The Best Mini Mills: Expert Reviews of Top Benchtop Milling Machines

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

Benchtop milling machines, also known as mini milling machines, bring the convenience of milling into your very own workshop or garage.

Professionals and hobbyists alike can have the luxury of having their own milling machine, for any projects requiring high precision in cutting and drilling various materials, from metal to wood.

However, with so many products on the market, how can you know which benchtop milling machine is the best option for your needs?

To help you find the perfect mini-milling machine, we have selected and carefully reviewed the best models on the market. Whether you are a professional handyman or a newbie to milling, and whatever your budget is, you can find the perfect benchtop milling machine right here.

Although our recommendations vary in power, size, weight, and price, they are the best mini mills you can get for your money, offering versatility and precision.

Make sure to read our handy buying guide at the end of the article, so that you can learn which factors to keep in mind when choosing the best mini-milling machine for your workshop!

Our top pick is the JET JMD-18 350018 Phase Milling/Drilling Machine. This benchtop milling machine comes with a very powerful motor that delivers a variable speed range between 150 RPM and 3,000 RPM. It features 12 different speed settings and it comes with a 360-degree swiveling head. It also features a great drilling capacity and it is a highly durable machine.

The Best Benchtop Milling Machines Are:

ProductDetails
1. JET JMD-18 350018 Phase Milling/Drilling Machine

  • Speed: 150 – 3,000 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: 1-1/4 Inches
  • Power: 2 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 739 pounds
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2. Proxxon 34108 Micro Mill FF 230

  • Speed: 280 – 2,500 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: 13/32 Inches
  • Power: 1HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 42.7 pounds
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3. OTMT OT2213 X2 Variable Speed Mini Milling Machine

  • Speed: 0 – 2,500 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: 13mm
  • Power: 1/2 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 140 pounds
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4. SUNWIN Metal Mini Milling Machine

  • Speed: up to 2,000 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: N/A
  • Power: 3/4 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 739 pounds
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5. Shop FOX M1110 Variable Speed Mill and Drill

  • Speed: 0 – 2,000 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: 1 Inch
  • Power: 3/4 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 413 pounds
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6. Proxxon 37110 Micro Mill MF 70

  • Speed: 5,000 – 20,000 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: 1-1/4 Inches
  • Power: 2 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 15.5 pounds
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7. Klutch Mini Milling Machine 1/2HP

  • Speed: 100– 2,500 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: ½-Inch
  • Power: 3/4 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 143 pounds
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1. JET JMD-18 350018 Phase Milling/Drilling Machine — Best Mini Mill

 “The innovative design makes it a great choice for professionals, as they can fine-tune this dependable machine to get optimal results in their milling work.”

The JET JMD-18 is hands down the best benchtop-milling machine on the market. It offers a lot of versatility and power. The innovative design makes it a great choice for professionals, as they can fine-tune this dependable machine to get optimal results in their milling work.

The JET JMD-18 is very sturdy and durable, but it is also the priciest milling machine out of our recommendations, so that it may not be the best option for beginners.

The JET JMD-18 is the most powerful milling machine out of our recommendations, featuring a 2 HP motor. This powerful machine will allow you to cut through just about anything, making it an ideal choice for professionals.

This milling machine features an innovative and user-friendly design that allows you to fine-tune it to perfection. To begin with, the JET JMD-18 comes with an integrated work lamp that will always provide you with a clear overview of your work.

Additionally, it has a hinged belt cover for fast speed changes, easy-read dials, as well as an easy-to-read internal depth gauge.

The internal depth gauge paired with the quick-stop knob allows for consistency in milling. In addition, it comes with a 360-degree swiveling head, which will give you the optimal flexibility to achieve precision in your work.

“This milling machine features an innovative and user-friendly design that allows you to fine-tune it to perfection.”

There is even more versatility in the details of these features. For instance, there are 12-speed settings, which range from 150 to 3000 RPM.

The JET is an excellent choice for heavy-duty work as it is sturdy and durable. The machine has a cast iron column and a heavy-duty roller bearing to improve support and stability.

In addition, the cast iron column provides additional durability to the unit. It is also great for heavy-duty work because it comes with an extra-large worktable so that it can be used for large projects.

Specs

  • Speed: 150 – 3,000 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: 1-1/4 Inches
  • Power: 2 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 739 pounds

Pros

  • Comes with a very powerful 2 HP motor
  • Innovative and user-friendly design
  • 360-degree swiveling head
  • Highly versatile, as it comes with 12-speed settings

Cons

  • Heavy and pricey

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2. Proxxon 34108 Micro Mill FF 230

“The Proxxon 34108 is our favorite recommendation for beginners, as it’s affordable, easy to use, and great for small projects at home.”

The Proxxon 34108 is our favorite recommendation for beginners, as it is affordable, easy to use, and great for small projects at home. It is also small and lightweight so that it can easily fit in small and cramped workshops.

While it offers excellent precision for milling lighter materials, it is not powerful enough to handle heavy-duty use or work with hard materials.

The Proxxon offers great value for your money, for although it is small and affordable, it is quite versatile. It comes with 6 speeds from 280 to 2500 RPM, which is quite powerful for such a lightweight machine.

It also features 3 collets of 6, 8, and 10 mm for precise work with various materials. If you are a beginner, you will love the Proxxon, as it’s great for working on small projects, like scale models.

In fact, the Proxxon comes with many user-friendly features that will allow you to mill with a good deal of precision. It comes with a hand wheel that can be used to adjust the height and the fine mill feed.

It also features a 360-degree swivel head, which provides accurate positioning. Once you have set everything up, the quill and the swivel headlock, ensuring safety and precision.

“If you’re a beginner, you’ll love the Proxxon, as it’s great for working on small projects, like scale models.”

The size and weight of the Proxxon make it ideal for small rooms. It weighs only 40 pounds and measures 20 inches in height. The complementary worktable is about 10/8 by 3/32 inches so that it can fit just about anywhere.

Specs

  • Speed: 280 – 2,500 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: 13/32 Inches
  • Power: 1HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 42.7 pounds

Pros

  • Great value for your money
  • Comes with several user-friendly features
  • Convenient and very easy to use
  • Lightweight and compact

Cons

  • Not the best option for heavy-duty tasks

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3. OTMT OT2213 X2 Variable Speed Mini Milling Machine

“It’s quite user-friendly and offers versatility in terms of speed and dial adjustment.”

The OTMT OT2213 is a great mini-milling machine if you are on a tighter budget, and it is our most affordable recommendation. This is another small model that will fit perfectly into home workshops or cramped garages. It is quite user-friendly and offers versatility in terms of speed and dial adjustment.

The OTMT is quite versatile, especially considering its price tag. Although this milling machine has a much lower HP than the JET, it still has plenty of speed control and power for smaller projects. The 110 volt, ½ HP motor features two spindle speeds in a low and high range. The low range provides 0-1100 RPM, and the high range offers 1100-2500 RPM.

“The easy-to-read dial has .0001” increments so that you can fine-tune the settings for optimal accuracy.”

In fact, OTMT is designed to facilitate precision in your milling work. The easy-to-read dial has .0001” increments so that you can fine-tune the settings for optimal accuracy. The milling machine’s head tilts 45 degrees to the left or right, helping you work with precision.

In addition, the OTMT features a fine feed for milling and a coarse feed for drilling. You can easily alternate between the two depending on what you are doing!

The OTMT is small enough to fit in a small room in your home or workshop. The ½ HP makes it a good choice for small home projects.

Specs

  • Speed: 0 – 2,500 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: 13mm
  • Power: 1/2 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 140 pounds

Pros

  • Versatile tool
  • Facilitates precision in your milling work
  • Compact enough to fit in a small room
  • Two-speed ranges

Cons

  • The OTMT may develop slack in the X and Y-axis over time.

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4. SUNWIN Metal Mini Milling Machine

If you are looking for the best benchtop milling machine that will not leave a hole in your pocket, you should go for the SUNWIN Metal Mini Milling Machine. This is one of the most affordable benchtop milling machines on the market and it is designed to serve you for years.

Despite its low price, this tool is highly durable, as all the parts are made with durable metal. The slider, spindle, pedestal, and tailstock are also made with durable metal.

One of the most fascinating things about this machine is its size. This machine is super lightweight, as it weighs only 6.2 pounds. In addition to being lightweight, this machine is highly compact and it can fit even in smaller spaces.

If you are a novice or a hobbyist, then this is a great tool for you. It is very easy to use, and it delivers precise and accurate results.

It comes with a pretty powerful motor that generates a speed of up to 20,000 rotations per minute, whereas the headstock speed is 2,000 rotations per minute. The slide travels 35mm and 45mm while the vice capacity is 25mmx35mm.

Specs

  • Speed: up to 2,000 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: N/A
  • Power: 3/4 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 739 pounds

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • High-quality and durable design
  • Compact and can fit in small spaces
  • Super lightweight and very easy to install

Cons

  • Not ideal for large jobs

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5. Shop FOX M1110 Variable Speed Mill and Drill

If you have a little more room in your budget when looking for the best benchtop milling machine, we highly recommend the Shop FOX M1110 Variable Speed Mill and Drill. This is another very powerful milling machine and it boasts of great performance.

It is a variable speed machine, and it comes with a 1 horsepower motor that delivers a speed range between 0 RPM and 2,000 RPM. It is highly, and you can use it to handle a wide range of projects.

The variable speed dial allows you to adjust the speed of the machine to suit your needs. As we said earlier, this machine is for those with larger budgets, as it is pretty expensive. However, it comes with several great features and offers great value for the money.

The table of this machine is made to precision from high-quality cast-iron, and this makes it a highly durable and reliable machine.

This machine features an x-axis wheel that allows for the adjustment of the benchtop table, providing you with adequate precision. Another wheel is also on the Y-axis, and the working procedure is the same as that of the X-axis wheel.

It comes with a fully geared lift system that allows you to lower and raise the table head. The table has tilting capabilities, and you can tilt it up to 90 degrees.

We also loved that this machine comes with some wonderful controlling options in the panel. It also features a digital readout. It comes with a digital tachometer that helps you to keep track of the speed of the spindle.

There is also a chip guard system, and it is transpired for proper vision. It comes with a stop button that is also very easy to reach. It features a steady rest, 4-way turret tool post, and the number of lathe speed is 12.

Specs

  • Speed: 0 – 2,000 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: 1 Inch
  • Power: 3/4 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 413 pounds

Pros

  • 1 HP motor that supplies adequate power
  • 90-degree tilting table for more flexibility
  • Digital readout and control panel for increased efficiency
  • High-quality and durable construction

Cons

  • The nuts do not adjust to the machine properly sometimes

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6. Proxxon 37110 Micro Mill MF 70

The Proxxon 37110 Micro Mill MF 70 is the next benchtop milling machine on our list. This machine made it to our list because of its great features, prices, and durability.

While Proxxon is not one of the most popular brands on the market, this brand makes some of the finest machines out there. The functionality of this milling machine is breathtaking, and it is also compact.

It also comes with a drill, which can come in handy for other projects. This particular model allows you to use aluminum, countersink steel, cast iron, and other materials. It comes with a magnetic motor that delivers great power with the help of the poly-v-belt that comes with it.

The power rating of the motor is 1/8 horsepower and it delivers a variable speed from 5,000 RPM to 20,000 RPM. It also comes with a spacious worktable that measures 7-7/8 inches by 2-3/4 inches. The table also travels on both the X-axis and Y-axis. It is also a lightweight machine, as it weighs about 15 pounds.

It comes with six triple slits hardened steel collects 1, 1.5, 2, 2.35, 3, and 3.2mm. This machine is compact and beautiful, and it is ideal for optician, lab, electronic, jewelry, and model building projects. It is made from cast iron, which is known to be a highly durable material.

Specs

  • Speed: 5,000 – 20,000 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: 1-1/4 Inches
  • Power: 2 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 15.5 pounds

Pros

  • You have six different options when adjusting the speed of the machine
  • It doubles as a great drilling stand for users
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • It is very powerful and it comes with a poly-v-belt

Cons

  • The vibration level is somewhat high

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7. Klutch Mini Milling Machine 1/2HP

Next up is the Mini Milling Machine from Klutch. This machine comes with a fairly reasonable price tag and it also features a great build quality. Talking about the build quality, this machine is made from cast iron, which is a material that lasts virtually forever. As such, this machine will serve you for years, provided you take good care of it.

It comes with a very powerful motor that delivers a variable speed. The power rating of the motor is 3/4 horsepower and it runs practically vibration-free, which is one of its major selling points.

Another fascinating feature of this tool is that it comes with a milling head and column that tilts up to 45 degrees in both directions. This gives you more versatility and flexibility when working on materials.

The weight is good and it is compact size. This means it will not take up much space in your garage or workshop. It is also very convenient to use. Hence, if you are looking for the best benchtop milling machine that is well-priced and will serve you for years, then you should consider this option.

The speed range of this machine is between 100 and 2,500 rotations per minute. It comes with a 3-5/8-inch by 15-38-inch worktable with 8-5/8 inch longitude travel and 4-inch cross travel.

The headstock travel is 7 inches. It is ideal for different size R8 collections, but it does not come with any. The drilling capacity is half an inch (1/2 inch) and the chuck size is also 1/2-inch.

Specs

  • Speed: 100– 2,500 RPM
  • Drilling Capacity: ½-Inch
  • Power: 3/4 HP
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 143 pounds

Pros

  • Very stable with low vibrations
  • The milling head and column can tilt up to 45 degrees in both directions
  • Compact
  • Variable speed settings

Cons

  • The drilling capacity is pretty small

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Choosing The Best Benchtop Milling Machine/Mini Milling Machine

Now that you have looked at our favorite models, you may be unsure about which benchtop milling machine is the best choice for your unique needs and preferences. We have got you covered there, too!

Keep reading our buying guide to learn what factors you should consider when choosing the new mini-milling machine for your workshop:

Power

Based on what materials you plan to mill, you should pick a machine with sufficient power to cut or drill through them. For metals such as steel, you want to choose a machine with high horsepower. Out of our recommendations, the JET JMD-18’s 2 HP makes it the ideal choice for this type of harder material.

“In a nutshell, for heavy-duty work on harder materials, look out for milling machines with 2 HP motors.”

If you are milling lighter metals such as brass, aluminum, or composites, as well as softer wood, you can go for any of our recommendations. Similarly, you can work scale models on just about any mini-milling machine.

Briefly, for heavy-duty work on harder materials, look out for milling machines with 2 HP motors. For lighter work – thin, soft metals and wood or scale models, anything from ⅛ HP should do the job.

Speed

Speed is an important factor in deciding which milling machine is the best choice for you. As is the case with power, a higher speed range will allow you to work with harder materials. The JET wins this category too – as its top speed is 3000 RPM.

“As is the case with power, a higher speed range will allow you to work with harder materials.”

It is also good to check how many speed settings you can choose from. Some machines have preset speed settings for each type of material.

Other machines offer variable speed, which means you get to set the exact speed yourself. This can be a bit confusing if you are a beginner, but useful if you already have some experience in milling, as it allows you to fine-tune the settings.

Versatility

When looking for the best benchtop milling machine, you need to go for a highly versatile machine. You need to pick a machine that does it all for the different jobs you may need it for. The best milling machines are those that can do a little bit of everything.

Size

Another vital factor you need to consider when buying a benchtop milling machine is the size of the machine. The size of the machine will have a direct impact on its performance and capabilities. The larger the tool, the larger the force it can create.

Larger machines also have the ability to drive through tougher materials with ease. However, the issue with larger machines is that they occupy space.

As such, you need to consider needs before making a choice. Smaller machines are more compact but larger ones deliver more force.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is A Milling Machine The Same Thing As A Drill Press?

A: No, it is not the same, although milling machines can drill as well. The difference is that drill presses only have a vertical axis, and are used to drill holes into materials.

Milling machines have both a vertical and a horizontal axis, and in fact, they can have up to five axes! Milling machines can be moved vertically or horizontally and can be used to not only drill but also cut material from the sides.

Q: What Are The Materials Used For Making A Drilling And Milling Machine?

A: Some materials used for making a drilling and milling machine are carbon steel, high-speed steel, cast alloys, cemented tungsten carbide, oxides, and diamonds (1).

Depending on which material is used for the cutter, the milling machine will be able to handle harder or softer materials.

Q: What Is The Difference Between A Lathe And A Milling Machine?

A: The difference between a lathe and a milling machine is that lathes spin the material, while milling machines employ a spinning tool for different cutting applications.

What Is Next?

Hopefully, you were able to find the best new benchtop-milling machine for your workshop amongst our favorites – especially now that you know how to choose!

If you want to get better acquainted with the recommended units, just follow their title links to learn their prices and specifications, as well as read up on some customer reviews.

While we have you, make sure to see all the best milling machines reviewed!

Conclusion

The overall best benchtop-milling machine is hands-down the JET JMD-18. This machine is ideal for professional and heavy-duty work. The fact that it is heavier and pricier than our other recommendations is justified by its quality, durability, and versatility.

The JET JMD-18 is our most powerful mini milling machine recommendation, with a 2HP motor. In addition, it features the highest speed limit. The cast iron column ensures the durability of the JET, while features such as the 360-degree swivel head will allow you to work with the greatest precision.

The Proxxon 34108 is our top recommendation for beginners to milling, as it is easy to use, small and lightweight, and ideal for small projects.

Although it is small and affordable, this machine offers a good deal of precision. Like the JET, it features a 360-degree swivel head for accurate milling. It has a smaller RPM range, but that is just as well – you should not expect this machine to cut through harder materials (unlike the JET).

The OTMT is our favorite budget-friendly recommendation, as despite being cheaper than the other options; it still offers decent versatility and precision.

The user-friendly easy-to-read dial will allow you to work with a precision of up to .0001” increments, and the 45-degree swivel head will help establish accuracy. The OTMT is another great mini-milling machine for smaller home projects.