6 Best Budget Drill Presses of 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks
The drill press allows you to make precise holes across a wide variety of materials, including plastic, wood, and metal. In addition to drilling holes, the drill press also comes in handy in processes such as countersinking, counterboring, tapping, and reaming. As a result, these versatile tools are a cornerstone of any workshop.
For a long time, however, drill presses were only found in large workshops owing to their prohibitive costs. Fortunately, there are affordable options out there today.
Nonetheless, some of these budget drill presses are cheap for a reason; they are of poor quality. Therefore, you must do your homework before you buy a budget drill. To save you the hassle, we have compared the numerous products on the market to bring you these reviews on the best budget drill presses on the market today.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2021
|Best Overall||WEN 4208 5-Speed Drill Press||
|Best Value||SKIL 3320-01 10-Inch Drill Press||
|Premium Choice||WEN 4210 Drill Press||
|Generic Lukcase 9282615 Cheap Drill Press||
|Genesis GDP1005A 5-Speed 4.1 Amp Drill Press||
The 6 Best Budget Drill Presses
1. WEN 4208 5-Speed Drill Press – Best Overall
The 4208 by WEN is a compact unit that offers you excellent performance, yet costing a fraction of the price of a high-end drill press. Its low cost is due to its simplicity, rather than cheap quality.
For starters, this unit comes with everything you need to get into heavy-duty drilling right away. These include a ½-inch keyed chuck, chuck key, 2-inch spindle travel with locking depth, an 8-inch swing, and a cast iron base. These features allow you to drill through a material that is up to 2 inches thick and 8 inches in diameter.
It comes with a ⅓ HP induction motor that facilitates a 5-speed system with speed variations ranging from 740 RPM to 3,140 RPM. As a result, the WEN 4208 is versatile enough to meet the drilling requirements of a wide variety of materials with varying thicknesses, including wood, metal, and plastic.
This unit also comes with a beveling worktable that measures 6½ x 6½ inches. The bevel allows for 45-degree adjustments in either direction. This allows you to cut angled holes with outstanding accuracy. It also allows you to work on variously sized or irregularly shaped materials since some materials are difficult to work on while on a flat and even surface.
To allow you to make repeatable same sized holes, this drill press features locking depth adjustment knobs that maintain the travel of the spindle at a constant level. This also improves efficiency, as it prevents the wastage of materials resulting from guesswork.
To ensure that you do not lose your chuck key, the WEN 4208 features an onboard chuck key storage, which also ensures that you have the component nearby when you need it. The chuck accepts drill bits that are up to ½-inch to allow you to work on a broader scope of projects.
Thanks to its sturdy cast iron construction, the WEN 4208 is stable during operation. This ensures that the quality of your work is not compromised by wobbling or vibrations. Moreover, cast iron is one of the most durable materials on the planet, hence assuring a unit you can rely on for a long time.
The only issue you might have with this drill press is that it might lack the power to handle some heavy-duty projects.
Nonetheless, considering its quality and performance, you will be hard-pressed to find a better budget drill press.
2. SKIL 3320-01 10-Inch Drill Press – Best Value
If your project calls for precise holes, it means that you are looking for a highly accurate drill, and the SKIL 3320 is just that. It makes use of a Beam Laser system, and adjustable depth stops to allow you accuracy levels that are typically only found in high-end drill presses. Here’s a breakdown of the SKIL 3320-01 drill press.
The unit utilizes laser technology to guide its 10-inch swing during drilling. As a result, you get to enjoy a fast, easy, and precise drilling process. In addition to boosting the drilling precision, the lasers are also remarkably helpful when working in low light conditions, as they enhance visibility. The swing is incredibly strong and stable to accommodate both light and heavy-duty drilling.
You will find a 3.2-amp motor with a 5-speed system to allow you to choose the most suitable speed for your project. These speeds range between 570 RPM and 3,050 RPM. This allows you to meet the needs of various types of projects. Changing speeds is also easy, as all you need to do is put the belt on the preferred pulley.
The SKIL 3320 comes with a 7⅝-inch square table that can tilt 45 degrees left or right. This spacious table allows you to work on bigger projects while the adjustable bevel makes working with irregular materials a lot easier.
Even though you have to assemble this drill press yourself upon purchase, you will appreciate the straightforward instructions it comes with that make the assembly process a breeze.
This unit also features a bump-off switch for your safety when working.
The only issue we have with this machine is that the spindles for changing speed feature plastic construction, while other units in its price range feature metal construction.
Nonetheless, the precision and overall quality of the SKIL 3320-01 makes it arguably the best budget drill press for the money.
3. WEN 4210 Drill Press – Premium Choice
The best description of the WEN 4210 is the WEN 4208 on steroids. The 4210 is larger and more precise, thanks to the additional features it comes with on top of what the 4208 has.
This drill press comes with a moderately powerful 3.2-amp motor with variable speed settings. It can operate at five different speeds, ranging between 600 RPM and 3,100 RPM, to allow you to work on a wider variety of materials and projects. The motor is also fitted with ball bearings for enhanced performance and longevity.
The WEN 4210 features a 7⅝-inch cast iron square beveling table. It can bevel 45 degrees to either side to allow for a wider range of applications. The cast iron construction gives the drill press stability to ensure accuracy during drilling.
To enhance your precision further, the 4210 is equipped with a laser light that forms an X spot on the exact location you are looking to drill.
You will also appreciate its ½-inch drill chuck that accommodates several types of drill bits.
Consider the WEN 4210 if you are looking for a larger, more robust, and more accurate press than the WEN 4208. Nonetheless, it costs almost twice as much.
4. Generic Lukcase 9282615 Cheap Drill Press
The portability of handheld drills is what makes them extremely popular. However, they lack the precision of drill presses. If you already have a power drill, but budget restrictions are limiting you from purchasing a high-quality drill press, consider the Generic Lukcase 928615.
This unit does not come with its own drill. Instead, it features a rotating clamp with a base. To use, simply secure your own drill into the clamp and enjoy the precision and stability of a drill press. Moreover, the clamp can rotate up to 90 degrees for enhanced versatility.
5. Genesis 5-Speed 4.1 Amp Drill Press
This drill press by Genesis is an excellent budget option for heavy-duty projects, thanks to its power and versatility.
The Genesis GDP1005A comes with a 4.1-amp motor with a 5-speed gearbox, a large workspace measuring 23 x 10.5 x 17 inches, and a ⅝-inch chuck to allow you to handle large workpieces with ease.
It is remarkably user-friendly too. The table can tilt 45 degrees on either side while rotating up to 360 degrees to enhance usability and versatility. The table is also fitted with a lamp to allow you to work in low light conditions, in addition to enhancing your accuracy. This drill press’s puller housing is easy to access to allow you to make speed changes without a lot of hassle.
You will also appreciate the 2-year warranty it comes with. Nonetheless, the build quality is not as hardy as one would hope for in a drill press. Moreover, its switches can be difficult to operate.
6. Shop Fox Bench-Top Oscillating Drill Press
If you are a simple weekend warrior, then a high-performance drill press might be overkill. However, you still need a reliable press.
The Shop Fox W1667 gives you the precision of a good drill press, but without the high speed or torque. It comes with a ½-HP motor that is suitable for drilling wood and soft metals. It also features a depth stop to allow you to set target depth, hence enhancing ease of use.
You will also appreciate that this unit also doubles as a drum sander.
As you can tell, this drill press is not designed for professionals or for heavy-duty applications. However, it is a great choice for beginners or hobbyists working on small-scale projects.
Even if you have a standard drill, chances are you also need a drill press. The drill press allows you the following benefits:
Creating More Accurate Holes
A drill press comes with features and mechanisms to allow you to make the necessary adjustments to facilitate precision. For example, some drill presses come with depth stops to allow you to halt the process automatically when you achieve the desired depth.
Drill Through a Wide Variety of Materials
Thanks to their robust nature, drill presses can bore holes through almost any type of material, including hard plastics, wood, and metal. Some presses can even drill through gemstones, concrete, and pebbles.
Superior to hand drills
Despite their convenience and affordability, handheld drills are terrible at making precise cuts due to their jerky movements. A drill press, however, is remarkably accurate thanks to its sturdy column shaft that eliminates any movement.
Nonetheless, drill presses are not built equal, as some are simply superior to others in terms of design and construction quality. These differences are more apparent in budget drill presses since a lower cost usually means a compromise in quality.
As a result, finding a reliable budget drill press that offers you excellent performance will take some digging. Consider the following factors when looking for a drill press.
Type of Drill Press
Drill presses can be categorized into these three main types:
Benchtop and Tabletop Presses
Benchtop drill presses give the best value for money if you are looking for one to use in your shop since they do not take a lot of space. They create straight and precise holes across a wide range of materials, thanks to their ability to allow for both vertical and horizontal measurement adjustments. However, these units might not be able to handle larger workpieces.
Floor Drill Presses
Floor drill presses are excellent for heavy-duty projects. They come with a larger platform to accommodate larger workpieces. They also come with more features, in addition to being a lot more powerful than other types of drill presses. As a result, they are the most expensive type of drill press. As you would expect, they are ideal for professionals and DIYers involved in heavy-duty projects.
Portable Drill Presses
If you do not have a workshop or designated workstation, you might want to consider a portable drill press. These units usually come with mounting mechanisms to allow you to attach them to any workbench. They are the least powerful type of drill press. They are also the least expensive.
Budget drill presses can vary significantly in price. Their price points range between $50 and $500. As such, you will have to consider the amount you are willing to spend. Typically, the more, the better. This is because power, performance, and quality improve with an increase in price. Nonetheless, you can still get something functional with just $200.
The motor output of a drill press is what determines its power, and it is measured in horsepower.
As you would expect, a drill press with more horsepower is better, as it can handle a wider array of projects. Moreover, you can tune it to a low power setting when it comes to light-duty tasks. Drills with less powerful motors are limited in the types of projects that they can take on.
A drill press with a 1HP motor or more is considered powerful. Nonetheless, these units usually use up more electricity.
When looking for a budget drill press, ensure that it comes with a variable speed motor. Variable speed control is important, as different materials require different drilling speeds for the best outcome.
The best drill presses have wider variations in their variable speeds, as well as having numerous speeds. This allows them to tackle a wider array of materials efficiently.
The size of your chuck determines the size of your drilling bits. Therefore, it is important to consider to ensure that it can support the bits that are ideal for your project. Chuck sizes range between ½ inches to ⅝ inch.
Various accessories make the process of working with a drill press a lot easier. As such, you want a model that allows for such attachments.
Considering that the job of a drill press is to pierce holes into tough materials at high speeds using steel bits, safety is of critical concern.
Therefore, ensure that it comes with safety features such as a keyed safety switch that prevents it from starting accidentally.
The best drill press for you is the one that meets your needs effectively and is reliable. As a result, cost should be the last thing to consider when looking for a power tool, as cheap usually means a dip in quality.
Fortunately, you can obtain some decent drill presses on a budget; it just takes some digging. We found the WEN 4208 drill press to be the best among budget presses. It features unbelievable performance and reliability for such a low-priced unit.
If you are looking for a budget drill press with loads of features, consider the SKIL 3320-01. This unit is highly precise, thanks to its laser-guided system, which is a feature that is usually found in high-end tools. As such, it gives you the best value for money.
We hope that this information will help you find the best drill press for your needs.
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