The last drill press I plan on owning

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Review by Hoakie posted 01-15-2012 11:27 PM 12118 views 1 time favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The last drill press I plan on owning The last drill press I plan on owning The last drill press I plan on owning Click the pictures to enlarge them

This is the second drill press I’ve owned, but the first serious one. As you can see in one of the pictures, I had the 10” Craftsman drill press. It had a 2 1/8” quill travel and a 2/3 hp motor. Although it got small jobs done, it was never fun to use and I cursed it out every time I needed to. Obviously the Delta 18-900L is in a whole different class so any real comparison is moot. However, I can say that I don’t seem myself ever cursing this bad boy out.

I purchased the tool from Amazon and got free shipping. I placed my order on Sunday and took delivery on Friday night (I could have had it Wednesday. night but could not find a time to accept delivery from freight company). When they delivered the package everything seemed ok until I looked closely, I notice that some of the packing tape was open and and when I opened the box a few of the loose parts were jumbled. Additionally the chuck had worked it way from the box it was packaged in. However, aside from that the rest of the packaging seemed pretty solid and the head, column, base and table seemed pretty secure in the packaging. Since I wanted mobility I built a moble base ore this monster to sit on. Per Delta’s instructions I mounted the base on a 24” x 29” piece of 3/4” plywood. I then put the base and plywood on a General Universal Mobile base, rated to 500lbs. In this configuration, the DP is very solid and does not feel tipsy at all when moving across the shop.

After cleaning all the rust protection off the exposed metal parts, I assembled the column and table. A neighbor of mine was kind enough to help me with the head. It definitely takes two people (in fairly good shape) to lift the head. We didn’t have too much of a problem getting from the garage, thru the house and into the basement. Once in the basement we formulated our plan of attack and were able to lift it on the the upright column without too much worry. It did require some wiggling it get it to seat all the way down on the column head. After taking a break for dinner I followed the remaining directions to install the chuck, belt tension release handle and light. Over all the assembly was very easy and the directions were clear, as were the accompanying photos. The only other issue I had was that one of the table tilt release knobs was not threaded. It looks like the insert they used inside the knob never was put through the treading step durning manufacturing. I plan on calling Delta to have them ship me a new one tomorrow. If I had a tap and Dye I’m sure I could do it myself but I’d rather get it fixed by Delta.

I have not had the time to run it through all the paces yet but I didn’t check that the bits were square with the table and did a quick test on run out which I think was ~0.002”. at 3”, more than adequate for my woodworking.

I have attached a few more photos not normally seen in reviews. The first picture is with the LED light and Laser on without any other lights on just to give a sense how bright the LED is

This is a picture of the LED pointed at the shop wall opposite the DP (~ 17 feet) and the rest of the shop lights out.

The last picture is of the laser guide with the lights off to show intensity and line sharpness. It is pretty easy to adjust and should prove pretty handy

Overall I am very pleased with my purchase. Although there was some sticker shock, I confident that I have a drill press that will last me the rest of my woodworking days with out regret. I think the two best features I have noticed so far is the auto-tensioning belt system for fast speed changes, and the 6” quill travel. I’m not sure how many times I’ll need to drill a hole 6” deep, but it sure is nice not having to move the table up and down as much! :)

I’ll keep you posted if anything comes up to change my thoughts on this product, or if you have specific questions feel free to drop me a line.

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

View Hoakie's profile


306 posts in 4807 days

20 comments so far

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 3611 days

#1 posted 01-16-2012 01:42 AM

Ok my mouth is watering now. A very nice addition to your shop John. I am glad for you and hope it serves you well. How many weeks did you save up for it?
Oh and those lasers look like a gun sight out of Star Wars…

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Hoakie's profile


306 posts in 4807 days

#2 posted 01-16-2012 03:18 AM

$30 per month for 2 years + some gift cards and b-day allowance :). Doesn’t hurt to have an awesome wife who supports (or is it endure? can never remember) my tool addiction.

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 3611 days

#3 posted 01-16-2012 03:27 AM

Same here. She has her moments but it is when I go overboard. I could go nuts on ebay. Thats why I put a few hundred on a refillable credit card and that’s my limit.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View NiteWalker's profile


2741 posts in 3348 days

#4 posted 01-16-2012 04:46 AM

I’m drooling too. :)
I use my drill press a lot, and love it (ridgid dp1550) but the 18-900 is the dp of my dreams.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View rustynails's profile


890 posts in 3300 days

#5 posted 01-16-2012 05:18 AM

I have had the same press for about a month now and love mine.


View thiel's profile


410 posts in 4063 days

#6 posted 01-16-2012 07:19 AM

Have the same one… love it. The quill travel has already proven useful, and I really like how easy it is to tilt the table (on both axes). The fence is a nice addition: worth it.

Really… not too tippy when mounted on wheels? I put the plywood on but lacked the manhood to add wheels. Perhaps I’ll give it another go!

I did carry the headstock in from the truck myself, but honestly it’s the heaviest thing I’ve ever lifted and I don’t think I could do it a second time. You DEFINITELY need two people to assemble this machine!

-- --Thiel

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3775 days

#7 posted 01-16-2012 07:43 AM

Wow, congrats

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Bob817's profile


679 posts in 3153 days

#8 posted 01-16-2012 08:31 AM

Wow!, What a Beauty!, Best of luck with it.

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

View a1Jim's profile


118065 posts in 4348 days

#9 posted 01-16-2012 08:40 AM

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3637 days

#10 posted 01-16-2012 02:24 PM

It looks like a fine machine. Thanks for the post.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Hoakie's profile


306 posts in 4807 days

#11 posted 01-16-2012 04:03 PM


Yes it does NOT feel tippy on the General base. I do not plan on moving it around a lot, but I did want to be able to move it again so I can rearrange the shop as needed. One thing i did different than Delta’s instructions was to mount so the front of the base was ~1” from the front of the plywood instead of centered. What this did was make it more centered between the front and back wheels when I need to move it. In this configuration the back of the DP motor is roughly even with the back wheels so the center of mass of the motor is in front of the back wheels.

Others, thanks for the comments. I know i’m going to love it.

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

View StumpyNubs's profile


7806 posts in 3571 days

#12 posted 01-16-2012 04:35 PM

That is one nice machine! Thanks for posting!

-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
(The greatest woodworking show since the invention of wood is now online!)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Ken90712's profile


17867 posts in 3959 days

#13 posted 01-16-2012 05:11 PM

Nice! I have the same two Drill Press’s I just got my delta a few weeks ago and love it. Blondie and and I lifted the head on, your ight it a little heavy. This Drill press is a solid performer and I love looking at it when in the shop.


-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Triumph1's profile


931 posts in 3850 days

#14 posted 01-16-2012 07:22 PM

Very nice. I am using the same drill press and love it also! The tilting table is my favorite part. The only difference is I am using a Woodpecker drill press table.

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View Hoakie's profile


306 posts in 4807 days

#15 posted 01-16-2012 07:48 PM

For those that are interested in buying between now and April 30 2012 (or bought after Jan 1, 2012), it looks like Delta has a $100 mail-in-rebate. (this is good for other delta equipment as well but didn’t match model’s with equipment)

That brings the cost down of the unit to be comparable with other 17” models with less features

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

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