5 Best Benchtop Milling Machine 2020

WEN Benchtop Milling Machine

WEN 33013 4.5A Variable Speed Single Phase Compact Benchtop Milling Machine with R8 Taper
  • Variable speed goes anywhere from 100 to 1,100 RPM on the low setting and 100 to 2,500 RPM on the high setting
  • 18-1/8 x 4-3/4 inch table travels 11-13/16 inches along the X-axis and 5-1/8 inches along the Y-axis
  • Bevel the head and column 45 degrees in either direction for angled cuts in metal, wood, plastic and more
  • Compact cast iron design measures in at 23-1/4 by 22 by 29-1/2 inches in size with an 8-1/2 by 15 inch foot print
  • Includes an R8 spindle taper, a pre-installed drill chuck (1/32 to 1/2 inch), fine-tune adjustment hand wheels, a transparent chuck guard, an emergency stop button, onboard measurement indicators, a 13-inch swing, two M10-1.5 T-nuts, 12mm T-slots, and a two-year warranty

This Benchtop milling machine has a variable speed from 100 – 1,100 RPM on a low setting, and it has a speed of 100 – 2,500 RPM in a high setting. The table covers a distance of 11.8125 inches in the X direction and 5.125 inches in the Y direction.
You can bevel the column and the head 45 degrees in any direction for angled cuts in wood, plastic, metal, and a lot more. The milling machine is compact and is beautifully designed using cast iron. It comes with a pre-installed drill chuck, a spindle taper, a chuck guard, an emergency stop button, and plenty of other notable features.
The milling machine comes with a two-year warranty. You can create straight holes, flat surfaces, slots, angled edges, surface contours, and a lot more with this machine.

Pros

Sturdy
Reliable
Heavy Duty
Compact Rubber cover
Emergency stop button

Cons

Price

JET JMD-18 benchtop Milling Machine

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
  • Heavy duty tapered roller bearings’ support the spindle
  • Stand not included

With its hinged belt cover and large-sized worktable, the JET JMD Milling machine is precise and efficient. It doesn’t matter whether you are working with wood, aluminum, or ceramic tile; you are going to get excellent and impeccable results.
It has a drilling capacity of 1.25 inches with an end milling capacity of 0.75 inches. You also get the capability of face milling with this benchtop milling machine. The machine covers a longitudinal distance of 20.5 inches.
The hinged belt cover present on the machine gives you easy and faster speed changes. It comes with heavy-duty tapered roller beams that support the spindle. The spindle has a peed with the range of 150-3000 RPM.

Pros

High-performance
Extra-large work table
Comes with a work lamp
Two horsepower motor
Cast iron column
2-year warranty

Cons

Stand not included

SUNWIN Milling Machine

SUNWIN Metal Mini Milling Machine Micro DIY Woodworking Power Tool for Student Hobby
  • This tool is a milling cutter, milling machine, milling cutter and the side of the front blade, has certain risk, so be sure to use under the guidance of professional personage
  • Machine main parts: such as the spindle, the tailstock, pedestal, slider, motor blades, connection piece, gear adopts full metal structure
  • Motor Speed: 20,000rpm
  • Headstock speed: 2,000rpm
  • Support power: 12VDC/2A/24W

The SUNWIN milling machine is perfect for beginners and those who are working within a budget. It has a spindle speed of 20,000 RPM, which makes it very efficient and precise. The headstock speed is 2,000 RPM.
The parts of the machine are made of metal, which makes it durable. The milling machine is compact, lightweight, and can be easily placed anywhere. It is easy to use and doesn’t need a lot of experience. This makes the machine perfect for students and hobbyists.

Pros

Small Footprint
Lightweight
Easy to install
Affordable
Durable

Cons

Not for professionals

Proxxon 37110 Milling Machine

Proxxon 37110 MICRO Mill MF 70
  • Quiet, precise and vibration-free for fatigue free use
  • Low weight and slim design, without ever compromising performance
  • High quality precision tools

Proxxon milling machine has plenty of great features that make it stand out from the rest of the products available in the market. It is a fully functional milling system that comes with an additional drill as well. You can use aluminum, countersink steel, cast iron, and various other materials with this milling machine.
It has a magnetic motor that provides power to the milling machine along with a poly v-belt. The machine has variable speed with six different options for you to choose from. The machine has a precision control as well.

Pros

Compact
Strong
Sturdy
Fits easily small spaces
Lightweight
Powerful

Cons

At times it vibrates more than its usual rate

Grizzly G0758 Milling Machine

Grizzly Industrial G0758-6" x 20" 3/4 HP Mill/Drill
  • Motor: 600W (3/4 HP), DC, 110V, 10A
  • Spindle taper: R-8
  • Spindle travel: 2"
  • Swing: 13-1/4"
  • Max. distance spindle-to-table: 8-3/4"

This is a powerful milling machine with variable milling speed. It has a high torque motor that has a super quiet operation. The dovetail headstock column is very durable and efficient. The spindle speed varies from 50 RPM to 2,000 RPM.
The machine has a hand wheel precision control for the Z, Y, and X axes. It has a large-sized table, allowing you to work freely and precisely. The headstock comes with a special shifter knob that helps you with the power-transfer while changing speeds.

Pros

Sturdy
Durable
Efficient
Precise

Cons

Expensive

Purpose of Benchtop Milling Machines

These milling machines are called benchtop milling machines since they are designed to be placed on your tabletops in your workspace. If you are looking for a milling machine for small and precise jobs, then you should give the Proxxon 37110 a look.
Milling machines are versatile in function and are not meant for a single purpose. You can do plenty of different things with them. They are basically used for shaping materials. They can be used to cut gears, produce slots, boreholes, etc. A few milling machines can even be used to carve engraving and making detailed
wooden sculptures.

Milling Machine vs. Drill Press

A milling machine is different from a drilling press. The main difference between the two is of the axes. A drilling machine works on a vertical axis alone. A drilling machine comes with only one axis while a milling machine comes with at least three axes.
It can move vertically, horizontally, backward, and forward. It can also move left and right. Some milling machines may also come with a rotational axis. Another difference is that the drill press makes cuts using only the tip of the drill bit. A milling machine uses the sides of the bit as well in the milling process. This means that a milling machine is more precise than a drill press.

Power

Power is very important since it determines the type of material you will be able to cut with your machine. If you are planning on milling steel, then you a strong and powerful milling machine. Steel is a difficult metal to mill, and you need a machine that can handle the milling process.
Look out for a milling machine that has a high horsepower along with adjustable speed. If you are milling aluminum, composites, wood, brass, etc. then you don’t have a very powerful machine. Know what kind of material you are going to work with, and then get a machine that will be perfect for it.
Since you are looking for benchtop milling machines, one with 1/8 HP will be sufficient. However, if you are going to do plenty of intense jobs, then you can also choose from the various 2 HP models available in the market.

Speed

The next thing that you need to look out for is the speed of the milling machine. Every milling machine has a range of speed within which it can work perfectly. There are pre-set speeds that you can change from. There are usually up to 8 different speed settings on good milling machines.
Other milling machines have variable speed controls, which means that you can choose and set the desired speed. It is nice to have a variable speed since you can see for yourself that what speed works best for the material you are working with.

Stability

The accuracy of the milling machine depends on how stable the machine is. Stability is highly affected by the foundation of the machine. If the foundation is not stable, it will not be able to tolerate the vibrations and will move around. This will affect your accuracy a lot.
Cast iron is the best material for the base of the milling machine. It is durable, sturdy, and is capable of handling the vibrations caused by the milling. Moreover, cast iron is durable and lasts for quite some time.

Size

You have to look at the size of the machine you are going to buy. Benchtop milling machines are usually compact and small in size so that they can easily fit in small spaces. Other than the overall size of the machine, you need to look at the size of the milling tool. Most of the tools can be mounted to the workbench, and you need to make sure that the tool leaves you some workspace after being installed.

Spindle distance

The distance of the spindle is also important. The spindle is going to move up and down. The distance is measured at the highest point as the spindle moves. This will give you an idea regarding the maximum height of the material which you can mill.

Work Table

You need to look at the area of the worktable as well. Look at the travel distance of the worktable. The total working area of the worktable is given by the distance the worktable moves from side to side and front to back.

Angles

If you are going to do some angled work, then you need to look for a milling machine that has a head section that rotates and tilts. A few head sections can rotate a full 360 degrees while others move only 45 degrees. Know the kind of work you are going to do, and then make the final decision.

Controls

You need to look at the controls of the milling machine as well. The easier the controls are to manipulate, the more precise your work will be. The levers on the milling machines are usually large in size. They are used for coarse and large movements. On the other hand, the scales stop, and gauges are used for precise work and fine-tuning.

Some milling machines have automated controls, while others are manual. The manual machines require an operator to control their speed and power while in an automatic open, they are controlled via a computer.

Movement

There is a specific range of motion for every milling machine. When you are milling, you need to know the position at which your bit will come into contact with the material. Moreover, you need to know the diameter of the hole in case you are drilling. You also need to keep the space between the headstock and the table in your mind so that you can mill different sized materials.

Versatility

There are milling machines that are built for a specific purpose, while many others are versatile and can be used for various purposes. You need to buy a machine that is versatile and is capable of doing various jobs around your workshop. You wouldn’t want to invest in various machines when you can find one perfect machine capable of doing everything you require.

Price

Another thing that you need to look at while buying the perfect benchtop milling machine is its price. The prices of milling machines are generally high. The better the features, the higher the price will be. Therefore, you will have to keep your budget in mind when you go searching for the best product.
The milling machines available in the market start from 700$ dollars and increase according to the features present in them. There are plenty of affordable options as well if you are willing to let go of some features.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What should I look for in the roller bearings of the milling machine?
When it comes to the perfect milling machine, you have to look at the bearings as well. You should get roller bearings that are tapered and are heavy duty. They will provide extra support to the spindle.
You can also learn about the drilling depth of the machine with the help of the roller bearings. Moreover, roller bearings increase the machine’s durability.

Q. Should I get a milling machine with automated controls or manual controls?
It depends on your choice. If you want to save your time and don’t want to calculate the speed and power required to mill a particular piece, then get an automated one. If you want to do the calculations on your own, then you can buy a manual one.

Q. Are milling machines used in industries only?
Before buying a product, you have to know what they are to be used for. Some time ago, milling machines were used only in industries and manufacturing companies and were huge and heavy. However, the milling machines that you can use in your workshop and your home are small and compact. Benchtop milling machines are the ones that can be used easily in your homes.

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