8 Best Benchtop Milling Machine- Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Image of precision Mathews, the Best Benchtop Milling MachineSometimes, as a woodworker, you want to work on smaller pieces of projects with accuracy, versatility, and efficiency, and that’s the time you’ll need the best benchtop milling machine.

These tools are also called mini milling machines and need less space in your workshop but have high accuracies plus versatility for a range of milling projects.

Benchtop milling machines are better than 3D printers when it comes to speed as well as precision. Overall, they are cheaper and occupy less space compared to the heavy-duty industrial models.

The problem comes when it’s time to shop for a benchtop milling machine as most buyers do not know what to look for in these tools. I have reviewed some of the best mini milling machines that you should consider buying. Additionally, I’ve provided a buyer’s guide to help you with decision making even as you shop for your products.

List of The Best Mini Milling Machine

1. JET JMD-18 350018 Milling/Drilling Machine

The JET JMD-18 350018 is my overall best benchtop milling machine, it is a beast and comes with so many impressive features. It has a 2 horsepower motor that makes it one of the powerful ones you will find on the market. If you are looking for a tool for professional use then this drilling machine will serve you right.

Some of its impressive features include an extra-large work table, heavy-duty tapered roller bearings, plus a hinged belt cover that allows for faster speed changes. Additionally, this tool is durable thanks to its 1-piece cast iron column that provides an insane amount of durability and stability.

What’s unique about this tool is its innovative features such as work lamp, an internal depth gauge which is easy to read plus easy-access control. Additionally, there are up to 12 different speed settings ranging anywhere between 150 and 3000 RPM.

If you want power and durability then JET JMD-18 350018 is the way to go. This tool can handle any job that you have at hand. It is an expensive tool but worth every penny.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The tool has an HP of 2
  • Its worktable has dimensions of 9.5 x 31.75″
  • It has a speed range of 150 to 3000 RPM
  • This machine weighs 739 lbs
  • Dimensions: 42.5 x 39.8 x 43.5″

Pros

  • It has a hinged belt cover that allows for fast speed changes
  • This tool has an extra-large work table that allows you to handle bigger projects
  • It has a powerful 2 HP engine that makes it suitable for commercial jobs
  • It’s durable 

Cons

  • It’s very heavy
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2. Proxxon 37110 MICRO Mill MF 70

If you are working on a budget and looking for a benchtop milling machine that will get your projects done with so much efficiency then try this tool. The Proxxon 37110 Micro Mill is a vertical milling machine that comes with variable speed settings of up to 20000 rpm. This speed is enough to handle most of the woodworking projects.

The manufacturers created this tool to last and will provide you with several years of service. Other great features of this tool are the adjustable slides that make milling both efficient and smooth.

Overall, this tool has a great structure that makes it suitable for labs, optical projects, making of jewelry among other delicate projects.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The tool is quiet, precise and has no vibration which makes it fatigue-free and you can use it for an extended duration
  • It has low weight with a slim design
  • It has a great speed to handle most of your projects

Pros

  • It’s affordable 
  • This tool is perfect for delicate tasks

Cons

  • It’s small for larger projects
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3. WEN 33013 Benchtop Milling Machine with R8 Taper

It’s amazing to work with this tool, tasks such as making perfect channels and grooves into metal, wood, plastic, etc. looks like a knife through butter with this tool. It is a versatile 13-inch swing tool that helps woodworkers to come up with flat surfaces, straight holes, slots, angled edges, pockets, surface contours, and a lot more. 

The R8 Taper makes the tool compatible with a wide variety of cutters, and bits, hence providing users with a 1/2-inch drilling capacity, a 5/8 inch capacity of end mill, and a 1-1/8 inch as the capacity of face mill. You can bevel the cutter head and column 45 degrees to the right or the left. The variable-speed operation of this tool goes anywhere from 100 to 1,100 RPM when it is on the low setting and 100 to 2,500 RPM when it is on the high setting. This flexibility in speed setting allows you to work on a wide range of materials. 

The benchtop design of this tool gives the users a sturdy and reliable heavy-duty base that has pre-drilled bolt holes that increases the stability. Additionally, there’s a rubber cover that runs from the table to the column and helps the catch chips and minimizes clean-up. One other thing is the transparent shield combined with the emergency stop feature that provides maximum safety of the user while in operation.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It has a variable speed range of 100 to 1,100 RPM on low setting and 100 to 2,500 RPM on high setting
  • This tool comes with an 18-1/8 x 4-3/4 inch table travels 11-13/16 inches along the X-axis and 5-1/8 inches along the Y-axis
  • It requires that you bevel the head and column 45 degrees in either direction for angled cuts in metal, wood, plastic and more
  • It has a compact cast-iron design that enhances its durability
  • This tool comes with an R8 spindle taper that allows it to be compatible with many tools.

Pros

  • It’s a durable tool
  • This benchtop milling machine comes with alot of versatility
  • It is safe to work with this machine

Cons

  • It’s pricey
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4. SUNWIN Metal Mini Milling Machine Micro DIY Woodworking Power Tool for Student Hobby

The SUNWIN Metal Mini Milling Machine is the tool for you in case you are working on a budget but still would love to own a milling machine. All the major components of this tool are crafted using durable metal, such components include the spindle, slider, tailstock, and pedestal.

One fascinating thing about this machine is its size. You will find it as a lightweight yet a very compact option that will perfectly fit even on your crowded workbench. It makes a perfect choice for hobbyists or students of woodworking as it is easy to use and above all, inexpensive yet it still provides you with the accuracy and precision that you need for your various projects.

The Summary of Top Features

  • This tool is a milling cutter, milling machine and needs the guidance of professional if you are a beginner 
  • The main part of this machine includes the spindle, the tailstock, slider, pedestal, motor blades, connection piece, etc.
  • The motor speed of this tool 20,000rpm
  • Its headstock speed is 2,000rpm
  • Support power: 12VDC/2A/24W

Pros

  • Its size allows it to fit on any crowded workbench
  • It is lightweight hence allow you to reposition it if deemed necessary
  • This tool is budget-friendly
  • It comes with a durable all-metal design

Cons

  • It is not suitable for professionals
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5. SHOP FOX M1111 Mill and Drill

SHOP FOX M111, is another tool that you should consider if you are working on tough projects. It is a heavy-duty machine that’s rugged and comes with a lot of precision. It comes with push-button speed control and back-lit. The digital spindle tachometer of this machine is easy to use and above all, the quick-tilt headstock ensures that the positioning like for horizontal milling is easy.

The support base of this tool is created using a long-lasting ground cast-iron that has 4 leveling feet that allows you to adjust to a level work surface even if your workbench is not perfectly straight. Additionally, the front-facing emergency stop button is easily accessible whenever the need arises.

If you’re willing to spend your money on a tool that will swerve you for the years ahead then it is worth all the efforts to acquire this product. It can handle virtually all tasks you’d need for woodworking.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It has a horsepower of 1
  • Volts: 110
  • The dimension of worktable is 6.25 x 21.63″
  • This tool has a speed range of 100-1750 RPM
  • It weighs up to 416 lbs
  • It has dimensions as follows 42 x 31.2 x 30.5″

Pros

  • This tool handles tough jobs perfectly
  • It’s rugged with the ability to provide several years of service with trouble-free maintenance
  • It comes with a long-lasting cast-iron base
  • This benchtop milling machine has adjustable feet for easy leveling

Cons

  • The headstock of this tool is hard to raise
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6. Precision Matthews PM-25MV

As the name suggests, this tool comes with high levels of precision. It comes with several special features that separate it from most of the tools you will buy out there. Some of these features include Quill DRO for the up/down movement of the spindle. Also, there’s the standard 3 Bolt Head Mount where the head mounts to the Z-Axis for improved more rigidity when you are doing your milling projects.

With this tool, you get a fast, powerful, and reliable belt drive from motor to the spindle that runs much quieter than most of the similar tools that you’ll see around. The manufacturers of this tool did buyers a great favor by attaching up to 3 years of warranty to this tool which acts as a cushion for first-time buyers who have no experience with the product quality.

Here’s the list of other components of this tool, the PM-25MV Milling Machine, Chip Tray, Variable Speed with Belt Drive and Brushless DC Motor, Way Cover Set, Drawbar, R8 Spindle Taper, Quill/Spindle Depth DRO, and a Spindle Locking Wrench.

The Summary of Top Features

  • This tool is very reliable and comes with a brushless DC Variable Speed Motor
  • It comes with an extra-large column for base mounting
  • Quiet tool

Pros

  • It doesn’t make much noise like most of the other tools
  • The tool has high levels of precision
  • It comes with a warranty of 3 years

Cons

  • It’s expensive
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7. OTMT OT2213 X2 Variable Speed Mini Milling Machine

The OTMT OT221 is a great tool if you are on the look for the best benchtop milling machine. It is of good size and comes with many desirable features, it’s head tilts 45 degrees to the left and right so it gives you better control and guarantees more accurate results. 

Additionally, this tool has a variable speed control for im[proved versatility. On the low setting, this tool has a speed range of 0 to 1100 RPM, on the high setting the speed is in the range of 1100 to 2500 RPM. Furthermore, it has a fine feed that’s used for milling not forgetting the easy-to-read dial that comes with increments as small as 0.0001 inch so that it ensures you get really precise results.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The tool has a horsepower of 1/2
  • Volts: 110
  • The dimensions of the worktable stand at 3 1/2 x 15″
  • Its speed ranges from 0-2500RPM
  • This tool weighs 140 lbs
  • It measures 22 x 19.7 x 29.1″

Pros

  • It’s a suitable size for a home workshop
  • The head of this tool tilts 45 degrees to the left and right for more accurate results
  • It has variable speed controls
  • You can dial in adjustment as small as 0.0001 inch

Cons

  • This tool does get some slack with time
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8. JET 350017 Milling/Drilling Machine

The JET 350017 comes with a one-piece cast iron column that adds support and extended durability. Some of the great features that you will find on this tool include large hand wheel knobs that make it easy to adjust. Also, the heavy-duty tapered roller bearings that offer a greater tolerance plus more accurate drilling depth. 

Its worktable is large which makes this machine easy to use, instead of the 45-degree tilt, this milling machine comes with a highly versatile 360-degree swivel that makes it one of the most versatile tools you can find around. The changing of spindle speeds is an easy one thanks to the quick slide latch. Above all, it comes with a faster way to adjust the belt.

If you are looking for durability and versatility, the JET 350017 wins. One thing that stands out in this tool is the 360-degree swivel which enhances precision and accurate adjustments.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It has a horsepower of 1
  • Volts: 115
  • The tool has a worktable dimension of 7.5 x 23″
  • It has a speed range of 110-2580 rpm
  • This tool weighs 457 lbs
  • It has a dimensions: 36.5 x 37.5 x 35.5″

Pros

  • It has a convenient and extra-large work table
  • This tool comes with a versatile 360-degree swivel
  • Easy to use large hand wheel knobs
  • It comes with 12 spindle speeds ranging from 110 to 2580 RPMs
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 Best Benchtop Milling Machine Buyer’s Guide

Here are some of the main things you should consider so that you choose the right benchtop milling machine that will suit your projects:

Power and Speed of the Milling Machine

Why do you need a milling machine? If you are planning to mill steel, for example, you should go for a very hefty machine such as my best overall product. Considering that steel is not an easy material to mill, you should go for a tool that has high horsepower and an adjustable speed.

If you are working with brass, wood, composites, and some aluminum, you will find most of the machines more than sufficient to handle such tasks. 

For a benchtop milling machine that’s going to handle most small tasks or malleable materials, any horsepower around 1/8 will do. For more intense projects, ensure that you have around 1 HP or 2 HP if you want a serious performer.

Speed is important as well, different materials require different rates. You will find that each milling machine comes with its minimum and maximum RPM. A standard milling machine should allow you to dial into several presets in that range. Good machines should provide you with up to eight different speed settings. 

Accuracy and Vibration

The accuracy of the machine that you are going to buy matters a lot if you want to end up with accurate and precise final products.

Additionally, your tool should be stable such that your projects are not compromised by the vibrations. Overall, try and settle for a product with high accuracy with low or no vibration.

The Size and Capacity of the Machine

One major thing that you should consider when it comes to size is the physical size of the tool. While these tools can be mounted to a workbench, some of the tools are just too big and come with a lot of weight. Therefore, ensure that if you are going to mount your machine, the bench should handle it with comfort.

The worktable is also important. Here, you should first consider the travel distance. They move side to side and back and forth, so the distance they travel will tell you the amount of working area. So why does this matter? Well, the further the table moves, the less you’ll need to reposition your work as you continue with your projects.

The Control of the Tool

If you are going to be working on projects that require you to make complex angles, go for a milling machine with a head section that can tilt and rotate easily. All you need to do is to up to 45 degrees left to right, other tools move a whole 360 degrees.

Other than the stability of the base, there are other sections of the milling machine that play an important role in its accuracy. The controls are really important. If your controls are easy to manipulate, you will end up with more precise work. Levers are typically responsible for large, coarse movement. The gauges stop, and scales are great when it comes to fine-tuning. There are machines that I’ve reviewed and have scales with increments as small as 0.0001 inches.

Safety Features of The Machine

If you are looking to add stability to your benchtop milling machine, you should bolt it down. Technically, avoid using these machines without bolting it down because there’s every possibility that the machine will move a bit and possibly impact on the accuracy of your work.

Observe the maximum load rating of your milling machine. Working with weights that are too much for the machine to handle can be a disaster.

Every time you are working, ensure that you wear goggles and a face mask so that the particles that might be flying all over do not hurt your eyes.

Watch the video below on how you can set up a benchtop mill:

Conclusions

Having read this article, you understand how important a milling machine is to a woodworker. Even so, you ensure that you only buy the best product in the market to get the best out of your projects and save on the cost by having a product that can serve you for several years.

My overall best benchtop milling machine is JET JMD-18 350018 Milling/Drilling Machine. This tool is equipped to handle all your woodworking projects, big or small. Additionally, it comes with so much accuracy and precision. Furthermore, it is equipped with safety features to ensure that you are working in a safe environment. Overall, you will find it worth every penny.

Ensure that you read the buyer’s guide to understand some of the most important features of a milling machine that you should consider before making your purchase.

Finally, did you find this review helpful to your quest? If so, kindly share your opinion with me in the comment section below.

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