Drill presses are among the most frequently updated power tools. Almost every month, a new batch of drill presses hit the market to attract the eyes of professionals and hobbyists. Even though they’re not as popular as power drills, they’re still a vital tool for providing deep, precise holes in large pieces of metal or wood. Many of the new models come with tweaked features, making the process of researching and buying one a complex task.
Woodstock International’s line of Shop Fox machines, including jointers, table saws, wood lathes, and drill presses, have been stirring up enthusiasm from customers and industry experts for a long time. The Shop Fox W1668 is a ¾-horsepower bench-top drill press that also doubles as an oscillating sander for contour sanding.
This drill press has received a majority of positive reviews, though it does have some drawbacks worth noting. Although there are some things worth nitpicking over, overall, this drill press is one that continues to impress. Let’s discover what this drill press has to offer.
¾-Horsepower Motor with 12 Speeds
The W1668’s ¾-horsepower motor offers high capacity drilling on even the heaviest, thickest pieces of wood and metal. The additional power is required for a number of applications in order to achieve perfect results every time. The 12-speed motor delivers speeds ranging from 250 RPM to 3,050 RPM, making quick and easy work of drilling in both soft and hard pieces of wood and even metal. The 12 gears allow for greater control and reduce the risk of a wobbling when on a variety of different density materials.
Some customers have complained about shoddy manufacturing after receiving their Shop Fox drill press. In addition, the motor isn’t exactly durable against heat, so users need to give this unit frequent breaks in between applications. Finally, the casing that covers the motor needs to be manually tightened in between applications in order to prevent vibrations.
Doubles as an Oscillating Drum Sander
This is an innovative feature that’s not unique to Shop Fox but great nonetheless. The drum oscillates in a vertical motion which lets users place a piece of wood against the sanding drum. If you need to get some easy sanding done and don’t want to work too hard while doing it, this Shop Fox drill press could save you precious time and energy.
5/8-Inch Chuck and 3 ¼-Inch Spindle
The chuck provides flexibility since it can hold onto bits as large as 5/8 inches in diameter for performing drills of up to 3 ¼-inches deep in practically every type of material imaginable. The problem is the table set screw doesn’t keep the table from wobbling and moving around unless it’s overly tightened. The table isn’t supposed to rotate along with the post while operating the drill press, and the screw which holds the table down fails in this regard.
In addition, it appears that the chuck guard – though a great feature – was just an afterthought by the company and is a challenge to install since the screws which hold the guard in place don’t align correctly with the mounting plate.
The main concern that customers have is the careless packaging of this product. Out of the box, most customers have complained that the motor belts and the lock screws need to be adjusted prior to starting the drill press. If you don’t check the tension of the belt and the tightness of the screws, then expect to hear excessively loud noises and vibrations coming from the drill.
In addition, the milling oil which serves to prevent overheating isn’t just almost ineffective at doing its duty, but it pours freely and over whatever media you’re working on. If you plan on using expensive pieces of wood or metal, be aware of drooling oil and coat your materials carefully before drilling. It’s a nuisance to do, but with this drill press, there’s practically no other way to avoid oil droplets.
The Shop Fox W1668 Drill Press actually had a lot of potential to be a top-market product, thanks to its dual functionality as a drill press and an oscillating drum sander. The tool itself performs great when drilling into any wood or metal pieces, given you run it at an appropriate speed and don’t rush to the drilling process.
However, the minor issues – assembly, oil spills, chuck guard installment challenges, prone to overheating – add up, making it a risky purchase. Although it has received a majority of favorable reviews from buyers, the problems mentioned were experienced by every user. Unless you know your way around a drill press and can perform maintenance tasks yourself, avoid this product from Shop Fox.