If you’re into woodworking, the time will come (if it hasn’t already) where you need to drill perfectly symmetrical squares and rectangles. Although this can be done with an ordinary router or with an attachment on your drill press, the results are never quite as good as they are with a dedicated mortiser (even when done on the best drill press). The Powermatic 1791310 is designed for the home workshop, yet has the power needed to drill through all types of wood.
Powermatic 1791310 PM701 Highlights
- 3/4 HP, 115-volt motor with up to 1725 RPM
- 1/2″ chuck and in-line depth stop
- 5 1/2″ head stroke capacity
- Handle can be positioned on left or right
What We Liked About The Powermatic 1791310 PM701
- Solid Construction – The Powermatic has sturdy cast iron parts, a sturdy motor and ram, brawny gears and stop collar, and a well-built chuck. Even on first inspection, you can tell this machine is built to last.
- The Extras – This mortiser not only gets the job done, but gets it done with ease and style. It’s equipped with a useful tool caddy, a chisel sharpener, reversible handle, and even an extra long power cord — it seems they thought of everything.
- Fence – The fence is solid metal and easily slides side to side in the built-in guiding slots. Once locked down, it does not budge, which ensures you get a straight cut every time.
- Easy Setup – If you’ve read other drill press reviews then you know assembly of mortises and drill presses can often take hours. However, the Powermatic comes almost completely put together and is ready to use within minutes of opening the box.
- Powerful Motor – The strong 3/4 horsepower motor provides enough power to drill through virtually any wood without hiccups.
- Accessible Chuck – Unlike other mortisers in this price range, the chuck is easy to get to via the one-piece cowl. It opens fully and provides enough room to make any needed adjustments.
Check Out The Powermatic 1791310 PM701
What We Didn’t Like About The Powermatic 1791310 PM701
- Manual Lacks Info – Although the manual has sufficient installation directions, it’s somewhat vague on operating instructions. Especially on what size bits and chisels to use and how to make cuts.
- Handle Rotation – One of the oddest things mentioned in this Powermatic pm701 benchtop mortiser review is the awkward handle rotation. The lowest point of the handle is actually past the plane of the workbench, which means you end up hitting your work table when trying to press the handle all the way down. You can reposition it, but that puts the starting point well behind the machine.
- Table Not Smooth – The table appears as though it is fresh from the mill (no shine and full of swirls). A good coat of oil or wax will make things smoother and prevent rust.
Powermatic 1791310 PM701 Summary
If you love owning quality tools that will help you finish your projects without headaches, then this Powermatic may be the best drill press/mortiser for you. Although you might have to make some minor adjustments to the handle and table, once you’re all setup, this machine does what it’s supposed to do — drill perfect squares and rectangles. If you need to make angled mortise and tenon joints, then you may want to consider something more expensive, but for basic mortises, this machine will get the job done. Definitely something to consider during a drill press sale.