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Thread: First Drill Press - Jet?

  1. #1

    First Drill Press - Jet?

    I’m looking to get my first drill press and I’m not sure if I should get a benchtop or floor model for my small garage workshop. If I get a benchtop drill press I could build a moveable stand – an advantage given my space limitations – but I don’t know if it will be sufficiently versatile and powerful for amateur woodworking, e.g., building pieces of furniture, built-ins and cabinets for my house. A floor model might be more than I need, though, and would cost more. I’m looking at the Jet JDP-15B Benchtop 15″ drill press and the Jet JDP-17 17″ 3/4HP drill press. Both are currently on sale, the 15″ at $679 and 17″ at $849, but the 15″ is out of stock with a delivery date of late July. There is also a 15" floor version, JDP-15, going for $764. A prior version of the 15″ benchtop, the JDP-15M, was rated Best Overall in a 2007 FWW tool review.
    My questions:
    1) Is it worth the extra $85 or $170 (plus tax) to get either of the floor models?
    2) Does anyone have experience with a Jet drill press?
    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or recommendations.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 05-27-2020 at 8:56 AM. Reason: Defaulted text so it's readable on large screens

  2. #2
    I have a different bench top drill press and only very rarely wish I had a floor model. If I had it to do over I might consider a floor model, but i wouldn't go so far as to say I regret buying a bench top model.

    Jet makes decent machines and their tech and warranty support has been excellent IME.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Landenberg, Pa
    Posts
    265
    Scour the used market, CL or whathaveyou, and find a deal on a nice floor model. Youíll save a bunch of money and find something akin to the models youíve described. Plenty of used gear to be had out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Kear View Post
    Iím looking to get my first drill press and Iím not sure if I should get a benchtop or floor model for my small garage workshop. If I get a benchtop drill press I could build a moveable stand Ė an advantage given my space limitations Ė but I donít know if it will be sufficiently versatile and powerful for amateur woodworking, e.g., building pieces of furniture, built-ins and cabinets for my house. A floor model might be more than I need, though, and would cost more. Iím looking at the Jet JDP-15B Benchtop 15″ drill press and the Jet JDP-17 17″ 3/4HP drill press. Both are currently on sale, the 15″ at $679 and 17″ at $849, but the 15″ is out of stock with a delivery date of late July. There is also a 15" floor version, JDP-15, going for $764. A prior version of the 15″ benchtop, the JDP-15M, was rated Best Overall in a 2007 FWW tool review.
    My questions:
    1) Is it worth the extra $85 or $170 (plus tax) to get either of the floor models?
    2) Does anyone have experience with a Jet drill press?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or recommendations.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    774
    " Iím looking to get my first drill press and Iím not sure if I should get a benchtop or floor model for my small garage workshop. If I get a benchtop drill press I could build a moveable stand Ė an advantage given my space limitations Ė but I donít know if it will be sufficiently versatile and powerful for amateur woodworking, e.g., building pieces of furniture, built-ins and cabinets for my house. A floor model might be more than I need, though, and would cost more. Iím looking at the Jet JDP-15B Benchtop 15″ drill press and the Jet JDP-17 17″ 3/4HP drill press. Both are currently on sale, the 15″ at $679 and 17″ at $849, but the 15″ is out of stock with a delivery date of late July. There is also a 15" floor version, JDP-15, going for $764. A prior version of the 15″ benchtop, the JDP-15M, was rated Best Overall in a 2007 FWW tool review.
    My questions:
    1) Is it worth the extra $85 or $170 (plus tax) to get either of the floor models?
    2) Does anyone have experience with a Jet drill press?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or recommendations. "

    I would go with the benchtop drill press. More compact, and you can always add the moveable stand. Many times the benchtop drill press is identical to the floor model, but just with shorter column. Plus - you can add some storage under the moveable stand to take advantage of that extra space.
    David


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    52,942
    The key factors here are the depth between the center of the tooling to the column of the machine and the vertical travel of the quill. Both of these items affect what work can be done with a drill press. Benchtop machines typically have more limits in these dimensions than floor drill presses. And while it's true that a benchtop can live...on a bench...the effective floor space is essentially the same for both a benchtop and a floor model if you put the former on some kind of mobile stand. The bottom line...the kind of work you want to do is going to determine what you choose. My first...and only...drill press was/is a Jet floor standing model that I've had since 2000 when I setup my shop. It's the only remaining machine from that initial buy as there's been no need to upgrade it other than putting a woodworking friendly table/fence on it.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    325
    The farm where I live and work has had a 17" Jet floor drill press since 2003, and it has been great, trouble free and useful. When I move I plan to get one of my own, I need the throat depth for making archtop guitars. I haven't seen any other drill presses that are cheaper and offer as much capacity in stroke and reach, so unless something better comes along or I find a good deal on a used large drill press I'll buy a new Jet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    113
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Kear View Post
    Iím looking to get my first drill press and Iím not sure if I should get a benchtop or floor model for my small garage workshop. If I get a benchtop drill press I could build a moveable stand Ė an advantage given my space limitations Ė but I donít know if it will be sufficiently versatile and powerful for amateur woodworking, e.g., building pieces of furniture, built-ins and cabinets for my house. A floor model might be more than I need, though, and would cost more. Iím looking at the Jet JDP-15B Benchtop 15″ drill press and the Jet JDP-17 17″ 3/4HP drill press. Both are currently on sale, the 15″ at $679 and 17″ at $849, but the 15″ is out of stock with a delivery date of late July. There is also a 15" floor version, JDP-15, going for $764. A prior version of the 15″ benchtop, the JDP-15M, was rated Best Overall in a 2007 FWW tool review.
    My questions:
    1) Is it worth the extra $85 or $170 (plus tax) to get either of the floor models?
    2) Does anyone have experience with a Jet drill press?
    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or recommendations.
    Is the model you are looking at have the abilty to rotate the head 90 degrees on the post? If so, you can properly weight the portable stand and rotate the head to have a quasi floor model but will need to gin up a makeshift table. This sounds like a rare occurence so rigging something up shouldn'y be too time consuming

    That's kinda my plan when I upgrade my old floor model

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    So. Fla
    Posts
    218
    I have the Jet JDP-15B in my 12x18 shed/shop on a mobile base. It works well and speed changes are not difficult. The only thing I wish it had was a quill lock since setting the depth can be cumbersome but not difficult.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Doylestown, PA
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    6,135
    I'm somewhat space constrained as are many here. I have a benchtop drill press sitting on top of a 2 X 4 and plywood panel mobile base. That mobile base provides quite a bit of storage. I could swing the arm of the drill press if required. In 20 years that hasn't been required. If you go the benchtop route, be sure to fasten the drill press securely to the base. Something that no one has so far mentioned -- get the longest quill travel you can manage. Most drill press quills have around 3.5" of travel which I'm sure is plenty for metal working. There are some drill presses designed with woodworking in mind that have around 6" of quill travel.
    Last edited by Curt Harms; 05-27-2020 at 2:01 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    4,304
    Location?
    Buy a used dp with a three phase motor. If it is three phase it is almost always going to be better then most new stuff today. Add a 75$ VFD and get variable speed. being three phase the used dp should go pretty cheap in the USA. When loading the dp lower the table and head as far down as possible.
    Bill D

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, TX
    Posts
    2,488
    It was mentioned that a floor model usually will have more distance to column and longer quill travel. Both of those factors are big. More quill travel allows drilling different thicknesses without a lot of adjustment of table height in addition to drilling deeper. I recommend getting the best floor model you can afford (up to a point) now to avoid wishing you had done so in future. A woodworking drill press table is also a good addition and can be homemade. I built a "skirt" to go around the base of my floor model and hang items on both inside and outside. I also built a rack for pen turning containers that sit under the drill press table in normal position. I have only had to remove skirt a couple of times to drill something really big that I needed to lower the table down to floor, but do not regret have the other features of a floor model. Current floor model has 3 pullies to adjust speed requiring removing belts to restack order at times to get the correct speed. It is not that difficult, but the variable speed units look attractive, only more $$ and possible maintenance. A quill lock and depth stop should be on any model you select.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Porter,TX
    Posts
    1,279
    I don't see the difference in taking up space,either on a cart that you make or on the floor or bench. But with floor model you will never say I should have. It would be nice if changing speeds was easier say like on an older Rockwell or Powermatic. You should also think about vice and one of those lateral vices,which will help keep you from saying" I can hold it" Don't know nothing about the Jet,but lots of people like them.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Posts
    197
    The Nova Viking benchtop drill press is only a little over the OP's apparent price range, but is worth a look. I have its big brother Voyager, and really like it.

    One thing I have found is that the easier it is to find and use the right drill speed, the more likely you are to do so. I used to just leave the old step-pulley DP at a mid-range speed and make do in most cases. That usually worked OK, but sometimes not, and seemingly at just the wrong times. The Nova DPs have easy to use menus where you select the drill bit type, diameter, and workpiece material, and it sets the speed for you. You can adjust from there if needed, but I haven't needed yet. You can also just dial in the speed before you start, and/or adjust it on the fly. You can also save a few favorite speeds for quick recall.

    They have many other safety and convenience features too.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    4,304
    My Walker Turner 20" dp is set on the middle belt speed. I have not changed that in 10 years. I probably should have a few times. The VFD range is 30-80 HZ. 6" stroke, crank lift table. Do not buy the walker turner 15" DP and try to get bearings. the 20" uses standard ball bearings.
    Bill D

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    4,304
    I think this one is for sale near your posted location. only $700 for six of them. Keep one and sell the others
    Bill D.
    https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/tls/d/elk-grove-village-drill-press/7130002173.html

    https://salem.craigslist.org/tls/d/k...131000545.html
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 05-28-2020 at 1:02 AM.

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