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We've seen this Drill Press on competing websites and thought it was time to take a close look at it. We acquired one, installed it in our machine shop, and put it to use. What we like most is the permanent magnet motor with its SCR speed control. This arrangement permits infinite speed selection within the machine's three speed ranges (0-5000, 0-6500, and 0-8500 RPM).
Since jewelers work mostly with soft metals, it is generally unnecessary to change the position of the drive belt on the stepped pulleys of this Press. In other words, you can leave the belt in the 0-8500 RPM position for just about any drilling task. Speed selector dial also serves as the on/off switch. The Jacobs-style chuck will accommodate drills from 0.79 to 6 mm dia. Drill run out is minimal. The center drilling capacity of the Press is 4". This means that if you want to drill a hole in the center of a disc, you can do so in any disc up to 8" in dia. (the same is true of an 8" square).
On the minus side: this Press has no table. The base of the unit also serves as the table, or work surface. What this means is that you have no vertically adjustable work surface: you have to move the headstock (the upper portion of the Drill Press) when vertical adjustment is necessary (done without tools, however). Additionally, we find that the downward movement of the spindle (1" maximum) is not smooth. However, this is not so noticeable once your drill makes contact with the article being worked. Finally, the instruction booklet provided with the unit is written in incomprehensible English. For the sake of clarity, we have re-written it.
The Mini Drill Press is surprisingly sturdy for its size. The base, or work surface, is constructed from cast iron and milled flat. The column, though hollow, is a full 1 1/4" in diameter. Weighing only 11 lbs., the Mini Drill Press is also portable. Best of all, it's cheap. Provided with chuck key. Made in China.
When using a drill press, always use a center punch, lubricant, and eye protection.