Do consider the Grizzly line as well. Like this http://grizzly.com/products/12-Speed...ll-Press/G7947 and others. My G7943 has given unfailing service for almost 15 years and a much lower price. But, it is only a 3/4 hp.
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Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire
Sounds like the Gristly or the Delta to me.
The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA
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I have the delta. When I was looking at them I thought the pm didn't have a low enough speed range, but it's a bit better now.
There are some things I really like about the delta:
- The speed change mechanism is first rate. IMHO you won't miss the electronic change much at all.
- The large table is really nice, although I admit I haven't used the multiway tilt (and is would be more accurate and repeatable to use a jig anyway).
- The speed ranges are good for the largest and smallest bits you'd ever want to use.
- The headstock is nice and deep with a lot of distance between the bearings giving it a lot of stability.
There are some things that would give me pause were I don't it again:
- Delta has had a lot of problems as a company and replacement parts are a bit like hens teeth. This is IMHO the big issue.
- The trunnion lock has some pot metal parts that I've seen a few folks have issues with. Glenn repaired his with a hand crafted wood piece, didn't look too hard.
- The led magically comes on sometimes when you turn the drill on (last time this came up mine had never done it then a week later it started). Not really a problem but it does make me wonder what's going on in the electronics (pretty sure I could manufacture replacements for anything there).
- The nice table isn't really designed for sub assemblies. I kept the ancient jet (sn 200) to keep the cross slide vice on.
So overall, nice woodworkers drill press. Seems to be a fairly solid worker with the exception of the trunnion lock.
I don't like Delta anything - so that is off the list no matter what.
If it fits the budget, I don't think you'd regret going with the Powermatic. If my PM lathe is any indication, I suspect you'd smile every time you use the PM drill press. The Delta looks pretty good, but like Ryan mentioned, they've had some issues with parts availability and customer service in the past. The Grizzly falls a bit short on quill travel and throat depth, but as Frank mentioned, it's a lot less money.
So since we're spending YOUR money, my vote is for the Powermatic, lol.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan
I like the way Ryan summed it up, and his opinion jives with most of what other folks tell me when I ask the question. However, Delta of today isn't what Delta of just a few years ago was and I'm really hesitant to buy any more gray tools. (this, from a guy who's shop was mostly battleship gray until recently).
Thanks friends, just the sort of opinion input I'm looking for. I am currently using a 16 speed Central Machinery drill press. The Griz. looks very similar. I'm ready for top of the line luxury with no regrets. I really like the duel LED lighting, keyless chuck and no belt changes speed control included with the Powermatic. Also the Delta does not come with the fence. Santa is going to think I'm a spoiled demanding brat but I will ask for the Powermatic or NOTHING. :-D
FYI the delta fence is ~$43.
Just to make sure you're apples to apples.
Do you know how the lighting is setup on the PM? The delta has it on a thin arm you can move around - that's another feature I do like on the PM (other than it randomly turning itself on..). After I got it I bought several LED lights on arms with magnetic bases for use at other machines - that adjustable spot light is really nice.
I hope you're not getting rid of the HF, having two DP's is actually quite the luxurious event (put a cross slide vice on the HF - very convenient for doing small stuff where you want to get spot on).