As a serious toolmaker and professional machinist, I rely on my tools for my livelihood. My Delta 15-344 Drill Press is the best machine I have ever owned. It is incredibly powerful, extremely versatile and one of the most reliable pieces of equipment ever made. Of course I would expect nothing else from Delta, which is why I have no less than 6 Delta tools in my shop. But back to my review of the 15-344. This is a machine that I bought 4 years ago to replace an aging bench-top press I had. I have to say, I don’t know how I got by without it for so long.

Manufacturer:Delta Machinery
Model:15-344 Drill Press
Motor:3/4 HP
Speed:16 options, range: 170 - 3000 RPM
Drills in:Wood, metal, and plastic
Weight:240 lbs.
Dimensions:70" x 28" x 20"
Table size:20" x 14"
Warranty:5 years
Learn More:Click for full specs, pricing and customer ratings.

First off, if you are reading this review, you’re probably familiar with the reputation that Delta has for making quality machines – especially their drill presses. But I bought this particular model because of its variable drive speeds and super-powerful motor. It’s also one of the only production-quality machines in its price range. I’ll go ahead and list the specs here, for those of you who aren’t already familiar with them.

Specifications

  • 3/4 Horsepower three-phase motor that runs off of 200-Volts.
  • Variable-speed motor allows you to adjust from 450 to 4700 RPM – on the fly.
  • Enormous spindle bearing and pulley, supported by four oversized and pre-lubed VS bearings.
  • Cast-iron working surface that tilts and has 1.5-inch coolant trough.
  • Quill travel is very long at a full 6 inches of depth.
  • Automatic belt tensioner that Delta is famous for, with reverse self-locking taper.

And as if all of this wasn’t enough, the 15-344 is solidly built and massive, just like the Delta 18-900L. When I first installed it in my shop, I thought I wanted it near my workbench and centered. I’ve since moved it to a less intrusive spot – against the wall. Of course it took three of us to do that!

Details

Like I said, I make tools and machine parts for a living. I rely on precise tolerances for all of my projects, and the Delta 15-344 hasn’t let me down. The motor is 3-phase, and so is very powerful, yet quiet. It spins at a relatively low 1750 RPM by itself, so doesn’t actually use a lot of juice. The adjustments for the variable speeds are amazingly easy and accurate. If I find that I’m overheating a piece, I can dial it back with one hand and keep pressure with the other.

The enormous work table is an amazing feature in itself. Like I said above, it has an inch-and-a-half channel for coolant, with two 3/8-inch pipe taps on each side for drainage. It also tilts up to 45-degrees, which I sometimes use rather than adjusting my clamps. It’s very easy to tilt also, considering the weight.

One thing that I would add to this amazing drill (and I have on mine), is a flexible work light. I’ve put a clamp-light on mine that does the job, but it should come with one. Oh well, that’s the only thing I’ve found that’s even a little disappointing about this machine.

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Overall, the Delta 15-344 is an incredible drill press that works perfectly for me under even the most challenging conditions. It’s not a cheap machine, but it holds its value forever. I did some checking recently on prices for used machines and found that they are close to what I paid for mine new, 4 years ago. Now that’s value!