You will probably only buy one maybe two Pedestal Drills in your lifetime, and since it is an essential tool in your workshop save yourself a lifetime of frustration and invest in a quality machine.
Here are a few considerations when you look to upgrade your pillar drill.
The entire drill press should be of solid construction with quality machined surfaces to ensure a long life and precision work.
The table should be slotted ready to accept standard T Bolts for jigs or other clamping systems.
The table should be machined and ground flat to make sure you have an accurate working surface as a reference. The table should be an adequate size to support bigger workpieces, and it should be easily adjusted up or down, left or right and rotated 360 degrees. This versatility helps you adapt to different and sometimes awkward, clamping situations.
The head casing should be cast iron. Cast iron improves the integrity and long term stability of the most critical area of the drill.
Geared head machines cost more but are far preferable in terms of power transmission, safety and ease of use compared to belt drive and pulley setups.
Consider power feed if you intend to do deeper drilling work. Consistency in feed rate saves you breaking drill bits. (Not the case for materials that tend to harden while drilling such as stainless)
Get a good quality chuck!
Consider a coolant system. Standing there with a spray bottle is a hassle, and when it’s a hassle, the operators avoid it.
Make sure it has an interlocked safety guard that complies to AS 4024 Safe Guarding of machinery. A drill is a straightforward machine, but they are responsible for a disproportionate number of injuries.
Ensure it has an accurate, easy to use and robust depth stop. A reliable depth stop eliminates the guesswork and errors.
On a 25mm capacity drill that is used mostly for steelwork, we would suggest the slowest speed of around 100 RPM and at the high end close to 3000 RPM. A bigger capacity drill needs an even lower low speed.
For the best return on investment, it pays to equip your workshop with the best in machine tools. Invest in a geared head drill produced by a manufacturer who has established a record of quality, reliability and spare part availability.