The Beast!

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Review by CryptKeeper posted 05-11-2010 05:35 AM 6977 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The Beast! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I purchased the PM 2800 two weeks ago and this thing is a BEAST. I originally intended on purchasing the Delta 20-950 but Delta has completely discontinued the line with no intentions of reviving it – I contacted Delta directly before I pulled the trigger on the Powermatic.

I would have like the extra 2 inches the Delta offered and the extra 1-5/8” on quill travel but I think I’m going to be extremely happy with the PM.

1 hp motor – perfect size for my shop

True variable speed with the drill press running you simply move the adjustment lever forward or backwards to adjust the speed – no more changing belts!

Speed range – 400 to 3000 rpms

LED read out of spindle speed

Built in laser site – I was really skeptical on this one but I was surprised with it’s accuracy – no adjustments necessary. I moved the table to a variety of heights and it was on money out of the box.

Built in LED work lights. If you have adequate shop lighting I doubt you will use these. Just as a test, I put my drill press in a corner so that when I stood in front of the unit I cast a shadow on the table the built-in work lights were really nice in this situation.

Large table with built in extensions – be sure to read the con on this one.

Weight 209lbs. in the (310lbs shipping weight) – this machine is heavy but the extra weight virtually eliminates vibration when using large bits.

Adjustable Fence a nice feature to be included.

Packing materials – The machine was packed very well in solid Styrofoam. If the box is in tack I feel there is very little chance of the unit being damaged in shipping

Table extension brackets (that hold the extension wings) and the locking mechanism are made of plastic. On $900 drill press I would expect something a little more solid. This is not a big deal for me as I plan to build a custom top for mine.

Table Tilt is only left/right and is awkward to adjust and set. (Delta’s 20-950 tilted 45 degrees forward.)

Setup and Assembly:
Assembly was pretty straight forward. I had read reviews that in past PM omitted the worm gear installation this was corrected in my manual.

The instructions clearly indicate you need to get help with the assembly if you have that option I strongly recommend you buy a buddy a beer for the help.

However, if you have to assemble the unit by yourself it can be done – I did it and all you need are a couple of scrap pieces of 2×4’s

Here is how:
First, make sure you have adequate floor space for the drill press to lay down.

Unpack the drill press leaving the head in the stryofoam.

Assemble the column, base and table

Break the Styrofoam down around the mounting point on the drill press head.

Note: You will need 2×4 blocks for the base to rest on so the column is level with the unit head. Be sure there is enough of the 2×4 extending out so when pick the unit up the base is fully supported.

Insert the column and tighten set screws.

Now it is just a matter of getting your fingers under the head of the unit and standing the fully assembled unit upright.

At this point I tilted the unit back and rolled a mobile base under it and lowered drill press down. Note: that the drill press instructions tell you not to use a mobile base. I think the Rockler’s HTC 2000 Universal Mobile Base I choose is safe and feel completely comfortable using it for the drill press.

Overall opinion:
The 1 hp motor has ample power and anything larger is going to cost a lot more than $900 bucks. The motor easily handled a 3” forstner bit without a problem.

The variable speed adjustment, table height adjustment and the handle travel are all extremely smooth.

I would like to see them replace the plastic extension wing bracket with something a little more substantial and improve the table tilt options. However, I would still have no problem buying another one or recommending it to a friend.

-- Ron - Any day that I don't learn something new is a wasted day.

View CryptKeeper's profile


132 posts in 3751 days

4 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118079 posts in 4378 days

#1 posted 05-11-2010 05:46 AM

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3875 days

#2 posted 05-11-2010 02:35 PM

Good review – thank you.

I was a little surprised to read that the lowest speed is 400 rpm. In my opinion, that is still a little fast for a large (3”) forstner bit – especially if you are drilling hardwood.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View mfairchild's profile


1 post in 3738 days

#3 posted 05-11-2010 04:17 PM

I bought the same machine and agree with most of this review. I’d add that the fence adjustment, in addition to being plastic, is also tight against the fence and can be a pain to tighten/loosen. I can’t say the right/left tilt table is an issue for me but then I don’t do all that much work where I need the table to tilt. This is a well engineered and nice machine with plenty of power. I like the l.e.d. lights (good for older eyes) and the laser site and also found the site accurate right out of the box. With the exception of the fence adjustments, this is one of the best reasonably priced machines out there.

View Jim39's profile


2 posts in 3918 days

#4 posted 06-03-2011 11:29 PM

Just got mine. It”s still in the box. Thanks for the tips

-- Jim Hall, S.W. Ohio -The Beauty of Wood Lies in its Imperfections-

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