I am looking to purchase either a drill press and mortising kit or a dedicated mortiser to help me out with my furniture-making ambitions. I initially thought that the drill press and mortising kit would be the way to go because it would be more versatile. Since I have a limited tool-buying budget (If I still hope to buy lumber anyways), I thought it would be a nice, cost-effective compromise. However, I have heard that the mortising kit/drill press combo isn't entirely satisfactory for cutting mortises on a regular basis. I've heard that the dedicated mortiser (as one might guess) is more user-friendly and does a better job overall. That said, I have a couple questions for the group:
1) What do you use your drill presses for in your shop? My reason for initially leaning towards the drill press/mortise kit combination is, as I mentioned, because of the ability to also use the drill press as a drill press. However, the only uses I can come up with are to cut plugs and possibly for spinning sanding drums (which, I'm told, is another job they're not ideally suited for). I don't think I'd do either on a regular basis.
2) If you've used a mortising kit, what were your impressions of the quality of the job it did and its usability?
3) Considering the price of a delta bench-top drill press plus mortising kit is about equal to the delta bench-top dedicated mortiser (including 4 bits and a few other handy gewgaws), which would you go for in my position? Keep in mind that I already have a good hand-held drill that's worked just fine for making holes up to this point. (I can even make the holes end up passably straight most of the time!)
I guess the main thing I'm trying to assess is the real utility of having a drill press, and whether it outweighs the advantages of going for the dedicated mortiser. At this point I am leaning towards the mortiser unless I hear some great reason to have a drill press instead. Thank you all for your help!
Regards, Adam Diehl