If you need to drill a hole in steel, you’re going to want a drill press. The power, the stability, and the accuracy will allow you to bore your way through small or narrow pieces of stock. But what do you do when you need precise holes in a large piece of plate steel that you can’t take to the drill press? You need to take the press to the steel. Milwaukee’s magnetic drill press lets you do just that.
The 4204 features an electro-magnetic stand that you can lock onto ferrous metal. You place the base of the small drill press on the metal surface, turn on the magnet, and start up the drill. The drill won’t start up until the electromagnet is activated.
Once you activate the magnet, the 1/2″ chucked drill can bore through 9″ of material with 1,600 lbs of force. With a dial control, you can adjust the speed up to 600 RPM. Besides the magnet, another feature separates the 4204 from your everyday drill press — a reverse button allows you to back out of the material, if you need to.
The ability to drill precision holes into steel ship decks, manhole covers, or your pickup bed doesn’t come cheap. Street pricing on the 4204 is around $1,200.