Best Mini Milling Machines of 2020

Have you ever looked at a knife you got from a manufacturer, even a particularly high quality knife, and wondered if you could make one that was just as good…if not better?

If you are interested in beginning to craft your own tools, it could be worthwhile for you to look into purchasing a mini milling machine. These open up a whole new world of opportunity for you to explore crafting your own tools and so much more.

Read on to learn more about these amazing tool makers and what they can do for your workshop.

Comparison Chart of the Best Mini Milling Machines

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Our choice for a best overall mini milling machine
  • Works well with a wide variety of different materials
  • Eye bolt on top of the machine makes for easy lifting
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  • Head can tilt a full 45 degrees
  • Comes with a one year limited warranty
  • Our choice for runner-up for best mini milling machine
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  • Capable of milling small bits of steel
  • Best choice of mini milling machine for the money
  • Every component of this machine is made of 100% metal
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  • Can work well on metal, wood, and plastic
  • Our choice of best mini lathe milling machine combo
  • Instruction manual provides photos to assist in assembly
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  • Excellent mini milling machine for hobby work
  • Our best choice for a mini vertical milling machine
  • Easy, straightforward, and simple for anyone to use
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  • Majority of the gears are made of metal
  • Milling head and column can tilt to the left and right
  • Our best choice for a mini milling machine by Klutch
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  • Can be effectively used on tool steel
  • Has detailed instructions in the operation manual
  • Our best choice for a mini milling machine by Grizzly
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What is a Mini Milling Machine and What Can You Do With One?

A mini milling machine is a miniaturized version of the larger milling machines that are used in shops and factories to make large quantities of various tools.

These are much more accessible for home use, both in terms of size and in terms of cost, than a full size milling machine. They can shape metal parts, such as components of guns and knives and other tools. If you have ever been frustrated with store bought tools and wanted to just make your own, a mini mill could be a good option for you.

What Makes a Great Mini Milling Machine?

Because these are major pieces of equipment to purchase, it is worth taking some important qualities into consideration before buying:

Quality of Material

When shopping for one of these, you will quickly see a noticeable difference in price between them that are made almost entirely of metal and others that have some plastic components. Do not fall for the lower price – the more metal a mill is made of, the more effective it will be.

Versatility

Despite their name, these are still rather large pieces of equipment and can cost a considerable amount of money. If you are investing in one, you should invest in a model that has some versatility and can handle a wide variety of different materials.

Durability

Of course, to go along with that same point, you also will not want to sink money in a machine that will burn out after just a few uses. Be careful to find a machine that has the durability to last through multiple projects.

Quick Take: Best Mini Milling Machines

Want to skip the review? Here is a quick look at the best mini milling machines:

1. JET JMD-18
2. OTMT OT2213
3. SUNWIN Metal Mini Milling Machine  

Review of the Best Mini Milling Machines

Now that you are more familiar with the concept of mini milling machines, here is a list of some of the best products we were able to find on the market today:

Best Overall:
JET JMD-18 230 

JET JMD-18 350018 230-Volt 1 Phase Milling/Drilling Machine

PROS

  • Well made
  • Easy to use
  • High quality
  • Produces very accurate holes
  • Has good rigidity for climb milling

CONS

  • Raising the head requires loosening the head clamp, so you will have to re-center it once you have gotten it to where you want it to be

The JET JMD-18 is our best overall choice for the most impressive model we were able to find. This machine comes with a range of awesome features that make it really great to work with.

It comes wired to work with 110 volts, and can easily be changed to work with either 110 volts or 230 volts. This ability to switch the voltage gives you the option to save some energy if you would like, or to upgrade your machine’s power if you anticipate needing it for a particular project.

And this machine will work well on a wide range of different projects – users report this easily handles wood, aluminum, and even ceramics! It is on the heavier side, but JET has installed an eye bolt on top of the machine so it can be easily lifted up.

Bottom Line

The JET JMD-18 is a fantastic mini machine and our overall first choice. It can be a bit inconvenient to move the machine’s head around, though.

Runner-up:
 OTMT OT2213 X2

OTMT OT2213 X2 Variable Speed Mini Milling Machine

PROS

  • Dial is easy to read
  • Strong enough to mill gun metal
  • Comes with an instruction manual
  • OTMT provides good customer service
  • Machine provides good repeatable accuracy

CONS

  • Arrives with a lot of slack in the x and y axes
  • Some of the gears are not made of metal, but instead of hardened plastic

The OTMT OT2213 finishes just in second place for best overall mini milling machine, right behind the JET JMD-18. But do not think this is because of any fault of the OTMT!

This machine has got it going on. Its head can tilt a full 45 degrees both to the left and to the right, so that users have the most accuracy and control possible when they are working.

It has a variable speed setting with two speed ranges. The low range works up to 1,100 RPM, and the high range goes from 1,1000 RPM to 2,500 RPM.

This machine also has both a fine feed for milling and coarse feed for drilling. Oh, and the warranty is pretty top notch – it has a thirty day warranty for manufacturing defects, and a full year warranty for parts!

Bottom Line

The OTMT OT2213 is a fantastic mini milling machine and our choice for runner-up. But be forewarned that some of this machine’s gears are made of plastic instead of metal.

SUNWIN Metal Mini Milling Machine Micro DIY Woodworking Power Tool for Student Hobby

PROS

  • Made of 100% metal
  •  Great for use by hobby machinists
  • Good for metal shaping and repairing
  • The best for the money

CONS

  • Blows fuses easily
  • Takes time to set up and to adjust

If your top priority is saving your pennies, but you still want a high quality, high functioning option, we have found just the one for you: the SUNWIN Metal Mini Milling Machine!

In case you are completely thrown off by the low price and are having difficulty believing that this is actually quality, let us convince you by pointing out that this machine’s spindle, tailstock, pedestal, slider, motor blades, and even its gears are all made of one hundred percent metal parts.

This kind of quality makes this machine tough enough to mill even small bits of steel. Users report that the SUNWIN is best used for tasks such as gun smithing and knife making. You can’t really get more badass than that…

Bottom Line

The SUNWIN Metal Mini Milling Machine is a fantastic loption that will impress both your inner hobbyist and your inner cheapster. It is a little laborious to set up and to adjust, though.

Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe Variable Speed 2500 RPM & Digital Readout with 5 pc. Cutter Kit

PROS

  • Heavy and sturdy
  • Has a variable speed motor
  • The best option for combining a mini lathe and a milling machine
  • Strikes a good balance between being powerful and not being too loud

CONS

  • Plastic gears inside the headstock can run into issues and need replacing
  • Not super accessible for beginners or those new to working with milling machines to use

The Erie Tool 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe is an awesome, versatile little tool that can accomplish basically anything you ask of it. It is excellent for drilling, cutting, and turning, and it can work well on a wide range of different materials, including metal, wood, and even plastic.

Plus, it comes with everything you could possibly need to get it up and running and to maintain it: a lathe, a chuck key, a five piece carbide tipped cutter kit, external and internal chuck jaws, eleven feed rate gears, and an instruction manual. Oh, and the instruction manual is absolutely fantastic – it includes helpful photos that can assist you when you are initially assembling this machine.

Bottom Line

The Erie Tools 7 x 14 is an awesome mini lathe milling machine that will be able to get any job done for you. Keep in mind that you will likely need to replace the plastic gears inside the headstock at some point, though.

Erie Tools Variable Speed Mini Milling Machine Benchtop Drilling and Machining Gear Driven with Adjustable Depth Stop

PROS

  • Great for hobby work
  • Can cut through steel
  • Easy and simple to use
  • Has variable speed control
  • The best option for a mini vertical milling machine

CONS

  • Does not have very much torque
  • Top heavy, will likely need to be bolted down in order to be entirely safe

If you are looking for a fantastic mini milling machine, but keep getting frustrated because all of the high quality options are horizontal, and you are in the market for a vertical machine that can do everything a horizontal machine can do…you are finally in luck! The Erie Tools Variable Speed Mini Milling Machine Benchtop Drilling and Machining is the machine for you.

This machine is accessible and usable for anyone, even people with little to no experience working with milling. Which is not to say that this machine can’t accomplish some serious work – it is designed for drilling, face milling, and deep milling, and it can do all extremely effectively. And, it is recommended by hobbyist mill workers.

Bottom Line

The Erie Tools Variable Speed is a great little vertical milling machine that will not disappoint. It is top heavy, so make sure you firmly secure it before using it.

Klutch Mini Milling Machine - 350 Watts, 1/2 HP, 110V

PROS

  • Sturdy and compact
  • Has a variable speed motor
  • Does not produce any vibration
  • The best option from Klutch

CONS

  • Does not come with an included vise
  • Does not have a stand specifically made for it

The Klutch Mini Milling Machine – 110V, ¾ HP is a fantastic model produced by the reliable Klutch brand. This machine is high quality – almost of its gears are made entirely of metal, with the exception of the ones inside the head stock, which are made of plastic in order to reduce the potential for the machine to create excessive noise.

And, this machine is versatile – both its head and its column can tilt 45 degrees to the left and to the right. Users report that this is especially effective when working with steel, which is a rarity in milling machines that are smaller. There is really not much to dislike about the Klutch Mini Milling Machine – 110V, ¾ HP.

Bottom Line

The Klutch Mini is a top notch option that you can trust with your most intense projects. Just know it does not come with its own stand, so you will likely have to bolt it down yourself.

Best by Grizzly:
Grizzly G8689

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Durable, will last a long time
  • Well made of high quality material
  • Grizzly provides good customer service
  • The best option by Grizzly

CONS

  • Can be heavy and unwieldy
  • Not good for precision drilling

The Grizzly G8689 is certainly one of the most effective mini milling machines on this list – and definitely the most effective one sold by the reputable Grizzly brand! Grizzly is well known for making excellent tools, and with the G8689, they certainly do not disappoint.

First and foremost, this is a tool that can be effectively used by anyone, even someone with little to no experience. Users report not ever having run one before and feeling entirely comfortable using this tool because of the awesome and thoroughly detailed instructions for use they could find in the included operation manual.

And, this is strong enough to be able to be effectively used even on tool steel. There really is not much the Grizzly G8689 will not be able to handle.

Bottom Line

The Grizzly G8689 is a top notch mini milling machine that can tackle whatever you may want to throw at it. Just keep in mind that it is not intended to be used for precision drilling projects.

Conclusion

Mini milling machines can truly change up the game when it comes to creating, well…pretty much anything! Whether you are in the market to make your own knives, to craft components of a gun, or really to work with any sort of tool or metal surface in order to make it completely your own, one of these will do the trick for you.

Make sure you keep in mind what you are most looking and find yourself a machine with some great versatility and stability, and is built to last you a long, long time. If you choose one of the stellar products from our list, we promise you will not be disappointed!