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Thread: Opinions on Shop Fox 13" bench-top drill press?

  1. #1

    Opinions on Shop Fox 13" bench-top drill press?

    I'm looking to add a drill press. I'm sharing workspace with the cars in the garage, so space is a premium. I'm looking at a benchtop DP for that reason. Budget is also a consideration.

    I'm looking hard at the Shop Fox W1688. 3/4 HP, 13 1/4". It has the added benefit of functioning as an oscillating sander (which I don't have). For under $300, this seems a decent balance between affordability, power, and size.

    I know deals can be had on the used side. Craigslist isn't showing much for DPs in my area, and honestly I don't know that I'd be able evaluate condition of any used ones.

    Anyone have experience with this drill press? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    North Prairie, WI
    I have had that model for a couple of years. I find it to be perfectly functional for my use. There are times when I wish I had a bigger DP, but most of the time a bigger one would just be in the way. I built a rolling cabinet for mine and store all of my bits, sanding sleeves, DP tools, etc. in there so everything for the DP stays with the DP. It's certainly not the most robust tool in my shop, but I don't use it a ton and rarely do I have real precision required when I do. I'd buy it again if I had to do it all over again.


  3. #3
    Scott - Thanks for sharing your experience. It sounds like your experience matches what my expectation would be for it. I don't think I'd consider it to be my "forever" DP. My hope is that it fill my needs for 4-5 years. At that point I may have both the space and budget for a larger DP.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Doylestown, PA
    I did what Scott did, built a stout 2" X 4" rolling cabinet with 1/2" ply panels. There is a lot of storage in that cabinet. I haven't found myself wishing for a floor standing drill press so far though I have a radial arm drill press so I could swing the head off to the side of the cabinet if need be. The range of speeds if good, I find myself using lower speeds more than higher speeds for woodworking. I've heard/read that sanding drums can be hard on drill presses, the bearings are designed for vertical loads not side loads. Presumably this machine is engineered for sanding tasks.

    Edit: Woodsmith shop did a rolling cabinet to fit around the base & column of a floor standing drill press. Another way to add storage to otherwise wasted space.
    Last edited by Curt Harms; 12-29-2018 at 8:15 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Griswold Connecticut
    That looks like a very nice bench top drill press,and if I can slightly hijack your thread, I'd like to know from users, does it really go down to 250rpm? That's pretty low for most bench top units, but very desirable for spinning large Forstner bits in wood.
    Thank you for bringing this drill press to my attention.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    You should reconsider the floor model and get your forever DP now. 2 sq ft of bench top is more valuable than 2 sq ft of floor space and it constrains your shop layout to have it married to your bench.

  7. #7
    I just bought this DP after my old Delta DP died a rather spectacular death last month when a pulley broke under load, with metal pieces flying. Just another reminder to always wear those safety glasses.

    After reading lots of reviews, it seemed like a good choice in this price range for a benchtop model. Iíve been happy with it, using it a half dozen times for current projects, and donít regret my purchase. I havenít used the oscillating sander yet, but have attached the small belt to see how it works, and it looks good. Be advised that itís quite heavy, about 120 pounds I think. I bought mine from a local dealer, so it was already assembled. I was able to lift it on to my bench, but just barely.

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