What are the different types of drilling machines?

The drilling machines are among the most indispensable equipment in engineering. These powerful tools are used to create all kinds of holes in hard surfaces like wood, metals, concrete, and even rocks. They are used in all kinds of industries including manufacturing and construction. They are very common in all kinds of machine shops and are known for high efficiency and easy application. Drilling machines are used to handle all kinds of tasks on different surfaces.

Just like other machines, drilling machines come in different classes. They are built to handle different tasks and their sizes and features differ according to the tasks they are made to handle. According to the type of operation they are supposed to handle, you will find different drilling machines that differ on such features as the amount of feed, depth of cut, spindle speeds, methods of spindle movement and the required accuracy. Here are the specific types of drilling machines you will find on the market and in workshops:

Types of drilling machines

1. Portable Drilling Machines

portable drilling machine

As the name implies, these are drilling machines that are portable. They are mostly small and compact, making it possible to move them easily and use them in different environments for different kinds of tasks. They are mostly versatile drilling machines that can be used for drilling holes on workpieces in any position: this is their major advantage over standard drilling machines. Portable drilling machines generally have compact drilling mechanisms with a universal type of motor. They can accommodate drills from 12mm to 18 mm in diameter. Portable drilling machines are generally operated at higher speed and will get most tasks completed in time. There is a limit to the nature of works they can be used for, however.

2. Sensitive Drilling Machines

sensitive drilling machine

These are special drilling machines that can be used to drill small holes in lighter tasks or workpieces at very high speeds. They usually feature friction drives to give an infinite speed ratio. Though they are not too large, these machines are not handheld. They are usually mounted on workbenches but can also be mounted on the floor by means of bolts and nuts. They are usually hand-fed, which makes it easier for the operator to ‘sense’ the progress of the drill into the workpiece. They can drill small holes of about 0.035 mm and can handle larger holes up to 15.5 mm of diameter.

3. Upright Drilling Machines

column drilling machine

These machines are also called column drilling machines. They are quite similar to the sensitive drilling machines but can handle medium and considerably heavier tasks. They also feature a power feeding mechanism for rotating the drill. They can drill holes of up to 50 mm. There are basically two types of upright drilling machines according to the cross-section of the column: round column section upright machine and box column section upright drilling machines. They are generally efficient and versatile.

4. Radial Drilling Machines

radial drilling machine

These are some of the most popular drilling machines and you will find them in most workshops. They are well-designed to be used for drilling on medium to large and heavy workpieces. The major parts of the machine include the base, column, radial arm, drill head, spindle speed and feed mechanism. The redial arms are supported by columns and can be adjusted vertically to accommodate workpieces of different heights. The arm of a radial drilling machine has the drillhead on it and can be swung around to any position. The drill head can also be made to slide on the redial arm, which is the main reason the machines are called redial drilling machines.

5. Gang Drilling Machines

gang drilling machine

This is a special type of drilling machine that features two or more drill heads mounted on the same table side by side. In most instances, there are 4 or 6 drill heads mounted at the same time. The drillheads usually have separate driving motors and can be run either simultaneously or in a defined sequence. Each of the spindles in this arrangement can be independently set for speed and depth. Gang drilling machines are most useful in instances where a workpiece needs several operations performed. They can be used for such tasks as drilling, counterboring, reaming tapping and more.

6. Multiple Spindle Drilling Machines

multiple spindle drilling machine

These machines are similar to gang drilling machines in terms of design. They also feature multiple spindles and can drill several holes on a workpiece simultaneously. They can be incredibly helpful when there is a need to replicate the same pattern of holes in a number of identical workpieces as they will handle that to perfection. The major reason these machines are so accurate with repeating the same pattern of holes is that all the spindles on a particular machine are driven by the same motor using a set of gears. According to where holes are expected to be drilled on the workpiece, the distance between the spindles can be adjusted. There are drill jigs, also, to guide the drills.

7. Automatic Drilling Machines

automatic drilling machine

As the name implies, these are automated drilling machines that make working on most workpieces easier and faster. They can conveniently perform a series of machining operations at successive units and transfer the work seamlessly to other units automatically. Once the machines are properly set, work can be loaded at the first machine; once the tasks are completed on a particular machine, the work will be automatically moved to another machine where a different operation is performed. While manual handling is not required when automatic drilling machines are working, there is often need for monitoring. They are majorly used for production purposes and are not too common.

8. Deep Hole Drilling Machines

deep hole drilling machine

These are special machines that are needed to drill deep holes on special materials. They are specially designed and normally feature high cutting speed and less feed. Examples of tasks that require the use of deep hole drilling machines include barrels of guns, long spindles, connecting rods, crankshafts, long shafts, and some oil-well drilling equipment. Deep hole drilling machines are of vertical and horizontal types.

Wrapping up

Drilling is one task that requires the use of the right tools. Drilling machines are of different types and picking the right one will help any users accomplish different tasks. We have briefly discussed the different types of drilling machines and hope this piece expands your knowledge of the machines and help you identify the right one to buy for specific tasks.

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