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Be Nice
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I have an 8 inch drill press. Not a WEN, but very similar to the 8 inch WEN. It meets my needs, but the rack and pinion table height adjustment and half inch further travel of the spindle on the 10 inch WEN would make a much more enjoyable tool to use. It's also not that much more expensive than the 8 inch. I don't have any WEN products, but am impressed with them after reading many reviews and watching reviews of some of their other products. They aren't top of the line tools, but seem to be a great value.
 

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As with most tools, go with the largest you can afford bost money- and space-wise. No matter what you go with, it always works out that you need an extra inch of throat depth for whatever you happen to be working on. Might as well make sure that youve got as much as you can to start with.

As far as everything else goes, drill presses are pretty bog-simple machines. Once you get off the ground floor, theyre all pretty much the same mechanically, from the second to the top shelf. Stay away from the suspiciously cheap deals, but focus more on the useful features. Variable speed with the widest range possible is always a plus, electronically variable speed is the best but im actually fond of the classic 3 step pulley setup that gives you something like 20 speeds. Quill travel is also handy, more is better so you can reduce the number of times you have to move the table.

Opposite side of the table, feature-wise, are the additions that dont do much but jack up the price. Laser crosshairs, while cool, dont really add much beyond price. RPM readouts fall here too, unless the readout is built into an electronic speed control, theres not really a point beyond being able to go "ooo, look, a number!". Before someone points out metalworking, im aware that speed control is more important there, but honestly, you dont need to have the RPM perfectly exact. Id also argue that a rack and pinion table height mechanism falls more on the 'luxury' side of things, its handy but if you have to choose between R&P and more speed settings or throat depth, go the latter
 

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I like to use Craigslist for used tools. Within 60 miles of my house there's several bench top drill presses for very reasonable prices. I found a real nice used floor version Jet 17" drill press in excellent condition for less than 1/2 the street price of a new one. I ran it at full speed to check the runout and make sure there's no issues.
 

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Be Nice
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Id also argue that a rack and pinion table height mechanism falls more on the 'luxury' side of things
My apologies. Thought I made that clear when I said the drill press I have meets my needs though it doesn't have that. It's a luxury that I believe is well worth the little bit extra.
 

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I can't imagine having a drill press without a rack and pinion table raising mechanism and would definitely not class it as a luxury. Get the largest capacity you can afford, particularly for woodworking, you need speeds mostly in the lower ranges which aren't offered in some of the smaller models if you are going to be using larger hole saws.
 

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I am also in the market for a replacement drill press. I have had my old Rockwell drill press for decades, but I hate it. The sarcasm in the following post says it all:

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/show-us-your-drill-press-158321/index2/#post1931810

Here is what I want in my next drill press:

* Rack and pinion table lift is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
* Minimum 1/2 inch chuck. Believe it or not, my Rockwell drill press has a 3/8 inch chuck.
* A stop mechanism, so I can drill repeated, consistent depth holes, and throw away those little stop rings that attach to the drill bits themselves. Surprisingly, I have seen some large, expensive drill presses that don't seem to have a stop mechanism, or perhaps the stop mechanisms are not visible on the outside.
* Variable speed. I don't think I would like changing belts, so I probably want one with an easily adjusted speed control, like a wheel or a dial.
* Suitable to use as a sander.
* Bigger and better - more power, more depth, more stability, etc. Enough power to run large hole saws, large Forstner bits, those circle cutters, etc. Good strong bearings that can handle typical drilling and sanding forces and still last my lifetime.

Am I forgetting any important features?
 

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I have a Delta bench top DP. Only about three inches clearance for drilling. Hard to drill long pen blanks without withdrawing the blank, raising the table and drilling again. Go with the biggest you can afford. Sorry, not familiar with Wen.
 

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The Nut in the Cellar
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I have a 12" Delta bench top DP and it works well. I also use it for mortising with a dedicated table addition. One great disappointing feature is the low speed. The lowest speed of 500 rpm is just not low enough for large tooling (like large Forstner bits, or a fly cutter). Rpm range, spindle travel, rack and pinion table raising, and ease of depth lock should be important consideration factors, as they all factor into the usability of the tool. An 8" drill press gives 4" of clearance between the post and spindle center. Is that enough for the projects you "might" do in the future. A 12" DP gives 6" of clearance. That difference can make the DP much more usable. Floor standing vs. bench top offers much different dimensions under the spindle, but spindle travel is a possible limiting factor.
 

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where's my table saw?
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not slow enough?

The most common way to reduce the speeds on a drill press is to add an intermediate or 3rd pulley in the column shaft. You run 2 belts with this system, one to the middle pulley and one from the middle pulley:


It may take some machining or the use of the original parts to hold the shaft:




I came across this in my search for gear speed reduction and realized I own one of these, purchased it from the factory in Warren, Michigan about 30 years ago:
https://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/interesting-gear-reducer-on-drill-press.41638/
 

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Hello from E. Tennessee,
I own the Wen 4210, I use it to drill parts for wooden gear clocks. It does a great job with very minimal run out.The laser needed a small adjustment but that was it. very smooth operation. Good luck with your decision.
 

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As with most tools, go with the largest you can afford bost money- and space-wise. No matter what you go with, it always works out that you need an extra inch of throat depth for whatever you happen to be working on. Might as well make sure that youve got as much as you can to start with.

As far as everything else goes, drill presses are pretty bog-simple machines. Once you get off the ground floor, theyre all pretty much the same mechanically, from the second to the top shelf. Stay away from the suspiciously cheap deals, but focus more on the useful features. Variable speed with the widest range possible is always a plus, electronically variable speed is the best but im actually fond of the classic 3 step pulley setup that gives you something like 20 speeds. Quill travel is also handy, more is better so you can reduce the number of times you have to move the table.

Opposite side of the table, feature-wise, are the additions that dont do much but jack up the price. Laser crosshairs, while cool, dont really add much beyond price. RPM readouts fall here too, unless the readout is built into an electronic speed control, theres not really a point beyond being able to go "ooo, look, a number!". Before someone points out metalworking, im aware that speed control is more important there, but honestly, you dont need to have the RPM perfectly exact. Id also argue that a rack and pinion table height mechanism falls more on the 'luxury' side of things, its handy but if you have to choose between R&P and more speed settings or throat depth, go the latter
Again, that depends on what you use your press for. With a heavy cross feed table and drill press vise or or some other big object on the table, I would not want to set height by hand. It also holds the weight while you are adjusting the table side to side. I would not consider a larger press, like my 14" floor model, without this feature. On some little table model, I could see getting by without it. Quill travel is also important. Having to change table height in the middle of a deep hole is a PIA.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 
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