Very good variable speed bench top drill press at a great price
Okay, so virtually every drill press is made in China. All seem the same with a motor, a series of pulleys and belts driving the shaft. Varying levels of quality in the casting and fittings. They range from about $99 Ozito to $2-300 for much the same. Unless you want to pay well over $1,000 for a Jet digital drill press there is not much to choose between them. I initially purchased an Ozito and regrettably it was not good. There was no rack and pinion table adjustment, the table was not level (forward-aft), the belts and pulleys were slo...ppy and the shaft wobbled. Plus it made a real racket. To their credit, Bunnings took it back and the tool shop guy had a knowing smirk. I hunted everywhere for a better alternative and they all just seemed the same. All I wanted is to be able to drill accurate, sharp, straight holes consistently in various woods and to be able to hold various pieces of work. I looked at the Braun digital for $400 but it has some issues, and doesn't have the movable table set up. Then I came across this new Full Boar digital drill press for $399 at Bunnings about 6 months ago. This is a substantial tool, well built and with a lot of features. Have a look in the store and you will see this is a substantial machine which will last forever. Taking it out of the box and assembling you will see this is SOLID and does not move around on my bench (40kg). I was impressed how everything fitted properly. The big feature for the price is the variable speed - simply by moving a lever on the left hand side. It goes from 500-2500 rpm and there is a digital rpm readout on the front. You can set the lever and it stays put. I am sure many people can't be bothered changing all the pulleys and belts on a standard drill press, but with this it is so easy to adjust to suit the material or size of drill bit. Also quieter than the usual three pulley and belt rattlers. (It does have a V belt inside, which just seems to work, and doesn't need adjustment.) The drill press has a robust table, (perfectly level with a spirit level) and a solid rack and pinion height adjustment. You don't want to be fiddling with a screw tightened sleeve on the pillar to adjust height. Having a winder is much better for frequent height adjustments. The table of course rotates and has a roller extension piece. I have added a 350 x 600 plywood 'table' with tracks, fence and clamps to hold work and to set up for repeated drilling. The metal table holds this solidly. There is about 150mm depth from chuck to pillar so you can drill well in from the border of a flat piece. There is plenty of vertical height adjustment of the table and of the chuck/drill. The depth indicator is pretty reliable. There is a lot of movement winding the drillbit down, the so a ring-style feed rather than the three stick feed levers would be more convenient.
Questions & Answers
What size Morse taper do the Fullboar drill presses use? Is it 2 or 3, and is it the same between the bench model and pedestal model?
Are you having any issues with the chuck or spindle accuracy? I have had two units where the chuck wobbles. The second is better than the first. The first unit drilled triangles in steel! Also, the digital readout failed on the first unit.
Funny you ask that. Things have been perfect since assembly. However I had the chuck drop off the arbor recently after using a dodgy crooked spade bit. Whacked it back up and then was using a drill bit with a hex shaft (as designed for power tools) and was getting a wobble. Didn't think I had mis-loaded the bit and so was worried that something was amiss - loose bearing above the arbor? Next day I came down and checked out with a standard drill bit (cause was going to phone Full Boar in Melbourne) and things were perfect. So at present my arbor/shaft is straight with no give and the chuck seems to be holding bits perfectly in line. Suggest you contact Full Boar product support on the phone - number in the manual (available online as pdf). Failing that, if not fixed, although it's bloody heavy, just take back to Bunnings tool shop and demonstrate the flaw and they'll replace.
Cheers for the feedback. Yeah, I just took the first one back today. Bunnings replaced no problems but still seem to have issues with this one. The previous one had the chuck fall off a few times too. I haven’t been hammering it either, mostly wood and just a couple of bits of steel in 6 months. I’ll try giving Full Boar(Ozito) a call. Ozito did a recall on their bench drill press due wobbly chuck about a month ago.
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