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Forum topic by Sunburned posted 12-27-2016 01:48 PM 964 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sunburned

31 posts in 354 days


12-27-2016 01:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press

Hey All,
I have been doing some novice woodworking for a few years now and it has become clear that i need a drill press. I don’t have any knowledge of drill presses or the power required and it seems like more than most other tools there is a huge price/quality range. I am going to be using it almost exclusively on wood (zero or very little metal) but the holes i need to make could be pretty big. Possibly at times using 2-3 inch forstner bits. I was hoping to benefit from some of the knowledge on this forum. I was looking at this https://www.amazon.com/WEN-4214-12-Inch-Variable-Speed/dp/B00HQONFY6/ref=pd_cp_469_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=95PR1N9XX3X4M5ETGQBK

It says it has a 2/3 HP motor, but the video of the of the guy stopping the chuck with his bare hand is giving me a uneasy feeling as i want to be able to make those 2-3 inch holes.

I would like to keep the budget in the $300 range, but if there is a another product that is significantly better that is more i would definitely consider it.

My main considerations are:
1. Power (it has to do what i need it to)
2. Precision (make the hole where i want)
3. Price
4. Size (would like a mid size (something i can put on a tabletop)
5. Bells and Whistles (digital display, onboard chuck holder, etc.)

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

-- Woodworking Forever


25 replies so far

View WhyMe's profile

WhyMe

910 posts in 1399 days


#1 posted 12-27-2016 02:12 PM

I think you are going to be hard pressed to find a benchtop drill press with the features you want better than the Wen you linked too for $300 or less.

View Woodchuck2010's profile

Woodchuck2010

704 posts in 696 days


#2 posted 12-27-2016 02:24 PM

I have the WEN 15” and it’s been working great. I’ve only drilled up to 1 3/4” holes though. Well, actually up to 4”, but that was with an adjustable hole bit. I bought mine online through Walmart as it was only $399. That was the best deal I found and I liked the variable speed feature.

-- Chuck, Michigan,

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Woodchuck2010

704 posts in 696 days


#3 posted 12-27-2016 02:35 PM

-- Chuck, Michigan,

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Sunburned

31 posts in 354 days


#4 posted 12-27-2016 03:13 PM

Hi Chuck,
Thanks for the reply. When you cut that 1 3/4” did it have the power to go through it?

-- Woodworking Forever

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

4789 posts in 2350 days


#5 posted 12-27-2016 03:21 PM

I purchased a 15” porter cable from Lowes and I found it a good deal even over what HF offered but if I had it to do over again I would have saved up and purchased a 17”. The 15” does what I need it to do but I do miss that extra space more so when it comes to adding a drill press table. I’d recommend a 17” over a 15”

This is the one I have, It’s a 15” Porter Cable. Lowes has it for $299.00 but as I mentioned above if you can spend the extra get a 17”.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/PORTER-CABLE-8-Amp-12-Speed-Floor-Drill-Press/1000132463

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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Bill White

4805 posts in 3798 days


#6 posted 12-27-2016 04:31 PM

I have a ‘50s Craftsman by KingSeely behemoth. All cast iron, 4 speed floor model that I’ve had for almost 20 years. No Bell and whistles, but steady as a rock. Paid $150 with lots of extra stuff not related to the DP.
I would be hard pressed to trade it for some of the new DPs on the market that are made from stamped steel and bubble gum.
Sure, the multi-speed features are nice, but I’ve never (yet) run into a task that this dinosaur can’t handle.
I did add a link belt.
I can’t get excited about anything Wen branded because the history of Wen is somewhat questionable.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Woodchuck2010

704 posts in 696 days


#7 posted 12-27-2016 05:09 PM


Hi Chuck,
Thanks for the reply. When you cut that 1 3/4” did it have the power to go through it?

- Sunburned

Easily. I’m sure it would go through much bigger. I do have a very nice carbide Freud fostner bit set. Good bits make a big difference.

-- Chuck, Michigan,

View dddddmorgan's profile

dddddmorgan

87 posts in 966 days


#8 posted 12-27-2016 05:20 PM

I’d chime in with my .02 for Craigslist finds. I picked up a Shop Fox with no visible wear for $200.00.

The most important thing is matching bit speed to the task, that’s why there’s the pulleys running things. That small motor is fine for almost everything you’ll do in a small shop as long as you use the provided gearing.

I’ve heard positive comments about the Porter Cable tools that Lowes carries, that might be an option if you have one in your area as mine looks like they are phasing out models for newer ones and everything is on sale.

Once you have a drill press you will shake your head in wonder as to how you survived without it.

-- Maintenance Man - I do precision guesswork based on unreliable data from people of questionable knowledge...

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Sunburned

31 posts in 354 days


#9 posted 12-27-2016 06:03 PM



I have a 50s Craftsman by KingSeely behemoth. All cast iron, 4 speed floor model that I ve had for almost 20 years. No Bell and whistles, but steady as a rock. Paid $150 with lots of extra stuff not related to the DP.
I would be hard pressed to trade it for some of the new DPs on the market that are made from stamped steel and bubble gum.
Sure, the multi-speed features are nice, but I ve never (yet) run into a task that this dinosaur can t handle.

- Bill White

I know a few people who have basically said the same thing. Try and find a 50+ year old press and call it a day.

-- Woodworking Forever

View OSB's profile

OSB

147 posts in 364 days


#10 posted 12-27-2016 06:43 PM

Maybe I’m just slow and a metal fabricator at heart but as long as a drill press goes down to around 150 rpm, I’m happy. I guess some people use really high rpm for wood but I’m not in that big of a hurry.

I think variable speed is overrated, a step pulley setup does fine for me, even with only 4 or 5 speeds, I almost never use the highest speed. One thing bad about variable speed boxes of the traditional style is if you adjust the speed without the spindle running you can screw up the box where as a step pulley is almost foolproof.

My $80 Craigslist Taiwanese drill press does everything I need.

If I was independently wealth and had a huge shop, I would probably get a few Clausing drill presses with the variable speed box but that would be pure luxury.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7658 posts in 2752 days


#11 posted 12-28-2016 12:06 AM

If the OP is wanting to drill 2-3” holes occasionally, then you need a DP that will slow down to 250rpm or so. In other words, you need a larger drill press, 17-20in. in size. Otherwise you will be burning those larger bits up and scorching your wood.

FWIW, I put up with a small DP for over 20yr before I broke down and bought my Grizzly G7948 - 12 Speed 20in. Floor Drill Press . I now kick myself in the arse for waiting so long to buy this! You will never regret buying “too big” of a DP, however you can see some posters already regretting going “too small”, as I did for too long.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Sunburned's profile

Sunburned

31 posts in 354 days


#12 posted 12-28-2016 01:45 AM

So I have been wanting a drill press for so long the last thing i want to do is get something I am going to be disappointed with. It looks like the power i want is simply not going to be available on a smaller press so a larger press it will be. There have been pretty wide amazon price swings on some nice presses (like +/-$150). I linked 2 of the ones I am now looking at below. I am thinking I will wait until I catch a good sale and pull the trigger then, I will also be keeping an eye on craigslist to see about a nice older press that can be had at a good price.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NF6P8PI/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=335JHJ840SGB4&coliid=I13DFPY8B4UJCG

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000DD101/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=335JHJ840SGB4&coliid=I303CQ631FT1K

Big thanks to everyone who shared their knowledge and experience on this thread. Please feel free to jump in if there is anything else to throw out there.

As a side note to dddddmorgan, this is a great quote:

I do precision guesswork based on unreliable data from people of questionable knowledge…

-- Woodworking Forever

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7658 posts in 2752 days


#13 posted 12-28-2016 01:03 PM

Those look like the above are good choices with a wide speed range. FWIW, I also added a Woodpeckers Drill Press Table to my 20in. Grizzly and could not be happier. Life is good…


P.S. Make your own Zero Inserts w/3/4in. X 4” X4” MDF… 8-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View wichman3's profile

wichman3

49 posts in 459 days


#14 posted 12-29-2016 12:06 AM

If you see yourself needing to be able to switch between jigs / vises / tables strongly consider the second DP. Here are some pictures of the jigs I’ve made for my DP:


View OSB's profile

OSB

147 posts in 364 days


#15 posted 12-29-2016 01:35 AM

Around here, looking at Craigslist, I have a choice of probably a dozen good used heavy duty drill presses for 1/4 the price of those Amazon listings or less.

I got mine for $80. I missed out on that new drill press smell but I’m sure not missing that $520.

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