View Full Version : Radial Arm Drills?

05-25-2006, 09:16 PM
I'm looking for oppinions, pro's and cons of a Radial Arm Drill Press against a high end Regular Drill Press...not the style used for wood, but the heavy one for metal ( Single Phase )

Thanks Walt

05-25-2006, 09:46 PM
I assume your looking at a full sized one right?

Well for starters they do allow for a larger/heavier work piece since you move the spindle to the work and not the work to the spindle.

Many have mechanical friction clutches offering both forward and reverse on the spindle,great for tapping,especially pipe threads over 1/2".

And they can be fitted with rotary tables,tilt tables tooling blocks ,purpose built fixtures etc.

You can swing the entire head/arm out of the way to allow loading parts with a hoist or forklift.

So far as regular column flood presses,you have to slide/dog/slide/dog/slide dog for each hole.

Some argue that radial arm drill presses deflect,but so do regular presses so that one is mute.

05-25-2006, 10:01 PM
Hi Walt,

A large radial arm press will have a much larger work envelope than a large drill press.

05-26-2006, 06:15 AM
If you can afford one, go for it. Deflection is negligible even drilling 6" deep holes as long as the feed is right. Go for the mass and never look back.

05-26-2006, 07:05 AM
A friend of mine has one for sale. It's a good heavy duty one made by Bostik. (spelling?) PM me or email me for more info.....

Andy Pullen

05-28-2006, 12:36 PM
A word of caution for those not familiar with working with Radial arm drills. Ther are extremely top heavy, so be careful. Make sure they are bolted to the floor, we had one at work that fell over when it was turned to do a large piece sitting on the floor. (Had recently been moved and not bolted back down.)

I used to use one for drilling water cooling holes through plastic molds, worked great, deflection never seemed to be an issue.


05-28-2006, 06:45 PM
When you say single phase, it makes me suspicious- because no REAL radial drill press was ever made in single phase- and most of them are enormous- the smallest commonly available ones are 2' throat, and weigh about 2500lbs.
Now these are great drills, and far superiour to a standard drill press for many things.

But I think you are actually asking about those little home shop sized radial drill presses, like the old Walker Turners- like this one-

They are great for what they are designed for, which is relatively light duty drilling in big stuff. 1/2" bits, in up to 1/2" or so material.

Smaller and lighter duty are the new imports, like this new Grizzly-

A real radial drill, even a cheapo chinese one like this-
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-JET-RADIAL-DRILL-PRESS_W0QQitemZ7555812967QQcategoryZ12579QQcmdZVie wItem
are an order of magnitude bigger and more expensive.

05-28-2006, 07:39 PM
Enco has a bench Model

looks like a small version of the large ones


05-28-2006, 08:47 PM
For that kind of money, you can get a Rong-Fu square column mill and have an R-8 spindle. Or one of the knee-mills. If you're talking bench-top, I question your need for a radial drill.

05-31-2006, 07:23 PM
Has anyone had a chance to try one of those bench top radial arm drill press like that enco one show in this thread? I have only seen photos of it but it seems to have the correct weight to be good. Price is not too shabby either. I'm sort of running out of room to get an old cow size machine in the shop and I don't realy need one anyway. I would just like to get somthing a little bigger than what I have now (20" import) and an old Delta.

Green Machine
05-31-2006, 09:59 PM
Its way faster to position a radial drill than a mill. Like someone else said, you move the spindle rather than the work. I'll be done countersinking and tapping 100 holes before your done countersinking them in the mill. If you already have a mill of some sort, just use it to spot the holes, then drill, counterbore, countersink, tap or ream previously spotted holes.

05-31-2006, 10:22 PM
Abosolutely go with the radial arm drill press - it looks so much more professional :D