Drill presses are integral tools in your workshop. They provide a variety of uses and can make any project a whole lot easier.
With all of the drill presses that are on the market, how do you choose?
What makes one drill press better than another?
On the surface, it may appear that just any drill press will do. However, if you lift up the hood and look at what makes it tick, you may come to a different opinion.
Not all drill presses are made the same.
All of this confusion has prompted me to write this guide. It’s unfair to have to ask you to pay for something when you don’t know what you’re paying for. This leads to drill presses that don’t meet your expectations.
Since tool companies aren’t in the habit of giving out free samples (how could they?), the next best thing I could do is try each of these myself and give me the best, unbiased opinion I can.
If you are looking for the best cheap drill press for you, here the best drill presses for under $200.
Table of Contents
- Best Drill Press Under 200 Dollars
- How To Choose Best Drill Press Under 200
- 5 Best Drill Press Under 200 Dollars
- Final Verdict
Best Drill Press Under 200 Dollars
I reviewed several more drill presses and what you see here on this list. I chose the best ones to make this list.
I picked my criteria after checking out the speed settings, the user interface, the price, and even the size of the chuck. I took some scrap material that I had lying around and I drilled several holes using each one.
I looked for consistency and quality.
Here’s how I chose the best drill presses make this list.
How To Choose Best Drill Press Under 200
Several factors when into this. There were a lot of trips to the store where I bought one and returned it for another.
I wanted to get some real, firsthand experience so that I could make your job easier and tell you which ones made the cut. I wanted to tell you which ones were worth your time and money.
Let’s get started.
I found several bench top drill presses that only had one speed setting. You may find that none of those made this list. All of them have at least five, user-adjustable speed settings.
The thing about drill presses is that they don’t need to go nearly as quickly as handheld drills. In fact, some materials, like aluminum, require a slower RPM (rotations per minute) in order to prevent things like burnout, which can ruin the drill bit and increase the chances of injury.
The Size of the Chuck
The size of the chuck is important because many models will only allow for 3/8” drill bit. The chuck is the mechanism that holds the drill bit itself.
If you want to drill a hole that is ½” in diameter, you’ll need a drill bit that is ½” in diameter. However, it is useless unless your drill – in this case, your drill press – can handle a ½” drill bit. A 3/8” drill bit chuck will not hold a half-inch drill bit.
This places limits on what you can and cannot do with the drill press itself. All of the drill presses below have a ½” drill bit chuck.
In the case of a drill press, the inch measurement refers to how far down the drill press can go. In other words, if you take the adjustable table that comes in the drill press and put it at its lowest setting, you will notice that the distance from the bottom of the drill chuck to the top of the table will be the exact distance as the measurement on the drill press itself.
If you have a 10-inch drill press, as most of these are (not all – there is one that measures 8.5 inches), you can drillfairly deep hole depending on the length of your drill bit.
Most of these are priced under $200. In fact, that’s why I chose benchtop drill presses. They’re compact, and many people do not have the room in their garage to accommodate a floor drill press.
Bench top drill presses can be set up on a workbench and put away on a shelf when they’re not in use. Floor drill presses usually are set up in one place and kept there, taking up valuable floor space.
- Depending on your project, you may want to have a drill press with more power. Look for this in either a horsepower rating or an amperage rating.
- Remember that your drill press has to go down and then back up. In other words, you will only have half of the printed height available to you. If you get a drill bit that is 6 inches long, you can insert 1 inch of the drill bit into the chuckso it can hold the drill bit. That leaves 5 inches the drill bit exposed. If you have a 10-inch drill press, it will go down 10 inches, but you can only drill a 5-inch hole, as half of that available 10 inches is taken up with the drill bit.
- Denser materials require a slower RPM. This is why I chose multi speed drill presses below.
- Each of these tables rotates 45° to the left and 45° to the right. The “table” is the provided work area where you put your workpiece on for drilling. It is attached to the center column. This allows you to drill consistent and repeatable holes at just the right angle in a wide variety of materials.
5 Best Drill Press Under 200 Dollars
This is the fun part. This is where I get to tell you all about my experiences using each of these drill presses.
For me, I like my workshop. I had fun with these drill presses. Let’s hope you have a good time too!
The speeds on this drill press go from 600 to 3100 RPM. The power safety switch was covered to prevent anyone from accidentally turning it on.
Once it was set up, it was nice to know that there were a lot of adjustable settings.
I could easily tilt the table. When I changed the speed settings, the motor did not feel taxed, no matter which material I was drilling through.
Feature At a Glance
- This model has five, user-adjustable speed settings.
- This model has a ½” chuck with key.
- The height of this model is 10 inches.
Skil is owned by Bosch, so you know that you are getting an excellent tool. They’ve always combined excellent value at competitive prices.
This model is rated for speeds of 570 - 3,050 RPM. What’s nice about this model is that it has a laser to ensure that you achieve a precision hole with the right settings.
This leads to fewer wasted materials due to a miscalculated drill hole.
I almost didn’t let this one make the list simply because it was difficult to find the technical specifications for Rockwell series.
The maximum and minimum speed ratings were nowhere be found – even in the documentation. It has other redeeming qualities, which is why it made this list.
It was reliable.It did not wobble after several drilled holes and was easy to use.The safety switch isn’t just covered, it is keyed. This goes a step further to preventing accidental startups.
Everyone loves the lifetime guarantee that Sears honors with all of its Craftsman tools. If anything ever goes wrong, you can either return it or replace it – no questions asked.
This one also has a laser tracking light to make sure that your hole will be precise before you drill it. The operating speeds are rated from 620 - 3100 RPM.
When you’re drilling, you don’t want an oscillating action. So what makes this an escalating drill press? This drill press doubles as an oscillating sander – two tools in one.
The five, user-adjustable speed settings apply to both the sander and the drill press. This also features a removable key to prevent accidental power ups.
Each of these drill presses provides power, a user-friendly interface, and will make it easy for you to complete your projects.
On the surface, most of these may appear to be the same. However, the each of these has subtle differences.
If you value a lifetime warranty, then I would go with the Craftsman one – hands down.
If you have a limited amount of space in your workshop, then go with the Shop Fox one. This one provides two essential tools in one – that of a drill press and an oscillating sander.
The Wen, Skil, and the Craftsman drills all have a laser lights built into them. This makes it easier for you to find the exact spot where the drill bit is going to touch the material. It may take some adjusting at the very beginning, but once it is set up, you can get repeatable drilled holes, time and time again.