RPM. It weighs about 47.6lbs so keep that in mind when carrying it. One of the things that we like about this drill is that it has a quick-change chuck system and the quick release feed handle. The quick release feed handle, it provides tool free change of handles on either side of the tool.

This drill can cut up to 2 inches deep which is the maxim.

Overall, it is a great tool to have at home but can be used in a pinch if you need it at work.

Pros:

  • 2-speed control
  • Quick Release Handle

Cons:

  • Doesn’t drill consistently

Evolution Heavy Duty 1-1/8 inch Industrial Magnetic Drill

Evolution Heavy Duty 1-1/8 inch Industrial Magnetic DrillView in gallery

If you’re looking for a tool that does heavy-duty jobs or you need it to work, the Evolution Heavy Duty Industrial Magnetic Drill is worth looking into. Being lightweight at 26 pounds, it’s a popular option for people who don’t want to lug around a heavy drill while working. It has a power 10-amp motor and can run at 480 RPM. The Evolution has a powerful 2 stage magnet with 2860lbs of holding force and to us, we found that impressive. Another cool feature that it has, it has an onboard coolant which is a good thing to have.

You can be up to 2 inches deep with the Evolution annular cutters. You can also install the 3 saw chuck that also comes with this drill so you can use twist trills up to ½ inches.

Pros:

  • Heavy duty
  • Powerful 2 stage magnet
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Not recommended for light projects

Hougen HMD904 115-Volt Magnetic Drill

Hougen HMD904 115-Volt Magnetic DrillView in gallery

The Hougen Magnetic Drill has a 9-amp motor that can drill through steel structures, equipment and can be used moderately. It weighs 35 pounds so it’s fairly lightweight. It also has an easy to grip ergonomic housing. What’s great about the housing is that it hides the motor cord so you can do your project without tripping on the cord.

For the speed, it runs at 450 RPM with a 2-inch maxim cut depth. The drill also comes with LED pilot light and a lift detection safety system, which in our opinion are cool extra features to have. We’re a huge fan of the lift detection safety system because it shuts the drill down (if you’re not using it and on for some reason) when it moves, which is a very good thing when it comes to safety.

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • LED light/lift detection safety system
  • Housing covers cord for safe handling

Cons:

  • Needs to be near an outlet to be charged, so not really portable

Mophorn 1200W Magnetic Drill Press

Mophorn 1200W Magnetic Drill PressView in gallery

The Mophorn Magnetic Drill press comes with 8 amps. While you won’t be using this for heavy-duty work, it’s great to have around the house. You get 500 RPMs, and it weighs 50.6 pounds. You can easily remove the drill from the magnetic base (it can engage/dis-engage with the on and off switch) so you can use it in another area of the room if you need to.

It has a comfortable ergonomic handle, and it also has anti-slip rubber padding on the feed handles. Both are great because being comfortable is important but having a stable grill while cutting is also important. This drill cuts up to 2 inches on normal steel that isn’t really thick, for example, automotive repairs.

Pros:

  • Good for most household projects
  • Anti-slip rubber padding
  • Electromagnet base

Cons:

  • Can be too heavy for wanting to do normal household projects

BLACK BLUEROCK Tools Model BRM-35A Typhoon Magnetic Drill

BLACK BLUEROCK Tools Model BRM-35A Typhoon Magnetic DrillView in gallery

If you’re looking for something that is anti-slip, this magnetic drill by BLACK BLUEROCK is definitely one you’ll want to consider. It is lightweight at 28lbs and it has a 10 amp motor. It’s extremely powerful at 570 RPM. The BLACK BLUEROCK magnetic drill is affordable, and you can cut to 2” deep, and you even get an adaptor that lets you use both regular drill bits or drill press bits. With this drill, you also get a black plastic case and an oil bottle for extras.

Pros:

  • Anti-slip
  • 575 RPM
  • Comes with a case and oil bottle

Cons:

  • Not for everyday use as it can wear out

FAQ

What are MAG drills used for?

They’re used for hole-making in any metal structure.

What is the best mag drill?

We think the Milwaukee Magnetic Drill is the best mag drill. It has so many features, it is lightweight, and it is portable.

What is a mag drill bit?

It is actually called annular cutters which means they have a hollowed-out appearance, but many mag drills are compatible with traditional drill bits as well.

Bottom Line

Buying a magnetic drill because you need or want one shouldn’t be a difficult choice. That’s why today we hope that this guide tells you how to choose and you’ve seen some of the best mag drills on the market. If you have enjoyed reading this guide, we would love to hear from you in the comments below!