Reliant DD55 12-Speed Drill Press

Tool: Reliant DD55 12-speed Drill Press
Date of Service: 1997

Once upon a time, I added a Drill Press to my small collection of shop machinery. Since I don’t rely on a drill press for day to day tasks I went with the cost-effective Reliant Brand and although it’s not the most precise machine in my shop it’s does what it’s supposed to for the past 12 years, drill holes in wood, metal and plastic.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Features:

  • Capacity: 13″
  • Chuck: 3/4″ (20mm)
  • Manufacture Date: 1997
  • 12 Speed
  • 340 to 2,800 RPM

Experience:

This week I’m using the drill press to set up adjustable shelving, pre-drilling cabinet sides before assembly. I’ve made a few jigs for the task over the years. I’d guess that’s my most common use for this press. Drilling long rows of holes to a certain depth – over and over. Which reminds me of the hundreds of 1/2″ mahogany plugs I made for a siding job with this press.
I bought the mortising attachment and some bits and tried that once. Yikes, I might as well chisel by hand. It seems best for softer wood since it’s a fairly manual operation and this Reliant doesn’t like to be pulled on hard. The mortising assembly and the bits are collecting dust.

The Delta Sanding Drum Kit has come in handy and creates one of the few times I actually change speeds on this thing.

Comments:

I had to set this Drill Press on rollers so I could move it around to accommodate longer boards. In 12 years, I rarely change speeds. Changing the drill speed is a manual operation. Open the lid, crank a lever loosening the pulleys, read the chart to figure out where the belts go on then close it back up.

You can see one of the issues I’ve had with this Reliant Drill Press in this photo of the post. The drill unit rides up and down the post via a toothed steel bar and gear. I was raising the drill press but instead of the drill raising the toothed bar was ‘squeezing out’ at the bottom. It came out bent and twisted like spagehtti. Since the drill secures to the post by a friction clamp this bent part doesn’t affect it.  I’ve decided to secure a pipe clamp while I’m giving the drill press some attention today.

If you don’t have to leave one or two crank handles off they’ll vibrate loose and fall out anyway.

Overall this has a small motor, low-quality fit and finish and a few issues. I think that’s goes with, you get what you pay for – but.. It’s 12 years old. It works for my purposes.. except when things get heavy-duty, then it’s better left for drilling 17/64″ holes down a face of birch ply.

Links:

Here are a few different drill presses at Amazon.com
Grizzly G7944 12 Speed Heavy-Duty 14″ Floor Drill Press

DELTA 17-950L 16.5-Inch TwinLaser Crosshair Drill Press

DELTA DP300L 12-Inch TwinLaser Crosshair Drill Press



One Response to “Reliant DD55 12-Speed Drill Press”

  1. I have a model dd55 also. Recently I was cutting some metal and the cutter caught the metal and gave a big jerk. I found out that the spindle shaft is now bent. In operation, the chuck wobbles. Do you know where I can buy another spindle?

    Thanks, Wayne

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