Powermatic’s New Drill Press Has Variable Speed and A Clever Table

On March 16th JPW’s Powermatic division published a press release on its website about the company’s new PM2820EVS drill press. The release is based on a comprehensive and well-written tool review in the April issue of Woodworker’s Journal magazine. Powermatic also uploaded a YouTube™ video on this product on October 21st, 2020. The sleek and impressive drill press is designed for professional and serious amateur users, and it replaces the traditional belt and pulley drive system with a gear driven electronic variable speed motor. This lets a woodworker change the speed instantly with no downtime required to fiddle with pulleys, and without any loss of torque. The operator can optimize spindle speeds for specific applications, and then confirm the setting with a digital readout. The speeds run from 150 to 870 RPM in the low range and 600 to 3,600 RPM at the high end. The keyed chuck accepts drill bits up to 5/8″ in diameter and the press can handle holes up to 6″ deep. Workpieces up to 23″ tall will fit between the chuck and the table when it’s lowered all the way. Powermatic has a patented depth stop that’s integrated into the feed handle. It makes countersinking and drilling stopped holes easier to set and control.

This new drill press has a unique cast-iron table that has a 15-1⁄4″ x 20-1⁄2″ center section that can be removed to install one of two accessory inserts, a downdraft table (for dust control) or a clamping table (sold separately) that is based on the MicroJig dovetail clamp system (see more on this here). It could also be used to install a replaceable shop-made sacrificial table. The table swivels up to 90 degrees (each way) for drilling angled holes, and a thin lip around its rim makes for easier clamping setups. The cast table can be removed for better access to fixturing or for drilling oversized pieces and adding jigs.

The machine comes with an extruded aluminum fence that includes an adjustable flip stop for repetitive drilling. There are laser guides and two integrated LED work-lights, plus an oversized OFF button below the variable- speed dial. The 336 lb. machine is constructed of solid cast-iron and steel for stability and rigidity, and has a 1 HP single phase motor. It stands 71-7⁄8″ tall on an oversized 16-3⁄8″ x 22-3⁄4″ base. Optional accessories beyond the table inserts include a tool shelf and a magnetic strip.

The PM2820EVS comes with a 5-year warranty and is listed at $1999.99.