What is drill press swing?

drill-press-swingA drill press makes perfectly straight holes through objects made of different materials. If you plan on starting any new projects with bolts, or screws, you might want to use a drill press to keep your holes running straight. Plus, some of those materials are difficult to get through without the added downward force. You will want all of your pieces to connect properly, and using a drill press is just much more accurate, and powerful, than drilling by hand.

Definition
Drill presses are often marketed by inch measurements, something like 10″. These inch measurements indicate swing size of the drill. Swing, also called throat, is not a particular piece, but it is rather a measurement that allows people to communicate about the range of a drill press.

Measurement
Swing is the distance from the center of the spindle to the support column. The spindle is the part that holds the drill bit, so swing can also be measured using the center of the drill bit. Support column may also be called the pillar, or arm, and it is the tall vertical upright that maintains the head of the drill off the ground. Throat is basically the radius of the circle around the support column. Imagine the drill press rotating around the support arm, the circle it traces has a swing measurement due to the “swinging” action around the arm. Measure from the center of the spindle to the nearest part of the arm, and there is swing.

Usage
The measurement that a drill press is sold by tells how far out it can reach from its support. We know this is swing, but how is it used? Well, if a drill press is said to be 10″ it will drill to the center of a board that is 20″ wide because 10″ of the board will fit underneath the drill press before it is blocked by the support pillar.

Purchasing
It is much easier to drill a smaller object with a larger drill press than it is to drill a large object with a smaller drill press. Remember stores will market a drill press by it’s swing, which is the distance from the spindle to the support column. Some people will say a drill press only has a reach of half of it’s marketed measurement, so a 12″ drill press only has a 6″ reach, but this is not true because drill presses extend out quite far in comparison to their marketed measurements. You will find that the marketed size of a drill press is equal to the swing.


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