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Enough Power?

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  • Enough Power?

    Hi, I'm about ready to go get a DP1550 but a friend just brought up a question about the motor size. He pointed out that other DP's in the same price range have a 3/4 HP motor. So now I'm curious about why the 1550 has a 1/2 HP motor. Is it a better motor, is 3/4 HP overkill, etc?

    This DP will mostly be used on wood but I expect I'll end up drilling a little metal now and then. I don't have a lot of woodworking experience yet so I thought I'd ask for the experts opinions.

    Thanks, Mark

  • #2
    I will not claim to be a drill press expert but would like to offer some input to your question... I have many hours of drilling under my belt since I worked in a custom fabrication shop for quite a few years before getting into engineering and woodworking...

    I have a middle of the road grade, large bench top drill press that I picked up at a farm store on clearance for about $100.00... I just went out and looked at mine and it also has a 1/2 hp motor on it and is rated at 8.4amps... It is 12 speeds also... looking at the picture and spec's on the Ridgid, they look to be very similar and tension the belt the same too...

    I am very happy with mine. It has drilled a very wide range of materials in the 10 years I have had it and works very well... I think the main thing you need to keep in mind when drilling is, that you need to adjust the speed you are drilling based on whether it is metal or wood... It is also based on the diameter of your bit... Your bit manufacturer should or could give you optimum speed ranges for their specific bits to cut the best... Make sure you keep good belt tension after changing speeds and you should be in good shape... Thicker hard metals will require you to run slower speeds and use special lubricants to optimize cutting and reduce heat... Forstner bits and hole saws also like to be run at slower speeds... I drilled some ½” plate a while back with a 1/8” pilot hole first and then finished it with a 9/16” HSS drill bit lubricating frequently. It cut like butter… Always pilot steel before drilling if the hole is larger than 5/16” of an inch or so… It will help to keep the bit from wandering… Drilling wood, I like to use brad point bits or forstners…

    All in all, I think the 1/2hp motor will server you very well as a hobbyist woodworker / metal worker... Find yourself a speed chart and you will be just fine...
    Here is a picture of my humble drill press with one handle taken off:
    It is not made by GUMOUT, it is just a sticker... It really has no name...
    Regards,<br /><br />Big Johnson<br /><br />Pictures: <a href=\" gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php\" target=\"_blank\"> gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php</a>


    • #3
      You can get a very good drill press speed chart on Wood Magazines web site.

      This will give you an idea of the speed range you need on your drill press.


      • #4
        Here is a link to the "Drill Press Speed Chart" that WaMan was talking about:

        It would be a good one to print off and have laminated and hung by the drill press...
        Regards,<br /><br />Big Johnson<br /><br />Pictures: <a href=\" gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php\" target=\"_blank\"> gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php</a>


        • #5
          Thanks for the input and the chart pointer. It will be an excellent reference for me 'till I get some splinters under my belt.

          The main thing I was concerned about was that the DP would be under-powered, but from your comments it sounds like that shouldn't be a problem. Plus, judging from the quality of other Ridgid tools it seems they would use a motor that would do the job.

          Thanks, Mark