10 Best Benchtop Milling Machines in 2021: Good, Bad and Reviews

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A benchtop milling machine can help you bring better output for your projects in terms of precision and strength similar to bigger milling machines. These are mini versions of milling machines used in large factories. 

Benchtop machines are preferred by DIY enthusiasts and newbie woodworkers for purposes of milling, flattening of irregular surface, drilling and even cutting. A benchtop mill can serve multiple purposes and it's great to have one as there are multiple things that can be done with such a machine. 

When it comes to choosing the best benchtop mill for your workshop, you need to be clear about the end goal. Knowing what you want in the end can massively help you choose a the best compact mill. Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before buying since it's an expensive purchase. You should do your due diligence before buying and only then proceed.

Product Name

power

Special Features

Price

Expert Choice

2 hp, 1 phase, 230 volt only motor

has cast iron column and heavy duty and big worktable

All Rounder

Motor: 1HP, 220v, Motor, 110V Operation

Comes with 2 yr warranty and best for heavy duty operations

Best For Beginners

Supports power: 12VDC/2A/24W

Tool is best for DIY newbies or for students new to heavy machinery

  • What material will you be machining on?
  • Will you require a 3,4 or a 5-axis operation?
  • What is the size range of the cutters you will use?
  • Is there a need for you to have a high RPM(more than 10,000)?
  • What is the size of the machine that you want to have?

Some milling machines can be very expensive, so if you are looking for a CNC mill that fits right in your budget then check out this post about best CNC mills under 10k

Best Benchtop Milling Machines

1. Jet JMD-18 350018 Benchtop Milling Machine: Best Milling Machine Overall

Jet JMD-18 350018 Benchtop Milling Machine

Credit: Amazon.com

Jet JMD-18 350018 is an ideal choice for anyone who requires power in their benchtop mill. You get 2 horsepower machine which is a great tool for professional use and comes with lots of interesting features like extra large work table, heavy-duty tapered roller bearings and a hinged belt cover that does faster speed changes.

No matter what benchtop mill you are buying , you will always wish a machine that’s durable and supports production for a longer duration of time. The jet JMD-18 350018 comes with a 1-piece cast iron column which is great for support and provides better durability.

Milling Machines also go through phases of innovation. The Jet JMD-18 comes loaded with such features such as integrated work lamp, easy to read internal depth gauge and lots of easy to control access. When it comes to speed, you can set it in the range of 150 to 3000 RPM. It's one of the best desktop milling machines and perfect for beginners.

If you have a clearly defined goal of what you want your benchtop mill to do then it will perform great but even if you don’t have an output defined, you can attach lots of gears to make it a high performing machine without compromising the quality of the tool. 

Technical Specifications

  • Horsepower: 2
  • Volts: 115 V
  • Worktable: 9.5 x 31.75”
  • Minimum RPM: 150
  • Maximum RPM: 3000
  • Weight: 739 lbs
  • Dimensions: 42.5 x 39.8 x 43.5”

Pros:

  • A 2 horsepower engine is enough for commercial jobs
  • Hinged belt cover for quick speed changes
  • Extra large project to work on bigger projects
  • 1-piece cast iron column for extended life

Cons:

  • Slight heavier than most machines and also a bit more expensive than other options available. 

2. Erie Tools Mini Milling Machine : Best for Heavy-Duty Jobs

Erie Tools Mini Milling Machine

Credit: Amazon.com

Erie Tools is a benchtop mill designed keeping in mind the needs of users who want heavy output from their machine. This milling tool has a lot of unique features like a variable speed control, a forward and reverse switch and a safety shut off switch. 

For better and more efficient functioning of the machine you can also limit switches.

As per your need, you have the freedom to fine tune your positioning which is possible due to adjustable depth stop, fine feed handwheel, crossfeed hand wheel, longitudinal feed hand wheel and a lifting hand wheel. There are also many extras involved.

With Erie Tools mill, you will get a 6 piece shank set along with 1/8  3/16 1/4 5/16 3/8 and 5/32” sizes. There are many accessories that you get like an oil can, hex wrenches, spanner wrench and an open end wrenches. 

Erie Tools Mill can easily be used for a lot of heavy-duty jobs. Such a machine is very flexible and thanks to the various shanks that make it flexible to changes. 

Technical Specifications

  • Horsepower: ¾
  • Volts: 110 V
  • Worktable: 9.45 x 5.7”
  • Minimum RPM: 0
  • Maximum RPM: 2000
  • Weight: 112 lbs
  • Dimensions: 26.5 x 21.5 x 18”

Pros:

  • 6-piece shank set along with wrenches
  • Forward and reverse switch for ease of use
  • Best for heavy-duty and deep milling jobs
  • Variable speed control and adjustment wheels for precise results

Cons:

  • Packaging for shipment not ideal
  • Few user complaints

3. Sunwin Metal Mini Milling Machine: Best for Beginners

Sunwin Metal Mini Milling Machine

Credit: Amazon.com

Not everyone is willing  to spend a lot of money on milling machine and majority of people are going to be newbies. If you are looking for a desktop mill that isn’t very expensive and yet does the job then Sunwin metal benchtop mill is going to be the perfect choice. 

All the important parts of this mill are made up of metal and everything including the spindle, slider, tailstock and pedestal has a sturdy build quality. 

Another advantage is the size of this mill which is compact and give you mobility for various operations. If you are a beginner then this is a perfect choice for you. 

A beginner's woodworking journey can be full of lot of mistakes, so you would be interested in reading the woodworking mistakes and how you should avoid them?

If you are a student or a beginner then you can definitely choose Sunwin metal mini milling machine for its compact size and ability to perform really well in terms of accuracy and precision.

Technical Specifications

  • Horsepower: 3/4
  • Volts: 110 V
  • Maximum RPM: 2000
  • Weight: 6.2 lbs
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 5.9 x 5.9”

Pros:

  • A great metal design for durability
  • Budget friendly
  • Lightweight for easy installation and repositioning wherever necessary
  • Small footprint that helps a crowded workbench

Cons:

  • Good only for beginners
  • Not able to tackle large jobs effectively
  • Not for experienced users

4. OTMT OT221 Benchtop Milling Machine :Best In Terms of Control and Precision

OTMT OT221 Benchtop Milling Machine

Credit: Amazon.com

OTMT OT221 is our next choice which is another tool that comes loaded with features. In this benchtop milling machine, you can see the head tilts 45 degrees to the left and right enabling you to have a better control for accurate results. 

You can operate the machine with a variable speed control that gives you more versatility and has two ranges: low which is from 0 to 1100 RPM and high which is 1100 to 2500 RPM. This mill has a fine feed which can be used for milling and an easy to read dial which actually has increments which can be as small as 0.0001 inch that can give you really great and precise results. 

If you are someone who wishes to get accurate results which are having a margin of 0.0001 inches then this is the machine for you. OTMT OT221 has a 45 degree head tilt for better control and precision. 

Technical Specifications

  • Horsepower: 1/2 
  • Volts: 110 V
  • Worktable Size: 3 1/2 x 15”
  • Minimum RPM: 0
  • Maximum RPM: 2500
  • Weight: 140 lbs
  • Dimension: 22 x 19.7 x 29.1

Pros:

  • Great choice for a small home workshop
  • Head tilts 45 degrees to the left and right for more accurate results
  • Variable Speed controls
  • You can get dials in adjustments as small as 0.0001 inch

Cons:

  • Gets slack with time and usage
  • A few user complains

5. Mophorn Mini Milling Machine : Best for Professional Use

Mophorn Mini Milling Machine

Credit: Amazon.com

Mophorn Mini Mill is a mini milling machine that has the best of both worlds. It has a reasonable size and comes with a lot of great features. 

The machines get an adjustable depth stop, fine feed head control, and an adjustable dovetail column for a better fine tuning when doing complex milling operations on wood or other materials.

Along With a variable speed control and gear drive, you save a lot of time in the process of milling and drilling. The machines comes with a toolkit that has a variety of wrenches of 4 T-nuts.

Here's a brief guide on how to cut dovetails by hand in 9 simple steps.

If you are a professional then having an ideal size benchtop mill is a very important thing. You ideally want it to be not too big and not too small and yet packed with a lot of features. With a 45 degree tilt, an adjustable depth stop, the Mophorn milling machine is one of the best milling machines to own. 

Technical Specifications

  • Horsepower: 3/4
  • Volts: 110
  • Worktable: 18 x 4.5”
  • Minimum RPM: 0
  • Maximum RPM: 2500
  • Weight: 170 lbs
  • Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 30.25”

Pros:

  • Head tilts 45 degrees on both left and right for increased accuracy
  • Fine tuning which is great for adjustable depth stop and fine feed head control
  • Tool kit included
  • Variable speed control for versatility

Cons:

  • Some users complain

6. Proxxon 34108 Small Milling Machine: Lightweight and Portable

Proxxon 34108 Small Milling Machine

Credit: Google.com

At just 41 pounds, Proxxon 34108 is a lightweight benchtop milling machine option that is great if you are having a limited space and need the mill for workshops that can perform basic milling operations. 

Shortage of space shouldn't stop you from stetting up your woodworking workshop. So we compiled this guide about how you can start woodworking in your basement

The speed range for this mill is 280 to 2500 RPM at 6 intervals. Proxxon 34108 is very easy to operate and the hand wheel adjusts the height and advances the fine mill feed.

Also the headstock swivel 360 degrees is another great factor which gives you any position that is suitable for accurate milling. Both the quill and the headstock lock into the position when you are ready to get to work.

If you are someone whose requirement is of a mini milling machine that focuses on finely detailed work then proxxon 34108 is a great choice. This mill weighs less than most of the other machines available and you will love the USP of this machine which is a 360-degree headstock rotation. 

Technical Specifications

  • Volts: 110 V
  • Worktable: 10.6” x 3.15”
  • Minimum RPM: 280
  • Maximum RPM: 2500
  • Weight: 41 lbs
  • Dimensions: 25 x 17 x 16.5”

Pros:

  • Lightweight and small
  • 360 degrees swivel head that gives accurate positioning
  • Includes 3 collets of 6, 8 and 10 mm
    Perfect sized for working with scale models

Cons:

  • If your need is to work with hard material then not suitable.
  • Not suitable if you take big commercial or industrial type work

7. SHOP FOX M1111 : Most Expensive Milling Machine

SHOP FOX M1111 Table top milling machine

Credit: Google.com

There may be many woodworkers reading this article who want a milling machine that is affordable and can do heavy jobs with utmost ease. For them, SHOP FOX M111 is a great solution. Some of its features include the push button speed control and back-lit along with digital spindle tachometer.

SHOP FOX M1111 also comes with a quick-tilt headstock that makes positioning of the horizontal milling really easy. The support which comes with the machine is made from long lasting ground cast iron. You get a 4 leveling feel so that you can adjust it as per the level work surface.

Safety is something that everyone should take care of. The fox M111 comes with a front facing emergency stop button. We believe for anyone who is looking for a strong Mill with features such as back-lit tachometer and push button speed control, The SHOP FOX M111 is a great benchtop milling machine. 

Technical Specifications

  • Horsepower: 1 Horse Power
  • Volts: 110
  • Worktable: 6.25 x 21.63”
  • Minimum RPM: 100
  • Maximum RPM: 1750
  • Weight: 416 lbs
  • Dimensions: 42 x 31.2 x 30.5”

Pros:

  • Made for hard core jobs
  • Rugged and provides multiple years of service with trouble-free maintenance
  • Long lasting cast-iron base
  • Feet is adjustable for easy leveling

Cons:

  • Adjusting gib for the head is not that well
  • Headstock can be difficult to raise
  • Not good for larger pieces

Other Great Picks

JET 350017 Benchtop Mill Machine

Credit: Amazon.com

The JET 350017 is a benchtop mill which has a support of one-piece cast iron column for long term durability. 

There machine has large hand wheel knobs which can be adjusted easily and the heavy-duty tapered roller bearings which can tolerate heavy load and give a more accurate drilling depth. For anyone who likes to work on a large work table, Jet 350017 is a great choice. 

A large work table can prove several benefits such as provide more versatility in the products which you can make. JET 350017 also has a 360 degrees swivel which means you can easily move it around your garage or workshop. You can also adjust the spindle speed as that leads to a faster belt adjustment. 

Technical Specifications

  • Horsepower: 1 Horse Power
  • Volts: 115 V
  • Worktable: 7.5 x 23”
  • Minimum RPM: 110
  • Maximum RPM: 2580
  • Weight: 457 lbs
  • Dimension: 36.5 x 37.5 x 35.5”

Pros:

  • Convenient extra-large work table
  • Highly versatile 360-degree swivel
  • Easy to use large wheel knobs
  • 12 spindle speeds ranging from 110 to 2580 RPMs

Cons:

  • Little difficult to make height adjustments
  • Changing speeds can be a complex process
  • Not good to work with harder materials

Klutch Mini Milling Machine

Credit: Google.com

Anyone would want to have a milling machine that’s value for money. For people on a budget, you can go for Klutch Mini Milling machine which is made from cast iron, which means it will have great duarbility. Klutch benchtop mill comes with 3.4 Horsepower motor that doesn’t vibrate like others and has variable speed.

The head and column tilt angle play an important role for any milling machine, with Klutch Mini you get a 45 degree tilt to both the left and right which makes the machine versatile. If you are someone who will be travelling a lot or moving this machine from one place to another, you can opt for this mini milling machine as it has compact size and weighs less.

If you want a bang for your buck in a benchtop mill, go for the Klutch mini mill. It has a good price tag, made from a sturdy material and is perfect for people on the go. 

Technical Specifications

  • Horsepower: 3/4 
  • Volts: 110 V
  • Worktable: 3 5/8 x 15 3/8 “
  • Minimum RPM: 100
  • Maximum RPM: 2500
  • Weight: 143 lbs
  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 20.06 x 29.93”

Pros:

  • Low vibrations
  • The speed gearbox is variable
  • Milling head and column tilt 45 degrees to left and right which makes the machine versatile
  • Compact size which is great for a home workshop

Cons:

  • -

SHOP FOX M1036 Benchtop Milling Machine

Credit: Amazon.com

Most professional users are always looking for machines that have very less margin for error and do very well with high level of quality and precision. The SHOP FOX M1036 is one such benchtop mill that has features like a digital depth readout, a micro down feed knob for better and fine adjustments and a variable speed control.

When doing detailed work, you need a compound slide table which comes with the Fox M1036. The USP of this tool is that every axis on the machine can be independently controlled. You need to position each axis using the crank handle and then lock it which will also reduce the vibrations.

Precision is an important factor for this mill, something you can see when doing fine work like the graduated dials that control movements in the increments as tiny as 0.001 inches. This tool has dual speed control which means you will be able to use it at higher speeds with softer materials and smaller ones for using large bits on hard materials.

To save money you can also use a CNC router for working metals and other hard objects. You can check out some of the best CNC router for aluminum

For users who want a high quality machine for a refined and more detailed work, go for the Shop FOX M1036. 

Technical Specifications

  • Horsepower: 1/5 
  • Volts: 110 V
  • Worktable: 3 1/2 x 8”
  • Minimum RPM: 0
  • Maximum RPM: 5000
  • Weight: 140 lbs
  • Dimensions: 22 x 18.5 x 15”

Pros:

  • The axis has an independent control which can be locked down to lessen down the vibrations
  • Dual speed for adjusting to a difference bits and materials
  • Precise up to 0.001 inch which is great for small working model parts

Cons:

  • Locking a slide can be difficult
  • On prolong usage, the motor can overheat
  • Not suitable for large involved jobs

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing the best benchtop mill, there are several factors which matter to a user like the nature of work involved, parts involved and also all the desired outputs.

The list has been crafted  for every purpose from people looking for the best desktop milling machine to people searching for best tabletop mill. We have made your task easier by recommending the best fit as per our review and research. 

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