Any good drill press recommendations?

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Forum topic by jstewart posted 02-03-2008 07:06 AM 5503 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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141 posts in 4088 days

02-03-2008 07:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press

I’m in the market for a good drill press for under $450. I’ve looked through the LJ tool reviews for them, but there are only two. Are there any specific brands to look for or to avoid? Any features I should really consider? I’ve never owned a drill press, so I’m not really sure what I’m doing when comparing one to another. I’m fine with changing belts for variable speeds. I would love a floor standing model. I probably need lasers if you expect me to be accurate. Other than that, I’m just guessing.

Any comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas

8 replies so far

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3796 days

#1 posted 02-03-2008 06:08 PM

If you need 6 inches of throw, get the Steel City… Otherwise, Delta, Jet, Grizzly, and General are fine. I am not much of a Rigid guy.

-- making sawdust....

View bobdurnell's profile


315 posts in 3894 days

#2 posted 02-03-2008 06:28 PM

I love my Jet 16 1/2 drill press and amazingly it cost just about $450. I only replaced the belts with the link type and added one of those magnetic base adjustable lamps because the built in one was not so good, I mean bright. It is a floor model and I bolted it to the floor.

-- bobdurnell, Santa Ana California.

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4192 days

#3 posted 02-03-2008 06:41 PM

Well, since I’m a Shopsmith guy at heart, I just gotta toss this out there. You could get a nice used Mark 5 Shopsmith which has a good variable speed drill press, and as a bonus, if you needed a 12” disc sander, 34” lathe, table saw, and horizontal boring machine (actually I find this a REALLY useful option in woodworking & use it as much as the drill press option), you’d get all the rest at no extra cost.
I’ve seen (and bought & resold) used machines that were in great shape, some with additional options like bandsaws, in the $300 to $450 range from ebay, craigslist and even local shopper’s papers.
How could I be “Shopsmithtom” & not think this way, right? -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View liftoff621's profile


4 posts in 3771 days

#4 posted 02-04-2008 04:14 AM

I just got the Steel City. A very cool tool, good quality, easy to change belts, and less than $450 with laser at my local Woodcraft. It went together pretty easy. Needed my son to help me put the head on. Still waiting for the laser to arrive. I was going to buy a less expensive tool, but decided (with my great wife’s approval) to go for the gusto. This should be the last drill press I will ever buy. Ever grin when first using a new quality tool?

My first post. Thank you for all the welcome Emails.

View jstewart's profile


141 posts in 4088 days

#5 posted 02-05-2008 03:55 AM

What types of activities might I need 6” of travel for? The Delta I’m looking at has 3 7/8” of travel. Is that on the low end? Would that be adequate for most applications? Also, some drill presses, including the Delta but not the Steel City, have a table that tilts forward as well as left/right while others have only left/right tilt. Is that really necessary?

So, if I wait until March 1, my local Woodcraft has a 10% off sale. The Steel City 17” would run me $423. The Delta 16.5” is available at a number of places locally. Lowes has it for $369 regular price.

(A small concern I have about buying a Steel City is the availability of a repair center if I ever had a problem. There’s a local Delta/PC factory authorized repair shop in town. For Steel City, I’ll bet I would be paying the $100 to ship it off somewhere.)

I’m leaning toward the Steel City, but just can’t make the decision final in my mind. (I would love to support the local Woodcraft with my business rather than Lowes.)

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3761 days

#6 posted 02-05-2008 04:13 PM

Go with the Steel City drill press, it’s the hotest drill press out now, you won’t regret it.

View jstewart's profile


141 posts in 4088 days

#7 posted 02-06-2008 04:17 AM

Dang! I just looked at the sale details for Woodcraft. Steel City tools are specifically excluded from the sale, putting the price at $470. So, it’s looking more and more like I’ll be getting the Delta. The price difference of $100 is going to be hard for me to justify. Thanks for sharing your opinions everybody.

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3761 days

#8 posted 02-06-2008 05:11 PM

Joshua, you can do what you want, but I really think you will be sorry if you don’t get the Steel City drill press. It really is worth the extra $100, and is only $20 over your budget.

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