I recently bought the Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser to replace my conventional drill press in my woodwork shop, as the old machine’s travel had become hindered and the operation pretty noisy. The Amazon delivery experience was decent with the product reaching me within 4 days of ordering and packed perfectly.
At first glance, the machine looks rugged and powerful with a heavy-duty motor and sturdy structural design. It is pretty easy to set up and a one man job to do so.
Carrying the head might warrant taking help though as it’s quite heavy. The machine was up and running in a few minutes and the laser was spot-on!
Apart from the 6″ quill travel which exactly meets my requirements, the major advantage of this model is the speed changing. Changing speeds is a fast and easy process on this. Just pop open the lid, push the handle which reduces tension, move the belt and return the handle to original position. Deciding the required speed for a particular material is also easy due to the chart attached at the bottom of the lid. Once you know the bit size and material, the speed can be easily determined from this chart.
The large table was another plus. Saved me the time to fabricate a melamine table and accessorize one as the size of the provided one is perfect for the functionality. The bright LED work light is an added advantage and much better than the conventional lighting I was using previously on my old DP.
The micro-adjustable depth stops were really helpful to me as my work involves a lot of repetitive drilling. This in conjunction with the independent scale allows to zero the scale and execute repetitive processes faster.
Features and Specifications
The DP is very versatile when it comes to materials and sizes. It features 16 speeds for drilling various materials. Height adjustment comes easily with the rack and pinion arrangement and adjustable locking levers allow for easy angle changes to the table top.
The stand out feature of the 18-900L is the Auto-Tensioning belt drive system which makes speed changes easy and fast with maximum transmission efficiency. As mentioned earlier, the 6 inch Quill Stroke is a big plus which allows for deeper drilling with best-in-class capacity. The powerful 3/4 HP motor makes quick work of tough jobs. Although, I majorly use it for woodwork applications, it has worked pretty well with steel whenever I have had minor work with steel.
The table is another unique feature with which can bevel 0-90 degrees and tilts forward 0-48 degrees. Micro adjustable depth stops along with an independent depth scale make it an accurate, precise and user friendly machine. Not to forget, the laser pointer is an added plus to the accuracy and user-friendliness.
Some minor issues i faced with it were the interaction between the laser spot and LED light, as the LED light really dimmed out the spot, thus rendering the laser pin point difficult to see.
The chuck initially looked like it was wobbling but it turns out that its because of the shape of the part used to tighten or loosen the chuck. The center table does not wobble but this sure gives an impression that it does. A rounder design for the part would have helped.
Another issue is the spindle return spring adjustment. Although the manual states that it returns slowly, in reality it jerks back pretty fast. Always ensure that you hold the housing with a strong grip while disengaging to avoid any injury. I haven’t been able to figure out a way to address this issue yet and the manual didn’t have anything about this either.
Coming to the features, it weighs in at 261 pounds and has dimensions of 59 x 12.8 x 3.2 inches. It has a top speed of 3000 rpm and runs on 120V with corded electric power supply. It comes with a five year warranty which is a big plus as it lays to rest any worries regarding the machine’s dependability.
The Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser is a good buy if you are looking at using it for purposes such as mine, that is basic woodwork and minor metal work, although it works just as well with metal. There are more powerful DPs out there but this does the job very well without costing as much. Plus, with a 5 year warranty, it’s a very safe buy.