Poor Design

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Review by Manitario posted 12-05-2016 04:41 PM 4995 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Poor Design Poor Design No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I needed a larger drill press and wanted something with a 6” stroke. I settled on this drill press without too much thought or research. The CWI Bullett (I’ll give CWI the benefit of the doubt that “Bullett” was an intentional spelling error) seemed to fit my needs and there was a good deal on shipping, so I made the order.

On arrival, it was very apparent that this was simply a General International 75-260 drill press that was spray painted black and had a different brand sticker put on it. Even the instruction manual had several pages from the Gen Int 75-260 with the Gen Int brand blacked out. Unlike General International instructions, which tend to be excellent, most of the instruction manual that came with this drill press appeared to have been written on a typewriter by someone who doesn’t speak english, photocopied 100x and then faxed repeatedly. Also the majority of what was written referred to a different drill press.

Other than the very obvious spray paint job, the press assembled easily, until I tightened the table lift stop collar which snapped. Given that I’d have to remove the drill press head off the column to replace it (a two person job), I’ll just have to live with the stop collar broken.

Once I got the machine assembled and began using it I realized it’s real weakness; the belt/speed changing procedure is the stupidest, clumsiest waste of time that I’ve ever seen. It was obviously designed by someone who has never used a drill press, or at least never needed to change speeds on one. You have to unscrew a very long screw to open the top of the machine, then unscrew two poorly positioned allen head screws to then release the belt tension. You then need to undo two awkwardly placed bolts to loosen another belt tensioner before you can switch the belts off the pulleys. Very frustrating and time consuming.

Other issues; the chuck is roughly machined and difficult to get a tight grip on the drill bits, also the depth stop is poorly positioned and difficult to access, with a scale that has already peeled off.

I’ve owned a lot of different General International machines; this CWI spray-painted version of the 75-260 is the worst.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3739 days

9 comments so far

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4020 days

#1 posted 12-05-2016 05:02 PM

If you are stuck with the machine, look at replacing the long screw and the allen heads with different hardware, space permitting. I modified the original guard for my Delta contractors saw by replacing the two nuts that tighten it in place with knobs. I also made a couple of other minor modifications. Now the guard goes on or off in about 30 seconds (I actually timed it). Sometimes just minor modifications can transform the usefulness of a tool.

Your experience is one of the reasons I am cautious about mail ordered stuff, especially if service involves shipping stuff back and forth. Alaska is normally much more expensive for shipping. As I recall, you aren’t near large cities so shipping is in your life as well.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View mafe's profile


12609 posts in 3945 days

#2 posted 12-05-2016 08:28 PM


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3739 days

#3 posted 12-06-2016 01:32 AM

You’re right Jim, sadly everything gets shipped for me. Would be nice to be able to see some of the tools first! I replaced some of the allen bolts with knobs which make it a bit easier but still frustrating to have to use a wrench to loosen the belt tension.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9657 posts in 3184 days

#4 posted 12-07-2016 09:17 PM


-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View MrRon's profile


5934 posts in 4099 days

#5 posted 12-10-2016 12:28 AM

Typical of most Chinese made tools. Maybe after the president elect makes deals with China, quality will be what it should be or maybe those tools will again be made in America as they should.

View dannmarks's profile


1017 posts in 1437 days

#6 posted 12-29-2016 09:48 PM

MR RON Are you serious? Wow – we will watch for these major changes with baited breath.

View Tim812's profile


13 posts in 1708 days

#7 posted 03-14-2017 11:41 AM

I am a firm believer in research before you purchase, especially with all the Chinese made tools around these days. Consumer feedback and reviews can be found on just about any product with a quick google search. I bought a Jet 15” drill press last year, and must say that I’m very happy with it. Very little run-out, well built and easy to operate and change speed. I found some reviews on , ordered it online and had it up and running a few days later.

-- Dust and coffee = ideal day

View Randy_H's profile


11 posts in 1954 days

#8 posted 08-23-2018 02:43 PM

Thanks for the review. As you are probably aware, there are essentially NO reviews of the CWI Woodworking products , of any sort, to be found. I stumbled upon their “Stallion” (seriously?) band saw and it is competitively priced. I really have a hard time with the pricing on new band saws given the maturity and simplicity of the technology. The mark-up must be incredible and since they are almost all drop-shipped the retail sales stores don’t even have money tied up in inventory or floor space.

Back on topic…

The details matter and obviously, from your experience, they are not having a good machine made better for them they are merely having a machine made for them.

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3739 days

#9 posted 08-27-2018 01:54 AM

Yeah, the CWI Woodworking machines appear to be exact copies of the General International machines, just with a poor paint job and worse instructions. I have been a big fan of General Int. machinery, but if you’re going to copy it, do it right.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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