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Do I Even Need it?

Old 02-06-2014, 06:37 PM
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hookedonrc
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Default Do I Even Need it?

I have been considering getting one of two different tools. Either a countertop drill press, or a bench grinder. However, I am not sure I really need either. I have a lightweight 20V hand drill using a lithium battery, and a Dremel with a box full of different sized cutters and grinders. The press and bench grinder are nice to haves, but not sure they are essential. Any thought or input on these two tools, or others are welcome.
Old 02-06-2014, 06:55 PM
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RCKen
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Only two words to answer this with.

GET IT!!!!!

Trust me, you won't regret it.

Ken
Old 02-06-2014, 06:56 PM
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I have both, and if I had to choose just one it would be the bench grinder. YMMV
Old 02-06-2014, 07:59 PM
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GPutt33
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The hand power tools I couldn't live without, but when I need that precision hole in 'just the right spot or depth' I really think the drill press is worth it's weight in gold. The belt/disc grinder though gets used for a LOT of things I never would have thought about doing with it before I had it. The only thing, and I don't want to start any kind of a argument here, if your going to go for these, buy quality vs some cheap knock off you might find like in a HF clearance aisle. I learned this the expensive way with my first drill press. Good luck and happy building

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Old 02-07-2014, 03:19 AM
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subzJC
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I had a drill bit sharpener that wasn't very effective, so I took the guide casing off.
It has a nice little wheel in there about 3/4" wide and fine grit.

It is compact and great for most of the small grinding done on the building bench.

When the blades come off the mower though, time to bust out the big one.

It would be real nice if you have the space to get one of those combo sanders
that GPutt has. One day....

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Old 02-07-2014, 03:54 AM
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I have a bench grinder, drill press, belt sander, and bandsaw. I couldn't get by without any of them.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:44 AM
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The guys are 100% correct that there are jobs that just can't get done without certain power tools . take the drill press , for instance . If your going to be drilling holes in a universal engine mount , those holes are going to need to be perfectly straight through the material or the mount will be weakened . Sure , a hand held power drill would drill through the mount but would the hole be straight ? How about the bench grinder , if your working with anything stronger than wood and need to take a lil shave off so it fits , a bench grinder can save the day . It's plenty useful for other things as well , sharpening lawnmower blades and such .

I guess the real question here is ; Do you do the kinds of work that would require these tools ? Have you been working on things lately and said "gee , a drill press (or bench grinder) sure would be handy right about now" ? If you think your going to be doing the kinds of jobs that require these or any other tools on a regular basis , it's far better to own them rather than suffer the consequences of holes not drilled straight or hours of work with a file that could be minutes with the bench grinder .

And as a final thought , nothing says "Har Har Har , MORE POWER !!!" in that Tim Allen kinda way better than a well stocked home based model airplane factory
Old 02-07-2014, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by init4fun View Post
The

I guess the real question here is ; Do you do the kinds of work that would require these tools ? Have you been working on things lately and said "gee , a drill press (or bench grinder) sure would be handy right about now" ? If you think your going to be doing the kinds of jobs that require these or any other tools on a regular basis , it's far better to own them .
That's exactly the process that I use when I decide on if I need a tool. When I see a need, I fill that need. If I'm not sure if I would use a specific tool, I wait.
Old 02-07-2014, 06:07 AM
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Rodney
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I have found that the drill press is the most useful tool in the shop. It can do a lot more than just drill holes. If you have room, get the floor model. With a good drill press and a good band saw, there is not much you can not do very effectively.
Old 02-07-2014, 06:24 AM
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Both are worth their weight in gold, but I would buy the drill press if I could only have one. Get a decent floor or bench drill press and a small vise to mount to it. You'll figure out pretty quickly what else you'll need as you do different projects. FWIW, you can pick up good drill presses off Craigslist for very little money. I have a old cast iron Delta bench top that I found on CL for $75. It's so heavy, I think it cost me less than $1/lb.
Old 02-07-2014, 07:13 AM
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You know if you want to get a good quality drill press go to sears Hardware or the tool department at a local sears store. I also found out that Ace hardware is selling Craftsman tools along side of their regular tools. I like Harbor Freight but they do sell a lot of junky stuff though you get what you pay for MJ
Old 02-07-2014, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Hemikiller View Post
Both are worth their weight in gold, but I would buy the drill press if I could only have one. Get a decent floor or bench drill press and a small vise to mount to it.

^^^^^What he said!^^^^^
Old 02-07-2014, 07:43 AM
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It's the American way to buy what you don't really need I use my drill press way more than the bench grinder. I bought a bench top unit from ryobie and use it for all types of things. Next is a disc sander. You have to decide I guess on how many times you could have used one but didn't have one and wished you had. We can only offer our opinions.
Old 02-07-2014, 07:57 AM
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I find that after I buy a tool I end up using it a lot & wonder how I ever got along W/O it.

I have a bench grinder, air compressor, drill press, motorized miter box, table saw & disc/belt/spindle sander combo. I use them all regularly.
Old 02-07-2014, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
I have found that the drill press is the most useful tool in the shop. It can do a lot more than just drill holes. If you have room, get the floor model. With a good drill press and a good band saw, there is not much you can not do very effectively.

I'm with this one. Except the "If you have room" comment should be "If you have room AND MONEY". I have a 10" bench top drill press. When I need a grinder I have a bid for that. When I need a sander, I have a bit for that. The only additional thing I would like with it is a vise with X/Y positioning.
Old 02-07-2014, 09:01 AM
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Hey guys,
Yes, there are many power tools that will provide the best production applications to make a difficult job so much easier. Being in metalworking all my career, I have a great welding/fab/machine shop at home & I like to help my fellow club members "creating" needed items that may be an emergency. Here's some pics of the depth one can indulge in....

Denny
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:28 AM
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Drill press !
Old 02-07-2014, 12:47 PM
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If you hve to chose one, unless you are doing a significant amount of metal work, my opinion is that the drill press will get much more use and be helpfull in your modeling. I would get a disc sander before I would get a bench grinder (I have one and use it a great deal). I do not have a bench grinder but so far have not felt like the lack of one has hindered my building. Once or twice in the past 10 years I have needed the use of one and have been able to pop over to a friend's house.

Lars
Old 02-07-2014, 01:38 PM
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Guess I am lucky in that I am a 25 yr locksmith - OH! I need that tool for my job ! Hehhehhhehh!
Old 02-07-2014, 01:50 PM
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You're getting great advice here. Lars said exactly what I was going to say.

I have a full woodworking shop. Never having seen this thread, I just walked back in from working on some balsa in my shop. While I was out there I was thinking, which of these tools could I live without and which could I never give up.

I've said it for years, the single most important tool in my shop is absolutely the drill press. I use it far more than I ever thought I would when I bought it. If I'd had any idea, I would have spent about 10 times as much on one as I did. As it is, the cheap, import, floor model has served me very well through many years. If you buy a bench drill press, get a good solid one. Many bench top tools are junk and have too much flex. If you have the room for it, even a cheap floor model will be more solid and much more capable than most bench top units. And you'll be surprised by the depth you sometimes find yourself needing, even on model work.

For me, the next tool is the bandsaw. It won't do everything but pretty close to it. The limitation is internal cuts and for that you need a scroll saw. The scroll saw can kind of do the outside cuts that the bandsaw will do but not vice-versa. But the only time I use my scroll saw is when I need to make an inside cut, the bandsaw I use almost every trip into the shop.

#3 is the sander. A disk sander will take those less than perfect parts and make machine cut perfection out of them. Much more important than a grinder. If you have a Dremel with a variety of bits and stones for it, there is very little need for a grinder.

What did I use on my latest trip to the shop? Since I was building a precision construction jig out of 1/2" balsa, I used the bandsaw and the disk sander.

Dave
Old 02-07-2014, 03:06 PM
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I agree on the drill press. I am lucky to have two old Shopsmiths. One is left as a drill press all the time. The other is mostly a bandsaw but sometimes a disc sander. A drill press can also be used as a drum sander as many sizes of drums are available. I made a table top for the Shopsmith that has the belt sander on it. I use it as a desk of sorts with a desktop computer on it.

My shopsmiths dont even break a sweat on balsa wood! lol.
Old 02-07-2014, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rexbirk View Post
I agree on the drill press. I am lucky to have two old Shopsmiths. One is left as a drill press all the time. The other is mostly a bandsaw but sometimes a disc sander. A drill press can also be used as a drum sander as many sizes of drums are available. I made a table top for the Shopsmith that has the belt sander on it. I use it as a desk of sorts with a desktop computer on it.

My shopsmiths dont even break a sweat on balsa wood! lol.
I've used my drill press a a makeshift lathe & milling machine. lol
Old 02-07-2014, 03:11 PM
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Bench drill press, grinder and bench band saw. They are more useful than you can imagine. And they are inexpensive. The Harbor Freight stuff is OK.
Old 02-07-2014, 04:21 PM
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Ditto on the Harbor Freight tools. Granted, they are not the heavy duty stuff that a tradesman would use everyday, but neither is the price. For something that makes a task a lot easier, but will not get a LOT of use, I have a number of tools from Harbor Freight. They have a store not too far from me & put stuff on sale that I JUST CAN'T PASS UP.
Old 02-07-2014, 04:58 PM
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hookedonrc
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I probably should have included that I have good shop started. I have a table saw, radial arm saw, belt/disk sander combo, the normal types of power hand tools like the lightweight drill as well as a corded one and such. That was why I asked about the grinder. The big stuff is hand downs from my father in law and Dad. And off in the corner, sits a full floor drill press that is an old Craftsman that weighs a ton. It needs some work to get in working shape and might need a new motor, which Is why I was considering a new tabletop type. However, after reading the responses, it's going to be pulled out and reconditioned.

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