Know How To Choose The Best Mini Mills
For a DIY enthusiast or someone who is in the business of woodworking or metal crafts, a milling machine is a great investment. However, buying huge milling machines comes really costly. Hence, a mini milling machine is the best option.
What’s the great thing about mini-mills?
It’s a total space saver which means you can have it at the comfort of your home. Likewise, it has great power to help things get done whether you’re working on wood, aluminum, plastic, or metal sheets. Mini-mills are much affordable compared to its full-size counterpart.
If you don’t have a solid idea on choosing the best mini mill. Don’t panic as we have a comprehensive guide in here that will help you choose the right mini mill. We have also compiled the top 10 best mini-mills for you to get your eyes on as there are hundreds of units out there.
KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR THE BEST MINI MILL
Here are some of the important features and factors you need to look for in a great mini mill.
They might be called “mini-mills” but they actually are heavy. Most of these tools have weights ranging from 300 to 700 lbs. Before buying, make sure you already have a place at home to put this powerful tool. A regular workbench might be good for its placement but make sure it's still durable and the legs won't wobble once the machine works.
The heavy weight of the machine adds stability to the workbench. All you need to do is secure the legs of the workbench so it won’t break.
Despite the heavy weight of the unit, this feature can help minimize vibration during operation. The heavy weight of the power tool adds stability and balance which reduces the effect of vibration.
3. Spindle Clearance
This refers to the vertical clearance from the table to the spindle. The maximum height of the workpiece you can work on depends on the spindle clearance.
This is where you will let your workpiece rest as it is being drilled or sand by the power tool. A wider table gives you more work versatility due to a wider surface area. Bigger tables allow you to work on the larger workpiece.
A mini-mill which can move in x, y, and z-direction will give you more flexibility. If the tool allows movement in greater distances, then you can do more work on the workpiece.
top 10 best mini mill reviews of the year
1. JET JMD-18 350018 Mini Milling/Drilling Machine
• Accurate and powerful
• The way to raise the head which is quite tedious but works fine
There are so many things to like from this tool. The best thing about this tool is its accuracy which important for any work. It also does a great job when working with aluminum pieces. The build and heavy weight of the unit really reduce the vibration.
Eventually, raising the head of the mill is slightly tedious but works perfectly fine.
2. Grizzly G0704 Drill Mill With Stand
• Tough and smooth built
• Head swivel is slightly hard but just need some lubrication
• Easy adjustments and controls
• Accurate work
The machine has a durable and tough built. I love the table for it’s pretty wide and you’ll be able to work on larger workpieces. The rpm is good and adjusting it comes smoothly. I also love the safety shut off switch and the forward/reverse switch for it adds more work options.
There is a slight difficulty in moving the head from left to right but it is manageable when you put some lubrication.
3. Erie Tools Variable Speed Mini Milling/Drilling Machine
• Solid body
• No clamping kit included
• Easy to understand and use
I love this machine for it's pretty easy to understand and use which is very important for beginners with milling and drilling machines. It has a well-balanced body and its heavyweight adds more balance and reduces vibration. This is a perfect tool for all hobbyist out there.
You just need to buy a clamping kit to hold your workpiece on the table.
4. Klutch ¾ HP Mini Milling Machine
• Good balance and fewer vibration
• No stand included in the package
• Adjustment controls are very smooth to operate
I love its compact built and the smooth outer finish of the machine. It is compatible with CNC motor in case you want some upgrade. The head swivel goes smoothly 360 degrees. Speed adjustment for the spindle is easy and accurate. You would also love how the milling head and column can move 45 degrees left to right.
Unfortunately, no stand included in the package.
5. Proxxon 37119 Micro Mill MF 70
• Reliable rpm speed
• Slight table deflection when adjusting the x-axis
• Accurate work and easy to use
The great thing about this tool is it’s a combination of a Dremel function with a precision of a mill. There are constant rpm speed and enough power delivered by its 1/8 hp motor. This is a beautiful tool when you’re doing jewelry, prototypes, and small projects.
There are slight deflections of the table when it is adjusted in the x-axis.
6. OTMT OT2213 X2 Variable Speed Mini Milling Machine
• Smooth and accurate rpm adjustment
• Slight difficulty in making adjustments in the x and y-axis for the table
• Good balance and accuracy
For a mini mill, it has several features to like. The head tilting of 45 degrees from left to right gives more work options. Likewise, you have a low and high setting for the rpm which you can adjust based on your work. Beautiful solid power tool for a reasonable price.
There is a slight difficulty when moving the table from x and y-axis. Lubrication is needed.
7. JET 350017 / JMD-15 Mini Milling And Drilling Machine
• Nice features and easy to understand
• Speed adjustment is not that easy
• Material is durable
• Fewer vibration
Overall, this machine has beautiful specs and tough material. It is heavy which is good for it adds more balance and reduces vibration. Speed adjustments and the head swivel gives more work versatility. Great investment for a mini mill and drill tool.
Else, the adjustment on rpm is slightly difficult to do.
8. SHOP FOX M1036 Micro Milling Machine
• Compact size and reliable speed
• Defective motors for other units, just call the customer service to have a quick replacement
• Stable drill chuck
• Overall built is great
The drill chuck is very stable and no wobbling during operation. For a mini mill, it gives reliable precision and can do some light milling on plastic and soft metal workpiece. The overall design and built is really good and works fine. Speed adjustment has no problem at all.
Some models have defective motors but can be replaced by calling customer service.
9. MYSWEETY 1610 CNC Wood Carving Milling Engraving Machine
• Great functions for a reasonable price
• Creates little noise which might be annoying for others
• Small and sturdy machine
• Nice engraving and drilling action
Though it's small, it comes really sturdy and the software along with it is really good. If you're not a fan of noise, better place rubber feet under the extrusion. I find this tool really useful as you can use it for drilling small holes, engraving on light materials and milling as well. So far, the accuracy of the holes is really good.
Though, the size of the plug seems to be a bit smaller.
10. Zen Toolworks CNC Carving and Milling Machine
• A great CNC tool to start with
• No spindle or tool holders included in the package
• Easy to set up
• Quality materials
This tool is best for carving, letter cutting, inlay and other small works for woodworking and other light materials. Small but durable. Its body is made from high-density PVC board. Likewise, the CNC program is fun and easy to complete – around 3-4 hours. A great CNC tool to start with for an affordable price.
However, it doesn’t come with a spindle or tool holders, so you need to buy one.