Last Updated on August 24, 2020
So, the time has come for you to step things up a notch in terms of speed and precision. A high-quality drill press should be the cornerstone of your shop, and, luckily, there are many models that you can choose from, each with its own unique features and benefits.
Finding a drill press that is right for you, however, can be a daunting and time-consuming task. The mere thought of sifting through hundreds of online reviews and specifications may be enough for you to set your laptop alight.
We feel you, and we took the liberty of doing some of the research for you. Below you will find in-depth reviews of Drill Presses under $200 to help you streamline your search and find a drill press that is suitable to your needs.
|Best Overall||WEN 4212||
|Best Value||WEN 4208||
|Shop Fox W1667||
We definitely saved the best for first. The WEN 4212 will give an industrial edge to your shop with its 2/3 HP induction motor and smooth performance. One of the best things about this phenomenal drill press is its mechanical variable speed. If you are familiar with conventional drill presses, you may know that adjusting their speed can be a hassle. The WEN 4212 got rid of the time-wasting manual pulley combination adjustments and, instead, fitted a lever that you can use to adjust your drilling speed to anything from 530 – 3,100 RPMs. It even displays your drilling speed on an LED screen.
Other precision features WEN threw into the mix include an 8” x 7” x 2/3” cast iron work table that you can tilt up to 45 degrees in either direction, an onboard X-pattern laser to eliminate guesswork from your drilling, and an adjustment gauge to ensure that all your holes are the same depth.
The WEN 4212 comes with a range of optional accessories making it one of the most versatile drill presses in this list. It is made from high-quality materials, including cast iron, and will drill through almost anything, including wood, plastic, and certain metals.
Even though the SKIL 3320-01 isn’t geared toward industrial production like the WEN 4212, it is a rock-solid drill press for the casual woodworker. This professional model comes standard with all the high-quality features you need for your weekend projects.
One of the biggest benefits of the SKIL 3320-01 is precision work. It is fitted with a 2-beam laser to allow for exact hole alignment and a depth adjustment gauge to help you consistently bore a series of holes at the same depth. If you want to drill at a unique angle, you can bevel the work table to either the left or the right to an angle of up to 45 degrees.
The SKIL 3320-01 features a 5-speed, pulley combination system that allows you to drill at no-load speeds ranging from 750 – 3,050 RPM’s – slow enough to drill through metal and fast enough to use for polishing surfaces or the smallest drill bits.
This high-quality product with its 10-inch swing size and 3.2 amp drill press motor unit is easy to assemble and will provide the hobbyist with years of service.
If you are looking for a reliable and affordable upgrade from a hand drill, the WEN 4208 is for you. This drill press is small, powerful and ideal for the occasional drilling or polishing job. The WEN 4208 comes standard with a 1/3 HP motor, ½-inch keyed chuck and 8-inch swing. There are 5 different speeds that range from 740 – 3140 RPM’s and you will be able to drill through most materials, including plastic, wood, and certain metals.
Additional features include an LED light that shines on the work area, a work table that can tilt to either side to an angle of up to 45 degrees, and a locking depth adjustment gauge to ensure consistent drilling distances. This drill press doesn’t have the smoothness and precision you may find in higher-end models, but it is durable and compact.
As far as drill presses go, the WEN 4208 is perfect for the casual handyman and definitely offers the best value for money.
A regular drill press that you can consider if you are cash-strapped or if you occasionally find yourself in need of something sturdier than a hand drill. This drill press from WEN contains a few features to enable precision drilling and easy handling. These include a laser centering device, depth adjustment gauge, and a 45-degree tilting work table for drilling at unique angles.
The motor has a power of 2/3 HP and can operate at 5 different speeds ranging from 600 to 3100 RPM. Assembly is relatively easy and you can mount the cast iron base to any work surface and bolt it down to prevent wobbling or shifting. The drill press’s spindle taper can accept any drill bit with a size of up to ½ inches and it will drill through wood, plastic, and most metals. You can, however, expect the motor to stall when you are drilling through dense or rough materials.
All-in-all, this is a solid drill press for the occasional DIYer that likes to have more than hand drills have to offer.
The Shop Fox W1667 doubles as a drill press and oscillating sander and its specifications are comparable to some other drill presses. It is 23 inches high, it has a ½-inch chuck that can take an 8-inch drill bit and a 7” x 7” work table that can tilt. As far as quality and value for money are concerned, however, it’s nothing to write home about.
The ½ HP motor is quite weak and stalls easily, regardless of the speed setting. The quality and alignment of the components, especially the motor housing and pulley wheels, are lacking, to say the least. Not only does it cause loud vibrations and damage to the already inadequate motor, but it also poses a severe safety hazard. As an oscillating sander, it doesn’t have any redeeming qualities either.
Although the Shop Fox W1667 has a lower price than the average drill press, chances are that you’ll eventually not be able to use it at all, and you may have to consider returning it.
Now that you’ve taken a look at our list of recommended drill presses, you may have a better idea of what to look for in a drill press. In this buying guide, we are going to dive a little deeper and look at the different options and features you have to consider when shopping around for a drill press.
Sometimes you will see that a swing size of 8 – 12 inches is included in the specifications. This is the distance between the work table in its lowest position and the chuck. This gives you an idea of the size of material that you can clamp down on the work table to drill holes through.
The size of the chuck is also relevant, but chucks are interchangeable so you can disregard this specification to an extent. A ½-inch chuck size means that you can fit a drill bit with a shank diameter of up to ½ inches into the chuck. These sizes are standard, and typically only measures the shank of the drill bit and not the diameter of the drill bits themselves or the holes you will be able to drill.
Typically, a drill press’s motor size will be shown as horsepower (HP). 1 HP motors are used for industrial drill presses. Most of the time, a motor size of 2/3 HP will work perfectly for your personal projects. Sometimes, manufacturers will use amperage to indicate the motor size and if you want, you can do an online conversion from amperage to horsepower.
If you are looking for a high-quality, conventional drill press that you can use at home or as a tool in your small business, a benchtop drill press can work perfectly for you. They typically have a swing size range from 8 – 12 inches and are, as a rule, more affordable than industrial drill press types.
Magnetic drill presses are industrial tools used to drill holes through thick pieces of metal. They have a higher price tag and may not be suitable for woodwork.
Radial drill presses have long swing sizes up to 24 inches. If you regularly have to drill through broad materials, consider buying a radial drill press.
Floor-standing drill presses are typically used for large-scale production in factories. They are more expensive and take up lots of space.
Tips when buying
Make sure that you read reviews on any drill press you are considering to buy. Find out how other people experienced the packaging and the sellers after sales service. Although brand names do not really matter, buying from a trusted brand will ensure to some extent that you get a quality product that you will be able to use without any problems.
The WEN 4212 truly excels in all regards. Its conveniently located speed adjustment lever, durability, and other features make this model the undisputed winner on our list. If value for money is what you are looking for, however, we recommend the WEN 4208. Even though it doesn’t have the same luxury features as our winner, you’ll be sure to have a solid, quality tool that you will be able to use for years to come.
There are lots of drill press models out there to choose from, each with their own price ranges, features, benefits, pros, and cons. In general, their quality improved significantly since the first drill press saw the light of day.
Hopefully, we have streamlined your search and made your decision easier!
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Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!