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Forum topic by NeophyteGrant posted 09-26-2018 12:17 AM 1459 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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147 posts in 1751 days

09-26-2018 12:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press rikon jet delta

Unlike the sexier—and more important to daily shop life in most cases—Drill Press shopping seems to be a meh just get one swamp and I’ve found nothing to hang my hat on it any thread. Has anything changed since the last of these?

Uses: I’ve matured a bit as a woodworker and want to add a DP as a secondary performer. small tray hogging out, some small trinkets like straight razor holders, some mortises perhaps and utility shop things.

—I initially planned to get a cheap one but top o’ class like the Lower’s Porter Cable, but it’s went up in price to $450 with Chicago/IL tax. Plus fabricating a table or buying one.
—The vintage market doesn’t seem to yield anything more than C’Mans and benchtop deltas that look suspect.
—I’ve heard conflicting reviews of machines with no clear winner at any range, and that its all the same Asian configuration or reconfig under $1 or $2k.
—Meanwhile, I dislike tool stress and as a hobbyist with disposable income prefer frustration free most of the time over ‘making it work’. That made me think about the 700-100 range, like a Grizzly higher model or a Jet-17, which seems under-powered for the near 1k price tag at 8 amps.

Leading to my question: anyone have experience with the Rikon 30-217 DP? Feelings on the Jet 17 inch (new, its not branded as the JDP-17 on acme. How is the DELTA-18-900L? These seem the main contenders.

14 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2728 days

#1 posted 09-26-2018 12:30 AM

I had a PC. The only thing I like better on my 20” is the table size. If I can across a deal on a PC I’d buy it again.

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

View runswithscissors's profile


3134 posts in 3267 days

#2 posted 09-26-2018 04:43 AM

Some of the cheaper and smaller DPs don’t have a crank for table elevation. I had one of those once, and it is a pain in the behind to wrestle the table up. Takes a lot of wiggling and bad language to raise it. Ugh.

don’t expect too much out of any DP for mortising. I had one for my Porter Cable, which is why I got a dedicated bench top mortiser.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View MrUnix's profile


8772 posts in 3441 days

#3 posted 09-26-2018 05:47 AM

The vintage market doesn’t seem to yield anything more than C’Mans and benchtop deltas that look suspect.

I wouldn’t be too quick to rule out old iron… they are still around for a reason :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View NeophyteGrant's profile


147 posts in 1751 days

#4 posted 09-26-2018 06:11 AM

Thanks for the replies guys.

—I’ve seen you around discussing the PC! I had it in the cart and was going to go pick it up but my second set of arms backed out. I know it can be a big winner for cost for a lot of people. I’m torn about just getting the 700-900 machine off the bat. It seems the low end of 300 rpm on the PC hasn’t caused anyone issues.
—itd be big mortises to hog out waste and save the router bit. I do everything else with a plunge and edge guide I made.
—I just looked over an old iron thread today and got goosebumps. Gives me the chills like an old stanley, or an old straight razor. You mean I can make whispery thin chips, or shave with this thing that has a lineage going back to when my great-great gparents got off a boat from Sweden? Makes your mind spin. I saw a PM 1500 that was in rough shape today on CL. It would have needed some dedicated love but no doubt with the right hands it’d be better than anything new. Chicago kind of sucks for this sort of thing oddly, it seems. Might have to broaden my search to Wisconsin, especially…

View fly2low's profile


88 posts in 1339 days

#5 posted 09-26-2018 08:01 AM

I have the Jet 17 IDP. It works OK

-- Rich Gig Harbor, WA

View Sparks500's profile


282 posts in 1573 days

#6 posted 09-26-2018 12:07 PM

Many years ago I bought a used Taiwanese dp from a private seller, and, after using it for awhile, noticed it had some pretty severe runout. I happened to be at a woodworking show, at the Odeum, I think, and met a guy there named Mark Duginske who wrote a book about tuning up your woodworking machines. I got his book and learned all about checking for wobble, runout, etc. all it needed was a new chuck. Been working great ever since.
I recently put a 1 hp three phase motor with a VFD and now it’s a dream to use.
But then, I’m a tool junkie that loves restoring old junk.
The point is, if you’re willing to put in a little time and effort, some pretty good used stuff is out there cheap and can be turned into exactly what you want.

-- A good day is any day that you're alive....

View LittleShaver's profile


777 posts in 1861 days

#7 posted 09-26-2018 12:31 PM

I’ve had the PC from Lowes for a couple years now and it does everything this hobby woodworker needs it to do. I fought with a hand-me-down HF bench-top DP for years before I bit the bullet and bought the PC. Very happy with the PC DP.

-- Sawdust Maker

View ohtimberwolf's profile


1108 posts in 3594 days

#8 posted 09-26-2018 12:40 PM

View NeophyteGrant's profile


147 posts in 1751 days

#9 posted 09-26-2018 08:41 PM

Ohtimberwolf—I had forgotten to keep up with ebay. I put a question in on the PM. It’s much easier to fiddle with location on ebay than craigslist’s ‘markets’ and trying to makes sure I get everything around me.

Thanks guys—compelling arguments for the refurbishment of an older model. My major constraint is time—just that I have so many other shop projects in the queue in front of furniture I’d like to try my hand at.

Thanks for the further input on the PC and the Jet-17. fly2low: is OK saying it’s good or just ok from your perspective? The one other question I had was why the PC ($400), Jets (seemingly all woodworking models) and Delta are at 8 amps while Grizzly’s 1k entry is at 13-15, with powermatic and Rikon’s ‘best in class’ claimed VS 17”. With the number of features Rikon put on their 1k entry VS 17” it looks like they’re trying to bat off some of the better known brands and win market space. I do like their 10-326 bandsaw. CS has been good with them.

About the

View NeophyteGrant's profile


147 posts in 1751 days

#10 posted 09-28-2018 05:39 PM

Thanks again everyone for your input. I decided to go all in with the Rikon VS 17”. My reasoning: I hadn’t found what I was looking for in the used market and admittedly, was feeling going to avoid the chance of any tool issues. I don’t have a whole lot of time (and discovered that I have some table saw arbor issues recently) so i just wanted as easy as possible, time and not money being the big factor. For that reason I decided to bypass the PC as well, as well as the Jet’s/Grizzly’s mixed—if generally positive—reviews.

I’ve liked the Rikon bandsaw I’ve had and their customer service is the best I’ve experienced to date (most are good). With the features and price discount it looks like they’re trying to please, and I’m betting that I may have found a dark horse…

View them700project's profile


306 posts in 2260 days

#11 posted 09-28-2018 07:30 PM

The PM 2800 offers speed change wile running which to me is nice
also has built in laser/light
and digital rpm gauge.

The new Nova voyager has these options as well but does it with a VFD instead of adjustable belt sheaves

I like my Powermatic and would buy again. The table like almost all others is small but itold myself while buying it that I was going to make a new top and hand some drewers etc off the bottom

View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 4564 days

#12 posted 09-28-2018 09:02 PM

The new Nova voyager has these options as well but does it with a VFD instead of adjustable belt sheaves

While the OP seems to have made his choice I wanted to correct this error. The Voyager does not use a variable frequency drive to control speed but rather digitally controls reluctance on a variable reluctance motor. While it produces similar results (with some benefits over VFD controlled motors) the motor and controller is completely different than a VFD running a 3ph motor.

View JAAune's profile


2034 posts in 3559 days

#13 posted 09-28-2018 09:21 PM

If you end up changing your mind on the Rikon and are still looking at used, the Buffalo Forge #18 is an excellent machine. I own one and have yet to come across a better machine. The table crank and locking mechanisms are seriously over-built. The first thing I look at on a drill press is the locking mechanism for table tilt. If it’s just a screw holding the table to the column, I’m not impressed.

-- See my work at

View gulxameer's profile


1 post in 1116 days

#14 posted 09-30-2018 09:58 AM

I have the Jet 17 IDP. It works OK

- fly2low

I have the same and it works perfectly awesome.


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