Delta 1/2 HP Benchtop Mortising Machine Review


Throughout my woodworking journey, I’ve consistently been on the lookout for tools that don’t just elevate the caliber of my creations but also provide dependable performance and user-friendly operation. Within the extensive collection of tools that populate my workspace, the Delta 14-651 1/2″ Benchtop Mortising Machine emerges as a remarkable standout, distinguished by its specialized capability to produce mortises with unmatched precision and cleanliness.

My experience with this machine across a variety of projects has been so positively impactful that I’m driven to offer a detailed account of my observations and experiences. It is my hope that by sharing these insights, I can assist my fellow woodworking enthusiasts in navigating the vast market of mortising machines to find one that truly meets their needs for precision, reliability, and ease of use in their woodworking endeavors.

Delta 1/2 HP Benchtop Specifications

  • Brand: Delta
  • Part Number: 14-651
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Maximum Chuck Size: 0.51 Inches
  • Included Components: Mortising machine, fence
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4″L x 18.6″W x 22.4″H
  • Cutting Diameter: 18.6 Inches
  • Item Weight: 77 Pounds

Delta 1/2 HP Benchtop Performance and Precision

The Delta 14-651 Benchtop Mortising Machine stands as a paragon of performance and precision in the realm of woodworking tools, showcasing its excellence through its ability to craft exceptionally accurate mortises.

Person using a Delta 1/2 HP Benchtop Mortising Machine

This precision is largely attributed to its solid build and meticulously engineered design. At the heart of its operation lies a potent 1/2 horsepower (HP) induction motor, which provides the machine with substantial torque, enabling it to effortlessly slice through the toughest of woods without any signs of strain or hesitation.

The foundation of this machine’s unwavering performance is its cast-iron base, which plays a critical role in maintaining operational stability. This base acts as an anchor, firmly holding the machine in place and effectively eliminating any potential for movement that might otherwise lead to inaccuracies in the mortising process.

Hands operating a Delta 1/2 HP Benchtop Mortising Machine

With the capability to produce mortises that are up to 3/8″ in width and 2 3/8″ in depth, the Delta 14-651 meets and exceeds the expectations and needs of the vast majority of woodworkers, offering a range of versatility that is both impressive and indispensable.

This combination of robust construction, powerful motor, and precise engineering ensures that woodworkers can achieve the highest levels of accuracy and quality in their projects, making the Delta 14-651 an essential tool for those seeking to elevate their craft.

Ease of Use and Adjustability

The Delta 14-651 Benchtop Mortising Machine distinguishes itself not only through its superior performance but also through its remarkable ease of use and adjustability, features that cater to woodworkers of all skill levels. Central to its user-friendly design is the sophisticated rack and pinion system, which governs the movement of both the fence and the head.

Delta 1/2 HP Benchtop Mortising Machine with operator

This system is ingeniously crafted to facilitate smooth and precise adjustments, thereby allowing users to position their workpieces with unparalleled accuracy and ease. Further enhancing the machine’s operational control is the inclusion of a gas-filled stabilizer.

This component significantly diminishes the physical effort required to achieve and maintain consistent drilling depths, a boon for projects demanding high precision. The process of setting up the chisel and bit is notably straightforward, complemented by clear and comprehensive instructions that demystify the initial setup for novices.

Person using a Delta 1/2 HP Benchtop Mortising Machine

This thoughtful approach to design ensures that even those new to woodworking can quickly become proficient with the machine, thereby accelerating the start time of projects and boosting overall productivity. Through these features, the Delta 14-651 not only simplifies the woodworking process but also empowers users to execute their projects with confidence and efficiency.

Visual Design and Build Quality

The Delta 14-651 Benchtop Mortising Machine is a testament to exceptional visual design and build quality, reflecting a commitment to durability, functionality, and aesthetic appeal. Its visual design marries form with function, featuring a sleek gray finish that not only gives it a professional look but also highlights its robust build.

Hand adjusting a Delta 1/2 HP Benchtop Mortising Machine

The machine’s body is constructed from high-grade materials, with a cast-iron base and components that ensure stability and longevity. This solid foundation is critical, not just for the machine’s durability, but also for its ability to perform precision work without vibration or movement.

Attention to detail is evident in every aspect of its construction, from the precise engineering of the rack and pinion system to the ergonomic placement of controls, making it both a visually appealing and highly functional addition to any workshop.

Person using a Delta 1/2 HP Benchtop Mortising Machine on a wooden plank

The overall build quality of the Delta 14-651 speaks volumes about Delta’s commitment to manufacturing tools that are not only reliable and efficient but also designed to withstand the rigors of frequent use. This machine is clearly built to meet the high demands of professional woodworkers, offering a blend of aesthetic elegance and unwavering performance that is rare in the woodworking machinery market.

Quantifiable Measurement

The Delta 14-651 Benchtop Mortising Machine boasts several quantifiable measurements that underscore its capabilities and design considerations tailored for precision woodworking:

Person using a Delta 1/2 HP Benchtop Mortising Machine on wood
  1. Motor Power and Performance 10/10: Equipped with a 1/2 horsepower (HP) induction motor, the Delta 14-651 offers substantial power for its size. This motor enables the machine to effortlessly handle various wood types, including harder species, ensuring that users can achieve clean, precise mortises without compromising on speed or efficiency.
  2. Mortising Capacity 9.5/10: The machine is capable of producing mortises up to 3/8″ wide and 2 3/8″ deep. This range accommodates a wide variety of mortising needs, from delicate joinery to more robust applications, providing woodworkers with the flexibility to tackle a diverse array of projects with a single tool.
  3. Physical Dimensions and Weight 9/10: With product dimensions of 22.4″L x 18.6″W x 22.4″H and weighing in at 77 pounds, the Delta 14-651 is designed to be a stable yet relatively compact addition to any workshop. Its size and weight contribute to its stability during operation, minimizing vibration for more accurate work, while still being manageable enough to be positioned as needed within a workspace.

Review of Visual Characteristics

The Delta 14-651 1/2 HP Benchtop Mortising Machine boasts a design that marries functionality with aesthetic appeal, making it a visually impressive addition to any workshop. Its sleek, gray finish exudes professionalism and signifies the machine’s robustness, aligning with Delta’s reputation for producing high-quality, durable tools.

The unit’s compact and efficient design doesn’t just save on workshop space but also features thoughtful details such as a clearly accessible power switch and precisely marked adjustment scales, enhancing its user-friendly nature. The cast-iron base and sturdy construction not only contribute to the machine’s stability and vibration reduction during use but also accentuate its industrial charm.

Overall, the Delta 14-651’s visual characteristics reflect a well-considered balance between aesthetic appeal and practical functionality, appealing to woodworkers who appreciate tools that perform as impressively as they look.

Comparisons and Recommendations

For woodworkers considering their options, the Delta 14-651 is best compared to machines like the Jet JBM-5. While the Jet JBM-5 is a more budget-friendly option and offers good performance, it falls short in terms of the motor power and stability provided by the Delta 14-651. On the other hand, is a closer match in terms of quality and performance but comes at a significantly higher price point.

Jet JBM-5

In deciding which mortising machine is best for your needs, consider the type of projects you undertake. If precision and durability are your top priorities, and you’re willing to invest in a machine that will serve you well for years to come, the Delta 14-651 is an excellent choice. However, for hobbyists or those just starting, the Jet JBM-5 may provide a more cost-effective entry point into the world of mortising.

Table of Comparison vs Competitor

Here’s a comparison table outlining the key features and specifications of the Delta 14-651 1/2 HP Benchtop Mortiser and the JET JBM-5 Benchtop Mortiser:

Features/AspectsDelta 14-651 1/2 HP Benchtop MortiserJET JBM-5 Benchtop Mortiser
Motor Power1/2 HP1/2 HP
Power SourceCorded ElectricCorded Electric
Voltage110 Volts115 Volts
Maximum Chuck Size0.51 Inches0.5 Inches
Included ComponentsMortising machine, fenceMortiser, chuck key, chisels
Product Dimensions (LxWxH)22.4″ x 18.6″ x 22.4″‎14″L x 9.5″W x 30″H
Item Weight77 poundsApproximately 44 pounds
Cutting Diameter18.6 InchesSame as 18.6 Inches
Price Range$499.00 USD$414.40 USD

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Accuracy: The robust build and high-powered motor of the Delta 14-651 ensure it consistently achieves precise mortises, living up to its promise for accuracy.
  • User-Friendly Operation: The machine’s design is intuitive, featuring an easy chisel and bit installation process, making it suitable for users across various experience levels.
  • Longevity: Constructed with a durable cast-iron base and high-quality materials, this tool is built to withstand the rigors of frequent usage without compromise.


  • Cost: With a price that’s higher than many basic models, the Delta 14-651 might be beyond the financial reach of some shoppers.
  • Portability and Space Requirements: At approximately 90 pounds, its heft and substantial size mean it lacks portability and necessitates a specific, allocated area within a workshop for use and storage.

Safety Features Procedures

The Delta 14-651 1/2 HP Benchtop Mortiser incorporates several safety features designed to protect users during operation. Here are six notable safety features of this product:

  1. Safety Switch: The Delta 14-651 is equipped with a safety switch that prevents accidental startup, ensuring the machine can only be operated when intentionally engaged. This feature is crucial for preventing unintended operation that could lead to injuries.
  2. Adjustable Depth Stop: This feature allows users to set a precise depth for mortising, preventing the drill bit from going deeper than intended and ensuring consistent results while also enhancing safety by controlling the tool’s operation within predefined limits.
  3. Chuck Guard: The machine includes a chuck guard that helps protect the user from coming into direct contact with the rotating bit, reducing the risk of accidental cuts or entanglement.
  4. Non-Slip Rubber Feet: The Delta 14-651 has non-slip rubber feet on its base, which enhance stability and reduce vibration during operation. This stability is key to preventing the machine from moving or tipping, which could pose a risk to the user.
  5. Clear Visibility: Designed with clear visibility in mind, users can easily see the work area. This visibility is crucial for safe operation, allowing for precise placement and monitoring of the workpiece and cutting tools.
  6. Tool-Free Adjustments: Many of the adjustments on the Delta 14-651, such as setting the fence and depth stop, do not require tools, minimizing the risk of injuries associated with tool changes and adjustments.

Decision-Making Variables

When considering the Delta 14-651 1/2 HP Benchtop Mortiser for your woodworking shop, several key decision-making variables come into play. Performance and Precision are paramount, with its 1/2 HP motor and robust construction ensuring accurate and clean mortises. User-Friendliness is facilitated by its user-friendly interface and straightforward setup, making it accessible for both beginners and seasoned woodworkers.

Durability is a given, thanks to its cast-iron base and high-quality components designed for longevity. However, Cost and Size/Weight are significant considerations; its higher cost compared to entry-level models and its substantial weight impacting portability and space requirements in the workshop. Lastly, Safety Management, including a safety switch and chuck guard, are crucial for safe operation. Balancing these factors against your specific needs and workshop conditions will guide you in making an informed decision about whether the Delta 14-651 is the right fit for your woodworking projects.

Final Thoughts

After extensive use, I can confidently say the Delta 14-651 1/2″ Benchtop Mortising Machine has been a valuable addition to my workshop. Its ability to deliver precise mortises consistently, coupled with its ease of use and durability, makes it a top contender for serious woodworkers. While the investment may be considerable, the quality of work it enables you to produce justifies the expense, making it my top recommendation for anyone looking to elevate their woodworking projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What motor power does the Delta 14-651 have?
    The Delta 14-651 is equipped with a 1/2 horsepower (HP) induction motor.
  2. Can the Delta 14-651 handle hard woods?
    Yes, the powerful motor and robust construction of the Delta 14-651 enable it to handle hard woods efficiently.
  3. What are the product dimensions of the Delta 14-651?
    The product dimensions are 22.4″L x 18.6″W x 22.4″H.
  4. How heavy is the Delta 14-651, and is it portable?
    The machine weighs approximately 77 pounds. While it’s built to be stable, its weight impacts its portability, requiring a dedicated space in the workshop.
  5. What is the maximum chuck size of the Delta 14-651?
    The maximum chuck size is 0.51 inches.
  6. What voltage does the Delta 14-651 operate on?
    It operates on 110 volts.
  7. What is included with the Delta 14-651?
    Included components are the mortising machine itself and a fence.
  8. What is the warranty description for the Delta 14-651?
    The Delta 14-651 comes with a 5-year warranty.
  9. Is the Delta 14-651 easy to use for beginners?
    Yes, its user-friendly design and clear instructions make it accessible to woodworkers of all skill levels, including beginners.
  10. Can the depth and width of the mortises be adjusted on the Delta 14-651?
    Yes, the Delta 14-651 allows for adjustments in the depth and width of mortises, accommodating a range of mortising needs.

We’re eager to learn from your experiences! If you’ve used the Delta 14-651 1/2 HP Benchtop Mortiser, please share your thoughts and personal stories in the comments section below. Your firsthand insights are invaluable to fellow woodworkers and enthusiasts looking to make informed decisions. Whether it’s about the machine’s performance, ease of use, or any tips you’ve discovered, your contribution could be a great help to the community!

Edward Smith
Edward Smith
Forestry Author

Woodworking is about more than crafting; it's a harmonious connection with nature, mastering tools, and preserving our environment. I'm here to share my knowledge and experiences with you, forging a future where we can embrace wood's beauty and utility while safeguarding our forests' health and diversity.


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