If you work with a raw material like metal, you will need to cut it down to a usable shape. It’s important to have the right tool for the job, or it will be almost impossible to get the shapes right. The tool you need that works best is a combination lathe and mill.
With a lathe mill combo, not only will you be able to do all the milling, drilling, and cutting you need to, but it will also save you money since you are only buying one machine. Plus, you can get all your projects finished faster without straining your body. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best lathe mill combo for your next project.
Comparison Table – Lathe Mill Combo
Top 10 Lathe Mill Combos
Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Wood Lathe – Best Benchtop Lathe
Ideal for shaping or small cutting projects, the Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Wood Lathe is constructed out of cast iron and will fit neatly onto your workbench. Equipped with a variable speed motor, this lathe delivers speeds of up to 3,200 RPMs. It also comes with a spindle, faceplate, tool rests, and a safety paddle switch.
The Shop Fox W1704 Benchtop Wood Lathe features a 12-inch distance between centers and an eight-inch swing over bed. You get two tool rests for different turning applications and a 1/3 horsepower motor that features two amps.
The Shop Fox also includes a variable speed feature that is convenient when you are turning soft or hard species of wood. The included faceplate measures 5 ¾ inches and can thread onto the spindle for non-spindle turning, which is great for making bowls or other types of items that can’t be supported from the tailstock. This unit has a nice compact footprint size of 5 ½ inches by 23 3/8 inches.
- This lathe is perfect for smaller projects
- It will fit right onto your workbench
- Cast iron gives it solid and durable construction
- It can only handle smaller items
- The accessories are expensive
AMYAMY Multifunction Worktable – Best Overall Value
If you are looking for a great value, the AMYAMY Multifunction Worktable is a miniature precision, multifunction Milling Machine Bench. Equipped with an adjustable handwheel, this worktable Is perfect for drill brackets or mini drills that can also be used with other types of suitable machines.
Accurate and Adjustable
Ensuring accuracy, this workbench is made with several dovetail slots that are adjustable and made out of an aluminum alloy. Weighing only 6.8 kg, this table measures 350 by 100 mm and features 34 mm in between grooves. The AMYAMY Multifunction Worktable is a solid table that has no flex.
This working table comes with three T-shaped grooves and a front scale that includes movable positioning. The zero adjustment handwheel can rotate in a 1.25 mm circle while the X and Y-axis distance is 200 mm. The AMYAMY Multifunction Worktable also comes with two working clamps.
- This is a solid and heavy machine
- It doesn’t give you any play or flex
- This machine is a good value for the price
- The dials do not have markings or lines
YEEZUGO Multifunction Worktable – Best Multifunction Worktable
Suitable for drill brackets or mini drills, the YEEZUGO Multifunction Worktable is made of a few adjustable dovetail slots. Constructed out of an aluminum alloy composition, this worktable ensures accuracy and takes up a minimal amount of space.
The YEEZUGO Multifunction Worktable features a zero adjustment handwheel that rotates in a 1.5 mm circle. Weighing 6.8 kg, this unit features X and Y directions that are adjustable.
- It’s made out of aluminum alloy
- The machine does not take up a lot of space
- It moves when it operates
- The design is sloppy
Shop Fox M1015 Micro Lathe – Best Micro Lathe
Well-designed and durable, the Shop Fox M1015 Micro Lathe fits easily into small areas. Ideal for the weekend machinist, gun hobbyists, toolmakers, or model makers offers an economical way to make die, fittings, threaded parts, and small precision parts. It included a handy control panel that is easy to access and conveniently located.
Containing a range of functions, the Shop Fox M1015 Micro Lathe includes a clutch knob, speed dial, and rotation selector knob that lets you make adjustments to will accommodate any turning needs. The manual feed handwheel will move the carriage to the right or left along the bed. This type of control makes it easier to set up the machine for either manual movement or turnings during operations.
Capable of cutting thread from 16 to 24 threads per inch, the Shop Fox M1015 Micro Lathe includes a gear ratio threading chart that helps you determine which gears you should use to acquire your preferred threads per inch. It features a six-inch swing over bed, a 10-inch distance between center, and a five-inch swing over saddle. It has a variable speed motor that features speeds up to 2,000 RPMs and a 3/8-inch spindle bore.
Perfect for scale model building, the Shop Fox M1016 Micro Lathe features a three-inch jaw chuck along with thread gears and a selection of optional accessories that offer a wide range of setups. It also has two available feed rates that move the apron between 0.002 and 0.004 inches per each revolution that provides for efficient turning and accurate cuts.
- This versatile machine has a range of functions
- This is a good choice for building scale models
- It comes with a variable speed feature
- The side case is made of cheap plastic
- The motor isn’t as powerful as some users expected
Jectse Mini Lathe – Best Compact Mini Lathe
Featuring a powerful motor, the Jectse Mini Lathe also includes a spindle box and motor box to create a conjoined structure. With a maximum motor power of 60 watts, this mini lathe uses a powerful motor and has a center height of 75 mm and a distance between the center of 135 mm. It can process precious, non-ferrous, and soft metals, and the diameter can expand to 50 mm.
Accurate and Safe
With a machining accuracy of 0.07 mm, the motor speed of the Jectse Mini Lathe is 12,000 RPMs. This lathe includes a belt protection cover, a motor blade, size slider, long stand, tailstock, and spindle box. Also, remember that the motor speed will typically drop to 2,000 RPMs when this lathe is machining metal.
Durable and powerful, the Jectse Mini Lathe features a 60-watt motor and most of the parts on this machine are made out of high-quality metal. It features a high-speed turning tool to give you efficient processing along with superior accuracy.
This is a compact mini lathe that has a smaller size, but still gives you the precision and efficiency of a larger and heavier machine. The included motor provides consistent lathing operation and is capable of processing various materials.
- This machine is very accurate and powerful
- It features mostly metal parts for increased durability
- It has a nice compact size for smaller workshops
- It’s expensive for what you get
- It’s not for serious users
BestEquip Metal Lathe – Best Variable Speed Metal lathe
Equipped with a variable speed design, this compact metal lathe features a variable speed and spindle accuracy between 0.0004 and 0.0012-inches. Featuring a large swing range, this lathe comes with a four-way tool rest and two backsplash guards. This lathe offers positions of bevel cutting, face cutting, and internal cutting.
The BestEquip Metal Lathe is protective and supportive and includes an accurate tailstock. Featuring wide applications, this lathe can be used for modeling, sample processing, and mini precision parts processing. It also includes an 8 ¼-inch swing over bed and spindle accuracy between 0.0004 and 0.0012-inches.
With infinitely variable speed, the mini metal lathe is operated by a powerful motor and a variable speed up to 2,250 RPMs. Using the LED screen, you can see an accurate and clear speed for increased accuracy. It can be operated manually or by using the adjustable auto feed rate.
This benchtop lathe features a three-jaw chuck and offers possibilities for heavy or large-sized workpieces. The mini lathe can achieve different positions by just changing the angle of the tool post and adjusting the compound rest. It also includes a change-over switch with a soft start for either clockwise or counter-clockwise rotation of the spindle.
- You can use it on really large and heavy pieces
- It’s pretty versatile and has a variable speed motor
- The powerful motor makes it great for a variety of applications
- It’s on the expensive side
- It needs to be tuned for better precision
Shop Fox M1018 Combo Lathe/Mill – Best Entry-Level Lathe/Mills
Ideal for entry-level or hobby machinists, the Shop Fox M1018 Combo Lathe/Mill is a versatile machine and perfect for milling and drilling small projects. This lathe/mill is also good for cutting threads and turning, plus it is packed with extra features like a built-in rotating vise, four-inch jaw chuck, a faceplate, and a four-way turret tool post. It also includes a 16 1/2-inch swing over bed along with a 19 3/16-inch distance between the centers and a 3/4-inch spindle bore.
With the longitudinal hand crank, you can manually move the carriage along the lead screw in the same manner as the power feed. The included graduated dial on the hand crankshaft allows you to move it independently from the hand crank. You can also zero it out when the cutting tool touches the workpiece, which allows you to keep track of the movement and location of the tool.
Featuring a manual cross slide hand-wheel, the Shop Fox M1018 Combo Lathe/Mill includes a compound slide that can be moved linearly and adjusted to any angle. The tool post can hold up to a four 1⁄2-inch tool while the spring-loaded catch in the tool post allows you to rotate the turret 90-degrees at a time. Plus, the tool post can be secured properly at any rotational point by just locking the lever down.
- A great choice for hobbyists or beginners to learn on
- It’s really versatile and perfect for small projects
- It has a lot of features
- The control panel is pretty cheap
- Cheap materials on the finish of the indicators
ELEOption Mini Lathe Machine – Best Student Lathe
Perfect for technology and science rooms and youth activity centers, the ELEOption Mini Lathe is precise and durable. Comprised of a hand wheel, small slider, large slider, tailstock, connecting block, intermediate block, and main shaft box, this lathe features improved quality and a max motor speed of 20,000 RPMs.
Made with advanced aluminum alloy, the ELEOption Mini Lathe Machine can process soft metals like aluminum and copper. This mini desktop lath can be used for threading, boring, drilling, and turning. It also features a three-jaw chuck diameter of 13 mm claws with a 45 mm reverse claw.
Constructed out of an aluminum alloy, this unit is durable enough for medium to light-duty use. The ELEOption uses a 24-watt motor that is perfect for students studying engineering or working on a science project.
Great Budget Choice
The ELEOption is a great choice if you are on a budget and need to perform simple jobs. The compact design of the unit helps save space in tight workshops, plus its lightweight makes it easy to move.
- It has a lightweight and space-saving design
- This is a durable and powerful machine
- It’s a great choice for students to learn on
- You can’t do threading on this machine
- It does not have a lead screw
chuangsheng Mini Lathe Machine – Best Model Making Mini Lathe
Ideal for making models, the chuangsheng Mini Lathe was not designed for commercial or industrial use. equipped with an adapter and a couple of accessories, this mini lathe works well on plastic, wood, copper, and aluminum.
The chuangsheng Mini Lathe Machine can be used on hardwood and softwood to create arbitrary shapes. Featuring an intermediate block heightening, this mini lathe allows you to expand its range up to 50 mm in diameter.
With the chuangsheng Mini Lathe, you can use either a 1-6mm collet, a three-jack to hold your workpiece in place. It also features a transformer that features over-voltage, over-current, over-temperature, and over-current protection for added safety.
- It has several safety features
- You can expand it to a 50 mm diameter range
- It can clamp your material in two different ways
- You can’t use it for commercial projects
- It only spins at one speed
Proxxon 34104 Mill/ Drill Head – Best Hobby Mill/Drill Head
Offering a cost-efficient option to get a drill and lathe combo, the Proxxon 34104 will easily fit onto a Proxxon lathe machine. It includes all bolts and mounting brackets needed to set it up, and it is equipped with a column that measures 1 3/8-inch by 15 ¾-inch in size.
Easily change the top slide on the Proxxon 34104 Mill/Drill Head with a compound table that is included with the unit. It also offers a speed variation that ranges from 280 up to 2200 RPMs to make the cuts precise and smooth.
Easy to Use
Improving craftsmanship and drilling and milling, the Proxxon 34104 Mill/Drill Head makes it easy to cut tricky parts. This budget-friendly option is very easy to use, especially for DIYers, so you don’t have to worry about being a professional to operate it.
- It’s great for hobbyists or DIYers
- This is a very affordable and user-friendly unit
- It’s very precise and powerful
- It could use a universal drill
- The bolts holding down the table are too short
Lathe Mill Combo Buyer’s Guide
What is the Difference Between a Milling and a Lathe Machine?
Both tools have been designed to remove material from a workpiece, but the difference is in the ways that they operate. A milling machine will use a multi-bladed or pointed cutting tool to shape a stationary workpiece. In comparison, a lathe works by rotating the workpiece against a single-bladed cutting tool.
Why Is It Important To Choose The Right Lathe Mill Combo?
When shopping for a lathe mill combo, you need to think about the number of combinations and machine types that it encompasses. You will want to find the best combination of the two machines that is on the market, so it’s important to consider the various ways you can cut material with a combo unit and how it will work for the projects you have planned. Always consider your individual needs and make sure the combo unit covers all the different tools and machines that you need the unit to combine together.
Features to Look for in a Lathe Mill Combo
As you shop, you will see a wide variety of lathe mill combos. Each offers various features and some will be better in performance and quality than others. It’s important to know exactly what you are looking for before you buy your combo.
With all the differences between the machines, there are still a couple of things that are constant between them all. Here are a few of the base features and what to look for as you shop for your new lathe mill combo.
Efficiency is very important and tells you a lot about the performance of the lathe mill combo. Since you won’t get a lot of work out of an inefficient product, so you need to check ratings like RPMs and voltage usage to determine the overall efficiency of the machine.
When you have a highly efficient machine, you waste less time and energy as well as materials and money. Always look for the most efficient product that will suit your needs the best. most.
When using a powerful machine, comfort isn’t something you should ignore. When you use one of these machines for a long period of time to complete a project, you can end up straining yourself if you aren’t comfortable enough.
Since you can’t test these machines out in the store, you will need to look at the features to see if it’s comfortable enough. When a machine has specific features, it will tell you whether the machine is going to be easy to use and comfortable.
If the machine has a feature that allows you to place it on the table to use or comes with comfortable grips, you will see an increase in your comfort level. some of these high-end models also offer easy loading allowing you to place materials safely on the machine before you cut them. It should also be convenient, so look for features that make it easy to use and that won’t require you to strain a lot.
If you plan to do a lot of cutting projects with your lathe mill combo, you will want a machine that has durable and strong parts. Typically, materials that you will drill or cut will be pretty sturdy, and you don’t want to damage your lathe mill combo if it has cheap components. Remember that every time you use this machine, it will be undergoing a lot of pressure.
When a machine breaks or cracks easily, you will just be wasting a lot of money, which everyone wants to avoid. Look at the building materials of the machine and choose one that is able to withstand pretty much anything.
Is the Lathe/Mill Combo Reliable?
You will find that there are many really nice and reliable lathe and mill combos on the market. There are many different brands to choose from that offer reliable tools that make either of these two tools available whenever you want.
Can You Use a Mill as a Lathe?
It is possible, and you probably won’t have any issues if you are dealing with small parts. But, you won’t have the most precise results when you work on a larger part. That’s why it is best to lathe where you need to.
Is It Risky To Operate a Lathe Mill Combo?
As long as you take all the necessary safety precautions and remain as safe as possible why it operates, then you shouldn’t be exposed to any risks. Just remember that it is a machine that uses sharp rotating blades, so it can be easy to get hurt if you aren’t careful.
When deciding on a lathe mill combo, it’s important to remember what type of combination you will need for the projects that you have planned. Some users only need a few features while others need a mix of several machines and devices. Whatever your needs, a lathe mill combo is a great way to save time and money on your projects.