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Forum topic by edapp posted 12-26-2018 01:36 PM 964 views 1 time favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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edapp

281 posts in 1845 days


12-26-2018 01:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press

What kind of drill press is in your shop?

For a few years I had a harbor freight bench top drill press, that for the most part was OK. It would wander a bit but for $45 dollars I was happy enough. Eventually, the plastic depth stop broke and that made the tool mostly useless to me and I no longer have it.

I find myself in need of a drill press again, and having looked at the models at Harbor Freight I am not sure I want to go that route again. I think they are mostly a universal design, and probably operate fine enough, but many of them have a plastic depth stop which I am sure will break just like mine did.

I think I want a floor model, for the occasional post or larger item that needs drilling. But I am a little shocked at the price for a tool with a relatively limited use. So what do you use? Do you use it often, or rarely? I find myself trying to drill straight, perpendicular very often in my shop, with pretty poor results from my hand drill. I think this machine would get a lot of use, but still in the sticker shock phase.

Anyone have any experience with the larger harbor freight floor models? Are the grizzly machines much better? Should I suck it up and get a Jet? How important is swing, or HP, or quill travel to you?

Thanks,


31 replies so far

View Steve's profile

Steve

1339 posts in 997 days


#1 posted 12-26-2018 01:44 PM

I found an older model floor standing Delta that I fixed up and now use. Think I might have about $250 into it

View RichBolduc's profile

RichBolduc

909 posts in 532 days


#2 posted 12-26-2018 01:52 PM

I found a used 20” Jet metal drill press for $200 on Craigslist. Just needed new belts. Things a beast.

Rich

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kajunkraft

169 posts in 2625 days


#3 posted 12-26-2018 01:52 PM

I have the +/- $300 Porter Cable from Lowe’s, for idk 6 or 7 yrs. Nothing special but works well enough for me. Depth stop is metal. Laser lites broke off but work light is a plus. A friend has the ShopFox with the radial head and a little lower hp. It’s definitely not better.

Occasionally think about upgrading but don’t see the point. There’s one available for over $1,000 with all sorts of bells & whistles. Naw, don’t think that’s important.

View edapp's profile

edapp

281 posts in 1845 days


#4 posted 12-26-2018 02:05 PM

I have looked at that porter cable a few times… Thought that may be the way to go over a harbor freight type.

I have bought my fair share of used equipment over the years and after upgrading most of it I am kind of put off by it. I have three small children at home so I would rather spend my shop time making useful things for our house than refurbishing old equipment and tracking down parts. I have seen a few deals on drill presses come up on Craigslist and would certainly jump on one if it were in good shape, but I am not considering refurbishing a vintage machine.

View edapp's profile

edapp

281 posts in 1845 days


#5 posted 12-26-2018 02:06 PM



I found a used 20” Jet metal drill press for $200 on Craigslist. Just needed new belts. Things a beast. Rich

- RichBolduc

Rich have you found that much swing to be useful? I know I ran in to a lot of times that my mini harbor freight didn’t have enough reach for the job, but then again it was the smallest model available.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

6263 posts in 2681 days


#6 posted 12-26-2018 02:19 PM

Very satisfied with my Porter cable.

View MrRon's profile (online now)

MrRon

5557 posts in 3658 days


#7 posted 12-26-2018 03:17 PM

My 1938 Delta DP is still going strong day-in and day-out. I will never let it go.

View JRsgarage's profile

JRsgarage

367 posts in 924 days


#8 posted 12-26-2018 03:18 PM

When I was researching to upgrade my DP, other than the obvious of running true, I wanted something with at least 4” stroke.

One thing to consider if you go used(older) is the table adjustment…mine doesn’t have the gear crank for height and these tables are fairly heavy

-- “Facts don't care about your feelings.” ..., Ben Shapiro

View MPython's profile

MPython

134 posts in 227 days


#9 posted 12-26-2018 03:30 PM

I bought an old Walker Turner bench top machine on Craigslist and rehabbed it. The Walker Turner bench top model is the same machine as the floor-standing model but with a shorter column. I think most of the older machines were the same. I don’t think the modern machines hold a candle to the “old iron” machines built in the USA until about 1960. Look on Craigslist, eBay and auction sites for Walker Turner, Rockwell, Buffalo, older Delta and Clausing machines. Parts for most of them are still fairly easy to find.

IMG_0459

View JayT's profile

JayT

6226 posts in 2626 days


#10 posted 12-26-2018 03:57 PM

I have an older floor standing Delta picked up at an auction for $125. A drill press is one of those items I would buy used, if possible, unless you have very specific needs.

Like most machinery, whatever you have, you soon find you need more capacity in some direction or another. I really need more quill stroke (the Delta only has a little over 3 inches) and would like to have variable speed instead of all the belt changes. Swing and HP have never been an issue. That’s for how I work, however. If you are drilling a lot of posts, (something I never do) a table that can go 90 degrees to help clamp would be hugely beneficial.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

552 posts in 1034 days


#11 posted 12-26-2018 04:09 PM

I hemmed and hawed for a couple of years before my HF benchtop finally quit. It was so limiting that I hardly ever used it. Then I finally bought the floor standing PC from Lowes. Life is good. I keep finding more uses for it and it works like a champ. It is always at the ready and has become a well used tool in my hobby shop.
If you can get lucky on a used machine in serviceable condition, great. But if you live somewhere where the CL posters think they are selling gold plated tools (like I do), go for the PC.

-- Sawdust Maker

View edapp's profile

edapp

281 posts in 1845 days


#12 posted 12-26-2018 04:20 PM



I hemmed and hawed for a couple of years before my HF benchtop finally quit. It was so limiting that I hardly ever used it. Then I finally bought the floor standing PC from Lowes. Life is good. I keep finding more uses for it and it works like a champ. It is always at the ready and has become a well used tool in my hobby shop.
If you can get lucky on a used machine in serviceable condition, great. But if you live somewhere where the CL posters think they are selling gold plated tools (like I do), go for the PC.

- LittleShaver

Thanks for this. Yes when I had the mini harbor freight unit I eventually threw it in the trash because 1. it was broken and rusted and 2. I determined I didnt need one at all. I used it so little because of its flaws that I thought that would be the case for any drill press.

Now I find myself constantly wishing I had one, and wishing the one I had was a big/nice one. I will go checkout the porter cable more closely. I got a Lowes card for christmas burning a hole in my pocket!

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5210 posts in 4375 days


#13 posted 12-26-2018 05:06 PM

I have a 1952 model Craftsman/King Seely. Still original except for the drive belt. This puppy is a beast.

-- [email protected]

View Firewood's profile

Firewood

838 posts in 2049 days


#14 posted 12-26-2018 05:52 PM

I have a Delta 12” table top. It has a laser but I don’t use it all that much. I got the DP new for free. I wish it had a bit more travel, but does what I need it to do. For those times I need to drill into a post, I will make a jig to keep the hole as straight as possible.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View GaryCK's profile

GaryCK

49 posts in 464 days


#15 posted 12-26-2018 06:12 PM

Like kajunkraft and BurlyBob, I’ve got the Porter Cable floor drill press from Lowe’s. I’ve had it for about two years and have been very pleased with it. I’ve never run into anything it didn’t do well.

Lowe’s also occasionally runs an 11% rebate, though I don’t believe they’ve done so since May. I watch the rebate form here (https://www.lowes.com/pdf/11percentrebate.pdf) to see when it has been updated.

-- Gary, Wisconsin

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