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What should I be looking when buying a drill press -hobbyist level

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Forum topic by MiniMe posted 12-04-2019 03:39 PM 1023 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MiniMe

276 posts in 652 days


12-04-2019 03:39 PM

Hi guys

First of all I want to take a moment to thank you for all the advice so far. I have received a lot of eye opening advice and feedback here. Keep it going please if you can still endure my endless questions :-))

So here is the q of the day: what should I be looking when buying a drill press, hobbyist level?
I am split between buying this one for 88CAD+tax (15%)
https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/8-in-bench-top-drill-press/A-p8654329e
and just using the money to buy something from Kiji

There is also a King one available for 99CAD (pretty bad reviews on Amazon)
https://www.homedepot.ca/product/king-canada-8-inch-bench-drill-press/1001076569


14 replies so far

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JayT

6353 posts in 2811 days


#1 posted 12-04-2019 04:58 PM

Looks like the same bench drill press with different paint jobs.

Biggest things I look for in a drill press.

  • Swing – Determines how big of a piece you can drill. Buy bigger than you think you need. An 8in press only has 4 inches between the column and center of the chuck. Is that more than enough for your needs?
  • Speed range – What kinds of bits are you going to be using? Wood twist drills run great at 1500-3000rpm, but if you will be doing any drilling with Forstner bits, hole saws or drilling metal, you’ll want something that can get down to 200-250 rpm on the low side. Running a bit faster than recommended is both hard on the tool and dangerous for the user.
  • Column height – Make sure there is more than enough room at the lowest table setting to drill anything you can imagine making, plus the length of the drill bit.

Those are the most important aspects to me, because they can’t be changed or are very difficult to accommodate when they aren’t meeting your needs. A good quality chuck is nice, but you can upgrade if it’s necessary. Longer quill stroke is very nice to have, but can dealt with by moving the table (a PITA, but possible).

Personally, I would keep a look out for a decent quality used drill press. They tend to not hold value well on the used market so a better quality unit can be found for less than the price of a small new one.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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

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wildwoodbybrianjohns

686 posts in 147 days


#2 posted 12-04-2019 06:22 PM

Chuck size? 13mm is standard for a benchtop, I think, but I would go for 16mm.

Tilting table? most cheaper benchtops have a bolt under the top that you need to unloosen to tilt the table, then retighten. This becomes a hassle quickly, so a lever/handle for loosening is preferable.

Slots for a vice? does the table have precut slots so you can attach a drillpress vice.

As JayT mentioned, longest quill stroke you can get for the money you will spend.

As sturdy handwheel that isnt, like, hollowtube and plastic, as this is the part, aside from the chuck, that gets the most use.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: If you tell the truth, you dont have to remember anything (S. Clemens) Edit: Now where is that darn pencil/ tape measure!

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MiniMe

276 posts in 652 days


#3 posted 12-04-2019 06:48 PM

How about the HP of the motor?

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WoodenDreams

878 posts in 511 days


#4 posted 12-04-2019 06:59 PM

I’d get the best that your budget allows. The one I have is smaller and under powered then what I need; 10”, 5.7 amp, 12 speed, spindle speed 300/2900, tilt table, spindle stroke 2 5/8”. I should have gotten a larger countertop drill press with a 3 3/4” spindle stroke or more, and one with a larger motor so not bog down.

To me the important features are; drilling spindle stroke, enough power to not bog down while drilling with the larger forstner bits, tilt table, and being able to raise and lower the table easily.

One thing to consider is making or buying a drill press table with a sacrificial hole insert, with fence (helps to hold and position what your drilling).

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wildwoodbybrianjohns

686 posts in 147 days


#5 posted 12-04-2019 07:05 PM

I just recently bought this one. This is a heavyduty benchtop, 12 speeds. There is smaller model, dp28b, I think. Great quality for the price.

I have no affiliation with this company.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: If you tell the truth, you dont have to remember anything (S. Clemens) Edit: Now where is that darn pencil/ tape measure!

View JayT's profile

JayT

6353 posts in 2811 days


#6 posted 12-04-2019 07:15 PM

HP is not generally an issue, IMHO. HP of the motor is generally matched the capability of the drill press, so if the motor can’t do a job, then the rest of the machine probably isn’t built to do it safely, either. For those little ones you linked 1/3HP is more than enough for most use.

We’re back to “What are you going to be using the machine for?” If you are going to be using hole saws or Forstner bits, then it’s not powerful enough, but it’s also not built strong enough and doesn’t go slow enough to use those kinds of bits, either. For regular twist drills in wood, it doesn’t take much power. One thing a lot of woodworkers do on a drill press that takes some power is sanding. It’s pretty easy to bog down a small motor in that usage.

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

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1472 posts in 3361 days


#7 posted 12-04-2019 07:16 PM

This question is kinda like the old question “how long is a piece of string”. I think the best answer is get the most from the money you can spend. If it were me, I would take the most money I could pay and try to buy a USED drill press! Yes, it will take some time and energy to hunt down a good deal, however I think it is worth it as you will have a better drill press than a cheap Chinese one like you mention. Little things mean a lot over time like throat depth, lack of a quill lock, and a depth gauge. These you should be able to find in a larger used drill press.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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controlfreak

400 posts in 201 days


#8 posted 12-04-2019 08:07 PM

Keep looking for local used drill presses and within a month you will find one. Make sure that you you are aware that they can be very heavy and awkward to load into a small car. I pick up one for $95 but missed that one of the cranks was broken. It does all I need so far.

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splintergroup

3192 posts in 1822 days


#9 posted 12-04-2019 08:21 PM

One thing rarely discussed is how the spindle RPMs are changed. As mentioned, material and bit diameter determine the required RPM range.
If the speed is not easy to change, you will avoid changing it especially when “I just have one hole to drill”.

Most consumer DPs have the RMP changed by moving belts to different diameter pulleys. The better units will make this easy (tool-free at least).
Better DPs have the speed set by turning a dial, although this is typically an expensive option.

View MiniMe's profile

MiniMe

276 posts in 652 days


#10 posted 12-04-2019 10:01 PM

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MiniMe

276 posts in 652 days


#11 posted 12-04-2019 10:06 PM

To answer your questions about the use of the tool: it is a matter of convenience I do not have extraordinary projects in mind but after watching videos on youtobe I realized there is a lot of situations when a drill press is needed to drill decent holes (especially for the large ones that need to be perpendicular on the piece to be drilled) Repetability is another things that comes to my mind (I might be delusional here :-)) )

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Hockey

182 posts in 1012 days


#12 posted 12-04-2019 10:43 PM

My drill press is an old Shopsmith 10er (cast iron) with a speed changer. It is dedicated as a drill press. Motor is 3/4 hp. Around here, a 10er can be found for around $100.00 to about $250.00. Only paid $100.00 for this one and $200.00 for another one, both with the speed changers. The $200.00 one came with lots of accessories.
They are great machines (made in the early 1950’s), and the drill press works great.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

24334 posts in 3283 days


#13 posted 12-05-2019 04:44 AM

Been using a HF one, ever since they first came out…..the 5 speed one for $70…...been running care free ever since.

Maybe 6-7 years now…..1/2” Jacobs chuck. 5 speeds, easy to change. Have replace the belt once. Figured for what I needed to do…5 speeds was enough. There is slots for a vise…and I picked up the vise at a yard sale for $10

YMMV

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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WoodenDreams

878 posts in 511 days


#14 posted 12-06-2019 02:48 AM

I like the Delta brand. A drill press like this to start out with is ok. Not much invested and you should be able to sell it for what you paid for when you decide to upgrade.

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