Benchtop or Stand alone

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Forum topic by dannymac posted 02-25-2010 07:57 PM 2223 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View dannymac's profile


144 posts in 2978 days

02-25-2010 07:57 PM

I still need to purchase a drillpress. I’ve gotton by for years without one but lets face it, it would make life so much easier.

Looking to find out which type you bought and the reason why, and now that you have it if you wish you chose the other model.

Would appreciate any input and opinions. Thank you

-- dannymac

21 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4181 days

#1 posted 02-25-2010 08:07 PM

I went with a benchtop due to limited space… this one to be exact.

It does everything I need it to do, and I’ve been very satisfied with it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View dannymac's profile


144 posts in 2978 days

#2 posted 02-25-2010 08:28 PM

thanks charlie, luckly space is no long a problem for me and if there are no serious disadvantages with the benchtop i’m going that route. Because lets face it they cost a bit less. thanks again for the imput

-- dannymac

View Blair Helgason's profile

Blair Helgason

169 posts in 3376 days

#3 posted 02-25-2010 08:33 PM

I also went with a benchtop (10” Craftsman) due to space and price. I don’t find myself wishing I had bought a stand alone model, although the particular one I bought is not great. It does the job but has a few design flaws. That being said I probably won’t replace it, at least not for a very long time or until it dies. A link to the model is below:

-- Blair

View SNSpencer's profile


133 posts in 3075 days

#4 posted 02-25-2010 08:43 PM

Craftsman benchtop for me as well. Space was an issue at the time of purchase. Love it and have not had any projects that have required anything bigger…. yet.

But, I would suggest looking into a model that you can use the mortising attachements for. Sometimes having the ability to drill a square hole is really nice.

-- Jef Spencer - Refined Pallet -

View TheDane's profile


5399 posts in 3625 days

#5 posted 02-25-2010 09:01 PM

Space is also an issue for me … picked up a bench-top and have never felt any restrictions. I do, however, have a Jet hollow-chisel mortiser, so mortising attachments were not part of what I needed to plan for.

Once I got my drill press, the firts/best thing I did was build an auxilliary table for it.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3248 days

#6 posted 02-25-2010 09:13 PM

That’s a hard question to answer. I have both. I use my floor model most of the time. Because I have it, I’m a little spoiled having more power and, in my opinion, heavier tools will always do a better job. You will not feel like you need to work your way up later. A good floor model drill press should last a lifetime. Will a bench top?
Only you can answer that. They are great for what they are. And yes, they are cheaper. One could very well fit your needs for a long time, depending on your projects.

For me, I’m so glad I have a floor model. I think you might be surprised how much you use any drill press.
There are fews days in my shop that I don’t use mine.


View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 3230 days

#7 posted 02-25-2010 09:23 PM

Don’t know how you got by so long without one of the essentials of the woodshop.
Mine’s a tabletop Delta 12-years-old; still beautiful, runs like a top.

I mounted it on an old 3-drawer wood file cabinet with locking casters.

I would not hesitate in looking at the usual sources for a good vintage DP. Most are easy and satisfying to restore back to near new and often available for little coin.
Build or buy a table (fence, hold down clamps, T-track) to extend its versatility.

Good luck,

View John Steffen's profile

John Steffen

218 posts in 3018 days

#8 posted 02-25-2010 09:26 PM

I got a Grizzly G7946 (Radial Floor Drill Press) and I’ve loved using it so far. It was only $50 more than the bench model so I figured I’d go for it. It’s probably all the drill press I’ll ever need… for wood anyway.

-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 3070 days

#9 posted 02-25-2010 09:52 PM

Drill Press is the next tool on my list, saving up for a Shop Fox benchtop oscillating drill press from grizzy. For the kinds of projects I do I don’t see much benefit of a floor model over a good benchtop, and floor space is at a premium for me. I’m going for the oscillating press because with sanding drum attachments it can replicate an oscillating spindle sander (something I would use enough to like to have, but not enough to justify a couple hundred extra for a dedicated one)

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View Kerry Drake's profile

Kerry Drake

167 posts in 2983 days

#10 posted 02-25-2010 10:08 PM

I’m going to get either the Craftsman 10” or 12” drill press for my birthday in April. I just need to make sure I can put a Mortising Attachment on whatever I get.

-- Kerry Drake, Loudon NH,

View northwoodsman's profile


242 posts in 3709 days

#11 posted 02-25-2010 10:21 PM

Very good question dannymac. About 12 years ago I purchased a Jet JW-17??? It’s a floor model. I didn’t have the space but I convinced myself that bigger was better. Besides I could use it for a drum sander, and a mortiser as well as a drill press. The first project I used it for I used it as a drill press (worked very well for this purpose), as a mortiser (very BAD idea), and as a drum sander (didn’t work well for this function at all). Ended up buying an oscillating spindle sander (works great for sanding!!). Now I am torn between a dedicated mortiser or a Festool Domino. Bottom line – if you desire, want or need a big drill press, get a floor model if you have the room. They don’t cost much more than a bench model. You may gain another inch or so in drilling depth with a floor model, and can drill holes in the end of boards that are 4’ long (haven’t needed to do that yet). But don’t think it will make a good drum sander or mortiser. Jei’son may be on to something with the oscillating function he describes above. I can tell you that in the last year, two people have come into Woodcraft while I was shopping trying to return their Delta Mortising Attachments and then getting directions to where they could take their drill presses to get fixed. It happened while I was there two weeks ago. This poor old guy had a box full of parts and a “deer in the headlights” look on his face. The man behind the counter was just shaking his head and trying not to laugh.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View rsmith71's profile


269 posts in 3005 days

#12 posted 02-25-2010 10:30 PM

Jei’son- Off topic but have you looked at the Central Mach benchtop Oscillating Spindle Sander at HF? It has turned out to be Harbor Freight gem. I gave $99 for mine it works great. I was afraid it wouldn’t have the power I wanted or would vibrate alot, but I bit the bullet and took a chance for the cost and no regrets. Just a thought. I didn’t think I could justify an OSS but that price didn’t take a lot of arm-twisting.

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

View dbhost's profile


5705 posts in 3194 days

#13 posted 02-25-2010 11:06 PM

I have the predecessor of the Northern Industrial #155305 Floor Drill Press — 16-Speed, 1 HP I was actually on my way to Home Depot to pick up a” Ryobi 12 Drill Press model DP121L when I decided to check Craigslist one last time, the Northern Industrial model popped up for $75.00 needing to be cleaned up some, mostly surface rust, and the pulley cover was bent up (hammered back to shape mostly now), and a couple of set screws for the head were missing. I cleaned it up fixed it up and have been using it consistently since purchase… I am happy with this DP as it has been a solid performer since day one, everything lined up right, travels straight etc… No surprises…

I am glad I got the floor model. With this, I can build a cabinet to roll over the base of the DP and sit at the height a bench top DP would… Then if for some reason I need the added lenght of column, I could simply roll the cabinet out of the way…

If I had nothing but cash to throw at it, I would go with the Steel City, or Delta floor models with the LONG quill travel. It’s not often I through bore a 4×4 and want the hole completely straight, but it would be a lot easier with a DP that actually had the capacity to do that…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3443 days

#14 posted 02-25-2010 11:35 PM

I would agree if you have the room and want to spend the money, I would get the floor model. It gives you a few extra options that come in handy at times.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View dannymac's profile


144 posts in 2978 days

#15 posted 02-26-2010 01:36 AM

I’d like to thank everyone for their post. It was very helpful. Although i think the debate will continue in my head right up to the point of purchase.

-- dannymac

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