View Full Version : New Drill Press?

11-01-2007, 10:00 PM
Looking at a 17" or 20" drill press G7947 or G7948 and am curious
if anyone has these, have some feedback on smaller Grizzly's that is
not too good.

11-01-2007, 10:19 PM
In my opinion, it depends on what you want. Some folks seem to find them to be a total POS and almost unusable. But others, like me, have found them to be quite servicable. I bought the 17" HF HD 16 speed floor drill press back when I started work fabricating my buggy (around 2000). I drill a BUNCH of holes, many in 1/4-1/2" plate, lots of piloted counter bores (some in 1" plate), and many of 1.75" hole saws through tubing for "fish mouth" joints (before I learned better ways). All in all tougher duty than most "home shop" drill presses, and it's done just fine. And this is the HF model, typically considered bottom of the barrel where as Griz is on the higher end of the "consumer grade" import machine rep. It's noisier than the better models, it has more run-out, but all in all I've had only one real and clear complaint. The chucks that come on these things aren't fit for work holding on a file hand table, much less use on a rotating spindle. "Complete crap" is far to generous. In my opinion, the drill is adequate, but plan on replacing the chuck immediately. Even the cheap import chucks seem to be far better quality. But I would suggest the Rohm 1/2 Keyless that's always on sale from Enco for $50. My HF has an Albrecht 1/2" on it, and it made an amazing difference.

All that said, the HF is not even in the same league as the good presses. I now have a US made Wilton 20" VSG clearly shows the relative quality and makes me somewhat loath to use the HF anymore. Somewhat comparable to a stripped Ranger or S10 compared to a new diesel Super Duty or Silverado 2500HD. The ranger will get the job done, within it's capabilities, but it's oh so much nicer driving the big diesel (mine's chipped ;)) even if hauling something the Ranger could have easily done. :D

Steve Steven
11-02-2007, 01:06 AM
I bought one of the HF 16 speed floor drill presses (the one with the cast 3-arm handle) about 6 years ago, I checked it out carefully after I assembled it. It was very well aligned, table was true and very flat, no complaints there.

My only complaint was the table is not very sturdy, the pressure of drilling off-center will make the table flex and the drill wanders, giving non-round holes. Other than that, no problems with it.


11-02-2007, 02:43 AM
Sounds like the same one I have, cast spoke-wheel-thing too. I haven't noticed the table problem, but I have a cross slide vise and pretty much always drill at the center of the table.

11-02-2007, 02:43 AM
I think anytime you are out to buy a good sized drillpress you want forward and reverse so you can tap holes.

11-02-2007, 06:03 PM
I am planning on putting a freq drive and 3 phase motro on soon as I get it so speed and foreward and reverse are no problem then.
thanks for the feed back.

Bill Pace
11-02-2007, 06:44 PM
My experience coincides with BadDog and Steve. I also have the HF version bought about 3yrs ago, replacing another 20 odd yr old HF model that I used the heck out of. As I was assembling mine, I was inspecting it pretty closly --- you learn to do that with these machines --- and I too found it to be surprisingly nice, fit and finish quite nice, especially for that price ... $200ish I think it was.

Since I have had a mill for some time now, I use the DP primarily for drum sanding which can involve lengthy run times with sometimes pretty hefty side loads, and it handles that with ease. I put one of the DC treadmill motors on it to get variable speed and reverse capibility,

No, it doesnt nearly come up the standard of the commercial grade DPs, but for a HSM, it seems to be a heck of a bargain.

11-02-2007, 11:26 PM
i have the 20" grizzly, not sure if thats the #, bu it is prob the same one, as i think they only have one 20.

ive had no problems so far (2-3yrs now at least), didnt even feel the need to make any "improvements" yet, well maybe one, a chuck key holder on the side of te head one day.

did make a coolant pen though, as inspired by an issue of hsm. good accessory.

G Wagner
11-03-2007, 10:16 AM
I've had the G7948 20" for 4 years now and it's done all that I've asked of it. I use a rare earth magnet to hold the chuck key on the side of the head;)


Pete H
11-03-2007, 01:09 PM
We bought a cheap import floor-model drill press (I don't remember what brand - it was green) for in-department use at my former job. You could SEE the runout in the chuck. When I needed to drill a hole, I'd walk half-a-block to the prototype shop and use the big one there.

For my own home use, I got lucky - I scored an old Craftsman tabletop model in good shape (with a coat of ugly blue paint, but hey, it stands alone in the corner anyway). And even though it's a tabletop, it weighs more than the cheap floor-model one did.

Pete in NJ

11-03-2007, 03:45 PM
I bought the big HF 20" dp about 4 years ago, its worked great, paid about $350 on sale, last year bought the very similar 20" Jet, for $900, expecting it to be that much better. While the Jet has a better motor, a better bearings (?), the runout is about the same, and both are so similar, its hard to tell if there is any real improvement. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another 20 HF dp, some of the smaller ones, look and feel rather sleezy ( and not in a good way).