When getting a drill press system, do you know exactly what to look for so as not to make the wrong choice? We do!
Today I would like to cover a number of budget options for people who want the best drill press for under $500 that won't break the bank!
Shop Fox W1848 – Best Drill Press For The Money Under $500
Hougen HMD904S 114-Volt Swivel Base- Best Drill Press For Woodwork
Shop Fox W1669 – Best Drill Press For Metal
In this article, you will find that we have put together a list of reviews of bench presses that we like that satisfy our needs, making them deserving to be put on the list; and these drill presses have been chosen based on different criteria, skill, and the type of job that will be completed. Let us help to guide the way to what the right tools are before you waste time making a decision that just might be irreversible.
List of Top Drill Press 2021 Review
If you are already familiar with the overall use of drill presses, then forge ahead, and read through this list. While this is no small list, it has vital information that will help you make your decision. This list has been divided into two: the general list, and the other ones listed according to their brands. Let us get into these reviews now, shall we?
WEN 4214-12-Inch Variable Speed – Best Drill Press Under 200
Even though you have a limited space to work on, this does not matter; this model, the WEN 4214- 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press is great for wood or metal jobs that need to be done but lack the space needed.
One thing that puts this unit at the top of our list is that it features a transmission that has a great variable speed. This feature is something you won’t find in the many different degrees of drill presses out there that don’t have huge prices slapped onto them.
The above-listed features aren’t the only ones that allows this tool to be the best pick on this list. It has other great features that other drill presses lack. They are:
- It has a locking depth stop, great for drilling holes
- Digital LED speed display
- 5/8 inches keyed chuck
- 3 – 1/8 spindle travel
- It comes with an X pattern laser guide
- Adjustable table roller extension
That is not all. Not only is this unit easy to use and its speed can be adjusted even while running. Online reviews mention that this easy adjustable feature makes projects run smoothly. It has a metal ball-bearing induction motor that develops 2/3 HP, this can bore through heavy cast iron metal with a five-eighths inch bit. An X-pattern laser guide adds even more to this product.
It has adjustable speeds from 580 to a maximum of 3,200 RPM for the most power. The table of this press can be tilted 45 degrees left or right for use in both directions.
JET 354170/JDP – 20 MF, 20 Inches Drill Press
If you know that you will be using your drill to do some very serious drilling in either metal, wood or plastic, then you should get the JET 354170, as it is the best candidate for the job.
Tougher projects need some torque, and this drill press model gives enough torque, with its 120/240 volts, 1 – ½ HP motor. As if that is not enough, the manufacturers of this model also gave it a ¾ inches chuck that enables you bring out your big bit for serious holes.
It has spindle adjustments that give you 12 speeds from 150 – 4,200 RPM, and this will allow you to have the power to take on whatever task you imagine. With the quick release, tilt and rotatable work table features, you can use your skill to manage it in about any position.
And its capacity?
We like that it has a 20 inches capacity that can drill into a circle that is 20 inches wide. And if you know that you want to go further than 20 inches, then you will need to get a radial or an industrial model.
This piece isn’t even JET’s top most expensive or even the largest model. But for that DIY job or a professional user, it may be big enough. This unit requires you to change it manually, and it is relatively cheap. It has the power to handle nearly (if not all) projects, no matter if they are metal, wood, or plastic.
Shop Fox W1848 – Best Drill Press For The Money Under $500
This Shop Fox model is best for woodworkers, not for metal. And in times past, finding a drill press that was good for wood only wasn’t as easy as it is to find today.
This fox model can very easily, quickly, and tool-lessly be converted into an oscillating spindle sander to smooth your wood project with accuracy. This type of sanding gives a very smooth finish on your workpiece, and this is made possible due to the reduced heat build-up. With its dual-purpose, just about any woodworker will like to use this in their shop.
The manufacturers of this model, Shop Fox, have provided a small bench top model of this drill press, but its added stability and capacity allows the floor model drill press to be a much better option. Its finishing operations can be tiresome and its top height of 63 inches is a back saver.
Overall, this is no small machine. It gets its power from a 120v, ¾ HP motor. Its 5/8-inch chuck is rotated at a speed of 250 – 3,050 RPM by its 12-speed transmission. You have enough reach for common drilling jobs, like drilling holes, with the 13 – ¼ inches of swing.
The Shop Fox W1848 model comes with sanding drums and a 2 inches dust port on the tilting table.
WEN 4227 13 AMP 12-SPEED, 17 INCHES Drill Press
This drill press is best for metal work, not wood or plastic. You probably were expecting to see a magnetic drill press land on this spot, and in this article, what we consider are the non-ferrous materials like aluminum and brass, and this is why this model is listed.
To work with metal in your shop, you will need a few things, like: constant torque, a wide speed range, coolant or a lubricant. If your setup is unable to meet these requirements, you will encounter frustrating situations when working with metal that are better to avoid.
But the thing is that the WEN 4227 meets these criteria. There are twelve adjustable speeds from 180 to 2,940 RPM. There is a 13-amp, 120v induction motor that gives plenty of smooth power.
This model comes with a fluid collection channel around the edge of the table and a nice swing. We like that this model also gives some extra features to match your skill, like: the ability to work light, a depth gauge for perfect hole drilling, 5/8 inches chuck, 17 inches of full swing, 4 -3/4 -inches quill stroke. To top it all off, this drill is designed with an X-shaped laser guide. A laser guide uses a laser to make it easy to locate your workpiece without having to lift and lower the drill frequently. Finally, a pivoting work table with swing rounds out this product.
Overall, customer reviews rate this drill highly. Reviews frequently mention sturdiness and strength of this drill, but some complain that it is difficult to build.
Hougen HMD904S 114-Volt Swivel Base- Best Drill Press For Woodwork
This model is designed to be great for a magnetic drill press. If you want to be using your drill for steel fabrications, the magnetic drill press is the right tool for you. And the Hougen HMD904S is our top pick for this category because it works well for projects at home and also for production work.
Its drill press runs at 120 volts. It also has a chuck and an adapter that lets you use twist drills and specialized cutters for things other than simple holes. It is quite light when it comes to its weight, weighing less than the others, it weighs 28.9lbs.
There is a five eighths inches slot drive arbor that is both solid and accurate, and it also allows for quicker cutter changes. It can accommodate cutters from 7/16 inches up to 1 – ½ inches and with a depth of cut of about 2 inches, so it is adjustable and customizable.
This unit has: a 2-stage magnet that gives a 30% increase in holding power once the motor is activated; this helps to reduce power consumption of the tool, it also aids easier and more accurate adjustments before work begins.
We like that there is also a coolant bottle, cutter and drill variety and chain, too.
MicroLux Benchtop Variable Speed Mini Hobby Drill Press
This is the best featured bench top small drill press for your shop. This small drill press makes you realize that using a small product does not always equal inadequate. This tool is designed to be a precision tool that is made for some serious and accurate small work on a bench top.
This machine allows you to calibrate the variable speeds in two ranges:
- Low: 0 to 3,600 rotations per minute and
- High: 0 to 5,000 rotations per minute
This model’s wide speed range means that you can work with plastic without you having to melt it, and, also avoid chipping in wood. You have the ability to also set the proper speed for fast, clean drilling of holes through several materials.
There is a pulse that has a modulation, and it maintains a constant torque while drilling throughout its entire speed range.
Its zeroing digital fiber lets you set your drilling depth electronically via LCD readout for a precise, repeatable, and accurate depth. Included is a sliding fence that helps maintain a perfect hole alignment.
The machine’s ball bearing spindle has a maximum travel of 1 – 9/16 inches.
Its base and headstock are made of cast iron for both durability and a stable weight. Its steel column prevents flexing while drilling.
For the custom electronics, jewelry, models, or just about any small-scale projects. With a precision, accuracy, and repeatable performance you will like, it will give you that professional feel you desire.
Shop Fox W1669 – Best Drill Press For Metal
This is the best radial for the money. The makers of this drill have given us a machine with a top performance in a benchtop size package. And it comes at a reasonable price.
While using this model’s drilling arm, you will get a full 17 inches swing. You are able to angle the side spindle of this drill for angle drilling or horizontal boring because of the fact that the headstock pivots within the side collar. This table can tilt, making drilling holes at almost any angle achievable. You do not need to move your workpiece because you can lock the slide at any time.
Its ½ HP, 120v motor runs at a five-speed transmission with a range of 550 to a maximum of 3,470 RPM. Its spindle travels at 3 ¼ inches with a threaded depth stop for accurate and repeatable operations.
There is a paddle switch that has a lock-out key for your safety. You may get this drill press for just a little over $300. Overall, this is a great price and is the best value for the money. There is no way you won’t be happy with this drill.
Best Drill Press by Brands
Lots of people go after products that are made by big, popular brands, and that is why this section exists in this article.
Best Delta Drill Press
Delta 18 – 900 L
The Delta brand has been a very popular brand time and time again when it comes to power tools. And this drill, the Delta 18 – 900 L, may just be the one that is to be reckoned with.
Its 18 inches, 16-speed belt drive floor drill press is one tough tool. It has a lot of space for both the big stuff and all the features needed to get the job done. It has a 6-inch stroke that lets you drill deeper holes than any other model in its category. It has a ¾ HP, 120v motor that gives plenty of power to its 5/8 inches chuck.
The model’s 20 inches by 14 inches table can tilt, keeping your work exactly where it needs to be while you are working, and there are features that are put in place to help keep it secure.
There are micro-adjustable depth stops and a movable scale that ensures you have the accuracy and repeatability you need while drilling. It is designed with twin lasers that are adjustable. Each laser is there to project a bright cross-hair target that gets rid of any guesswork. There is also a built-in, flexible LED light.
Due to its dual transmission and self-tensioning, this drill’s speed changes are easy and are quick. Speeds are selected from a minimum of 170 to a maximum of 3,000 RPM in a matter of 16 steps. If what you need is a bulky, all-purpose drill press that will help maximize your productivity, this may be the model for you.
Best WEN Drill Press
WEN 4227 13 Amp 12-Speed Floor Standing 17 inches
The manufacturers that designed this powerhouse have been in business for a very long time. This machine is a 17 inches, 12-speed, free-standing drill press. It has comes at 120v, with a 13-amp motor that powers a 3-spindle transmission that enables you to switch belts to 12 speeds from a minimum of 180 to a maximum of 2,940 RPM, making it one of the most flexible on the list.
There are other features that you will notice when using this drill, and they are:
- A ball-bearing motor
- Five-eighths inches chuck
- A heavy cast iron base
- Attached gooseneck work light
- An x-shaped laser alignment
- 4-3/4 inches stroke
- A 1-inch runoff channel to contain the coolant
- Its table tilts up to 45 degrees left or right for drilling easy holes
- 14 inches by 14 inches cast iron work table
- 26 inches maximum table to chuck distance
This drill was made with both safety and convenience in mind, and a lock switch with onboard storage for the chuck key.
The design of vast power and capability make this drill one of WEN’s top models on this list. But this machine’s speeds need to be manually set, it makes it all the more flexible. An X-shaped laser alignment is the finishing touch.
Overall, it may not matter what it is that you are working with, whether it is metal or wood, plastic, or other materials, and whether you are drilling, mortising, or milling, this all-purpose drill press should do all the needed job.
Best Grizzly Drill Press
You may or may not be familiar with this brand and the kind of power tools that they design, and their efficiencies and capabilities. This is a model that has been designed for big tool drilling capacity fitted to a bench-sized platform. It has a radial arm which is another great feature.
The drill head can go as far as 17 inches from the column, and it will allow you to get more than twice the capacity of fixed-head bench models. You are also able to lock the arm travel on the bench at any time.
Its arm rotates at 360 degrees, making you able to work on larger stock placed on the bench or the floor. Its head rotates in the vertical axis, that gives you a flexible angle drilling. Its table also tilts, 90 degrees to the left and 90 degrees to the right as well.
It has a 5/8-inch chuck, 3 – ¼ degrees of spindle travel and five speeds with a motor that develops ½ HP to help you with most projects.
As far as price goes, this drill won’t break the bank and may not even be at the top of your budget.
Best JET Drill Press
When you talk about industrial strength and a quick and easy operation, the JET drill is the one you should get. This is a good model that helps you go through tough tasks, and it gives you the features you need to complete them.
It has a capacity drill press of 15 inches with a full 6 inches stroke. Its large, crank adjustment will allow the table to drop very far to allow for the handling of big stuff.
One good feature of this unit is its reduction gear-driven variable speed. Turn the hand and keep a close look on the digital display so you can set it at 400 to 5,000 RPM depending on how powerful you want it.
Part of the design of this drill is an easy-to-access stop that lets you match the depth for a repetitive drill. There is a 2 – ¼ inches quill that gives you drill accuracy and 3 inches column helps to reduce vibrations and flexes.
Overall, it is quite expensive, but with a drill press that is driven by a 230v/460v, 3 phase, 1HP motor, we think it is a good drill that is worth the price.
Best SKIL Drill Press
SKIL 3320 – 01
This is a fairly inexpensive and rugged drill power tool by the SKIL brand, and they have been in the business for a very long time.
This tool gives you just what you need to face the light to moderately large jobs with a pocket friendly price tag.
It has a five-speed transmission, and its 120v, 3.2 A motor delivers speed from 720 – 3,050 RPM that will allow it to handle a wide range of materials. If you need a good drill with accuracy and repetitive production, these wouldn’t be an issue. With its design of depth stops, laser guide, and its 45 degrees of tilt table, you will always get it right.
Price and Budget
On a budget for your drill? There are drill presses that require you to pay a hefty sum for their purchase, but on this list, we have put together drill presses that you can afford even though you are on a drilling budget.
Note: This post was published on 6th of February, 2019. The prices might have changed as at the time you are reading
Best Drill Press Under $200
Just because you are conscious about the price of your drill doesn’t mean that you have to get a drill that isn’t powerful or doesn’t have the quality you expect of it, and this machine allows you to have all the great performances you would expect in a bench top drill.
It has a cast iron frame and a 45-degree tilt either left or right, a crank-adjusted table and a great build. It also comes with a 2/3 HP 120v motor that powers a five-speed transmission delivering 600 – 3, 100 rotations per minute. A 5/8-inch chuck, 10-inch swing and 2-1/2-inch stroke, this is one heavily packed tool, and it costs less than $150. While the swing of this drill is smaller than others, it makes up for it with its many other wonderful features.
Best Drill Press Under $300
WEN 4 227
This drill has a unique, mechanical variable speed and many other features like:
- An LED speed display
- A 12-inch capacity
- 580 – 3,200 rotations per minute
- A tilting table with a roller extension
- 2/3 HP, and 120v motor
- 3 – 1/80-inch spindle travel with depth stop
- A laser guide
- Great price
Best Drill Press Under $500
Klutch 14 inches Floor Mount Drill Press – 1HP, 12 Speed
A powerful, 14-inch drill press in this price range is surely hard to find, and this drill system will work well for both a newbie and a professional. It comes with a 1HP, 120v motor and a 12-speed powertrain that gives from 340 – 2,860 RPM. It also has a five-eighths inches chuck that allows it to have a drilling capacity of 1 – ¼ inch. It also drills deep at 3 – ¼ -inch stroke.
It has a 45 degrees tilting table, a flexible work LED light, a depth stop, and a chuck key storage.
Best Drill Press Under $5,000
If you need an extreme torque, and one at a low speed, this is the machine to go for. This tool will allow you to handle tough work like reaming, chamfering, and counterboring with precision and power. Its helical gears give a smooth, quiet performance at eight spindle speeds (that you can adjust). It has a 440v, 3-phase motor driving force.
This model’s large table has two T-slots and coolant that prevent waste and dangerous spills. The quick-release ejector allows you to change your bit easily. The safety latch keeps the head from dropping once the clamp is released.
Best Drill Press Under $10,000
JET 354210/JDP-20EVS (230V), 20-Inch
This tool operates at 230V, 2HP, 3-phase motor. It has a gearhead that has a drilling speed range of 65 – 2,000 RPM. Its drilling speed is electronically variable with an LED readout that is found on its panel.
With its 230V, 2HP, 3-phase motor and 65 – 2,000 rotations per minute, you can countersink, mill, drill holes, polish, and tap. The features of this drill don’t just end here, there’s more; it has a coolant system, a trough and drain in the table, a flexible, precision feed tube, and a collection well and pump in the base.
When it comes to safety, it has a working emergency stop button, potentially giving you the small amount of extra time necessary to save a finger.
As far as price goes, we know this is up there, but it is designed to be powerful, and to get the job done. If you have the money, and price is something that you don’t really have to consider too carefully, then take a chance on this bench. You will love working with a system that is designed with such great accuracy and swing.
Our top overall pick is the JET 354170/JDP-20MF. It has a drilling capacity of 20 inches, a ¾ inches chuck, and a 12-speed transmission, making it able to handle any material. This floor model also has a 1 – ½ HP, 112V/240V motor than gives a large amount of power time and time again.
This machine will drill large cast iron for up to 1-inch thick or mild steel up to ¾ inches, and it has a drilling speed range of about 150 to 4,200 RPM, capable of handling wood, plastic, and also non-ferrous materials, with great precision. It also has great accuracy and handles smoothly.
Its work table is one of the largest overall you will ever see on the market. At 18 ½ inches by 16 inches, it is way bigger than others, and comes at a good, reasonable price.
It doesn’t matter your degrees of experience: if you are a skilled person or a beginner with drilling, this will meet your unique needs.
Choosing the Best Drill Presses
It doesn’t matter if you have the skill of a professional woodworker, a DIYer, or a backyard metal fabricator, a powerful drill press can be of good use to you. But then, how do you know you are on your way to getting the right product?
Like anything in life where you need to make the right choice, there are things that need to be considered to make that happen, and below, we will be giving you things to consider so nothing lets left behind.
First, what you need to do is examine why exactly you need a drill press: boring holes, reaming, screwing? Working with metal, wood or plastic? It is important to assess your needs before choosing a product.
And if you find that you cannot find an answer to that question, then it is advisable that you go for all-purpose presses. If at any time you have in mind to use it for a specific purpose, then you can look for more direct or specific features.
Some drill presses are good for use on metal materials, and some are good if you are working with non-metal materials, like wood. The amount of power you will want will vary based on your materials and your system. And when it comes to the jewelry or model maker, getting a large, powerful machine will make it hard to work, so in this case, you will want to go for something simpler to use.
The Size of the Drill Press
You will find that there are important factors to consider
when it comes to the size, and these things you will want to look at are the throat, swing, and capacity. A drill press with 12 inches; anytime you see where the inches are being stipulated, what is are being referred to are the swing and capacity. Let’s help you figure out how to use this and what your needs will be based on your job.
Swing (capacity) = throat multiplied by 2.
Throat is the distance between the column and the center of the spindle.
So, basically. What this means is that a drill press system of 12 inches will drill to the center of a circle that is 12 inches wide. Use this information of the swing and throat to know what size will meet your needs.
Other Things to Consider
There are other things you will find that are necessary to consider before you make any purchase, and you would need to ask yourself these questions to do that:
How much space is available to me? Do you have a small work area? A large work area? By asking this question, you will save time by taking into consideration if you will be buying a bench model system or a floor model system. The wrong one will get in your way or take up too much space. Take time to consider what size space you will be working in.
What kind of electric service do I have available to use? Depending on where you might be working with this machine, whether in your garage or you home shop, this is if you will be working at home; you should be aware of the power of current and voltage rating in maps of the service outlet for whatever drill press you will be getting. Take a few minutes to find this information before beginning your search for a drill press. Powerful voltage is required for larger and stronger drills.
The very important aspect, not that every other aspect isn’t as important, but this is what determines the product you will buy Vs what it is you want. And that is why this article is vital. A small budget does not mean you have to purchase a faulty product. We have drill presses on this list that come in different prices and specifications. Whether you have a high budget or a not-so-high budget, we have something to meet your needs.