The right machine tool to use in a small scale manufacturing industry is a mini metal lathe. This machine is commonly intended for beginners who will start small-to-medium scale jobs or are used for learning. There are so many choices out there lately, based on the models and brands.
This is what we consider writing a review of our mini metal lathe for the best that you can buy this year. Not only that, but you will also know about some of the latest models you can buy in 2020. We hope to read this will Choose a lot the choices are out there and that is what will make the right machine purchase decision.
This mini metal lathe can be placed in a small workshop so that it is simple and useful. However, even though the dimensions and weight are smaller, it can perform important heavy turning tasks, can make tapper, make an eccentric, make a drill, make a machine thread, etc.
At this time, we will present some of the best mini metal lathes that we collect from the market. We also include guides and other important information. We have compiled 5 products, which are considered the best-performing mini metal lathes for soft metals and other aluminum.
The 5 Best Mini Metal Lathes
1. Mophorn Mini Metal Lathe
The Mophorn B01MCVQ42C is one of the best beginner metal lathes you can get in 2020. You can pick it up for super cheap right now, and it’s a very good, high-quality, mini metal lathe that is made of excellent components, aiding in its durability and strength.
Really, the Mophorn B01MCVQ42 is a great product, but there are two reasons why it isn’t in our top two. Before we get to those reasons, we must make it clear that this is a quality mini metal lathe, and it can do everything that the other two can do. But, the catch is, the only component that really isn’t that great is the motor. It seems to have been made quite poorly, and this is a somewhat common complaint with the product. So, while it is a great value, and when it works – which is most of the time, thankfully – it works wonderfully.
However, the motor simply isn’t that good and is fairly unreliable, which poses a problem when it comes to power tools. This is not something that should happen, but it often does, and while we can forgive it for this, that is the ultimate reason why it isn’t in our top two. Yes, it’s a great mini metal lathe, but be wary of the motor, because you might purchase a model that comes with a defective motor. Thankfully, Mophorn will replace it for you!
2. Erie Tools SP2102 Mini Metal Lathe
Our top pick for the best mini metal lathe under $1000 is the Erie Tools SP2102. Other models came close, but ultimately, it was the durability, ease of use, and functionality that set the SP2102 apart from other choices. In the end, this is truly one of the top models out there right now.
You can drill, turn and cut metal, wood, and plastic with immediate precision and flexibility. There is no difficulty in doing this, and whatever you choose to do with this beast, it will remain durable and strong.
The SP2102 comes with an excellent manual that adequately explains just how to use this machine and the many ways that you can use it. And when you finally start using it, you’ll find that it is designed with such precision and finesse, it’s actually difficult to be confused with regards to the many features that are available.
Finally, the Mophorn SP2102 is simply a great model that serves its purpose very well. Every power tool is made for a specific function, and this one is no exception. However, what separates it from the rest of the pack is the fact that this one happens to perform with such ease and flexibility that it is truly the best on the market.
3. Grizzly G8688 Mini Metal Lathe
Our runner-up for the best mini metal lathe that you can purchase in 2020 is the Grizzly G8688 Mini. This is an extraordinary machine that comes from Grizzly Industrial, a slightly lesser-known manufacturer that is recognized for quality products made from premium components and materials.
The G8688 Mini is made from strong, durable components that will last a long time. This is a hard-wearing model, and due to the quality of its pieces, it can handle just about anything that you throw at it. Much like SP2102, it is a well-crafted machine, allowing you to cut, drill and turn metal, wood, and plastic with ease.
However, the reason that it is not our number-one mini metal lathe for 2020 is that it is, ultimately, a rather difficult product to use. It simply doesn’t feel right when you use it, and it can be a little tricky setting it up. Unlike the SP2102, this one lacks a strong and easy to use design. Other than that, though, it is a great mini metal lathe that we highly recommend! Just know that it isn’t always the easiest to use, and if you aren’t already intimately familiar with mini metal lathes, then you may have some trouble using the Grizzly G8688 mini lathe, because the design is slightly more complicated than most.
4. BestEquip Mini Metal Lathe
This isn’t a bad mini metal lathe, and for the most part, it works fairly well. It can cut, drill, and turn metal, wood, and plastic with relative ease, and it is by no means a difficult to use or poorly designed mini metal lathe. However, it isn’t in our top three for three reasons.
The first reason is that it is made of cheap and flimsy components. Simply put, it isn’t very durable and it probably won’t last you very long due to the aforementioned flimsy components. If you plan on buying a mini metal lathe that will actually last you a while, this definitely isn’t the one to buy. As such, this does affect our decision to have it as number-four, because durability is one of the big factors that we consider when it comes to any power tool.
Our second reason is that the motor stops at random times, and you need to wait a little bit, and then it’ll work again. We can only surmise that this is because of the poor quality of the components, which seems to include the motor, as well. This lack of stability is not something we were hoping for.
Finally, the third reason is that it just isn’t that great of a mini metal lathe. Yes, it does what it’s supposed to do, but only so well. There are many other models out there, and we’ve covered three of them. There is simply no reason to purchase the Best Equip Mini Metal Lathe when there are many other great models out there.
5. Shop Fox M1015 Mini Metal Lathe
Shop Fox is a brand that is known for making power tools of all sorts that work, but not very well. This is, sadly, the case with the M1015. Sure, it works, but just barely. It really isn’t worth a purchase.
First and foremost, it simply isn’t reliable. The motor often stops and starts up again. It seems to consist of some really bad components, and when it does work, it’s hard to use and the design and layout are ridiculously confusing.
That said, when it does work, it works well enough. Well enough to the point where it’s not at all worth the price, but it does perform its stated function. This is, of course, not nearly enough when it comes to a power tool – or any product at all, for that matter. And for that reason, we cannot recommend the Shop Fox M1015 due to the low-quality components, clunky design, and the fact that it rarely seems to work, much the less the way it’s supposed to work. If there is a good thing about this product, a silver lining, if you will, it’s that it sometimes works. Sometimes. Most of the time, it doesn’t. But sometimes, it does.
Things to Consider When Selecting the Mini Metal Lathe
For those who want to buy the best mini metal lathe, you should consider several factors to get a good quality machine, pay attention to the factors below:
1. Motor Power, it affects the use of electricity or electric power in your workplace and is recommended no more than 500 Watts. The motor power is important to figure out when you are dealing with hard metal. If you are going to machine soft metal, then the lower power is suitable. However, to machine hard metal, you have to purchase the greater motor power because it will help to generate greater torque.
2. Center Distance. It accommodates the capacity of the workpiece to be machined in the lathe. In our opinion, the best distance between the centers is about 1 meter. However, this is not an absolute number. You could choose the shorter one provided that you know what you do.
3. Spindle Speed. When the main motor spins, the rotation is transferred to the spindle. In this case, the spindle has some speed that is expressed in rotation per minute (RPM). For metal, it’s recommended between 50 – 2500 Rpm.
4. Reputable Brand. When you are still nowhere, a bit confusing to decide, you could rely on the brand. But, it’s not always true to be frankly. In this case, selecting the one with good brand helps you start looking. There are some popular brands out there that provide such this stuff.
5. Customer Reviews. Make sure the machine can operate properly and all features can be used. In this case, the only way to inspect the machine performance is by looking at the reviews (customer reviews, video, etc). You could also visit the store (offline) but we are now talking about the online way to do that.
There are actually other mini metal lathes that you could take a look at. On the following list is the other 5 mini metal lathes that we found on the market.
6. Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe
7. Techtongda Brushless Motor Precision Mini Metal Lathe
8. Vikye Metal Mini Lathe
9. Signswise Mini Metal Working Lathe
10. Chuangsheng Mini Soft Metal Wood Lathe Machine
So, have you found your best mini metal lathe machine? This mini metal lathe is great to use for a home shop that has a relatively smaller space. They also run in the residential electricity line because they don’t need power as much as the CNC lathe model.
Let’s look back to the 19th century, people were used to making things using hand. During the technological advancement, people invented the machine to work for them gathering knowledge from mechanical principles and theories. A lathe machine is the best example among them. In today’s world, the lathe machine has always played an important role in machining industries.
A machine that has a lathe tool to cut object rotating about an axis and with the position of the lathe tool the workpieces can be made in various shapes is known as a Lathe machine.
It has mainly two kinds depending on the workpieces. One of them is used to shape metals and another one is to shape woods.
Its main motion is the rotating speed of the motor. Metal lathe machines have comparatively a slower speed than the wood lathe machines. The range for the metal lathe machine can be 0-2500 variable RPM (adjustable) and the wood lathe machines can be 0-4000 variable RPM (adjustable).
Motor Power generally has a range of 1/3HP – 1 HP both for benchtop wood and metal lathe machines. And the center distance we choose between 10 inches to 20 inch which is normally enough for the household objects.
In this article, we are going to compare several benchtop metal-wood lathe machines. We know people’s needs are not always the same and it changes with different interests. Depending on the different interests’ different models will be suitable for the operators. So, based on few aspects let’s find the top 10 best lathe machines.
The points on which we will concentrate are the motor power, capacity or center distance, rotational speeds of the motor and nature of the speed panel, and most importantly buyer reviews. The lathe machines we are going to talk about is the general mini machines which are used in local workshops. We will also describe the pros and cons as well.
Based on the experience from the workshop, let us see a glance on metal and wood lathe machines. We have categorized the serial of the models based on the mentioned aspects.
Top 5 Best Benchtop Metal Lathes
1. Shop Fox M1016 10-Inch by 20-Inch Metal Lathe
This adorable Metal lathe machine will be the best choice for noob operators. Because the operating tools are highlighted very clearly on this machine. Having 600 watts of motor power with a 110V will be very much suitable for the lathe operation. The variable speeds can be very useful to operate the workpieces. Starting the spindle speed of 150 it has 240, 490, 750, 1200, 2400 RPMs.
The M1016 is an excellent small-sized lathe machine, it has an excellent 10 inches (around) swing and 21 inches distance between centers. This lathe machine offers some handy accessories such as a 5 inch 3-jaw chuck, eye shield, and 4-way turret tool post. Having a basic size of 44-inch Length, 23 inches of width and 12.5 inches of height it is a pretty good machine to operate.
1. Very much accurate operations.
2. Easy to operate.
3. Variable rotational speed.
4. The automatic tool, infinitely variable, professional tool post
5. Wear-resistant, durable, accurate and professional
1. Price comparatively high.
2. 386 lb. which is heavy compared with other lathe machines.
2. Grizzly G0768 8″ x 16″ Variable-Speed Benchtop Lathe
This Grizzly G0768 Variable-Speed Lathe is ideal for a powerful workbench. From the review of the buyers and operators, this machine is perfect for the noob operators. They said it features a variable-speed spindle with high or low-speed ranges and convenient to the quick-lock tailstock. It has a reverse feed for cutting left-hand threads and a great selection of included standard equipment.
Motor Power is the same as the SHOP FOX M1016 model having 600W (3/4HP) motor with 110V DC power supply needs 10A of current.
As mentioned before, it has a feature with the speed regulating options. It has 2 panels of speed regulations. Low speed includes from 50 RPM to 1000 RPM, High-speed panel includes 100 RPM to 2000 RPM.
Grizzly G0768 is a comparatively medium-sized lathe machine having 36 inches of length, 16 inches of width, 14 inches of height, is a pretty good size for household operating objects. Center distance 16 inches is enough to operate any workpieces.
1. Variable speed regulations.
2. Very much safe to operate.
3. Not that heavy, not gigantic.
1. Comparing with the other Lathe machines the Motor Power is lower than others.
2. Price comparatively higher.
3. Digital Precision Metal Mini Lathe Variable Speed 750W 2500 RPM
This precision metal mini variable-Speed Lathe is normally designed to perform various types of metal, jade, and woodturning. It is ideal as a stand-alone unit when mounted on a suitable stand. If we look back on the normal characteristics we can see, it can also be used in areas such as mini precision parts processing, sample processing, and modeling works. It is both perfect for noob operators and professional modelers who are looking to add complete detail to their construction projects.
This model has a very strong powerful motor comparing with other models. 1Horse Power or 750 W motor power will be very much suitable for any casual operations.
This DIGITAL PRECISION model has the variable speed limits like Grizzly G0768 with the variable speed limits. Two panels of the speed limit. Lower speed contains 50 RPM to 1250 RPM, higher speed contains 100 RPM to 2500 RPM.
With a length of 36 inches, a width of 19 inches and a height of 17 inches, this machine is only 128lb (58) of weight. This is the main attracting part of this model. Center Distance or capacity of the workbench is 16 inches which normally a perfect range.
1. Higher Horse Power of the motor
3. Variable speeds (Low to High)
4. Cheap in Price.
5. Extra features with the metal gears and shell.
6. High precision, able to turn out standard qualified works
7. Wear-resistant, durable, accurate and professional
1. A limited number of lathe types.
4. Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe
This Erie Tools brought a complete feature like the other models we have discussed above. The lathe turns metal up to 84 cubic inches in size. It is easy to read digital readout when adjusting the rotational speeds. The thread indicator helps the operators to turn screw threads from 12 to 52 TPI including the metric imperial pitches. This is also a pretty good machine to operate household objects.
Specifications come with the variable speed single phase 400W motor which normally loads 120V DC power supply. It can provide the variable rotational speed up to 2500 RPM. No other extra features like SHOP FOX or Grizzly or Digital precision on speed panels.
This model is about 36 inches of length, 17.3 inches of width and 14.6 inches of height. The 5/16-inch capacity tool is capable to mount 4 cutting tools at once which is a normal characteristic like the others. No other special features.
This model is pretty good simple to operate, noob operates may face difficulties on speed regulations. The experienced operator can use this model to perform in their workshops. The main attraction of this model is the price, you can buy expending a few hundred dollars to get this model.
1. Comfortable price with high precision.
2. Lightweight, easy to carry.
3. Variable Speeds.
1. Low Motor Power.
5. Central Machinery 7 x 10 Precision Mini Lathe by Central Machinery
Whether you’re turning and perform other lathe operations, this precision mini lathe will be perfect. On the other side, this small mini lathe machine will be perfect installing in workshops, university labs or any educational settings.
600 watt(3/4HP) Motor power will bring the 0-1100 RPM rotational speed (low) and can be high up to 2500 RPM. This model is pretty easy to operate.
This Central Machinery model has a length of 27 inches, 12 inches of width and 10 inches of height can work within 10inch of center distance for workpieces. Comparing with the size this model is quite heavy to carry.
1. High precision.
2. Variable speed.
3. Automatic feed
4. Cheap Price comparing with other models.
1. Heavy to carry.
2. No low control panel of speed.
3. Center distance is small.
Which one will be perfect??
Now it is too hard to choose a perfect one, right?? Every model has complete features with different capacities. Let’s make it easy to choose. As I mentioned before, SHOP FOX, Grizzly, and central machinery lathe machine are easy to operate. These three can be installed at a University lab or any educational setting. If you are a noob operator you can choose these 3 lathe machines. Besides this, if your budget is enough you can try Grizzly or SHOP fox. From the review panel, the professional operators suggested choosing Grizzly cause it is very safe for the newcomers and convenient to use.
Don’t think the rest two are less important if you did so then you are wrong. The other two are not any of less than those three models. The digital precision model and Erie tools model will be perfect for the experienced operator. Considering the price these two will be a wonderful choice to select.
Wood Lathe machine has the same working principle as the metal lathe machine has. The only difference in their rotational speeds and price. Generally, we use wood lathe machines to duplicate parts to repair chairs, dig into a burl to make a bowl or make our custom candlesticks. Wood lathe tools come in many sizes, from small pen lathes to huge bowl turning machines. Here we will discuss TOP 5 Wood lathe machines, we will review their performance and judge which will be best to buy.
Delta brought this model with a Large around 12 inches of swing capacity provides the largest capacity in its class. Its drive spindle is 1 inch to 8 RH TPI thread. The variable speed of the motor provides the expected speed to the object. Forwarding and Reversing function allow the turner to achieve a complete finish. Sanding, knurling, grinding, etc can be performed in this model.
This has 1 HP max strong motor which provides variable rotational speeds up to 3200RPM. As we know that the wood lathe machine has comparatively higher RPM so we have to focus on this point while we go to my lathe machines.
It is 36 inches of length, 11 inches of width and 17.8 inches of height sized machine securing 12 inches of center distance. It is around 92 lb in weight. It is not heavy to carry.
1. Powerful Motor and Variable Speed for Consistency and Precision
2. Forward and Reverse Provides a Superior Finish
3. Patented Belt-Tensioning System for Fast Speed Changes and Longer Tool Life
4. Cast-Iron Construction for Durability and Strength
With a powerful 1 HP, motor PSI KWL-1218VS will be a wonderful choice for the professionals. It’s strong like the Delta model. Producing two steps of rotational speed Low-speed covers from 500 to 1800 RPM, High-speed covers from 1950-3800 RPM.
With a Digital display, this model is made by cast iron having 32 inches of length, 11 inches of width and 10 inches of height will be very much suitable for professional operators. The center distance will cover up to 18 inches and swing over the bed can up to 12 inches which is a good feature with the price range.
1. Powerful Motor.
2. 18 inches of bigger center distance.
3. Cheap in price.
8. Shop Fox W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe
This model is made of cast iron and designed to fit neatly on a workbench. It features a safety paddle switch, an MT No. 1 spur center, an MT No. 1 live center. 4.25 inches, and 7 inches tool rests, a 5.75 inches of the faceplate, and a .75 by 16 inches of TPI RH spindle. Sanding, grinding, milling, etc all the different features are available in this model.
1/3 Horsepower motor will generally provide speed between 700RPM to 3200 RPM depends on the operator’s demand.
It has 27.9 inches of length, 13.7 inches of width and 7.1 inches of height size. Having 12 inches of center distance which is enough to create all the general workpieces. It is a 48.5 lb very light-weight machine.
1. Light-weight machine.
2. Comfortable Price range.
3. 2 years of warranty.
1. Motor Power is not that Powerful.
2. Not for operating heavy workpieces.
9. WEN 3420T 2-Amp 8 in. x 12 in. Variable Speed Benchtop Mini Wood Lathe
This model is perfect for pens, chess pieces, and other small workpieces. It includes 5 inches of the faceplate for turning non-spindle workpieces. It fits workpieces up to 12 inches of length and 8 inches of width ( recommended max workable diameter is 5 inches). It features a 2 ampere of the motor, an MT1 spindle, a tailstock taper, and two interchangeable tools rest.
1/3 HP motor will provide 750 to 3200 RPM rotational speeds. It is the same as the previous one we discussed. Size may come with variations with other models, having 26inch of length, 13.7-inch width, 12 inches of height of size makes it a black orange adorable combination. Center distance is of 12 inch which is generally enough to operate any general workpieces. It is 43lb weight the same as the previous one.
1. Variable Speed Control
2. Lightweight, easy to carry.
1. The motor is not strong.
10. Nova 46300 Comet II Variable Speed Mini Lathe 12-Inch x 16 1/2-Inch
Nova Comet II is a portable, space-saving – yet delivers the capacity and the rugged stability of larger lathes. It is perfect for a wide range of woodworking projects. This adorable midi Lathe takes the Nova mini lathe and gives it a massive improvement. The user now has a digital display with dial-in speed control for maximum convenience and control of the operator’s experience.
0.75 HP of Motor Power will provide the rotational speeds from 250 RPM to 4000 RPM. Other models will provide the speed range up to 3500 RPM, but this model will provide an extra. This is a unique characteristic of this model. Nova Comet II is 33 inches of length 9 inches of width and 18 inches of height in size. The center distance will occupy 16.5 inch which is normally enough to operate household workpieces. With this size in dimension, this machine is a little heavy compared with other models.
1. Variable speed up to 4000 RPM.
2. 3 steps of pulley system low, medium-high speed ranges.
3. 1 year of warranty.
1. Medium ranged from motor Power like the previous ones.
Which One to Choose?
Comparing these five, all of the models are perfect for turning, sanding, grinding, milling, etc. But there have few differences among their capacity and motor power and speeds. The first two Delta and PSI model has very strong Motor which is around 1 Horse Power of each. This is a wonderful feature for both of them. It can overload higher strength than the other models. So, Choosing these two will be a perfect decision.
But considering the capacity, the PSI and NOVA lathe machine are the best ones to choose from. Both of them have more than 16 inches of capacity. Though 12 inches of center distance is enough for any operations. But in case those who need bigger capacity can choose these two models.
On the other hand for more convenience, choosing SHOP FOX and Wen will be a perfect decision. Because both of them are not that heavy and easy to use. Comparing with the price these two models are not expensive, noob operators can try these two.
Buying Guide Benchtop Lathe
To choose a Metal or Wood lathe machine we should focus on the main few factors of the machine. They are:
1. Motor Power: This is the main important part of choosing the lathe machine. Normally you can operate any turning procedures using 3/4 HP Power of Motor. But if you have a special occasion you can choose the higher power motor.
2. Capacity: Generally, as we mentioned before that 12 inches of center distance is enough to operate any operations. But on a special occasion, you can choose the bigger capacity machine. It depends on your purpose.
3. Rotational Speed: This is one of the most important aspects to consider. Generally, as we mentioned metal lathe has a slower speed than the Wood lathe. Not only the higher speed but also the variable speed panel is very much necessary for a good lathe machine. To consider the safety and smoothness of the work, you should consider this part.
4. Price: Price is also one of the important factors to consider. Maybe you don’t have enough budget, but you still need a good lathe machine, then you will have to read this article completely, you will get a piece of complete knowledge about the lathe machine. You will automatically understand which one will be best with your choice.
5. Others: Other factors like Thread range, swing spindle, spindle speeds, lathe tools, warranty, disassembly tools, Overall size, etc.
These are the main factors that you need to consider. I hope this article will help you to know the general idea of lathe machines. So, Best of luck with your project.
Aluminum is one of the most machined materials. It has several advantages due to its properties such as lightweight, moldable, and inexpensive. However, machining aluminum is not as easy as we may think, there are still some challenges to overcome.
One of its downside cutting aluminum is the clogging cutting tool. The chips could stick in the flutes. If you leave it without concern, it may cause breakage to the surface finish. The chip recutting happens and unexpected friction cause unnecessary wear. In addition, the clogging up endmill can cause the cutting process to take longer.
So, what is the best end mill for aluminum? There are several factors required to consider when selecting the right endmill for aluminum: the number of flutes, helix angle degree, the endmill material, coating, and even the coolant. Since talking about these factors could take a longer discussion, we put it in the next section after the endmill top 10 picks reviews section.
In this article, we did our best to cover the top 10 end mills for aluminum that we found great to use according to the factors mentioned and also the customer feedbacks.
Top 10 Best End Mills for Aluminum
1. SpeTool 12501 Carbide CNC End Mill For Aluminum
SpeTool 12501 is a 2-flute HRC55 carbide endmill that is designed for aluminum, non-ferrous metal, etc. As it comes with 2 flutes, it keeps the chip removal easy to happen despite no coating. According to the customer, this one is able to use for 7075 forged aluminum. We see this worth it to try.
2. LittleMachineShop 20 Pieces of End Mill Set (2 & 4 Flute)
This is another endmill on the list that is made from HSS (high-speed steel). It comes with TiN (Titanium Nitride) coating that is beneficial for aluminum chip removal while the endmill is spinning. There are 20 pieces of endmills. Half of them are 2-flute models and the rest are the 4-flute models. In terms of customer feedback, we see this endmill as a good one at a nice price.
a set of 20 endmills
several unsatisfied customer reviews
3. LittleMachineSop 6 Pieces of End Mill Set (2 Flute)
Another 2-flute endmill you could take a look at on the market is this one. It’s made of HSS (high-speed steel). There are 6 pieces available: 1/8 inch, 3/16 inch, 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, 3/8 inch, and 1/2 inch respectively from the smallest to the biggest diameter. If you are using an end mill holder with a 3/8″ hole diameter, this one is suitable for all the pieces of the set. Overall, for a beginner, this set of endmills will work fine to machine aluminum.
a set of 6 endmills (available in several sizes)
It seems no coating
4. Kodiak Cutting Tools KCT129732 USA Made Carbide End Mill
This one is made in the USA. Kodiak Cutting Tools KCT129732 is a great carbide endmill to use for aluminum. It will lift up the chip to prevent from clogging up. There are 2 flutes and the space is wide. In addition to ensuring the chip lifting occurs properly, it’s designed with a 30° high helix. Although this is standard, it will sufficiently keep the milling work smoothly.
30 degree high helix (standard)
It seems no coating
5. Autotoolhome High-Speed Steel HSS 4 Flute Straight End Mill
This is the most popular endmills that we found. It’s made of high-speed steel. However, it comes with 4 flutes which may clog the chips. Interestingly, there are many customers that use this for aluminum and works great. You could pick this as a versatile option because it works for some steels.
This one is different. It’s only one flute. Due to the single flute, it’s so much easy to lift up the chips. However, on the other hand, you may be a little bit worry due to the single flute. One flute is associated with a smaller diameter and less rigidity. But, since it’s made of titanium, things come different. One of the customers uses this for aluminum panel cutting and the result is amazing. It cuts off the time required for cutting and almost 6 times faster.
According to the official page, this end mill is designed for aluminum, aluminum alloys, aluminum 5052, aluminum 6061, aluminum composite panel (ACP), aluminum composite materials (ACM), etc. If you are going to machine wood and plastic, this will be suitable for them.
Made of Titanium
Super easy to pull out the chips
7. Speed Tiger ISE Carbide Square End Mill
This is another 4-flute model that is able to use for aluminum cutting. There are several sizes available to choose from. Actually, this one is not designed for aluminum, but for alloy steels/hardened steels. However, some customers find it works for aluminum. The titanium aluminum boron nitride (AlTiBN) that coats the main material (carbide) is beneficial to prevent the chips from sticking. This is important to avoid chip reciting that is harmful to the endmill.
works for aluminum
coated with aluminum boron nitride
Selecting Guide to Best End Mill for Aluminum
Never think that you could pick out any end mill to use for aluminum. This is some advice you need to take into account when selecting the best end mill for aluminum.
1. The Number of Flutes
This is the most important thing to consider. Since the aluminum chips are easy to stick in the flutes, the number of flutes highly contributes to the movement of the chips to get out of the flutes. That said, the less the flutes, the easier the chips to move out.
Many experts will say that 2 and 3 flutes are ideal for aluminum endmill. It gives more space and the chips can easily leave the flutes without being held. However, fewer flutes mean less rigidity due to the diameter. Since you are machining aluminum, this should be not an issue.
2. Helix Angle Degree
The helix angle degree also plays an important role to prevent the chips from clogging up in the flutes. The higher the degree, the easier the chips to get removed from the flutes. It’s easy to understand. If the helix angle degree is less than 30°, then the chips will be kind of being held. We advise you to look up the helix angle more than 30°.
There are some material good to machine aluminum: carbide and HSS (high-speed steel). But you need to know which carbide or HSS that is suitable for this kind of job (aluminum machining).
It’s not rocket science.
The coating helps the endmill being slippery for the chips, further prevent clogging. If you are using made-of-carbide endmills, the coating should be Titanium Aluminum Nitride. Another material such as the high-speed steel endmill is preferable to use Titanium Carbo Nitride coating. A little compound can cause significant result difference.
5. Coolant System
If the endmill provides the coolant system, that means good. The friction can cause heat, and heat cause wear. Here is the coolant system that helps the endmill stays at under a certain temperature.
Working with a milling machine is fun, especially if we machine aluminum. This non-ferrous material is affordable, moldable, and lightweight. We can be free to be creative with aluminum. However, choosing the right end mill for aluminum is as random as we could do. There are some thumbs of rules we need to consider.
Lucky for you, you are at the right stop. You have seen the coverage of some best end mills for aluminum here. You can take advantage of the list to narrow your one best pick. We have to admit that the 3-flute model is none on the list. It should be the right option for 7075 aluminum. Soon, we will cover it here. Thank you.
This is a combination of edge finder and center finder. The tapered piece is used as the center finder, while the cylindrical piece is vice versa. Mitutoyo is known as the company and manufacturer of high precision measuring tools. This little stuff must be reliable for your work.
5. Fowler Full Warranty 54-575-600-0 Electronic Edge Finder with Cylindrical Tip, 0.200″ Stylus, 1/2″ Shank
Manufactured in the USA, this is a digital edge finder that will complete the task more easily. It will emit the red light when the contact piece touches the edge of the given workpiece as long as it’s a conductive material. Feel confident with its one year warranty. This is the best electronic edge finder that we recommend you to buy.
6. Trolleyshop New Led Beep Touch Point Sensor Precision Locate Working Electronic Optical Edge Finder CNC Lathe Machine Machinist Mill w/Original Box
The same with the Fowler above, this is also an electronic edge finder that will do the job more quickly. The light will turn on and the beep tone will sound to indicate the stylus is touching the edge.
7. Fowler 52-575-025 Combo Edge and Center Finder, 0.5″ Diameter x 0.200″
It’s absolutely a wise choice to have a tool with two functions altogether. Fowler 52-575-025 edge center finder is designed to provide great accuracy (±0.00006″) and resolution (0.00001″). As usual, Fowler products come with one year warranty.
The contact round diameter is bigger than the others. Moreover, it’s equipped with a red light to signal the user that it’s contacting. The drawback is no beep sound or the similar. Overall, this could be a good purchase you might want to try.
9. Brown & Sharpe 599-792 Edge Finder Single
The types of edge finders according to their shapes vary. And this is the general one. However, it provides better resistance against wear and rust due to its material made of Hardness Rockwell C (HRC) 58-rated steel. It seems that the typical Brown & Sharpe edge finder always uses this steel type.
10. HAIMER Edge Finder Universal 3D Sensor – Inch Version
Getting trouble with rotating edge finder? Even the more simple tool like the digital edge finder? Haimer 3D sensor can make your life easier. I will easily detect the 3D (X, Y, and Z-axis) position of a workpiece. This is absolutely our favorite xyz edge finder.
So, which one is your choice? There are several models available from the manual to the electronic one that releases sounds. That’s totally up to your decision. This page is just a collection of our findings of the best edge finders on the market. Hopefully, this list can help you start your edge finder search with. Thank you.
Maybe you’re like we once were and have no idea of what a CNC lathe is or does. Or maybe you’ve seen traditional (manual) lathes and wondered, “what’s the big deal about CNC lathes?”
Allow us to inform you about what these amazing machines are, what they can do, and our 5 favorite machines.
What is Lathe?
Let’s start with a basic description of what a lathe is. A lathe is a machine that holds a piece of stock material (metal, wood, Teflon, plastic, etc.) and spins that material. This is part “A” of a lathe. The second part of the lathe, part “B”, is the tool carriage. This is the part of the lathe where you can mount a wide variety of cutting tools. On a manual lathe, this carriage is typically moved around with 2 handwheels in order to use the mounted tool for cutting. Normally a manual lathe holds one tool at a time and each new tool must be manually replaced and calibrated.
So now you know what a manual lathe is. Manual lathes, or variations thereof, have existed for millennia. In fact, they’ve been around since 1300 BC!
CNC Lathe Machines
During the last century, a new player arrived on the block and changed everything. It’s CNC machines. CNC stands for “Computer Numerically Controlled” and refers to any machine that is computer-controlled. Parts that used to take an experienced Machinist many hours or even days to complete can now often be made in a matter of minutes. While CNC can stand for any computer-controlled machine, for the sake of this article we will only focus on the CNC lathe.
Remember how manual lathe tools had to be manually switched every time? Well depending on the type of CNC lathe, you can easily hold at least 12 tools, and often many more. Also, once these tools are set up, changing to a different tool is as easy as pushing a button.
But that is only the beginning of what this machine can do. There are countless variations of this machine, from a hybrid CNC lathe which is very similar to the manual with the difference being that the tool carriage is computer controlled, to a machine with a Y-axis, dual spindles, bar feeder, and parts catcher. You can even purchase machines with a robotic arm that loads the material into the machine, does all the jobs for you.
Sound very impressive but needs more visual description? Check out this link if you want to see a CNC lathe in action! Have a nice day!
Top 5 Best CNC Lathes
Here is a list of our top 5 best CNC lathe machines and links to take a look or buy one if you want to take the plunge! (Warning, they are not cheap!)
1. Haas ST30SSY
First off, the Haas ST30SSY. The ST30SSY is a very robust machine, able to handle parts both small and large. With a tool turret that can hold up to 24 tools at once and a Y-axis for milling operations, this machine is very versatile. Our favorite is the Haas control. At first, the control of any CNC machine can look daunting, but the Haas control is well designed and doesn’t take much time to learn. A huge bonus to this control is that it is virtually the same from lathe to mill, making it easy to learn any new Haas machines.
2. Okuma LU3000 EX
Second is the Okuma LU3000 EX. The LU3000 EX offers 2 tool turrets, so you can be machining two different operations at the same time. Okuma can be a bit more challenging to learn at first but is a fantastic machine once you’ve mastered the basics!
3. Haas ST40
The third is the Haas ST40. The ST40 is a beast when it comes to heavy material removal. You can customize this machine on the Hass website to include a Y-axis as well. This machine is almost twice as big as the ST30SSY and moves slower. But make no mistake! If you have big parts that need a lot of material removed, this machine will make it look easy.
4. DMG MORI CTX beta 800 TC
If money is no problem, then maybe you’ll want to consider the DMG MORI CTX beta 800 TC. This machine hardly resembles a traditional lathe anymore. With tool magazines that can hold 80 tools and a rotating machining head, this unit can do 5 axis machining. Imagination is the limit to what you can make with this type of machine. Mind you, this machine is more complex, and the operator will need more training than for the other machines mentioned.
5. Haas TL1
Last but not least, the Haas TL1 is a great option for those that are looking to transition from manual machines to a CNC, or for a start-up shop. The TL1 can be set up with single or three-phase power, meaning it can be set up virtually anywhere. This machine can handle many different tools and is much easier on the wallet.
Maybe you noticed that three of the five machines mentioned were of the Haas brand. While there are many great brands of CNC machines out there, Haas remains our favorite because of how easy they are to use. They are American made and very common. They are also very competitively priced, and they usually offer various deals on their machines.
If you are trying to decide what type of machine is best for your shop, consider what you intend to use it for. If you manufacture everything under the sun, maybe the DMG MORI CTX beta 800 TC is right for you. It can certainly handle almost anything you will throw at it.
Or maybe you make simple parts in high quantities. Then the Haas ST30SSY or Okuma LU3000 EX would fit right into your niche.
But if you are just delving into the world of CNC and don’t know if it is right for you, then start with something simpler, like the Haas TL1.
When the first time looking to buy a real milling machine, perhaps you are a bit confused because of mill, lathe, and router. They seem similar to each other. Instead of continuing buying, you are better off making a little research on the web.
Actually, both mill, lathe, and router are the same, they are aimed to remove some parts of a particular object. However, in terms of the moving object, they are classifiable. Mill and router have the cutting tool that rotates and feeds against the object. While lathe has the object that rotates and gets fed by the cutting tool.
Furthermore, mill and router are classified based on the object’s solidity being machined. A milling machine is designed to machine metal objects. While a router is intended for wood, plastics, etc materials that are not as rigid as metal. Therefore, you’ll commonly find a router in a small size. While milling machine, the bigger the size, the more reliable it is.
In addition, when comparing mill and lathe, you could notice the cutting tools. It’s possible for a mill machine to operate multiple-point cutting tools as the cutting tool will rotate. In comparison with the lathe, because the cutting tool is stationary, it’s only able to use a single-point cutting tool.
In terms of RPM, a mill machine’s RPM is lower than the router. They need more torque than RPM. A mill usually runs anywhere between 3000 to 5000 RPM. While the router is about 25000 to 30000 RPM.
There are actually other differences but we think the above points are very contrasting and easy to spot. So, if you use the guidance above during the search, you could be fast to decide whether it’s what you are looking for. If you are still a beginner, this is very important to know and this article is for you.
Instead of directly standing on the floor, a benchtop milling machine is able to be located at the benchtop. But, even though its dimension and weight are smaller, it’s able to perform some important heavy-duty machining.
We will find them typically in the home workshop that commonly for hobbyists or small projects, not for industrial purposes. It is able to machine (mill, drill, face mill, tap mill, etc.) hard to soft metal and not a typical woodworking mill machine. Therefore, its RPM spindle is about 0 to 3000 RPM and the motor power is about 1/2 or 2 HP.
Some of them are located at the benchtop and some of them are on the stand. You could choose what you want. The stand can be purchased together with the machine. It comes with cabinets to store and organize your end mills, drills, face mill, etc.
On this page, we are going to discuss some best benchtop milling machines that we collect from the market. We also cover the guidance and other important information. Prior to this, we actually planned to compile 10 products. But during the process of selection, we end up 8 machines. The eliminated ones are considered mini milling machines and best perform for aluminum and other soft metals.
Keep in mind that this post is not based on our experience. We gather information from forums, Youtube videos, articles, and official web pages. Accuracy is not guaranteed but lots of hours are dedicated to creating this content as accurately as possible. We don’t forget to provide the links as well where you could read directly the source.
Top 8 Best Benchtop Milling Machines
1. JET JMD-18 Benchtop Milling Machine
Jet JMD 18 is our first pick of best benchtop milling machines that can be installed in your home shop bench. This heavy-duty machine is great to use for large projects and provides greater power. Accomplishing a large job can be so enjoyable, faster and easier.
It’s the only one that provides 2 HP motor spindle in comparison with all machines on this list. That being said, it’s best to provide huge power and allow you to perform hard milling jobs with the most possible low speed.
Moreover, a super long 31.75″ by 9.5″ worktable will accommodate a relatively huge project in your workshop, the only one more than 30″ compared to the others of this list.
As we collect from the official website, its overall size is 47 x 40 x 51 inch which is twice fatter than Klutch. The column is also made of cast iron for greater support of rigidity. Make sure that your flooring is able to handle its weight which is 662 lbs. As it’s one phase machine, it’s suitable to be used in your home shop which typically has a residential electricity line.
DRO and Power Feed; Drawbacks
In some cases, when you get better in milling, the desire to have a fully instrumented milling machine raises. There are some upgrades that you could make. You could buy the DRO and motor power feed. The DRO benefits for better accuracy of drilling, etc. And the power feed is for controllable tablework movement so you don’t need to work hard to hand-wheel it. Even further, this Jet JMD18 is highly possible to upgrade become CNC.
The only drawback that we find is the way to change the spindle speed (RPM). You have to do it manually which may take time for some people. There you have to pop off the case that covers the motor and drive belt pulley system, then make some adjustments. For further explanation, you could read the manual on page 10. You could also watch this video.
Suits large projects
Great power and up to 3000 RPM speed
Manual speed spindle (RPM) change
2. Klutch Mini Benchtop Milling Machine
Klutch milling machine is the best mini benchtop milling machine that you could afford for your small home shop. The last time we observed it, surprisingly it’s priced under $1000 which is great for a starter (for your small metalworking projects).
Called as mini benchtop mill is due to its 3-5/8″ x 15-3/8″ worktable. Compared to the other machines on this page, you could easily realize its x-axis worktable length is less than 20 inches. In addition, its total dimension (20-1/2″ x 20-1/16″ x 29-15/16″) is also convincing to be placed in tight space.
Its headstock can travel 7 inches vertically up and down. But, you need to take into account the spindle and cutting tool length as well because it reduces the travel range. At least, it gives you the idea of how tall of a workpiece that can be done with this machine.
Although it is considered small, you never overlook its power. The motor provides 1/2 horsepower with settable speed from 100 to 2500 RPM which is great to accomplish some hard cutting jobs. Moreover, it’s made from cast iron so it’s helpful to support a rigid structure to reduce energy loss and provide cutting power more efficiently.
The 45 Tilt Left & Right; Automatic Turn-off; Smooth Vibration
Another thing that you should love is the ability of the column and spindle to tilt right and left up to 45 degrees. By means of this, you could run some unique projects. In addition, as we read from one of the customers, the machine can shut down itself if it reaches its limit cutting ability. This is very nice to avoid damage to the motor.
The customer also adds that it has low vibration which can be seen from the little play on the worktable during the machining. Just to recall, this machine is made of cast iron as we reviewed before. The Klutch mini milling machine is about 143 lbs weight which is not really a big deal for your home shop floor.
Fits small space or small home shop
Rigid construction (cast iron)
for small projects (the tablework is small)
Wanna see closer how this machine looks like? Glad to attach the video below that we took from Youtube.
3. PM-25MV Benchtop Milling Machine
Looking for a big mill machine that you could purchase at a very friendly price? PM-25MV is the answer. Luckily, it only costs around $2000 at the time we post this review which is far more friendly than Jet JMD18. You could trace the price here on CamelCamelCamel.com.
The most noticeable thing about this machine is the brushless motor which is very quiet. Brushless motor is considered less noise because it generates no friction. In addition, it produces less heat as well. This is an advantage if you concern noise pollution. For long milling, it should not disturb your happy family neighborhood.
Basically, both PM-25MV and Jet JMD18 have the belt drive system to transfer the power from the motor to the spindle. If you open the cover, the motor and spindle of PM-25MV are directly belt-driven. There are only 2 pulleys. While Jet JMD-18 has 3 pulleys.
Another nice thing is its variable speed which is easily adjusted through the digital panel. Unlike the Jet JMD-18, this surely simplifies and speeds up your job without too much hassle. You could set anywhere the RPM between 50 to 2500.
Its worktable which is almost the same size as Jet JMD-18 benefits to accommodate big projects. It’s only shorter 4″ which should not a really big deal. The width of the worktable is more than 7″. There are also 3 nut slots for vice mounting. That should be enough.
CNC Conversion; Drawbacks
PM-25MV is one of our favorite best milling machines that seems very popular. We could easily find them reviewed on online forums and Youtube videos. Even further, it’s not hard to find them upgrade this machine to be CNC. So, if you plan to upgrade in the future, then this is a nice choice to go.
PM-25MV is 4″ shorter compared to Jet JMD18 in terms of Z travel. In this case, PM-25 only provides up to 13″ space between spindle and worktable. It’s not really spacious though but should be suitable. In addition, the motor only provides 1 HP which in some cases can limit your ability to cut hard metals.
Runs quietly, less noise, less heat
Easy to change the speed spindle (RPM)
The affordable and friendly price point
Very suitable for CNC conversion upgrade
Less motor power (only 1 HP)
4. PM-727M Benchtop Milling Machine
When it comes to greater features, PM-727M is the milling machine that you might be looking for. It comes with greater z-axis distance, power drawbar, quill DRO, and 90-degree tilt head mill head. Amazingly, the price is not too far away from its brother, PM-25MV, at the time we saw it.
The distance between spindle and worktable is separated by 18-1/4″ which is almost 1 inch longer than Jet JMD-18. This benefits you to machine tall parts definitely. However, its X-axis travel is only 15″ which is relatively short. Luckily, the cross table travel (Y-axis travel) is 8-1/2″ which is longer than Jet JMD-18 and PM-25MV. The overall worktable dimension is 27-1/2″ x 7-1/8″.
Quill DRO is a digital reading panel to measure depth or quill movement up and down. This is important for drilling. A 90-degree tilt mill head is awesome. Similar to Klutch but this machine tilts the mill head only. The Klutch tilts together with its column. In the case of drilling in the tilt position, it’s very possible to do, up to 90 degrees both to the right and left.
Similar PM-25MV, the column is clearly mounted with 4 bolts to the (wide) base. It creates more rigidity for better body construction that leads to more accurate metal milling. The difference is spotted on the motor. This one doesn’t run using a belt drive motor like PM-25MV, but it uses steel gears. It may sound noisier but the power is nice. Just install it in your home shop because it only requires 110 or 120 Volt outlets with 15 Amp circuit.
However, it only comes with 1 HP motor and 6 steps of speed change ranging from 115-1700 RPM. The RPM range seems short but because this mill is designed to machine metals, it should be okay. If you are trying to get a closer look, you may want to visit this forum page.
More space between spindle and worktable; great for grilling
More Y-axis travel
Able to tilt the head mill
Only 1 HP
5. Grizzly G0704 Benchtop Milling Machine with Stand
Grizzly G0704 is another popular milling machine that we frequently see the reviews on the web. If you are going to buy a type of hobbyist milling machine or use it for light-duty projects only, then this one will meet your needs.
On the panels, there are instrumented with two digital LCD screens to display the spindle RPM and spindle depth. There is a knob to change the spindle speed. And there is also a knob to select the spindle direction (left and right).
Like MP-727M, the head mill of this machine is actually tiltable up to 90 degrees. Moreover, the construction is made of cast iron, according to the manual. For rigidity, many people seem afraid because the way the column is mounted to the base is not as convincing as the way PM-25MV does. However, a user confirmed that the base of Grizzly G0704 is thick. That said, Grizzly G0704 is slightly better to machine harder metals.
Despite its lower price, there are frequent users complaining about how bad the plastic gears. The gears that connect motor and spindle could strip off. However, as we discover further, it may be caused by overuse or overload. If it works reasonably, it should be okay. Another better way is to buy metal gears. In case it goes down, you have the back-up.
Digital RPM panel and Quill DRO
6. Shop Fox M1111 Benchtop Milling Machine
Having small to moderate machining projects to be done? Shop Fox M1111 is able to do that. Shop Fox has all you need to do for milling or drilling and even tapping. However, you need to be well-skilled, in this case, to use the mill for tapping mode.
Shop Fox M1111 and PM-25MV share several things in common. Firstly, they are using brushless DC motor which is a nice upgrade for your machine and expected to work quietly. Secondly, they are equipped with a digital RPM display screen and a digital spindle depth readout.
You could choose the best speed anywhere between 100–1750 RPM through the speed buttons. The range of 200 to 1750 RPM is designed for milling and drilling mode. While the range of 100 to 500 RPM is designed for tapping mode. Make sure to always consider the diameter of your cutting tools and the speed you are using. Read the manual to get a proper insight into the best speed to use for Titanium, Stainless steel, Steel, Hard Alloy Steel, etc.
In addition, what makes this stuff unique is the Z-axis travel wheel which is located in the front. You could turn up and down the headstock via this wheel, surely after loosening the headstock slide lock lever. It weighs 364 lbs and has a 27 x 30 x 33‐3/4 inch dimension that should be suitable to be located in your home shop.
Drawbacks: Relatively Small Worktable
Although the Z-axis travel distance of Shop Fox M1111 is better than PM-25MV and Grizzly G0704, in the case of the worktable, a 21-5/8 x 6-1/4 dimension is considered as a small one. In other words, this machine seems not designed for long parts but the typical taller parts.
Easy to change the speed spindle through the panel
Digital spindle depth
Less power; only 1 HP
7. Jet JMD-15 Benchtop Milling Machine
Basically, Jet JMD15 and Jet JMD18 are the same. However, this one comes with lower specs and surely lower price range. If you like the quality of Jet milling machine products, but won’t deal with heavy-duty jobs, then this should match.
If we look at the table dimension 23″ x 7-1/2″, Jet JMD-15 suits jobs that require a wider area instead of having more length. Another thing is the 4 T-slots on there. So, you are allowed to use the wider vice. Moreover, the maximum distance between spindle and table can reach 15″. This surely gives an extra space for taller objects to get machined. It’s also able to serve 1″ drill bit, 1/2″ end mill, and 2-1/2″ face mill.
Since the machine doesn’t provide variable speed, there are only 12 speeds (in RPM) that can be used: 100, 190, 210, 260, 300, 380, 650, 720, 950, 1350, 1650, and 2160. Curious about the speed variations? You could take a look at this Youtube video at the minute of 1:02.
You have to adjust the speed spindle (RPM) in a manual way to change the speed. And there are only 9 speeds, unlike other machines with variable speed. Another drawback is the depth readout which seems odd-school and manual. Compared to Jet JMD18, this one’s depth gauge is located on the side.
Provides longer distance between spindle and worktable
Manual speed switch
8. Grizzly G0463 Benchtop Milling Machine
The last choice of benchtop milling machine that you may want to consider is Grizzly G0463. It comes with a 3/4 HP motor and a variable speed of 0-2000 RPM.
If we compare the worktable size and X Y Z-axis travel distance of Grizzly G0463 and Shop Fox M1111, they are at the same size. This one should suit in tight space because its size which is not big but not too small. Most importantly, it’s able to machine hard metals.
If the Shop Fox M111 is too expensive for you; more than $2000 at the time we inspected it, then you could consider this one. However, there are some absent features you could find such as lack of RPM readout panel, no depth gauge, low power motor, etc.
There are actually other Grizzly milling machines out there such as Grizzly G0781 and Grizzly G0619. But when we checked them, they are unavailable to purchase.
Able to machine metals
Low motor power
Buying Guide Benchtop Milling Machine
In our opinion, a typical benchtop milling machine worktable should provide more than 20 inches in the length and 6 inches in the width to support at least medium scale projects. You could still use the smaller one as you know more about your own needs.
2. Z-axis Travel Distance
The maximum distance between spindle and worktable is important to consider. During working, you will use a vice, cutting tool, and cutting tool holder which will reduce the space. If your workpiece is too tall, surely it’s not able to get machined. For X and Y-axis travel distance, it’s also important to figure out in case of dealing with a long or wide workpiece. But it’s not as crucial as the Z travel distance.
3. Spindle Speed (RPM)
If you are going to machine hard metals, you have to slow the spindle speed. If the RPM is too high or fast, it could burn up the cutting tool and cause damage. And if you are going to deal with aluminum, add the speed. To determine what is exactly the RPM you require, you have to know the common cutting speed for the metal you are going to machining.
Cutting speed for common metals (SFPM = Surface Feet per Minute):
mild steel: 100 SFPM
tool steel: 70 SFPM
cast iron: 60 SFPM
aluminum: 250 SFPM
brass: 300 SFPM
Afterward, you can measure the RPM you require by using this formula.
(3.82 x Cutting Speed) / diameter of cutting tool = RPM
For example, we are going to machine a cast iron using a 2-inch diameter face mill. The RPM will be…
( 3.82 x 60 ) : 2 = 114.6
However, you have to remember that the RPM you’ve just gotten is not the exact RPM you have to apply. You could also consider the depth of machining you are going to work. Since deep drilling can generate more heat, slowing down the RPM less then the calculated one is preferable.
4. Motor Power (HP)
The most recommended horsepower needed for a typical home shop milling machine is 5 HP. However, if the machine is excellently rigid, then 1-3 HP would be sufficient. The rigidity is important to prevent energy loss during the machining.
Hezz, one of CNCzone forum members, said that typical 1-3 HP Bridgeport milling machine is able to machine most metals and composites [Read what he said here].
Horsepower is a critical aspect to figure out. It is about to operate the tools you are using. You may use drills, taps, end mills, thread mills, facing mills, etc as the tools. Each tool will require certain horsepower to work properly. For example, if you are going to use a large facing mill, you require a bigger horsepower to run the tool well. On the other hand, if you’re going to use a small drill, then a small horsepower suffice to do that.
When you are dealing with heavy-duty material, you have to consider the Torque. Most benchtop milling machines are equipped with about 0.5 – 2 HP. This limited HP will require you to be aware when dealing with material that requires slower RPM (hard metals).
HP = (T x RPM) : 5252
Basically, the Horsepower is equal to the multiply of Torque and RPM.
When you have to use the slower RPM but the Torque must be sufficient to spin the cutting tool, your motor power becomes matter. If it’s only 1 HP, then the Torque can not be greater. The easiest way to have your machine works well for a wide range of metals is by choosing the larger HP (horsepower) one possible.
6. Power Requirement
A benchtop milling machine commonly comes with one phase motor that is meant to use in residence. It runs on 110 or 220 volts. While the three-phase machine requires more serious power because it’s commonly for the industrial type of machines.
The one-phase mill has some advantages over the three-phase. Similarly, the three-phase mill has some benefits over the one-phase. However, simply, in terms of home shop use, then having a one-phase mill machine is decent. If you insist to use the 3-phase motor, you could end up investing a lot more money.
7. The rigidity of the Construction
The column, base, and headstock are important parts of a milling machine. If they are rigid, machining can become accurate. The rigidity can be assessed through the material that builds it. Most milling machines use cast iron and this is good. But in terms of how the base, column, and headstock get connected (mounted) is critical. The more surface area is mounted, the more rigidity it should generate. Moreover, the more bolts used to mounting, the more rigidity it should be.
8. Space Shop
When you are dealing with any milling machine, you have to consider the space where it’s located. The clearance between the machine to the floor and wall has to take into account. Moreover, the thickness of your floor shop has to be able to hold the machine weight. Even further, you need to consider noise pollution it can cause.
You have to invest a lot of time researching about benchtop milling machine before deciding to buy. Since this machine is expensive, you need to be careful in order to not waste your time and money.
It is an endless pleasure writing this post with love and passion. We have spent a lot of hours doing research, watching Youtube videos, visiting the official web pages, and reading the manual just to collect the information as accurately as possible. We also compare the product with others, check what the users experience with, how it performs, etc.
Finally, we end up with these 8 best benchtop milling machines. If you are still nowhere to decide, we highly recommend PM-25MV to get picked. Even further, we recommend the PM-727M because the price is not far away from PM-25MV but highly attempting. But if you need more power and a large worktable, Jet-MD18 is the best benchtop milling machine for that case.
If you are a beginner in the milling machine, then this article is for you, especially when you are going to purchase a milling machine and end up choosing the benchtop type as the one that meets your needs. For experts, we need your feedback to improve and build more informational content.
Since there are several types of milling machines, it’s definitely unfair to define the milling machine parts without telling the type. In this case, we are going to cover the parts of a benchtop milling machine.
7 Major Parts of A Benchtop Milling Machine
These are some important parts of a benchtop milling machine that you need to know. We compile them from the top to the bottom as the following:
The source of energy. The electric energy from the outlet is converted into motion and the motion will spin the cutting tools. A typical motor for benchtop milling machine ranges from 2 HP to 1/2 HP.
The power that is generated by the motor will be transferred to the spindle. The spindle itself will spin the cutting tools. Between spindle and cutting tools, there is another part that functions to hold the cutting tools.
It functions as the table where the workpiece is locked on there so that the workpiece can be securely machined. It’s movable and acts as the X-axis. Its location is on the top of the saddle. On the worktable, there are commonly T-slots for vice mounting.
The saddle is positioned below the milling table and at top of the base. It can be moved forward and backward by operating the handwheel. Because it moves by crossing the X-axis table, it acts as the Y-axis. But, it doesn’t function as a table like the X-axis table.
The base is important for rigidity. It holds all the weights from the motor to the saddle. It’s mounted to the stand or benchtop. The column is also mounted on it. It’s the stationary part of the milling machine together with the column.
It’s mounted to the base to hold the motor, spindle, control panel, etc. Some models come with a stationary column, but you could find some of them can be tilted left or right to a certain degree.
The part where spindle, drawbar, control panel, drill chuck, quill handle, are mounted is called headstock. This part can be turned up and down as well because it’s mounted to the column but not stationary.
There are also other features that commonly found in the high-end model of benchtop milling machines.
1. X, Y, Z-axis DRO
DRO stands for Digital Read Out. This instrument functions to give coordinate numbers of the cutting tool in X, Y, and Z. The X-axis is the length. The Y-axis is the width. The Z-axis is the height.
2. Depth Gauge
It could be the manual or digital model. Most importantly, it benefits you to provide how deep the quill has taken. It’s important to work measurably.
3. RPM readout
It’s up to you but in our opinion, it’s important to keep track of the RPM during the work. There will be commonly a type of digital RPM readout mounted near the spindle motor. It’s a kind of tachometer. In some cases, you also could buy one if it does not come with a tachometer.
4. Power Drawbar
Loosening the cutting can be so much fun and easy with a power drawbar. You don’t need to use wrench anymore. It speeds up the process. Handling a lot of works at once is possible.
5. Feed Power
This feature is commonly found in the high-end models. Instead of hand wheeling the handwheel, there will be a motor stepper or servo to move the worktable. In terms of CNC conversion, you’ll need three motors for each axis.
That’s all that we can write to you now. We hope in the future it can be improved to give more detailed information. It feels there are other parts that not mentioned in this article.
An end mill is used in industrial milling applications which is a type of milling cutter or cutting tool. A drilling machine can only cut in the axial direction. On the other hand, the milling machine can cut in all directions where some can’t cut in all directions. End mills are a type of cutting tool which is used in profile milling, face milling, tracer milling, and plunging.
While an end mill machine is designed to machine those cutting tools, endmills. It produces endmills made from stainless steel or carbide.
In this article, we will research the best end mill machines to buy. Considering on following aspects we will pick the top best 5 end-mill machines. From workshop experiences and mechanical bits of knowledge, we will find the best choice for the buyers. we will consider the following aspects to choose the endmill machine for stainless steel :
Automatic control systems
Variations in the speeds
The following table will show us an overall idea of various brands and their specifications. We will get an approximate idea of the products looking over the table. After that, we will shortly review each of the products. We will then find the new points to be noted while buying the machines. So, let’s dig in.
Top 5 Best End Mill Machine
1. Huanyu ERM-12A End Mill Re-sharpening Machine
Our Best pick is Huanyu ERM-12A. This Chinese company generally provides instruments and tools and voltage customized services. Huanyu ERM-12A brought up two models of grinding wheel option, CBN or SDC. CBN is generally used to grind the high-speed steel material, on the other hand, SDC is used for grinding the alloy tungsten steel material. It has precise grinding assurance about 0.01mm which is a highly precise measurement.
Huanyu ERM-12A has the powerful 300 watts of the motor, provides the rotational speed up to 6000 RPM. The speed can be variably changed. There has 2,3,4 number of flutes and ø2- ø12 mm of cutting tool thickness. With a dimension of 290x 260x 230 mm of size, this machine is only 15 kg in weight.
Both from reliability and accessibility, we recommend this model to choose. Considering the price, the features are all suitable for any Endmill sharpening.
Easy to access.
For more details please visit this link :
2. GSC-TW GS-6
Our second pick is GSC-TW GS-6. It has the precise grinding result and assurance within 0.02mm, where the Huanyu model has about 0.01mm. Center cutting is available and we will get a high accuracy balance between each flute of the end milling tool sharpening.
GS-6 has AC 110V and AC 220 V (opt) of power supply, provides any variable speed up to 5300 RPM which can be variably changed. With a dimension of 300x 245x 325 mmm of dimension, this model is 15 kg in weight. There has 2, 3,4 number of flutes and ø2- ø12 of the thickness of the endmill tool.
This model is a complete feature of an endmill machine. If the buyer needs a basic size of the tool they may choose this one. Highly reliable and convenient to use.
Easy to operate, grinding one end within 1 minute.
Gamor Apollo 22 came up with some wonderful machine features. This Spanish company released a few other drilling machines in the market. Among them, Apollo 22 is one of the best products selling recently.
300 watts of the motor is considerably enough to perform any strength of the cutting tool. With a 300 x 300 x 280 mm of dimension this machine is only 12 kg of weight. Rotational speed can reach up to 6900 RPM which is an attractive feature for this brand. This machine can perform 2,4 of cutting flutes with a range from ø12 to 22 mm thickness of the tool.
If the buyer focuses on the accessibility and reliability, this Gamor Apollo 22 will be the best choice for them. Drill diameter is important to notice for this product, the rest of the features are good to go.
Techcraft GD-313C is another wonderful model came in the recent market. GD-313C can not only grind the bottom of the tool but also cut the collapsed blade. The left side of the machine is used to grind the bottom of the knife tool, and the right side is used to cut the invalid blade. GD-313C can also change the sharpening way and the problem of processing.
GD-313C has 300 watts of motor power which provides variable speed ranges up to 5000 RPM. The speeds can be changed according to the user’s requirements. With a dimension of 370x 195x 230 mm in size, this model has 16/20 kg of weights. Comparing with other models this one is pretty heavy to carry.
GD-313C has a unique feature than the other model, which is, it has 2,3,4,6 number of flutes of cutting the knife. The thickness ranges from ø2- ø12 m. Like other models, this one has also 2 models in type. CBN is used to grind the high-speed steel material, SDC is used for the tungsten alloy steel.
Mascot CNC Tool is one of the recent companies in the market. YN-01A+ model has similar features comparing with other models. It has a twist drill, center drill, DG drill, SG drill or cutting type. Tool materials are Stainless Steel and carbide.
YN-01A+ has 200 watts of motor power normally provides the rotational speed up to 5500 RPM with a variation of 5% of the speeds. The speed can also be variably changed according to the user’s needs. With a dimension of 330x 175x 208 mm in size, it is about 15 kg in weight.
There are 2 flutes of the cutting tool and the thickness can work up to ø2- ø12 mm. The standard parts are collet ER20, collet SG ER20, Grinding wheel, Allen key, Extension holder, etc.
Accurate and Easy to operate
Comfortable price range.
Weak powered motor.
The number of flutes is not enough to work all kinds of end mill tool.
The products in the market have a different purpose while making them. Lots of operators have lots of uses. From them, we need to judge which of the products is suitable. In this article, we discussed the general workshop used end-mill machines. While buying the machine one must follow a sequence of points from the specifications. These points are very important to consider while choosing a machine. Let’s have a glance at them.
Motor: The higher power motor can operate more pressure in the machine. Generally, 200W to 300W is suitable for endmill machines.
Rotational Speed: We know the more RPM the more smooth will be the surface of the workpieces. RPM is very important for these Metalworking machines. Generally, from 5000 to 7000 RPM is the best to choose for the endmill machines.
The number of flutes: To choose the number of flutes depends on the customer’s product. A customer may not have a demand for so many categorized knife. For them, the basic flutes are enough to reach the demand.
The thickness of the cutting tool: Choosing the thickness feature also depends on the customer’s desired product.
Price: Price is a fact always. Generally, more the feature higher the price, so we recommend identifying the need first, and then choose the best one. Cause we know saving money is the ultimate target of the profit.
Customer review: Finally a customer review is important. The buyers who bought the machine and used it are more experienced, they know the practical uses of them, so they know the reliability of the product. Therefore, these are the factors that we must consider while choosing an endmill machine.
Considering the above pieces of information, we hope we could describe well enough to understand the end-mill machines. These are the information we collected from the official website of the product. We identified the basic difference in their specifications, considering the mechanics’ sense we distinguished the best serial. Finally, we tried to make your research easy and convenient. So, best of luck on your journey.
Considering to buy a unit of lathe mill combo? That’s great. Rather than buying two units of lathe and mill machines separately, purchasing the combo one could save you some money and space. If you have limited space in your workshop, then lathe mill is a great choice to deal with that issue.
A lathe mill combo is designed to be able to perform: turning, cutting threads, drilling, and milling.
In this post, we’ll discuss the lathe mill combo that can be used not only for metals but also for plastics, woods, etc. The size also varies from the benchtop version to the desktop. Unluckily, there are no sufficient options of lathe mill combo available on the market. We end up these 7 lathe mill combo.
Let’s get into the point. We reviewed the Metal wood lathe machine depending on a few factors and we classified the best machines following the demands of the buyer. Similarly, in this post we will be considering the following factors to choose the best Lathe mill combo machine:
The capacity of the milling and drilling.
Motor Power and speed ranges.
Overall size and weight of the package.
Before we go in details, let’s have a glance on all these machines, so that we can understand easily on later explanation.
Top 7 Best Lathe Mill Combo Reviews
1. Shop Fox M1018 Lathe Mill Combo (#1 Best Pick)
Shop Fox M1018 is so far the best lathe mill combo that we highly recommend to purchase. It provides good functionality and comes with a friendly price. Most importantly, it gives you a quality cutting that you definitely expect.
Size: It has dimensions of 42″ in length, 23″ in width, and 35″ in height. This one is comparatively smaller than the dimensions of Jet JMD-18 which is 47″L x 40″W x 51″H. So, this one should fit well to be placed in your workshop. In addition, its weight is almost 500 lbs, 440 lbs to be precise.
Mill: This machine is motorized by a 3/4 horsepower motor to spin the lathe and mill spindle. There are 14 fixed spindle speeds for the milling machine: 117, 150, 220, 276, 290, 345, 360, 440, 450, 575, 640, 836, 1000, 1300 RPM. There is no automatic switch, so you have to change the RPM manually.
Read the manual here to learn how to switch the RPM.
If you are going to machine metals, this machine is for you. It’s able to machine metals as long as you know how to calculate the RPM speed that depends on the cutting tool diameter, cutting speed, and workpiece material. In addition, it’s also capable to drill steel and cast iron using a drill bit that is up to 7/8 inch in diameter. Furthermore, the table size is 7‐1/4 in x 6 in, not really large but should suffice the work.
Lathe: In the case of the lathe, there are 7 fixed speeds: 160, 310, 375, 480, 610, 880, and 1380 RPM. Still, you have to switch from one another by manual switching through the pulley belts.
It comes with power feed, but you could choose the manual feed for sure. There are two speeds of this power feed. The first one is the speed that is generated by the gear combination. The capacity comes with 19.2 inches which will suffice the works as we know 12 inches off-center distance is normally enough.
Overall, this is definitely our recommendation to use in the workshop. It works in any residential building as it just requires a 110V outlet and 9 A to power the single-phase motor.
The best lathe mill combo available on the market today
Good quality cutting
Manual speed spindle switch
2. OTMT Combination Lathe – Model: OT25531
OTMT combination is slightly bigger than shop Fox M1018. We recommend this machine as a second choice for your workshop just like the previous one. It also comes with good functionality but the price is a little higher compared with the specification of Shop fox M1018.
Size: OT25531 is 57.48” in length, 22.83” in width and 37.99” in height. This adorable machine is 540lb in weight. This machine is bigger than the shop fox, which means its hard to carry out simultaneously. So, this machine will be best if we can use it in our bigger workshop. We can use it for our house mini-workshop too but the shop fox will be better for any workshops.
Motor: OT25531 is powered by ¾ HP single phase motor which will provide variable speed ranges from 120 RPM ~ 3000 RPM.
Mill & Drill: The milling and drilling have 16 variable speeds ranges from 120 RPM to 3000 RPM. Drilling capacity is 7/8 inches or 0.86 inches. The Milling and Drilling hand can be modified with the jack at front. While lathing the workpiece we can take the Drilling hand away from the machine, which can provide an accurate concentration on the workpiece and will be productive.
Lathe: This machine has Rotating spindle bore of ¾ inches. The lathe machine part has a variable speed range from 160 RPM to 1360 RPM (manual). The milling and drilling machine speed will not be the same as the lathe part. Lathe capacity includes 19.7 Inches on the X-axis is sufficient. OTMT combination has several other types of equipment provided with the lathe part.
Finally, it came with two main differences with the Shop Fox M1018 combo machine. First, the appearance where Shop Fox is more reliable than the OTMT machine. Second, the price is higher than the shop fox. But the all the specification remains the same with the Shop Fox M1018. So, we took this machine as the second Top machine in the ranking.
Productive and accurate.
One of the best machines in the market today.
Expensive compared with the specifications with Shop Fox.
Manual Speed change, no automatic speed control regulator.
3. Baileigh MLD-1030 Mill Drill Lathe
This gigantic Baileigh MLD-1030 will be the best choice on the production line of a mini-factory. Comparing with the other models we recommend this model as a third on the ranking. Because if we consider for personal use this machine may not be a good choice for you but this machine is really powerful and have a large capacity. So, it is best to use on the production line.
Size: This machine has a dimension of 69 inches of length, 44 inches of width and 55 inches of height. The weight comes with 690lb main machine, package may come more. We already have seen the sizes of this gigantic machine. Lots of space can be very useful to perform more production. This is the biggest among all the machines in this ranking list.
Motor: Very powerful motor of 1 Horsepower came up with this model. Comparing with the gigantic size of this model can provide a very strong performance. The motor can provide variable speed ranges from 50 RPM up to 2500 RPM of speeds. The wonderful thing is that this machine has an automated speed control switch where we can change our speed depending on our demands.
Mill: The milling and drilling head features a column-style base with adjustable depth and the dept DRO features the repeated cutting. It is built with robust MT-2 tapper. The drilling capacity is 7/8 inches which are similar to the other two models.
Lathe: The turning capacity of the machine is also bigger comparing with the size. The dimension of the center distance is 28.5 inches where the bigger workpieces can be operated. Besides, the small workpieces also can be operated. Besides this, the spindle bore came up with 1.10 inches in diameter. The turning speeds are adjustable from 50 RPM to 2,500 RPM with a DRO for precise cutting.
Overall, This machine will be best for the production line in a mini-factory because of this Turning capacity, bigger. The primary advantage of this model is the automated speed control regulator. I will recommend this for bigger workshop holders, not suitable house workshops.
An automated speed control switch will be very convenient to maintain the speeds.
Dept DRO features repeated cutting.
Warranty of 1 year.
Heavy, not suitable for small workshops.
4. CJC Mini Lathe Machine Desktop
This CJC Mini Lathe machine came up with wonderful accessibility features. The mini structure with all the features is very much reliable for any mini workpieces. Comparing with the other models this is half of their sizes. We picked this model as 4th in the ranking.
Size: CJC Mini Lathe combo is 19.6 inches in length, 11.8 inches in width, 16.1 inches in height. Including all the parts in it, this model contains 66.14lb of weight. Because of its small features, it is very convenient to use in mini-workshops.
Motor: CJC mini is constructed by a 150W of the motor. The motor can provide variable speeds. It has a total of 15 variable speeds range from 500 RPM to 2500 RPM. The whole machine needs 120 V with a 50 Hz frequency of the current.
Milling and Drilling: There have 10 levels of milling and drilling variable speeds from 500 RPM to 2500 RPM. The vertical stroke range of the milling and drilling is 60 mm. The drilling capacity came up with 6mm in depth. The milling & drilling hand can be rotated up to 360 digress. So, it’s very convenient to keep it in any direction while working on the lathe table.
Lathe: With a ¾ inches in diameter of spindle bore the lathe machine can provide 5 levels of speeds starting from 560 RPM to 2500 RPM. The working capacity is 7.08 inches or 180 mm with a stroke of 18 mm. The working table length is 85mm and the T slot width is 8 mm.
Besides all these, there will be a set of different adjustment tools, lathes, drilling knife, extra gears, pulleys, manuals, etc. We recommend this machine for any mini workpieces, so we highly recommend this machine for those who need it for small appliances. Besides if we look through the price configuration, Shop Fox is much better than this model. But If we consider the reliability than this model will be the best choice.
Not heavy to carry, adjustable at any place because of its size.
Good functionality and accuracy.
Not suitable for comparing with the price.
It cannot carry the high load.
5. KKmoon Mini Metal Lathe Mill
This combo machine brought an exclusive idea manufacturing all the components in a combo but separately. It has two different colors they are black and red. This machine has different parts, such as jigsaw, grinder, driller, wood lathe, metal lathe, miller, etc. Because it is an assembly of different working machines, so we describe them separately.
Sizes: KKmoon mini has a dimension of 19.5 inches in length, 14.9 inches in width, 3.4 inches in height. Having only 7.55 lb this machine can be placed at any working space in the workshop. The several machines are comparatively very small than the others.
Motor & Power supply: Very small motor of 48 W will provide variable speeds up to 2000 RPM. These electrical appliances are of 100-240v with 50/60 Hz of AC. The output operating voltage is only 12 V and 4 A of current.
Jigsaw & Grinder: The jigsaws operating space is 90 mm x 90 mm / 3.54 inches x 3.54 inches. Maximum cutting depth is 4mm hardwood, 7mm for triply wood, 18m for softwood, 0.55 aluminum flakes, 2mm for organic glasses. On the other side, the grinder comes with an operating space of 120 mm x 100 mm/ 4.72 inches x 3.94 inches. Grinding materials are wood, plastic, soft metal (Gold, Silver, Copper, Aluminum, etc.)
Milling & Drilling: The drilling operating space is 120 mm x 100 mm / 4.72 inches x 3.94 inches. The drilling capacity is 6mm. miller slide stroke is 30 – 50 mm. Grinding materials are wood, Plastics, soft metal (Gold, Silver, Copper, Aluminium, etc.)
Wood & metal Lathe: The both wood and metal lathe have a maximum processing diameter of 45 mm. The center distance (processing length) is 135mm. Wood materials are wood and plastics, on the other side metal materials are only soft metals such as (Gold, Silver, Copper, Aluminum, etc.)
Finally, we have found that this machine is not for hard materials. So, this machine can be suitable at the ornaments shop, can be suitable for showcase gifts shop, etc. KKmoon Mini is our no 5th in the ranking. It has wonderful accessibility, very cheap. Only because of its working motor and capacity it couldn’t come on the higher rank. But it is best for any mini materials to design and shape.
Best for soft metal shaping.
Weak motor power.
The capacity is very small.
Manual speed operator.
6. Proxxon 34104 Mill/ Drill Head PF 230
We have two models from Proxxon ranked on our list. The features in these models are similar to the other models. There some dissimilarities in their sizes and capacities. This model is a top-quality precision model in today’s market. Because of the high price and the capacities, we put this model on our no 6th rank, and PF 400 at 7th place. This model is very suitable in mini-workshops, better for daily workpieces.
Size: PF 230 has a dimension of 19.5 inches in length, 14.9 inches in width, 8.8 inches in height. With this dimension, this model is 17.75 lb in weight. This size slightly bigger than the KKmoon Mini lathe combo.
Motor: 140 W (0.1877 HP) of the motor will provide 6 levels of variable speeds fro, 280 RPM to 2200 RPM. The 6 levels of speeds are 280 RPM, 550 RPM, 870 RPM, 1200 RPM, 2200 RPM. It has an automated switch for variable speeds. It has also a bidirectional switch which can provide the opposite direction mode of the machine. This feature is pretty good with this model comparing with KKmoon Mni.
Mill: The drilling and milling tool can be rotated up to 360 degrees. The drilling capacity is 13/32 inches. It can rotate 360, so on the lathe machine, this machine will not give any obstacle. So the measurement will be accurate. On
Lathe: Lathe function is a compound table with X-Y axis travel being longitudinal and cross-wide respectively. The processing length is 10 inches (Center distance) With a ¾ inches in diameter of spindle bore this lathe machine can operate wood, plastic, soft metals, etc.
Therefore, we recommend this machine as number 6th on the ranking. It will be very suitable for mini-workshops etc.
Automated speed switch regulator.
7. Proxxon 24304 PF 400 Mill/Drill Head for Lathe
PF 400 is another model from Proxxon. This model is smaller than PF 230 in terms of size but has a higher capacity with the motor and processing space. In addition, it can work with any normal workpieces. It is also sufficient with all the parts and capacity comparing with the size and weight. We put this model in the 7th place it has a weak motor just like P230, though it has sufficient working space it is expensive. Overall PF230 will be better than PF 400.
Size: PF 400 has a dimension of 14.7 inches in length, 14.6 inches in width, 13.2 inches in height. With this dimension, PF 400 will be 49.6lb in weight. In Dimension, this is bigger than PF 230.
Motor: PF 400 is manufactured with a 140 W motor that can provide 6 levels of speed starting from 280 RPM to 2200 RPM. The motor is almost the same as PF 230.
Mill: The Drilling capacity of the machine is 1.38 inches which is pretty bigger than the other model. It is an exceptional feature. Beside The milling and drilling can be performed to soft metals, woods, plastic, etc, not the hard materials.
Lathe: PF 400 can easily fit into the PD 400 Lathe machine. The processing length (Center distance) of this model is 15.75 inches. This size can suffice any workshop workpieces. But it can’t operate hard materials because of its weak motor.
Overall, this machine will be suitable for mini-workshops. As this one is pretty expensive with the features, so we don’t normally recommend this one to buy. If it is for mini workpieces PF 230 is suitable to buy.
Bigger processing capacity.
The Drilling capacity is bigger than all other models.
Not suitable for comparing with other models with price and features.
Things to Consider
1. Size and Weight
When it comes to size, it means how fit it is in our home shop. You may aim to place them in your workshop. In this case, figuring out the dimension is important.
You may also put them on the top of a bench or desktop. A large lathe mill combo is not recommended to put in there.
Make sure that the floor can hold the machine. It’s very important to not overload the maximum capacity. Otherwise, you may want to see it collapses.
To see how powerful and versatile a lathe mill combo machine, we have to pay attention to the motor. A good motor is expected more than 1 HP to work excellently in the case of the workshop. If you afford the 2 HP, it’s good. Lower than 1 HP requires a lot of plans or we could crash the gear or the motor. In other words, it limits your ability to cut the workpiece.
3. For Metal or Wood?
Does the machine work to cut metal? In this case, RPM plays a significant role to consider. A lower RPM speed spindle is designed to work with metals while the faster one is for soft metals or wood or plastics.
A worktable dimension represents how big the workpiece can be accommodated. As the workpieces will be accommodated on the working table so this is also important to look into. Normally if we consider mini-workshop worktable above 10 inches is better. But if it is for a medium-sized workshop and needs a production line, in that case above 16 inches will be suitable for operating any workpieces.
Therefore, first of all, we need to decide on which purpose we need a lathe mill combo. After that, we consider those 6 factors and find the specifications from this post or detailed on the link provided at the last. And then we can consider price and accessibility, finally, we choose one to buy.
Finally, we always wish you the best of luck on your project.