Author: John L. Johnson
Universal Mobile Base Showdown!
Delta Vs HTC
Article by John L. Johnson
Recently I was in the situation where I got to assemble and use the
Delta 50-345 and HTC2000 mobile bases within a few days of each other.
Having not used either of these products in the past, I thought that this
would give me a unique perspective in the comparison of these products. Here's how this came to be...
I bought a new bandsaw from Amazon.com and ordered a HTC2000 mobile base
to put it on. The bandsaw was freight shipped while the mobile base came
via the free UPS service that Amazon offers. I like to call this UPS
Underground because it seems so much slower than UPS ground. Needless to
say, the bandsaw was scheduled to arrive days before the base. Since I
was already taking the day off to receive the bandsaw shipment, I wanted
to assemble it the same day. My plan was to assemble the bandsaw on the
mobile base because I figured it would be a whole lot easier to only have
to lift the closed bandsaw base onto the mobile base as opposed to lifting
the assembled bandsaw. Not having a lot of options in my area, I checked
with Home Depot and Lowes. Lowes carried the Delta mobile base. I had
considered ordering the Delta base originally and had read good reviews of
it. The thing that swayed me to HTC in the first place was that it came as
a complete package. With the Delta, you have to supply the hardwood
for the rails
yourself. I figured I would buy the Delta, use it for the bandsaw and
then use the HTC on my jointer.
Below is my opinion of the two
Per Amazon.com, the Delta sells for $49.99 USD and the HTC sells for
$52.99 USD. A quick glance may lead to the conclusion that the Delta
costs less. While that is true, you have to supply the rails for the
Delta. Even if you have spare stock available, there's still time
involved with milling it to the 1.5" square that Delta requires. Since, at
least to me, time is money; I'm going to give the nod in this category to HTC as I feel it cost me more than three dollars worth of time and
material to cut, glue, and drill the stock for the rails.
Both are quality products. The corner sections of the Delta seemed
beefier but not by much of Breitling. The steel rails of the HTC seemed like they
would have less flex than the hardwood (oak) rails that I used. I'm going
to call this a tie.
I found the Delta easier to assemble. Many reviews of the Delta
"complained" about the building of the rails. As a woodworker, I found it
to be no problem. With the Delta, you measure the base, add an inch both
directions for bolt clearance, and cut. Dry fit the rails into the corner
pieces and lifting bracket and mark the location of the bolt holes. Over
to the drill press and drill them out. Lifting mechanism attaches with one
bolt/nut and a bar with a snap on fitting on each end. Levelers bolt
through the frame. I found the instructions fairly straightforward.
With the HTC, you measure and add the inch for clearance. Since the HTC
rails are pre-drilled at one-inch intervals, you have to decide whether
your 32 1/2" measurement means 32" or 33". Take my word for this, go up
in distance not down. You truly need the full inch minimum for bolt
clearance. You then have to decide which combination of rails to use to
achieve the desired size and bolt them together and then to the corner
brackets. Not exactly brain surgery, but it does
take some time. One thing to keep in mind, is where do the lifting
mechanisms and levelers bolt on. Since they have you build the rails and
base first, I found that I had used holes needed by the lifting mechanisms
and levelers. I probably would not have run into this issue if I had
completely read the instructions to begin with. There are two lifting
mechanisms to assemble, neither are any harder than the Delta. The levelers are essentially the same. I had to read some sections of the HTC
instructions a couple of times to figure out what they were trying to tell
This is highly subjective and irrelevant but I thought the Delta looked
better. I like the contrast between the oak and the black steel.
The Delta uses a single lift mechanism on the center of the rail where as
the HTC uses two cam mechanisms, one at each end of the lifting rail.
In lifting the units for rolling, the Delta easily wins. You just step
down on the lifting level and your ready for action. On the HTC, you have
to move both lifting cams. It's not hard to do, the Delta is just easier.
For lowering, the HTC wins. On the Delta, you just flip the lever up with
your foot. Be sure to apply some counter force to the machine or it will
drop with a thud. Since the HTC mechanism is really two cams, the machine
slowly lowers itself as the cam disengages.
Both bases have a set of fixed wheels at one end. The Delta uses a single
pivoting wheel located in the center of the opposite rail. The HTC uses
two pivoting wheels, one at each corner of the opposite rail. I found the
Delta easier to maneuver and am going to call it the winner in this
Let me start by saying that both these products are good and you can't go
wrong with either. If I were to do it again, all things being equal, I
would go with the Delta. One thing to keep in mind is capacity. The
Delta is rated for 300-lbs. Capacity while the HTC lists capacity as 400
Thanks John for a Great Review!
Pricing on Mobile Bases:
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