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If you need to drill perfectly perpendicular holes you can buy a bench-top drill press for about $50, but they’re tough to carry around. If you need portability as well as perpendicularity, you can try these tiny drill guides for a 90-degree only solution — but sometimes you need something portable and full-featured. For about $35, this drill guide will allow you to drill holes at precise angles, without having to lug a really big tool. Plus, it’ll even work for drilling through steel, so you don’t have to shell out for a magnetic drill.

AccuDrill Drill Guide [General Tools]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] [What’s This?]

 

14 Responses to AccuDrill Drill Guide

  1. Gene says:

    The AccuDrill guide didn’t get very good ratings on Amazon. Someone suggested the all(or mostly all) metal one from Sears that is $8 cheaper:

    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00967173000P

    The Sears one does not come with drill bits, but it looks a bit sturdier.

  2. Blore40 says:

    Agree with Gene.

    I bought this one at Woodcraft. It is wobbly and gets top heavy with my corded hammer drill.

  3. fred says:

    The old Sears Portalign (made in San Diego – by a company now long out of business) – was an all metal (diecast base and slide – plus steel rods) that could only drill at 90 degrees. You also had to supply your own chuck – or it was set up to accept a drill motor sans-chuck as the driver on top and the chuck remounted on the bottom.

  4. blurdo says:

    The PortAlign was a great tool. My Dad still has one permanently mounted on a drill in his shop.

    The best version of this these days is the Wolfcraft. It’s all metal, sturdy and has a stop. I use mine all the time.

    http://www.wolfcraft.com/product_detail.cfm?id=80

  5. eschoendorff says:

    I saw one of those by General. Glad I passed it up…

  6. J.R. Bluett says:

    Awesome! Thanks for the Wolcraft link.

  7. Teacher says:

    That wolfcraft looks just like the one from Sears.

  8. Joseph says:

    Well, I’ll be damned. I have one of these Portalign Drill Guides and have used it for some 25 or 26 years. I bought it when I was a weekend warrior making some bookcases with a Skil saw. I couldn’t afford a drill at the time, so I purchased the Portalign. I have long since moved on to a complete shop with table saw, upright drill and so forth, but I still use that drill guide from time to time. No matter how big your upright drill is, you cannot drill a hole in the middle of a large surface, but it’s a piece of cake with a drill guide.
    From time to time I look for a better drill guide. I even went so far as to purchase one, but I used it a time or two and then went back to the Portalign (I don’t even remember what the other kind was, I thought that little of it). Just now I have to drill some holes with a 13/16 spade bit and thought it would be nice to have a larger drill than I can use with the Portalign, so I went in search of a drill guide again and ended up here to read about a drill guide that does not get good reviews on Amazon.
    To tell you the truth, I’m just going to keep what I have. I have long since hooked it up to a dedicated drill so I wouldn’t have to keep on going through that rather tedious process of removing the chuck and so forth to hook it up to the drill guide when I wanted to use it. You absolutely get better results with an upright drill, but this little guy does a wonderful job whenever I need to use it, and after all these years every part of it is still in excellent condition. Hey, whatever happened to that kind of workmanship? And why in the world did these people go out of business? They had a better mousetrap!

  9. DW says:

    I have to agree with Joseph; the Portalign is the best tool for the jobs it’s best on, i.e., field drilling or any kind of portable drilling where you need an accurate aligned hole at a measured depth and it’s impractical to use a bench drill press.
    The Portalign gets high jobsite marks.

  10. Woodwise says:

    I have had a Portalign for decades. Works great, though I think that there is too much wobble in the bearing. BTW, the Portalign //can// drill at angles (at least mine can). I loosen thumb screws at the base of the Portalign and adjust the steel rods. By setting the rods at either the same length or at different lengths, I can get some complex angles. I use it with a dedicated drill, too. Can’t imagine why those folks went out of business, or why someone isn’t making a decent drill guide today. I was cooking along this weekend on a project, drilling many perpendicular holes on a variety of surfaces. I, too, thought to “upgrade” to a newer model, as the Portalign is several decades old, but have been discouraged by all the negative reviews of the various models.

    I think these blog entries should be dated. It would be easier to put the review in perspective with newer product entries to the market.

    “And why in the world did these people go out of business? They had a better mousetrap!” I’ve noticed a trend in many areas where “progress,” even when it is not needed, takes precedence over quality and original design. For example, I would like to have seen the Portalign with ball bearings and a tighter drill shaft, but that’s about it. Why /did/ they go out of business, as have so many other companies with good ideas?

  11. Jack Overman says:

    I too have a portalign drill guide that I bought about 55 years ago and now, with a shop full of big power tools I find that I need the portalign drill guide again to finish building a fancy work bench for my son’s Christmas present but, two problems – the chuck is only a 1/4 inch and I need 3/8s. The second problem is that there is no shaft at the top of the guide that connects with the chuck and it has been so long since I used the drill guide that I have forgotten how to make the connection between the drill guide chuck and the hand drill. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Jack Overman

    • bentsnake says:

      Coming in pretty late, but I thought I’d fill this in for the googlers.

      The procedure is to unscrew the chuck from the portable drill, and then screw it onto the Portalign shaft.

      Then the now-bare threads on the portable drill screw into the other end of the Portalign shaft.

      Both of these are normal right-hand threads, no lefty tricks.

      The way to get the chuck off of the drill is to insert the chuck key, hold the drill so the inserted chuck key is horizontal, and whack the chuck key with a hammer. No really, that’s how you do it.

      To whack in the correct direction, hold the drill pointing away from you (as if you were drilling a hole), and have the chuck key pointing to your right. This is the unscrew setup.

      Don’t be a sissy with the hammer, go ahead and give the chuck key a hit.

      This is a case where fooling around with light taps can damage something, but a solid whack is the safe course because the chuck breaking loose absorbs the force of the hammer blow.

      WAIT! If you’re using a reversible drill, then there’s a retainer screw inside the chuck, at the bottom center. This must be removed, and it might be pretty tight, so use a screwdriver (or allen wrench) that fits. Once again there are normal right-hand threads.

      A non-reversible drill has no retaining screw…but it can’t hurt to check inside the chuck with a flashlight. Check carefully and be sure.

      Don’t forget to oil the shaft of the portalign sometimes. Personally, I’m a great oiler.

      Hope this might be of some help.

      -a-

  12. Daniel Marsh says:

    Daniel Marsh
    6539 Linville
    Brighton, MI 48116

    Dear Sir/Ms: I am the care giver for Senior Family Members. I Had To Retire Early From Teaching Without A Pension Due To Cancer And a Degenerative Bone Disease. In my spare time, I Volunteer To Help In My Neighborhood and build things for Seniors in my Neighborhood. People often drop in to see what tools I am using and then go out and purchase those same tools for themselves. Most of my money goes to Doctor Bills. Are there any Tools You Can Send Me Would Be Helpful — Portable tools Desired. I can use anything to Make My Own Tools from Toggle Clamps, Plastic Sheets and Simple House Electric Motors. Good Used Tools Are Great Too — Please check with anyone, who are known for helping others. Some items I needs are: a Drill Press, a Laptop Computer and Windows XP or & 7 Retail 32 bit with license on CD

    Thank You,

    Daniel Marsh
    danielmarshl@gmail.com

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