Best Mini Milling Machine Reviews

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Long are the days when milling machines were only for large garages and factories. These days mini-mills are perfect for those who want to machine at home, which is why you are here.

With so many mini-mills on the market, how do you know that you are investing your money into the best mini-milling machine?

Everyone’s needs are different; for us, this is our top pick:

Best mini milling machine
Jet JMD-18 350018 230-Volt 1 Phase Milling/Drilling Machine JET JMD-18 Mini Milling Machine
  • Powerful UL listed 2 HP motor
  • Variable speed control: 15 to 3000 RPM
  • Heavy-duty design for longevity
  • Drill press angle vise
  • Large worktable providing ample space
  • 9-1/2 x 32-1/4 inches (LxW)

But the list of best mini-milling machines below contains a variety of different mini-mills, so we have no doubt that you’ll find your best mini-mill.

Over time technology has made those industry mills small enough for the garage or shop owner, giving you the flexibility and versatility of these amazing tools without having to break the bank.

Best Mini Milling Machine Reviews

If you are looking for a compact and sturdy milling machine that isn’t going to break your bank, then the Klutch Mini Milling machine is worth looking at, this is the first in our mini-mill reviews, and for a good reason, it’s a robust and kind of your bank model.

This really good mini mill is suited for light to medium-duty tasks. It provides excellent performance; for a mini milling machine with a 1/2 HP motor, it actually performs like a fairly powerful milling machine.

A small note, you may see this mini milling machine listed as a 3/4 HP machine. That’s not the case; it’s 1/2 HP.

The motor power comes from its 350 wattage, perfect for light to medium-duty machining tasks. Producing between 100 and 2500 RPM spindle speeds. It also has an accurate feed control making this a very special mini mill.

The spindle is heavy-duty, so we’ve no doubt you’ll love its performance, it turns smoothly, and there’s no deflection, giving you a nice clean cut with little effort.

What we found as one of the most notable benefits of this mini milling machine is its versatility. It features variable speeds, easily adjusted with its forward/reverse switch. It also features versatility in its moving parts.

While this doesn’t feature one of those powered assisted tables, it does feature some excellent handwheels for moving not only the worktable along the x and y-axis but also the milling head along the z-axis.

We loved the 360° swivel of the head, as it made the setting of the workpieces a dream.

Unfortunately, this mini-mill machine doesn’t include a stand, though that’s not really a problem, as we found this mill milling machine to be perfectly stable on a flat working surface. This is a fantastic benchtop milling machine.

This Klutch mini milling machine is a great mini mill; if not the best mini mill machine, you won’t regret purchasing it.

Features

  • Variable speed
  • 360° swivel of the head
  • ½ HP motor with 350 watts output
  • Requires 110V power source
  • 1 3/16-inch face mill capacity
  • 5/8-inch end mill capacity
  • ½-inch drilling capacity
  • Sturdy construction
  • Relatively quiet

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  • 1HP, 220v, Brushless DC Motor w/ Step-Up Transformer, 110v Operation
  • Push button motor control for forward, reverse, tapping and off
  • Variable Speed: 100 - 1750 RPM

A mini-mill that can be leveled easily without any fastening down, It’ll never happen! Wait… The Shop Fox M1111 Mini Mill comes with 4 adjustable steel feet to make leveling easy? Wow.

A little over the top? This good milling machine not only has those four feet, but it also features a worktable that can be moved up and down. Though I’m sure you know how hectic that can be, no one really wants to raise or lower their worktable during operation.

Fortunately, Shop Fox thought of that and includes a feature where you can raise and lower the head like a drill press instead of moving the worktable.

A forewarning, raising the head can be a tad bit of a hassle; however, it’s a cinch when it comes to lowering it. Something we managed to do with a single hand.

This is a powerful milling machine coming in at 1HP (horsepower ). Being 1 HP, this is a heavy-duty machine capable of providing speeds that hit a maximum speed of 1750 RPM. It’s also relatively quiet when working at low to medium speed.

This is another machine that only requires 110 volts, so if you are in the US, you can run this at home from your standard wall outlet.

The variable speed settings range from 100 up to 1750 RPM. This gives you the flexibility to work on a wide range of projects.

We were amazed at how much was included in the box. This best small milling machine comes with a 5/8-inch drill chuck and arbor, combo wrenches, hex wrenches, T-nuts, and a spare drive belt.

Precision is easily achieved thanks to its digital readout and digital depth scale.

When it comes to hole threading, that’s made super simple thanks to its quick-reverse tapping feature. Just put the machine into “Tapping mode”, start the tape, and once threading is complete, press a button to reverse the spindle, removing the table from the hole.

Its features like that, the digital readouts, and the bursting box of extras make this one of the most sought-after milling machines. This is why this is considered to be the best mini milling machine. Remember, though, everyone’s preferences are different, and they might not perfectly fit your needs.

Features:

  • Powerful 1 HP brushless motor
  • Variable speed control from 100 up to 1750 RPM
  • X, y, and z-axis handwheels
  • Includes T-nuts, combo wrenches, and an extra drive belt
  • Cast iron construction worktable and cast iron column for strength and durability
  • Emergency stop button – mounted at the front side
  • Digital controls

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Jet JMD-18 350018 230-Volt 1 Phase Milling/Drilling Machine
 
  • Hinged belt cover allows faster speed changing
  • 9 1/2 by 31 3/4 inch worktable
  • 2 hp, 1 phase, 230 volt only motor

If you want some of that industrial power in your shop or garage workshop, then the JET JMD-18 mini milling machine might be just what you are looking for. For us this is the best mini milling machine, this is the one we’d put in our shop.

If you thought the last milling machine was impressive with its 1 HP motor, get ready to be blown away, the Jet JMD-18 comes with a UL-listed powerful 2 HP motor. This means that the motor is strong enough to give you spindle speeds reading up to 3000 RPM.

This is powerful enough for you to handle any heavy-duty machining task you could throw at it. If you need a mini milling machine for your shop business or professional use, this is the one to purchase.

It has variable speed settings which allow you to set speeds as low as 15 RPM! All the way up to 3000 RPM. This is handled through 12-speed settings, which suit different needs. We would love to see push-button speed control, but these mini-mills just don’t warrant it..yet.

If you need to tackle large-scale projects, you need a huge work table as space and flexibility are crucial. The JET JMD-18 mini mill has everything you need to make that happen with its 9-1/2 x 32-1/4 inch table (L x W). It also features an attached lamp to ensure perfect visibility when working.

This features a hinged belt cover, so switching speeds is quick and easy with this mini milling machine. I’m going to say it for those looking for a forever purchase or a professional outfit looking for top-quality tools. This is the best mini milling machine for you.

Strength and durability are important features, so it should come as no surprise that this has a one-piece cast iron column. Its cast-iron construction ensures strong and sturdy support.

The depth gauge and quick stop knob ensure consistency, alongside the fine feed head control.

You may have noticed that we haven’t listed any downsides. Well, that’s because we think this is the best mini milling machine you can invest in. It’s a milling machine designed for performance and longevity and for small and large-scale projects.

For us, this is the best mini milling machine for the money.

Features:

  • Large worktable providing ample space
  • Work lamp
  • Powerful UL listed 2 HP motor
  • Variable speed control: 15 to 3000 RPM
  • Fast speed changing with the hinged belt cover
  • Heavy-duty design for longevity
  • Quick-stop knob
  • Drill press angle vise
  • The best mini mill for most people

View the price on Amazon

If you are a hobbyist or a DIYer that needs a good mini mill for home or garage small machining tasks, then this mini mill machine from Erie tools might be just what you are looking for.

Straight out of the bat, this is right up there as one of the most versatile mini-mills you’ll find. This has been designed to give you a wide range of machining needs, such as deep milling, face milling, and even drilling. For the hobbyist, this is the best mini mill.

You can use it to cut flat-bottomed cavities and cut flat surfaces into your workpieces. It’s also capable of machining gear teeth, threads and can be used to cut deep slots.

This Erie tools best mini milling machine is a tool that just keeps on giving.

This is an easy-to-use milling machine featuring a forward/reverse switch, which can increase the torque to match the needs of the task.

Precision comes easy with the Erie tools mini mill. It includes three handwheels.

One wheel is for your longitudinal feed; this moves the head up and down. The other two wheels control the moving of the clamp along the x and y-axis.

These wheels are so easy to use that machining with your cutting tool will be a cinch.

One of our favorite features is its depth stop. This ensures that the drilling of holes goes exactly to the depth you want and no further.

Now to a negative, this mini milling machine has a power output that is only 150 watts, this isn’t a tool for heavy-duty tasks, but this is meant for DIYers and hobbyists, so purchase wisely, as you may quickly overcome this milling machine with your needs if you aren’t a hobbyist.

This is a good mini-mill with so much in the box; we were surprised by how much this milling machine included. It comes with T-Slot nuts, a drawbar, a spindle locking pin, a few hex wrenches, an oil can, and some other items that are ideal for those first starting out.

Features:

  • Face mill capacity: 5/8 inches
  • End mill capacity: 3/8 inches
  • Forward/reverse switch
  • Variable speed control
  • Adjustable depth stop
  • Rubberized chip guards
  • Handwheels for the x, y, and z axes
  • The best mini milling machine for hobbyists and students

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This is a nice cheap milling machine. The Sunwin Mini milling machine sits around $200; this price can vary but what we’re highlighting here is that this is one of the cheapest electric mills in the market.

It’s a milling machine that only weighs 6.2 pounds. If you want a portable mill that’s easily transportable, this is the one to buy.

This mini mill comes with a classic-style motor; thanks to that motor, this mini mill can rotate with speeds up to 2000 rpm. Pair that with some good cutting tools, and you’ll cut through soft metal and wood efficiently.

Safety is at the core of importance when you purchase a mini-mill, and the Sunwin mini mill is built to the highest safety standards.

It has both the CE and UL certifications to prove it.

This is a hobbyist machine, so you shouldn’t expect this to be like the best mini mill, but it surprised us. Not only was this mini mill able to handle soft metals, but also small bits of steel.

The worktable and head move thanks to the three-hand wheels easily.

Now it’s small and very lightweight, so there are vibrations from the motor, but we aren’t complaining for the price.

A concern with this mini mill is that the worktable isn’t big enough for large projects; instead, you are limited to no more than 9 by 7 inches.

That said, this is one of these mini milling machines that’s a no-fuss model; it’s designed for students, hobbyists, and DIYers.

This isn’t a mini mill for professionals, but it’s a fantastic choice for beginners. It’s a gateway entry.

Features:

  • 3 handwheels for moving the head and the worktable
  • 2000 RPM maximum spindle speed
  • UL and CE safety certified
  • Strong enough to cut soft metal and wood
  • Incredibly inexpensive

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  • Motor power: 550W; Spindle taper: MT3; Spindle speed: 20 - 2500rpm
  • Working table size: 460 x 112mm/18.11" x4 .41"; Spindle rotary angle: -45°~+45°
  • The machine also incorporates a tilting column which allows drilling/milling of workpiece at ±90° from vertical. It is supplied with 13mm chuck accessory kit for adjusting and setting.

This vertical milling machine can hit an RPM of 2500; it features a variable speed setting and runs at a wattage of 550. The Mophorn Mini milling machine is a fantastic small mill for professional and business use.

So why is this mini mill on this list? Well, first of all, its strength is incredible thanks to its robust construction. This isn’t made from cast iron, it’s aluminum construction, but it’s still strong and will happily work on hard metals without the worry of breaking the milling machine itself.

With a simple gear drive, you can set your desired speeds from 20 all the way up to 2500 RPM.

Ease of use is one of the main reasons this mini mill made it onto this list. You can switch the head vertically to an angle of 90°. This is a very helpful feature for setting or removing your workpiece.

You can rotate the spindle to an angle of 45°. This gives you some incredible flexibility to work on the various surfaces of the material you are working on. This is without having to move the worktable too often.

The head travels along the x, y, and z-axis and can move 11.81, 5.51, and 8.66 inches across the planes.

This gives you a wide range of free movement, which for us, makes operating this machine a piece of cake.

A nice feature of this machine is its digital readout display. This makes achieving precise cuts an easy task.

While we don’t count this as the best mini mill for all purposes, if you are, it is ideal for those doing sample processing, modeling, and part processing, among other related tasks.

The Mophorn Mini Milling Machines versatility is astounding. It’s designed to handle many tasks, including threading, drill press drilling, and much more.

Features:

  • Digital readout screen
  • Adjustable stops on the worktable
  • Nice travel along the x, y, and z axes
  • Comes with a toolkit and a manual
  • Compliant with EU safety standards, it’s packed with safety features
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Emergency stop (safety shut off)
  • Drill Press Drilling, face and end milling
  • Easy to fit the cutting tool

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  • R-8 SPINDLE TAPER
  • FAST BELT ADJUSTMENTS: Belt cover with quick slide latch allows for easy spindle speed changes.
  • UL-LISTED 1-HP MOTOR

If you are looking for the best mini mill with a large working surface, then the JET 350017/JMD-15 might be the milling machine for you. This has a worktable with space measuring 23 by 7.5 inches that’s large enough to work with some decent-sized materials.

With a workspace that size, you can expect this mini mill machine to have some useful features, and you know what, this mini mill is packed with them. This is a perfect model for small shops looking for a professional and business-use mini mill.

This model has a one-piece cast iron column, so without surprise, the sturdiness is one of the standouts of owning this model. Its construction is means you can rely on it to deal with heavy and hard materials.

The motor isn’t the most powerful on this list, but still, this is a powerful milling machine producing 1 HP, which is more than enough for most heavy-duty projects. You can switch through 12 selectable speeds thanks to its variable speed adjustment. The motor speed can reach up to 2580 RPM.

We loved the ease of changing the drive speed; while this isn’t a variable speed motor, it does have a quick slide latch which makes changing the belt speeds quick, avoiding losing time when you need to switch the motor speed.

Setting and removing the materials from the worktable is also a simple task, thanks to its head’s 360° swivel. Its worktable is large enough to handle decent-sized items.

When lateral forces are exerted against the cutting rotating shaft of some mini-mills, the cutting tool can get accidentally disconnected from the spindle. If this happens, your workpiece could be ruined, or worse, you could be injured, but thanks to the locking collet on this mini mill, that’s something you don’t have to worry about.

Did you think we would put a mill that drops its bits on this list of the best mini mill? Of course not.

Thie whole milling machine goes through rigorous quality testing exercises to ensure it’s completely safe, which is why this comes with the UL certification.

Features:

  • Cast aluminum column
  • Large worktable
  • Quick-stop knob (safety shut off)
  • Fast spindle speed changes with the fast-slide latch
  • 360° head swivel
  • large handwheels
  • UL listed for safety
  • Includes a work lamp

View the price on Amazon

Proxxon 34108 Micro Mill FF 230
 
  • Quiet, precise and vibration-free for fatigue free use
  • Low weight and slim design, without ever compromising performance
  • High quality precision tools

Looking for the best mini milling machine that’s a small-sized mill that can also work as a drill stand. Then the Proxxon Micro mill FF 230 might be the perfect mill for you.

One of the biggest pluses with this machine is that it runs incredibly smoothly, the noise generated is minimal, it’s clear that this isn’t a low-quality model, there are no annoying squeaky sounds.

The motor is robust and uses a poly v drive system; the motor speed that this mini mill can achieve is rather good, reaching speeds up to 2500 RPM, though there are only 6 selectable speeds.

This mini milling machine is up there on the list of the best mini-mill, and the reason is its table size of 10 5/8 by 3 5/32 inches. This means you can work on small projects with no issues at all. You have two handwheels for adjusting the worktable quickly and conveniently.

The handwheels are comfortable to grip and use, a weird call out, but they were that good to use.

When milling, you can use the fine feed to adjust the height to the levels you require.

This mini milling machine comes with three collets varying in size. These are so useful to prevent your cutting tools from accidentally falling out of the spindle.

The only issue we faced was the instructions; they were very unhelpful. But heading over to YouTube was the answer to most of our questions.

Features:

  • Easy-to-operate handwheels
  • Moves along the x, y, and z axes
  • 6 different speeds
  • Powerful motor
  • Speeds of up to 2500 RPM
  • Smooth running with minimal noise

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  • Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive separately
  • Motor: 0.2 HP, 2A, 110 Volt, single-phase
  • Drilling capacity: 1/4-Inch

If you aren’t wishing to break the bank but still want to pick up a nice milling machine capable of handling light to medium duty machining tasks, then we suggest that perfects the best mini mill for you is the Shop Fox M1036 Micro Mill.

With this mini mill, you get all the features of a premium mini mill, such as a digital readout, without paying that premium price.

This mill is built with solid construction to provide you with trouble-free use for many years. Its safety features ensure that the operation is safe and reliable.

Now the motor isn’t the most powerful, coming in at 0.2 HP, but the motor speed, while being variable speeds, can reach an insane 3600 RPM maximum speed; yeah, that wasn’t a typo.

The way the milling machine works is by having two speeds settings. It has a low-speed setting that goes from 0 to 500 RPM and a high-speed setting taking the milling machine from 500 to 3600 RPM.

The worktable measures 8 by 3.5 inches. That’s not suitable for large projects, but for small ones, it’s perfect.

The digital readout can measure depth accurately and ensure boreholes are precisely cut.

The variable speed control and micro-down feed knob further add to the precision.

Vibration can plague machinists, but with this mini-mill, the axis is locked in position to alleviate this issue, reducing vibration to a minimum.

There is one big downside to this milling machine, the motor. If you use it for a long time, it can overheat and die; the only way to fix it is to replace the motor; if you do, then this mini mill will serve you well.

Features:

  • Variable speeds : 0 to 3600 RPM, which is a crazy maximum speed
  • Digital depth readout for precise boring / drill press use
  • Good table travel: 5.5 cross and 2 ¾ vertically
  • 1/4-inch end milling capacity
  • Lightweight yet capable of medium-duty tasks
  • ideal for mini machining tasks

View the price on Amazon

Strength, speed, and versatility are all features you get with the OTMT OT2213 X2 mini mill.

The motor isn’t the conventional motor that you find in the cheaper models. This is a modern 1/2 HP motor capable of delivering spindle speeds up to 2500 RPM.

With 2-speed settings providing high and low RPM levels, you can set the speeds to your current project requirements. The gear drive helps you save time when changing between speeds.

The OTMT mini mill has been designed for three different purposes. Drilling, end milling, and face milling.

The drill, end mill, and face milling capacities are 0.51 inches, 0.62 inches, and 0.81 inches.

Thanks to the easy-to-read dial, achieving consistent and accurate results is a breeze. The dial allows you to fine-tune the milling size to accuracy as accurate as 0.0001 inches. With accuracy that fine, you will achieve the finest of results.

The worktable accepts materials up to 15 by 3.5 inches, that’s not huge but ample for small projects.

Plus, the 8.66 by 3.93-inch travel offers you a lot of flexibility when working on materials, producing the shapes you require with no hassle.

The headstock has a travel of 7.08 inches which is a fairly decent range.

For us, the only negative is the size, it’s small, but for those looking for a small and very portable milling machine, this is the feed motor mini mill machine for you.

Features:

  • Well-explained instructional manual
  • Compact design
  • ½ HP motor and 2500 RPM spindle speed output
  • Variable speed setting
  • Two different feeds for milling and drilling
  • 8.66 by 3.93 inches table travel
  • 110 volts of power usage

View the price on Amazon

What is a Mini Mill Machine?

A mini milling machine is a tool designed to remove matter from solid materials such as wood or metal, though it’s not limited to just those. Typically a mill is a machine that includes a motor that turns a spindle; connected to that spindle is a cutter.

By changing the cutter on the spindle/milling head, you can change the behavior of the machine entirely; a simple cutter change will give you the ability to do:

  • Drilling
  • Milling
  • Threading
  • Carving

Each of these is achieved through the spinning action of the spindle, which turns the cutter.

You move your worktable either across or vertically towards the spindle. By moving the headstock up and down, you accurately control how the material will be cut.

Some mini-mills also have adjustable speed controls, which allow you to regulate the spindle/milling head speed, resulting in a much more precise cut for the material you are working with.

At the end of the day, mills are versatile tools; they will help you with a variety of projects such as:

  • Cutting gears
  • Reshaping wood or metal
  • Producing slots that are millimeter perfect

Things to consider before buying a mini milling machine

When we reviewed mini mills for this article, we went through a decent number of models. A lot didn’t make the cut. We’ll take you through our criteria when looking for only the best small milling machines.

Weight

Ultimately the products on this list have to fall into the category of small milling machines. When we think of small, we think of something that you can use at home or in your home shop, which you can transport with ease.

Home milling machines need to be moveable, right?

Some mini-mills weigh as little as 6 pounds, while others will come in at a few hundred pounds. Believe it or not, both of these are considered small-size.

The weight of the mini milling machine isn’t always determined by the size of the mini-mill. Two mini-mills can be the same size but have entirely different weights. The best mini milling machines will usually house a cast-iron worktop. Cast iron is rather hefty!

A heavier milling machine lasts longer and normally performs better than a lightweight mill. The weight, however, is a big consideration when it comes to considering the best mini-mills; the heavier the milling machine is, the more difficult it is to transport the milling machine. Not only that, but you also have to consider the place you intend to keep the mill. Can it handle the weight of the milling machine, or will the floor be damaged?

If you are looking for a tabletop mill, a light milling machine will most likely work best. However, if your tabletop can take a few hundred pounds (I sat on mine to make sure), you’ll be able to handle one of the heavier milling machines.

Vibration

Vibration in your mini mill is the last thing you want, so it’s best to avoid any mini-mill that vibrates a lot. Why? Well, if you want a precise and clean-cut, vibration will make that a near-impossible task. Uniform cuts and hitting that depth just right are just next to impossible when the milling machine is overcome by its over vibration.

For us, the best mini-mills are those that are vibration-free.

When kind of pushes you towards the heavier milling machine models, as it’s the lightweight ones that tend to vibrate the most. The more intricate projects demand machines with all the features, which are free of vibration.

Spindle Clearance

The spindle clearance refers to the distance between the spindle and the tabletop. This is an important metric as it determines the maximum height of the materials you can machine with your mill; it also determines the size of the cutters and end mills.

Table Size

The bigger your table size, the better; why? Well, it gives you more working space, which is handy for dealing with larger projects.

Fine, you intend only to work on small projects; even so, a bigger table will give you more room for secure clamping of your projects, increasing the accuracy of the milling machines results.

Movement In All 3 Planes

When we mention the 3 planes, we mean the X, Y, and Z axes. For ease of operation, most milling machines will include hand wheels or cracks which allow you to move the worktable across the x and y-axis.

Some of the more advanced models are designed to allow you to move the worktable long the z-axis (vertically, up, and down), but the spindle head should move along the z-axis/vertical axis.

Having this level of control allows for longer single pass cuts, which results in better results and reduced effort.

Motor Power

Different Electric mini-mills will have different motor power needs. Some may need 110v and others 230v; some may even need triple-phase power. When purchasing a mini milling machine, pay close attention to its power needs. Ideally, you’ll want to match its needs to what you can supply.

You can get around electrical issues by getting an electrician to make alterations to your shop’s or garage’s power output. Only use qualified professionals!

Make sure you check the motor as well. The motor delivers the power, so how much can it deliver? The first figure you are looking to work out is the HP (horsepower) rating, usually 0.x, 1,2, and so on. A powerful motor will have a higher rating and produce more grunt.

There’s also the wattage, 150 watts is fine for those light-duty tasks, but if you are working on bigger or harder materials, you’ll want something that puts out at least 500 watts.

Finally, there’s the spindle speed. You’ll typically see a rating from 0 to 2000 RPM (Rotations Per Minute) speed range, or even 0 to 3000 RPM speed range. The higher the spindle speeds the machine can handle, the wider the rating of tasks it can achieve. Also, the higher the speed, the smooth the result.

Types Of Mini Milling Machine

There are a wide variety of milling machines on the market. Each type has its own specifications and uses. To make this section easy to understand, we’ll go over the main types of milling machines.

When looking at a milling machine, they’ll come in two major types. Vertical or horizontal mills.

Milling Machines Are Further Categorized Into These Classes:

  • Knee
  • Bed/Manufacturing
  • Planer
  • Ram

Vertical Milling Machine

A vertical mill has a spindle set at a perpendicular axis to the worktable (a vertical orientation). The vertical orientation type of mill is perfect for making horizontal cuts in materials.

Horizontal Mill Machine

A horizontal mill has its spindle situated so that it’s horizontal to the worktable. This is the perfect mill for making vertical cuts on materials.

Ram-Type Milling Machine

The Ram-type milling machines have a spindle mounted to the top of a column, typically a cast-iron column. The idea behind these mills is that the cutter can be placed either forward or rearward horizontally to the workpiece.

Knee-Type Mill Machine

The knee-type mill has its projection in the middle; it looks like the knee or the mill, hence the name. It also tends to have a worktable that is adjusted vertically, which rests on a saddle that sits on the knee.

Bed type Milling Machine

With most milling machines, the worktable is situated on top, but the worktable is actually situated on the bed when it comes to bed-type mills. This type doesn’t have a knee, and the lack of a knee allows the worktable to move along the vertical plane.

How To Use a Mini Milling Machine?

Before we jump into this section head first, We’d like to point out that there are many different mini mill models out there, and each will come with its own instruction manual with specifics on how to use them.

Your user manual will have all the details you need including pictures and labels of all the parts of your machine; this will be the source of truth on how your machine functions and how to keep it functioning efficiently.

With that in mind, this information is for reference or guidance purposes only, and you should consult your mill’s manual for the best advice on how to use your small mill.

How to Use Mini Mill: A Generalized Approach

When it comes to using a mini-mill, it’s relatively easy compared to the industry-based milling machines. But before you get stuck in, there are some steps to follow regarding setup.

Setting up the machine for use

  • Before you get started on your product, secure your workplace. This means removing any chips or burrs from the machine and its immediate area.
  • Select the right milling cutter, choose a size that works for you, don’t go for a bigger size than necessary.
  • Check all the parts of the machine have the right level of lubrication; you want the parts to move around freely while also maintaining the right level of drag.
  • These days we have machines that have bi-directional settings, so check whether the spindle is set to work in a clockwise or anti-clockwise mode.
  • Always feed your workpiece to the machine in the opposite direction to the rotation of the cutter.
  • Never make changes to the machine while it is operating.
  • Ensure that your workpiece is properly clamped; you don’t want any shaking or vibration in the machine table.
  • Always use the recommended lubrication.

Now that everything is set up and you are ready to go, There are 4-types of milling processes that are generally used.

  • Face milling – This is milling a flat wooden or metal surface that is positioned at a right angle to the cutter.
  • Slab Milling refers to the process where your flat wooden or metal surfaces are perpendicular to the cutter.
  • Angular Milling – When you deal with smooth or flat surfaces that are inclined to the cutting surface, this is called angular milling.
  • Form Milling – This is when you are milling irregular forms or metal or wood.

Here Are 5 Easy Steps to Follow When Using a Milling Machine:

Step 1: Safety First

Protect your eyes. There will be a lot of material shatter, and you don’t want that to land in your eyes. So the best thing you can do is to put on a pair of safety glasses; if you are a day-to-day glasses wearer, get some that sit over or have prescription lenses, because no, your glasses are not good enough.

Protect your hands. We also suggest using gloves to protect your hands; if you are using a metal milling machine, the metal swarf is very hot, so gloves will prevent an accidental burn to your hands.

Also, when using any mini milling machine, keep your attention keen. Hands can and do get milling if caution is not taken.

Never try to tighten up the arbor nuts of your milling machine by turning it on while you hold a wrench.

Keep a smooth, clean, and soft cloth at hand to hold the cutter bits when you want to remove or install them.

Install the cutter last to avoid any costly mishaps.

Keep a brush or rake close at hand so you can quickly and easily clean away any chips from the workstation.

Make sure to use splash guards to avoid splashes of cutting oil. This seems minor but actually is the cause of severe accidents if precautions aren’t taken.

Before using your mini mill, make sure you’ve taken the time to learn how to operate it; this means reading the manual. It’s crucial to know how to use the various controls and the emergency shut-off.

Don’t alter the spindle speed during operation. Disengage the cutter from the workpiece first, then change the speed.

Keeps all parts of your body away from the cutter when it’s in use. Never attempt to touch a turning mill or workpiece during operation.

Use the handwheels to move the headstock or worktable if something needs to be moved.

Before making adjustments or measurements, make sure the machine has been turned off.

Step 2: Gather The Parts

Before you start milling a workpiece. Make sure to have all the tools and supplies you will need close by. This may include wrenches, T-Slots, an oiler, even the manual, should you need to look something up.

I also like to keep all the materials I’ll be machining nearby.

When you have everything laid out, you’ll save time by not looking for parts in the middle of your projects; this will help increase your speed and safety.

Step 3: Put On The Handles

This seems like a silly or even irrelevant step depending on your mill. But make sure the handles are connected and working before milling. You might need some wrenches to get this setup.

You can also connect the end mill or drill to the spindle during this time. Make sure you have the right cutter for the task at hand.

Connecting mills is usually straightforward, but check your manual if you have any issues.

Step 4: Locate The Dial And Switch

The dial might be on the front or on the side. The switch will start and stop the machine.

Before you turn on the switch and get the spindle spinning, turn the dial down to its lowest setting, the dial is used to increase and decrease the spindle’s speed; start low and increase to the speed you need.

Step 5: Set The Vise/Clamp And Have Fun

Once you’ve confirmed all is working properly and you are sure the spindle is spinning correctly, make sure the machine is off and then connect the vise.

There will be spaces set for you to connect fasteners onto your worktable that will hold your vise.

Use the vise to hold your material completely still.

You can now turn on the machine and set the spindle speed.

Using the handwheels, you can move the workpiece and headstock to make the cuts you need.

Frequently Answers Questions

What Is a Milling Machine?

A mill is a machine that has a rotating cutter attached to a spindle. This cutter will make accurate adjustments to the shape of solid pieces such as wood or metal. It can also cut shapes into them. It works by removing material from a workpiece.

What’s The Use of a Mini Mill?

A mini-mill is a small version of what’s known as an industrial mill. It’s a versatile machine used to drill, produce slots, cut gears, boreholes and achieve a wide range of results by removing material from solid items.

How Does a Milling Machine Differ From a Lathe?

Both of these machines process solid materials by cutting. With a mill, the spindle spins to do the cutting with a lathe; the workpiece spins, and the spindle remains static. It has a stationary cutting tool.

What Items Can I Cut With a Mill?

There’s a wide range of materials, but most commonly, machinists will process the following materials with a milling machine:

  • Steel
  • Wood
  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Magnesium
  • Thermoset plastics

What Is An End mill?

The end mill is a specific milling cutter attached to your milling machine’s spindle. End mills come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes for achieving different cutting functions.

Some end mills will have huge teeth to remove material quickly, while others have smaller teeth for those finer finishes or intricate projects.

What Do People Like About Mini Milling Machines?

Mini mills can be used on a wide variety of strong metal surfaces. A great mini mill can be used to form any shape, make screw holes, and even melt heavy metals together!

These days a small mini mill offers a variety of opportunities, such as drilling, screw drilling, reshaping, melting, and more. The advanced mini milling machine offerings just keep getting better; as I said, they can melt heavy metal portions together…

The advantages of owning a mini-mill are many, but some to list are

Helps to reshape – A mini mill allows you to reshape materials, especially those hard materials,

Wrap Up

The ball is now in your court; hopefully, we’ve helped you come to a conclusion, and you are ready to purchase the best benchtop milling machine. I wonder, will you go for the no-fuss, JET JMD-18 mini milling machine, or will you perhaps get the incredibly robust Klutch mini milling machine?

Getting the best mini mill machine needs is a perspective thing; what’s the best for you might not be the best for someone else; sure, there are ones that stand head and shoulders over others; that’s why they are listed in this article. But you need to make sure to marry your requirements with the mill’s specifications to get that perfect partnership.

Last update on 2022-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API