If you’re shopping to buy a drill press, there are a few things you’ll notice pretty quickly. First of all, it seems like a lot of people reviewing them don’t really know what they’re talking about, and secondly, it seems like a lot of people are trying to push you towards the more expensive options. I have a few things to say about that…
If you’re working in the trades, doing professional woodworking, sure – you probably need a high-end drill press. But people doing work at home as a hobby, or just as a small part of their jobs… they can get away without spending several hundred, or thousands of dollars. If you’re going to be using this thing every couple of weeks, or a few things a year, or even just for one project out of the gates, there’s no sense spending a lot because the best drill press under 200 will be plenty good enough.
At this budget, people want something that’s going to get the job done right, and be easy to use, and to feel like they’re getting their money’s worth without having to back up the Brinks truck to afford it, or to spend a lot on something that isn’t even going to get used every day.
Getting a drill press for $200 or less means you’ll have a tool you can rely on, but it’ll also pay for itself much, much sooner than if you have some super high-end drill press that’s meant to be used in a factory or a busy shop.
Whether you’re looking to drill some holes for a quick DIY project like making a birdfeeder or a cornhole set, or you’re looking for something you can take to job sites to use here and there but not on an industrial level, here are your best bets:
Best Overall: SKIL 3320-01
The SKIL 3320-01 is an excellent, affordable drill press that has a lot of power behind it, has some useful features that you don’t always find in this price range, and is still portable enough that you can take it with you.
The problem with huge, industrial drill presses is that they’re more or less stuck in the same spot, which doesn’t really help you when you’re at a job site, or if you don’t want to sacrifice an entire corner of your garger. This model by SKIL, however, weighs about fifty pounds so it’s still got some weight to it and it’s totally stable, but it’s light enough that you can move it around as needed, take it with you, get it out of the way, etc.
With five different speeds and changeable bits, this press can be used for a number of different materials, from drilling small bit sized holes, to larger holes.
There’s a 2-beam laser to help with accuracy, so that you can always line up your holes exactly where they need to be, no surprises. There’s also a depth adjustment, so you can ensure your drilling at the perfect depth when you’re looking to make recessed holes that don’t come out the other end.
The surface on this drill press tilts from 0 to 45 degrees, so you can drill on an angle, and dial it in exactly as you need it. It locks in place perfectly, and comes with a half inch keyed chuck which enables you to use larger bits for bigger jobs, or smaller bits for smaller tasks.
The three year benchtop warranty means you’re covered for any defects in this product, and frankly three years is plenty of time for something that costs under $200 and performs so well. Even if it were to break on the last day of your warranty (super unlikely, these things are built to last), you would still have gotten your money’s worth and then some, even with just occasional usage.
The price is right too, coming in comfortable under budget, but without making a single sacrifice. If you’re looking for a press that’s affordable, but will still perform at a professional level, and last you for years, this one right here is hard to beat, SKIL has knocked it out of the park with their 3320-01 model.
We highly recommend this as our top overall pick when factoring in performance, durability, features, and budget. You just won’t find anything else that strikes every note so perfectly. There’s a reason this is one of the best sellers, and so highly rated by most people who try it.
Best Budget Option: Milescraft 1318 Drillmate
If you already own a drill, then getting a stand can save you some cash. We only recommend going this route if a drill press is a tool that you only need to use seldomly. These aren’t quite up to par with even a basic all-in-one drill press, but for the super low cost, they’re a very viable option for anyone who just needs to drill a hole here and there but doesn’t want to take up extra space or pay for the whole shebang.
This is referred to as a drill guide, rather than a drill press, because it’s basically a drill press without the drill. You pop your own drill on top, and this tool acts as a guide to stabilize your drill at different angles. It gives you the accuracy and stability of a full press, but costs a fraction.
Again, this is only a viable option if you already own a decent hand drill. If you don’t have a nice power drill already, you’re much better off getting the SKIL 3320-01 or something similar. Also, this will only perform as well as the drill you’re using with it, so if your drill isn’t quite up to the task, this guide isn’t going to improve it at all.
We recommend a drill guide like this to anyone who just needs to do a little DIY work around the house, already owns a power drill, and is looking to save some cash. Everyone else should get a full drill press, but for the aforemented use case, a guide is just perfect.
We’ve published a much more in-depth look at the Milescraft 1318, so check out our Milescraft 1318 drill review here.
Slightly Over Budget: WEN 4214
We acknowledge that this drill press is slightly over the budget we set out with at the start of this article, but if you can scrape together the extra cash, it’s well worth the upgrade. WEN is a brand that we’ve featured before, in our WEN 4208 review, and it blew us away with its value to performance ratio. It’s just a great drill press, full stop. The 4214 by WEN takes it to another level, it’s a clear upgrade and out-performs all of the more recognizable brands in our opinion.
The WEN 4214 is a 12 inch press, so it gives you more room to work with, and allows you to work on larger projects. It has an LED display to give you vital information, and rather than offering just a few speeds, it has a dial that allows you to use just about any speed from 580 all the way up to 3200 RPMS. This flexibility is amazing, you’ll never be stuck in between two speeds where neither is exactly what you need. You can dial this press in perfectly.
The cast iron worktable is SOLID, super secure, but you can also adjust it in a number of ways to suit your project. This variable speed press is surprisingly powerful, flexible, and super well-made. The 5 amp motor drives it, the worklight keeps your eyes on the prize, the digital speed readout lets you know exactly what you’re working with, and the depth adjustment ensures you never drill too far.
You can drill a hole up to 12 inches in diameter, and just over three inches thick, which makes this great for nearly any projects you’re working on. WEN also makes some larger models, but they’re starting to get further away from our budget constraints.
To Sum It All Up: The Best Drill Press Under 200 is…
The best in this price range is the SKIL 3320-01, so buy that if you want an incredible tool to get the jobs done, without breaking the bank.
The Milescraft 1318 is for people who already have a drill, and just need something that’s good enough, and want to spend as little as possible on it.
The WEN 4214 is for anyone who wants a clear and noticeable upgrade, and is okay with stretching the budget and spending just a bit more than $200.