15" Floor Model Drill Press
Priced under $300
Reviewed by Leon A. Frechette
02/11/00 New Review 03/26/07
Ridgid - DP1550 drill press
One tool that completes any workshop is a drill press, and I recently
had the opportunity to test RIDGID's model DP1500. With a height
just under 5 1/2 feet, this unit is very comfortable to work at.
The 12-inch by 12-inch table has a large enough work surface to
accommodate a 15-inch workpiece. Because it's a 15-inch drill press
(7 1/2-inch throat), you can drill in the center of a 15-inch piece.
A standard 60-watt bulb installed in the underside of the head just
behind the chuck will light up your work. The 5/8-inch chuck provides
access for a maximum 5/8-inch shank diameter bit.
table can be tilted 45 degrees left or right; however, I found it
a little uncomfortable to loosen the hex screw and the bevel lock
bolt (a two-step process) in such a tight area. If you don't need
to tilt the table frequently, it's not a problem. The table can
also be raised or lowered using the crank-operated rack-and-pinion
mechanism located on the right-hand side, which is very easy to
use. However, the support lock on the left-hand side in the back
is a little too small and very uncomfortable to use. It needs to
be extended away from the support table by an inch or two and the
handle itself needs to be 2 to 3 inches longer to protect your knuckles.
Some improvements could be made in these areas to make the DP1500
more user-friendly. The table and its base are slotted for mounting
accessory items such as a vise.
The three 8-inch feed handles on the right-hand side do not come loose during normal use—like other units currently on the market. They're designed to be tightened with a wrench provided with the unit—that's great! Its cast iron base, table, and head help to reduce vibration and provide added stability since the unit weighs in at 170 lb. Overall, the DP1500 is very well balanced.
The DP1500 has 12 speeds from 300 to 3,100 RPM to handle a variety of materials. To deliver smooth operation, a 1/2-horse Emerson induction motor has been added—it's very quiet. Additionally, an induction motor doesn't have brushes to replace. The on/off switch features a removable yellow safety lock key switch that is large enough to be shut off with the palm of your hand. This could be handy if you have to shut the tool down in an emergency because a drill bit binds in the material.
New Review 03/26/07: Not much has changed with this unit since I reviewed it in 2000. It did get a new product number and color facelift to Ridgid's power tool trademark colors. Basically, the colors have been reversed on the new unit. I like the new colors much better than the old light gray and orange. Now the handles are dark gray; previously they were orange which showed the dirt.
Ridgid made a big improvement on the depth scale: it's much easier to see and read now, as is the high-visibility bevel indicator.
One area that needs improvement is the light bulb housing. I was unable to get the bulb up into the light socket after I removed the amber-colored lens cover. The two tangs that accept the two screws that hold the lens in place projected out too far. I had to file the tangs back to make room for the bulb to slide by. Also, the light socket was off-center in the housing area, something that also needed correcting. There's not much room there when installing or removing a 60-watt bulb.
Other areas were not improved upon since I discovered them on the DP1500 back in 2000. It is still uncomfortable to loosen the hex screw and the bevel lock bolt (a two-step process) in such a tight area. This area should be redesigned to make it easier to tilt the table 45 degrees left or right. If you don't need to tilt the table frequently, it's not a problem.
The table can easily be raised or lowered using the crank-operated rack-and-pinion mechanism on the right-hand side, but the support lock on the left-hand side in the back is a little too small and very uncomfortable to use. It needs to extend away from the support table by an inch or two and the handle itself needs to be 2 to 3 inches longer to protect your knuckles. Had improvements been made in these areas, the DP1550 would be a more user-friendly tool.
The upper plastic belt guard cover close to the metal lower belt guard cover makes some vibration noise while the unit runs. If your unit makes any noise, it can easily be corrected by placing a plastic slide bar (from a report binder) over the lower belt guard cover. You can find them at your local office supply store.
One nice feature on the DP1500 I neglected to mention is that the drill press includes a hub that allows positioning of the quill feed handles on either the right or left sides of the head. Its quick-release belt tension lever is easy to use, and they've included a chuck key storage on the right side of the head.
Even though the Ridgid brand is under the Emerson umbrella, the1/2-horse induction motor is now being manufactured under TechTronic Industries Company Limited (TTI), along with the design of the tool.
Ridgid power tools carry a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, a three-year limited services warranty, and a lifetime service agreement. By merely filling out the registration form and submitting it along with proof of purchase, you'll get free parts and service for life. That's a heck of a deal!
Ridgid also maintained the same price for this drill press. Still selling for just under $300, the unit is quiet, balanced, and sports a classy appearance. On a scale of 1 to 10, I still rate it a 9.5.
Copyright © 02/11/00& 03/26/07 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved.
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