First impressions

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Review by Nates02gt posted 56 days ago 1955 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
First impressions No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just picked the drill press up from Lowes today. They honored a 25% Harbor Freight coupon which brought the price down to about $260 out the door. My daughter and I got it set up in about 30 minutes and so far am very impressed. I haven’t measured the runout yet. I do wish that they would make it easier to tilt the table. This is not an issue with this drill press specifically, it was the same on the bench top Ryobi that I just sold. I will update this review as I get more time with it.

Here is a link to the runout. I have very little experience with a dial gauge, so I hope it is being done correctly. =) The only issue that I have had with the drill press so far is the enclosure for the pulleys was vibrating against the motor or vise versa. I had to bend it up slightly and it is all good now. I will try to get some more pictures in the next few days.

View Nates02gt's profile


72 posts in 647 days

7 comments so far

View ScottKaye's profile


277 posts in 587 days

#1 posted 56 days ago

Im very interested in your findings on the run out and chuck quality. Ive stopped and looked at this at lowes many times, but have yet to pull the trigger. I’ll use you as my guinnea pig if you dont mind! By the way, that was an excellennt idea using the 25% harbor frieght coupon. I hadnt considered trying that before

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View Schummie's profile


193 posts in 2399 days

#2 posted 56 days ago

Looks like a great drill press, but if you have more time, maybe you can
make some more pictures.
I can’t wait for your review.

-- Greetings from the Netherlands.

View jtm's profile


126 posts in 270 days

#3 posted 55 days ago

Check the runout.

Here’s mine:

View Nates02gt's profile


72 posts in 647 days

#4 posted 54 days ago

Does anyone have any feedback on the runout results?

View gtbuzz's profile


351 posts in 1075 days

#5 posted 54 days ago

Does anyone have any feedback on the runout results?
- Nates02gt

Short answer: Seems okay.

Long answer:

For this class of drill press, I’d say about +/- 5 thou or thereabouts is probably an acceptable number to shoot for. As far as yours goes, but it seems acceptable (I saw values of 0 and 1/128) but I think you need to change a few things about how you’re measuring the runout to get a better idea.

First, you need to change the display on your indicator; the fractional measurement isn’t very useful in this scenario. I don’t know what the smallest fractional graduation on that unit is, but say it’s 1/128. That means the actual value is anywhere between 1/256 and 3/256; or about between 3 and 12 thou, which is a VERY big range for what you’re trying to measure. Fractional measurements are great if you’re trying to measure the depth of a dado, but you really need to be measuring with decimals here.

Secondly, there’s two types of runout – axial and radial. Axial runout deals with the positional tolerance relative to the true center of rotation. For axial runout, the values will be the same at any point along the axis. Radial runout is the angular tolerance relative to the true zero degree axis. Radial runout will vary along the position of the axis. Because of this, you’re better off getting a measurement around the tip of a standard drill bit. Obviously you can’t measure that using a regular drill bit due to the flutes, however a punch transfer tool / center punch works well for that. If you don’t have one (I’ve got an entire set of them to help with pen disassembly) you could also sub in a forstener bit and measure the runout on the shaft, near the head of the bit.

Barring any additional information though, let’s assume you’re tolerance is actually 0 – 1/128” (meaning +/- 1/256) and there’s negligible radial runout. Essentially that means that any hole you drill is going to be up to 1/128” oversized (it may be tighter too, some of the runout may manifest itself in positional error intead), so instead of drilling a 3/8” hole (48/128), it’s closer to 49/128.

I have the same drill press and I’ve measured my runout to be +/- 0.003, or about 0.001 tighter than what we’re assuming with yours. Certainly good enough all around (especially for woodworking, IMO). To provide a point of reference, for most civilian and military aircraft being produced today, there’s a tolerance in hole diameter of about +/- 3 thou. Truthfully, that’s a pretty darn sloppy hole when it comes to metalworking standards, but if 777’s and F22’s aren’t falling out of the sky due to discrepant holes, your furniture surely won’t fall apart either.

View douglbe's profile


357 posts in 2595 days

#6 posted 53 days ago

I have the same drill press and I am very happy with it. I put a larger table with fence, stops, and clamps on it performs extremely well. For the price and quality it is exactly what I want. I also give it a 5 star.

-- Doug, Reed City, Michigan

View Nates02gt's profile


72 posts in 647 days

#7 posted 53 days ago

gtbuzz: Thanks for the tips. I shot another video of the runout and will get it uploaded tonight hopefully. As you will see in the video, the runout maxed out at 0.005 but would drop down to 0.003 if I removed my hand from the chuck.

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