Drill Press Advice


I am shopping for a drill press for my son. I am down to the following three choices:
Grizzly G7943 Grizzly G7944 Hitachi B16RM
My son lives in Ohio and I on Long Island and so I have to pass Grizzly on my to visit him. Really, Grizzly is on the way, well at least that what I told SWMBO.
I used to think Hitachi made reasonable quality tools, but with the abundance I now see them in the blue borg, I wonder if they haven't put out a cheaper line for blue borg sales. I looked at the Hitachi at the local borg. Rather smallish looking motor (no label, which surprised me). Web say max. developed HP is 1, which I guess translates to 1/2 actual. Grizzlys are 3/4HP. Depth stop was a bit rickety as well.
Anyway, anyone have any of these DPs? Comments? The biggest unknown and concern I have is the amount of runout.
Thanks,
Bill Leonhardt
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On 9 Mar 2005 18:23:26 -0800, "Tattooed and Dusty"

1) if all you want to do is drill the occasional hole a little straighter than you could by eye and only in small stuff, the harbor freight $50 benchtop mini gets "good value for a cheapie" reviews.
2) if you want a serviceable machine shop type press, which will probably be a bit too small swing-wise for most woodworking, the field is wide open. if you can find one, get an old, weighs-a-ton american made iron machine. even if you have to rebuild it, you'll be ahead. there are a kajillion cheapie imports you can choose from- what color do you like?
3) if you want woodshop capacity and don't care about machineshop accuracy, the radial head adaptations of the 2) class machine will do ya.
4) if you want lots of capacity, a big table with dog slots, plenty of motor, r8 collets and the rigidity to do metalworking, do what I did. get a mill-drill.
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I have the 7944 and like it (now that I've built a decent table for it with dust collection); it's the only one I've owned or used extensively. My dad helped me assemble it and was favorably impressed by it. I'm sorry to report that I haven't measured runout.
I've had to straighten out the L bracket that makes the depth stop *stop* ... I wish it were made of a heavier guage of metal. Wouldn't be hard to replace, but so far I've settled for not forcing it.
On a drive that long, the 20 minutes or so from I-80 to Muncy shouldn't count against you too much. Honk your horn when you go by the Bloomsburg exit.
Jim in PA
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I too have the 7944 (just got it last month). So far from the little I have had time to use it, it appears to be a good machine. I have not checked the runout either. Speed changing is easy and table height adjustment is smooth (only downside is the table is for metal and not woodworking so jig attachment might be a issue). I had also concerned the Ridgid but the 7944 was a better deal including shipping.
John M.

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If I were to buy a drill press again this is what I would do.
1) Find one made of heavy, decent steel, 2)make sure it has a relatively good motor and chuck and most importantly 3)walk up to the drill press, grab the quill and make sure there is no rattle, or runout. then say, this is the one I'd like to purchase.
I got lucky with my Jet drill press(no run out), I know several people who have not been so lucky.
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