RayburnGuy

Need Help Choosing A Benchtop Drill Press

22 posts in this topic

I'm looking to buy a bench top drill press and was looking for input from some of you who have them. It's only purpose will be for building tackle, but hope to find one that won't break the bank and still have features like a good depth gauge, a decent chuck and a spindle with low run out.

thanks guys,

Ben

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You're getting pretty picky :nuhuh:

I found one at a Menards for around $100. It was their cheapest, don't remember the brand but I thought it looked really good for the price.. I don't think they have Menards in Texas.

I bought one from Harbor Freight for $50 and it does the job for me. I don't use it very often. It lacks a little power for drilling 1/4" holes in aluminum, just have to go slower. I don't know if this one would meet your expectations or not.

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I have a 40.00 harbor freight bench top that works pretty well for me. I only use to drill ballast ports in balsa baits so most anything would work for me. I mark my drill depths on the bits so I don't use the guide on the machine.

Edited by benton B

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I use a Craftsman I've had for about 20 years with no problems..You can pick one up for around a 100.00 I think..Nathan

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The reason I'm looking for one with a fairly tight tolerance, or low run out, on the spindle is I'm wanting to try my hand at building some swimbaits and didn't want to have to worry about alignment issues when drilling holes for the hinge pins. I really have no idea how much tolerance is allowed on this, but have seen some drill presses that the spindle wobbled so much you could barely center a drill bit up on a punch mark.

I will check out the ones you guys have mentioned.

thanks,

Ben

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Personally when it comes to tools that I am going to use I often skip the budget tools. Don't get me wrong some are fine and I buy many things I am not going to do often but a drill press is one where I would spend the money. Take time to search some reviews and find what you want. I have a 12 inch Craftsman that I use. It has performed flawlessly but I would not likely get one again unless the depth stop has been upgraded. I just have to check it often and really make sure it is secure and "locked" in place.

Grizzly, Delta, and Rikon, seem to be a few that pop up in many wood magazine good buys/top tools.

Edited by Travis

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Ben,

i've got a Duracraft model sp30 i've had for about 35 years. drilled everything from pvc to steel plate with it. belt drive. check ebay. there are some there for cheap.

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I have a HF and it is a POS !! Lots of run out and the depth stop is junk . I have a old delta it also has a lot of run out . I would try a craftsman if I were to buy a new one

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Thanks for all the help guys. I will definitely check out all of your suggestions.

Ben

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I have the craftsman one you can get at sears, i think its around 140. Works great and seems to be well made and it has a lazer to show where you are going to drill, i dont use it much but its a cool feature if want to use it.

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My Craftsman depth stop is two knurled nuts that lock together. They easily back off if not careful. I typically will wrap some tape to stop this from occurring if I need it to remain set. It isn't enough to drive me mad and go buy a new press at the moment but if I worked with it every day I would have to come up with a better solution or ditch it and buy something else.

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I bought and still use a cheap Tool Shop press from Menards. And I would not recommend it for precision work. I use it, and have for 6 years, but I would recommend going with a name brand for precision.

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I got one from Northern tool, $64.99, works fine for making swimbaits. It's not the best drill press but it allows me to produce a swimbait that works ok for me, all I want is to make swimbaits for my own use so they don't have to be of a commercial quality.

I also bought a cross slide vise and a set of sanding drums for it too, I have learned that a drill press is a very handy hardbait making tool.

Thanks for all the info on this forum, I will post my first effort soon.

http://www.northernt...65427_200365427

http://www.northernt...99274_200199274

http://www.harborfre...-set-35455.html

Edited by gordon

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The reason I'm looking for one with a fairly tight tolerance, or low run out, on the spindle is I'm wanting to try my hand at building some swimbaits and didn't want to have to worry about alignment issues when drilling holes for the hinge pins. I really have no idea how much tolerance is allowed on this, but have seen some drill presses that the spindle wobbled so much you could barely center a drill bit up on a punch mark. I will check out the ones you guys have mentioned. thanks, Ben

I have a Delta that is 20+ years old, and still works great.

I found the key to aligning swimbait hinge pin holes was to put a sharpened alignment pin, made from my pin material, in the wood table, centered on where the bit lands. I used an awl to mark both the entry and exit spots, put the exit mark over the alignment pin, and drilled down half way thru then entry spot. Then I reversed the piece and finished the hole. A sharp bit and low feed speed are critical.

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Another thing that you might want to consider is the vise that mounts to the drill press and a set of "end mills" instead of wood drill bits. End mills really bore a hole where you want it with out "walking". That is usually more of the problem than the play in the drill press. Just my $.02 worth. Musky Glenn

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I'd take the time to check EBAY//Craigslist/etc in your area for a used item. 75% of the tools I've bought have been used, which has allowed me to get nice quality tools at a price I could afford. It takes time and obviously you don't have any return/guaranties on what you buy, but you'd be suprised how many people buy really nice tools, never use them, then put them up for sale after sitting for a few years.... my best find was a lightly used 60 gallon Ingersoll Rand 5hp compressor for $300... that's less than the cheapy ones I was looking at.

J.

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I'd take the time to check EBAY//Craigslist/etc in your area for a used item. 75% of the tools I've bought have been used, which has allowed me to get nice quality tools at a price I could afford. It takes time and obviously you don't have any return/guaranties on what you buy, but you'd be suprised how many people buy really nice tools, never use them, then put them up for sale after sitting for a few years.... my best find was a lightly used 60 gallon Ingersoll Rand 5hp compressor for $300... that's less than the cheapy ones I was looking at.

J.

I'll keep that in mind. Thanks SlowFISH

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I was just looking at cheaper drill presses, Craftsman had a lot of negative reviews. I was debating between the Ryobi and Skill, leaning toward the Ryobi based on reviews.

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I still haven't made up my mind. I'm thinking I may try the Craftsman as we have a Sears store not far from me and it can be returned with no shipping costs if it turns out to be a piece of crap. If I come up with a good drill press that doesn't break me I'll let everyone know.

Ben

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Harbor freight sells a good bench top drill press but make sure you get the press with the keyed chuck. The cheaper model has a problem holding bits. Also Harbor freight has a 20% off coupon every so often that makes the price quite good. I have the keyed chuck press and am building a full scale airplane, I have drilled countless holes in aluminun as well as some in steel 3/8 inch thick and have had no problems. The key is to run the press at the proper speed and don't skimp on bits get the best you can buy and they will cut properly and last.

Rotorhead lures.

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