Pros: Small size, easy speed change, handy for projects, price
Cons: Bed angle markings, switch lock, handles, poor QA
I bought this drill press a few years ago when it went on sale after Christmas. I picked it up mainly so I could work on projects in my own garage instead of taking stuff to work to use the good equipment. This has worked out great especially over long weekends and the holidays when I just don't want to drive over there. The drill press has done what it's supposed to do and I havent had any problems with it.
First off this drill press is is rated at 1/3 horse power. That's not a whole lot but it is sufficient for drilling steel for projects. It uses a 1/2" keyed chuck which is fine with me. This isnt a hand drill and I feel better with a keyed chuck torquing up on a bit. It stands two feet tall so its perfect for mounting on the corner of a bench and doesnt take up much room. It has a couple of mounting holes in the base. I dropped a couple of half inch bolts through them and used wing nuts under the bench so it can be moved quickly. Its got a pretty hefty cast iron head and the column is a pretty decent steel that allows the bed to move up and down nicely. The bed itself also has the ability to tilt which is nice.
The vise that came with the drill press is all right. Its a 3 inch vise which isnt very big, but the bed of the press isnt that large so its proportioned well for this machine. I can't really say if its all that great a vise since it sits under the work bench most of the time. I have an old stanley five inch drill press vise that I use in its place. You can definetely tell the better quality of the stanley, so Ive had little use for the craftsman.
I use the drill press quite often. Its just one of those things that has to be in a shop. It's a fairly good drill press for the money but it doesnt come without some imperfections that could be improved on.
1. Whats with the switch lock? I wouldnt even consider this drill press for an industrial shop where lock out - tag out regulations come into effect. This is a home project model. I think the lawers forced this one into production. Why am I griping? Loose that yellow key to kids interest, smart alec friends or just Oops and you would too.
2. How about those battering ram handles. The old style black knobs were just right. They didnt distract you from the work, take up space or look just plain geeky. It was an easy fix but one I shouldnt have to do.
3. The depth gauge is glued on the head. I have no problem with using industrial epoxies, but at least put the gauges on straight. Mine are put on at a slight angle that makes it look like the pointer arrow is pulling away from the measure when drilling.
4. I sure can see the drill press handles but not the bed angle gradients. Please, getting a perfect horizontal or thirty degree angle is much more important to me than seeing those big red knobs as they turn.
I'm not trying to sound like a scrooge, there is enough to like about this drill press that I wouldnt count it out. It does have a pretty nice chuck. It drills strait with little deflection from the quill. You can plug it in and go "once you get it put together". There is a drill stop on it that locks down well and keeps you from drilling beyond a set point. Its really easy to change speeds, just pop the top open, push the belt into the next pulley, follow it around to the opposite and your done. And of course the price. No decent industrial drill press could even get near this for price.
So would I recommend this drill press? Well, if you need a drill press for home projects this could fit the bill nicely. Its a small drill press but capable of quite a lot. I would never recommend it for a serious work shop especially one that does a lot of metal work. With that in mind, Id say yes. It is money well spent.