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Old 09-24-2011, 08:42 PM   #1
wfopete
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Default In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

I'm looking to get a drill press for occasional use. I don't see me punching holes in 1/2 inch stock as a habit but you never know. I would prefer full size but are bench models fairly capable? American made is always a plus. Are Grizzly's American made?

Why should I consider a Oscillating vs Radial or other types?

Also a USED drill press is not out of the question but what should I be checking if considering at a used drill press? I've seen some interesting vintage drill presses out there but would a modern/new press be the way to go?
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

A used floor standing Craftsman, Delta, or Walker Turner would be a good bet. Around here at least, they're plentiful on CL and estate sales. $100 will buy you a nice one.

As far as I know, all of the Grizzly's are imports.

I have a 50 year old Delta that came out of a wire factory and it still works beautifully.

The main thing to check for is spindle runout. Extend the quill and check for any free play.

Bearings are available but they're not cheap, so I'd avoid anything with a lot of play or anything that makes any bad noises.

Radial drills are a lot less common... might be handy once in a while, but you'll give up some rigidity and probably some accuracy unless you find a really good one.

The other thing I look for is a reasonably good table... a little rust is OK, but when I see them drilled full of holes, it makes me assume that the owner didn't give a shiat about it and it probably wasn't well cared for.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

i have an older bench top craftsman that ive had for 20yrs, still runs like a top..
porter cable is another brand to look for..

hit up craigslist, there is always drill presses on there reasonably priced..
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

Pete,
I agree with the others, if you can find a well cared for used one, you will get a lot more for your money. Seems like the older ones were built a lot heavier than the new stuff too.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

Just a note on older DP's.........the small 15's are the most popular.So,theres gonna be more $$ needed to get better examples(not beat to heck).This size is also the ones that have the most pecker holes in table's because of the skill level associated with them(they were cheap/plentiful back in the day).Also theres certain labels more desireable on the $$ market...which will raise prices there as well.Look for larger DP than you're possibly thinking,big/heavy=good.Also look for 3 phase pwr.....that turns off a lot of folks.Just swap the motor out(if no 3 phase/VFD).You can get good deals on DPs missing parts.....most are very easy to make.And trashed bearings on an otherwise "clean" DP would be seen here as a GOOD thing,its a price negotiate'r.Good luck,BW
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

I think I would attemp to look for something used first, atleast something older and well built.

Keep your eyes open on Govdeals too.

you never know what you'll find.

http://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?ty...em=drill+press
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

Be careful- the brands now owned by Stanley have some parts availability problems. That includes Delta, Black and Decker, Porter Cable, and probably a couple of other brands that one of these brands absorbed before they were absorbed by Stanley. The Career and Technical Education people at work (used to be called vocational tech) are having trouble getting parts for a lot of the older shop tools in the metals and woods classrooms, so a lot of machinery with small problems like worn out chucks, bad lever arms, etc is having to be replaced instead of repaired because of it.

Granted, because children are being taught to operate these tools they can't jury-rig them, unlike a homeowner's own personal choice, but your mileage may vary.


As for benchtop versus standing, I bought a cheap, open-box Craftsman drill press a few months ago, and so far it's worked just fine. It's small, portable, and easily moved out of the way when I need to use the space for something else. I would recommend having a tabletop unit even if one buys a standing unit later. The only limitation I've encountered is the shorter travel, so I may some day buy a bigger, likely standing unit, once I have the need.

Last edited by TWX; 09-25-2011 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

I got the $120-ish Ryobi bench top drill press at Home Depot.

Pro's...
- castings and parts have a good fit and finish
- it has a laser cross hair for lining up your bit and the hole (not necessary, but cool anyway).
- it has a built in light to illuminate your workpiece (this does come in handy, but an add-on gooseneck would work just fine).
- there is a crank for raising and lowering the work table.

Con's...
- the drive pulleys are molded plastic, NOT metal.
- motor is a bit on the weak side...stalls relatively easy with large drill bits (be careful of speed/feed rate).

Overall, I've been happy enough with it, for the $120 cost. If I had to do it all over again, I might have been patient and watched for a deal on CL (although the used drill presses around the bay area must be made of gold, they are listed at the 'near new' prices). People seem to buy a drill press, not use it much for several years, then try to sell it at little loss. I cannot imagine not using a drill press much...I am frequently out in the shop building, or repairing, something and the drill press is used pretty much every day I spend in the shop.

I haven't had any real limitations from it being a bench top unit instead of a floor unit. I plan to build a special bench for my benchtop tools and I rarely work with HUGE materials.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:48 AM   #9
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

Get one with as many speeds as possible for your money. You will find uses for a drill press you never imagined if you look around on YouTube and such. I like a floor model because I can slip a dolly under it and get it out where I can work on long pieces if necessary. A good bench top is heavy to be moving around.
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

I've only owned used drill presses because they are so cheap. My latest has variable speeds and it is a true luxury. many of the non variable speed drills may not have a low enough speed for metal, many are geared for wood only.

When going used, get >= 17" they seem sturdier. make sure the taper is mt2 or mt 3 and not j33.

Rob
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

I bought this one from Harbor Freight about 2 years ago and i love it.
http://www.harborfreight.com/heavy-d...ess-38144.html

I just use it for occasional drilling, but I have never experienced a problem with it bogging down or not being able to handle the job.
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

My dad had an old Craftsman bench model that we used on the farm for many, many years without any problems. It was a little small for some things but for 80+ percent of the time it worked fine.

My wife bought me a Delta 15 speed floor mounted drill press when I built my shop in 1995. She bought it from our local Grainger branch and it has been a great drill press. It gets used quite a lot and I have had zero issues with it.

There are a few times when a larger table would be of benefit but they have been few and far between. There really hasn't been anything that I couldn't fit on it or had to find other alternatives.

If memory serves it was around $300.00 back in 1995 but a guy I work with bought one very close to mine off of a local website for $75.00 a few months ago. It was in pretty good condtion other than a few additional holes/dimples drilled in the table from not paying attention to where the center hole is.

Mike.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

This was the best price I could find on a floor drill press;
http://www.menards.com/main/tools-ha...46-c-10086.htm

So far it has worked fine for me but my usage is pretty rare.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:26 AM   #14
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

Quote:
Originally Posted by koolkev12 View Post
I bought this one from Harbor Freight about 2 years ago and i love it.
http://www.harborfreight.com/heavy-d...ess-38144.html

I just use it for occasional drilling, but I have never experienced a problem with it bogging down or not being able to handle the job.
nothing like resurrecting an old thread.... .but I thought I would comment on the Harbor Freight 38144, which I just purchased. What I have discovered is that, among the cheap imports (including the big box stores, and pretty much anything under $400 new), the Central Machinery drill presses are not a bad choice. If one is committed to a new DP for $200, this particular model should be considered. Right now, with the combination of sale price and 20% coupon, the price is attractive.

What the 38144 brings to the table that no other DP in this price range offers is:

* slow speeds down to 220rpm. gotta have this if you're gonna do much steel work.

* 5/8" chuck

* 3/4 HP motor

* 13" total swing

* long spindle stroke (number escapes me at the moment)

* MT2 spindle taper

It may take more than one copy (return until you get a good one) but with patience you can end up with a great value, as long as your expectations of being precision machinist are tempered to match the price

I went through three presses, and found that the biggest variability is in the chuck run-out. I ended up keeping the chuck that had the least run-out. I'm now satisfied that for $200 I have a press that can't be beat without going pushing $500. If I were a machinist I would hate it, but for occasional, general purpose jobs it really is quite well suited.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:03 AM   #15
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWX View Post
Be careful- the brands now owned by Stanley have some parts availability problems. That includes Delta, Black and Decker, Porter Cable, and probably a couple of other brands that one of these brands absorbed before they were absorbed by Stanley. The Career and Technical Education people at work (used to be called vocational tech) are having trouble getting parts for a lot of the older shop tools in the metals and woods classrooms, so a lot of machinery with small problems like worn out chucks, bad lever arms, etc is having to be replaced instead of repaired because of it.

Granted, because children are being taught to operate these tools they can't jury-rig them, unlike a homeowner's own personal choice, but your mileage may vary.


As for benchtop versus standing, I bought a cheap, open-box Craftsman drill press a few months ago, and so far it's worked just fine. It's small, portable, and easily moved out of the way when I need to use the space for something else. I would recommend having a table top unit even if one buys a standing unit later. The only limitation I've encountered is the shorter travel, so I may some day buy a bigger, likely standing unit, once I have the need.
Satenly/ Bleak & Dorker sold Delta. Delta, Powermatic, are good choices in a used DP, Powermatic used to build tools in McMinnville, TN & they are quite robust, now they are mostly imports .
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:16 AM   #16
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

I got the Delta Milwaukee that stood on the floor in my granddads cellar for at least 25 yrs before I got it 10 yrs ago...It was well used but not abused.
only 3 sp. but still runs strong and perfectly true
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:37 PM   #17
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

The big thing is what kind of stuff are you going to drill?
Metal demands much slower speeds that wood.
Most new ones these days assume wood and are much to fast for metal.

If you are a metal guy go to a place that specializes in metal tools.

If you are a mixed use guy, get a wide spread of speeds on a multi-speed machine.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: In search of a Drill Press Used or New?

With used machine tools you can generally get 4 times the machine for the same money as a comparable new one. Some used woodworking machines will get you 8x more machine than a new one. Craftsman 12" cast iron top table saws can be had on craigslist all day long for $50 and new they are well over $400
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