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What's the general consensus please?

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Tifa 857224/03/2021 11:39:10
27 forum posts

Background: I've just ordered a Warco 16b mill, my first machine of this type and I already have a fairly large bench mounted pillar drill. Workshop space is really really at a premium, and I need every inch I can get. So I'm thinking of maybe moving the drill on to make space once the mill has arrived, as most drilling operations can be carried out on the mill anyway?

It's a really nice drill with a tilt/rotate table, but there's a bit of me that would like to keep it...but then need that space.....undecided here....

Pros for getting rid: More space? A few sq ft?

Cons: Lose some table to chuck height?

Am I missing anything here please? Or is my reasoning OK?


Oily Rag24/03/2021 11:50:14
480 forum posts
152 photos

This is like that property programme 'Love it or List it' - You can never have enough tools Tifa! Put it under the stairs for the time being.

Jon Lawes24/03/2021 11:52:30
652 forum posts

I have to say my drill hasn't been switched on since I got my mill.

not done it yet24/03/2021 12:05:10
6321 forum posts
20 photos

It might depend on what you mean by ‘most’. 51% or 99%? Not best practice to drill ‘freehand’ on your milling table, so need a vise or decent clamping with a mill.

Nicholas Wheeler 124/03/2021 12:18:04
739 forum posts
51 photos

If you frequently use all your drill's capacity, you'll find the mill a bit small

JA24/03/2021 12:35:00
1222 forum posts
73 photos


I replaced my pillar drill by a milling machine and had the same problem as you, space. I gave the drill away, or sold it for very little money. I have not missed it since it went sixteen years ago.

I never drill "free hand" and have never used the full capacity of the mill for drilling.


Henry Brown24/03/2021 12:52:13
482 forum posts
106 photos

I installed my mill about 18 months ago, I use my small bench top drill once a month if that. I could get rid of it but as I have the space on the end of the bench it can stay for the time being.

Put it to one side, if you don't miss it move it on, if you decide you do miss it and its too big move it on and get a smaller one!

Of course if its dangerous because it clutters your work area then there is only one answer...

Edited By Henry Brown on 24/03/2021 12:56:07

Dave S24/03/2021 12:54:05
223 forum posts
47 photos

I haven’t had a pillar drill since I bought my mill about 15 years ago.

I would get rid of you have no space.


IanT24/03/2021 12:57:54
1895 forum posts
184 photos

I think (as always) it depends on the work you expect to do Tifa.

I don't have vertical 'drilling' spindles on my mills (although they do have vertical heads) but if I only had a vertical mill for drilling, I might find it limited in space below the spindle (with chuck, drill bit & vice fitted) and not enough 'stroke' (only about 2"?) to cover all my needs.

My large Warco drill (benchtop 12 speed) is used for many things - including pre-drilling 4" fence-post bolting holes yesterday (it is used for both metal & wood working) and I have several smaller drills that get used regularly for various specific things too. I guess I could manage with just one tool (if I really needed to) but then I wouldn't have the convenience of choice.

So I'd go with the suggestion of storing the drill somewhere else and seeing if you miss it. If you've not touched it in twelve months time - then you probably don't need it - but if you have, then you may have found that your mill is not a 'solve-all' for your kind work.



Tifa 857224/03/2021 13:05:40
27 forum posts

Thank you all for your input. They are very much appreciated!

I'm coming to the conclusion, the drills time is limited.

Thanks again.

Martin Kyte24/03/2021 13:37:06
2558 forum posts
45 photos

At work we have replaced the pillar drill with a seig mill. For drilling smallish holes freehand we have a large rectangular block of steel with a hole through the middle of the face which clamps in the milling vice to give a reasonable sized table for drilling operations. Larger holes are done with the work clamped.

regards Martin

Clive Brown 124/03/2021 14:43:36
706 forum posts
33 photos

I have a Warco 16B, also a Fobco 1/2" drill. I'd be loathe to part with the Fobco but then, I can just fit both in the workshop. It can be much quicker and convenient to carry out a typical drilling job with the drill chuck already in place onthe Fobco. The extra headroom and greater quill feed can be useful. The quill feed on the 16B is fairly short at 50mm, I use it for co-ordinate drilling, but for general use it's the Fobco. Should say that it has a Chinese VFD, so belt changing is (almost) a thing of the past.

old mart24/03/2021 14:55:02
3345 forum posts
208 photos

Selling the drill will free up funds for milling accessories.

Speedy Builder524/03/2021 16:19:07
2407 forum posts
191 photos

I was stuck for space, so pillar drill gone(for 15 years now), Warco Economy mill drill in its place. Can be problematic when you have the mill set up and you need a pilar drill. You do get good at using the lathe for drilling though!

Also, the Mill Drill chuck won't hold small drills or spin fast enough for tiny drills. A short pin vice is useful for some operations. Not often, but miss being able to tilt the pilar drill table for certain drilling ops.

Derek Lane24/03/2021 16:34:27
524 forum posts
96 photos

I am still looking forward to getting a mill but when I do I will still keep and use a pillar drill as I also use wood even though I have a dust extraction system in place

John Baron24/03/2021 16:59:02
487 forum posts
189 photos

Hi Guys,

JMTPW: I have both a mill and two drills ! I must confess that I could not do without either. The 1/2" Fobco is indespensble and the 5 mm high speed drill gets less use, but it can handle jobs that the other machines can't, Like 1 mm or smaller in PCB's.

Dr. MC Black26/03/2021 01:17:40
237 forum posts
1 photos

I sold my Pillar Drill and put the cash towards my Mill. I need the space on my bench.

If I need a drill and I can’t use the Mill, I put a pistol drill into a fairly inexpensive drill stand and clamp that in the bench vice.

I do not regret selling the Drill - not least because it wasn’t very good and it came to me from Freecycle! I now know why the previous owner gave it away!!

derek hall 126/03/2021 07:23:38
168 forum posts

I suppose if you buy a mill/drill machine you can do both!

I have an Emco mill and very rarely use it for actual drilling, I would not want to be without my 40 year old sealey 1/2 inch 5 speed pillar drill.

But horses for courses.

If space is tight then you obviously need to assess what sort of work will you be doing and what machines give you the flexibility to do that.



not done it yet26/03/2021 07:57:47
6321 forum posts
20 photos

I think the general consensus is that you need to make your own decision.

Relying on a ‘consensus’ is flawed, unless asking only those directly involved, when it really comes down to a vote or a veto.

John Hinkley26/03/2021 08:10:16
1184 forum posts
391 photos

I don't have a pillar drill - there simply isn't enough space in my garage/workshop. I find that if Ihave a job which entails drilling and milling, by writing down a work-flow plan, I can usually do all the necessary procedures in one workpiece set-up. All that is required is to change drills for end mills or vice versa. Time consuming, but I'm not earning a living from it - thank goodness, otherwise I'd be starving!

My advice: stop dithering, ditch the drill if space is tihat tight and order the mill.


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