Really People

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Review by kenthemadcarpenter posted 12-08-2015 11:40 PM 11865 views 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I really don’t where to start with this review simply because I have seen other post on here mostly on the negative side because obviously people are morons and shouldn’t be near a toy drill let alone a real one.
Also I made this purchase a while back and don’t recollect the exact price. But if I bought it then it had to be under 300 bills,

Let me start I guess with the pro’s (please keep in mind my prior experience with a drill press’s was a dinosaur from the late 40’s)
The owners Manual- Can’t get any clearer than this. Simple to understand. plain english read it and you will understand it. the diagrams are clear as a bell.

Assembly- Again read the instructions your not building a space shuttle folks. Yoiu will need a second person to help with the assembly if you purchased the floor model. Although I know some guy that could pick this with a single hand. Damn loggers always showing off lol.

the fact i can swing the table out of my if i need to is a plus, or if i need to put the table at an angle its simple enough to do.

Belt tension/adjusting speed/ replacing belt mechanism. Again I don’t how much easier this can get, loosen the nut for motor, move the lever, move the belts where you need them. press the tension lever back till the belts are taunt, tighten the nut for the motor. simple.

Power- for what i use it for and the materials i use it on this has always been enough to get the job done,

Variable speed chart and diagram.- so when you pop open the top lid to adjust the speed, right there is a reference diagram, on the left it shows where to put the belts for the different speed. on the right it tells you what speed to use for the size drill you are using and for the different materials best suited for that speed and drill bit. If you use this guide you shouldn’t have any problems with bogging down, unless your bits are dull.

Okay the Cons,
My only complaint would be for me I think they could have provided a couple extra feet of power cord. It’s a minor thing and something I can easily remedy.

On a side note. If you want a rectangular table, you will have to purchase an after market as the one they give you is circular. so don’t gripe if you buy this drill press about the table.

for value I myself would have to give this 5 stars.
for ease of use in all aspects, including adjustments etcetera again 5 stars.
for power again another 5 stars.
this isn’t a high end machine but it is not a cheap throw away either. You will get your moneys worth with out a doubt.

View kenthemadcarpenter's profile


124 posts in 1914 days

23 comments so far

View REL's profile


86 posts in 4503 days

#1 posted 12-10-2015 05:33 AM

I have the same exact drill press. Bought it several years ago and paid less than $160.00. Unbelievable!

Works fine for me. The little I use it. Not sure it would drill straight enough to make pens. It was the reason someone gave me once when I asked why they paid $500 for a drill press brand name.

-- REL, North Jersey

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

490 posts in 2527 days

#2 posted 12-10-2015 03:45 PM


Maybe it’s me but when I use a drill press it usually because I want a hole that is dead on to the angle I set it at and the size bit I use. If the drill press has a lot of runout that is causing the hole to go all wonky I might as well use a hand drill as I can get one of those pretty close in most cases. I have no idea how much of a issue runout is with this particular tool but you did imply that it was a little to sloppy for things like pen blank holes. Now I don’t think a woodworking drill press needs to be perfect and there is a fair amount of room here where you still get accurate sized holes even with some runout of the bit but if you can’t drill a straight hole in a pen blank and make the sleeve fit nice and tight using the suggested bit size than the drill press has issues doing what it was designed for. Most of us have to make compromises regrading the tools we have in our shops based on budget, room, etc. but a $160 tool that doesn’t do what I need it to is just a waste of very limited floor space in my shop.

My problem with Central Machinery tools in general is some of them work great sure but others have issues and there are often big differences batch to batch with the same tool. There is no consistency in the tools manufacture at all and they handle issues via the return desk rather than any form of customer service. At the end of the day would you rather spend you time chasing the hope that you will end up with a good example of a bargain tool or have decent certainty that you will get a higher quality more expensive version from a brand that believes in consistency from the start? There is a place in this debate for both ends of the spectrum. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer and it certainly doesn’t make anyone a moron because they don’t side on the same end of this debate as me.

View OSU55's profile


2657 posts in 2836 days

#3 posted 12-10-2015 04:17 PM

Madcarpenter, how’s the run out? I didn’t see any comment or implication positive or negative in your review. If it’s good, sounds like a heckava buy.

View Dedvw's profile


176 posts in 3727 days

#4 posted 12-10-2015 11:16 PM

Gotta love when a low priced tool exceeds expectations!

View woodmaker's profile


321 posts in 3538 days

#5 posted 12-10-2015 11:35 PM

I don’t understand why you stated in your review insults to the rest of us. Kind of uncalled for.

-- Mike

View marc7101's profile


23 posts in 1914 days

#6 posted 12-11-2015 10:58 AM

I think it is a case of you get what you pay for. The General Machinery drill press is priced lower than most other 13” drill presses because of cheaper parts used in the manufacturing process. It might work well for someone looking for a cheap drill press that won’t be used a lot, but I wouldn’t recommend it to the serious hobbyist or professional.

The most important features of a drill press are accuracy, reliability and power. The amount of run out of this drill press would not meet the standards of serious woodworkers.

-- Marc-

View kenthemadcarpenter's profile


124 posts in 1914 days

#7 posted 12-11-2015 08:54 PM

@ Osuss. in reference to run out my run out was with 3 0ne thousands of an inch,

View REL's profile


86 posts in 4503 days

#8 posted 12-12-2015 05:12 AM

How do you measure run out?

-- REL, North Jersey

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 1913 days

#9 posted 12-12-2015 05:47 AM

“obviously people are morons and shouldn’t be near a toy drill let alone a real one.”

“(please keep in mind my prior experience with a drill press’s was a dinosaur from the late 40’s)”

Do you not see the irony and insult here?
Review tools. Leave your ignorance based assumptions about people out.

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

View ThomasPittman's profile


39 posts in 2668 days

#10 posted 12-12-2015 03:07 PM

This is what the world is becoming. With social media and the internet as it is, everyone is an “idiot” and a “moron.” Completely uncalled for in any kind of mature review of a tool.

View tandg96's profile


3 posts in 2866 days

#11 posted 12-12-2015 11:39 PM

.003” runout is acceptable tolerance for a drill press in wood. Normally the bit your using will walk much farter than that! Im sure all of us at home have the tools to measure this.

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3361 days

#12 posted 12-13-2015 01:09 PM

I wasn’t even going to read this review, but the first couple of sentences caught my eye – the bit about negativity and people being morons…what was that?

So I read it. Obviously he likes it, but by his own admission his knowledge and usage on drill presses is limited to some unknown model made in the 40’s, and this HF unit he bought some time ago.

As far as his current HF unit, it only rates three stars on the HF website, (20 reviews total). Of the twenty reviews, eight of them are one star, mainly due to soft steel breakage around the arbor area, stripped threads, etc. So I think I can conclude that this press is the usual low quality we know and love from HF.

Given all that, with 40% of the reviews on Harbor Freight’s own website being one star, and those one-star drills being either out of service, returned, or mostly unusable, I’m a moron if I don’t think this is a great tool?
I don’t think so…

And no, I don’t find that most reviews on Lumberjocks are on the negative side – quite the opposite, thank you very much.

I do own a Central Machinery drill press, a radial head model made back in 2000. They don’t sell it anymore and I don’t use it much at all, but I refuse to get rid of it since the only comparable unit is from Grizzly, the G7946 radial drill press for $295.

Maybe once or twice a year I need a compound angle hole drilled in something, and it fills the bill, as long as I don’t need to be 100% true.
Mine is identical to the Grizzly save I have no safety guard around the chuck area. I paid $99 for mine, and got what I thought, a cheap radial drill press that has some runout, (about .003).

I get the feeling he also has the same low quality – save he paid a bit under $300. It lists currently for $269 on the HF website, about $40 less than I paid for my Porter Cable 12 speed from Lowes “a while back”, a proven workhorse as stated by others on this site over and over.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3895 days

#13 posted 12-13-2015 01:42 PM

I really do not care for the way this new comer on our site talks about us.
There is not reason to insult everyone else.
To show respect to others goes a long way in good and peaceful relationship.
If we all are morons, why do you associate with us?
In addition, I hope that this new comer is better at using a drill-press than at using a camera; you image sucks big time.

There is nothing wrong with any tooling just because it is old.
In fact most old tooling are of much better quality than any new tooling that can be bought today. The proof is that, 50 or more years later, they still are here today.
This said, I bought many years ago a used , but in like new condition, 21 speeds HF drill pres for $100.00.
It works like champ and it satisfies all my needs.

-- Bert

View knotscott's profile


8385 posts in 4222 days

#14 posted 12-13-2015 04:53 PM

I’ve had the benchtop version of this DP (38142) for several years now, and it’s really exceeded expectations. Smooth, powerful enough, heavy enough, decent stroke, low runout, great price….it basically more than meets my hobby needs. I got a good one, and it sounds like you did too.

With that said, there’s always a chance that the next unit won’t be as good….even though I’ve had good luck with some of the bigger HF items I’ve bought, their QC standards aren’t exactly setting new levels of excellence, so I make any recommendations for HF items with some reservation. Their DP’s seem to be decent in general, but it’s a good idea to check things over well as soon as you get them. Fortunately their return policy is good and the store is within 10 miles, so it’s no big deal to return stuff in the event of a bad apple….not the case for everyone.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3895 days

#15 posted 12-13-2015 07:09 PM

I buy HF tools for the 30 years and except for one router they all of them gave me satisfaction.

What’s wrong with Walmart furniture?

-- Bert

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