Best Drill Press Under 500 Dollars – Unbiased Reviews (2018 Version)

Are you a craftsmen looking for the perfect tool to assist you with drilling and prepping the wide variety of materials you work with on a daily basis?

Whether you are a hobbyist or a legitimate professional, a drill press is one of the most versatile and useful tools you can invest in for your workspace.

Many people put off the idea of purchasing a drill press because of the often-intimidating price tags.

​However, there are many amazing, durable, and feature-filled models on the market that are perfect for the economically conscious buyer. For under $500, all of these amazing bench top and floor drill press models can be yours.

5 Best Drill Press Under 500 Dollars

Check out our consumer guide to determine which of these affordable drill press models suits your needs best:

1. Shop Fox W1688 ¾-HP Bench-Top Drill Press

The Shop Fox W1688 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press model is fantastic in that it doubles as both a drill press and sander. Able to drill through wood and metal, as well as a variety of other tough materials, the many wonderful features of this model make it perfect for the workhorse owner.

This model’s power comes straight from its 110-volt motor, which allows it to reach spindle speeds between 250 and 3,050 RPM.

Add to this the 12 possible drill speeds you are able to adjust the Shop Fox W1688 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press model to perform, and you’ve got a highly versatile drill press.

Another awesome feature of this product is its tilting table rotation, which can rotate a full 90 degrees. This feature allows you to drill at a variety of angles, allowing you to significantly expand the range of products you can take on.

Versatility is the main asset the Shop Fox W1688 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Best  Drill Press has going for it. If you take on a wide range of products in your workshop, there are few models that will serve you better.

Feature at a Glance

  • Can Drill Through a Wide Variety of Material
  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Built-In Sanding Capabilities
  • Heavy and Hard to Transport

2. Shop Fox W1670 ½ HP Floor Radial Drill Press

One of the best drills of its kind, the Shop Fox W1670 ½ Horsepower Floor Radial Drill Press is perhaps the best ½ horsepower model on the market.

With 5 useful speeds that will help you drill through a modest amount of common materials, this model is perfect for more casual drill press users. being a ½ horsepower model, the Shop Fox W1670 ½ Horsepower Floor Radial Drill Press gains tons of power behind its drilling thanks to the 110-volt motor it comes packed with.

In many ways this model is a slightly less powerful model than the Shop Fox W1688 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press.

It retains useful features from the ¾ horsepower model, such as the 90-degree rotating head tilt.

The cast iron build of this model makes it extremely durable. Moisture, dust, and environmental factors will not cause early wear and tear on this awesome model, helping you to feel secure in your investment.

Perhaps the only major disadvantage of the Shop Fox W1670 ½ Horsepower Floor Radial Drill Press is its floor model design.

It does take up a bit more space than compact press model alternatives, so you will need to make room for the model in your workshop before making an investment.

Feature at a Glance

  • 90-degree Head Tilt Feature
  • One of the Most Powerful ½ Horsepower Models
  • Takes Up a Lot of Space

3. RIKON 30-140 Bench Top Radial Drill Press

A powerful drill press model, the RIKON 30-140 Bench Top Radial Drill Press is a fantastic radial drill press choice.

Similar to the above choice, this model has five useful adjustable speeds that allow it take on any material type without damaging either the drill press or the material. If you want clean work in your workshop, RIKON is a brand that has been trusted by craftsman for a long time.

The bench top nature of this drill press helps it become much more compact than the floor type models of this list.

Additionally, this model has an adjustable table height that is easy to change, as the user simply turns a handle to achieve a maximum comfort position for their drilling work.

Accessibility is built in to nearly every feature of the RIKON 30-140 Bench Top Radial Drill Press model.

In addition to adjustable heights and speeds, the model has standard spindle tapers that make it simple to quickly change from chuck arbors to mill bits.

Made of both steel and cast iron, this model is sure to last you for many years to come. To help you feel secure in your purchase RIKON also provides customers with a 5-year limited warranty.

Feature at a Glance

  • Adjustable Heights and Speeds
  • Durable Material
  • 5-Year Limited Warranty
  • Powerful as Floor Models

4. Shop Fox W1669 1/2-HP Radial Drill Press

Providing a model that is one step down from the Shop Fox W1670 ½ Horsepower Floor Radial Drill Press, the Shop Fox W1669 ½-Horsepower Bench Top Radial Drill Press allows craftsmen to gain many of the great features of the floor models in a bench top design. Although it sacrifices some of the power of the floor models, this bench top drill press still has a wide variety of features that make it stand out.

One of the first things you’ll notice is the incredible 43in swing on the model’s headstock. This allows craftsmen to drill on work pieces that are up to 34 in. wide.

Additionally, the model retains the highly useful 90-degree rotation feature, making this one of the most adjustable drill press models on the market.

Similar to the RIKON model, the Shop Fox W1669 ½-Horsepower Bench Top Radial Drill Press is easily adjustable in its height as well, with an easy to use hand crank on its side. The model is also highly comfortable, with a cushioned grip, and polished design.

Feature at a Glance

  • Highly Adjustable
  • Comfortable Grip and Design
  • 43in. Swing on Headstock
  • Less Powerful than Floor Models

5. WEN 4225 8.6-Amp Floor Standing Drill Press

One of the most powerful models on our list, the WEN 4225 8.6-Amp Variable Speed Floor Standing Drill Press easily meets any working needs of both professionals and casual craftsmen.

With a full four inches of stroke capacity, this amazing floor model drill press can drill through a full four inches of material. From metal, to wood, to other valuable materials, the WEN 4225 8.6-Amp Variable Speed Floor Standing Drill Press can easily take on the job.

Similar to other models on the list, the WEN 4225 8.6-Amp Variable Speed Floor Standing Drill Press has a 12in.-by-12in. cast iron table pivot that gives it rotation capabilities of a full 90-degrees.

Additionally, the types of bits the model can accept is highly diverse, allowing it to use everything from 1/12 to 5/8 inch bits. Speed settings are versatile, giving you a range of 1,000 to 3,300 RPMs at any given time.

This allows you to take on materials in a safe and effective manner, ensuring both the material and your WEN 4225 8.6-Amp Variable Speed Floor Standing Drill Press model will not be damaged.

Feature at a Glance

  • Powerful and Versatile
  • Highly Adjustable
  • 4-inch Stroke
  • Expensive Compared to Other Models
  • Takes Up a Lot of Space

Best Drill Press Under $500 - Considerations

Speed Capabilities

Depending on the type of materials you are working with, the speed capabilities of your drill press model become very important.

You need to make sure that your model can reach the proper RPM to make the drilling process both safe and effective for you materials and your drill press model.

​If you fail to invest in a quality model, you risk damaging expensive equipment, and setting back your personal projects and/or business ventures.

​The most expensive models will have up to 16 speed settings, but most will have closer to 5 options.

​Common Speed Options:

  • 550 RPM
  • 880 RPM
  • 1,520 RPM
  • 2,490 RPM
  • 3,470 PRM

Floor Model

Before making an investment in any drill press model, you need to look around your workspace to determine your space requirements. Depending on these, you will either want to invest in a floor or bench top drill press model.

Floor models, on the other hand, take up a bit more floor space. While these models are more powerful than their bench top counterparts, you need to make sure you have storage space that will keep them both accessible and safe to use.

Floor Models:

  • More Power
  • Takes Up More Space
  • Less Adjustable in Some Cases

Bench Top Model

When you have little space to spare, you will want to go with a bench top model. These allow you to securely rest your drill press onto your workbench, saving you space on the floor for material storage, other tools, and more.

Nearly all bench top models are height adjustable, so it is easy to make the models compact when they are not in use.

​Bench Top Models:

  • Saves More Space
  • Less Power
  • More Adjustable

Final Verdict

Ultimately, you will need to decide on a model based on two main factors: your storage needs, and the variety of materials you are working with. To get the best out of your investment, it is important to be willing to spend extra money if possible.

While you can save a few hundred dollars by purchasing a lower-end model, the extra money spent will soon show its worth in the results you get. With this in mind, we recommend going with the Shop Fox W1688 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press when purchasing a floor type model, and the RIKON 30-140 Bench Top Radial Drill Press when looking best drill press under 500 dollars for a bench top model.

Relevant Resources:

Sean J. Stone

Sean has been a woodworking enthusiast for 8 years, and in that time has written huge resources on woodworking and tools.