drill press how useful

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by birdguy posted 06-11-2010 06:38 AM 2798 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View birdguy's profile


73 posts in 2934 days

06-11-2010 06:38 AM

I am just wondering how useful a drill press is in a woodworking shope as I am concidering getting one
A floor model I also want a plainer and jointer cabnet saw but am limited on space at the moment hav a small workshope 12×14 have most all the saws I use just want better ones someday to many outher things first thoe how useful are drill presses in a woodworking shope

23 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117126 posts in 3604 days

#1 posted 06-11-2010 06:44 AM

I would get a planner and jointer and router long before a drill press even though their good to have their not high priority compared to many other tools for the shop.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Don's profile


517 posts in 3100 days

#2 posted 06-11-2010 06:46 AM

It depends a lot on what kind of work your doing. I’ve got a little bench drill press that takes very little space but does everything I need. I primarily just use it for drilling the holes for 32mm hinges and rarely use it even for that. On the other hand my table saw, planer and jointer get use nearly every time I’m in my shop since they are critical tools for dimensioning lumber for any project.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View birdguy's profile


73 posts in 2934 days

#3 posted 06-11-2010 06:58 AM

I forgot to mention I want a band saw and air filter unit too I have 2 router a new 2 base bosch with table and a inherated rockwell? All metal. Router Plenty of sanders- belt, 1/4 sheed, random orbit, bench_ disk and belt, several drils, small table saw, lots of hand tools dremel,( roto zip (what good are they I. Hardly use it) circular saw, jig saw, air compressor, 2 nail guns and several clamps also what’s a good portable bench top plainer I have ben looking at the makita wating on tax check for plainer ? Maby sompting else what. Else should I get? I am aboutr to sell some outher things and get 300$ or so I can use it toards tools so how should I spend it I might make some bird houses. Small things. Wood cutting boards, small shelves Not enought room or want the headake for big projects at the moment

View Don's profile


517 posts in 3100 days

#4 posted 06-11-2010 07:19 AM

In a shop that small I’d definately invest in an air filtration unit. My shop is about twice that size but it still becomes unbreathable really fast when I’m sanding if I don’t have the filter running because there’s no where for the dust to go.

The value of a band saw is also very dependant on what your doing. Most of what you can do with a band saw can be done with a jig saw or on the table saw so it should probobly be low on your priority list.

I’ve got a little Ryobi benchtop planer which is pretty good for the price. I haven’t used a Ryobi planer but their tools are also generally pretty good for their price in my experience.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3011 days

#5 posted 06-11-2010 07:33 AM

A drill press can be very useful in the wood shop. As with any tool there can be limitations. I will agree with you on the floor model. Although most bench models are short versions of the floor models. As you stated you have a small shop and a bench model would fit your needs and you could build a storage cabinet to mount the drill press to and have additional storage. You could mount drum sanders and mortisers besides drill bits. As well as drill angles easier. You can also do some light turning on the drill press, like making drawer knobs. Since you already have a saw before upgrading to that cabinet saw, do yourself a favor and get the planer. With the use of a jig and sled you can use it to joint with until you can get the jointer later. But if you feel the need to have a drill press next instead, I recommend getting a Radial Arm Drill Press. I love mine.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18290 posts in 3703 days

#6 posted 06-11-2010 09:11 AM

I use mine a lot, but I do much more than WW. Welcome to LJ!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3403 days

#7 posted 06-11-2010 09:29 AM

A DP is useful, but a hand drill will do many of the tasks of a DP. I find the planer and jointer more critical for wood….I’d put a TS, router, and BS ahead of the DP too. On the plus side, a DP has better precision and power than a hand drill, and you can put a sanding drum on the DP.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View DAWG's profile


2850 posts in 3164 days

#8 posted 06-11-2010 10:01 AM

I agree that if your not going to be doing any specific job that requires a drillpress it should be way down your list of things to buy. Router, jointer and planer would come first on my list and probably in that order.

-- Luke 23: 42-43

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3077 days

#9 posted 06-11-2010 11:18 AM

I find I dont/ cant hold the drill square with the wood so my drill press, even tho it is old and small (bench model) is really very useful. It is also quick and easy to use and there whenever you need it. It really depends on what you are planning to do as it has its limitations.
BUT my new (floor standing) bandsaw, well that is truely another matter, I really love it!

-- Theresa,

View birdguy's profile


73 posts in 2934 days

#10 posted 06-11-2010 11:44 AM

Any ideas on plainer? Is the makita anyt good?

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2988 days

#11 posted 06-11-2010 02:58 PM

I have found that a drill press is something I don’t use a lot but, when needed, is as handy as a pocket on a tee shirt.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3507 days

#12 posted 06-11-2010 03:38 PM

I use mine a lot too, but like Jim said, if you need a bandsaw and jointer, I think I would get those first. You can use the drill press for mortise work and sanding too so its a nice tool to have.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3754 days

#13 posted 06-11-2010 04:13 PM

I have two in my shop. A bench drill press and a radial drill press. I agree with everyone, the jointer, and bandsaw and thinckness planner would be my first choices, then the drill press.

-- Ray

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3788 days

#14 posted 06-11-2010 04:14 PM

You have only 168 sq. ft. of workshop space. It is in this type of environment that a Shopsmith really shines. Look for a used 510 or 520 on eBay or Craigs list. This will give you a 10” table saw, 12” disk sander, a 34” x 16” lathe, and a drill press with 4 1/4” quill travel that can drill vertically or horizontally, in a machine that occupies only 12 sq. ft.

In a recent poll on the Shopsmith forum, 11% of the Shopsmith users actually work in spaces up to 100 sq. ft. and more than 30% work in 200 sq. ft. or less. My shop in Gainesville is 194 sq. ft. and in addition to the features above, I also have a 6” depth bandsaw, 4” jointer, 20” scroll saw, 12” planer, 10,000 rpm shaper, overarm pin router, 30 gallon single stage dust collector, and a 12” Rockler dovetail jig.

I don’t think the woodworking magazines and their editors are aware of just how many very small shops are “out there”. They are clueless as to the needs of this rather large segment of the woodworking population. Last year, in an email exchange with Sandor Nagyszalanczy, I challenged him to get together with his peers, mark off a 100 sq. ft. space, and “put a shop” in there. He hasn’t answered.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3259 days

#15 posted 06-11-2010 04:46 PM

A drill press is an absolute must have for accurate, repeatable, straight holes in your stock. Most, but not all of my projects simply wouldn’t get done without a drill press.

If you organize that 12×14 shop of yours smartly, you can get a LOT of shop in that space. Give serious consideration to bench top model planers and jointers to save space. If you absolutely have to have a floor model jointer, look at a Jointer / Planer combo machine like the ones from Grizzly, and Jet. A floor model drill press isn’t a must do, there are plenty of great bench top DPs out on the market. A cabinet saw can be fitted with a router table in the extension wing to double up the utilization of space.

There is a guy on (I believe registration is required to read the posts, sorry…) that has a 12×12 shed / shop that is every bit as well equipped as my 18×20 garage shop, and then some, he has 2 lathes in there, AND lumber storage, AND a scroll saw… There are ways to make it all work. And part of the fun of setting up shop is making it all work…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

showing 1 through 15 of 23 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics