Benchtop Milling Machines have long been considered the ultimate power tools for wood turning. Although opinions differ greatly on these machines, most agree that benchtop milling machines are great value for money and will produce the quality turning parts that you need. But how do you know which one is right for you? The following guide has been put together to help you make this decision.
Before you start your search for a benchtop milling machine, it’s worth checking out what you need. Decide whether or not you’re going for a portable, battery operated machine or a heavy duty, gas powered unit. Check out the minimum operating temperature requirements of the model that you want to buy as well as the electrical requirements. You’ll also need to look up the milling tolerances to make sure that your parts don’t suffer from a range of bumps and irregularities. Also double check current price lists to make sure that the milling machine you are looking at is the cheapest as there are always discounts to be had on brand new equipment.
There are two types of benchtop milling machines available on the market – cordless and corded. If you want to work with small turning components then it’s best to opt for a cordless mini-mill. If you want a high quality, long lasting piece of machinery that can be used day in day out, then a corded mini-mill is the best option for you.
When buying a benchtop milling machine, the first thing you need to consider is whether you need a benchtop or vertical. The choice between these two is mainly dependent on how much work needs to be carried out. For small items, such as screws, nails or pins a vertical option will be the ideal one. However if you are looking to use a larger variety of fasteners such as nuts and bolts, then a benchtop is probably the best option. For larger items such as plates and sheets you will find that a vertical milling machine will be more effective and quicker.
The next item of interest to consider when buying a benchtop milling machine is the specification. Some machines will have an option of using either metric or standard measurements. This is something to check on before you commit to purchase. If you are not going to use the same measurements that your benchtop milling machine is going to be based on, then it might be worth considering a different option. These types of milling machine options are not only available from several suppliers, but most of these machines also have their own accessories that may be required for use with these particular types of components.
There are some benchtop milling machines, which will also allow the use of either a CNC router or a PCN (printed circuit board). In addition to allowing the use of a PCN for making precise concentric cuts, some benchtop machines also have the option of being able to handle cutting operations for 3D printed products. Some benchtop machining machines will be able to handle both aspects of these cutting operations. It is important to note that cutting products which require precise angles and levels will require the use of CNC router software in order to download and set up the necessary commands.
The third aspect to consider when looking at these types of machines is the specification for the drill press. Although most benchtop milling machines will have a manual paper cutter attached to the machine, there are some models which will also have an attached, fixed cutter. These types of cutters may need to be manually clamped in order to cut holes for wood materials. Many of the CNC benchtop machines are able to accurately grind through materials used for cabinetwork, doors and other precision parts.
When purchasing the benchtop milling machine or other type of milling machine for the business, it will be necessary to consider the available bench space on the premises. If the bench space is limited, it will be necessary to look at purchasing a smaller machine. Another aspect to consider is the availability of power sources. benchtop machines are generally powered by electricity or gas.