product guides

Guide to choosing the best drill press

There are several factors one should consider before buying a drill press. you might want to take multiple trips to the hardware store before you make the decision. When I bought mine i took many trips to various shops to find the best price machine that I could (while still getting a high quality drill press). It’s good to get some hands on experience looking at them before you buy, as online all you can see is a picture, which can mislead you into thinking it’s bigger or smaller than it actually is. Check out the points you need to pay attention to listed below.

Price & Budget

For those of you who are on a tight budget you need to look around in order to get the best value. Most of the time you won’t need to pay anymore than about 300 dollars or so, although you can always pickup a second-hand machine at a lower cost. The good brands like WEN and SKIL tend to be a bit pricier. In my opinion the extra cost is worth it because of the great quality. Also these brands usually offer a good warranty. As for which type of drill press is the best bang for buck? I would go with the benchtop drill press. They are basically the middle size, and are perfect for most people. The other more expensive option is the floor drill press, these are massive and usually only used by professionals.

Speed, gears, and power

Back when I first started using drill presses for woodworking my one had only one gear, and one speed setting that was fixed. However now days this is not the case. Most good drill presses come with multiple speed settings, allowing you to adjust the RPM from quite slow right up to very high speeds 1000+ RPM. This is a useful feature if you plan on working with more than one type of material (like both wood, and metals). Some material like steel don’t need a high RPM but rather require you to have a high powered motor. You should look for a drill press with at least 1/2 Horsepower if you want to work primarily with metal/steel/etc.

What height do you want your drill press?

If you have a lot of space and are a professional requiring a powerful machine, then you might go for something very tall like a floor standing drill press. Other wise, go for a benchtop drill press. The height is measured from the chuck to the table, and ranges from only a few inches with small drill presses designed for jewellery like the mini drill press, to 15 or more, for larger projects.

Chuck Size

The chuck is the part of the drill press that secures a drill bit in place. what chuck size you need depends on whether you’ll need extra large drill bits for whatever you’re working on. If you want to drill a hole of 3/4 inches diameter then obviously you need a drill bit that is equally big. However, not all chucks can support such a large bit, so keep that in mind. Most drill presses come with a maximum chuck capacity of 0.5 inches, which for most people is enough. You can always replace the drill press chuck later, if you need to.

What will you use it for?

Although this is a vague question, it must be considered. What you use your drill press for will be the ultimate factor in determining which model to buy. If your use will be general purpose then something like the SKIL 3320 or Craftsman 12 inch is a great choice. If you will be using the drilll press in your workshop for huge objects then you will need something larger. Most of the time if you’re just a hobbyist, anything over 10 inches is over doing it, and a waste of money.


product guides

The Bench Grinder – What you need to know

Bench grinders are, put simply, a “must have” tool. Anyone who is interested in grinding metal for their job or hobby aught to have one. If you don’t already own one, but intend to buy one soon, then read on. There are some import things you must consider to buy the best bench grinder, and we will go over our list of the top considerations. Ideally after reading this article you will be well prepared to get the best value for your money when you go shopping!


Top Things to Consider

Buy from a reputable manufacturer

To make sure that you’re purchasing a good grinder you should check out some bench grinder reviews. Also see what the general consensus is around the brand you’re considering to buy from. It’s a good idea to look at online forums in the DIY niche for this type of information. A well known brand like SKIL is usually a good choice, since they’ve been around and making quality tools for quite a while. Overall the key thing to be aware of is that you get what you pay for, so don’t expect the world if buy something very cheap!

How Much Power do you need?

Bench grinders come with varying levels of power. How much power you need depends on the type of job you need it for. For the lighter tasks just about anything on the market will be absolutely fine. If you’re looking at a higher end machine for more demanding tasks you should go for the most horsepower available. As well as power, speed is important. Now days most bench grinders have adjustable speed, so it’s not an issue. Another concern that is just as important as speed is the type of grinding wheel. However, it should be noted that regardless of whatever type of grinding wheel it comes with you can always install a new one later. The different types of grinding wheels basically differ in that some are more coarse/rough than others. If you’re not sure which you’ll need, don’t worry too much, they’re easy to replace and cheap to buy.

Is a built-in light needed?

If you’re working in a dimly lit area you will need some kind of light source to brighten it up. Some people use a dedicated LED light for this, but a better option is actually to use the lights built in with the grinder. It helps keep the spot your grinding very well lit and visible.

Does it come with a good Warranty?

Even high quality bench grinders occasionally come with faults.  As mentioned above, buying from a good brand will mitigate this risk to a degree. Though, it’s still a good idea to get one with a good warranty!


product guides

What you need to know before buying a new soldering iron

One of the tools that cannot be missed in any electrical hobbyists arsenal is the soldering iron, especially if you often work with wires or circuits, then you can’t live without one of these. Although it is a fairly straight forward and basic tool there are some things you must know before you buy. There are also a lot of different options out there when it comes to picking one. If you’re just getting started with this great hobby – then opt for a cheap soldering iron. Otherwise, if you’re a professional you’ll want a very high quality station with temp control and all of the additional features that the more expensive products tend to come with. Because there are so many choices in this area it’s always a great idea to absorb as much information as you can before you spend any money on a product. So let’s go over some of the key points!

The design of the soldering iron

This is a crucial element to consider. The way in which your tool is designed will determine whether it can get the job done perfectly for your project. The most basic type of soldering iron is known as a “soldering pencil“, this is the cheapest type but also the least capable as it doesn’t have any form of temperature control. There are also soldering stations, these are probably the most common. The soldering stations from well known brands like weller are very well built. Soldering stations feature a stand where you can put the iron while it’s hot. They also have adjustable temperature controls which is necessary when working with different materials. The heat-up time is often extremely fast, and this is a feature you should bear in mind as it can save you a lot of head ache down the road.


Overall, my favorite soldering iron is the weller wlc 100 – check it out here. It has got a fantastic reputation within the electronics community. It also comes with a pretty good warranty, so if anything does go wrong you’re safe knowing that you can get a replacement.