Northern Industrial Tools Bench Drill Press with Laser - 16-Speed, 3/4 HP
Good enough for what I need.
I bought it mostly for metal. It went together well and even putting the chuck on was no problem.
My use is mainly home handyman, mainly use as a drill press and maybe some occasional non ferrous milling with the chuck all the way up and a cross vise. I don't know how it would stand up to commercial use.
There's a Morse taper adapter that the chuck goes on. Wiped the adapter, quill, and chuck clean with some solvent, set the table up high, put a piece of wood on the table, and tapped them together with the drill handles and all went well. It doesn't slip and will never come off without the wedge on the Morse taper.
The chuck runout is very slight. I haven't put a feeler guage on it yet, but there is no feelable vibration or runout.
I bought it mainly for drilling metal with some occasional wood use. It's replacing a 30 year old competitor's 5 speed bench drill, mainly for the lifting table, lower speed range, longer bit travel, and a little more throat distance.
I set it up on a rolling cart with locks on the casters.
First job was about 20 each 1/2 inch holes in 1/4" steel. It did this no problem.
Plusses, low chuck speed, long bit travel, more power than my old one.
Minuses, I'd like to see a spot to clip the chuck on. I'll probably add one. The spring loaded chuck is a pain, will probably get replaced. Rough machining on the table surface, base surface, and mate joint between the base and upright. Mainly an appearance thing and problem getting it clean. Everything is packed in a good dose of Cosmoline like stuff. Sticky and hard to wipe off, but it kept the thing from rusting. All in all, minor stuff.
Be aware the head is about 50 lbs and the assembled machine is probably around 75 to 100 lbs. Assemble it where it is going to stay.
I would and have recommended it to a friend.
September 9, 2013
best so far
I own a small business making hand made knives. This press out performs my old one hands down. I drill 1/4 high carbon tool steel and stainless all day long. I love the crank handle and the ability to swing the base laterally. That was an absolute requirement, along with the HP this has and the variable speed this thing makes my job ALOT easier.
May 25, 2011
The drill press is advertised as an industrial piece of equipment but it is not very durable. We have had several problems with it and have only used a few times. Parts are cheap metal and break easily. Manuals do not reflect the correct parts so almost impossible to replace certain items so you can't even use it the way you intend to. They should remove this from there product line or replace with a real commercial grade drill press.
May 12, 2011
Great Drill Press
I needed a 16 speed drill press to replace the 5 speed bench press I had. The problem was getting low RPM's without going to a floor model. That uses valuable shop space. Large Forstner bits work best with 250 RPM's.
I purchased the Northern 16 speed bench drill press. For the money, the quality and workmanship are outstanding. This is a great product.
January 9, 2011
I purchased the bench model; 16 speed drill press expecting it to be only a toy. I had read some of the other comments but was not discouraged. I have purchased many items from Northern Tool over the past decade a always found them capable for the job. With the addition of a universal table for the Drill Press, I have been able to duplicate many small parts for the wooden toys that I build in my spare time.
Would replace it with an identical one if something ever happened to it.
August 30, 2010
Bought this press as a supplement for smaller work in the shop.
Overall very poor quality. I should have known what I was getting into just looking at the price tag, but the size of the motor and the 16 speeds was too much to pass up. A lot of problems with this drill press. The tray housing the v-belt assembly was bent way out of shape when the press arrived. I tried re-setting the arbor and chuck multiple times but I would consistently get a lot of wobble, creating a lot of vibration which would shake every screw on the press loose with minimal use. Everything seems cheaply manufactured with little concern on tolerance, especially the arbor and chuck assembly. The entire press just seems out of balance, even when I bolted the stand to the table.
If you work with metals, this is not the drill press for you. Spend a little more money and buy a better model. You get what you pay for, especially in this case. Lesson learned on my end, I will be returning this item.
Only reason I gave it two stars was because its not like I spent $800 on it. Still doesn't excuse the inferior quality.
March 22, 2010
Great Drill Press
I had looked at a lot of bench-top drill presses before deciding on this one. True it is a little taller than most and I had to lower my table to accommodate it, but that's okay for the feature set.
This drill press has features that you find mostly on floor drill presses in the $400 - $550 price range. The 16 speeds allow me to set up for using diamond core bits for drilling glass or spade bits for wood projects or even high speed drill bits for other projects. I use a variety of sanding drums also.
This drill press has a full solid column and adjusts effortlessly. One of the surprises for me was that the table not only adjusts up and down and 45 degrees, but it also spins. This really came in handy with one project where I bolted my drill vice to the table, but I needed to spin the table to get the angle and settings correct and did not have to jury rig something.
Setting up the laser was easy and comes in handy, especially when I'm doing repetition work in my shop. The light included in the bottom of the head was a bonus.
All in all, this is one heck of a drill press for not only the hobbyist, but also someone doing production type work.
February 22, 2010
This press has plenty of power. It is way too tall to be called a bench press, so I had to lower a portion of my bench to fit it in. Other than the height issue it works great.
July 13, 2009