drill press requirements / specs

Given the wide selection of drill presses (and the corresponding specs and prices), I thought I would start first with my requirements:
1. mostly woodworking, with some light metal work (screw-holes and counter- sinks in 1/8" angle-iron, aluminum, etc) 2. forstner bits - probably not bigger than 2" 3. circle cutters - up to 2 or 3 inches (wheels, knobs, etc) 4. occasional use (i.e. hobby, not production usage) 5. I'd be satisfied to get 6" into a board - e.g. for shelving pin holes This means a 12" press, right?
What HP is required for these tasks? is 1/2 hp adequate?
What range of speeds is required? is (550, 880, 1520, 2490, 3470 RPM) sufficient? Is more speeds within the same range really useful? Will I need lower speeds for anything on my list?
If I moved up to a 3/4hp and 12 speed unit, what would I be able to do that I could not do with a 1/2hp and 5-speed unit?
TIA, Chris
************************************ Chris Merrill snipped-for-privacy@christophermerrillZZZ.net (remove the ZZZ to contact me) ************************************
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Half horse is plenty. You will find that most cutters, particularly the big ones, do a better job at lower speeds than what is typically used. My drill press only goes down to 550 RPM and I often wish it would go slower. Remember, speed = heat and chatter. Feed rate is the key to efficiency.

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