I traded my floor standing Delta drill press to my brother for his bench model Delta drill press about 5 years ago. I got along just fine with it. Until. . . .

I read about these mill/drill machines. One thing that always irritated me about drill presses was their limited quill travel, 3 inches if you are lucky. I like to use a spotting drill, then a regular drill and after that usually a chamfer tool. Unless the holes were small it meant adjusting the height twice. Then there was the speed issue. Belt changes, grrrrrr. Talk about primitive! Oh sure, there are variable speed benchtop drill presses, at least half of them are mechanical, not electronic.

Anyhow, as I looked into the mill/drills and discovered that most of them had at least 10 inches of Z travel I started to lean that way. Having a bit of a machining background I knew these mills would not act like their big brothers in machine shops. But then I am not running a machine shop. Heck, I only do this stuff for fun.

Well, the Micro Mark arrived last friday. It got here two days after I ordered it, amazing. Packaged up very nicely. Decent instructions on how to assemble it. Virtually all of these machines are made by one company in China, Sieg. But if you are looking to buy one, pay attention, there are some subtle, and not so subtle differences in the offerings by various companies.

I wanted a DC brushless motor to avoid belt changes, gear changes, noise and to get lots of torque. Today, I put a 2 inch diameter forstner bit in the machine and got it running at about 50 rpm. Very slowwwww. It cut the maple with no problem. That is torque.

If you are looking at these be aware that you might want to make a few mods. I am adding an air spring to mine. Some machines are sold with them already installed, mine wasn't. It is no big deal to install one. A lot of folks put DRO's on their machines. I am not sure if I will since I will use it mainly for drilling and some occasional milling. If I start to find I am doing a lot more milling then I will reevaluate.

Here is mine:


For a guy like me, with a small shop and a hobbyist these machines are a good move. It extends my capabilities a lot without breaking the bank. The machine was just over $800 including shipping. I do have an R8 ER20 Collet chuck for it with collets. Got those from BangGood. I do not need high precision/pricey tooling.

These are really neat machines!

Edit: Also have a milling machine vise, small one, 3 inch.