Help fellow LJ's which Drill Press and Drum Sander to get?

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Forum topic by Ken90712 posted 12-20-2011 01:00 PM 3064 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17984 posts in 4245 days

12-20-2011 01:00 PM

Ok I have read a bunch of reviews on line and can’t seem to make up my mind! So I thought hey with all these friends I have made on LJ’s, and to the ones I have not had the pleasure of meeting who better to help me spend money!

I have it narrowed down to two different drill presses. The 18 inch Delta or the 18 Powermatic. I really like both of them by the Delta seems to be calling me after reading many reviews. So please give me all your thoughts no matter if they’re negitive or positive.

I will also be buying a bigger Drum Sander and can’t figure out which one to buy as well.

You can post your comments or e mail if you prefer but any help would be great and if there are other machines you just love let me know them as well

Thank-you in advance and Merry X-mas

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

27 replies so far

View spud72's profile


333 posts in 4551 days

#1 posted 12-20-2011 01:59 PM

I’ve been very well served with the Delta Brand.The equipment is durable, reliable. The warranty is good and there is a wide network to get warranty service. Parts are also readily available locally or online.

That’s my two cents worth of advice.

-- Guy,PEI

View ken_c's profile


338 posts in 4219 days

#2 posted 12-20-2011 02:04 PM

Don’t think you could go wrong with either. But know this too, powermatic is owned by jet and the jet sander is really a performax since jet also bought them. I have a couple of jet products, my 6” jointer and my 14” bandsaw. never a complaint about the jointer. I did have issues with the bandsaw which jet was wonderful about but in hind sight even now I should have spent the extra $150 and got a delta simply because of the better design of the guide bushings on the delta. so what has a bandsaw got to do with your decision? Go and look, feel and inspect them in person. put your engineers cap on and give them a once over. Don’t be taken in by the shinny newness of their skins, look at the guts. Think of floor space too; it looks like the table crank on the PM DP is really long, will you have to move it away from the wall to use it every time? And, the performax sander looks less compact than the delta (I like the performax design better) will that cause you concerns? There, much more than my typical “nice” :-) Have a great Christmas and a happy new year old friend…

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4801 days

#3 posted 12-20-2011 02:37 PM

I had one of the first versions of the Delta, and it was a good sander as long as you didn’t sand much wider than 18-20”. Wider than that, and the boards had a tendency to burn along the edge of the sand paper.

A friend had one like the Jet and was always complaining of alignment problems and the difficulty of adjusting for even sanding.

If you can afford it, check with Woodmaster. I traded up to the 38” and couldn’t be happier. Never had any problems in over 3 years of almost constant use.

View DonH's profile


495 posts in 3874 days

#4 posted 12-20-2011 02:44 PM

Hi Ken

I chose the Delta drill press a year ago and am extremely happy with it. Long stroke and more adjustments on the table.

As for the sander check out the flat master available from Stockroom. I have a 24 inch one and am very happy. The thickness sanders I have tried dont sand to a uniform thickness from edge to edge. The flat sander will easily sand wider work without steps in the finish and clean up glue ups in a flash. Also very quick to change grits. It also works as a jointer as well – a 24 inch jointer is a neat thing.

-- DonH Orleans Ontario

View ScotttheSurveyor's profile


31 posts in 3408 days

#5 posted 12-20-2011 02:59 PM

Mine is the delta floor model. I’m very happy with it, no trouble, drills anything. I also have the mortising kit, and it works quite well. hope this helps

-- Angular error is proportionate to the distance run

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 4155 days

#6 posted 12-20-2011 03:00 PM

Ken_c makes a very good point of the handle crank for the table. I assume you are going to put an auxiliary table over the cast one. If the crank interferes, it’ll drive you to drink. I have a Ryobi that I had to cut the crank off in half, so as not to clash with the auxiliary add-on.
This last spring I picked up a 1974 Rockford cast iron drill press from a fellow that had it stored in his basement. It still had the cosmoline on it!
I bought a MCLS add-on table, and the way this press was configured, the crank is still far away from the add-on. What a pleasure.
I like the Jet you are looking at and it gets great reviews on Amazon. I would have purchased it if I had not found the Rckford. .......But check the crank for interference..

View 2bigfeet's profile


65 posts in 3736 days

#7 posted 12-20-2011 03:35 PM


I have an older Delta drill press and was looking at these two as well. I probably read all the reviews you did. I have both a mix of Powermatic and Delta tools in the shop. No complaints with either brand. My nod for these two choices would be for the Delta. I played with both of these side by side in Woodcraft. I just liked the egos better on the Delta. The quick set depth stops pushes it over the edge.

Also, I’ve read more bad things about the Powermatic. Seems to be a rash of lemons with this model. Constant burning rubber smell from the auto speed control, vibration etc. Besides, I love how the hood on the Delta looks like an old John Deere tractor front end.

View lew's profile


13339 posts in 4812 days

#8 posted 12-20-2011 04:27 PM

Which ever ones you choose, you can send me your old ones :^)

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 3943 days

#9 posted 12-20-2011 04:42 PM

I have the jet 16-32. It works great, never had an issue with it.

View degoose's profile


7281 posts in 4411 days

#10 posted 12-20-2011 10:11 PM

I can only comment on the DS… I have the Jet 16/32… love it… would have liked to been able to afford the 22/44 oscillating head though… next time maybe… still I have been more than happy with the Jet…FWIW

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View blackcherry's profile


3345 posts in 4880 days

#11 posted 12-20-2011 11:14 PM

Look to be a very nice shopping holiday in Ken shop! I think you can’t go wrong on either, would love to have em in my shop. What every you pick will make a great addition to you arsenal Ken, have a great Holiday Season and give my best to Ms. Blondie as well your friend in woodworking Wilson

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5109 days

#12 posted 12-21-2011 12:10 AM

I can tell…

You ARE going to have a Merry Christmas!


-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View rustynails's profile


951 posts in 3586 days

#13 posted 12-21-2011 02:14 AM

Drill Press / I researched the Pm and the Delta and looked at the promo video’s on u-tube as well. From what I came up with I end up ordering the Delta (hopefully it will be here before X-Mass) I ordered mine from Tools- Plus and got a good deal. There was just a big conversation about these two presses on Woodnet discussing the same question. One of the individuals had the Pm and sold it at a loss and traded it for the Delta. I have read a lot of complaints about the Pm.

Drum sander/ I had a Performax 16/32 and it worked well for small things but I ended up getting a 38’’ Woodmaster and love it.

Good luck in your decision…

Look under this heading in the Woodnet Forum I just bumped it up to the top of the page in the “Woodworking Power Tools section”

Powermatic 2800 or Delta 18-900L drill press #5693127 – 11/23/11 03:40 PM

View TroutGuy's profile


224 posts in 4768 days

#14 posted 12-21-2011 02:24 AM

Add me to the group that likes the Performax 16-32 Plus. I have one and don’t know how I did without it. I should also note that mine is old enough (purchased used) that it still has the Performax name on it, and does NOT have their new feed belt design.

The one thing I don’t like about the Delta design is that the table moves, not the drum. That’s all fine and dandy, as long as you’re aren’t using a fixed height outfeed table. Speaking of which, no matter which one you get, spring for the outfeed extensions if they’re available. They make a HUGE difference if you’re sanding anything more than a couple of feet long.

In my experience, most drum sander burn problems are operator error (been there), not the fault of the machine. Remember, we aren’t talking about a planer here. The manual may say that you can take a quarter-turn of the handle (1/64” = ~.016”) per pass, but I have found that most hardwoods do much better at an eighth of a turn (1/128” = ~.008”) per pass. And, if I’m sanding end-grain hard maple (cutting boards anyone?) I drop that down to 1/12 of a turn (~.005”) or less. This is especially true with finer grits.

I haven’t had any occasion to go wider than ~15”, so I can’t say how it does with wider stock (i.e. 2 passes). The question you need to ask yourself is, “How often do I need to go wider than that?”

Just my $0.02 worth.

P.S. I’m with degoose. If money were no object, I would have bought the 22-44 oscillating machine.

-- There is nothing in the world more dangerous, than a woodworker who knows how to read a micrometer...

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4438 days

#15 posted 12-21-2011 10:11 AM

Put me on the list as having the Jet 16-32. I also love it and have had no issues. It’s a little workhorse.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

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