Drill Presses

SKIL 3320-01 Review: Compact 5-Speed Drill Press

SKIL 3320-01 Review

Photo: Skil

What We Like

  • Compact design
  • 5 speeds for versatile cutting
  • Depth adjustment gauge for accurate and repetitive drilling
  • Tilting working surface
  • Laser light alignment

What We Don’t Like

  • Small worktable with no extensions

Bottom Line

The SKIL’s 3320-01 is a compact, versatile drill press that fits neatly in small workshops and is ideal for drilling through wood, metal, and other materials.

Introduction

Drill presses offer a higher level of precision as compared to handheld drills. In addition to high accuracy, SKIL’s 3320-01 has 5-speed settings, which make it versatile enough to drill through different materials such as wood, aluminum, steel, etc.

Despite this, it has a compact design that fits nicely in small workshops. All these features are explained in detail below.

SKIL 3320-01 Review

Skil 3320-01

Photo: Skil

Performance: Versatile Drilling  

Though it lacks a variable speed adjustment mechanism, SKIL’s 3320-01 is not badly off. Instead, it has 5-speed settings within a range of 570-3050 RPM, and these still give you a versatile range of options to cut through wood and different types of metal.

However, changing between these speeds is more of a manual process that requires you to open the pulley compartment and change the belt from one pulley to another.

That said, both the motor and spindle have 5 pulleys each, which graduate in size from the largest to the smallest in a similar sequence.

On the motor side, the largest pulley sits at the top, with the cascade getting smaller down to the bottom. The spindle section is the opposite of this, with the largest pulley at the bottom and the cascade gets narrower upwards.

Therefore, the 5 speeds are achieved in the following manner:

Speed

Belt Position

570 RPM

Lowest pulley on both sides (smallest pulley on the motor side, largest on spindle side)

900 RPM

Second lowest pulley on both sides (second smallest pulley on the motor side, second largest on spindle side)

1390 RPM

Middle pulley on both sides (medium size on both sides)

2050 RPM

Second highest pulley on both sides (second largest pulley on the motor side, second smallest on spindle side)

3050 RPM

Highest pulley on both sides (largest pulley on the motor side, smallest on spindle side)

A belt/pulley speed chart is placed on the underside of the pulley compartment cover to guide you in speed adjustment diagrammatically.

This system acts as a gearbox, in which the engine is a 3.2-Amp motor while the pulleys increase speed while reducing torque or decrease speed while increasing torque. Faster speeds are better for drilling through soft material such as wood while high torque is recommended for metal.

On the spindle end, the spindle has a maximum travel of 2-3/8 inches and there is a depth adjustment gauge that you can use to set to a particular depth. This allows you to make accurate, repetitive drilling actions on different workpieces to produce similar results.

A cross laser light is built in to enhance accuracy and it does so by illuminating the precise hole position on the worktable for perfect alignment.

Other than that, the press has a 7-5/8 x 7-5/8-inch worktable that can be adjusted height-wise via a rack and pinion system to fit workpieces that have different widths. This table also tilts 0-45º to the left and right to allow you to drill angled holes.

Design: Compact Rigid Frame

SKIL’s 3320-01 is equipped with a sturdy column that acts as the backbone to hold all the other components together. The key sections that attach to this column are the base and worktable, and all of them are made using cast iron.

This material is very strong and helps to maintain stability while holding heavy workpieces. Additionally, the base has holes for mounting to a bench or stand using heavy-duty fasteners. As a result, its rigidity is enhanced because mounting prevents it from tipping over.

With all this hardware, the tool still retains a compact design that measures 21.75 x 15.25 x 9.75 inches. This is quite small compared to the performance that it offers (5 speeds), but it does have a relatively small swing of 10 inches.

Setup: Requires Some Patience

Drill presses are usually made up of lots of components and therefore, setting them up is quite a process that requires some patience.

First things first, there are some tools that you need for the assembly process. These include an adjustable wrench, a Philips screwdriver, a hammer, a framing square, and a combination square.

Begin by attaching the column to the base and fit in the required bolts to hold the two pieces firmly together. Next, install the table to the column and make sure the rack and pinion system works after fitting the two pieces together.

After this, mount the drill head to the column. Align it to the direction of the base and table then lock it in place using its two set screws.

Next, mount the feed handles and install the laser batteries then mount the drill press to a bench or stand. Install the chuck, then the belt and after this, its time to make adjustments, which require attention to detail.  

This process involves aligning the belt pulleys, adjusting the speeds, belt tensioning, table adjustment, squaring the table to the drill bit, checking the spindle return spring, and adjusting the laser line.

All these assembly-and-adjustment instructions are explained in detail in the user manual and they contain part diagrams to give you more accurate guidance.  

Operation: Use Just Enough Force and Speed

Using the SKIL 3320-01 is quite easy but there are some guidelines that you should adhere to. First things first, it is recommended that you punch or dent the workpiece at the point of drilling to act as a reference point for directing the drill bit.

Next, with wood, always place a backup material underneath to prevent splintering as the bit protrudes at the lower side. Clamp the workpieces firmly onto the worktable but if they are too small, use a vise to hold them.

There is a safety feature that requires you to enter the safety key into the switch housing before use and this must be done before powering on the motor. After drilling, this key should be removed once you turn off the press for safety purposes because it prevents accidental starts.

When feeding, note that if you use very little force, this will cause the bit to spin at a very high speed and it might cause it to overheat, which might then burn the workpiece.

At the same time, feeding using too much force might stall the motor, break the bit, damage the workpiece, or cause the belt to slip. Therefore, you should feed while applying moderate pressure.

Note: When drilling through metal, always use metal piercing twist drill bits and lubricate the tip to minimize friction, which can cause overheating. With wood, however, use brad point bits. Do not use auger bits because these might damage the workpiece they drill aggressively.

Price: Mid-Range

With a price tag of less than $200, SKIL’s 3320-01 is neither too expensive nor too affordable. This is a fair price considering that it offers 5 different drilling speeds.

That said, the manufacturer does not produce any other drill press apart from this one and therefore, a “sibling” comparison is not possible.

However, considering it is a 10-inch drill press, it can be compared to Wen’s 4210T, which costs just slightly more. Most of the features, such as power and number of speeds, are similar but the 4210T operates at a slightly higher range of 600-3100 RPM.

The unit also has a slightly longer spindle-travel of 2-1/2 inches and adds on a work light for illuminating the working area.

Verdict

A compact, versatile drill press that can cut different materials and fits perfectly in smaller workshops.

With its relatively compact size, SKIL’s 3320-01 is the perfect fit for your small workshop. Despite this, it is a versatile tool because it is equipped with a 5-speed drilling system.

Although this does not give you as much flexibility as compared to a variable speed system, it is still sufficient to be used to cut through different materials such as wood and metal.

Specs

  • Product Name: SKIL 3320-01   
  • Product Brand: SKIL
  • Motor: 3.2-Amp
  • Speed: 570-3050 RPM (5 speeds)
  • Swing: 10 inches
  • Spindle Travel: 2-3/8 inches
  • Chuck Capacity: 1/16-1/2 inches
  • Table Size: 7-5/8 x 7-5/8 inches
  • Table Tilt: 0-45º left and right
  • Product Dimensions: 21.75 x 15.25 x 9.75 inches
  • Weight: 50.8 lbs.
  • Warranty: 3-year limited (with registration)

Key Features

  • 5-speed settings in a range of 570-3050 RPM.
  • Cross laser beam for accurate hole alignment.
  • Heavy-duty cast-iron base and worktable.
  • Tilting worktable (0-45º on either side).
  • Safety bump-off switch.
  • Depth adjustment gauge.
  • Includes 2 AA batteries for the laser and a chuck key.
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