Both the Gunther TBH Pro II and the Hobby Drilling System start with the same German made Proxxon Drill Press. The Hobby Drilling System is simply the standard Proxxon Drill Press, with the Multidrill Startup Kit attached to it (an external attachment.) So, if you do not own a quality drill press and are not doing large volume drilling in small diameter bits, this may be a good option for you.
What sets the Gunther TBH Pro II apart from the Hobby Drilling System is that the mechanics of the water cooled Multidrill Kit are re-engineered inside the head of Proxxon drilling unit. With the Hobby, the Multidrill Kit’s mechanics are external. The modifications of TBH Pro II system result in a shorter distance between the chuck and the end of the drill bit, which increases bit stability and results in less runout, for better precision. Additionally, the water coolant runs through the spindle of the machine which help to cool the spinning components of the press as well as the bit and connections.
The Gunther TBH Pro II system is ideal for small diameter bits because of the minimal vibration and a manual ejector system that allows you to force a clog from a bit. If the drill press you are using creates excessive vibration, it will shorten the life of all bits, regardless of size, and it can easily break the smaller diameter bits. You can try and increase water pressure and use a faster pecking motion, but if you are going to be routinely drilling in small diameters, I do recommend considering an upgrade to the TBH Pro II.
The Proxxon drill has a very powerful 220-240 V-permanent-magnet-motor and a spindle drive via a 3-time band pulley with poly-V-bands. This gives an important advantage of the almost 6-time torque in the lower speed range (for large drilling diameters). It also incorporates a spindle sleeve-feed for delicate work and a practical drill-depth-display, with an adjustable end stop, as well as a precisely located drill spindle.
You can also buy the Multidrill Startup Kit separately and install it on your own drill press. Drilling quality will be dependent on the quality of your press. Of note for both the Hobby and the Multidrill Startup Kit – both have a spring-loaded ejector needle that can clog on smaller diameter bits.
Remember, the Multidrill Startup Kit will only work as well as the machine you put it on. If the drill press is low quality and wobbles, so will the Multidrill. Additionally, the distance away from the bottom of the press will also make a difference.
Speed does matter
Both our TBH Pro II and the Hobby Drilling System operate around 2,400 rpms, and this is a nice speed for drilling gemstones. You can run it slower if needed but there are limits. We tested the Multidrill on a cheaper drill press at 900 rpms and it performed poorly. Our manufacturer does not recommend exceeding 10,000 rpms with any of our products.
Differences with the water supply
All of our drilling systems have the water feed exiting through the center of the core drill bit. However, with our Multidrill Startup Kit and our Hobby System, the water feed enters the spindle through the side while the TBH Pro II has the water feed running down from the top of the press through the cylinder. The water does help cool the drill press cylinder to allow for longer drilling sessions on the TBH Pro II system while only the spindle is cooled in the Multidrill and the Hobby.
In summary, the TBH Pro II is the superior system over the Hobby for high volume, small diameter, professional drilling of gemstones. However, the Multidrill Startup Kit can modify diverse types of equipment, such as a lathe, mill, hand drill, etc. And the Hobby System is the middle ground between the two and is really designed for hobbyist who does not already own a high-quality drill press.
Please feel free to call Kevin for technical support Monday – Friday (520) 360-5364 (Mountain Standard Time).