drill press - who makes a good one?

May be replacing my Delta 17-990 drill press.
The run out is terrible and the service guy spent 3 hours trying to remedy the situation to no avail. On top of which, he found a lot of bolts/nuts loose.
Extraordinarily disappointing for what used to be a premier company. Seems like they want to keep charging top dollar but don't want to keep the quality up as well - rather save a buck paying a guy a dollar a day to assemble stuff - who doesn't really care to do a good job for his buck. I guess the CEO deserves to pocket the difference.
Anyway, seems like everything's made in China these days, but am I missing one that's perhaps not? And, who has the reputation these days for a good product?
Powermatic's supposedly worse than Delta. Is that true?
Any insights will be appreciated.
Thanx Renata
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I'll be watching this thread very closely. I asked a similar question a few weeks ago. My "research" hasn't yielded a lot of good info. There are well built machines to be had but not at anything like under at least a thousand bucks minimum. The latest candidate for me is this one: http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/itemDetailsRender.shtml?ItemId11768128
I checked it out at the local Grainger branch. Looks pretty good. They have smaller versions you might be interested in.
Max
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Any idea who makes it? If so, you can probably get it for 10 - 20% less under the brand name.
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The Grainger 3Z9xx and 5Z146 or maybe 5Z1xx machines are the same as many other machines... The attached list shows the machines that are all identical:
GRAINGER 3Z917E, 3Z918, 3Z918F, 5Z146 DAYTON 3Z917E, 3Z918, 3Z918F, 5Z146 DELTA DP400 DELTA 17-900 DELTA 17-950L GRIZZLY G7943 & G7944 JET JDP-17MF
All of these are made by the same company in Tiawan. I had their name, but lost it...
Here are some lists of machines that my customers have used with no compalints that I'm aware of:
1/3 - 3/4 HP, 14-16" Swing Units Delta DP400 or 17-900 (3/4 HP $400) Jet JDP-17MF (3/4 HP $475) Grizzly #G7944 (3/4 HP $350) Grainger #3Z917 (1/2 HP $450)
1 to 1-1/2 HP 17" Swing Units Jet JDP-20MF (1-1/2 HP $750) Grizzly #G7948 (1-1/2 HP, $600) Grainger #3Z919 (1 HP, $800) Ellis #9400 (2 HP, $2200)
2HP Units for Drilling or Tapping Grizzly #G0521 (2 HP, 3 Phase, $1250)
IMHO, the G0521 is an amazing machine for the $$$, but made in China...
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 01.908.542.0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com
V8013-R
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I looked at the spec for the Grizzly G7948 and the Grainger 3Z919. Similar. The Grizzly spindle travel is 4 3/4 while the Grainger unit is 6" I wouldn't pay the difference in price just for longer spindle travel but I'm yet to be persuaded that the Grizzly quality is just as good. What do you think?
Max (still shopping)
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First of all, longer spindle travel may mean that more of the spline that drives it is supported in the drive mechanism. I'd try to get a hold of the manual / parts diagram and see which had a longer drive spline... Just my opinion of course, but the longer that spline drive is (presuming they are both the same cast material), the longer the life on a critical part.
The Grainger has a 2.949" quill diameter whereas the Grizzly has a 3.612" quill diameter. Beefier everywhere else also? Not sure...
Second, I don't know which would be more reliable long term as the Grainger could be made by anyone and rebranded... It's probably a et / WHM Tool Group machine or a Delta... Which means it could be foreign made too... Probably is in any case.
I'm slave to the $ many times by necessity and don't really use my drill presses all that "hard" so I'd go with Grizzly personally... Neither company will be going out of business anytime soon so the parts department would at least be available to tell you that they don't have parts. :)
Buy bigger than you will ever use and the extra capacity turns into free durability insurance. However, power useage may be an issue if you drill a lot of holes, etc.
Finally, I would ask the same exact question in rec.crafts.metalworking as those folks use their machines in heavier applications and may have true life stories... Just be prepared to muddle through the opinion-based posts as they are common there just as often as here.
...Hope I didn't simply add more confusion to the mix.
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 01.908.542.0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com
V8013-R
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"Joe AutoDrill" wrote

Well, sort of. But I do appreciate your taking the time to offer what you did. I have only one tool from Grizzly; a metal cutting band saw. I thought I would try out something I don't use enough for it to be critical as to quality. I'm disappointed. The same saw I paid $298.25 for is available at Harbor freight for $179.99. The quality is nothing to brag about. Most recently, I have been considering the 22" drill press from General. I just wish I could find someone who has one.
Thanks for your input,
Max
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...
I checked back issues of FWW when I was looking for a DP recently and they seemed to think Ridgid had the best bang for the buck, so I went to HD and bought one. I've been happy with it so far . . . .
-Don
-- I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it
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Snip

Not that I have heard. If I were in the market I'd be looking at Powermatic, Steel City or Jet.

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I have 6 drill presses. The one I use most for woodworking and light metal work is from Harbor Freight and is a floor model for around $175. They have a larger one (15") I think for around $225 that looks pretty good to me. If I need the 7th machine it will be their 15" model. While I have not measured it, runout is too minimal for my applications.
Don Dando

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I wish I knew where that particular Harbor Freight store was. The one I've been in has junk when it comes to drill presses. No comparison to any other DPs I've looked at.
Max
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Sun, Jan 14, 2007, 3:12pm (EST+5) barskir@not_myrealbox.com (Renata) doth queryeth: <snip> Anyway, seems like everything's made in China these days, but am I missing one that's perhaps not? And, who has the reputation these days for a good product? <snip>
Yep, seems to b the case. Mine was anyway, but has been very dependble, no discernable runout. Ask for Yong Foo, he has an excellent reputation for putting together a good drillpress. You pays your money and takes your chances. I'd buy from somewhere you can trade it back in if you're not happy, until you get a good one.
JOAT I do not have the huge amout of faith needed to be an Atheist.
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J T wrote:

That seems to be good advice for any tool that you may be ultra picky about. Not that you don't have the right to be ultrapicky. With such a huge empaphsis on cost reduction, there's bound to be some lemons in every product line.
I'm at the point where I would never buy a big tool online again (one that would have considerable freight charges to return or get serviced). Quality is too hit and miss nowdays, even if you buy the main brands.
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(Renata) doth queryeth: <snip> Anyway, seems like everything's made in China these days, but am I missing one that's perhaps not? And, who has the reputation these days for a good product? <snip>
Ellis. But it means big $ too.
--


Regards,
Joe Agro, Jr.
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I've been looking for a while, and decided to go with the Steel City 20520 17" DP. I drove out to the "local" (about an hours drive) Woodworker's Supply today and picked it up, and was surprised to find out there's a $75.00 rebate through the end of this month.
At any rate, SWMBO has this thing about 2x4 "casual" furniture, so the 6" quill stroke was a plus in my decision making. I set it up this afternoon, bolted it to a 2' x 4' x 3/4" piece of plywood for stability, and found it was very easy to drill completely through two stacked 2x4's in one pass. It also handled punching holes in garden border logs for rebar 'spikes' with no problem.
With a crude file card test, hold a 3x5 file card by one end and touch the opposite edge to the side of the spinning quill, runout appears to be very minimul. More than I can say for my old bench top Delta. One of these days I suppose I should pick up a dial indicator.
I really like the speed range, 215 - 2,2720 RPM in 16 steps, and there's almost no backlash in the rack and pinion table height adjusting mechanism. YMMV, but I'm impressed with this machine.
Now I've got the "casual" furniture situation under control, maybe I can get back to deciding on a new table saw.
Len
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If you're looking for one that's not made in Asia at a reasonable price then look no further than a General made in Canada. I say reasonable at $800.00 US that is a fair price considering anything from Jet or Delta from Asia is $400-450.00 + tax/shipping. BTW Delta,Powermatic and I would guess soon to follow the other mfg. will soon be offering DP's will all the bells and whistles i.e. laser positioning, variable speed, table extensions, digital readouts etc for around 800-900.00 and made in China but I would still question the tolerances/quality. If Asian made is pressuring you into the cost category the Grizzly that sells for $225.00 I think the 15" model has received high marks and best bang for the buck in a recent review of DP's. If I were to do it again I would not have bought a Jet 17" instead would have bought an older USA made DP and restored it.
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Many times excessive runout is caused by the drill chuck and it's lack of quality. Before you go spending money for a drill chuck, verify runout with a dial or test indicator, pop off the chuck and rotate it on the spindle and remeasure. I'll bet your runout issue is caused by the chuck.
SO you might ask why doesn't Delta put good chucks on their drillpresses? Simple economics. Good chucks are not cheap.
http://catalogs.shoplocal.com/jlindustrial/index.aspx?storeid 38424&circularidr28&jlpass09&loggedinlse&itemcount=0&jsessionid=gnva15dkazpf5laubiwcfevmcqfc0iv0&pagenumber31
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Not to try and sell anything per say... But... If you have a J33 mount, I stock high quality Japanese chucks, 1/2" capacity. Their quality is as good as any Jacobs I've ever run across and approaches Albrecht quality without the pricing... $80 ea. Yakiwa brand I beleive.
But... You have to look around. I have the advantage of using a dozen chucks a week at times so if I see a bunch of different brands, I get a good idea of what is quality and what is not. Plus, these are production use machines so after a year, they have been abused quite well to know whether they hold up. Short of a salt atmosphere, torch, runaway forklift or some nasty crud that was allowed into the chuck, I've never had one come back.
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 01.908.542.0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com
V8013-R
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