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Drilling requires precision and concentration, especially if you are boring into different types of materials. You need a high-quality power tool if you want to get professional-looking results. If you’re on a budget, the best drill press under $200 can get the job done without breaking the bank.
- Our Top Drill Press Under $200 Reviews
- Features and Considerations About Sub-$200 Drills Presses
- Drill Press Buying Tips
- Wrap Up
Our Top Drill Press Under $200 Reviews
Best Drill Press Under $200 Overall: Skil 3320-01
The Skil 3320-01 drill press bridges the gap between value and performance. It’s also a compact tool that does not take up a lot of storage space in your tool shed. This drill press comes with a 3.2 amperage motor that delivers a 1/3 horsepower.
However, power is not the strongest feature of this device, as you would expect with low-cost power tools. While this is not a powerful drill press, it has a reasonable price and boasts of quality construction made of cast-iron metal for maximum durability
The 1/3 horsepower motor is better for drilling wood rather than metal. However, you can also use it on thin metal sheets with the right metal twist bit. You should also avoid using it on high-density materials, thick metal, and anything with more than ¾ inches thickness as it will underperform, which makes it unsuitable for professional use.
The Skil drill press comes with five preset speeds that range from 570 to 3,050 RPM. You can use the lowest speed setting to drill into hardwood and softwood effortlessly.
The highest setting of 3,050 RPM will allow you to bore into material quickly and leave a precise drill hole. The highest setting is perfect when drilling thin material such as plywood and engineered lumber. It will also help grind through tougher materials, but only up to a point.
One major drawback of the 3320-01 drill press is that it doesn’t come with an automatic speed setting button. Unfortunately, the technology involved with automatic speed drill presses increases the price quite a bit. The manual adjustment settings of this press are quite linear, so you will be able to find the speed you need for your project.
Another issue is that the key chuck only works with ½ inch drill bits. We would prefer if it could accommodate ¼ inches chuck to balance its low power. However, it is straightforward to use and suitable for casual woodworkers.
What We Like
- Requires little storage space
- Lightweight and compact
- Perfect for drilling wood
- Durable construction
- Five preset speeds
What We Don’t Like
- Unsuitable for professional use
- Not powerful to drill thick metals
- Manual speed change
In the end, Skil makes a fantastic, all around, entry level drill press, which is why we’ve found it to be the best drill press under $200.
- 1/2-Inch keyed chuck. Bump-off switch for added safety
- 5 Speeds - 570 - 3,050 RPM
- Adjustable depth stop for accurate measurements and repetitive drilling
Best Compact Drill Press Under $200: Wen 4208
Woodworkers searching for a quality drill press should consider the WEN 4208. The tool comes with five variable speed settings to allow you to adapt easily to the materials you are working on. This drill press will deliver the results you desire, whether you need polished and smooth drill holes in low-density materials or a low RPM for boring into high-density material.
Although this model is perfect for drilling into wood, you can use the lowest speed setting to drill into thin metal with no more than ½ inches in thickness. One good thing about this model is that it is compact and small in size. This means it will fit a small workbench easily, especially if space is a major concern in your woodshop.
Additionally, its ½” chuck size will allow you to work with standard ½ inch drill bit shacks and drill a wide range of applications.
The Wen drill press is also user-friendly as it comes with several beginner-friendly features like variable speed settings, making it perfect for novice woodworkers. Unfortunately, like the Skil drill press, this device doesn’t also come with a powerful motor.
Its 1/3 horsepower is rated at 2.3 amperages and can comfortably drill both thin metal and wood. However, it will not generate enough power to drill into hardened steel. In a home workshop this should not be an issue, but at the same time it is something to consider.
On the plus side, the 4208 model is great for woodworkers looking for a reliable and affordable drill press. So, despite its small motor, you can still use it for heavy-duty applications as long as you are boring through wood and other low-density materials such as plastic.
While this model has some minor flaws, overall, it has great features like its excellent construction, rigid frame, tiltable table, and variable speed, making it worth your consideration. The great build quality of this drill press will help it last for years in a home workshop.
What We Like
- Ideal for low-density materials
- Five variable speed settings
- Small and compact
- Sturdy construction
- Ease of use
What We Don’t Like
- Difficult to tension the table
- Chuck keeps falling off
- Weak motor
- Includes a 1/2-inch keyed chuck and onboard key storage
- Operates at 5 different speeds: 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, 3140 RPM
- Spindle travels up to 2 inches with easy to read, locking linear depth stops for accurate and...
Best Portable Drill Press Under $200: SE 97511MDP
Although the SE 97511MDP is a mini drill press, it’s sturdy and well assembled. You can also run it quietly during operation as it doesn’t produce noise. It provides three variable speed settings that range from 8,500 to 5,000 RPM.
The speeds will allow you to handle different projects depending on the requirements of each project as they are easily adjustable. Smaller holes are recommended for this drill press. This tool is also perfect for DIY tasks at home, jewelry drilling, and for drilling wood.
Moreover, this mini drill press comes with a spacious table for accommodating a smaller drill press. Using the SE mini drill press is also easy and straightforward, thanks to its beginner-friendly features. Making adjustments to the speed settings and spindle travel is also easy for beginner woodworkers to perform.
If this is your first time using a drill press, this is a good tool to get started with because of its user-friendly features. So, if you are looking for a tool that performs its job without requiring lots of assembly or adjusting a lot of settings, this is an excellent option for you.
Another great feature of this device is its quality steel construction, which makes it long-lasting and durable. The base and the table are fairly thick and provide good stability, which reduces vibrations during use.
However, this tool has some flaws. First, it requires a chuck key (included), which is a pain to some users. It has a high RPM, but does not have a lot of power, which creates a problem in trying to drill higher density materials. Also, its one-inch spindle travel is short, which is not enough for medium-sized projects.
Despite these minor drawbacks, the build construction of the 97511MDP is great considering that this is a low-cost drill press. If you are also looking for a tool to carry to your job site, this is an ideal choice as it only weighs 2.2 pounds.
What We Like
- Durable steel construction
- Adjustable speed settings
- Compact and portable
- Large work area
- Easy to use
What We Don’t Like
- Unsuitable for heavy-duty drilling
- Short spindle travel
- Requires chuck key
- Work area dimensions: 6-9/16” x 6-9/16”
- Base dimensions: 6-5/8” x 6-5/8”
- Max drill height: 7-1/2”; Max drill capacity: 6 mm
Features and Considerations About Sub-$200 Drills Presses
If you want the best drill press under $200, you will have to know the features to look out for. Budget drill presses have to cut some corners when it comes to features, but we have done our best to present you with the best choices.
Here are the factors to consider when shopping for one so that you can pick the perfect drill press for your projects:
Like other drills on the market, drill presses also come equipped with a chuck used to hold in place the drill press so that you can drill your material with precision. A chuck is a standard clamp that, when combined with a key, binds teeth in order to tighten or loosen specific parts.
However, it’s important to mention that different drill presses come with different chuck sizes ideal for different projects. You can find different chuck size options, including ¾ inch, 5/8 inch and ½ inch chuck size.
While the ½ inch chuck size is the smallest size designed for simple projects, a ¾ inch will allow you to use your drill press with any drill bit. This will enable you to drill into large-sized materials effortlessly without experiencing any problems. Apart from the chuck size, the type of chuck your drill press offers is equally important.
Although some options have a keyed chuck, you might find others with a keyless chuck. For most woodworkers, a keyless chuck is an excellent choice because you can use it without requiring its key.
This refers to the distance your drill press can move to drill holes in different objects. Thus, different drill sizes are available to make it easier for you to choose your drill press. For instance, you can find options such as 18 inches or 12 inches drill presses out there. The larger 18 inches drill press is great for heavy-duty projects.
On the other hand, you can go for the 12 inches one if you are looking for a simple drill press you can use in your garage. Since the drill size also affects the overall form factor of your drill press, you should only pick a drill that is suitable for your requirements and needs. It’s also important to consider if you will be drilling large-sized objects.
This is another important factor to check because a higher motor speed delivers better drilling power and cleaner drilled holes. That said, you can find drill presses with motors that offer variable motor speeds. When comparing motor speeds of drill presses, you will find options like 5,000 RPM, 4,000 RPM, and 3,000 RPM.
In most cases, a 5,000 RPM motor will deliver better performance compared to 3,000 RPM motor.
One advantage of using drill presses is that most of them come with adjustable speed functionality. This can be important if you are finding that your holes have burn marks. This means that the RPMs are creating so much heat that they are burning the material you are trying to drill.
This is a great feature that will help you to adjust the motor speed depending on your requirements. This can be handy, especially when you want faster motor speed for boring harder objects, and a slower speed for drilling through softer materials.
The variable speed can also come in handy when drilling through materials with a sensitive outer layer. Too much force can cause tearout, and you may be able to avoid that with a lower RPM.
Like other power tools, drill presses also utilize an electric engine to power the drill. However, since you will be using your drill press to bore into hard material for heavy-duty projects, you should look for a drill press that comes with a sturdy motor.
Fortunately, most of the drill presses available have a power motor rating to help you know if the motor of the drill press you want to buy is powerful or not. Most people use the term horsepower to refer to motor power rating. 1 horsepower is 550 foot-pounds per second.
When shopping for a drill press, you will find options like one, two, or three horsepower, or sometimes even a fraction of a horsepower. However, a drill press with three horsepower motor will deliver better performance than the two horsepower motor. Also, some drill presses can have their motor power rated in amperes such as 10 amperes or 12 amperes motor.
Like the horsepower rating, a higher amperage motor also results in a great performance. For this reason, you should opt for a drill press equipped with a high motor power if you want a power tool that can handle heavy-applications.
This is an essential part of a quality drill press as it will allow you to bore angled holes that are difficult to drill without the tilting table. Some tables can tilt up to 45 degrees, others to 90 degrees, and a few can tilt both to the right, left, and also forward.
It’s a good idea to look for a drill press with this feature, especially if you want to create angled holes. Without a tilting table, you will have to look for drill press vise that can tilt.
Type of Drill Press
Before you invest in a drill press, it is crucial to know the available types. Which one your purchase should be based on the needs of your upcoming projects as well as the space in your work area. There are two major types of drill presses you will find in the market:
Floor Drill Press
This type normally has a stronger motor and is perfect for larger and more demanding projects as well as heavier pieces of material. It’s more powerful, reliable, fast, and comes with some useful attachments. However, they are usually bulky and take up additional floor space.
As a positive, a floor drill press will not take up space on your work bench, and can be moved out of the way when not necessary. Not having a bench involved in the mounting process also allows you to have a wider range of motion around the material you are working with.
Bench Top Drill Press
These drill presses work well for people handling smaller projects and are designed to mount on a workbench. Benchtop presses normally have smaller, or lower-powered, motors since they have to keep their overall size down. These drill presses are characterized by a switchfoot and are small and lightweight, which makes them portable.
You do have to have a work bench available, which may be an added expense if you do not have one already. If the work bench that you already own is fairly small, it may be problematic to attach the drill press to it on a permanent basis. The new drill press may take up too much space on the work bench to be able to use it for other purposes.
Since a bench top drill press is light and portable, there is the possibility to keep it stored somewhere else, and only pull it out when needed for a new project.
Always check your work area to see what space and/or storage space you have available before purchasing larger power tools. If you need them for just a short project or period of time, consider renting a drill press instead of buying one. Remember though that sometimes the cost of renting a large tool like this is almost the same as buying your own.
Drill Press Buying Tips
The drill press is a fairly simple piece of machinery including a spinning motor, a shaft that is held in the rotating spindle, a drill bit that actually cuts through the wood, and a raising and lowering system that drives the cutting bit into and out of the material being drilled. Add a structural system that either consists of a bench mount or a free-standing structure.
The most important parts of a drill press, in our minds, are the motor, and the raising and lowering mechanism.
Drill presses need to be able to cut through the material they are presented with, that is the most important factor. When considering presses under $200, look for the one with the most powerful motor, as long as you do not sacrifice features like adjustable speed.
The mechanism that moves the drill bit up and down is very important. If the motion is rough, it may create uneven holes in the wood or other material that you are cutting. If the gearing is too high, the extra pressure may cause tear outs when it punches through the outside edge, or even crack materials like jewelry or plastic.
A drill press will allow you to easily and quickly drill holes into any material with high precision. We have highlighted the top three options, and given you our choice for the best drill press under $200. Each model will allow you to complete your projects quickly and has a user-friendly interface. We hope you will find the information in this review useful and choose the perfect tool for you.