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Radial Arm vs Standard Drill Press

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Forum topic by Don posted 05-27-2016 04:05 PM 1279 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don

551 posts in 2996 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, http://www.donebydon.ca


12 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

9292 posts in 3402 days


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

http://s108.photobucket.com/user/okstatepilot/media/Rockwell%20Delta%2015-120.jpg.html

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

4614 posts in 2247 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

robscastle

4200 posts in 1958 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

Ger21

1074 posts in 2885 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, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4749 posts in 3715 days


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

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

-- bill@magraphics.us

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2499 posts in 1779 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

TheFridge

7730 posts in 1240 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

robscastle

4200 posts in 1958 days


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

Hello Don

Did you buy the Radial Arm Drill?

-- Regards Robert

View Don's profile

Don

551 posts in 2996 days


#9 posted 10-25-2016 08:49 PM

Hey Robert, I didn’t a radial arm drill or any drill yet. Still trying to figure out what I need to buy/upgrade next.

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4300 posts in 2998 days


#10 posted 10-26-2016 06:26 PM

I think a radial drill press would not get a whole lot of use; only the “occasional” hole that has to be precisely perpendicular in a place not reached by a standard drill press.

View ErichK's profile

ErichK

77 posts in 418 days


#11 posted 10-26-2016 06:54 PM



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.

- runswithscissors

I have a similar experience. I also have a Rockwell that I got for $100. It is a fantastic drill press with no flexibility that I can detect, and is very square. I only rarely use the depth change, but it is a 30 second operation. The angling is actually SUPER useful, since you can cut perpendicular holes on non-square stock!

The table is the only real issue I have with it. It only has a clamp (no gear), so raising and lowering it is a pain. Not enough to counter the other advantages however!

I DID make a 1” plywood table-topper for it, so I don’t really have to worry about making sure stuff is setup right.

View Gentile's profile

Gentile

283 posts in 1573 days


#12 posted 10-28-2016 06:29 PM

I inherited one from my late Father. I’ve yet to use it.
He liked it and used it since the 70s.
I’ll keep,it for sentimental reasons.
I have another drill press I use…

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

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