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Forum topic by BigDumbAnimal posted 11-27-2014 10:30 PM 1343 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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65 posts in 1829 days

11-27-2014 10:30 PM

I have a small garage shop that the Marine Corps makes me move every few years. I’m in the market for a benchtop drillpress and am hoping that the knowledgable folks here can point me in the right direction. Price is an issue and if possible I’d like to keep it under $300. I’ve looked at craftsman, grizzly, and rikon and have read mixed reviews on all of them. Swing isn’t a huge issue for me but a machine with a spindle travel of 3inches or more would be great. Anyway, I’m hopeing you all can provide me some honest, non paid for feedback from folks who actually know how to use their tools. All input is welcome, thanks for reading.

-- Semper Fi BDA

9 replies so far

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


708 posts in 3296 days

#1 posted 11-28-2014 12:31 AM

When I was moving around the world at the direction of the Army, I had a benchtop Central Machinery (Read: Harbor Freight) and it actually did a good enough job for me. I was only doing woodworking, so no heavy duty metal drilling.

It was inexpensive and filled the bill for what I was looking for. Mechanically, it is sound and no excessive play anywhere to speak of. Good spindle travel of 3-4 inches. If I needed to end drill long boards or spindles for instance, I could swing the head over the side of the table and get it done.

Of course, I didn’t try morticing or anything like that, but for drilling and drum sanding, it worked great. I still have it and use it today, even with my floor model Rigid.

And thank you for your service BDA!


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Nickdarr's profile


69 posts in 2054 days

#2 posted 11-28-2014 12:55 AM

When moving frequently at Uncle Sam’s discretion, I had a Grizzly that worked for many years and through many moves. I gave it a friend and he still has it. My dad has used a Central Machinery model that appeared similar to my Grizzly for the last several years with good luck. Grizzly customer service has been good with replacing stuff I have lost or broke when moving. Good luck and thanks for your continued service.

-- Darren... Hmmmm, I got nothin.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2098 days

#3 posted 11-28-2014 01:09 AM

I bought a used Delta bench top drill press on kijiji (craigslist) and it’s been fabulous.
You may want to watch for a used one.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2656 days

#4 posted 11-28-2014 01:51 AM

I had the current model Craftsman 12” benchtop DP for a minute.
I was in the market for a highly capable DP that could handle virtually any job. Honestly, I was looking for a DP that I’d never have to replace. The bar was set REALLY high. The craftsman didn’t fit the bill. I traded up for a floor model Grizzly.
HOWEVER, if I was in your position (and I was from 1997-2003 S/F), the craftsman probably would have stayed with me longer. It probably could have handled 85-90% of any job I’d have needed it for. For an off-the-wall job, I could always used the base hobby shop if I needed a bigger machine.
At $150, the Craftsman might be worth considering for your situation. Easy to move, but still pretty capable.

View TheFridge's profile


9606 posts in 1509 days

#5 posted 11-28-2014 02:35 AM

I’ve had 2 HF DPs. One was borrowed and one replaced it when I had to give the borrowed one back. Older model central machinery T-586. Paid 125$ used for 2nd one. It doesn’t let me down.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Rick's profile


9701 posts in 3056 days

#6 posted 11-28-2014 05:05 AM

This is mine from Lowes Canada. Very Happy with it. Details are on Picture. Never use the Lasers.


-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2537 days

#7 posted 11-28-2014 02:02 PM

My first three drill presses were: Two from HF that I also moved around while on active duty, and my first drill press after active duty was a bench top reclaimed from a machine shop going out of business, that I got for $40.
HF when you don’t have much money and it will get moved and tossed, and used old American stuff is great when you finally want that first real press that you might keep for a while.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View MrRon's profile


4793 posts in 3266 days

#8 posted 11-28-2014 07:46 PM

Since you are on-the-move, I would go with a HF DP, use it and when it’s time to move, sell it and buy another at your new destination. Used DP’s are easy to find and there is always a HF store everywhere.

View BigDumbAnimal's profile


65 posts in 1829 days

#9 posted 11-30-2014 03:53 PM

Thanks for all of the replies. I found a 12 inch craftsman discounted for Black Friday that my wonderful wife said santa might be able to cover.

-- Semper Fi BDA

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