Top 5 Hobbyist Milling Machines

If you are reading this post, surely you are fond of crafts or DIY , and you are looking for a tool that allows you to achieve better finishes on your projects. Precisely, a milling machine is a very useful machine for these types of trades.

In this article we have dedicated ourselves to investigating all the information you need to know to be able to buy a good quality milling machine , and without spending so much money.

Our 5 Favorite Hobbyist Milling Machines

ET JMD-18 350018
WEN 33013 4.5A
Grizzly Industrial G0758Z
JET 350017/JMD
Grizzly Industrial G0758-6"
JET JMD-18 350018 230-Volt 1 Phase Milling/Drilling Machine
WEN 33013 4.5A Variable Speed Single Phase Compact Benchtop Milling Machine with R8 Taper
Grizzly Industrial G0758Z - 6" x 20" 3/4 HP Mill/Drill with DRO
JET 350017/JMD-15 Milling/Drilling Machine
Grizzly Industrial G0758-6" x 20" 3/4 HP Mill/Drill
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ET JMD-18 350018
JET JMD-18 350018 230-Volt 1 Phase Milling/Drilling Machine
WEN 33013 4.5A
WEN 33013 4.5A Variable Speed Single Phase Compact Benchtop Milling Machine with R8 Taper
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Grizzly Industrial G0758Z
Grizzly Industrial G0758Z - 6" x 20" 3/4 HP Mill/Drill with DRO
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JET 350017/JMD
JET 350017/JMD-15 Milling/Drilling Machine
Grizzly Industrial G0758-6"
Grizzly Industrial G0758-6" x 20" 3/4 HP Mill/Drill
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Tips for choosing a good hobbyist milling machines

To  know which milling machine you should buy,  you must take into account some recommendations , such as the different models and characteristics of each one:

  • Speed ​​control:  It is necessary that you select a team that can control the revolutions or the speed it gives, so that you can work on different surfaces without damaging them.
  • Motor power:  This is an important characteristic and that you should take into account depending on the amount of work you plan to do, the most recommended is one of about 710 watts
  • Clamping pliers  It is important that you have clamps that hold it to a solid surface so that you do not run the risk of it being released in full work, they usually come from 6 mm and 8 mm clamping.
  • Transparent base- It is a very good option, since if the base is transparent you will be able to observe the shape that you are leaving in the piece and thus verify that the work is getting well done.

What should you consider before buying a milling machine?

1. Power

Before buying a conventional milling machine you must take into account its power. Keep in mind that the higher the power, the greater the milling capacity. Therefore, it will serve you to work even the most solid wood. This factor is related to the use that you are going to give to the milling machine. If you want to buy it for professional use, we recommend that you choose a machine with greater power, since it will allow you to achieve greater depth in milling. If, on the other hand, you only use it occasionally, you can buy a milling machine with less power and more basic.

2. Depth

This factor is closely related to the previous point. Obviously, the most powerful milling machines allow you to reach greater depth. Therefore, the choice of the machine will depend on the type of project you need to work on. If you need to mill pieces of solid wood, we recommend a milling machine that allows you to reach a depth of at least 30 mm. Inclusively, for these cases there are those that reach 50 mm. If you are going to work on other types of materials, such as plywood or fine wood, you can use a milling machine that works between 6 and 12 mm. 

3. Comfort

When buying a milling machine, it is advisable that you pay attention to certain characteristics that make working with the machine more comfortable. Remember that milling work requires precision and stability, so it is very important that the grip of the machine is safe and ergonomic. At this point the milling machines with rubberized handles are the most recommended. You should also look at the balance center, which must be stable, and prevent the machine from vibrating. Other points in favor of comfort are that the machine is silent and that it has integrated lights to better observe the milling process.

4. Accessories

This is a very important factor that you should take into account before buying a milling machine. Milling is a craft activity that requires versatility, therefore, to achieve different types of finishes, it is not enough to have the milling machine, but also strawberries and other accessories that will help you achieve your projects. At this point, the most recommended milling machines are those that bring various types of guides, as well as tweezers and templates. The ones that adapt to the vacuum cleaner are also very convenient, since you can work without worrying about the chips that fall around.

5. Brand

Milling machines are high precision machines, so when buying one of them, it is best to have the guarantee of a recognized brand. This way you will know that you are acquiring a good quality, resistant and safe product. In this article we bring you a list of the best brands of this type of tool. In this way your choice will be easier to make.

Top Milling Machine Brands

  • Einhell –  This German brand with more than 50 years of presence in the tool market, is well known for its innovative designs and high quality standards, which are also very competitive. Their catalog includes conventional tools, gardening and accessories for home work.
  • Bosch – For more than a century, this firm has earned consumer recognition for its state-of-the-art designs, for the home, for industrial use, and in the automotive field. Its motto is “technology for life”.
  • Makita –  For more than 100 years, this Japanese brand has been dedicated to making tools for professional use and also for the home. Its products are characterized by their performance, durability and for being friendlier and more compact.
  • Silverline – This is a brand that offers a wide variety of tools and spare parts so you can do your job more easily or with less effort. From this brand you can find everything from scales, combination wrenches, hoses, pulley pullers and even woodworking tools.

What is and what is a milling machine for?

It is a manual machine for industrial or domestic use that is used to make exact cuts on different surfaces of different diameters and compositions. There are several ways to use a milling machine, these are the following:

  • Wood: Mostly, this tool is used to make cuts in large pieces of wood with greater accuracy, in order to avoid unsightly results.
  • Metals: This machine is used to cut and separate pieces of different types of metals such as iron, aluminum, among others.
  • Plastics: They are used to cut pieces of plastic that, although they have less hardness, are much easier to be damaged if they are not cut accurately and firmly.
  • Synthetic materials: This class of products requires faster and more accurate cuts to be separated in a good way and that is the function of the milling machine.
  • Drilling: Most modern milling machines have the option of making small incisions with the milling cutter that allow a large variety of materials to be drilled without intervening around them.
  • Grooving: In addition to cutting and drilling, this appliance is also used to make grooved grooves in materials that have greater flexibility, using low speeds and medium pressure.

How to use a milling machine?

Although milling machines are high-powered hand tools, they are also safe to use as long as the instructions are followed properly. The basic steps that must be followed to use one of these machines correctly are the following:

  1. Use protection: When using a milling machine, it is important to use protection in the area of ​​the eyes, respiratory tract and hands, to avoid the high percentage of risk of an accident due to its misuse.
  2. Fix the milling machine: It is essential to get a surface where you can work safely with this tool. It must be a large space that allows the freedom of movement of the person who handles it.
  3. Choosing the strawberry: The strawberry to use anger depending on the activity that is intended to be carried out, it is essential to choose the diameter, size and speed at which you will work well.
  4. Travel:  The movement carried out with the machine must be firm and uninterrupted. Regardless of whether it is drilling, cutting or grooving, the line must be made in a safe and precise direction.
  5. Repeat if necessary: For beginners, who do not yet have the practice or skill to perform a precise cut, it is sometimes necessary to run the router through a certain area again to achieve the expected result.
  6. Stopping the milling machine: After carrying out the work, it is extremely essential that the milling machine is stopped and then locked to avoid accidents due to bad handling.

Advantages of using a milling machine

In recent years, milling machines have progressively become an essential tool when making cuts that require a minimum of precision. The advantages of using these tools are:

  • Professional finishes: Thanks to the speed with which the cut is made, the work done with this device is extraordinary compared to that done with any other tool focused on cuts.
  • Greater safety: By complying with all safety regulations, the risk involved in cutting hard materials is much less than when carried out in any other way or with other devices.
  • Multiple functions: Milling machines are completely useful for additional work such as drilling, grooving and surface tracing.
  • Speed: It is one of the fastest, most effective and practical ways to carry out cutting tasks, being this way up to three times more agile than its more traditional counterparts.

What types of milling machines are there?

Milling machines are generally classified by the orientation of the cutting axis in relation to its workpiece and its degree of movement. According to the orientation of these machines, there are three types of milling machines, these are: Universal, surface and gluing machines.

  • Universal: They are ideal to carry out any particular work of the milling machines without being experts in a final cut. Therefore, they stand out for their great versatility.
  • Surface: They are the most suitable for the DIY enthusiast. These are distinguished by their comfort of use.
  • Gluing machines: It is unique and exclusive to make grooves to assemble and join pieces of wood, to work on corners and edges.

How to make grooves in wood with a milling machine?

In general, these machines have many more functions than just cutting and drilling wood, likewise, this is the main use of the milling machine in most cases, as it guarantees elegant and refined finishes.

Before starting, the first thing to do is choose the tip with which you are going to work, this is chosen based on what we want to achieve, according to the diameter and the final result. After selecting the bur, you must work on the pressure that is made on the wood. The greater the pressure, the deeper the groove will be. The level to prefer will depend on the style we want to achieve.

Through uninterrupted and stable movements, the groove will be made with the milling machine. If necessary, the machine line can be repeated to perfect the finish. For short and beginner jobs, it is essential to check that the wood surface remains smooth to the touch after grooving, otherwise the material may have been damaged.

How to choose the best milling machine?

If you are thinking of buying a new milling machine either for your work or for doing chores at home, here are some aspects that you should consider when properly choosing the milling machine that best suits your needs:

  • Uses: Before buying one of these machines, it is necessary to be clear about the use you are going to give to this tool, since this device serves multiple uses such as: making shelves, assembly parts, any type of decorative piece of wood, grooves and assemblies, outlined on boards, holes in a surface, among others. The final finish is so exact that the surface is smooth, without the need to sand it.
  • Parts: Make sure you choose a milling machine that has two handles, two height-adjustable columns to adjust the depth according to the type of cut you want to make, and a milling cutter. The latter is vertically on the machine and transverse to the work table. The cutters are attached to the spindle and rotate on their axis to function properly. 
  • Speed: To buy a quality milling machine it is important that it has several speed modes. The regulation allows adjusting to the hardness of the different materials at all times.
  • Caliper diameter: It is another of the indispensable factors to choose milling machines that adapt to the problems you need to solve. Its unit of measurement is millimeters, there are 6mm, 8mm and 12mm. If you have a diameter of the collet with a larger diameter, you can use thicker cutters.
  • Weight: When choosing milling machines, weight is one of the aspects to consider before making a decision, the lighter it is, the easier and more practical it will be to handle, on the other hand, if it is too heavy, it will be lost in mobility but will gain in machine stability.

How much money should I spend on a milling machine?

At the time of acquiring any type of industrial machinery for the home, it is essential to look for high quality products for a suitable price; In this way, your work will be more efficient, possibly being a product with a slightly higher cost than some low-end products. The money to be invested goes together with the continuity of use that will be given to the milling machine.

  • Cheaper milling machines (less than € 60): The most accessible milling machine models are perfect for those who want to do simple jobs and require little machine effort. These more basic models are good for specific jobs and for beginners who want to learn and start a workshop at home.
  • Better quality milling machines (more 60 €): In general, the best quality milling machines are high-end, they provide optimal performance by fulfilling their function compared to those that are slightly cheaper, they also have features, additional functions and accessories that can be extremely useful when using them.

Where to buy a milling machine?

If you are thinking of buying a milling machine, it is important that you do it through a recognized online store and that it has good descriptions throughout the web platform, to ensure that you are acquiring a good quality product. In the following list we present the most recommended portals:

  • Milling machines from Amazon: This store has multiple options thanks to its wide repertoire of milling machines for different purposes. Amazon has an excellent price category that fits our budget, even enjoying the option of buying a high-end milling machine for professional use for the cost of a lower quality one on other web platforms.
  • Leroy Merlin milling machines : Although it has different models of milling machines available for purchase, the catalog it presents has little variety in terms of price levels, these models being a little more aimed at sporadic use or for newbies.
  • Lidl Milling Machines: This portal does not have a wide variety of milling machines in its inventory and most of the models are not available due to their limited existence. Although they are competitively priced, the products offered for this type of work are geared towards hobbyists or small users.
  • Aliexpress milling tool-  This is a store that has a variety of departments, where you can get from clothing for men and women, accessories and tools so you can do certain jobs so you may get some models like the one you seek.
  • Carrefour milling machine – In this store you can find a variety of products from groceries, electronics, televisions, mobiles, computers and much more; so you may get, although not much variety, of this tool that you are looking for.

Advantages of using an electric milling machine, what are its strengths?

The advantage that this equipment gives you is that you can make much finer finishes on the piece you are working on, among its other advantages we have.

What are the advantages of using a router? Its advantages are:

  1. You can  work many more pieces in less time .
  2. There is no excessive mistreatment in the wood, since  the cut is made with adequate precision .
  3. They are  usually simple to assemble and disassemble
  4. If you use it properly and with the safety devices  you will not have any risk of cutting , which is more likely to happen when the work is manual.

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