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Deadeye

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I've read many threads on the archive that highlight the pitpfalls of drill presses.
Waiting for a good second hand one seems to be the advice.

But *which* second hand one?!
Anyone care to rank these makes in preference (or score out of ten)? I'm after single phase if that makes a difference:

Fobco
Meddings
Axminster
Chester
Ryobi
Startrite
Clarke
Warco
Record Power
B&S
Sealey
Boxford
Union

Did I leave out any good ones?
 

Jacob

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They are very simple machines. For woodwork purposes you don't need top of the range. Mines £50 Nutool (ebay) and is excellent.
If in doubt buy the cheapest.
 

Trevanion

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In my opinion and in descending order:

Good ones:
Older Meddings
Elliot Progress
Pollard
Fobco
Union
Newer Meddings
Boxford
Startrite

Alright ones:
Axminster
Record Power
Warco
Clarke(this one is borderline, some of the older ones are alright.)
Hand drill in a stand

Ones to avoid unless really cheap:

Sealey
Nutool
Ryobi

I haven't heard of B&S or Chester so I can't comment on them.
 

TFrench

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Trevanion is on the money I would say. Watch Gumtree and Facebook marketplace like a hawk, you can pick up some real bargains if you don't dither. I got my massive geared head grimston for £80 and I recently picked up an old meddings for £40. I've missed a few others by not being quick enough! Right as Jacob is in many matters, I'd respectfully disagree on the nutool. May be good enough for woodwork but the day you need to do something accurate in metal you'll quickly run up against it's limitations. I had one when I first started and it was complete garbage.

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ScaredyCat

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Keep an eye on recordpower on ebay, I picked up a DP58B for just over £100 in the summer.


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Trevanion

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phil.p":1icwca3p said:
See above. For what? :D
They pretty much all do the same task so there really isn't a preference between each one for being better at doing certain jobs, they'll all drill a hole. It's mostly down to build quality, reliability, power, and accuracy, rather than saying something like a bandsaw is better for cutting curves than a table saw :) .
 

Phil Pascoe

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That was my point, really. They don't. If you just want to bore a few holes in holes in wood where the accuracy doesn't matter a small under powered badly made one is fine - if you expect to bore fairly large accurate holes in steel on a regular basis the same machine is not adequate.
 

Robbo3

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It's somewhat unfair to compare a trade rated machine against one for the hobby market
My Sealey 16 speed bench model is some 30 years old, bought new & still going strong.
It's cut a good few 4" holes & a couple of 6" holes with a holesaw, letting the teeth do the work & clearing the sawdust regularly.
Edit: Should also say that it's set at a fairly low speed & rarely changed.
 

Andrewf

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No one has mentioned Kelly as a make. I love mine and it has 8 to 1 back gearing. Brilliant for drilling big holes.
 

Fitzroy

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Good set of drill bits also makes a world of difference. I love my Fobco star, but the biggest change I found to making long straight holes was moving to a decent set of lip and spur bits and regularly pulling out to clear chips. Similarly decent forstner bits are a revelation.

F.
 

Pete Maddex

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I think the main thing about second hand drill is get a well looked after one or be prepared to refurbish it.

I have a Axminster variable speed floor stander and a Fobco bench top.
The Axminster wins as you speed is far easer to change and getting the right speed is very important.

Pete
 

AES

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No one has mentioned Rexxon. My bench top was well priced (about 80 quid equivalent new I think, about 10 years ago, perhaps longer). 3 to 16 mm chuck, multi speed, dead accurate, working depth gauge/stop, VERY little run out, and about another tenner equivalent for a small zero to 5 mm chuck. Does a fair bit of work in both wood and metal, plus acts as a sanding drum (with bearing support under). Good value for money. Only drawback is belt change (a bit of a PITA if you're in a rush) but that applies to many others too.
 

Deadeye

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Thanks everyone - really helpful that there's at least a little consensus.

I should have said - I want to drill accurate holes mainly in wood (large and small; shallow and deep). However, I'm finding that I do need to make fairly precise holes in metal sometimes. I didn't expect to when I took up playing with wood, but some of the things I play with end up needing drilled/tapped holes in aluminium, brass or steel.
 

OscarG

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If you're looking for accuracy I'd strongly avoid a new cheapo drill, it's a false economy.

I went down that route and needed to drill some precise 10mm holes for a guitar bridge posts, with a 10mm bit the quill wobbled so much the hole ended up being 10.5mm and utterly useless for my intended application. Big mistake, and important lesson learned. Don't buy cheap machines!

I'd go for something old and built like a battleship.
 

DTR

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Jacob":3nu99xhk said:
They are very simple machines. For woodwork purposes you don't need top of the range. Mines £50 Nutool (ebay) and is excellent.
If in doubt buy the cheapest.
For woodworking I tend to agree. My old Clarke did everything I needed it to. My biggest criticism would be the 50mm throw, which can be quite limiting. That's more an issue for metalworking though, e.g. when you need to use several different length drill bits without losing the alignment. I now have a 1940s-vintage Walker Turner with a 100mm throw.

I've never been absolutely convinced by talk of quill accuracy on drilling machines. In my humble experience the nature of the wood is more likely to skew the bit than any inaccuracy of the quill. Likewise in metal, the bit will follow the centre-pop. On that note, when inaccurate drilling is encountered it's worth checking the drill bits themselves. Bent drill bits are notoriously common, a poorly ground bit will drill oversized and/or off-centre holes, etc etc
 

AES

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In one way I agree with the above. BUT some of the cheapos are OK - my Rexxon for instance. The problem is that cheap tools can be hit & miss - just like SH unless you know what you're doing!

My own Rexxon (perhaps not a really really cheapo) will happily drill 10 mm (with a good drill) into steel plate with less than a tenth of a thou run out.

IF you have a DTI and a straight bar, AND the shop will allow, you can find a drill press for a low price which will do the job accurately. But if you don't have the gear, and/or the shop won't allow a trial, then generally speaking I think Oscar is right, a SH "British battleship" is more likely to be accurate (or be fettle-able). Tough choice.
 
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