You will want variable speed but don't bust the budget on infinite
adjustment capability (Reeves). Most day to day use in a wood shop will
require minimal adjustment, depending on bit size. If you move back and
forth between wood and metal, as many of us do, you will need a range of
speeds. My old 8 speed Craftsman fills the bill just fine. I have to
adjust the belts manually but it takes seconds.
If you are only doing wood/aluminum/plastic then the multispeeds should be
fine. If you want to do ferrous metals, then it's very difficult to beat a
variable (electronic) speed. I would buy a standard multispeed and toss the
AC motor. Get a surplus DC motor (GOOD one) and a solid state controller.
You can use a Variac and a bridge rectifier to save some, if you want. Now
you can drill a 1" hole in tool steel or aluminum or and wood product. With
the DC motor, you want to tap something, no problem. Reversing is simple.
I know, not for everyone but I would hate do do without it. The option, of
course, is to buy a 3phase DP that have limited resale value (used/auction)
and add a VFD. Will do the same things.
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