The advances in technology have brought a lot of new machines to life. Not only are there new unique machines being made every year, but even the old industrial sized machines are now being made at a micro level.
Now, enters the mini milling machine, similar to its previous models, but on a much smaller scale. This technology has made it possible to mill items outside of your typical factory or workshop.
Now mini mills are affordable and can even be put directly on your desktop or work bench with relative ease. This has made milling and machining metals easier than ever before. You no longer need to own a machine shop or a factory to have metal cutting machines at your fingertips.
In a hurry… Here’s Our Top Mini Mills
WEN the leader in affordable workshop tools has done it again. The WEN compact milling machine has all the features and power you could want in a mini milling machine.
Editor's Choice - Best Mini Mill Overall
What is a Mini mill?
A mini milling machine comprises a vertical stationary cutting tool and a movable table which can be operated and controlled manually or by a computer. The workpiece is secured to a vice on the movable table, whereby the rotary cutting tool works on it. A mini-mill is a smaller-scale version of a milling machine and can sit on a workbench or table.
What are mini mills used for?
Like their larger counterparts, mini-mills are built to mill, drill, profile, and cut many different materials. They are best suited for aluminum, composites, plastics, and wood.
The only difference between a standard milling machine and a mini milling device, apart from the size, of course, is that mini-mills have a vertical orientation design, with their rotating shaft also being vertical. Small CNC mills, on the other hand, can either be vertical or horizontal and typically uses CAD/CAM software to operate.
Best Mini Milling Machine Reviews
1. Proxxon 37110 MICRO Mill MF 70
When it comes to quality, usability, and practicality, Proxxon has perfected it. And that’s evident in the Proxxon MF 70. This micro milling machine is perfect for light milling jobs. Therefore, it is recommended for beginners, model builders, and hobby milling cutters who want a small machine and relatively small workpieces.
The Proxxon MF 70 is well suited for the easy processing of aluminum, wood, plastic, and GRP. Its specific areas of applications include milling doorbell signs, engraving jewelry, and milling printed circuit boards. However, you can use it for a wide variety of applications, provided your workpiece is small enough to fit on the table.
Its precision when milling aluminum is approximately 0.1, depending on the cutting depth and feed speed. On the downside, the limited accuracy makes it unsuitable for professionals who require precision in the 1/100 range.
The Proxxon MF 70 comes equipped with a sturdy and stable machine base made of grey cast iron. It runs at a wattage of 100W, and its motor has a variable speed of anywhere between 5000 RPM to 20,000 RPM. It also has pre-drilled holes in the machine foot that enable you to screw it on to your workbench easily.
Its cross table is attached to the machine base, which has the two guided axes for the axis infeed in the clamping plane. Both the cross table and the guides are made of high-strength premium aluminum. It also has adjustable dovetail guides. The adjustable dovetail guides come in handy when adjusting the guides’ rigidity after they’re worn off.
The transverse path of the X, Y, and Z axes can be set manually using the handwheels. The handwheel scale division is 0.05mm, and the scale ring on the handwheels can be zeroed easily by turning.
- Affordable and easy to use
- Accurate workpiece positioning
- Stable operation and build
- Solid design and layout
- Can be quite noisy
- X-Axis not always smooth
2. WEN 33013 Compact Benchtop Milling Machine with R8 Taper
Suppose you are looking for a versatile milling machine that will give you all the convenience, functionality, and versatility of a premium milling machine. You should check out the WEN 33013.
The WEN 33013 is considerably larger than any other machine on this list. We, however, chose it for its functionality.
The WEN 33013 has a variable speed of 100 to 1000 RPM at the low setting and 100 to 2500 RPM at the high setting. It comes with a pretty large table (measuring 18-1/8 x 4-3/4-inches) and travels 11-13/16 inches in the X-axis and 5-1/8 inches in the Y-axis.
Unlike our previous selections, which have a stationary vertical spindle head, the WEN 33013’s spindle head can swivel 45-degrees in both directions. This makes it easier for you to cut metal, plastic, wood, or any other materials at an angle.
A milling machine’s foundation determines its accuracy and functionality, and the WEN 33013 does not disappoint. It comes with a cast iron base measuring 23-1/4 x 22 x 29-1/2 inches, with a footprint of 15 inches.
Apart from the machine itself, the package also includes an R8 spindle tapper, pre-installed drill chuck, fine-tune adjustment handwheels, a transparent drill chuck guard, onboard measurement indicators, an emergency stop button, and a two-year warranty.
- Stable cast iron base
- Very accurate machining
- Variable speed adjustment
- Spindle head can swivel 45 degrees
- A bit larger than others on this list of mini options
3. Klutch Mini Milling Machine
If you want a sturdy, compact milling machine that will give you all the benefits of high-end models without having to break the bank, then the Klutch Mini Mill is the machine for you.
This mini mill has a ½ HP motor that requires a power input of 110 V. This means that you power it with your regular home socket power outlet. The motor has a power output of 350 Watts, making it only suitable for light to medium-duty tasks.
One of its most attractive features is the spindle. Its spindle performs excellently. Its heavy-duty construction enables it to turn smoothly, with no deflection. This allows you to achieve clean cuts effortlessly.
When it comes to versatility, this milling machine has you covered. It comes equipped with a forward/reverse switch that instantly lets you adjust its speed and motion direction. The head and worktable are also easily adjustable using the handwheels.
One of the handwheels moves the worktable on the X and Y axis, while the other moves it along the Z-axis. The head also swivels 360 degrees to allow you to set your workpiece effortlessly.
Although this machine doesn’t come with a stand, it is pretty stable when screwed onto a sturdy workbench. It is also relatively quiet, which is a big plus when you’re working at home.
- It has a durable and compact design
- Equipped with a direct-drive motor
- Easy to operate
- Fully assembled upon arrival
- Not ideal for heavy duty milling
4. MicroLux High Precision Miniature Milling Machine
This milling machine does exactly what its name says. It offers unmatched precision, and its robust construction enables it to cater to all your machining needs in your model workshop.
It offers a smooth operation that enables you to make fine finishes on both metallic and non-metallic materials like wood and plastic.
This machine comes equipped with 0.05 inch-per-turn table feed screws and dials for added accuracy. The headstock is also lever-actuated to ease drilling operations.
Like our previous pick, the spindle head can be tipped in either direction for angled milling and drilling and can be easily separated from the base for relocation and storage.
This machine runs on a 500 watt, 2/3 HP brushless motor, with an ultra-quiet, belt-driven spindle. It has a ½-inch drill chuck and drawbar, power supply with feedback-sensing power boost circuitry, column lock and drill stop, spring-assisted headstock return, v-way chip guards, and a safety cut-off switch. The table measures 16x3x3/4 inches.
- Excellent precision cutting
- Solid and stable construction
- Spindle head can swivel
- Powerful and silent spindle
- Not great for heavy duty machining
5. Grizzly Industrial G0705-8″ x 29″ 2 HP Mill/Drill with Stand
If you are looking for a mini-mill that will give you enough milling power for almost any home milling operation, then this is the machine for you. This machine is a sort of miniature industrial milling machine made for small workshops. This mini mill is perfect for cutting metal.
It is powered by a 2 HP motor, with a 110V/220V single phase input. The table is large enough to accommodate most workpieces. It also has simple speed adjustments with up to 12 spindle speeds. The spindle also has forward, reverse, and emergency stop functionality to make it much safer and convenient.
The fine down feed control in this milling machine is graduated in 0.001 inches for added accuracy. This also comes in handy when doing finishes to your workpiece. The fine down feed is engaged by clutch action for added convenience.
One of the major features that make this miniature milling machine stand out from the rest is the fact that it comes with a stand. And not just any stand. The stand on this machine comes equipped with a chip tray, coolant trough, and cabinet.
- Stand included
- .001 Graduation for accuracy
- Powerful motor
- Heavy-duty capabilities
- Heavy, not portable
- Larger than others on list
6. SHOP FOX M1036 Micro Milling Machine
This micro machine is a great choice for anybody who wants a reliable miniature milling machine at an affordable price. The FOX M1036 comes equipped with a 0.2 HP motor that can deliver up to 3600 RPM. You can select between the lower speed setting (0 to 500 RPM) and the high-speed setting (500 to 3600 RPM).
The table measures 8 x 3.5 inches, and although it is not suitable for large projects, it is perfect for small projects since it comes loaded with lots of features to improve precision. The digital readout enables you to accurately measure the depth and boreholes in workpieces precisely—the micro down feed knob, and the variable speed control help improve your precision.
- Precise and accurate
- Solid and sturdy build
- Very Affordable
- Equipped with digital readout
- Not suited for long runs
7. JET 350017/JMD-15 Milling/Drilling Machine
If you are one of those people who prefers quality over quantity, then you’ll love the JET 350017/JMD. This averagely-priced milling machine is constructed using high-quality materials and the best manufacturing practices. This ensures that it will last longer and offer quality service.
It features a one-piece column for added support and durability and a quick slide hatch for fast belt adjustments. It has a pretty big worktable and a 360-degree swivel that makes working on any workpiece a breeze. It also comes equipped with a worktable lamp that keeps your workpiece illuminated while you’re working on it.
The JET 350017 is a very big machine, weighing an outstanding 450 pounds. Once you install it, you can be moving it around, or not at all. That being said, its 1 HP, single-phase, 115/230 V motor gives you enough power for any drilling operation you might have and an easy to read external depth gauge, not to mention the positive quick-stop knob that makes operating it a walk on the park.
- 360-Degree Swivel
- Comes with work lamp
- Tapered base ideal for cleanup
- Two-year warranty
- Very heavy- 450 pounds
8. SUNWING Metal Mini Milling Machine
The SUNWING Mini Mill is arguably one of the cheapest milling machines on the market. However, it still has a high-quality construction and great functionality. Every part in this mill is made of metal, including the spindle, tailstock, slider, and pedestal, to provide a sturdy build quality.
This mill is also pretty small (measures 9.8 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches), enabling it to fit any workbench effortlessly. Weighing only 6.2 pounds, this is among the lightest mills out there. You can transport and move it around effortlessly without breaking your back.
It comes equipped with a ¾ HP motor that runs on a 110V power supply. It can, therefore, be powered by your ordinary wall socket outlet. The SUNWING Mini machine is a great choice for beginners since it falls within a reasonable budget and has excellent precision.
- Lightweight and portable
- Ideal for small workspaces
- Very durable
- Not ideal for large workpieces
9.KKmoon DIY 6 in 1 Mini Mill
KKmoon is one of the leading industrial machine manufacturers in the world. It’s no wonder they created one of the best multi-purpose machines out there. As the name suggests, this machine does more than just milling.
This device is a six-in-one mini lathe machine. It allows you to saw, grind, drill, and lathe, not to mention mill. This makes it especially suitable for handymen, garage workers, plumbers, woodworkers, and anybody else who has to deal with many machines in the workshop.
The machine’s body is made of aluminum, which increases its durability and gives it a premium feel.
It comes equipped with a 2000 RPM motor with a power rating of 48W, making it suitable for processing materials like wood, aluminum, plastics, and soft metals.
What we like and don’t like
- 6-in-1 capabilities
- Easy to operate
- Very cheap
- Not great for large or harder materials
10. Proxxon 34108 Micro Mill FF 230
If you are looking for a miniature mill that can double as a drill stand, then you’re in luck. Although it produces a little noise, the Proxxon FF 230 runs pretty smoothly. It comes with a strong motor that works together with a poly V drive system that enables the machine to reach a top speed of up to 2500 RPM. This is easily adjustable through the six variable speed control options.
The worktop table measures 10 5/8 X 3 5/32 inches, which is enough to work on small projects efficiently without compromising portability. The table is easily adjustable through two handwheels located at its base.
The hand crank allows you to move it vertically, while the fine feed adjustment will enable you to adjust its height. This machine also comes with three collects that prevent your tools from falling off the spindle, thus facilitating safer operation.
- Six adjustable speed settings
- Simple to operate
- Very smooth to operation
- Instruction manual is not great
Mini Mill Buying Guide
Whenever making a large purchase it is critical to cover all of your bases. So, it is no different than when looking for a mini mill. A lot of the basic criterias need to be met before making the best decision. Let’s take a look at the four most important factors to consider before making your decision.
Obviously with a mini mill, a large working area isn’t expected. However you still should keep in mind the overall cutting area of your X and Y axis travel. It is also important to know the Z-axis travel so you have a good understanding of how thick of material your mini mill can cut.
When it comes to the overall weight in size of your machine, that is a matter of preference. If you want a machine you can easily move from table to table, then look for a machine with a lower overall weight. If you want a more stationary machine, then you can go with a much heavier mini milling machine.
2. HP and Spindle
The motor’s horsepower determines the overall usability of the milling machine. Machines with little HP, i.e., 0.2HP, can only work on wood, plastic, and soft metals. On the other hand, millers with 2 HP and above can handle almost any material that you put on them.
The features in a mini mill determine its overall user-friendliness and versatility. Regardless of what you plan to do with it, you should make sure the milling machine you are about to purchase has; easy to use variable speed adjustments, a safety shut-off switch, a forward/reverse switch, and easy-to-read measurements, and a safety plastic shield. You can also choose to go for one with an adjustable swivel spindle head.
The best mini mills can cost anywhere between $200 and $10000. The price depends on the machine’s features and brand. If you are a beginner, then a cheap mini mill would do great, but if you are a professional, then it is advisable that you get a high-end machine that will offer you all the drilling power and versatility you need.
Now that you know the mini mill machines, let’s talk about what we recommend going forward. Get a machine that best suits the needs of your materials, space, and workshop.
All the machines on our list have passed through a thorough vetting research process to ensure that they are the best in their category.
We’ve also given you a few pointers on what to look out for when shopping for a milling machine. Taking these pointers into consideration will ensure that you end up with the best mini mill for your intended purpose.