This post was most recently updated on June 30th, 2020

Are you in search of a versatile tool that you can mount to a bench or shop front to get the optimal stability while drilling? Want a tool that makes creating large holes on workpieces easy?

Are you looking for a unit through which you can precisely drill holes in your project?
If the answers to these questions are a yes for you, then you are undoubtedly looking for drill press.

They are not only capable of making drilling holes effortless but also will let you get precise and accurate drills with maximum stability.

Now, if you are within a budget and looking for the best drill press under 500, then you came to the right place. Sit back and leave the rest to us.

Top Drill Press Under $500 – Comparison 2020

Last update on 2020-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Best Drill Press Under $500 – Review 2020

Best Drill Press Under $500

While going through every manufacturer’s iteration of drill press that is now in the market, we found that not all of them are offering a good value proposition.

But, we have sorted out the ones they do and would like you to present them to you. They are:

Jet Bench Mortiser, 1/2 HP, 120V, 1/2″ Cap.

Jet Bench Mortiser

While working on your drilling project, you might find yourself using a plethora of bits at the same time.

In that scenario, a unit that features smooth drill chuck operations makes switching between bits much more convenient. The perfect example of bench press such as that would be this one from Jet.

This unit comes featured with side doors that lead to the chuck that has a dual-hinge mechanism. Accessing the drill chuck through those side doors is extremely easy. You will be able to switch through drill bits during your operation seamlessly.

Talking about the chuck, it comes with a three-jaw drill chuck. The chuck is compatible with drill bits that are up to 3/8 inches in diameter.

It keeps a firm grip on the rotating bits, which means you will not have to worry about your bits getting loose while drilling.

The unit features depth adjustments too. You will be able to adjust it to limit the distance of the bits traveling.

That means that after modifications, you will get a uniform hole while drilling multiple holes in your workpiece simultaneously.

In the topic of drilling holes, it comes featured with a ½ HP motor that will offer you consistent performance throughout your drilling session. The maximum RPM of the unit is 1725.

Besides that, it features a removable toggle switch too. That means you can restrict unauthorized access to the tool and also prevent accidents from happening by removing it.

You can position the feed handle easily with the multi-position long mortising handle. Along with that, you can also adjust the rack and pinon head to get an accurate position of drilling.

With the combined construction of heavy-duty steel and cast iron, you can expect maximum durability and stability.

PROS

  • Easy to access drill chuck
  • Quick and easy depth adjustments
  • Extremely durable
  • Exceptionally stable
  • Powerful motor

CONS

  • The chuck is not compatible with bits that are larger than ¼ inches
  • Average customer support

Mophorn 980W

Mophorn 980W

Are you looking for a drill press that can not only handle regular day to day drilling tasks but also can easily take on heavy-duty operations?

Want a unit that comes packed with a motor that can provide substantial power? Then this unit is the one for you.

You will undoubtedly appreciate the performance from the industrial-grade magnetic drilling motor that this unit has.

This motor can generate up to 980 watts of power. You will be able to grind through most of the surfaces with ease.

Also, the unit is highly portable. It includes an ergonomic grip on the top, and it can be easily lifted and placed to different metal workbenches. You can shift this from one place to another without any hassle at all.

Unlike most of the manufacturers, Mophorn incorporated an electromagnetic base instead of a conventional cast iron base.

This base eliminates most of the wobbling and shaking related problem that occurs during the drilling operation.

After attaching it with a metal workbench, you can be well assured that the unit is not going to move even an inch.

It also features an external carbon brush. You can easily replace it when necessary. The cover is also durable, which makes the drill comparatively safe and work environment friendly.

The drill machine is extremely easy to operate. It comes featured with a rocker lever rod that has rubber anti-slip sleeve.

You will not have put too much effort into getting a precise cut on your workpiece with this unit.

It features an aluminum double dovetail rail guide. This rail does not only add rigidity on the unit but also will allow you to change the height according to your preference.

Overall, this is an excellent choice for efficiently doing regular drilling tasks and also for doing quick semi-industrial works.

PROS

  • Packs a powerful industrial-grade motor
  • Highly portable
  • The base is electromagnetic
  • Adjustable height
  • Features a rocker lever that has rubber sleeves

CONS

  • Standard half-inch sized drill bits are not compatible
  • The chuck does not have enough clearance for short bits

Related Guide: Drill Press Under $300

Shop Fox W1848

Shop Fox W1848

Are you looking for a unit with which you can not only do drilling but can also efficiently do sanding? Then this unit from Shop Fox is the one that you were looking for all this time.

Unlike most other drill presses that are available in the market, this unit comes featured with an oscillating spindle.

You can seamlessly transform from drilling tasks to sanding your workpiece in just seconds.
The conversion process does not require any tool too. Contour sanding has just been made easier with this innovative design.

The unit sports a ¾ horsepower motor that can rotate the drill at up to 3050 RPM. With this, you can drill through most of the surfaces at ease. You can also switch between twelve different speed settings.

Yes, twelve! The speed can be set from between 250-3050 RPM. You can slow it down or make it fast by just dialing the knob.

It features a 12-3/8 inches diameter table that is adjustable. You can tilt the table 90 degrees to left and right. Drilling through those slanted angles on your workpiece is now made more comfortable.

You can also adjust the table height. It will allow you to perfectly accommodate your workpiece under for precise drilling and sanding operations. You can also remove the table entirely and use the base as the table if you prefer.

The device features a floor model design. This design adds more weight and eventually enhances durability to a significant extent. You can expect it to be of service for an extended amount of time.

To make sanding efficient, it comes included with a kit of three-piece spindle sander drum that comes with a mandrel. The package also has 80 grit sanding paper.

PROS

  • Highly adjustable table
  • Comes with a powerful motor
  • Twelve different speed adjustment
  • Extremely durable
  • Is capable of doing sanding works

CONS

  • The manual does not have clearcut instructions about the conversion
  • Some packages ships in poor condition and with damaged parts

Grizzly Industrial G7943-14″ Heavy-Duty Benchtop

Grizzly Industrial G7943

Getting industrial-grade performance out of a drill press under such a budget might seem too good to be true. But for manufacturers such as Grizzly, it is now possible, and this unit is the example of that.

The unit comes featured with a powerful ¾ horsepower induction motor. It is rated to operate at 120 volts and can generate single-phase 7.5 amps of current. With this, you will be able to do most of the drilling operations at ease.

It comes with a 5/8 inches drill chuck. You will be able to fit any drill bits or accessories that are within 5/8 inches in diameter. With proper bits, it can drill through thick metals that are up to ¾ inches in width.

Besides that, it comes features with variable speed dialer too. It can set the speed to 12 different rates. You can set it from between 140 to 3050 RPM.

In the case of adjustability, the unit comes with a threaded adjustable depth gauge. You can limit the overall travel distance by locking the gauge to your preferred location. By doing so, you can get multiple holes that are of the same size at ease.

Even the worktable is adjustable to a certain degree. With the crank handle, you can set the vertical height easily.

Besides that, you can also tilt the table left and right to 90 degrees to make slanted drilling operations easy. You can even rotate the table to a full 360 degrees.

Besides that, the unit features a built-in light holder too. After installing a bulb, you will be able to work in the dark efficiently.

PROS

  • Powerful industrial motor
  • Twelve different speed rate
  • Adjustable height
  • Tiltable and rotatable table
  • Adjustable depth gauge

CONS

  • Does not come with a light bulb
  • The unit is prone to wobbling and vibrations

Related Review: The Jointer Under $500

Grizzly Industrial G7945-34″ Benchtop Radial

Grizzly Industrial G7945

Are you looking for a versatile drill press through which you will be able to do drilling operations effortlessly and efficiently? Look no more! This unit from Grizzly is one of them and might be the one that you were looking for all this time.

One of the highlighting features of this unit is the ability to oscillate up to 34 inches. This means that you will be able to precisely drill a hole dead center in a 34 inch workpiece.

The unit features a half horsepower single-phase induction motor. It operates at 120 volts and can generate five amps of current. You will easily be able to do most of the drilling operations.

Another feature that this unit comes packed with is the variable speed dialer. Depending on your workload, you can set it to five different rates.

You can set it from between 550-3000 RPM. With slower speed, you will have more control, while the faster settings will allow you to drill holes faster.

The chuck that the unit comes with is 5/8 inches in size. You will be able to fit most of the drill bits and accessories that are within 5/8 inches diameter.

As far as adjustability goes, the worktable of the unit features height adjustment spindle. By adjusting it, you will be able to set the height to your preferred location.You can also tilt the table 90 degrees left or right to make drilling those slanted angles easier.

Besides that, the unit also offers radial adjustments that will allow you to drill angled holes without tilting the workpiece. You can place the drill bit at any angle and get an angled hole while your workpiece is set horizontal.

PROS

  • Extremely versatile
  • Comes with a relatively powerful induction motor
  • Variable speed dialer
  • Adjustable work table
  • Provides radial drill operations

CONS

  • Some units ships with missing parts
  • The device is prone to motor vibrations and base wobblings

Grizzly Industrial G0645-1/2 HP Benchtop Mortising Machine

Grizzly Industrial G0645-1/2 HP Benchtop Mortising Machine

Some might think that getting a decent drill press that comes packed with a plethora of useful features under 500 is impossible. Unfortunately, they might not have stumbled upon units such as this one from Grizzly.

This little beast comes featured with a half horsepower single-phase motor that offers smooth drilling performance.

It works at 110 volts and six amps of current. The maximum spindle speed is at 1725 RPM. You can expect this machine to go through most of the regular and industrial drilling operations smoothly.

Furthermore, it features a 1-3/4 inches riser block that increases the capacity substantially. It increases the stock thickness to about six inches. You will easily be able to work on larger workpieces under this unit.

Besides that, it also features a fully adjustable depth stop. You will be able to limit the amount of distance the drill bit travel after adjusting it. After that, you can get consistent holes in your workpiece without that much hassles.

It also comes with a multi-positional handle. You can set it to six different positions to make drilling operations much more comfortable.

The chuck that the unit comes with is 3/8 inches in size. That means you will be able to fit most of the drill bits that are within 3/8 inches in diameter.

Even though the large 10-1/2 x 12-1/4 inches table does not offer that much adjustability, the head and dovetail column of the unit is fully adjustable. You will get a motorizing depth of a maximum of 3 inches after adjustments.

The base has a rigid construction of cast-iron, and it manages to offer optimal stability to the unit during operation. You will receive for mortising chisels in the package too.

PROS

  • Hefty cast-iron base
  • Adjustable dovetail column
  • Adjustable depth stop gauge
  • Optional riser block to increase the overall capacity
  • Included four mortised chisels

CONS

  • Adjustable knobs are not that durable
  • The table can not be tilted

Mophorn 1100W MD40 Magnetic

Mophorn 1100W MD40 Magnetic

Do you want an industrial grade drill that makes regular day to day drilling operation look like a piece of cake? Want something with which you can do all sorts of drilling applications at ease? Then this unit from Mophorn is the one for you!

Talking about being industrial-grade, this comes packed with 15 amps induction motor that will be able to provide 1100 watts of energy. You will not easily be able to do just regular drilling tasks but also professional works with this.

Other than that, the unit comes featured with an electromagnetic base. You will not have to worry about the machine not having proper stability on your workbench anymore.

Its station will attach on metal surfaces with a substantial 2700 pounds of the electromagnetic force that will prevent the unit from wobbling and moving around.

The chuck can fit annular cutters that are up to 2 inches and have a maximum diameter of 1-1/2 inches. It can reach to a boring depth of up to 7-1/2 inches. The included tool holder is a ¾ inch Weldon shank.

You can quickly move the unit around from one workbench to others for the included grip. It has an ergonomic design, and you can comfortably carry around the device with it.

The device comes featured with an external carbon brush. You can easily replace it when necessary. The cover is sturdy and durable as well, which makes the drill safer for work environments.

It also features a rocker lifting rod that has an anti-slip rubber coating on the surface to make handling much more comfortable.

The included aluminum guide rail does not only enhance durability, but it also will let you adjust the height of the motor.

PROS

  • The base is electromagnetic
  • Comes packed with an industrial-grade motor
  • Features external carbon brush
  • Adjustable height
  • Exceptionally portable

CONS

  • Standard drill bits are not compatible
  • The customer service is below average

Steel Dragon Tools MD45 1-3/4 inch Boring Diameter

Steel Dragon Tools MD45 1-3/4 inch Boring Diameter

Compared to handheld drills, drill press offers the most accurate and precise cutouts. But without a secure base, that accuracy is significantly lost.

That is why manufacturers such as Steel Dragon incorporated a magnetic base on their units. This is one of them.

Just like we have stated above, the unit comes featured with a magnetic base that has 2700 pounds of magnetic force.

After putting it on a metal workbench, you can be well assured that the unit is not going to move an inch.

You will not even have to worry about the press moving during drilling through thick workpieces.

In the case of the overall power, it comes boasting with a 1350 watt motor. It is well capable of grinding through professional drilling jobs easily.

With this, you will get a maximum of 7.1 inches boring depth and 1.75 inches of boring diameter.

Other than that, it comes featured with an MT2 spindle taper, and with the included adapter, you can easily convert it to ¾ inches Weldon Shank or MT1. That means you will not have to worry about compatibility issues at all.

You can also switch between different spindle speed for accurate cutouts. By adjusting the dial, you can set it between 100-500 RPM. You will get a significant amount of accuracy while handling the machine with slower speeds.

Besides that, it features a rocker type lifting lever that has a rubber coating. The anti-slip sleeve will allow you to comfortably and effortlessly operate the drill machine.

It features a handle on top to make transporting the device from one place to another easier. The overall weight is around 52 pounds, and the dimensions are 8 x 20 x 18 inches.

PROS

  • Comes with a robust electromagnetic base
  • Features a powerful motor
  • Includes converter for the spindle taper
  • Variable speed
  • Easily portable

CONS

  • Standard bits are not compatible
  • The paint on the surface shows signs of chipping relatively fast

RIKON 30-140 Bench Top Radial

RIKON 30-140 Bench Top Radial

Whether you are working on a small project or a large one, radial movements will make it much easier for you to drill angled holes without having to fiddle around too much.

Only a handful of units are now offering decent radial functionalities in the market, and this unit from RIKON is one of them.

As we have stated above, that the unit comes featured with a radial action head. You can tilt it 45 degrees to the right and 90 degrees to the left.

It also features forward and backward movements. You will be able to adjust it correctly to get the accurate angled hole on your workpiece.

Other than that, the unit comes packed with a 1/3 horsepower extremely efficient motor. It operates at 5.5 amps and 120 volts. You will be able to do most of the drilling operations with ease.

The unit also comes with a 34-inch swing. You can switch between five spindle speeds by adjusting that. It can be set from between 620 to 3100 RPM.

Besides that, it comes packed with a large 5/8 inch chuck. It can hold most of the standard bits and bits that are within the range of 5/8 inch in diameter. You will be able to fit drill accessories that are within that diameter too.

Even the 7-3/4 square inches table is adjustable. You can rotate it to a full 360 degrees and tilt it 90 degrees left or right. With this, it is now easier to get those slanted drill holes on your workpiece.

Lastly, the unit comes with a base that has a construction of sturdy cast iron. It provides adequate stability to the machine even during heavy loads.

PROS

  • Offers radial adjustability
  • Comes with an adequately powerful motor
  • Features a relatively large chuck
  • Adjustable table
  • Five different spindle speed

CONS

  • Some packages ship with damaged parts
  • The plastic radial handle is not that durable

Jet 716000 JWDP-12

Jet 716000 JWDP-12

Compared to handheld drills, drill press offers unmatching control and lets you precisely drill holes on your workpiece by laying in flat.

Jet managed to enhance the accuracy and precision even further by including an x-shaped laser guider in this unit.

The built-in XACTA laser light will point at the exact location that the drill bit is going to travel through.

After you lay your workpiece down, you will be able to see precisely where the drill is going to make the hole. With this, the process of making precise cuts in your workpiece has just been made much easier.

Other than that, the unit comes featured with a half horsepower induction motor. This five amps motor is powerful enough to push through most of the materials. You will be able to do most of the drilling operations at ease with this unit.

It also features a comparatively large industrial drill chuck. The size of the drill is 5/8 inches. You will be able to fit any drill bits that are withing 5/8 inches in diameter.

The unit’s main paddle switch is relatively large. It will let you smoothly shut off the device and will also provide lockout protection.

One of the features that separate this unit from most of the other ones is the digital readout display. It displays the speed of the spindle.

You can set the rate according to your preference. By dialing the knob, you can set it from anywhere between 530-3100 RPM.

Lastly, the unit features a compact, easy to transport design. The 10 x 16-1/8 inches base is of cast iron.

It will easily fit in tight spaces on your workbench. You will also find an LED work light that will increase visibility during drilling operations.

PROS

  • Features a precise laser guider
  • Comes with an adequately powerful motor
  • Oversized, ergonomic paddle switch
  • Relatively large chuck
  • Compact footprint

CONS

  • Worktable binds a bit during rotation
  • Digital readout stays on as long as the press is plugged in

Things to Consider Before Buying

In your adventure of finding the best drill press under 500 dollars, you are going to stumble upon a plethora of options that are from different manufacturers.

But not all of them offer the best bang for the buck. To get the ones that have an excellent value proposition, you should keep some factors in mind. These are:

Types

Types of drill press

Before you make spend your valuable money on a drill press, you should know which one of them can you actually accommodate.

There are mainly three types of drill press available in the market now. The key factor that separates them is the overall design. We will briefly discuss each of them below:

Floor Design

Just like the name suggests, they are installed on the floor. This type of unit is usually more versatile as there are a plethora of compatible accessories in the market.

They can offer substantially more power compared to other designs. But on the flip side, these units require a considerable amount of space heightwise.

Also, to work with them, you are going to need a good amount of clearance around them. Many of them do not offer that much adjustability options too. They are relatively expensive and power-hungry too.

Benchtop Design

As the name says, you are going to have to install these units on top of a workbench. They require a minimal amount of space, and you can even set them up on wooden tables.

Even though they are comparatively less powerful, these units are usually more adjustable than other drill presses that are available. They are compact and are extremely easy to maneuver.

Magnetic Drill Press

You might have figured out from the name that these models feature a magnetic base. That means you will be able to attach them anywhere as long as the surface is metal and has magnetic attraction.

Moreover, you can even set them upside down if you want to. They offer substantial stability, and the units that come with strong magnets completely eliminates wobbling and drill movements.

However, because of the magnetic base, you will only be able to attach them on metal workbenches or something similar to that.

They usually do not come with work tables, and you will have to utilize the surface of the bench.

Power

The first thing that you should consider after choosing the type is the power of the unit. Even though the required amount of power entirely depends on the kind of drilling task that you do regularly, you should pick something that has a bit of room left.

In that case, if you are mostly doing a medium type of drilling tasks, then you should be good with a unit that comes with a half horsepower motor.

Other than that, if you intend to do heavy operations, then you have options such as units that come with ¾ horsepower motor or more.

Worktable

The worktable is the place where you are going to secure your workpiece on to drill on it. So, this is an essential part of any drill press. In this case, the things that you have to consider is the size and adjustability.As far as the concerns of the size of the worktable go, it all depends.

If you usually work with a smaller workpiece and do not require that much amount of space, you will be good with a unit that comes with a moderately sized worktable. But, if you need a larger workspace, then look for the ones that come with extensions.

Besides that, a worktable that features a plethora of adjustability will make the workflow smooth.

For example, many worktables are now coming with a fully rotatable design and tilt options. With those units, you will easily be able to do angled drilling on your workpiece.

Build Quality

A drill press that sports a good build quality will make heavy drilling tasks go smooth. Not only that, but a durable unit will also serve for an extended amount of time.

In the case of overall build quality, you need to factor in two things. One is the worktable, and the other is the base.

As we have mentioned before, the worktable is one of the essential parts of a drill press. It is the place where you are going to fiddle around with your workpiece the most.

That is why you should go for a unit that sports a durable and well-constructed work table.
Other than that, the base is also another crucial part. It provides stability and overall support to the unit.

A station that can support the device properly eliminates most of the wobbling and vibration issues that occur during drilling. For that reason, you should go with the one that features a hefty base.

Depth Adjustability

The depth gauge that most of the units are now featuring will allow you to limit the travel distance of the drill bit. That means you can easily control the overall depth of the hole by just adjusting the gauge.

This feature will let you drill multiple holes that are of the same size on your workpiece without having to approximate your movement each time. That is why you should choose the units that feature this adjustability option.

Chuck

The chuck is the place where you are going to secure the drill bits into position to perform the drilling operations.

Different drills come with different sized chucks. The size of the chuck will determine the compatible drill bits.

For instance, if the size of the chuck is half inches, then you will only be able to fit drill bits that within the half-inch diameter. The wider the drill bits, the wider the holes will be.

The chuck size is generally proportional to the power of the drill. That means the powerful the drill press, the higher the capacity of the chuck of the unit will have.

Variable Spindle Speed

Variable Spindle Speed

With variable speed dial, you will be able to set the rotation speed of the drill. That means you can set it to how slow or how fast you want.

The slower rate will offer you precise control while the faster option will get your work done in a jiff.

Most of the units come with pre-set speed options, but some will offer you full control over the speed with a digital meter.

We would recommend you to go for the one that sports a digital meter and offers complete control over the RPM.

Swing

In the case of a drill press, the swing is the shaft distance. That means the size of the swing determines the overall length that the spindle can move and how deep it can go. So, you should also keep this factor into consideration too.

Accessories and Compatibility

In the case of the drill press, not all manufacturers are the same in case of supporting accessories and attachments.

You will find many that accept standard drill press accessories such as polishing, mortising, and sanding tools while many use proprietary attachments.

The ones that can take universal accessories are convenient as you will find them everywhere. On the other hand, for proprietary ones, you might have to go through a plethora of vendors.

Miscellaneous

Other than all of the factors mentioned above, there are some other things that you also have to consider.

Those are the height and weight. These two factors entirely depend on the area you wish to set the drill press on.

For example, if you do not have that much head clearance in that area, you should get a relatively compact unit.

On the other hand, if your workbench is not that much sturdy and can not take the load of a heavy drill press, then you have to go for a lighter option.

Frequently Asked Questions

What diameter of drill bits should I buy for my drill press?


The compatibility of the drill bits will depend on the size of the chuck of your drill press. For example, if the size of the chuck is half inches, you will be able to fit bits that are within that half-inch diameter.

Can I drill in thick metal surfaces with my drill press?


The surfaces that you can drill through comfortably will depend on the power of your drill press.

For example, a unit that comes with a motor that has more than half a horsepower motor that operates at more than five amps of current will be able to go through most of the surfaces at ease.

What are the main advantages that a drill press offer over handheld drills?


There are many advantages in case of using a drill press over a handheld drill machine. One of them is the amount of accuracy that you get with them.
You can precisely drill holes in your workpiece at ease with a drill press. Another one is the versatility offered by them.

What does the RPM mean in case of speed?


The RPM in case of speed of a drill stands for revolution per minute. It represents the amount of complete rotation that your drill bits are making in one minute without any load.

Are the parts of drills press replaceable?


Most of them are. But, before buying a replaceable part, make sure if it will fit your press or not.

Final Words

To conclude, we hope that among all the press that are available in the market, we have made it easier for you to choose the best drill press under 500 for you.

We would like to end it here by wishing you good luck and hoping that all your holes in your workpiece are precise and accurate.

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