Best Drill Press Under 300 in 2022 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

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Drill presses can get pretty pricy. Most of them are made with things like cast iron and the cost of materials just adds up. However, the good news is that you don’t have to pay for an arm and a leg to get a good drill press.

You will find that there are drill presses for just about any budget range. If you don’t want to spend a lot, or maybe have a tight budget, you can find a decent drill press for under $300. You have to keep in mind that these won’t be quite the same as your more expensive presses. At the same time, you don’t have to buy a piece of junk just because you are spending a little bit less money.

miniature drill press
Image by Phasmatisnox at English Wikipedia

If you’re looking for the best drill press under 300, we are here to help! We’ve sifted through the options to try to find drill presses that are reliable quality and will be able to provide you with accurate drilling and the ability to outwork your handheld drill in some capacity. That typically is the goal behind a drill press, right?

Take a look at this complete guide to help you find the best drill press under 300.

Choosing the Best Drill Presses

drill press feature
Image by RaquelRendo via Wikimedia Commons

Choosing a drill press can be hard. The company can say whatever they want but it usually takes a little more research to really understand what makes a press good quality. You can always check out drill press reviews from other users but it’s also a good idea to know qualities and details to take a note of before you purchase a drill press.

In this part of our guide, we will share with you some of the qualities that we look at when we’re trying to figure out which budget drill presses will make the best drill press under 300.

Speed

One of the first details that we always take note of is the speed settings. A variable speed drill press is always best but you also want to pay attention to the range of speeds so you know the drill press model will be able to deliver where you need it to.

On this power tool, the speed makes a difference for drilling holes. For example, when you need to drill holes through a hard or more challenging material, you need to be able to use a slower speed. On the other hand, when you’re just drilling quickly through easier materials, you want to be able to move quickly.

There are two parts to this scenario. Look first to see if you have a variable speed option and then look to see whether or not you feel the high and low speeds are going to be sufficient for your drilling needs. Think about the materials you work with to help with that detail.

Type of Drill Press

benchtop drill press plus 7
Image by Windell Oskay via Flickr

When you are looking for the best budget drill presses, this price range is going to limit you slightly on the type of drilling machine you end up with. There are different choices, of course, but some of those options will certainly fall out of this price range.

Here are your basic types of presses.

  • Floor drill press
  • Portable drill press
  • Benchtop drill press

In each of these categories, there are different options as well. We already talked about speed but you might find a standard drill press or a radial arm that allows the head to move around as well as backward and forwards.

If this is your first drill press and you’re just looking for something reliable, you can definitely stick with a benchtop drill press and probably be just fine.

In this price range, you are less likely to find a floor drill press or even the radial arm style of the drill press. Those types typically cost a little bit more for the best drill presses so just be aware of that detail.

Quality

Finally, when looking for drill presses in this price range, you want to be sure you’re watching the quality. Remember that a drill press under 300 might not have all of the same materials or accessories that some of the more expensive models do.

However, the drill press construction should still be stable and reliable. You might see the use of things like aluminum or plastic in some parts of the machine to save money. The real question should be whether those materials are going to break or crack or malfunction easily.

The perfect drill press in this price range is going to be sturdy and reliable. While it won’t necessarily match all of the things that expensive drill presses have, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be of good quality still.

Does it drill accurately, is it easy to work with, is it going to last you for some time?

We Think You’ll Like It: Best Drill Press for Woodworking

The Best Drill Press Under 300 Options

Now that you’ve got some basic details about what to expect and look for in a drill press under 300, let’s take a look at the options. We sorted through a variety of choices to try to bring you the very best out there. Some of these may be familiar and some of them might surprise you.

Let’s take a look!

1. Best Overall: Wen 4208T 8-Inch Benchtop Drill Press

Wen 4208T 8-Inch Benchtop Drill PressCheck Latest Price

Wen is a really great brand for creating budget friendly options and this benchtop drill press is certainly one of our favorites in this category. This particular model actually has a 2021 upgrade of the model. Their previous version was from 2016. You can still purchase both as of today. This drill press is simple but reliable and would definitely be a good option for beginners and first time drill press owners as well.

These benchtop drill presses are made with an 8-inch swing as well as a 2-inch travel ability on the spindle. The motor is 2.3 amps, which is good for most basic work when you drill holes. This small drill press has 5 speed settings to choose from. The lowest is 740 and the highest is 3140 RPM. For some, this lowest speed might not be sufficient for the most challenging materials. It still has a good range, though.

The worktable is adjustable up to 6.5 inches. It also can be beveled 45 degrees in each direction. The drill press itself is pretty compact but still has plenty of versatility. This machine measures a total of 23 inches tall. The base measures 7 x 11 inches and is made of cast iron.

Specs:

Type: benchtop
Speed: 740 – 3150 RPM
Motor: 2.3 amps
Swing: 8 inches

Key Feature Ratings (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 9
  • Motor: 10
  • Durability: 10
  • Versatility: 10
  • Small but reliable machine
  • Works with a variety of drill bits
  • One of the top drill presses for this price
  • 5 speed drill press
  • Cast iron base
  • The speeds may not go low enough for metal drilling or the hardest woods
  • The chuck might wobble or fall off and need a little extra handling

Why We Like It: This best benchtop drill press from Wen has all of the right things for the price. It has key storage, can handle some deeper holes and will replace your cordless drill easily. The work table is adjustable and you’ve got a solid and reliable machine if you know its potential limitations.

2. Budget Pick: Bilt Hard 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press

Bilt Hard 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill PressCheck Latest Price

If you’re looking for one of the best price points in this range, check out this 8-inch bench top drill press from Bilt Hard. This Bilt Hard 8-Inch 5 Speed comes with a vise but they also have a package that comes with bits instead for a similar price. Most other drill presses will not come with accessories or additions like this, especially not for that cost.

This might not be the right drill press for every single need out there but it’s a good option for day to day use. As far as benchtop models go, this is on the smaller side at 8 inches. It has a powerful motor to handle the size and 5 variable speed settings to work with that range from 660 to 3000 RPM. Again, you might not be able to get a low enough speed setting for the hardest materials but it should handle most things.

This cheap drill press is not cheaply made. It’s compact but also made with a steel frame. You can drill with stability and accuracy. It’s even said to have more accurate drilling than some of those fancy models out there. Woodworking projects will be a breeze and you can work with some other materials just fine too.

Specs:

Type: benchtop
Speed: 600-3000 RPM
Motor: 2.3 amps
Swing: 8 inches

Key Feature Ratings (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 9
  • Motor: 10
  • Durability: 10
  • Versatility: 10
  • Covered by a 1-year warranty
  • Budget drill press that is well made
  • Comes with either a vise or drill bits
  • Easily drill through basic materials
  • Decent speed settings range for most uses
  • This is slightly lightweight so it might generate some wobble depending on what you are doing

Why We Like It: When it comes to the best budget drill press, you want something that is going to be reliable for repetitive drilling and more. This option delivers and is one of the favored compact bench top models out there!

3. Best Value: Wen 4212T 10-Inch Drill Press

Wen 4212T 10-Inch Drill PressCheck Latest Price

Looking for the best bang for your buck? This 10 inch drill press from Wen is another great option. It’s no floor model but it can definitely aid in precision drilling, drilling holes, and more. As far as best drill presses go, this one is a great value for the money.

For just a little bit more money, you get a 5-amp motor and a slightly larger 10 inch drill press. It’s made with cast iron and continues to be one of the top drill presses on the market in this price range. This even has an adjustable depth stop to give you a little bit of extra room and versatility.

This does go slightly lower on the speeds with a range from 530 to 3100 RPM. It still may not be slow enough for some drill press uses. However, the range is mechanical so you can choose any speed within there. Your work table is 8 x 7.5 inches, has a keyed chuck, and has the ability to bevel.

This benchtop drill press even has a laser guide to help you out with that drilling.

Specs:

Type: benchtop
Speed: 530-3100 RPM
Motor: 5 amps
Swing: 10 inches

Key Feature Ratings (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 10
  • Motor: 10
  • Durability: 10
  • Versatility: 10
  • Sturdy drill press with laser
  • Powerful motor to give you some added functionality
  • Can handle some heavy duty jobs
  • Work table is solid and adjustable
  • Variable speeds that are mechanically adjusted
  • The stop chuck might need some adjustments out of the box for accuracy

Why We Like It: From the assembly process to the onboard work light, this drilling machine was designed to simply let you get to work. You may need to make some adjustments on the chuck but the depth adjustment gauge and the speed range gives you quite a bit of versatility to work with.

4. Rikon 30-100 8 Inch Drill Press

Rikon 30-100 8 Inch Drill PressCheck Latest Price

Next up for the best drill press under 300 is a great option from Rikon. This drill press is an 8 inch drill press. It’s small and compact but our drill press reviews show a solid and sturdy foundation. It’s made with steel as well as cast iron so you have enough weight to keep you stable but not so heavy that it makes it awkward to work with for the size.

You can enjoy an adjustable depth stop with 2 inches of travel for the spindle. This drill press is a drilling machine that can be used for some heavy duty drilling thanks to its stability. You have a decent work table and a solid flow from chuck to table.

This drill is said to work great for repetitive and precise drilling. It can work with different materials too. It’s simple but sturdy and reliable. Fewer vibrations make it a lot easier to get your work done and move on to the next thing.

Specs:

Type: benchtop
Speed: 620-3100 RPM
Motor:1/3 HP
Swing: 8 inches

Key Feature Ratings (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 9
  • Motor: 10
  • Durability: 10
  • Versatility: 10
  • Simple but sturdy work table
  • Steel and iron construction
  • Simple to operate
  • 8 inch drill press with stability
  • One of the best budget drill presses for stability and simple operation
  • You will probably want to secure the base to a bench to prevent any wobbling

Why We Like It: This best drill press has more power than some comparable models but isn’t overly powerful for the size. It’s strong and sturdy but it’s still lightweight so it’s manageable. It’s a drill press that is basic but overall reliable.

Buyer’s Guide

drill press under 300
Image by Mauro Cateb via Flickr

You’ve seen some of the best drill press under 300 options now. But how can you narrow it down further to help you make the best possible decision? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this buyer’s guide.

You can read drill press reviews all day long but you also need to know some basic things to look for in the best drill presses. We covered some specifics earlier in the guide. These details will be more of a personal choice. They will cover things that every drill press has in some way and then it’s up to you to figure out what detail will work for you from there.

Swing

On a drill press, the swing is the measurement of how far out your bit can swing. That term shouldn’t be taken literally. In most cases, you won’t actually swing. This is used as an indicator of how wide of a material you can work with.

So when you have an 8 inch swing, you can work with a 16 inch material and still be able to reach the center of your material. Of course, you don’t always have to drill in the center. This will definitely depend on what you are doing and what your needs are but it’s a good way to understand your basic capacity.

The swing means that the point of the drill bit is 8 inches away from the base or edge of the table. That’s really it. You have an 8 inch range.

A 10 inch drill press is similar but obviously, it’s 10 inches instead of 8 and you can work with a 20 inch material to reach the center.

Power

The power of your motor is going to be an important drill press tidbit to look at. The ultimate goal here is that you need enough power to substantiate the speed. Your machine can sure tell you that it reaches 3100 RPM but unless the motor has enough power to really get you there, you’re going to be disappointed.

The more powerful the motor is, the better it will be. Of course, in this range, you probably won’t find a 1 HP motor. You’re going to be working with 5 amps or less most likely in these machines so keep that in mind.

In most cases, this will be sufficient for basic uses. The challenge is more likely to present itself when you work with harder materials like metal, plastics, or even harder woods. While these things need slower speeds, they also need more power to be able to drill through the material. It takes more effort on the part of the drill press.

Drill Press Size

The size of the drill press is something you will need to be aware of. This really ties in with your swing but it’s also a good idea to know the full size of the press. For example, an 8 inch press is going to be different in size and a 10 inch drill press. Those are the two sizes you will find here as far as swing is concerned.

This size might also affect the table size or the size and space you need to accommodate the machine. Obviously, a drill press like a floor model option is going to take up significantly more space than your typical benchtop model.

Some models are certainly designed to be more compact than others.

Our point here is that you should look at the height and depth of the machine, as well as the swing capability. This will help you plan for machine placement and what kind of space or even surface you will need to set up the machine and keep it steady while you work.

Depth Stop

We mentioned the depth stop of the drill press a couple of times throughout this guide but it’s another detail you should pay attention to. While this isn’t something you read as much about, it is the measurement that dictates how far down your drill bit can go.

Not all machines will have a depth stop on them. However, if they do, this helps you with repeated drilling to make sure you are accurate and the drill bit stops where it is supposed to.

Knowing how deep the drill bit can go makes a difference as well. Even when you don’t actually have that stop there, you should know how deep the bit will drive so you can judge whether or not it can handle the thickness of materials you will be working with.

The depth stop itself is great for stopping the bit and moving to the next drilling hole quickly but you also need to know the bit is going to make it through your materials. That specific measurement is usually marked as spindle travel when you start looking at the details.

Warranty

Whether this is your first machine or you’re just on a tight budget, you need to know that you aren’t wasting your money. Spending any amount of hard earned money on a machine deserves to get a reliable machine with backing from the company that you bought the machine from.

For this reason, we always recommend looking for a warranty. In most cases, warranties are designed to cover specific parts as well as manufacturer defects. Mistakes happen and these manufacturers make a ton of the machines. This type of warranty will protect you just in case the company made an error and something goes wrong.

Pay attention to things like satisfaction guarantees and warranties and understand just exactly what is covered by them. It’s a great way to know whether you are going to have resources if you have problems after the fact!

On the same note, we recommend looking at their customer service options and maybe even their track record. Sometimes just knowing you’re going to have support available if you have any issues can make a huge difference.

Durability

Another important part of choosing a drill press is making sure you’re going to get something that isn’t going to fall apart when you put it to the test. Sure, this might be easier said than done but you can often tell by the materials and just understanding how the machine is made!

Durability isn’t something you can always tell from a listing, though. The best way to understand durability is to read about the materials the drill press is made with but also to check out what others have to say about the press as well.

These two things should give you a better picture of just what you are dealing with overall.

Extras

Finally, take a look at the potential of extras that you can use or perhaps will even get with your drill press. The best drill press may or may not have extras but it will at least be functional with extras if you choose to add them.

You can look at packages like the Bilt Hard drill press that includes either a vise or some bits. These are nice extras. Or you can look at models like Wen that add work lights and lasers for precision and visibility.

In addition to what your machine might come with, you should also consider what it will be compatible with. Do you plan to add something like a vise or an external table? Will it be easy to do so?

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Size Really Matter?

Yes, it could matter. The size of your swing and the spindle depth are the two biggest numbers to watch. These are the numbers that dictate your functionality. The size of the machine itself might also matter as your machine shouldn’t have more power than it is built to handle. A machine that has too much power is going to lead to vibration and instability while you work.

What is the Best Drill Press Under 300?

The best option for you might differ from your needs. We are big fans of the Wen models but we also think you can’t really go wrong with any of the choices in this guide. You need to first figure out what is going to work best for your needs and then work from there.

How Can I Get the Best Value?

It’s a good idea to always pay close attention to the details. Consider things like what are the minimum and maximum speeds and what kind of speed do you really need? Think about the size and the spindle depth and whether those seem ideal.

Think about your uses and do your best to make sure the machine can live up to your expectations.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a good drill press under 300, we hope that you can find something here that will work for your needs. Remember to keep in mind the details that will matter most for your work in order to get a drill press that is sufficient for your needs. You really can’t go wrong with any of these delightful choices.

Expert Tip

Sometimes the support you receive after buying the drill press is just as important as the press itself. Always look for warranties and customer service feedback to cover yourself.

Did You Know?

Did you know that if you are experiencing a lot of excessive wobbling or vibration, you might be able to combat this by securing your drill press? Most bases have holes so that you bolt them down or secure them to a surface. This little action could go a long way to giving you some stability!

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller No. 1
WEN DPA2513 24-by-12-Inch Drill Press Table with an Adjustable Fence and Stop Block
  • Expand your drill press workspace; compatible with the entire WEN Drill Press series
  • Spacious table measures in at 23-7/8 x 11-7/8 x 1 inches
  • Unique design provides clearance for the drill press’ table height adjustment crank
  • Adjustable fence and stop block paired with the onboard rulers allow for precise and uniform drilling
SaleBestseller No. 2
Milescraft 1318 DrillMate Portable Drill Guide - Multi-Angle Drill Guide Attachment - Compatible with most 3/8 in. Drill Accessories - Self-Centering Drill Guide Base - Multi-Angle Readouts
  • Perfect for straight or angled drilling, drilling on the edge of a board or on round stock
  • Attaches to all 3/8" And 1/2" Power drills and it also includes a 3/8" Capacity chuck with key
  • Angle cuts of 45 Degree to 90 degrees, with a built in angle read out in the all metal base
  • Centering channels built into the bottom of the base, to accommodate drilling any round stock up to 3 inches in diameter
  • Adjustable depth stop and spring action control of the head
SaleBestseller No. 3
Irwin Tools Drill Press Vise, 4", 226340, Blue
  • Slotted base for easy installation and positioning
  • Textured jaws for secure gripping
  • 4.5 Inch jaw capacity perfect for light duty tasks
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Crated of forged iron for long-lasting durability

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