Top positive review
20 people found this helpful
So far, So good.
on September 29, 2006
I just upgraded from an old Rockwell benchtop drill press. The old tool is built great, but it only has 5 speeds and changing speeds takes about 10 minutes. As you may guess, I didn't do it nearly as often as I should. Given this experience, I was naturally attracted to the variable speed drill presses.
With models from other brands costing over $1000, I started looking at the Delta X5 model. Overall, the reviews seemed decent, but it was still a little more than I wanted to pay for a drill press. When I noticed the 968, I immediately downloaded both manuals to compare features. The mechanicals looked similar. The longer stroke, style of quill lock, and slightly lower minimum speed favored the X5. The head cover, light, accessory table, Morse #2 Socket on the spindle, larger chuck, and much lower price favored this model. I decided that, even though some of my large hole saws may benefit from 50 fewer RPMs, the slightly lower speed and 1" longer stroke were not critical. Also, while I have no firm plans for it, the Morse 2 Socket may prove useful someday.
Assembly was easy. The finish isn't pretty and the grind on the table is no work of art, but everything is functionally adequate. Runout is just over .001" and I couldn't get a .0015" feeler gauge (the thinnest one I own) under my Starrett rule anywhere on the table. The unit runs quietly with practically no vibration, though turning the speed control all the way to the stop in either direction results in a little too much slack in the belt and a corresponding noise. Backing off very slightly eliminates the problem. The quill lock looks cheap, but it does a fine job. Some reviewers of the X5 have criticized the depth stop bracket. You can make it deflect noticeably with very strong pressure on the handle, but you're not likely to overshoot by more than .01" before realizing you're against the stop. That seems like adequate depth control to me.
I just got the tool and can't vouch for how well it will hold up. Initial quality seems fine. I'll revise this review if I encounter any problems. Right now, it's hard to imagine how you could do better for the price.