LumberJocks

Drill Press Purchase Advise

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by FatScratch posted 06-14-2010 04:08 PM 1349 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View FatScratch's profile

FatScratch

189 posts in 2763 days


06-14-2010 04:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press

I need some help from my knowledgeable LJ’s about purchasing my first drill press. I have never owned a drill press before, but think it will come in handy from time to time when using a hand drill becomes a bit of a challenge. I mostly do smaller scale projects and this is only a hobby for me, so I don’t need production quality equipment. I think a bench top model is more suited to my needs, simply because I don’t have the floor space for a floor standing unit, additionally a bench top is a lot easier for me to pick up and move if need be. I have looked everywhere and I am just a bit confused about what I really need. Is 1/3 hp enough for woodworking? Are 5 speeds (620 rpm – 3100 rpm) sufficient or do I need more (some I see are up to 16 speeds). Harbor Freight (I’m not a huge fan of their stuff, but quite a few of their drill presses have good reviews) has some relatively low cost models and there is a Craftsman (also not a fan of Craftsman, but this one has pretty good user reviews) ” http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00921900000P":http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00921900000P , which looks promising.

I need some guidance and suggestions would be helpful. I’m looking for that balance of cost and quality; keeping in mind that this is for hobby woodworking.


12 replies so far

View SKFrog16's profile

SKFrog16

661 posts in 2661 days


#1 posted 06-14-2010 04:20 PM

Honestly, try Craigslist in your area. You can do much better than a Craftsman for a bench top drill.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2716 posts in 2747 days


#2 posted 06-14-2010 04:26 PM

I’m not a big Craftsman fan, but for a drill press that sounds like a good buy. There is not that much to go wrong with a drill press so I would certainly consider it. I would not buy Habor Freight power tools personally, although they have their place for some things. Delta makes a pretty good bench top drill press too. Lowes might have it.

Jet has one of the better bench top models, but it runs about $300. It’s worth the extra, but it sounds like it out of your range. The light duty ones will probably work for what you are planning to do.

-- http://shepherdtoolandsupply.com/

View rance's profile

rance

4245 posts in 2621 days


#3 posted 06-14-2010 05:44 PM

I purchased a Delta DP350 last year and am very happy with it. A quick google shows it for about $225. I bought it specificallly for the VS. If you’ve ever used a CVS model, you’ll wonder why anyone would use anything else. I use the same in the floor model at work. You can find reports of problems with it in the earlier mfr. runs but I believe they’ve fixed those. You won’t be lugging this around though. For that, I bought a HF $79 model when it was on sale for $39. It has its limitations but I can pick it up with one hand and carry it. Its a $39 tool, and its a HF, but it has its uses.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View FatScratch's profile

FatScratch

189 posts in 2763 days


#4 posted 06-14-2010 05:48 PM

Thanks for the responses. UnionLabel, I have kept my eye on Craigslist for a few weeks and have not seen anything that I think is a reasonable deal or didn’t need quite a bit of elbow grease. Kent, I think you answered a big part of my purchase question, which is are these bench top models too light duty for hobby woodworking? I would like to stay below $200, because I just don’t see a DP being a real workhorse in my shop.

Thanks guys.

View pikaswoodshop's profile

pikaswoodshop

3 posts in 2364 days


#5 posted 06-14-2010 06:19 PM

I have that exact one and its a good one except it doesn’t have the depth i need but over all its a good one especially for the price. i got mine on sale for $100

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7208 posts in 2836 days


#6 posted 06-14-2010 08:27 PM

I picked up a Central Machinery model 38142 13” DP a couple of years ago for $144. While I’m not in the frequent habit of recommending Harbor Freight tools, this one has been surprisingly good for my uses. It was an upgrade from an 8” Grizzly. It’s got a stout 3/4” hp motor, very low runout and vibration, and decent quill travel. I also looked at the comparable Grizzly, Craftsman, Delta, Hitachi, and Ryobi models before giving this one a shot…I’m glad I did. DP’s at this level are virtually all made in China and are pretty similar. If there’s an HF near you, check it out…there return policy is pretty generous if there’s a problem.

1/3hp might be sufficient for many tasks, but the big forstner bits will bog that down in a hurry.

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

View FatScratch's profile

FatScratch

189 posts in 2763 days


#7 posted 06-14-2010 09:14 PM

Knotscott – Your review on the HF DP is what prompted me to even consider their drill presses. The model you have looked a little big to me, not that having additional capacity is a bad thing, it is mostly the overall size and weight that becomes an issue. The model 38142 weighs in at about 106lbs, making it quite a chore for me to move. I would love to get it and mount it to a mobile cabinet, but I just don’t have the room. Space is a real premium for me and I think something a little smaller that I can easily put out of the way will be better. I am leaning towards the Craftsman I listed earlier, which seems to have good reviews (buying the machine, not the brand!) and its size and weight might fit the bill. Thanks for the input on the 1/3hp, 1/3 sounds a little weak to me.

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3046 days


#8 posted 06-14-2010 10:24 PM

If you could squeeze in the floor model that would be better.don’t worry too much about speeds I never ever change the speed on my drill ever and don’t know anyone who has.A 1/3 motor, well you need to decide on that a half horse would be almost certainly ok but if you are doing smaller stuff a third will be fine take it easy and remember when all is said decided and done you need to enjoy just enjoy.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View wch's profile

wch

45 posts in 2419 days


#9 posted 06-14-2010 10:46 PM

I bought one of the small 1/3 HP drill presses from Harbor Freight, for $50. Is it as good as a $200 drill press? Nope. But it gets the job done, and is far more accurate and less fatiguing than using a hand-held drill, and it’s easy to move around, which is important for me because my space is very limited.

Although it doesn’t have that much power, it’s been fine for my purposes. It can bog down when I use my dull forstner bits for cutting big (3/4” or bigger) holes in hard woods, but it’ll still get the job done, just more slowly. Otherwise I haven’t had any issues with power. I leave it on the lowest speed, highest-torque setting, 600 rpm, and have never felt a need to make it go faster.

One limitation is the 2” stroke. Occasionally I’d like to drill deeper holes, and this involves drilling, stopping, raising up the table with bit in the workpiece hole, and then more drilling. It’s a little annoying, but it’s not the end of the world, and I don’t do it very often.

One more thing: I initially got the keyless chuck model, but the problem is that the chuck is very long and the column is short, making it difficult or impossible to fit a piece of wood under longer bits, even with the table at the lowest setting. I returned it and got the regular keyed-chuck model, which has been fine. Sometimes I buy cheap tools and regret it, and end up spending more money replacing them, but I’ve been perfectly happy with my cheapo drill press, and it left me with money to spend on quality drill bits and other tools…

View Janski's profile

Janski

2 posts in 1766 days


#10 posted 02-03-2012 12:23 AM

I have a floor model 17” Craftsman drill press that came with a “keyless” chuck; The problem is when using the forstner bits it is impossible to open the chuck to remove the bit as it jams up; I am forced to use one of the annoying two rubber strap dodads which is somewhat a pain in the neck;
At the local tech school workshop where I originally took classes they had a “keyed” chuck and I found that much easier in opening and closing;
I have called the Sears Tech Center customer service and said they do not have a”keyed” chuck for my drill press; (they originally said they did and shipped me the same keyless chuck that is on the machine already – had to return that).

Anyone have information on how I can retrofit one??

-- Joan Tski, Perkasie PA

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2735 posts in 2038 days


#11 posted 02-03-2012 03:11 AM

I would go for the HF 38142 mentioned above (it’s one of their gems), or for more power, quill travel and features, the “porter cable 15 press= is a great deal. Just go to a post office and grab a moving pack for a 10% off coupon, or if you can get your lowe’s to accept an HF 20% off coupon even better.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1636 posts in 1777 days


#12 posted 02-03-2012 04:47 AM

Unless it is a really odd chuck, it should be a standard thread or taper. You could replace it with the appropriate size chuck from a place like Travers or some other tool supplier.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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

HomeRefurbers.com