Best Milling Machine

Buyers Guide, Tool

best milling machine
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Table of Contents

Best Milling Machine: Well, in this post, I’ll walk you through some of the best milling machines available on the market, right now.

Moreover, I’ll also throw light on important buying parameters in the “milling drill machine reviews” section to help you make an informed buying decision.

Lastly, I would respond to the queries related to the milling machine, benchtop milling machine, manual milling machine, mini milling machine, etc in the “FAQ” section in order to help you find a “value for money” product.

But before, we start reviewing the milling machines, allow me to ask you a couple of questions.

What is your favorite power tool brand?

How much are you willing to spend on a milling machine?

Do you do product research before buying one?

What Is The Best Home Milling Machine?

best benchtop mini milling machine

Editor’s Recommendation

(Check the Current Price On Amazon)

Best Mill Drill Machine Reviews

After doing hours of evaluation by my woodworking team, we’ve come up with some of the best milling machines for you.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin…

JET JMD-18 350018 | Best Milling Machine For Home Shop

Speed is the game, right?

Well, with the high-quality hinged belt cover and superior worktable, the JET JMD-18 is meant to be not only precise but efficient also.

Irrespective of the materials on which you’re working, this little beast is bound to deliver high performance.

JET JMD-18 350018 230-Volt 1 Phase Milling/Drilling Machine

To be honest, I’ve personally used the 350018 for aluminum, wood, and ceramic tiles so I can affirm that the JMD-18 justifies its price very well.

With a drilling capacity of 1-1/4 inches and a 15-7/8-inch swing, the high-performance tool is meant to suffice almost all your drilling needs.

Are you aware that the little beast is powered by a UL-listed motor?

On the milling front, it comprises a 3-inch face mill capacity, a 3/4-inch end mill capacity, and a host of innovative features such as an easy-to-read internal depth gauge and a work lamp.

Inculcation of extra size table and work lamp is a great boost for those who work frequently on large projects and have to face dim light conditions.

Well, the JMD-18 comprises a 2 HP motor that successfully generates sufficient power to give the tool a range of 12 spindle speeds which fall in the range of 15 and 3, 000 RPM.

Wait, you don’t have to worry about changing speeds, it’s really hassle-free and fast.

Needless to say, the heavy-duty, tapered roller bearings and one-piece cast iron column offer support and additional stability to the JMD-18.

Trust me, even though you’re a newbie, you don’t have to worry at all about precision as the machine comes with features that not only enhance flexibility but precision as well.

To name a few, positive quick-stop knob, easy-to-read internal depth, a 360-degree swiveling head, etc.

Lastly, the 739 pounds JET 350018 is backed by a two-year warranty.


  • 2 hp, 1 phase, 230-volt motor
  • 9 1/2 by 31 3/4 inch worktable
  • 739 pounds weight
  • 42.5 x 39.75 x 43.5 inches product dimension
  • Min RPM is 150
  • Max RPM is 3000
  • The power source is corded-electric


  • Hassle-free and fast speed change with the help of a hinged belt cover
  • Capable of expediting bigger projects due to the presence of extra-large worktable
  • 2 HP powerful motor makes JET JMD-18 a perfect choice for commercial uses
  • The 1-piece cast iron column provides additional support and thus enhances stability


  • Expensive
Check JET JMD-18 350018 Price On Amazon

Erie Tools Variable Speed Mini Milling Machine | Best Benchtop Milling Machine

To be honest, this milling machine is a great offering from the brand Eris Tools.

Well, if you’re looking for a milling machine that could not only do deep milling but also could take care of your heavy-duty jobs then definitely you should try this little beast.

Erie Tools Variable Speed Mini Milling Machine Benchtop Drilling and Machining Gear Driven with Adjustable Depth Stop

It goes without saying that the machine is packed with features such as variable speed control, a forward and reverse switch, a safety shut-off switch, etc to help you with the superlative user experience.

With a drilling and end mill capacity of 3/8″ along with a face mill capacity of 5/8″, the Eris Tool is meant to deliver high performance.

Needless to say, the adjustable depth stop would be of great help in the case of fine-tuning positioning.

Furthermore, add-ons such as a 6-piece shank set with 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, and 5/32″ sizes, an oil can, hex wrenches, a spanner wrench, open-end wrenches, etc would definitely grab your eyeballs.

All in all, a “value for money” milling machine that you should definitely try.


  • 3/4 HP motor
  • 9.45 x 5.7″ worktable
  • Min RPM is 0
  • Max RPM is 2000
  • 112 pounds weight
  • 26.5 x 21.5 x 18″ product dimension


  • Perfect for heavy-duty and deep milling jobs
  • Forward and reverse switch enhances user-experience
  • Safety shut-off switch enhances the safety of end-users
  • Includes spindle locking pin, drawbar, spanner wrench, 4 T-slot nuts, etc


  • Packaging may not be as per your expectation
Check Erie Tools Variable Speed Mini Milling Machine Price On Amazon

SUNWIN Metal Mini Milling Machine | Best Mini Milling Machine For The Money

So, here I come with one of my favorite benchtop milling machines that is not only affordable but also packed with idiosyncratic features for a better user experience.

As the name suggests, the SUNWIN metal mini-milling machine is made of durable metal.

SUNWIN Metal Mini Milling Machine Micro DIY Woodworking Power Tool for Student Hobby

Needless to say, the spindle, slider, tailstock, pedestal, etc are all made of metals so you can expect the SUNWIN to be highly robust and durable.

This little beast is highly portable and compact so you don’t need a lot of space to install and operate it.

If you’re a hobbyist or a beginner then definitely you can opt for this metal milling machine because it comes with all the necessary features required to enhance your precision and accuracy, and the good thing is, the SUNWIN is affordable.

To be honest, even as a student, you can easily afford this benchtop milling machine.

So, what are you waiting for?


  • 3/4 HP motor
  • It can reach a maximum RPM of 2000
  • 6.2 pounds weight
  • 9.8 x 5.9 x 5.9″ product dimension


  • User-friendly and affordable
  • Quality/Safety Certifications: CE, UL (Transformer)
  • Lightweight, compact, and portable
  • Durable all-metal design for durability


  • May not be the best choice for the professionals
  • Unable to handle large projects effectively
Check SUNWIN Metal Mini Milling Machine Price On Amazon

OTMT OT2213 X2 Variable Speed Mini Milling Machine | Best Budget Mini Milling Machine

The OTMT OT2213 is another affordable yet highly effective mini milling machine that was made to the “mini milling machine” review list.

The thing that I really admire about the OTMT OT2213 is the capability of its head to tilt 45 degrees both left and right so that you can have better control over the machine and thus can expect better results.

OTMT OT2213 X2 Variable Speed Mini Milling Machine

On top of it, variable speed control definitely enhances flexibility.

Well, you’ve two ranges of variable speed, that is, low which offers 0 to 1100 RPM, and high which offers 1100 to 2500 RPM.

Moreover, it also comes with a fine feed that is used for milling, and easy to read dial will help you in achieving precise results as it has increments as small as 0.0001.

All in all, a great mini milling machine for all those whose projects demand very high accuracy.


  • 1/2 HP motor
  • 3 1/2 x 15″ worktable
  • A minimum RPM of Zero
  • A maximum RPM of 2500
  • Weighs 140 pounds
  • 22 x 19.7 x 29.1″ product dimension


  • Variable speed control
  • Capable of adjustment as minute as 0.0001 inch
  • The head can tilt 45 degrees both left and right


  • Get some slack over a period of time
Check OTMT OT2213 X2 Price On Amazon

JET 350017/JMD-15 Milling/Drilling Machine | Best Milling Machine For Optimum Surface Roughness

The JET 350017 milling machine comprises of one-piece cast iron column to provide additional support.

Furthermore, in spite of you being a newbie, you don’t have to worry at all about changing the spindle speed as the quick slide latch allows faster belt adjustment.

JET 350017/JMD-15 Milling/Drilling Machine

The JET 350017 comprises the tapered base so clean-up isn’t a problem at all.

The manufacturer understands very well the prerequisites of complex projects so has inculcated features such as a 360-degree head swivel and extra-large worktable.

The machine also has a work lamp that helps you in expediting your project even in dim light conditions.


  • 1 HP motor
  • 7.5 x 23″ worktable
  • A minimum RPM of 110
  • A maximum RPM of 2580
  • The machine weighs 457 pounds
  • 36.5 x 37.5 x 35.5″ product dimension


  • Extra-large worktable for complex projects
  • A 360-degree swivel makes the machine more versatile
  • Newbie-friendly large hand wheel knobs
  • 12 spindle speeds


  • Adjusting height could be a bit tricky and time-consuming task
  • Not the best choice for harder materials
Check JET 350017/JMD-15 Milling/Drilling Machine Price On Amazon

Proxxon 34108 Micro Mill FF 230 | Best Portable Milling Machine For Knife Making

The Proxxon 34108 could be a perfect choice for you in case you’re looking for a lightweight and portable milling machine.

If you’ve got a scarcity of space in your workshop then definitely you could try this option as it has a small footprint.

Proxxon 34108 Micro Mill FF 230


The 41 pounds compact 34108 has a slim design and doesn’t vibrate much.

In fact, this little beast is known for its quietness.

The good thing about the Proxxon 34108 is that its headstock can swivel through 360-degrees.

It comprises a powerful motor that is capable of generating a wide range of RPMs which falls in the range of 280 and 2500.

Both adjusting the height and advancing the fine mill feed can be easily done by the handwheel.

Moreover, operating the 34108 is very easy and user-friendly so in spite of you being a novice woodworker, driller, etc you would get used to the machine in an epigrammatic span of time.

All in all, a great product that you can take home.


  • 10.6″ x 3.15″ worktable
  • Min RPM of 280
  • Max RPM of 2500
  • weighs as less as 41 pounds
  • 25 x 17 x 16.5″ product dimension


  • Small, compact, and portable makes it a perfect choice for home use
  • Features such as 360-degree swivel head help inaccurate positioning
  • Includes 3 collets of 6, 8, and 10 mm
  • Zero adjustable hand wheel helps in height adjustment
  • Comprises of a powerful permanent magnet that helps in yielding high torque


  • May not be the best choice for the really hard materials
  • Not the best choice for industrial projects
Check Proxxon 34108 Micro Mill FF 230 Price On Amazon

SHOP FOX M1111 | Best Value Benchtop Milling Machine

The M1111 is a great offering from the brand SHOP FOX, and the great thing about this 21-inch milling is that it is a heavy-duty machine that is robust and durable as well.

Furthermore, it comes with some idiosyncratic features that will definitely blow your mind.

The support base is made from long-lasting ground cast iron that enhances stability.

Well, the 1 HP motor generates enough power to deliver high performance.

On top of it, the usability is enhanced multifold due to the push button that helps in easy control for forward, reverse, tapping, and off.

The variable speed falls in the range of 100 and 1750 RPM.

Moreover, the headstock can tilt up to 90 degrees for horizontal milling.

The front-mounted emergency stop button helps you to tackle the unprecedented situation in a better way.

All in all, a “value for money” product.


  • 1 HP motor
  • 6.25 x 21.63″ worktable
  • A minimum RPM of 100
  • A maximum RPM of 1750
  • Weighs 416 pounds
  • 42 x 31.2 x 30.5″ product dimension


  • Leveling is made easy with adjustable feet
  • Cast iron base makes the machine robust and durable
  • A perfect milling machine for a tough job
  • User-friendly and convenient to use


  • Not a perfect choice for larger pieces
  • You may find headstock difficult to raise
Check SHOP FOX M1111 Price On Amazon

Klutch Mini Milling Machine | Best Mini Milling Machine For Hobbyist

The Klutch Mini Milling Machine is one of my favorites and trusts me, there is more than one reason for it.

Well, it comprises a 1/2 HP motor that generates sufficient power to suffice your project’s needs.

The Klutch is known for its vibration-less operation.

Klutch Mini Milling Machine - 350 Watts, 1/2 HP, 110V

To ensure that the Klutch is highly versatile, the manufacture has ensured that both the head and the column tilts to 45 degrees left as well right.

Looking for a milling machine for your home workshop?

You can opt for this little beast as it is relatively lightweight and compact and wouldn’t occupy much of your workshop space.

I highly recommend Kluth Mini Milling Machine to all of you who are looking for a consistent, durable, and effective machine at an affordable price.

The machine is meant to suffice almost all your milling needs especially if you own a small workshop or runs a small business.

Needless to say, it’s a unique blend of size and weight that is definitely something to brag about.


  • 1/2 HP, 110V variable-speed motor 
  • 3 5/8 x 15 3/8″ worktable
  • A minimum RPM of 100
  • A maximum RPM of 2500
  • Weighs 143 pounds
  • 20.5 x 20.06 x 29.93″ product dimensions


  • Variable-speed gearbox
  • Relatively low vibration
  • The capability of milling head and column to tilt 45-degrees to both left and right
  • One of the best milling machine for home shop


  • Minimal users’ complaints
Check Klutch Mini Milling Machine Price On Amazon

SHOP FOX M1036 Micro Milling Machine | Best Micro Milling Machine For Beginners

Again, I’ve come up with a great offering from the brand SHOP FOX.

This time it’s an M1036 micro milling machine that is known for milling high precision parts for small woodworking models.

SHOP FOX M1036 Micro Milling Machine

To be honest, the model M1036 is packed with idiosyncratic features such as a digital depth readout, variable speed control, and a micro-down feed knob for fine adjustments in order to make the entire process hassle-free and less time taking.

On top of it, the compound sliding table takes care of the detailed work in the best possible way

The thing that really grabbed my eyeballs was the capability of this little beast to control each axis independently.

All you need to do is to use the crank handle to position each one and then lock it in place to reduce vibration.

Moreover, the graduate dials are meant to control movements in an increment of 0.001 inches to help you with highly precise outcomes.

To enhance flexibility, the machine comes with dual speed control.

The good thing about the machine is that you can use high speeds for softer materials and smaller bits.

And, similarly, you can use the low speeds for using large bits or harder materials.

I received really great feedback from my clientele about the Shop Fox M1036.

Trust me, the Shop Fox M1036 is one of the best benchtop milling machines on the market.

Even though you’re a newbie you’ll NOT find it difficult to operate the milling machine.

So, what are you waiting for?


  • 1/5 HP motor
  • 3 1/2 x 8″ worktable
  • A minimum RPM of zero and a maximum RPM of 5000
  • weighs 140 pounds
  • 22 x 18.5 x 15″ product dimension


  • Great milling machine for small working models as it is capable of doing adjustments to the scale of 0.001 inch
  • Dual speed makes the machine more flexible
  • Each axis comes with an independent control
  • Relatively less vibration


  • Continuously using it for a longer duration can overheat the motor
  • May not be the perfect choice for large projects
Check SHOP FOX M1036 Micro Milling Machine Price On Amazon

Buying Guide

Please don’t skip this section as it would help you in making buying decisions in the best possible way.

Especially the ones who are buying the mini milling machine for the very first time would be benefited most.

Speed and Power

Speed and power play a crucial role when it comes to buying a benchtop milling machine, mini milling machine, etc.

For example, if you’re planning to mill a hardened metal or stainless steel then definitely you need a powerful machine like the ones that I’ve recommended in the top slot.

If your projects involve milling steel then let me tell you it’s not an easy task at all.

Make sure that you get a machine that generates enough power in order to mill hardened materials.

Give preference to the mini milling machine that comes with a very powerful motor as well as adjustable speed.

For materials such as aluminum, brass, composites, and wood, almost all the milling machines that we’ve reviewed are capable enough to do them justice.

On the other hand, if your primary objective is to look for a machine that is perfect for model making then definitely you don’t have to worry about the power too much as your interaction and involvement would be mostly with smaller materials.

Moving further, let’s have a quick look at the horsepower that is crucial from the buying point of view.

Well, for a benchtop milling machine that is mainly used for miniature work or malleable materials, a horsepower of 1/8 would be sufficient.

For mild to intense jobs, you can opt for a machine that has an HP of 1.

Similarly, for specific and complex jobs, you can opt for 2 HP.

Definitely, power is very important, but at the same time, you can’t negate the importance of speed, right?

As we all know, for milling different materials, you need different rates, so you should always prefer a machine that has a good number of speeds because it would add to the flexibility for sure.

Each machine comes with a minimum and a maximum RPM.

A high-quality branded machine will give you an option of eight different speed settings to choose from.

There are many milling machine models that offer variable speeds to choose from that means you can choose any speed between the prescribed RPM range.

I always recommend the milling machines that come with a variable speed because it really helps you in fine-tuning the speed in the best possible manner.

Accuracy and Vibration

If you would’ve used a benchtop milling machine or any other power tool then definitely, you would be aware of the fact that the things that affect accuracy more than anything else are stability, isn’t it?

So, to prevent vibration, the tool should have a very rigid, robust, and strong base such as cast iron.

Not only the cast iron base is capable of handling the force of milling but also it is meant to absorb some of the vibrations.

Needless to say, cast iron has a longer lifespan and would last for years to come.

But, cast iron alone wouldn’t be sufficient for the accuracy.

In fact, the worktable also contributes to accuracy.

Mostly, the worktables are made of metal usually steel or aluminum depending upon the quality of the table.

The good thing about the milling machine table is that it comprises of T-Slots that you can use to attach clamps to hold down your material while you work.

Capacity and Size

Definitely, capacity and size would be important parameters for you especially if you’re a professional and looking for a milling machine that could fit well in your workshop.

Depending on your requirement, you can choose from large and small milling machines.

But, make sure that you’ve enough space in your workplace after you’ve installed the machine in order to carry out the milling process without any hassle.

Another important parameter is spindle distance.

Well, many of you, wouldn’t be aware of the fact that the spindle goes up and down with the spindle distance measured at the highest point.

Similarly, you can’t ignore the importance of the worktable, right?

Don’t ignore the travel distance, right?

The worktable moves side to side, and front to back and the distance that they travel tells you about the total working area.

Trust me, it matters a lot because the further the table moves, the less you’ll have to reposition your work as you go.


It goes without saying that working on complex projects may have a requirement of making complex angles, right?

If that is the case, then I would recommend you should look for a milling machine with a head that is capable of tilting and rotating.

Some heads are capable of tilting full 360 degrees while the rest can tilt up to 45 degrees from left to right.

Milling Machine Vs. Lathe Machine

To be honest, the main difference between a lathe machine and a milling machine is the relationship between the workpiece and the tool.

Lathe Machine

In a lathe machine, the workpiece that you want to machine spins about its axis of the lathe machine, while the cutting tool doesn’t.

This process is termed “turning” and is highly effective for creating cylindrical parts.

Some of the common operations done on a lathe machine are drilling, boring, threading, parting, and even ID and OD grooving.

Moreover, if your project demands the creation of quick, repeatable, and symmetrical cylindrical parts. then definitely, the lathe would be the best choice.

Milling Machine

On the contrary, the tool rotates in a milling machine about its axis while the workpiece doesn’t

The good thing about this mechanism is that it allows the tool to approach the workpiece in many different orientations that are really helpful in complex projects.

It goes without saying that the main reason to use a milling machine is its versatility. In fact, the tooling options are numerous in the case of a milling machine.

Needless to say, a mill is capable of putting in more complex pieces than a lathe.

Milling Machine Vs. Drill Press

Have you ever operated a drill press?

Let’s have a quick look at some of the key differences between the two.

Axes Of Motion

A drill press can only perform vertical motion so it can’t drill along the faces of a workpiece.

On the other hand, a milling machine can easily cut along the faces of a workpiece.

In fact, you can use a milling machine in making faces of material flat, and the phenomenon is termed “facing-off”.

Unlike the drill press, a milling machine is capable of cutting slots in material and also, to a specific overall dimension.

Size and Accuracy

Drill presses come in various sizes. Some are small and compact while others are bulky and bigger.

On the other hand, almost all the milling machine models are typically bulky as there is no scope for a smaller version, indeed.

In the context of accuracy, the milling machine wins with a tangible margin, indeed.

All the credit goes to the movement of the work table in the milling machine.

Since you can move the table in both x and y directions so you can definitely line up the material in a better way as compared to a drill press.

In the case of a drill press, you need to use your hand to place the material, then you’ve to tighten it down to the table, thus, giving a lot of room for error, isn’t it?


The milling machines are definitely more expensive as compared to drill presses.

A typical benchtop drill press would cost you around a hundred dollars.

On the other hand, a milling machine would cost you a few thousand dollars.

In short, you need to pay extra bucks for getting more accuracy and other additional features.

Benchtop Milling Machine Safety Measures for Beginners

As we all know, power tools come with certain risks associated with them.

So, I also suggest the newbies be a bit more careful in order to prevent any unwanted incident that may occur because of not operating the machine in the correct way or not taking proper precautions.

Allow me to discuss quite a few of them.

  • Adding stability to a benchtop milling machine isn’t difficult or time-consuming. All you need to do is to bolt the machine down. In case, you’re operating the machine without bolting it then it may impact your accuracy drastically as chances are high that during the operation the benchtop milling machine will move slightly
  • Moreover, it is highly recommended that you should wear both mask and gloves while operating a mini milling machine as they will protect your eyes and nose against the small metal particles flying in the air
  • Never ignore the maximum load rating. In layman’s language, the more load a machine can handle the better it’s probably built

What is a milling machine?

Well, a milling machine is an important power tool similar to a lathe and drilling machine.

The machine comprises a multi-point cutter that rotates against the workpiece in order to remove materials from it.

As the name suggests, a milling machine is used for milling metal.

So, what is milling?

Milling is a process of removing metal by feeding the workpiece with the rotating multipoint cutter.

Most milling machines are capable of holding one or more cutters at a time, and as per your requirement, you can change the speed.

At a higher speed, the material from the workpiece is removed at a faster pace.

Milling Machine Parts

Let’s have a quick look at the different parts of a milling machine and their functions.


As the name suggests, the base is the foundation part of a milling machine and is mostly made of cast iron in order to provide stability and durability.

All the parts are attached to the base and it carries the entire load so it must possess high compressive strength.


A column is mounted vertically on the base.

Not only it supports the knee, table, etc, but also works as housing for all other driving members.

If you don’t know about the column then let me tell you it’s a hollow member which contains driving gears.

Moreover, columns of some mini milling machine models also contain motors for the spindle and table.


The knee is the structure that is used for supporting both the saddle and the table.

You might not be aware of the fact that all the gearing mechanism is enclosed within the knee.

An elevating screw is used to not only support but also adjust the knee.

What actually the elevating screw does is adjust the knee up and down by either raising or lowering the lever.

The lever can be raised or lowered with the help of either hand or a power feed.


A saddle works as an intermediate part between the table and the knee.

Its main function is to provide motion to the workpiece in a horizontal direction.

Mostly, the saddle is made of cast iron.


The rectangular casting that is present on the top of the saddle is nothing but the table.

Moreover, you can think of it as a part of the milling machine that is responsible for holding the workpiece while milling.

You can vertically move it by simply moving the knee up and down.

Similarly, you can move it horizontally with the help of the feed screw.

Overhanging Arm

You can fasten arbor support with the help of an overarm.

Mostly, the overhanging arm comprises one or two cylindrical bars that slide through the holes in the column.

It is also made of cast iron.


One of the important parts of the milling machine is the spindle as it is used to hold the tool in the right place.

The main function of a spindle is to provide the drive for arbors, cutters, and attachments.


In a horizontal mill machine, an arbor is used as an extension for the spindle.

You can fit it on the spindle as per your requirements.

It also helps in not only holding the tool but also moving it in the right direction.

Arbor Support

Most of you must be aware of the fact that there are mainly two types of arbor support used in the mill machine.

The first one has a small diameter bearing hole, 1-inch in maximum diameter.

On the other hand, the other one has a larger diameter bearing hole, usually up to 23/4 inches.

The thing that I liked about the arbor support is that it comprises an oil reservoir that lubricated the bearing surface.

Moreover, the arbor support can be clamped anywhere on the overarm.

However, you must remember that arbor support can only be used in horizontal types of milling machines.

Milling Head

The milling head is the topmost part of the vertical milling machine.

Mainly, it comprises a spindle, driving motor, and other controlling mechanisms.


Well, one end of the ram is attached to the column, and the other end to the milling head.

You can use a hand lever for moving the ram in and out.

Types of Milling Machines

In this section, we would be discussing the types of milling machines in order to help you make an informed buying decision.

Column and Knee Type Milling

This is one of the most common types of milling machines.

In this machine, a vertical column is attached to the bed which consists of all the gear drives that are responsible for rotating the knee and the saddle.

To provide vertical motion to the workpiece the knee is situated on the base.

On the other hand, a saddle is attached to the upper section of the knee which can move in a transverse direction.

You can use climbing bolts to hold the workpiece on the table.

Vertical Milling Machine

As the name suggests, the spindle of this machine is in a vertical position.

You don’t require any arbor for a vertical milling machine.

Moreover, the cutter tool has a cylindrical shape, and the cutting edges are situated at the circumference of the cylindrical face.

Horizontal Milling Machine

On contrary to a vertical milling machine, here the spindle is situated horizontally.

So, the spindle movement is in the horizontal direction.

In the horizontal milling machine, an arbor is attached to the machine that holds the cylindrical disk shape cutter which is responsible for cutting the workpiece.

Universal Milling Machine

Well, a universal milling machine resembles a horizontal milling machine to a great extent.

The major difference between the two lies in the fact that the universal milling machine has an arrangement of swing up the table of 45 degrees in either direction.

Fixed Bed Milling Machine

As the name suggests, fixed bed milling machines are the ones in which the bed is fixed to the machine.

You’ll not find any arrangement to move the machine in either a vertical or horizontal direction.

Moreover, the worktable is directly situated on a fixed bed.

If we talk about the spindle then it is mounted on a movable spindle head.

Simplex Milling Machine

Simplex milling machines are the ones in which spindles travel in only one direction.

In most case, the spindle travels in the vertical direction.

Duplex Milling Machine

In a duplex milling machine, the spindle travels in both horizontal and vertical directions.

Triplex Milling Machine

These are the machines in which the machine can move in all three directions, that is, along the X, Y, and Z-axis.

Planner Milling Machine

A planer milling machine resembles the bed-type milling machine except it can be mounted with various cutters and spindle heads to the machine.

These machines are mainly used for facing operations in mass production.

Special Milling Machine

These are one of the most modern milling machines that are developed in order to make the entire milling process easy and less time-consuming as per the requirement of the job.

Tracer Milling Machine

The tracer milling machines are the ones that are mostly used in the automobile and aerospace industries.

It can develop any difficult shape and can perform most of the most difficult tasks.

CNC Milling Machine

The good thing about the CNC is that it is one of the most versatile milling machines and is controlled by a computer.

In simple words, you can think of it as an upgraded version of the bed-type milling machine in which the spindle can move in all three directions, and also, the table can rotate 360 degrees.

All these movements are hydraulically controlled which is commanded by a computer.

A sketch of the workpiece is loaded to the computer and the same is cut on the workpiece by the cutters automatically.

Types of Milling Machine Operations

Well, let’s have a quick look at various types of operations that a milling machine can perform.

It will help you to understand the potential as well as the capabilities of a milling machine.

Plain Milling Operation

The plain milling operation is popularly known as slab milling and is mainly performed to produce a plain, flat, horizontal surface parallel to the axis of rotation.

Most of the jobs need such operations, and the best part is that it can be expedited on almost every milling machine.

Face Milling Operation

Well, face milling operations can be performed on surfaces that are perpendicular to the axis of the cutter.

Moreover, the operation is performed by the face milling cutter mounted on the stub arbor of the machine.

End Milling Operation

In the end milling operation, flat surfaces are produced that can be horizontal, vertical, or at any angle with reference to the worktable.

Form Milling Operation

This is an idiosyncratic sort of operation that you can accomplish with the help of convex, concave, and corner rounding milling cutters.

In this process, the special contour is machined that is composed of curves, straight lines, etc at a single cut.

T-Slot Milling Operation

The T-Slot milling operation is a process of producing the T-Slots on the workpiece with the help of a T-Slots milling cutter.

Side Milling Operation

Well, the side milling operation involves the side milling cutter for producing vertical surfaces on the sides of the workpiece.

The side milling cutter has teeth on both sides as well as the face.

Gear Cutting Operation

In this operation, gear teeth are produced on the gear blank with the help of a form relieved cutter.

For optimum results, the cutter profile should match the tooth space of the gear.

Straddle Milling Operation

The operation involves producing a flat vertical surface on both sides of the workpiece.

For this operation, the two-side milling cutter is used.

A spacing collar is used to adjust the distance between the two cutters.

The straddle milling operation is mainly used to produce a hexagonal or square surface.

Grooves Milling Operation

The process involves the use of a saw-milling cutter or an end-milling cutter for producing grooves on the surface of the workpiece.

Gang Milling Operation

The process involves the use of two or more milling cutters to perform different milling operations simultaneously.

Well, in the gang milling, the cutters are mounted on the arbor.

Milling Machine Advantages

Let’s discuss the various advantages of owning a milling machine.

  • A perfect machine for not only producing individual pieces but also small batches
  • Moreover, the milling machines are capable of producing complex shapes with the help of multitooth in an epigrammatic span of time
  • The use of general-purpose equipment and cutter reduces the operation cost drastically

Milling Machine Disadvantages

  • A bit expensive as compared to casting, cold forming, extrusion, etc
  • For mass production, it becomes necessary for you to use special-purpose machines

Milling Machine Applications

  • They can be used for making gears
  • Can be used for producing both flat and irregular surfaces
  • Used to produce groove or slot
  • Can also be for the purpose of designing metals and other materials
  • Modern milling machines are capable of cutting superalloys, titanium, and tensile steel with not only accuracy but also faster


In this section, I would be responding to the queries related to the best milling machines so that all your doubts are cleared before you make a buying decision.

In case, you also have any queries related to the topic, feel free to contact me via email.

What is the difference between turning and milling?

Turning and milling are two of the most common machining processes that are used to remove material from a workpiece.

However, they use different methods altogether to achieve this goal.

Turning forces the workpiece to rotate.

On the other hand, milling forces the cutting tool to rotate.

What is the difference between up-milling and down-milling?

Up MillingDown Milling
The cutter rotates against the direction of the feed tableThe cutter rotates along the direction of the feed table
No backlash eliminator is required Backlash eliminator is required
If the workpiece is brittle, up milling is preferredNot a good choice for a brittle workpiece
Burr is formed only on the unfinished surface ahead of the tool feedBurr is formed at the finished surface on the opposite side of the tool feed
At the beginning of the engagement, teeth rub with lay or feed marks on the machined surface. This improves the surface finishNo such rubbing action takes place, and thus lay marks remain intact on the machined surface

It’s A Wrap

Well, I hope you would’ve thoroughly enjoyed this comprehensive buying guide on the best milling machine.

To be honest, we’ve tried to cover almost all the important aspects of the milling machine in order to help you make an informed buying decision.

To be honest, the “best milling machine” is a relative term, and what may be best for me may or may not be best for you.

However, I’ve recommended a milling machine to my readers just because I and my clientele have found it the best among all the models and brands that we tried and tested.

Please do let us know your feedback about this post in the comment section.

Last but not least, please share this piece of information with the ones who are in need of it.

After all, sharing is caring, isn’t it?

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