|Review by ferstler||posted 11-28-2008 09:58 PM||5328 views||0 times favorited||8 comments|
I paid three hundred bucks for this 15-inch device a couple of years back. I had initially picked out a Delta 16.5 incher, but when it came time to make the purchase Lowe’s had sold out of the Delta and doing a special order jacked the price up too much.
The Ridgid is a fine tool, although it is still basically a standard-quality item in this class. It has 12 speeds, running from 300 on up to 3100 rpm, although to make speed changes you have to open the top, release the tension with a lever on the side of the housing, and move some belts. Well, that is pretty typical. The motor is not a super powerhouse, being ½ horsepower and 8 amps (single phase), but when I recently did some forstner drilling with a 3.25-inch bit the motor had no problems, as one would expect with the speed torqued down to 300 rpm. The chuck had to be tightened very securely however, to keep the bit from slipping. The unit has a built-in lamp that helps to light up the table area.
The set up procedure was without incident (the housing is heavy, and maybe an owner could use some help in lifting it onto the post) and the chuck installed without a hitch. Alignment was right on. I did want to get the entire unit a bit more up into the air, so I built a wooden base underneath that lifts the entire unit about 5 inches.
This drill comes with the usual cast-iron table and as you can see from the photos I overlaid a plywood version to protect work pieces from scuffing and dinging accidents. The wooden table is also considerably larger than the iron one underneath, and the design lets me use clamps to solidly lock certain work pieces into position. (I also have a drill-press vice mounted on a moveable board that clamps easily.) I also installed a fence in the back to block chips from vaulting into the area behind the drill, and the fence is held in place underneath by wing nuts that allow for quick removal when dealing with larger items.
In addition to this drill press, I have a 10-inch Ryobi unit (reviewed elsewhere on this site) that is used for lighter-duty drilling jobs. (It also has a wooden table installed over the cast-iron one.) Together, they make a good team. With the Ridgid, I have discovered that the slightly smaller size, compared to the Delta, or even to some still larger models is not really that big a deal. The Ridgid press is a solid performer.