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Although you might not think about it much, we're willing to
bet you rely on your drill press more than you realize. Besides
boring holes at exact angles with dead-on repeatability, a drill
press also is the safest way to use large hole-makers, such
as Forstner bits and circle cutters. You can even press it into
service for mortising, drum-sanding, or clamping parts in a
tough glue-up. Choose well, and a drill press can be one of
your best and longest-lasting friends in the shop.
How we learned
all about the drill team
After unpacking and assembling the six models in our test, we
measured for runout (wobble caused by an off-center or bent
spindle) at the quill, chuck, and 2-1/2" below the chuck
using a precision-ground steel rod and a dial indicator. To
gauge the reliability of the depth
stops, we chucked a twist bit into each machine, set the stop
to 1/2", and drilled 100 holes into 3/4" medium-density
fiberboard (MDF). We then measured the difference in depth between
the first and last holes, and noted the difference.
observed the power of the press by setting it to its lowest
speed, then boring with a 2" Forstner bit and a
2 1/2" hole saw. Although the ampere ratings vary among
the models, all of the drill presses handled the test without
Finally, we put each machine through a month's worth
of use, performing such tasks as drilling angled holes, drum-sanding,
mortising, and more. During these tests we noted the ease
of moving the drive belts to change speeds, as well as any difficulties
in clamping a fence or workpiece to the table.
To learn the results
of our tests of the Craftsman 22917N, Delta 17-965, Grizzly
G7944 and G7946, Jet JDP-17MF, and Shop Fox
W1680, pick up the October
2001 issue of WOOD magazine and
turn to page 84.
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