What has happened to “good” tools?

Randy Johnson
I’m currently on the hunt for a new drill press. Current model is an old Craftsman with a hard to adjust for tilt table and a height adjustment that likes to drop all the way if I’m not careful enough with the crank. It also sounds like a logging truck on a bumpy road.
What I have found while researching different makes and models over the last couple of weeks is that no matter what the time honored reputation of any brand might be, buying a new drill press (and probably most other major power tools as well) is a crap shoot. Some machines will be overwhelmingly panned with one and two star ratings. Most get generally favorable customer reviews, but the few bad reviews read like a horror story that would chill Steven King.
Currently I am leaning strongly toward the Jet JDP-17 because of price, features, and that it seems to have the fewest “wish I hadn’t wasted my money” reviews of the presses I’ve considered.
In at least one review of a press that would have normally been on my short list the problem the reviewer had was already known to the customer service people. To me that indicates something that would rate a recall in the auto industry. Apparently in this case the manufacturer just keeps sending them out the door and hoping for the best.

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