It is a known fact that milling machines can offer significant benefits because of their functionality. To make them attainable for most of the people, mini mills were invented. They are cost efficient and convenient to use for smaller projects or workshops.
If you are looking for a cost effective mini mill, you should find one that can accomplish small tasks as efficiently as possible. Hobbyists and professionals can both benefit from these mini-mills.
So, what is the best mini mill out there? It’ll be a hard question to answer. This buying guide can help you in choosing the best for your needs. The top-rated mini mills are enumerated with a clear description of their specifications.
Best Mini Mill Review
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Mini Mill Review
- 2 Best Mini Mill Buying Guide
- 3 Conclusion
The OTMT OT2213 Mini Mill is best for mechanical machining. The good thing about this mini mill is that it is also suitable for home workshops. Aside from these features, you’ll be happy to know that it also offers tools for inspection and measuring which can’t be found in other ordinary mini-mills in the market.
If you plan to invest in a mini mill, then the OTMT OT2213 is one of the best options out there. It has an inclusion of a drill chuck with a horsepower of 110-volt motor. It also has a 2-speed variable offers two ranges.
The small range can work on 0-1,100 RPM while the higher range can run from 1.100- 2,500. Another feature is the Spindler taper that is R-8, and its head that can tilt up to 45 degrees.
The headstock travel has a measure of 7.08 inches while the table travel is 3.93 inches. This mini mill has a drilling capacity of 5.1″ while it has an end mill size of .62″. On the other hand, the face mill capacity has a measure of 1.81”.
The good thing about this machine is that it has inclusions like keys and way covers. Another feature which makes it highly praised by the users is its contemporary look that fits the modern technological advancements of today.
The Erie Tools Variable Speed Mini Mill is said to be the best benchtop mill of all time. It is specifically designed for deep milling as well as face milling. It has a drilling capacity of 10mm and has an end mill size of 10mm as well.
One of the best features of this mini drill is the high-speed steel which spells out its exemplified performance. You can also find an FWD/REV switch in this mini mill. It can be reversibly changed, and this transmission layout reduces the weight of the drivetrain.
The Erie Tools Variable Speed Mini Mill is also created with a safety shut off switch for an emergency stop. The function enables switches as well as cable pull switches. This safeguards your mini mill for potential damages caused by electric shocks and cable malfunctioning.
This is the best benchtop milling machine has an adjustable depth stop which serves as one of the most important functions. This can control how thick the machine goes. You have the total monitoring of the drilling through this feature.
The cross-feed hand wheel effectively put the compound rest in hand position or feed it in longitudinal position. Aside from the from this, the geared drive has a rotating part, and that transmits torque to the machine.
Most of the users of this mini mill noted that they are happy with the inclusions of Spanner wrench and 4 T-slot nuts. You can get hold of a drawbar and a spindle locking pin that are needed as you drill.
They are also satisfied with this machine because the clamp slots are created in standard sizes of .640” in width and .910” in height.
- Designed for drilling, deep milling and face milling with...
- Drilling Capacity: 3/8" (10mm)
- End Mill Capacity: 3/8" (10mm)
As the best benchtop drilling machine, the Grizzly G0704 has most of the features of larger milling machines in the market. This is the reason why it became famous to most of the professional drillers in the industry.
Four bolts hold the Grizzly G0704 so it could stand. You can also find plastic gear that is a little bit noisy. Remember that you need to have a drill chuck on the R8 arbor. Aside from these, a set of R8 collets is also a must-have to set up this mill.
You will notice the subtle finish of the machine. The built looks sturdy enough to withstand damaging factors in the environment like dust and dirt. Also, the dovetail ways are done perfectly together with the tapered gibs.
You must note that you need to have a larger table for this mini mill, preferably with ½” T-slots. The R8 collet is created following the industry standards so users won’t have any problem with its compatibility.
Another notable feature of this machines is the quill. It is made with a DRO and a positive lock for your convenience. Even the stand has a storage to prolong its life and protect it from rusting and dirt.
You will also find the motor speed controller valuable because it keeps you in control of the entire milling machine. However, it would have been better if the quill stop is increased. Aside from this, you need to provide extra lubrication to maintain its efficiency.
- Motor: 1 HP, 110V, 12A, single-phase
- Spindle taper: R-8
- Spindle travel: 2"
The Grizzly 8689 Milling Machine is famous for its precision and craftsmanship. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional driller, you can fully utilize the power of this mini mill. It also provides extreme authority and consistency when it comes to drilling.
The good thing about this drill is that you can take control of your mill’s every move. This mini mill is considered as a 3-axis bench top milling machine that can accommodate ½ inch drills including mills.
The Grizzly 8689 Milling Machine can fit with T-nuts to firmly hold the material on top of the table. You can position the head at 45 degrees. The tremendous speed of this machines is because of the variable speed control located on the geared drive. You will be able to achieve your desired finish.
If you invest on Grizzly G8689, you will be impressed with its speed and total control. You can save time when you let this mill handle your task. The setup time is also lessened through the jigs.
Another notable feature is the T-nut. It is the one responsible for setups that need not be repeated. You must remember that this milling machine is not based on a precise movement perspective, it can still operate smoothly.
The Grizzly G8689 includes hand wheels with scales formed like a ruler. If you are going to travel, making use of the scales on the wheels is entirely useful. The whole mini mill weighs 149 lbs. with a sturdy design that is reminiscent of the 1950’s mills.
- Now here is a Mini Milling Machine that has more features...
- No belt changes necessary! The variable speed control and...
- Features: Dovetail column Safety shut off switch ...
Regarding size, the Precision Matthews PM-25 MV can be considered as the best small milling machine. It features DC Brushless Variable-Speed Motor that contributes to its quiet and highly reliable performance.
It is also designed with a belt drive to promote a smooth-running operation. It also prevents the failure of the plastic gear. This mini mill operates with a 120-Volt standard power. This is more powerful compared to the other mini mills in the market.
To main rigidity while milling, a 3-bolt head mount is included in this package. It keeps the mill stable while it is running. This inclusion aims to achieve precision and accuracy in drilling.
You can find at the base of the Precision Matthews PM-25 MV its main column with four bolts. The mounting surface is also very full to add more to its rigidity. Aside from this, a .001 Readings from the X and Y-axis dials can be noted. The leadscrews have 10” TPI that makes it effective in cutting.
One of the best features of PM-25MV is the new belt drive head. It is created to surpass the smoothness and reliability of the new belt drive. The spindle of this mini mill is supported by tapered roller bearing that is known for its high precision.
To make it convenient for you, the mill head can be tilted both left and right with the angle of 90 degrees. You will also find it easy to read the dials because it’s made soft chrome finished. You can also select the speed in the digital speed readout.
- Completely different factory, castings, and design than many...
- Extremely Reliable, Brushless DC Variable Speed Motor...
- Larger Dials at Table Ends, Graduated in .001”, For Easier...
Best Mini Mill Buying Guide
If you are the type of person that like experimenting and discovering things, you may be in need of a milling machine. If you are very particular with metal parts, then this device should be included in your options.
However, it is challenging to determine where to start. You might ask yourself what kind of milling machine is the best for your needs. Should you buy a brand new one or settle for a used unit? This buying guide will help in answering most of your common questions.
Kinds of Mill Machine
There are many mini milling machines in the market that you can find, but you need to decide what configuration is best for your workshop. There are manual, and CNC machines and they are different when it comes to drilling power.
You can divide modern milling machines into two types: the horizontal mill and the vertical mill. This will tell you if the spindle axis of your computer will run side to side or up and down. Both kinds include head, tables, swivel, and columns.
One of the ways that you can differentiate these types of machines is through their orientation which can either be vertical or horizontal. A vertical mill machine has a table mounted perpendicularly to the spindle.
On the other hand, the horizontal mill machine has a table paralleled to the table’s plane. This difference tells you the kinds of job are recommended and practical for the two types of mills.
Horizontal Mill Machine
This kind of mill machine’s main strength can be found in the arm. It can constrain the rotation of the arbor. This can provide rigidity and allows you to make heavy cuts that can provide more side loads.
It is possible to stack some cutters to the arbor so you can accomplish clean cuts. A perfect example is a flat table that has slots for all single passes. This is best for surfacing jobs and other cutting grooves.
It can be cumbersome and sometimes impossible to acquire cuts in all the axes. For jobs like this, the vertical mill machine is recommended.
Choosing Your Milling Machine
1) Buying a Brand Name – When buying any kind of equipment, this is one of the hardest questions to answer. This is similar to buying mill machines. The question is, does it matter? There is no definite answer since these machines have been around for so many years.
There are no questions when it comes to their construction. It is also known by many the factors that will make a real mill machine. Manufacturers of these industrial machines can either follow the standard design principles or fail.
They need to consider quality and cost of building these machines. Some manufacturers need to cut corners to keep up with the cost. Poor quality materials would be their resort as well as underpowered motors.
It is recommended to buy a mill machine that has already proven itself in the industry. This means that you need to go with a reputable and respected brand. You wouldn’t like to work with a machine that will only give you frustrations.
2) Size of the Milling Machine – Mini milling machines are portable, but you need to consider first the workshop or project that you are planning to execute. If you are thinking of milling metal, it is best to go with heavy duty machines.
Think of the situation when you need to make a hole in steel. It is surely a difficult task, and you need to exert the tremendous amount of force. Your chose milling machine should be able to release that kind of energy without wobbling and faltering.
You should note that your frame should be heavier and rigid to withstand the hardness of steel. A small mill machine would not be able to withstand anything that is harder than aluminum. The best solution to this is to make use of a heavy-duty mill that is thick and rigid.
3) Power Feed – The digital readout is a kind of module that is added to the axis of a mill machine. However, you must note that not all machines have them. You can avail a package that has been upgraded with this inclusion.
This DRO functions by showing you how far you’ve moved the quill as you go. Apparently, it will make the task easier for you. It isn’t necessary, but DRO can give you a heads up in the steady movement of your mill.
It is troublesome and time-wasting if you read it manually. This is the reason why most professionals opt to buy mill machines that already have a digital readout. Aside from this, it will also be easier to cope with the slops in screws using a DRO.
On the other hand, the power feed can be added to the axis based on your preference. If you want, you can toggle a motor with it. This can help in minimizing fatigue on your part. You’ll come up with a smoother and better surface finish.
4) Spindle Motor – Mechanics value horsepower on machines. If you want to avoid having a stalled motor while you are milling, then choose a factory machine that has the higher power. All mills have a method of gearing down the motor. This is its way of gaining more torque. These devices need higher torque and lower speed.
It is recommended to avail a mill with a horsepower not lower than 1HP. In this case, it is better that it’s not a 3-phase type.
What is 3-Phase Power?
Maybe you have heard about multi-phase power. If you currently have an industrial space, then you probably have a 3-phase power in your home. You should note that all heavy-duty mills have 3-phase motors, and they can’t run on standard single-power.
Mini-mills are ideal for home use because they only require single phase power to run. They are perfect for DIY and other small workshops.
The fun starts when you start milling. However, try to do a little research about these mini-mills. It’s good to compare their power feeds and configuration before you decide.
Of all the mini mills mentioned, there is one that stands above the others. It would be the PM-25MV. This mini mill is highly recommended because of its DC brushless motor. It can produce high-quality results with minimum noise.
Remember, choosing the best small milling machine will require you to determine the kind of job you would want to accomplish. It is also advisable to decide which materials you are going to work on, so you can decide which configuration would work best for you.
Last update on 2021-01-12 at 19:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. More info.