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  1. #1
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    Default I need a drill press

    What should I be looking for in a drill press? I suspect how many speeds it has, drill capacity, motor power, chuck size, column to drill bit depth - anything else?

    I wish to be able to drill into hardwoods and steel.

    Some models:
    https://www.timbecon.com.au/drilling...rd-drill-press

    https://www.carbatec.com.au/drilling...-code-dp-4119f

    https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/D596


    What do you guys think? Ive never owned or used one before.

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  3. #2
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    Default

    All those will be “ok”
    A drill press from experience is one of those not so fun(cool) tools.
    Saying that I have a no name one that I love and hate.
    I couldn’t live with out one.
    If I was to buy tomorrow my bucket list
    Would be
    Variable speed if I can tho I only know off one.
    Table up and down movement to be accurate(mine is horrible)
    Motor power the biggest
    A 16 mm chuck and a quality chuck
    Overall build quality is one thing to look at
    I think some off the Jet brand drills look ok I’ve never used one tho.
    But I have other Jet equipment that I like.
    Am right in thinking your budget is around $600
    The other option is a good second hand one, I see them regularly on the net.

    Cheers Matt
    Sorry my editor is busy

  4. #3
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    Default

    Spindle travel of around 100 mm or more is handy but its expensive to get more than about 85mm

    Perhaps more important that numbers of speeds is the lowest speed it can operate. I like to test run large Forstners and hole saws at <200 rpm before upping the speed as required. If you use large bits in steel a slow speed is also handy.

  5. #4
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    melb
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Simplicity View Post
    All those will be “ok”
    A drill press from experience is one of those not so fun(cool) tools.
    Saying that I have a no name one that I love and hate.
    I couldn’t live with out one.
    If I was to buy tomorrow my bucket list
    Would be
    Variable speed if I can tho I only know off one.
    Table up and down movement to be accurate(mine is horrible)
    Motor power the biggest
    A 16 mm chuck and a quality chuck
    Overall build quality is one thing to look at
    I think some off the Jet brand drills look ok I’ve never used one tho.
    But I have other Jet equipment that I like.
    Am right in thinking your budget is around $600
    The other option is a good second hand one, I see them regularly on the net.

    Cheers Matt
    Sorry my editor is busy
    I was just looking at around $600 as I figured it was the middle price range. What I dont want is a machine that is unreliable. The example I can think of is a table saw with a crap fence and have to check for parallel and accuracy every time its moved or a jointer with a fence you have to keep on checking for 90 degrees. Therefore if I should spend more I will (within reason - if a drill press is $2000 I would probably that money go towards other tools/machines)

    So I suppose for drill presses it would be does the chuck wobble and how accurate is the depth adjustment. There are probably other things too but I wouldnt know not having owned or used one before. I dont want to have to buy another one in a few years time.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    Spindle travel of around 100 mm or more is handy but its expensive to get more than about 85mm

    Perhaps more important that numbers of speeds is the lowest speed it can operate. I like to test run large Forstners and hole saws at <200 rpm before upping the speed as required. If you use large bits in steel a slow speed is also handy.
    Excuse my ignorance - is spindle travel the lever that is pulled to plunge down? Is 100mm better because its easier to make finer movements? Or does it relate to the drilling depth

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwertyu View Post
    Excuse my ignorance - is spindle travel the lever that is pulled to plunge down? Is 100mm better because its easier to make finer movements? Or does it relate to the drilling depth

    Spindle travel refers to the length of travel of the chuck. I you want to drill a hole deeper than the max spindle travel you have to reposition the table height which is a right PITA.

  8. #7
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    Default

    I've one of the H&F Bench top models - it's ok but in hindsight I should have got a floor standing model. I've occasionally had the need to drill in the ends of longer pieces of timber and couldn't on my setup
    regards
    Nick
    veni, vidi,
    tornavi
    Without wood it's just ...

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sawdust Maker View Post
    I've one of the H&F Bench top models - it's ok but in hindsight I should have got a floor standing model. I've occasionally had the need to drill in the ends of longer pieces of timber and couldn't on my setup
    I agree the floor standing feature is pretty useful. OTOH if you can locate the bench DP at the end of a bench you can always swing the head out over the end of the bench - it's not ideal but it's not like you should have to do this all that often.

  10. #9
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    Default

    I have a sub $300 drill press (same as the carbatec ones for $369), it is floor standing which is great as I have used the length of table travel quite a lot. The stroke of chuck travel is a bit limiting at 82mm but I have not done too much work that has required more than that. The chuck runs true and if i need to use drill bits smaller than 3mm, I have a chuck that I stole out of an old cordless drill that I put in the drill press chuck to get to the smaller sizes. The depth limit bolt sometimes drops out (when not being utilised) I have to remember to wind it back in every now and then. Changing speeds is easy but I usually run it in the lower speed anyway. The table is easy to get square and I have not had a problem with it moving.


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  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Melbourne, Australia.
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    Default

    Out of the ones you gave links too, my choice would be the Timbecon unit.

    Recently I picked up my dream drill press; well, dream drill press for me. I bought it second hand through this forum for a fair price for the seller and the buyer. Having used some interesting drill presses over the years, I had honed down what is reasonably suitable for home use and should allow one to grow usage with, doing different tasks as one moves ever upward with requirements as one progresses ever upwards with what you are capable of doing. Yet, still be affordable for the home workshop, or in my case, the home and retired workshop.

    The drill press I did pick up, is almost identical to the Timbecon (Sherwood branded) unit. The features that I think separate the Sherwood unit from the others; not by much I add, are:

    The light at the rear, I liked that feature when I saw it and thought it would be handy. It is one of the better features one can have on a drill press, makes such a difference it is now hard to believe using any drill press without an inbuilt light. Being at the rear with diffused light emanating through the semi opaque plastic lens, you end up with shadowless lighting spread over your work place, brilliantly done.

    The drill chuck itself is keyless and should be excellent and extremely easy to use. I changed mine from keyed to Keyless almost immediately. Once you have a chuck like that, you will probably prefer it over using a keyed chuck. That unit by the way, will hold drill bits from 1mm through to 16mm, the other two units cannot go down that small, probably around 3mm is their smallest holding limit. This may not be an issue to you, but sometimes 1mm holes can be handy. Making completely wooden ball point pens on the lathe, one then lines the pen body up and drills a 1mm hole at exactly 90º to the pen barrel; works a treat. One millimetre for a drill press of this size, is really schmick.

    The triangular handle of the Sherwood unit is the easiest one to use one handed; it is cast iron. By that I mean, as you are turning the handle, one can slide a hand from one wing to the next without jerking, or with much less jerking. This was a very handy feature for me when I had to drill around 1,000 + holes to a depth of 73mm. Had a sore arm, but that handle certainly made the whole experience better than if I had one with a steel shaft and a plastic knob on the end.

    Speaking of the spindle going up and down. From what I can see, the Sherwood unit has the best depth gauge system. Almost identical to my, new to me, drill press. It is accurate and can be locked and set very easily; it does not move. Unless you use excess pressure when it bottoms out on the pre-set stop you have made.

    As for drill speeds, Bobl is right, slow speeds with big bits, big augers and the like, are where it is at. The Carbatec unit has the slowest speed 120rpm, with the Sherwood next at 180rpm; the Hafco unit has the fastest slow speed at 280rpm.

    As you are in Melbourne, you can visit all three stores and check them out in the flesh.

    Mick.

  12. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sawdust Maker View Post
    I've one of the H&F Bench top models - it's ok but in hindsight I should have got a floor standing model. I've occasionally had the need to drill in the ends of longer pieces of timber and couldn't on my setup

    Fully agree with Nick, but for a different reason.

    I got a bench top drill press, but the bench space is too valuable to leave the drill press there permanently so it lives on the floor. Its too hard to use it at floor level, its a royal PIA to have to lift it back onto the bench or the bench space is already being used. So I get tempted to drill free hand, and then remember that the reason I got the drill press is that I hate crooked holes !!!!!!

    Go floor standing.


    Cheers

    Graeme

  13. #12
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    Default

    A drill press is such a simple tool, so I would not invest too much time or money in it. I have a cheap H&F bench model for many years and it works just fine. As for speeds you will only need 2 – fast or slow. I have never had to use a third one.
    Visit my website at www.myWoodwork.com.au

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wongo View Post
    .......... As for speeds you will only need 2 – fast or slow. I have never used a third one.

    What about real slow!


    Cheers

    Graeme

  15. #14
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    Default

    I have the Bosch BPD 40. It has been great. I have used it on 4mm steel and hardwood and it has worked great. Usually I'm drilling softer material though. It's not without limitations. However I don't use it on every project and so it's not like I need the ultimate machine.
    It has 2 gears and digital speed control. The laser is accurate out of the box. I love being able to easily set the precise depth stop to 0.1mm. There are plenty of reviews on this machine which explain the pros and cons so I don't need to repeat it here.
    Originally I thought I should go for a floor standing model but I'm so glad I went with this for my hobby needs. YMMV.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
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  16. #15
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    I wish had variable speed and a 16mm chuck. Other than that, most of the mid-price range you are looking at are probably fine.

    Have a look in Gumtree. I see budget priced models in there all the time.

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