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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering replacing my ancient little Craftsman benchtop drill press. It serves me well for about 75% of what I do, but suffers from a) a very short spindle travel (under 2") and b) very shallow 'swing'. I often find that I need more of both. Power isn't really an issue, nor the number of speeds.

Looking around on the Grizzy site, I see this 'radial' drill press. I'd never heard of the 'radial' type, but I can see where it would give me a lot more flexibility when needed. What are the tradeoffs against a fixed head press???

http://www.grizzly.com/products/5-Speed-Floor-Radial-Drill-Press/G7946

Only thing I don't like about it from the pic, is the small table, but I'd most likely make a drill press table like the one in a recent issue of Shopnotes anyway.
 

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I can't speak to the advantages of redial over fixed, but I've been very happy with the Porter Cable drill press I picked up last summer. I needed to drill a lot of large holes through 4x4s for a project so I needed a lot of spindle travel. It has 4" spindle travel which worked out great for the 4x4s (3.5" thick). It's been great for everything I've used it for since as well. The light and laser cross hairs are nice features. The table is decent and I added a Bessey drill press vice for $20. Gonna build a table for it at some point.

Picked it up at Lowes - http://www.lowes.com/pd_78742-46069-PCB660DP_0__?Ntt=porter+cable+drill+press&UserSearch=porter+cable+drill+press&productId=3162489&rpp=32
 

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The biggest problem with the radial head drill press is the flex it has while drilling. I had the opertuninty to use one before I bought mine and I chose not to buy the radial head press for that reason. The farther out the head is the more flex there is.
 

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I agree with Paarker on this. I want the head to be not more than 10" from the post. I think Lowes sells the PC press that DeanK spoke of. From what I could tell from just looking at the floor model it seems to be a nice press. My own press is a Delta bench top with 4" of quill travel that I mounted on a stand and built a large plywood table for.

As for the small table, drill presses are not really considered to be wood working tools. Yes a lot of us have them and they are an important part of our work flow. Still they have not made it into the woodworking category with the manufacturers.

That means that every one of them has a small table. I think the biggest one I've seen was 12"x12". That's why people either buy one or build one to make the press more useful in our wood shops.
 

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Without a threaded depth stop and quill lock they would be worthless to me. I don't even see those features on the 600 dollar presses but the manufacturer is sure proud of the T-slots that were used some in machine shops 50 years ago. Those people need to get up to speed in the wood working arena.

I'd be looking for a pre owned with those two features. Good used presses are around for under 200 bucks. It may take some time but they are out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like the fixed head is probably the way to go. As long as it has the throw and swing I'm looking for, used is probably fine; not very complex machines. Have to keep an eye out on craigslist.
 

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I have the Delta 18-900L and it is a great DP. Two of the things I require in a DP is long quill travel and slow enough speed control to use big drill pits and work in metal. The Delta has both of those qualities, as well as a great table.
 
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