Radial Drill Press

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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A radial drill press can help you drill holes in large pieces of wood as well as take on specialized or unusual projects. As with all woodworking power tools, the radial drill press has its pros and cons. Before plunking down hundreds of dollars for a press of your own, it's worth weighing the relative merits and demerits of this powerful machine.

The most obvious advantage of a radial drill press is its versatility. Not only can it effortlessly drill holes in even the thickest blocks of lumber, it can bore right through metals, plastics, and other materials with similar ease. Much of this power comes from its variable-speed motor, which can be increased or decreased in accordance with the thickness, pliability, and density of the chosen materials.

Using Your Radial Drill Press

The first thing to consider when using your press is the chuck with which you intend to drill. One of the most important variables with any drill is its length in inches, which refers to the distance between the face of the machine's column and the center of the wood resting in the center of the column. Hence, a five-inch unit allows its user to drill to the center of a 10-inch block.

On the flip side, one of the drawbacks of a drill press (and other complex woodworking equipment) is its cost. A top-notch press can easily run into the thousands of dollars. Moreover, it can take up a sizable chunk of garage or workshop space. Both of these facts are worth mulling before springing for such a major piece of machinery.


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