I’ve been thinking about buying a pillar drill for ages, in fact one of the two machines I abortively tried to buy first of all was a Record Power DP58B benchtop pillar drill (the other being a Record Power BS250 benchtop bandsaw).
That time I ended up having a complete rethink and buying a planer thicknesser!
I’ve had a few other demands on my wallet since then (most noticeably a holiday) but as the drill I wanted was out of stock for a month or two it was easy to resist temptation … only it’s now back in stock and I’ve just ordered one! 🙂
My chosen model this time around is the Axminster AWBRD550 benchtop radial drill.
I considered the following alternatives:
All the options have a 550W motor (I believe they’re all induction motors), 16mm chuck and 80mm chuck travel.
Flexibility in the minimum space is the name of the game in my single garage workshop, so I had already decided against floor standing models.
I then decided that although a radial drill will take up slightly more space (depth) than a bench drill, the increased flexibility (particularly throat depth) could prove useful one day.
I wasn’t particularly bothered by table to chuck or base to chuck measurements, as one can generally reverse the base and hang it over the side of a bench if greater capacity is needed.
The price was a major factor – as with most Axminster machinery, it’s virtually impossible to get any better for the money (the only radial equivalent above, the Scheppach, is almost £100 more expensive for example).
The hobby rated AWBRD550 is the cheapest of my 4 shortlisted options – even slightly cheaper than the Axminster WD16B (although this is light trade rated).
As it only has 5 speeds (which I believe will mean no 3rd pulley, which is apparently a major cause of noise in pillar drills) and an induction motor I’m hopeful it will run nice and quietly (the reviews seem to indicate this too).
I now plan to save up for a bandsaw – I think this will be my first non-bench-mounted machine, as I’m coming round to Olly’s way of thinking (“buy one or two sizes bigger than you think you’ll need”).
As my planer thicknesser can (on paper) handle 8″ timber, I think it’s sensible to use this as a standard for all my machinery and will therefore be looking for an 8″ depth of cut