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Drill Press

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  • Drill Press

    My drill press is just not cutting it anymore (it's an old Sears benchtop model I inherited from my grandfather). I am tired of it bogging down in hardwoods. I was shopping around, and thought maybe about the DP 1550.

    I will use it mainly for drilling holes using medium to large size bits (mostly forstner bits in the 3/4 to 2 1/2 inch range) in hardwood (walnut and maple mostly). I have a dedicated mortiser, so I won't need that option. A solid depth stop is a must for driling out euro style cabinet door hinge cups.

    I went to the HD to check out the floor model, but it wasn't much help as I can't turn it on or even get at the adjustments very easily. I also have a suspicion that it wasn't assembled 100% correctly.

    I have read the posts in the forum, but was wondering if anyone else had something to convice me to buy or avoid this model DP. I was also considering a Delta, but it carries a much heftier price tag.

    The list price in Canada is 399.00, but I will probably wait for a 20% off sale. I think there such a sale before Christmas.


  • #2
    Re: Drill Press

    Hi Franklin, not sure if 1/2 HP is going to do what you want.
    I bought a Delta 17" a few years ago and went through 3 (1 at home and 2 at TJV) all of them had a horrible vibration.
    TJV gave me a 17" General for the same price as the Delta (about $100 difference) for my trouble.
    The General 75-200-M1 is a really nice machine, good fit and finish and lots of power (3/4 HP)
    If you are near Mississauga check these guys out

    If you would like to stay with the bench top style they offer the same machine head with a short pole for the bench 75-100 M1
    Last edited by wbrooks; 10-23-2011, 08:15 AM.


    • #3
      Re: Drill Press

      I've had my 1550 in operation since 2005 and use it far more than I thought I ever would. I had looked at a lot of drill presses including the smaller benchtop units that were on the market at the time (2003). I ended up buying the Ridgid as I got a fantastic deal in the winter of 2003, when the new "orange" line of tools were being introduced. Mine is the older gray unit which was clearanced at $170, only because the color was being changed.

      In any case, the unit has served me well. But, about the biggest hole I've done was 2-1/4 inches in red oak using a hole saw-type cutter. Not exactly what you're doing, but I certainly had no slow down or bogging. (Actually, I just went over and checked the motor label when I saw mention of it only being 1/2 HP... I thought it was larger than that, but a 1/2 HP it is!)

      I'm not sure what you might be used to or what your preference may be, but the depth stop on the Ridgid is a "hub", and not the traditional rod-like stop that I see on most drill presses. My experience was somewhat limited having only used the rod-type stops in the past. However, I did like the hub-style on seeing it on a couple of drill presses when I was shopping and have grown to like it in my use of the 1550. But, I thought I should point that out to you as you mentioned the importance of positive setting in your projects. I've never had it slip, but it is different than using the "rod".

      I added a Rockler woodworking top to drillpress, early on and found it to be a great enhancement. It allows great alignment practice when doing pin holes or dowelling. I didn't use the Rockler mounting though, preferring to make a couple of "rails" that allow easy slide-on/slide-off with a couple of set-bolts to lock it in position on the OEM metal-working table. That works great for my use.

      Overall, I'm quite pleased with the 1550 and have not had any problems with vibration, chuck, or spindle travel (which is very smooth and precise). A lot of the drill pressed that I looked at, seemed to have spindles that sort of snagged or felt resistance somewhere along their travel. Not so with the Ridgid.

      The belts are easy enough to adjust and I've had no issues with that and the OEM belts have served well.

      An added bonus of course, is the 90-day satisfaction guarantee, 3-year warranty, and (with proper registration) the Limited Lifetime Service Agreement. So, if you do get this particular model and find it doesn't do the trick for you, you can always return it within those first three months. But that said, I don't see that you should have it bog down, as long as the cutter is properly sharp and allowed to cut at it's own speed.

      I hope this helps,