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Tool review: Floor-standing Drill Presses

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Top two qualities in a drill press

Top two qualities in a drill press

1. AMPLE TORQUE.

A machine this size should handle the largest bits, holesaws, and adjustable circle cutters you have without bogging down. We tested torque on each drill press by boring holes into hard maple, starting with a 2" Forstner bit, then increased bit sizes in 1/4" increments to test each machine's limits. Most of the tested presses matched each other bit for bit, with only slight bogging down when we got up to a 3" bit. But slowing our feed rate a little compensated for this so that each made the cut.


Quick-release stop
Enlarge Image
 
WAY FAST: To make coarse
adjustments with Delta's single-nut
stop, press the quick-release
button to slide up and
down. Then fine-tune by
twisting it around the threads.
Dial-type depth stop
Enlarge Image
 
FAST: To set the dial depth stop
on the Rikon, spin the gauge
ring on the hub and align
the desired depth marking
with the indicator; then tighten the lock.
Dual-nut depth stop
Enlarge Image
 
NOT SO FAST: With dual-nut depth
stops (shown here on the
Shop Fox) you set the bottom
nut, then lock the top nut
against it, either by hand or
with wrenches.
2. DEPTH-STOP RELIABILITY.

The tested presses have three types of depth-stop systems (shown at right): a threaded rod with a single knurled, quick-adjust nut; a threaded rod with two locking nuts; and a dial stop on the quill-handle hub. All proved accurate, but some are faster and easier to use.


Continued on page 3:  Three more that matter

 

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