PM 2800 Drill Press - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
  • Pin It
PM 2800 Drill Press

Powermatic - PM 2800 Drill Press

The PM 2800 drill press offers easy-to-adjust variable speed control and digital readout

$900 (As of 9/1/2007)

(3 user reviews) Write a Review

Editor's Review: Tool Test: Drill-Press Review

by Roland Johnson

review date: September 1, 2007

Powermatic’s new model 2800 drill press is a precision drilling machine with lots of convenient features.

It offers easy-to-adjust variable speed control and accompanying digital readout. The 1-hp motor provides adequate power for big bits—even hole saws. In fact, I had no problem boring a 41/8-in.-dia. hole through 5/4 hard maple.

The large cast-iron table features sliding extensions that create an even bigger worksurface. T-slots in the table accommodate an aluminum adjustable split fence, which includes a 2-in. dust port, and provide the possibility of creating custom hold-downs. Other convenient features are the twin LED lights that illuminate the work, laser crosshairs for pinpoint drill positioning, a large lighted power switch on the front, and feed handles that can be configured for a right- or left-handed operator. A keyless 5/8-in. chuck offers big capacity and quick, secure bit changes, and a double-nut locked depth gauge assures accurate repeatability.

The table tilts left or right, but operating the tilt mechanism requires a socket wrench—an inconvenience. Also, a lock pin positions it at 0°, 45°, or 90°, but the pin had about 4° of play at each position.

For the money ($900), the PM 2800 is powerful, precise, and convenient, with only the table-tilt falling short.

Photo: Roland Johnson

read full review

Editor Test Results:

Runout .001 in.
Time to bore 2 in. dia. by 3/4-in. deep hole N/A
Speed Changing Excellent
Depth-Set Ease N/A

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Powermatic
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 1-800-274-6848
Quill stroke 4-3/8 in.
Chuck Capacity 5/8 in.
Chuck-to-Post Distance 9 in.
Horsepower 1 hp
Amps N/A
Volts N/A
Speed Variable (400 to 3,000 rpm)
Quill to Benchtop N/A

I found that the feature of variable spindle speeds is by far the innovation that puts this machine above and beyond all other drill presses in the same class. No longer do users struggle with spindle speed changes by awkwardly manipulating a belt and pulleys. This also takes away a 'weak' excuse for miss-using tools with the wrong RPM. Neglecting safety by using larger tools at an RPM too high, should no longer be the lazy worker's risk. Also, to avoid the tendency to burn either the tool, or the work piece, (or both) now becomes a simple and very convenient option for the woodworker. In my experience the red laser cross-hairs are a very practical feature that I'll admit I use a lot more than I first expected. Table-tilt and the table's wing extensions are long overdue in the woodshop. Same for tee-slots in the table for clamping. On the downside, PM missed it by a mile with a couple of items: The work light is weak/wimpy, and for all intent and purposes may as well not even be there. It's hard to see that it's even turned "ON". I've added a work-around with an after-market gooseneck lamp because I need much more visibility than my overhead indirect shop lights provide. The other thing I found very disappointing is the absence of a spindle lock for its vertical travel. For me it's very seldom used, but when it's needed, absolutely nothing else will do. I have yet to come up with a clever/easy work-around for this. I can easily imagine a major disassembly of the power head, with some precision metal machining to accommodate a threaded lock-stud. Any suggestions will be gladly accepted. Does PM have anything to say on this?

This drill press went together in less than 30 minutes without a hitch. I do lube everything whenever assembling new tools, threads and contact surfaces or shafts that I don't want running dry or getting rusty. Lasers were spot on and the work light(s) are a nice touch.I mounted a 2" hole saw and punched right through some oak just to set the chuck on the tapered shaft. Heavy, nicely built and made for some serious work!

The Assembly Instructions in the Owners Manual failed to mention that the Worm Gear, for the Table Bracket, needed to be installed by the owner. Someone who is not used to working with mechanical devices would have a problem with this. Also, installing the Table Bracket in accordance with the instructions did not work. I had to install the Rack into the Table Bracket and engage the Rack teeth into the Worm gearing for the Table Bracket, then lower the whole assy down over the Column. Again, someone who is not used to working with this type of equipment would have been on the phone to tech support.On another note, the Lasers were dead on with no adjustment needed. I agree with the Editors review remarks about the Table Tilt slop and adjustments. Overall the Drill Press is a pleasure to use and the many features make drilling operations more enjoyable then using my previous machine.I don't regret the purchase.

Click on a thumbnail to see a full sized image

Become a Better Woodworker

Save up to 56% on Fine Woodworking