Best Drill Press Under 500 in 2022 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

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Not everyone can or wants to spend a ton of money on a drill press. If you find yourself looking for good drill presses that cost less, you can easily find the best drill press under 500 right here. Thankfully good drill presses come in different sizes and different price ranges. We’ve got you covered with everything you need for these right here.

drill press for metal or wood under 500
Photo by Jessy Smith on Unsplash

In this guide, we will share with you all of the best drill presses under 500. We’ve searched through the market to find some really great choices. You will find a benchtop drill press is the easiest to get in this price range but you could possibly also spot a floor drill press or two if you watch carefully.

Walk through our guide on things to look for before you buy drill presses and then check out our detailed reviews and an additional buyer’s guide to help you along the way.

Here we go!

How to Choose Drill Presses Under 500

How to Choose Drill Presses Under 500
Photo by Ono Kosuki from Pexels

When it comes to choosing a more affordable drill, it stands to reason that you might have to sacrifice a few fancy features and extra things. The purpose is for drilling holes and to still be more efficient than your handheld drill, right?

Now, while you may not get every last fancy feature with your drill press under 500, you can still find a well-made, quality machine. That’s what we’re really after here.

In this first guide, we will give you some insight into things that you should plan to look for in your drilling machine.

Speed

You might find a two speed drill press or a 16 speed drill press in this price range. There isn’t necessarily a right or a wrong answer but you do need to pay attention to the speed to know just what you are looking at.

It’s good to know the basics of what you are going to need when it comes to speed. A good rule of thumbs is that you need to be sure to have slower speeds for harder or thicker materials and you can use higher speeds for thinner or easier materials.

Think about the types of materials you may have to work with the most as this will be an essential piece of making sure you get a machine that truly is going to suit your speed needs on the drill press.

Occasionally, there are drill presses that might be a solid speed drill press. This is really not the norm when it comes to a drill press but there is no guarantee that you will get a variable speed drill press so it is definitely worth paying attention to before you buy.

Functionality

If you’re looking for a drill press in this price range, you need it to work right. We’re guessing your main priority is to drill holes so you need it to reliably work for this purpose without a whole lot of added investment or extra work on your end.

The technical specifications of the drill press are going to matter here. For example, if you need to be able to drill deeper holes, take a look at the depth stop and how deep your chuck or your bit is going to be able to drill. This will be an important factor to make sure that your drill press is going to be drilling holes as you need it to.

We Think You’ll Like: How to Install a Chuck on a Drill Press

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are looking for a top drill press to meet your needs. It’s solely about your needs. So if you need metal drilling functionality, you may need a specific option. If you will be using angled drilling, you need a drill press that will tilt in some way to easily accommodate that.

It’s not just about the drill bits but also but the base, the table, and the head all working together to put your drill bits where they need to be in the end. Some models will even have a drill spindle that allows you to attach sanding drums to give you just that much more capability.

Drill Press Type

Another thing that you need to keep in mind is the type of drill press that you want or need. If you drill metal as opposed to wood, you’ve got to make sure that you get a drill press that works for that and the speed setting will work as well.

In general, you can choose between a bench top model, a portable model, and a floor standing drill press model. For some people, the floor model simply takes up too much space but for others, they need the heavier drill press to really handle their tasks so there is no such thing as too much space.

You do know your needs best but it’s a good idea to be familiar with the different models so that you can make an educated choice about your drill press in the end.

These are the two most common types

  • Floor drill press
  • Benchtop drill press

From here, you will find that you can sometimes find models that work with just metal or just wood and then there are some top drill press options that work with a variety of materials. Even in the budget models, they can often be versatile with materials if they have the ability to adjust your drill bit and your speed settings to work with said material.

Swing

Finally, an essential feature to keep in mind for your quality drill press under $500 is the swing ability. This is basically the distance that you can travel for drilling purposes. Here, you will find that the numbers vary quite a bit. Some drills may only swing a few inches while others have a significant swing diameter.

When you’re thinking of swing, you want to think about being able to get to the center of your materials typically – or at least to your drilling point. You’re going to find a vast amount of options and what you need will totally depend on your uses.

However, make sure you pay attention. If you have larger projects to work with, you will probably want a larger swing. If you’re making multiple holes, having a swing that allows you to just drill and then move to your next hole is really nice too.

Floor models tend to have the highest swing diameter but don’t just assume that because it’s a floor type that is automatically out measures everything else.

The Best Drill Press Under 500

Now, let’s talk about the options. We sifted through a multitude of options to really try to narrow it down. In our search, we came up with bench top drill press models as well as floor drill press models so be sure to watch the details and know that you’re getting what you need to get the job done.

1. Best Overall: Wen 4214 12 Inch Variable Speed Drill Press

Wen 4214 12 Inch Variable Speed Drill PressCheck Latest Price

First up is this top rated drill press from Wen that finds its way into your best overall slot. It comes in as our top choice because it’s made with a solid construction, includes a work light, and has a really great drilling speed range in variable speeds for you to work with. The 12 inch drill press is a powerful drill press that can do quite a lot of work.

The speeds range from 580 to 3200 RPM. This is a mechanical variable speed machine and it even has an LED speed display to track your speed. The drilling capacity offers 3 1/8 inch spindle travel as well as a full 12 inch swing to give you plenty of workability. Whether you need to bore holes or just get in some accurate drilling, the Wen model delivers.

The chuck key is convenient and easy to use, with a storage spot right on the chuck. You’ve got a solid work table that tilts and is wholly adjustable. It’s also slotted at angles so you can easily add a drill press vise if you need to.

Did we mention the solid cast iron base? That paired with your table and the overall build give you a solid and reliable force.

Specs:

Power: 5 amps
Speed: 580-3200 RPM
Swing: 12 inches
Depth: 3 1/8 inches
Type: benchtop

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

  • Power: 9
  • Functionality: 10
  • Price: 10
  • Durability: 10
  • Speed: 10
  • Benchtop drill press that is stable and solid
  • One of the most popular options in this range
  • Great for boring holes, drilling, and more
  • Solid construction
  • 12-inch drill press model
  • The work light is really not positioned very well so almost doesn’t help as much as you expect

Why We Like It: This option from Wen brings you variable speeds, a solid build, a work light, and even an X pattern laser guide to make your job easier. A simple 12 inch variable speed machine with a solid work surface that works just fine for precise drilling and more.

2. Budget Pick: Bilt Hard 8 Inch Drill Press with Light and Drill Bit Set

Bilt Hard 8 Inch Drill Press with Light and Drill Bit SetCheck Latest Price

What says give me a good drill better than a quality machine that comes at a budget? This option from Bilt Hard is capable of working with different materials thanks to the 5 variable speed settings that range from 660 to 3000 RPM. It stands out amongst benchtop drill presses for its simple design and reliable nature – oh and that price tag!

We are looking at the 8 inch variable speed drill that comes with drill bits but you should know that you can get this same Bilt Hard model with a vise grip if you prefer a different package. The prices are similar between the two packages so it really depends on what you want.

This is made to be compact with an 8-inch swing. It also has a depth stop of 2 inches for your spindle travel. The company believes they have a quality machine so they offer you a 1-year limited warranty as well as 90-day guarantee on the machine to back that up.

You can drill angled holes as well because this table bevels up to 45 degrees for you for that additional functionality.

Specs:

Power: 2.3 amps2.3 amps
Speed: 660-3000 RPM660-3000 RPM
Swing: 8 inches8 inches
Depth: 2 inches2 inches
Type: benchtopbenchtop

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

  • Power: 9
  • Functionality: 9
  • Price: 10
  • Durability: 9
  • Speed: 9
  • 5 speed variable speed drill press
  • Works for drilling angled holes
  • Comes with a chuck key and storage
  • Made with cast iron materials
  • Comes with a set of bits
  • Very lightweight which might lend to some wobbling with heavy materials

Why We Like It: In terms of best drill presses, this simple benchtop drill press really has a lot to offer. It’s a small model that is made to be lightweight so it can be portable or easy to move around if needed. It works great for jobs that fit within its size and power limitations.

3. Best Value: Rikon 30-140 Radial Drill Press

Rikon 30-140 Radial Drill PressCheck Latest Price

If you’re trying to get the most value for your money with a lot of different functionality, take a look at this Rikon drill press. What sets it apart is that it is a radial drill press so you can use it for angle drilling but it also makes your drilling capacity that much more expanded. You can move the head back and forth on a radial drill press so you might even have a horizontal boring machine at your fingertips with this one.

The radial drill press is a benchtop drill press. It’s made with cast iron and has decent speed for a drill press this size. You can enjoy the simple paddle switch and still have great speed choices on this 34 inch variable speed drill press. It’s a 34 inch drill press because of the radial drill press design and not because it is a huge machine.

You can rotate a full 360 degrees basically on your material but it can also be used for angle drilling too. You won’t find an LED speed display or even a work light here because Rikon focused on the other features of their press. However, you will find a reliable work table and speed and swing that you can always depend on when you really need it at your service.

This has a 1/3 HP motor as well as speed ranging from 620 to 3100 RPM. The work table is on the small side but it’s big enough and made with iron. Rikon offers you a 2-year warranty on this machine.

Specs:

Power:1/3 HP
Speed: 620-3100 RPM
Swing:34 inches
Depth: N/A
Type: benchtop

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

  • Power: 10
  • Functionality: 10
  • Price: 9
  • Durability: 10
  • Speed: 9
  • Full radial swing for added versatility
  • Plenty of power
  • Multiple speed setting options
  • Simple paddle switch for operation
  • Heavy-duty horizontal boring machine
  • The biggest issue seems to be challenging with quality control on the machine and then needing repairs because of it

Why We Like It: We love how much this benchtop drill press has to offer. You’ve got your radial swing which increases your abilities significantly. On top of that, you have plenty of power and speed but you also have a simple machine that doesn’t take a ton of fussing with to use.

4. Black Bull DP16UL 16 Speed Floor Standing Drill Press

Black Bull DP16UL 16 Speed Floor Standing Drill PressCheck Latest Price

You simply won’t find very many floor drill press options in this price range. However, if you’re looking for a floor model this might just stand out to you. Black Bull isn’t a brand you see as often as some of them but it’s a great choice still and highly rated in the market thus far. This best drill press has 16 speeds ranging from 260 to 4,200 RPM, which is a pretty phenomenal range.

You get to enjoy a full 13 1/4 inch swing, although this is not huge for a drill press this size. You also have a 3 1/8 inch stroke and 5/8 inch chuck capacity. The table raises and lowers for you, lowering up to 26 inches so you have tons of depth.

This is made with cast iron so it’s solid and sturdy. Your depth stop is pretty great. This has a 1/2 HP motor and it’s a fan-cooled motor so you can fully enjoy your 26 inch drill press with ease. You’ve got oiled ball bearings, a table roller extension, a working light, and even an x pattern laser guide to guide your work as you go.

The base has open holes so you can drill this to your floor or surface if you need some added stability. Your work table raises and lowers. You can rotate your table 90 degrees and you can tune this just about any way that you need to.

Specs:

Power: 1/2 HP
Speed: 260-4200 RPM
Swing: 13 1/4 inches
Depth:26 inches
Type:floor

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

  • Power: 9
  • Functionality: 10
  • Price: 9
  • Durability: 9
  • Speed: 10
  • Floor standing drill press
  • The ball bearings are easy to adjust
  • Raise or lower table 26 inches
  • Includes an adjustable chuck key
  • Cast iron solid build
  • Some of the parts are more cheaply made n this piece to fit the price profile

Why We Like It: This makes a great floor option in the price range. It’s solid and has plenty of functionality to give you that much more that you can do. While it’s not perfect, it’s made well for the price and gives you yet another option.

5. Shop Fox W1669 Radial Bench Top Drill Press

Shop Fox W1669 Radial Bench Top Drill PressCheck Latest Price

Next up is another best drill press with the radial style. This Shop Fox W1669 is a great option that gives you the sliding radial feature on the head for more versatility. You can also use this with your oscillating spindle sander if you can rig your own or find the right attachment for it to work. It’s a really great option but it’s close to the line on our budget.

The Shop Fox W1669 has 1/2 HP on the motor, which is pretty significant. They do have a similar floor model but it is more than $500. This Shop Fox model does have variable speeds but it’s 5 specific speed setting choices. The drill chuck works at 5/8 inches and your total drill press stands 31.5 inches on a benchtop design.

The spindle has an added guard around it to protect your fingers. it retracts and lowers so you can still get your work done just fine as well. The Shop Fox table is solid cast ion and it includes slots for attaching a grip or another table or whatever you need. In fact, you can probably just pair up the drill press table made to go with this Shop Fox machine if you want.

This Shop Fox tool is built to last with cast iron and comes with a 2-year warranty. Did we mention your head on this Shop Fox model even tilts? Talk about the ultimate versatility when you break down the details.

Specs:

Power:1/2 HP
Speed: 550-3470 RPM
Swing: 34 inches
Depth: 3 1/4 inches
Type: Benchtop

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

  • Power: 10
  • Functionality: 10
  • Price: 10
  • Durability: 10
  • Speed: 10
  • High-quality build with cast iron
  • Rotates and tilts at the head
  • Gives you a full 360 degree swing
  • 2-year warranty coverage from Shop Fox
  • One of the best when it comes to versatility
  • Very versatile but it would be better with some lower speed options

Why We Like It: This Shop Fox drill press really has a lot to offer thanks to the tilting head, radial capability, and even the guard around the spindle. It has decent speed options, although maybe not slow enough for some of your most challenging materials.

6. Mophorn Magnetic Drill Press

Mophorn Magnetic Drill PressCheck Latest Price

Finally, if you work mostly with metal and want something that is simple and portable, you can check out this magnetic drill press. Mophorn is a solid option but you may find it limited for some things. It’s designed to be portable and to work with metal so keep that in mind as well.

This is not really a variable speed option. It comes with two speeds, one is 350 and the other is 500 RPM. Those are your only speeds. This should be fine for most uses but it may slow you down some as well. The base on this uses an electro magnetic switch so you can set it up anywhere you have a magnet or metal to attach to.

The machine has a comfortable grip and is really easy to use. That’s probably one of the best features overall. It’s considered to be versatile and fast while also being accurate and all of those things are valuable when it comes to drilling, boring, and more.

If you’re looking for heavy-duty drilling and fabrication in the field, this might just be for you. Remember that this is not an all purpose type of drill press though so be sure it’s truly suitable for your needs.

Specs:

Power: 1200 watts
Speed: 350/500 RPM
Swing: 8 inches
Depth: NA
Type: Portable (metal)

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

  • Power: 9
  • Functionality: 8
  • Price: 9
  • Durability: 10
  • Speed: 9
  • Best drill press for metal
  • Magnetic force field to attach for stability
  • Decent speed options for this type of press
  • Easy to use
  • Works for heavy duty drilling for the right needs
  • Limited capability for some uses

Why We Like It: This just gives you yet another option. The magnetic base lets you work in the field and you can use it for metal on the go. It’s easy and it’s versatile so you really can’t go wrong if this fits into the type of work function that you need.

Buyer’s Guide

buyers guide for best drill press under 500
Photo by Blaz Erzetic on Unsplash

Now that you’ve seen all of the options and you’ve got some of your basic ground work for choosing a good drill press, let’s talk more in detail about things you will want to consider or think about before you buy.

This buyer’s guide is meant to make you think specifically about your needs so you can pinpoint what is really going to work for you. Just consider these details and use them to form a selection that works for you.

What Will You Use it For?

Alright, you need to know what you’re going to use your press for. The obvious is that you will use it for drilling or boring but let’s dig a little deeper than that. This list of questions could easily get extensive but they are mostly simple if you just think them out.

How deep of materials do you generally drill through? If you aren’t sure, you can either guess or you can just be sure to give yourself a good range. What type of materials do you work with? For example, do you work with a lot of metal? Maybe you just work with simple, soft woods. Remember that your speeds will matter when it comes to the materials. Lower speeds work best for harder materials and higher speeds work better for quick work on easy materials.

Maybe you have a specific intention in mind and maybe you just want to be able to do a variety of things with your press. Only you really know what your needs are or can at least narrow it down and make the best decision based on what you expect your needs to be.

Machine Size

The size of the machine is a detail you probably need to consider. You need a size that is going to work for your materials and work but also a size that is going to fit in your workspace. Once again, you really only know your needs but the size is definitely something to think about.

We talked earlier in the guide about making sure your machine has the functionality you need. This really goes along the same lines but there is more to it than just the swing or the depth stop on your spindle.

What about the dimensions of your machine? Even the benchtop models can range quite a bit in size so you should pay attention to the overall size details of the press as well as the sizes of the swing, table, spindle, chuck, and more.

A model like a floor standing press is going to be your largest overall. The benchtop options are typically more size friendly but you will notice those range drastically in sizes, particularly in swing and even overall model size.

The height, the width, the table, and everything in between will need to be accounted for here in your thoughts so you can plan your spacing and your setup properly to be fully prepared for your needs.

Budget

Chances are that you are here in these drill presses for less than 500 model guide because you know your budget is under 500. However, it might be a good idea to narrow it down further if you need to. For example, do you need to stay under $400? What about under $300? Everyone has their own budget capability so that’s totally up to you!

There are times where you might sacrifice some details by choosing to use a lower budget number. However, we want to point out that just because you choose a budget option doesn’t mean you are getting a cheaply made option. you easily get a budget-friendly model in any budget range that isn’t a piece of junk.

Spend your budget wisely to make sure it fits your needs

We Think You’ll Like: Best Drill Press Under 300 in 2022 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Warranty

If you’re going to spend your hard earned money on a machine like this, you want to be protected in case something goes wrong. This could be in case you get a damaged product or perhaps the manufacturer messed up and you have a defect or a missing part.

You would be surprised to find that things like this happen far more often than they should. It’s sometimes a quality control issue but really these things just happen. That’s why you need to be protected.

Most drill presses are covered by some sort of manufacturer warranty. Some of those are more strict or more limited than others but it’s something that you might want to look into as you figure out just which machine you think is right for you.

Always look for the warranty and check out just what it covers. While we’re on that note, you might also go one step further and see what other customers are saying is the biggest fault with their drill presses. Is this something that will be a nuisance or warranty covered? Just a thought outside of the box that many people don’t consider until it’s too late.

Extra Things

When you use a drill press, there is any number of added accessories or attachments that you might need or want to be aware of. It’s not that you absolutely must have these things usually but more that they can be quite useful for a lot of things.

Take for example a vise or a table. Both of these are common accessories. It’s possible to find a press that comes with them but most of the time you are going to end up buying them separately. Do you need to build these items into your budget?

We definitely recommend investing in a vise and a table. They come in really handy for your work for both accuracy and stability.

A drill press vise is designed to hold your materials solidly against your table. This little maneuver will help to make sure your stuff stays in place when you’re drilling so it doesn’t turn or slide or anything else. At the end, that gives you better accuracy overall for your drilling needs.

Then you have the table. The press comes with a table but if you pay much attention to the tables, they are usually pretty small. They aren’t meant to hold an entire piece. However, they make external tables that you can add to the built-in table and it just gives you more working space.

That add-on table gives you working space but again it also gives you some added stability so you get better accuracy as well.

All of these parts and pieces work together. These are obviously extra and you might even choose to buy pieces at a time. We just want you to think about other things that you might want with your table. Oh – and – don’t forget your bits!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Really Get a Good Drill Press for $500?

Yes, you absolutely can! There are plenty of options out there in this price range and choosing a budget pick doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing quality. The good news is that while there certainly are aspects that you might be giving up, you can still find quality and reliability even in lower price ranges such as these options under $500.

What is the Best Drill Press Under 500?

We prefer the Wen 4214 model but you really can’t go wrong with any other choices here. Keep in mind that what is best for you really will depend on your needs so be sure to check out all of the details and make a fully-informed decision before you finalize it.

How Much Speed Do I Need?

The right speed really depends primarily on what you plan to do. We like to recommend having a variety of speeds so definitely look for those variable settings. We’ve discussed that lower speeds work best for challenging materials so keep that in mind as you are looking at the speeds. Don’t forget to be familiar with the speeds for the materials you intend to work with.

Conclusion

We hope that you’ve found this guide to choosing a drill press under 500 to be a valuable resource. There are many selections out there so it’s important that you pay close attention to the various details to figure out what really is going to meet your needs the best. Sometimes this means choosing something different than what everyone else says is the best so keep that in mind.

We did our best to try to narrow it down and pull out the very best options in this price range. We also wanted to provide variety but make sure the quality was truly present for the price and we hope you see that portrayed here.

Which drill press is on your wish list?

Expert Tip

Take the time to look into what customers are saying about the drill press before you buy. Sometimes this is really the best way to get an accurate representation of what you can really expect from the press. A description can only tell you so much. For this price, a little extra research can tell you any oddities that you might need to anticipate for your drill press.

Did You Know?

Did you know that drilling machines (drill presses) have been around for more than 2 centuries? The original models were actually hand cranked and used mostly for metal. They’ve come a long way over the years but this gives you some idea as to the background of a drill press. The original electric model is credited to Arthur James Arnot and William Blanch Brain in 1889. It’s certainly curious to see how much has changed over the years.

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
Dremel Drill Press Rotary Tool Workstation Stand with Wrench- 220-01- Mini Portable Drill Press- Tool Holder- 2 Inch Drill Depth- Ideal for Drilling Perpendicular and Angled Holes- Table Top Drill , Silver
  • Articulating Drill Press Stand: Drills perpendicular and angled holes in 15-degree increments, up to 90 degrees horizontal
  • Tool Holder: Holds rotary tool at 90 degrees horizontal for tasks such as polishing metal objects, sanding different shapes and grinding metal piece. Drill depth- 2 inches
  • Flex Shaft Tool Stand: Allows Telescopic adjustment to any height between 16 and 29 inches, Crow's nest provides on-board storage for drill bits, wrenches, and other dremel accessories
  • Cord management clips for safe storage of power cords, inch/metric marking on base for accurate drilling of workpiece, depth markings with depth stop - for consistent depth, sturdy metal base with 4 clamping points - to securely hold the station
  • Compatible with dremel rotary tool models 100, 200, 275, 285, 300, 395, 398, 400, 800, 3000, 4000, 4200, 8100, 8200, 8220
Bestseller No. 3
BILT HARD 8-inch Drill Press, 2.3 Amp, 5-Speed Benchtop Drilling Machine 
  • Small but Powerful: with CSA Certification, 8 inch swing, 2 inch spindle travel, 1/2-inch keyed chuck, 23" total height, induction motor 2.3 Amp 120V.
  • 5 Variable Speeds: 660/1140/1740/2340/3000 RPM, drill through wood, sheet metal, plastics. High speed for low density material, low speed for hard object and sheet steel.
  • Beleving Worktable: The worktable can bevel 45 degree left and right, adjustable table height for versatility.
  • Compact Construction: the steel frame ensures durability and accurate drilling. The base contains predrilled holes for mounting onto a bench or work stand.
  • WARRANTY - We guarantee this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship 30 days from the date of purchase. Our support team is on standby for YOU.

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