The subtitle of this entry should be, “Greg, you were right and I was wrong.”
I must confess I never really saw the need for a drill press. I have a very nice Bosch cordless drill with lots of power. I can drill pocket holes all day long and I have made 32 mm holes with Forstner bits in poplar and birch without problems. I have a great jig for shelf pin holes and frankly thought my holes were perfectly straight for the task. I have even used it to cut 1/2” plugs from Bocote (but not optimally).
Recently while making wine balancers for Christmas gifts, I needed to drill 12 holes through 3/4” thick hard woods with a 1 1/4” Forstner bit using my cordless drill. Those of you who are experienced with drill presses may feel free to start laughing now. I did manage to complete the task, and the drill did survive, but just barely. It took a long time on each hole while having to pause and cool the bit and lubricate it. By the end I had a mild burn from the heat of the exhaust air vented from the drill.
So Santa brought me a 12” Ryobi bench top drill press (Wood magazines “Best Value” last year). I don’t anticipate using it as much as my router, table saw, or even my cordless drill. But when I need it there won’t be any other substitute. In short sure drill presses make nice straight “repeatable” holes, but the real value is the power and speed control.
-- mhawkins2 - why does my wife keep parking her car in my shop :)?