A radial arm drill press is usually able to pivot its head, not the table, in both directions. Some models out there possess a sliding setting that lets the headstock slide from front to back just like you see in a sliding miter saw. This is often called a “variable swing”. The table of the drill can still pivot in some models but the pivoting head gives it more versatility, especially when you are drilling larger work items.
What can you use a radial drill press for?
This kind of drill press has two major distinguishing features which are the tilting and sliding head which were designed for bigger work items. Larger work objects will require an equally large drill to carry out the job even more so if you need to drill anything at an angle. Simply imagine trying to turn a very big material on your drill table, of course, you will enjoy some serious problems. In this kind of situation, this drill press really works to remedy that.
Radial arm drill presses are really good tools, especially when you compare them to the standard drill press you may be used to and like everything out there, there are merits and demerits these drill presses that you may not really think about or are just not even aware of.
Merits of the radial drill press
One merit of making use of a radial drill press over any other kind is simply that its swing is adjustable. It can slide both back and forth or back to front just to be able to drill larger items.
Another merit of this drill press is that its head is able to tilt in both directions and can even drill holes at a particular angle which is similar to what may happen on your standard drill if you take the risk and endure the stress of angling the table of the drill itself.
Additionally, this drill is better for bigger work items that could hit your drill press if you decide to tilt your table at the angle you are looking for.
Demerits of the radial drill press and solutions to them
One of the main demerits of radial arm drill presses is actually also their strengths – the moving parts. Because this drill press can slide both back and forth and can still tilt its head, they are sometimes less accurate than the other drill presses that have fixed parts. To remedy this, you should make sure that every moving part is at its precise angle before you start drilling, which would remove the possibility of such a thing happening. The extra step is worth it.
Because its moving parts are will likely be made use of most of the time, on a regular basis, it is a good idea to double check for squareness when you set your drill back to zero degrees or ninety degrees. Tighten every necessary part. You also need to ensure that your table is well lined up with your bit so that it will not have any reason to hit the table.
Like many drills, the radial drill press has a hole where your drill bit can actually penetrate right through your table without any need to spoil the table because this drill press can slide back to front as well as its table, in order to properly line it up the ready hole found on your table to the item in your chuck. Balance may become a problem especially when you are making use of benchtop drill presses and the solution to that is securing the base of your press down to the floor or your table top, whichever one you prefer, in order to ensure that it is well balanced whenever its tilt or slide setting is activated.
Since radial arm drill presses can slide from front to back, you have to ensure that you have ample room at the rear of it so that it will not hit anything or even reduce the ability of the drill. Therefore, you need enough space for the radial drill press especially if you plan on drilling large things with it. Let’s check out these drills below.
Best Radial Drill Press Review
1. Grizzly G7946 Floor Drill
This drill has five speeds and can be placed on the floor, unlike the next model which is for your workshop table. It has a variable swing that is up to thirty four inches plus pivoting heads which makes drilling any angle that you want really fast and easy, which is what I like about it. The motor of this drill is 1/2 single-phase with 110 volts. The drill chuck is 1/64-” – ⅝” and the swing is thirty four inches maximum. The total height of this radial drill press is 64-½ inches and the spindle travel is 3-1⁄4 inches. It has a JT-33 spindle taper.
- This drill has five speeds which give you the freedom to pick whichever one that suits your needs and it also has a collar size of 2.160 inches.
- The drill chuck is 1/64 inch -⅝ inch. The swing is 34 inches maximum. The table is an accurately ground cast iron kind.
- The table size is 12-3/16 inch and the table is able to swing 360 degrees. The table tilts ninety degrees both left and right.
- The total weight of this package is 147 pounds.
- The clamp handles have a plastic covering which threatens to remove whenever you want to tighten or just loosen up the different settings.
2. Grizzly G7945 Table Drill
This truly versatile radial drill press has five speeds plus a variable swing which is up to thirty four inches. The pivoting heads can be used for drilling at any angle you require. I found that the motor of this drill is 1/2 single-phase with 110 volts. The spindle travel is 3-¼ inches and the spindle taper is JT-33. The number of speeds is five and the collar size is 2.160 inches. The drill chuck is 1/64 inches – ⅝ inches. It has a cast iron table of size 8-⅝ inches x 9 inches. The table swing is 360 degrees and can tilt up to ninety degrees both left and right. The total weight is 97-Pound.
- This radial drill has five speeds which give you the choice to pick from the one you want.
- It possesses pivoting heads which can be used to drill at any angle you need while working.
- The motor of this drill is a 1/2 horsepower single-phase of 110 volts which is powerful enough to give you the kick you need to complete your projects. The total height is 31-½ inches and the swing is thirty four inches maximum.
- You will need to adjust the rotating head right after you lock it to its channel to make sure that its table is ninety degrees to your bit. You can use a little magnetic square to solve the issue.
3. SHOP FOX W1670 Drill
This drill is undeniably part of the most versatile and efficient drill presses out there that you can include in your workshop. I observed that with the tilting of its head and the tilting of its table also, you are able to drill at any angle that you want.
You can use this drill as a horizontal boring tool. Apart from this, the handy swing lets you bore right to the middle of any work item that is 34 inches wide. With this drill, you get valuable operation anytime you switch it on.
- The motor is ½ horsepower, 110 volts and the total height of this floor model is 64-½ inches.
- The spindle travel is 3-¼ inches, the number of speeds is five and the drill chuck is ⅝ inches.
- The table can tilt ninety degrees both L and R and the head is able to tilt forty-five-degrees L and ninety-degrees right.
- It has a horizontal sliding headstock as well as a universal table tilt feature.
- It can also be used as a horizontal boring machine.
- This drill has a depth stop which allows you to drill many holes consistently at a depth that has been preset.
- After some years of usage, the extended platform may begin to give you some issues.
4. SHOP FOX W1669 Drill
This drill has an accurate ground table made from cast iron that has an adjustable tilt which moves both left and right for ninety degrees. I noticed that the height and angle of the table can be adjusted, which makes it an incredibly versatile drill that is capable of many operations.
It also has safety paddle switch
that gives you a bigger level of safety, even more than some other types out there. The motor is 110 volts and on/off switches. This radial arm drill press also has an oversized paddle plus a lock-out key which can be removed.
- The powerful motor of this drill is ½ horsepower and 110 volts which enables you drill for as long as you desire.
- The total height of this bench model drill is 31-½ inches.
- This number of speeds that this drill has is five and the drill chuck is ⅝ inches.
- With this drill, you do not need to fumble around just to find the off button. All you need to do is just push down the paddle to switch off the power.
- It might be a bit of a pain to assemble it as the instructions are not particularly helpful.
5. Shop Fox W1667 Drill
This special oscillating drill gives you two-machine convenience just in half the actual space which is what I like about it. It gives you unmatched versatility, a wide array of selection of features, value and top notch performance.
- The total height is 23 inches and the spindle travel is 1-⅝ inches.
- The drill chuck is 1/64 inch – ½ inch and the dust port size is two inches.
- It can swing up to 8-½ inches and the oscillating spindle is half an inch.
- It has a two inch dust port and a table that can tilt both left and right.
- If you do not take care of all the surfaces that are unpainted, they can become rusty and corroded.
6. RIKON 30-140 Radial Drill
This radial arm drill press was made with a versatile drilling ability. It grants you the power and capacity that you require to take on projects both large and small. I noticed that it has a ⅜” spindle travel that gives you a big drilling capacity when you are doing tough jobs, while its clutch depth stop allows you to set your drill quickly & easily. It also has an M-T2 spindle taper that makes for fast changes like chuck arbors or end mill bits during operation. It is 37 inches high and weighs 108 pounds. It comes with a 2-year warranty.
- It has a table that rotates plus a stable base. The 7-¾” by 7-¾” table can handle various sizes of materials easily. It can rotate a complete 360 degrees.
- For increased stability, the 13-⅝” by 8-5/16” base can keep it steady during operation.
- It was constructed to be very easy to use and it has big feed handles which enable smooth operation.
- It includes a nice speed selection chart that allows you to match the ideal speed to your project.
- For increased convenience, this drill has a holder for the chuck key.
- If you do not handle it with care, the on/off switch might break after some years of usage.
Radial arm drill presses can be a little different than the standard drills you may be used to, but they are certainly more versatile and can serve your purposes depending on the project you have at hand.