You've got $1K to spend on a mag drill

Buy now or keep saving for something better? After reading through the mag drill chuck discussion I was wondering what I should plan on spending on a reliable corded unit backed by its manufacturer that will comfortably cut 1.5” holes in 1/2” materials. Assuming a separate budget for a set of cutters.

A few years ago I was looking for a small Mag drill. Not one that weighed 50 lbs to lug around. But at a reasonable price. I liked the looks of the drills made by “Cayken” out of China. I emailed back and forth with them trying to acquire one at a decent price. It never worked out.

Then I found some labeled “Hermes”. I contacted them and indeed they were just rebranded Cayken drills. I bought one, and have drilled around 1000 holes with it and it has preformed well with almost no spindle run out. They also sell larger ones in the size you are looking for. Drill Machines – Hermes Hardware: Quality Tools, Best Prices

I have no connection with this company . Just a satisfied customer of what I believe to be a little known company. I also bought some carbide tipped annular bits from them that preformed well. I agree with Jason that the carbide tipped annular bits are worth the extra money.

Also if I am using the drill on work in the horizontal position, and have several holes to drill using an annular cutter. I use the supplied coolant tank. As the center pin comes in contact with the work it pushes up and opens a valve on the spindle that releases the coolant. Then when you raise the bit the valve closes stopping the coolant flow.

Just thought I would mention them as a resource to look at. Of course you would need to do your homework to see if one of these drills would meet your needs.

Totally depends on your needs. Are you a hobbyist are you a working in the direction or acting as a pro? If you want to use it for only drilling holes mono-directional is great if you want to tap holes reversal is helpful. A two speed gear box with variable speed gives more options. I have a few with auto-feed and this changes the game completely. Really is totally dependent on your intentions for this machine. Weight, and size are also details to contemplate. fitting the drill into awkward places is something sometimes needed. There are also no cordless mag-drills that apparently have impressive capabilities.

Good luck

What about Hougen? They seem legit & :muscle:! Those were what I have been holding out for. And the price point seems to be less than some of the others!:man_shrugging:

I’m looking for more information to be helpful. What kind of 1 1-2 hole are you wanting to drill? Hole saw, annular cutter, drill bit? Most mag drills under the 1000 dollar price won’t turn a 1-1/2 twist drill with enough torque to actually take the proper cut feed rate. Unless you want to continue to step up the drill bit sizes 3 or 4 times. Same problem goes for annular cutter. It takes a serious torque to turn a 1 1/2 annular cutter. You’ll probably have to go with a hole saw if you want that big of a hole with a cheap mag drill. 1 in twist drill or annular cuter is generally the largest hole you can comfortably drill without issues to the longevity of the drill with this price point. I think most people get confused with the cutting capacity vs dill bit size. Here’s a example Magnetic Drill Press | AC50 MightiBrute

Just a home hobbyist guy who still remembers my granddad telling me that cheap tools are a luxury that no craftsman can afford. 1.5” holes in 1/2” stock is at the absolute limit of what I can imagine doing. 1 inch holes in .125-.250” material is probably much more realistic.

Keep in mind that he did not have the selection of tools that are available today.
It is very hard to justify buying the best tool when it might only be used once or twice a year. I agree with buying good tools if they will be used daily, but not if they will only be used a few times a year.
I have some cheap tools that have held up better than expected.

That’s a fair point. When I started researching this it looked like 1K was a solid middle-of-the-road price point. The drill will definitely be used more than once or twice a year, and anything in the Hobo Freight / heavily promoted by Amazon / YouTube strata was going to be a hard pass for me. I’m definitely a buy once, cry once guy who doesn’t mind spending a little extra to avoid having to find out what Brand X customer service really is.

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Keep an eye out on eBay and such. I found a used Jancy a few years back for very good price.

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@tcat I found this drill it meets all the requirements.
The Hougen HMD900 Magnetic Drill Portable Magnetic Drill is designed to produce superior holes quickly and efficiently. Through constant innovation and development, Hougen is committed to providing you with hole producing tools and products to help you be more productive. The Hougen HMD900 Magnetic Drill is a drill of choice for all-around metal fabrication. Lightweight, powerful, and versatile. The Hougen HMD900 Magnetic Drill can drill holes up to 1-1/2” in diameter and 2” deep. Made in the USA.

Looks like it’s priced around 1000 buck. I have used Hougen drills and they are solid machines. I’m assuming the 1 1/2 hole is using a hole saw.

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Thanks, @Fireball_Jason. That sounds like a decent price point for a proven machine that the manufacturer will back in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. I didn’t see any info. on the maximum stroke length; ideally I’d be able to affix the drill to my Dragon Wagon and drill through the top of 2" square tube. I gather that these machines are mainly designed to drill through the material that they’re attached to.

According to the listing here it’s got a 2" drilling depth.

same price at this storefront