The Shop Fox name is quite well-known in woodworking circles. In particular, the brand is known for making high-quality drill presses that are both durable as well as high performing. Thus, it is interesting to figure out just how well the W1680 holds up.
This drill has been designed for an average size cabinet or machine shop. It falls in the mid-range in terms of both power as well as size. On this note, let’s take a look at just what the W1680 can do and how it compares to its counterparts on the market:
Shop Fox W1680 Specs
Here is a breakdown of the basic specifications of this model:
- Motor: 1 HP, 110V
- Swing: 17”
- Drill Chuck: 1/16” – 5/8”
- Arbor: JT-3
- Spindle Travel: 3-1/4”
- Number of Speeds: 12
- Range of Speeds: 150 – 3050 RPM
- Table Size (Diameter): 14”
- Drill Capacity: 1”
- Overall Height: 64”
- Average Weight: 178 lbs
Shop Fox W1680 Features
Here are the features of the W1680 that you really need to know about:
One of the first things that people look for in their drill press is power. However, choosing the drill press with the most powerful motor isn’t always the answer. For one thing, most people – even those undertaking larger woodworking projects – don’t need as much power as they imagine.
There is also the fact that larger motors cost more. So, if you don’t need all that power, it doesn’t make much sense to pay for it. Well, the W1680 boasts a 1 HP motor, which means that it’s right on the money for virtually any project you have in mind.
Although it is meant for mid-sized workshops, this drill press can easily be used for larger workshops as it is more than capable of getting through a wide variety of materials. You will also find it effortless to drill larger holes through thicker pieces of wood.
It is more than just power, though. The aluminum finned motor also offers up durability. As a result, you can get through wood, metal, or plastic readily. This makes it a rather versatile machine to have around.
Of course, power without accuracy means very little. The good news is that the W1680 has various features that greatly improve the accuracy of its drilling capabilities. The one that stands out the most is the Morse Taper #3 spindle for the larger direct mount bits and the closely spaced spindle shaft bearings. This allows you to reproduce clean and precise cuts each and every time.
At the same time, the structure of the drill press does a great deal to improve accuracy as well. The precision ground work table, spindle, base, and column all work in tandem to ensure that the press produces accurate results.
Another element that is rather important when it comes to drill presses is speed. The output speed gives you an idea of the kind of drills that you can use with a particular drill press. This is why you should always look for variable speed with such machinery.
And, this is precisely what you get with the W1680. The drill lets you select from 12 different speeds, all the way from 140 to 3050 RPM! This means that this machine is quite flexible when it comes to the range of tasks that it is capable of performing. As such, you will be able to use it for a wider variety of woodworking projects.
Great Spindle Travel
You don’t need to be a professional woodworker to know that spindle travel matters. The greater the spindle travel, the more kinds of materials you can work with. Not to mention, you will find it rather simple to drill though thicker and tougher materials as well.
Now, most experts would tell you that you shouldn’t settle for anything less than 2-1/2”. However, the W1680 goes well beyond this with a spindle travel of 3-1/4”. This means that you will have no trouble drilling through most of the materials that you come across.
Needless to say, a durable drill press is paramount. The hardier the machine, the more capable it is of dealing with a wider variety of heavy materials. The durability also gives you some idea of how long the machine can last you in the long run.
Now, Shop Fox products are known for their durability and the W1680 is no exception to this rule. To begin with, there is the solid cast-iron construction. This proves that this is a machine that can be put through its paces and still come standing on top time and time again.
On top of this the ball bearings are shielded and lubricated. This means that the machine can perform better for longer with less maintenance. In general, this relates to the quality of the drill press, proving that it is an excellent investment for you.
A feature that certainly stands out with this drill press is the inclusion of a tilting table. The W1680 features a 14 inch tilting table that can be adjusted from 0 to 90 degrees. What’s more, the table can be adjusted for height, rotation, and angles. Once again, this makes it perfect for numerous woodworking applications.
The larger table shows you that you can easily prop up larger materials and work on them without having to worry about balancing them properly. At the same time, the tilting feature gives you the freedom to drill from so many different angles.
Last but not least, the adjustability of this table ensures that you can change it to suit you, your work materials, and even your workshop. If the drill is no longer needed, pushing the table out of the way makes more space for you in your workshop.
Greater Drill Bit Compatibility
Now, considering the kind of power that you are offered with this drill press, you would assume that you get a larger chuck size. Well, you would be right! The W1680 features a 5/8-inch chuck size. Now, this is a pretty common chuck size and it is actually a good one for most workshops.
This chuck size has more than enough capacity to fit most of the drill bits that you will need. In particular, it works for most general woodworking needs, still maintaining the overall versatility of this machine.
It goes without saying that safety features are incredibly important. This is why the designers behind the W1680 have put quite a bit of effort into safeguarding the user. To begin with, there is a chuck guard that prevents any debris or moving parts from going anywhere near you.
The spring loaded guard doesn’t hamper the usability of the drill press in any way, though. It can flip out of the way during tool changes. Another benefit is that the machine has been designed so that it can be powered on accidentally. Switching the machine off, however, is a breeze.
How the Drill Can Be Improved
There really is a lot to like about the W1680 drill press. And, if you are looking for a high performing, durable drill press, then you will be quite pleased with what this model has to offer. Nonetheless, you should know that it is a rather basic model.
For instance, while its features are a shade above other models, there is no denying that there are few additional features. One of the most notable absences here would be the lack of laser guidance. There is no denying that this drill press makes it easy enough to be accurate. However, particularly if you are new to woodworking, laser guidance would make your job a great deal easier.
On the other hand, if you are happy with a machine that is basic but works well, then your search stops here. If you are on the lookout for modern features, though, you may need to think about how you can modify this drill press accordingly.
The Final Verdict
So, how does the Shop Fox W1680 measure up? Well, you would be hard-pressed to find a drill press that works better than this one, particularly at this price point. The sheer power, speed, and capabilities of the drill press are quite impressive.
It is a good fit for a wider variety of woodworkers. If you want an intermediate to experienced woodworker who needs a drill press that will handle most of what you throw at it, then you will be pleased by what this machine has to offer you.
At the same time, if you are a beginner, but want a drill press that will grow along with your skills, then this machine is a good investment as well. You could even use the W1680 in a smaller commercial shop and still be impressed by what it has to offer.
So, if your main goals are accuracy, reliability, and durability, then you should look no further than the W1680. It doesn’t matter what kind of project you want to undertake, you can guarantee that it will serve you well.