Radial Arm vs Standard Drill Press

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Forum topic by Don posted 05-27-2016 04:05 PM 560 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Don's profile


550 posts in 2662 days

05-27-2016 04:05 PM

Hi folks, time has come to replace my woefully under powered drill press and I’m considering going with a radial arm one. Reason is to give extra depth between the bit and upright pole.

Any opinions either for or against?

-- -- Don in Ottawa,

8 replies so far

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

#1 posted 05-27-2016 04:38 PM

this is the only one that has ever tempted me for woodworking.

Never sprung for one. They go for $250 and up used.

It’s an old Walker-Turner design.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3844 posts in 1913 days

#2 posted 05-27-2016 07:39 PM

The design looks better for woodworking applications (to me), but so far everything I’ve read over the years says avoid them, except for the very expensive industrial models. The flex you have in the arm and column seems to be too much for even woodworking.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View robscastle's profile


3314 posts in 1624 days

#3 posted 05-27-2016 08:30 PM

I have one, and I have done an initial purchase review on it Mar 2015 and posted it so have a read and the respective + and – that I found.
Its now 2016 and the drill does not get a lot of use as I still have the Drill stand and battery drills as well.

I used it for a job just recently and found the chuck will not hold drill bits below 2mm.

-- Regards Robert

View Ger21's profile


1047 posts in 2551 days

#4 posted 05-27-2016 08:31 PM

I used to have a Delta radial drill press. Imo, it was just as good as any other bench top drill press, and a lot more flexible. I wish I still had it.

-- Gerry,

View Bill White's profile (online now)

Bill White

4407 posts in 3381 days

#5 posted 05-27-2016 08:49 PM

“Flexible”? Probably a bad choice of words. :)


View runswithscissors's profile


2127 posts in 1445 days

#6 posted 05-28-2016 04:56 AM

I had an old Rockwell bench top model. The main frustration I had with it was there was no geared crank for raising and lowering the table. You had to lift while wiggling it side to side to raise it. Not a fun chore. As for the radial feature, I found it worked well for wood working (in fact, by being able to tilt the head I was able to make raised panels using a rotary plane).

But not good for metal. Too much flex. I am sometimes tempted by Grizzly’s, especially when I see one on CL. But not the bench top model. The column and radial arm are smaller in diameter, therefore less rigid.

There are times when that extra versatility would be handy.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View TheFridge's profile


5676 posts in 906 days

#7 posted 05-28-2016 05:13 AM

I’d hate set up everytime it was moved. I’d think more about work holding than turning the head.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View robscastle's profile


3314 posts in 1624 days

#8 posted 10-20-2016 08:55 AM

Hello Don

Did you buy the Radial Arm Drill?

-- Regards Robert

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