Milling machines are one of the most advanced tools used for demanding operations. A milling machine can be used to create or modify a vast variety of components such as metal, wood, and roughly any other solid object. They are used to cut a range of shapes and sizes according to your needs.
Today, the most popular ones are automated by computer numeric control to construct designs created in a computer-aided design program. There are also some milling machines that are manually controlled; it all depends on your choice and preferences.
A milling machine can come in handy for both horizontal and vertical operations, and unlike many other machining tools available, milling machines can be carried from one place to another in the course of operation.
Just like other machines out there, choosing the right milling machine to get the job done can be a bit complicated mainly because of the many different models available on the market.
To make the job easier for you, we have rounded up the six best-milling machines money can buy in 2017.
- Factors to Consider When Choosing a Milling Machine
- 6 Best Milling Machine Reviews in 2017
- 1. Jet 350018 230 Milling Machine
- 2. SHOP FOX M1004 9-Inch by 49-Inch Vertical Mill
- 3. Grizzly G0704 Mill Drill
- 4. OTMT OT25020 Milling Machine
- 5. JET 350017/JMD-15 Milling/Drilling Machine
- 6. Sherline 5400-CNC-Ready Machine
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Milling Machine
Since you plan on choosing the best milling machine to suit your specific needs, you have to put some certain factors into consideration so you can make the best decision. Listed below are some crucial points to consider if you want to choose the best milling machine available on the market.
Vertical or Horizontal Milling Machine
There are quite a few different factors that ought to be considered when selecting a milling machine for both home and professional use. The most crucial thing to look at is if you need a vertical or horizontal cutter.
The vertical mills are the most recent form of milling machines. As the name implies, these machines cut using vertical planes, and they basically come in three sub-categories namely; bed mills, turret mills, and mill-drills.
- Bed mills are operated with a fixed spindle, and they also have a table that typically moves in a vertical motion to the spindle. The design capabilities of bed mills are limited, but they tend to be cheaper, and this makes them ideal for someone who does not need parallel cutting capabilities.
- Turret mills are usually considered to be superior to bed mills mainly because the table can move both parallel and perpendicular to the spindle.
- Mill-drills are the most popular milling machines in both home and hobby shop operations. They tend to be lighter, smaller and cheaper than other types of milling machines. The downside is that they are not suitable for large volume work.
The Horizontal milling machine is an ideal for users with very long projects. Just as the name suggests, they utilize a horizontal tool to cut material. They perform exceptionally well at creating spirals, grooves, and bezels.
So, if you need a truly versatile machine, we suggest that you go for the one that features both vertical and horizontal cutting mechanism.
You will have to go for either a manual or automated (CNC milling machine). Manual milling machines are controlled by the force of the operator, while the automated, as the name implies is powered by a Computer-aided Design Program or software.
The size of the milling machine is also another important factor you ought to put into consideration. When it comes to milling machines, the size of the machine will have a direct impact on its performance and capabilities.
Generally speaking, bigger milling machines possess the ability to create more force. That implies that they can be used to drill through thicker or heavier material with ease.
Also, since larger milling machines are made of steel, they tend to be more rigid and durable.
Spindle Motor Horsepower
That is yet another important factor to consider. The horsepower of the spindle motor plays a significant role in getting the job done. In essence, the more horsepower the spindle motor possesses, the more powerful the milling machine will turn out to be.
So, if you’re working with heavier materials such as steel, be sure to get a milling machine with more horsepower, this is crucial.
Well, we believe those are the essential factors you have to put into consideration if you want to get the best milling machine that will meet your specific needs. You also need to know that milling machines vary in price.
In essence, smaller machines with a little amount of power are cheap, while larger machines that are loaded with more power and features are sure to have a higher price tag.
6 Best Milling Machine Reviews in 2017
1. Jet 350018 230 Milling 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
- Heavy-duty tapered roller bearins support the spindle
- Stand not included
The Jet 350018 230 is an easy to operate milling machine that offers tons of user-friendly features that are sure to come in handy in the course of your project. It features a head that rotates 360-degree for better flexibility and precise results.
If you have always wanted a bigger work table to carry out your projects, this milling machine is sure to be an ideal for you.
This mill machine comes with an extra large work table which measures 9.5 x 31.75-inch, giving you enough room to work on your large projects with greater ease.
It is also noteworthy to mention that the Jet 350018 230 power comes from a UL-listed two horsepower, 230-volt motor.
The column of this CNC milling machine is cast iron, and the spindle is housed in heavy-duty tapered roller bearings for better precision. Also, this machine comes with a hinged belt cover that helps minimize delays as you change to different speeds.
Finally, this machine weighs 660 pounds, and it comes with a handy work lamp and an intuitive internal depth gauge. Looking at all the innovative features this machine offers, it’s obvious that it is one of the best milling machines for sale.
2. SHOP FOX M1004 9-Inch by 49-Inch Vertical Mill
- One-shot pump lubrication
- Auto down feed
- Auto stop with micro adjustable stop
- Longitudinal power feed
- Hardened and ground table surface
The SHOP FOX M1004 is vertical milling machine that is specially built for serious work. It comes with a powerful motor of two horsepower, single phase 110 volts.
The head of this mill machine is mounted on an exceedingly robust column that offers 90 degrees rotational movement coupled with a tilt of 45 degrees in both directions.
There is no doubt that this milling machine for sale is one of the best you can get in 2017. The large impressive cast structure with quality fittings and heavy duty bearings makes it to be one of a kind. It’s also noteworthy to mention that the speed of this machine ranges from 78 to 2400 RPM, which makes it an ideal for the most precise milling jobs.
It weighs over 850 pounds and sits on a robust metal stand that can be used as a handy tool cupboard.
This mill machine is sure to be an ideal for people who emphasize quality in their milling jobs.
3. Grizzly G0704 Mill Drill
- Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive separately
- This great little machine sports some of the same features found on much larger mill/drills: dovetail column variable speed 1 HP motor R-8 spindle
- 2A single-phase Spindle taper: R-8 Spindle travel: 2-Inch T-slots: 3 @ 2-1/2-Inch centers 1/2-Inch wide
- Distance spindle to table: 13-Inch Swing: 15-Inch Table travel: 18-7/8-Inch Table travel : 6-7/8-Inch
The Grizzly G0704 Mill Drill might be seen as a little machine, but the fact is that it performs a lot like its larger counterparts. The power of this CNC milling machine is channeled from a one horsepower, single-phase, 110-volt motor rated at 3.2 amps.
It also comes with an R-8 spindle that features a digital readout.
The head of this machine is capable of tilting 90 degrees in both directions (left and right), making it flexible enough to meet your specific needs.
The table of this milling machine measures 7-1/16 feet x 26-5/8 feet and it also has its own stand. There is no doubt that this milling machine will give you the best value for the money.
You should also know that the included stand not only makes your job easier but it also provides you with useful storage.
This is an ideal CNC milling machine for sale which is perfect for both pros and hobbyists alike.
4. OTMT OT25020 Milling Machine
- R8 spindle taper.
- Pre-wired for worklight.
- Great for a variety of drilling, face milling and end milling applications
- T Slot: 0.64"
- Speed Range: 120~2,640 RPM
This milling machine is a prime example of small mill with great capabilities. The OTMT OT25020 is typically belt-driven, and it features two types of feeds.
You can choose to work with a coarse feed which is ideal for effective drilling. You can also go for a fine feed if you plan to focus on milling or boring.
It also comes with R8 spindle, just like you would find on larger mills. The work table is also ideal for your milling jobs as it measures 6.3″ x 20.47″.
Power comes from an 110 volt, 3/4 horsepower motor, which is good enough to deliver exceptional performance for different kind of jobs.
5. JET 350017/JMD-15 Milling/Drilling Machine
- One-piece cast iron column for added support
- Quick slide latch allows faster belt adjustment to change spindle speeds
- Tapered base allows for easier clean-up
- Heavy-duty power downfeed with manual fine feed
- 360° head swivel and extra large work table
That is a simple milling machine from Jet. While it might not perform as well as its newest brother (Jet 350018), it can still get little jobs done without much hassle.
The JET 350017 also comes with a head swivel that rotates 360 degrees to deliver better results on your projects. It comes with quick slide latch for swifter belt adjustments in case you need to change spindle speeds.
You also get to carry out your projects on a large worktable and heavy-duty tapered roller bearings provide support to the spindle to give you a more precise drilling depth.
Weighing 450lbs, this machine is sure to be perfect for everything not too big, it’s excellent for soft metals. The power comes from 120 volts, one horsepower motor which is capable of milling and drilling whatever you bring its way.
All in all, this machine is sure to deliver good performance and make your job run smoother.
6. Sherline 5400-CNC-Ready Machine
- CNC Motor Mounts Installed IN place of handwheels
- Speed Control has Internal Converter that Adjusts Between Inputs of 100VAC to 240VAC, 50-60Hz
- Table Size: 2.75" x 13.00" (70 x 330 mm)
- Travel "X" Axis:9.00" (229 mm), Travel "Y" Axis:7.00" (178 mm), Travel "Z" Axis:5.38" (137 mm)
- Made in the USA
The Sherline 5400 is yet another quality milling machine that comes with the power and capability of large commercial-grade machines. The shrine milling machine is sure to perform exceptionally well in in precision drilling, boring, fly cutting among other routine tasks.
Another thing to note is that this milling machine can either be fitted with CNC motor mounts or operated traditionally, it’s your choice.
All in all, the Sherline 5400 is an excellent milling machine for sale, and it is sure to give you the best bang for your buck.
So, there you have it. So far we have explored our top selections of the best milling machines that are sure to give you the best value for the money. Choosing a milling machine should be based on your work needs and requirements.
It should also be powerful enough to deliver exceptional performance to cut any object according to your needs.
The good news is that our suggestions are excellent and they are sure to come in handy in shaping your buying decision.