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  1. #1
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    Default Bosch PBD 40 Bench drill

    Some months ago my crowded workshop got the better of me so I decided to make some room. I sold my trusty H&F pedestal drill press on the marketplace to make some floor space. However, I still needed a drill press so I looked around. I decided to buy the Bosch PBD 40 bench drill press from the big green shed - the most convenient for me. It was $429.

    It was simple to assemble out of the box. Fit the workpiece clamp to the column then fit the aluminium base to the column and tighten.

    Front cropped.JPG

    As well as the workpiece clamp shown at the bottom of the column it has a moveable aluminium fence that slots into grooves in the machined aluminium base. There is also a supplied zinc plated Allen key for assembly (both shown on the base).

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  3. #2
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    I've got one of these as I'm limited for space.

    Can't fault it for a small drill press, the variable switchable speeds are great

  4. #3
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    Default Evaluation

    So, a few months down the track - how well does it work?

    There are things that I really like about the PBD 40.

    1. it is direct drive so no more slipping belts.
    2. infinitely variable speed - just turn the dial. There is a speed range selector on the RHS, 1 or 2 for slow range or high range. Then just turn the lowermost knob to get the desired speed. There is a clear LCD readout.

    RHS cropped.JPG Front 0 speed.JPG Front - fast speed.JPG
    RHS speed range selector . Front showing speed LCD
    Height adjustment wheel

    3. The laser guide actually works - and works well. To operate the drill, after fitting your drill bit (below) you turn the big red knob one click to the right.That displays the speed and it also activates the laser button and the light button. The red ring is the laser. It provides bright, clear and accurate red cross hairs on the item to be drilled. The yellow ring is the LED light, which provides good illumination.

    4. The sliding aluminium fence is pretty useful in some circumstances.

    Then, some things take a bit of getting used to. The metal keyless chuck works differently to most keyless chucks that I have. Turning the lower portion opens the chuck jaws - as usual - but to lock the chuck closed you then have to move the red plastic rim one click sideways. It works, but some personal readjustment is necessary. I have had an issue with a bit becoming loose in operation, but that may well just be user error.

    Chuck.JPG LHS chuck guard.JPG . There is a flip-up safety guard for the chuck that works well.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #4
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    Default Other features

    On the LHS of the drill there can be seen two red levers.

    LHS cropped.JPG

    The lower lever locks the head in place on the column. The upper lever locks the built-in depth stop where you set it. Both work well.

    One disconcerting aspect of my drill is that, as you rack the head down, the locking position does not move with it until the head gets close, then, with a loud bang, it jumps down to a new position. Scares the hell out of me every time.

    I have not found much use for the workpiece holdfast. It seems pretty clunky to me and I prefer to use a drill press vise instead.

  6. #5
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    I also bought one. The first lasted about 2 months before it started playing up, started stopping and starting when running. Seemed almost like a DC motor with sticky brushes. Bunnings did replace it, at first they wanted to send it back for repair, after a heated discussion, the manager agreed to replace with a new one. 6 months down the track, all good. Apart from the issue with the first one, I'm happy with it.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanthorrhoeas View Post
    On the LHS of the drill there can be seen two red levers.

    LHS cropped.JPG

    The lower lever locks the head in place on the column. The upper lever locks the built-in depth stop where you set it. Both work well.

    One disconcerting aspect of my drill is that, as you rack the head down, the locking position does not move with it until the head gets close, then, with a loud bang, it jumps down to a new position. Scares the hell out of me every time.

    I have not found much use for the workpiece holdfast. It seems pretty clunky to me and I prefer to use a drill press vise instead.

    That's adjustable, it's in the manual, column grease etc and temperature can make the friction adjustment change over time. Had mine for some time now, still working perfectly.

  8. #7
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    Thanks for that. It's clearly a case of 'when all else fails, read the manual!'

  9. #8
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    David, are there things that you don't like? I would find the 90mm travel quite limiting. I wonder if it would be possible to actually get a bit more travel with some fooling around. That is, drill the first part of the hole to say 80mm depth, and then move the head down with the bit registered at the top of the hole, and then complete the drilling (for say another 20-30mm). Would that work?

    Also, how do you find the torque in low gear? Gutsy enough?

    Here is another review:
    Bosch PBD 40 Review Great but not without flaws

    Above link deactivated as site no longer exists. Ling lead to something completely unrelated and not appropriate.
    Last edited by ubeaut; 18th Jun 2021 at 01:05 PM.
    Regards, FenceFurniture

    COLT DRILLS GROUP BUY
    Jan-Feb 2019 Click to send me an email

  10. #9
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    In that review: I have no idea what he means by having to undo and re-tighten two hex screws to move and lock the drill head?? Those screws are only used to set the shaft holding friction, there is only one lever to turn in order to move the head height position relative to the table.

    Most reviews talk about having to bolt or clamp this unit down as it's top heavy - ???????? - Every small bench top drill press I have seen requires the DP to clamped or bolted down, I have to wonder if these reviewers have ever reviewed / used a similar sized standard DP?

    There's nothing wrong with the plastic locking levers AFAIKT. I lock the column up tight with the lever to remove any horizontal movement, I'd have to really lay into / abuse that lever for no good reason to have a chance of breaking / stripping it. IMHO the lack of strength compared to a lump of cast iron is far outweighed by the features of this nifty DP with variable speed, fabulous digital depth readout and quick setup. I never expected to drill thick steel plate or swing a 6" hole saw through 2" hardwood. For light metal work and moderate sized timber work I find it great.

    I did a write up in January Bosch 710W Corded Bench Drill

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MandJ View Post
    Most reviews talk about having to bolt or clamp this unit down as it's top heavy - ???????? - Every small bench top drill press I have seen requires the DP to clamped or bolted down, I have to wonder if these reviewers have ever reviewed / used a similar sized standard DP?
    Yeah that was kinda DUHH! When you say "large" forstners, what diameter do you mean by that (a large forstner to me is 40mm+).

    How much rotation of the wheel is required to get the full 90mm travel?

    One other thing - is there any indication in the manual about the torque rating? (I think I know the answer). The reason I ask is that I don't use a DP as such, but a reasonably high torque power drill in a Wabeco unit.

    This is the unit in the "as delivered" set up before I added drill decks, DE etc. IIRC the drill has 65Nm of torque in low gear, and will do a tolerable job with a 57mm Forstner bit in MDF.

    Regards, FenceFurniture

    COLT DRILLS GROUP BUY
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  12. #11
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    I've been using up to 53mm forstner bits and so far only up to 100mm with hole saws. With these on the low speed (geared higher torque) setting I've had no problems and the electronic speed control has maintained the dialled in RPM pretty well. The biggest problem I see with large bits is the potential for uneven cutting pressure around the perimeter of the bit causing the lighter construction of the column and drill head mounting to tweak slightly, the results should be obvious especially at the start of a cut. I haven't had a problem with insufficient torque so long as feed rate, drill speed are sharpness are appropriate for the work and one keeps in mind the limitations of a smaller light weight DP and adjusts accordingly.

    Feed wheel rotates around 300 deg - not quite a full revolution- I have no trouble using it but I'm
    192cm, perhaps long arms has something to do with that.


    BTW Love that cross slide table you have.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FenceFurniture View Post
    David, are there things that you don't like? I would find the 90mm travel quite limiting. I wonder if it would be possible to actually get a bit more travel with some fooling around. That is, drill the first part of the hole to say 80mm depth, and then move the head down with the bit registered at the top of the hole, and then complete the drilling (for say another 20-30mm). Would that work?

    Also, how do you find the torque in low gear? Gutsy enough?
    Hi FF, I am a light-weight user of the drill press so my review was just to give general users some idea of what I thought of the machine - which is that I am very pleased overall. My full-height pedestal drill press had less travel than this little drill - about 80 mm rather than the 90 mm of the Bosch. Yes, the travel could be limiting, except that I do exactly as you suggested and move the head down once the hole has reached "bottom". My biggest limitation is the length of my bits. I have some very long brad point bits for use on the lathe but they are too long for this drill. To date, the repositioning trick you mention has gotten me where I need to go. If I were stuck I would find a way to drill longer holes for most items on my VL300. After all, it rather like a variable speed, 3 hp, very solid horizontal drill press (as long as it is OK and possible to rotate the workpiece or possible to fix the workpiece to the tailstock or auxiliary banjo, which isn't very difficult to do with a homemade 'table' jig).

    As with M&J I have not had any problem with torque. My H&F pedestal press was 750 w - only 40 w more than this drill. In fact, being direct drive I find I can drill much bigger holes more easily than with the H&F because that machine had belt tension/slip issues. Having to pull the belts off, sandpaper rough them and reinstall them was a pain. I was at the point of going upmarket to try to get better belts until I realised I needed the floor space more than I needed the pedestal.

    The review that you linked was quite misleading in lots of ways. The plastic levers are quite strong enough in my experience, only gentle pressure is required to fix firmly in position. Likewise, the plastic locking ring on the chuck is very well protected and will most likely last the life of the drill press because of that.

    What don't I like? Well, I am not fond of the chuck really. It seems clunky and awkward to me. A 'normal' keyless chuck would suit me better, but this one works and I suspect I will get so used to it that it isn't an issue any more. Also, the unit is light-weight, but while OK for me, it would not do for heavy duty work. But, it's not meant for milling or thick steel. When I had a business I purchased a heavy-weight, geared (not belt) drive unit for that kind of work.

    However, everyone needs to evaluate what they need, no machine suits everyone. The set-up that you have looks great, especially that table. I protect the Al baseplate on the Bosch with some 3 mm ply and use a heavy steel drill press vise instead - nowhere near as good as your setup. On the other hand, the Bosch's clear speed readout, ease of setting exact, repeatable speeds and the excellent laser cross hairs suit my purposes very well - they may not be what everyone needs.

  14. #13
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    Just to add to that excellent reply, I would say the biggest plus for me is the ability to drill to the "exact" same depth every time with different bit and timber changes using that big clear and almost instant setup function of the inbuilt digital depth gauge.

    Cheers.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MandJ View Post

    I did a write up in January Bosch 710W Corded Bench Drill
    Apologies, I missed that one. I probably would not have posted mine if I had seen it. I did search 'product reviews' before I posted. However, our two reviews combined (and linked by your post) give a nicely collaborative approach to a product review ... not bad since we've never met! I think you have had more use of your drill than I have of mine so its good to get that feedback too.

  16. #15
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    No apologies needed as it's good to get two perspectives, and ones that are pretty close. FYI I've actually pulled the unit apart to look at the build quality, it's quite a nicely built unit and not that hard to dismantle should the need ever arise.

    Mike.

    Cheers.

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