Which Drill press?

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Forum topic by rantingrich posted 11-07-2014 05:35 PM 1206 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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372 posts in 1371 days

11-07-2014 05:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press question

I need a drill press…. Leaning twards a Grizzly…


Seems there are two different models of most DP.. Floor standing OR Bench top.
Lets consider the HEAD part of two models are identical and the FLOOR model is more expensive why shouldn’t I get a BENCH top model of the same drill press? It’s only missing the extra steel and cost of a floor model?

Also grizzly has a couple of their DPs with oscillating spindles so you can use it as an oscillating Drum Sander. That’s a great plus, but my experience with ANY machine that is a DO IT ALL or MANY JOBS usually are not that good at the OTHER jobs. Such as a Shop Smith or a scanner, printer, fax machine

-- Rich

14 replies so far

View jshroyer's profile


80 posts in 1685 days

#1 posted 11-07-2014 05:40 PM

I actually have a used delta now but i was using a harbor freight model for a long time. the only reason why i got the delta is that it was a floor model and thus i could drill larger items. Honestly the harbor freight model was pretty good. All the parts where cast which was nice. I used a friends Delta benchtop drill pretty for a while and i actually like the harbor freight better. I know thats weird but its just how i feel.

I dont know anything about grizzly models.


View Larry Wilson's profile

Larry Wilson

25 posts in 1802 days

#2 posted 11-07-2014 06:39 PM

I have a floor model Steel City 17” DP that I love, mostly because it has a 6” quill stroke.

-- Shoot pool, not people

View MrRon's profile


4795 posts in 3270 days

#3 posted 11-07-2014 06:53 PM

I have a Delta floor model DP, circa 1936 that sees everyday use. When they made machines back then, they were designed to last forever. Unfortunately, companies can’t make money if the tools last a long time, so tools are actually designed for a finite life. This is true for absolutely everything on this planet; from cars to toasters and everything in between. That said, I prefer floor model DP’s. Bench model DP’s take up valuable bench space and if not sitting on a workbench, a small bench or stand has to be made to support it. So a floor model or bench model, will take up the same amount of floor space. Actually a bench model on a small bench or stand will take up more floor space. Since everything has a finite life; to me, a Grizzly, Harbor Freight or Delta is an acceptable choice. You may find that they are all made in the same Chinese factory. The more expensive one may have a better overall finish.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4949 posts in 3986 days

#4 posted 11-07-2014 07:09 PM

Floor model for sure. My 1950’s era Craftsman 103. series has been a great DP. No lost bench space, and I can use it for long drilling jobs.


View rantingrich's profile


372 posts in 1371 days

#5 posted 11-07-2014 07:24 PM

Well the question was FLOOR model or BENCH model and why?

-- Rich

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2659 days

#6 posted 11-07-2014 07:51 PM

Floor model. For me, space on my bench is more valuable than space on my floor. And a floor model already has a tiny footprint. Having the ability to move the table up/down 4’ish comes in handy. My DP is on a mobile base, so I can move it around my shop. I like to move the DP to the garage apron if I’m doing a lot of drilling. That way, I can simply blow the mess onto my driveway/grass. I suppose I could move a bench top model too, but I’d have to set up a workmate or some other work table to set it up on (not to mention carry it).
From a performance POV, there probably isn’t much difference. Having a floor DP has only been a benefit to me 2-3 times since I’ve owned it.
I could live with a benchtop model…..but I’m glad I don’t have to. Of course, they might be a better option for some.

View moke's profile


1181 posts in 2802 days

#7 posted 11-07-2014 07:59 PM

I have both. I had an older (70’s) model floor DP….it has worked well for me for many years. I recently got a 10” bench top model so I can use it on smaller things. My idea as to why is that the floor models might be better, is they usually have a longer quill stroke and a bigger body that can hold various modifications. On my floor DP I have added a shelf up on the head to hold small items that are pertinent to the DP (Rockler magnetic) , a table with a fence, a laser, and a second light. You would never have room for all that on a bench top, but then you have the bench right there to accomidate most of that stuff. I bought the bench top to have something small and very close to make quick work of small projects. I make a lot of pens and no longer drill on a DP but the bench top quill throw would be questionable if it would work.
The floor model will obviously allow you to drill much bigger items without a balancing act and the quill is typically 5/8 where the bench tops are usually 1/2. I love the tables for the floor models, which you could put on a bench top but it would be like having a pony pull a big wagon. Now Jet, Rikon and grizzly make larger bench tops, but the price is close to the cost of floor model.
Also I don’t have one, but a freind has the porter cable DP and it is priced well, you can get it at Lowe’s for the 330 area. It looks to be well designed and well built.
Just my .02

-- Mike

View JayT's profile


5677 posts in 2237 days

#8 posted 11-07-2014 08:25 PM

IF the head and table are identical, then the only advantage is the height of piece you can work with. I know Grizzly makes similar 12 speed bench and floor units that would probably be fine, but you want to avoid the 5 speed ones, as they just don’t go slow enough for large forstner bits and many other tasks.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View HerbC's profile


1764 posts in 2885 days

#9 posted 11-07-2014 08:55 PM

I really like the Porter-Cable 12 speed= It’s got really great reviews and I like the speed ranges available and the cost is good.

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View rantingrich's profile


372 posts in 1371 days

#10 posted 11-07-2014 09:12 PM

I never thought of the spindle travel.. Most lower prices DP are 3.75 or so. One would thing one would need at least 4.5 – 4.75 something like that to bust through a 4×4.

Looks like your gunna need a couple more “C” Notes to get that extra one inch of Drilling depth

-- Rich

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2659 days

#11 posted 11-07-2014 09:24 PM

The Porter-Cable, sold through Lowes, has 4+” of travel. I think its like $350. Best deal around for a DP IMO.
If I didn’t already have a Grizzly that I scored for a song off of Craiglist, the PC would be the ONLY DP on my list.
My Grizzly has ~ 3 7/8 of spindle travel. So far, I’ve never needed more. Thats not to say I never will though.

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2540 days

#12 posted 11-07-2014 10:29 PM

Given the choice, floor model every time. First time you have to drill something that is bigger or longer than your table travel, you will wish you bought the floor model.
I have two:
A PC floor model with a square table, 15 speed, and an older HF that is that radial head model that they no longer sell. It goes back and forth, rotates, and goes side to side. Only one like it now is the Grizzly G7946, and they put on a stupid round table. Mine has the longer throw with the bigger square table. I bought it in 99’, and have had numerous offers over the years to sell it. Don’t use it much, but when I need an angle hole on something 20” long, it saves the day.
Floor, floor, floor…..

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Woodmaster1's profile


982 posts in 2613 days

#13 posted 11-07-2014 11:37 PM

I have the delta 18” has a nice size table and it is great to use. It has 6” inches of travel.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3611 days

#14 posted 11-07-2014 11:40 PM

The floor model is a must IMHO because of the distance between the table and quill.
And the older ones were probably better because they were not made in the far east like today.
Home made ,or USA ,or European, is home made to me. The eastern block countries are improving and sadly for us will catch up and may be even better than us one day.
Remember the made in Japan stuff which when I was a boy was similar to made in China today wait and learn.
Money at the end of the day is important, for hobbiests especially.I nearly always buy used industrial machines myself and have always been pleased as I enjoy remaking them if needed and cleaning sorting any repairs and best of all painting them after all is done.They mostly come up better than new if enough care and time is taken,which I enjoy doing.
For me their is no rush and my son’s helps do the heavy stuff..Alistair

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

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