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So, you’re looking for the best mini mill available?
Milling offers a DIY'er many benefits and increases both your accuracy and the range of jobs you can take on.
When your space is limited, a mini mill is a great way to get the versatility and some of the power of a larger mill, without taking up too much of your bench or workshop. It’s also a cheaper option, which is nearly always a good thing.
In this article, I’m going to whittle down the available machines and concentrate on the top Mini Mills out there. In no time at all you’ll be up and running.
Let’s take a look at the five best mini mills of 2019!
14.6 cm x 50.1 cm
20 cm x 70 cm
46 cm x 11 cm
460 cm x 120 cm
(Smallest mini mill)
24 cm x 14.5 cm
THE FIVE BEST MINI MILLS - REVIEWS
1. OTMT OT2213 - Best Mini Mill
The OTMT OT2213 is a great Mini Mill. The OTMT mill has adequate power for most jobs and gets a 400 Watt motor.
A great spacesaver:
Size wise, it doesn’t take up too much room on the benchtop, but retains a good table size, at 38 cm x 9 cm, making this a good machine for most hobbyist.
The controls on the OTMT are well-placed and feel solid in the hand.
Turn this into a drill press:
This mill has both a fine feed and a coarse feed option. This makes the machine ideal to double up as a drill press, and indeed it’s supplied with a drill chuck. This makes the OT2213 great value.
Variable speed settings allows you to do various tasks:
Another great feature of the OTMT is that it has two speed settings. The first range runs from zero to 1100 RPM, and the second from 1100 to 2500 RPM. This gives this machine a brilliant range and makes it suitable for a wide variety of tasks.
Versatility of headstock travel:
Other features of the OT2213 are 45-degree tilting, both left and right and a really versatile 180mm of headstock travel.
A small mill ‘n’ drill at a great price...
Overall, the OTMT OT2213 offers great value to the hobbyist. Not only is it well built, it has a decent range of movements and a great speed range. It;s the best mini mill out there in this price range.
For a DIY'er looking to save limited space in the workshop, and trying to save money too, the fact that you get two machines in one with the OT2213 is a massive bonus. It’s hard to see past this machine because it ticks all of the boxes.
2. GRIZZLY G0758 – Premium Pick
The Grizzly G0758 is a fairly large Mini Mill. What sets this machine apart and makes it great value is its table size. At a massive 14.6 cm x 50.1 cm it’s one of the biggest tables in a mill of this class.
A powerful motor:
The G0758 also offers a really powerful motor at 600 Watts. Enough grunt to do everything that you’ll want a Mini Mill to do. Its footprint is bigger than the OTMT machine, and that’s not surprising given the table size here.
This machine, although roughly 50% more expensive than the number one machine in this list, is more powerful and offers a slightly bigger headstock range, at 200mm.
Versatility Of Speed:
The Grizzly G0758 also offers fine and coarse feeding and it has a decent variable speed range of 50 – 2000 RPM, which doesn’t quite match the OTMT machine.
So, listen up...
The Grizzly G0758 is a really nice Mini Mill and it’s well built. It has a REALLY big table which will be a great draw for some hobbyist where priority is size of workpiece that a mill can accommodate.
However, the resulting large footprint really won’t make this the right option for anyone with limited workshop space. It makes second on this list because for a Mini Mill it offers nearer to Big Mill versatility with regard to what you can achieve with it – if space, and your budget permits.
3. PROXON 37110 - Best Budget Pick
The Proxon 37110 is a wildcard on this list because it’s classed as a micro-mill. It deserves its place here because it opens up options that aren’t available with the other machines.
Table size on this mill is a tiny 20 cm x 70 cm. This will limit the jobs that you can perform but it also gives you a tiny footprint and means that this mill can even be moved around a workshop that is severely limited on space.
The motor on this mill is proportional to its small size, running at just 100 Watts
Small is beautiful:
Headstock movement range is also tiny on this machine, at about 70mm. This is a mill for users that either want to get into milling gently or are prepared to work within size limits to adhere to a small budget.
Speed on this machine is variable, which is a great feature. It’ll operate between 5000 and 20000 RPM, giving it enough range for a wide variety of tasks and materials.
Accuracy for half-price:
The size and the price of this mill are the big attractions. It’s tiny but can still perform a wide range of tasks, and it costs less than half of it’s near-cheapest rivals on this list. It also comes with six collets which is a great start for a new machinist, and has a cast iron base, which gives it stability. It also benefits from a fixed column, giving it great accuracy.
This is a very small mill, though. So think hard if it’ll handle the jobs you want to do.
Top tiny pick, at a tiny price...
The Proxon 37110 is a good mill in its own right - and it’s cheap. For a micro mill, it’s good quality and it will be accurate due to its fixed column. You’ll be able to get milling, straight out of the box with a set of six collets and this will fit in even the smallest of workshops or sheds. Make sure that the tiny table, motor and headstock travel will accommodate your projects, though.
4. MOPHORN XJ9512 Mini Mill
The Mophorn XJ9512 is compact – although it isn’t as small as the number one pick here. That slightly bigger size is down to the fact that this machine has a marginally bigger table than the OTMT, measuring in at 46 cm x 11 cm.
Loads of power:
This is a powerful mill, at 550 Watts.
Tilt and Drill:
On what’s a very similar Mini Mill to the OTMT, again we get offered both fine and coarse feed speeds here. The mill also tilts 45-degrees left and right from vertical, and the headstock travel is identical at 180 mm.
Great range of speed:
The Mophorn XJ9512 Mini Mill is another mill that comes with dual speed control and the ranges on this one are exactly the same as on the OTMT, at 0 – 1100 RPM in the first range, and 1100 – 2500 RPM in the second range.
Size, at a cost:
Again, user discretion is advised, and it really is going to come down to what your space limitations are. Another factor to consider with reference to the table and footprint sizes is the price. The Mophorn XJ9512 costs considerably more than the top mill on this list – and the table is only fractionally bigger.
Identical to OTMT2213 but...
It’s a fact that this Mini Mill is almost identical to the OTMT machine. It offers a tiny bit more power in the 550 Watt motor, and the table size is about 10% larger.
But, this must be traded off against the increased footprint, and the increased cost.
In my opinion, unless you really need the slightly bigger table, the extra money is better kept in your wallet. The increase in power isn’t really a big attraction, given the sort of jobs most hobbyists will be looking to carry out.
5. HITORQUE 3960 Mini Mill
The HiTorque 3960 Mini Mill is another of the more expensive machines on this list. It has a very similarly sized table to the previous entry here, at 460 cm x 120 cm.
Power is a more than adequate, at 500 Watts.
The speed range with the HiTorque is comparable to the other mills here, at 50 – 2500 RPM.
The big feature with this machine, and one of the main reasons that it makes this list, is that it has a fixed column. The fixed column means that you can’t tilt the headstock, but it does make for a more solid and arguably a more accurate machine.
Not reaching the heights:
The biggest drawback with this machine, apart from the cost, is the feeble headstock travel. It comes in at only 165mm. The worst on this list and a huge disappointment in a machine that promises efficiency and accuracy.
So, what’s the verdict?
The limitations of this machine in terms of its range are extremely disappointing for the price tag – which is 50% higher than the best mini mill on this list.
The HiTorque 3960 has a fairly good table size and more than ample power to complete most tasks. The fixed column would have made this Mini Mill a great option for those wanting real solidity and accuracy, however that feature will have to be weighed up against a big price tag and a very limited headstock range.
6. Erie Tools Mini Mills
The Erie Tools Mini Mill is one of the smallest machines on this list. The table is a very modest 24 cm x 14.5 cm so It has a pretty small footprint.
You’ll be limited by the small motor on this machine, which is a measly 150 Watts.
The table size also obviously will limit what you can do with this mill, as will the small range of headstock travel, at only 140 mm.
This Mini Mill does have a nice dual speed feature and is very well made. It runs at zero to 1000 RPM in low range, and 1000 to 2000 RPM in the high range. It also has a Forward/Reverse setting, which, although more useful to metalworkers when tapping threads, is a nice feature to have.
The machine is relatively costly, so it doesn’t compare well with others on this list when it comes to price. It does however come supplied with a nice six piece set of four-fluted cutters, and you’ll recoup some of the cost there.
The smallest mini mill on this list...
So, the Erie Tools Mini Mill is a well-built little machine but it’s quite costly compared to the number one machine on this list.
It does come with some nice four-fluted cutters but I’m afraid that when weighed up against the small movement ranges and the extremely feeble motor on this machine, that the cutters just don’t make up for its failings.
It’s a real outside option for someone with extremely limited workshop space, and that’s the only reason it even makes it into this top five.
So, What To Look For Before Buying A Mini Mill?
Good controls are important with any machine that you’re ever going to use. Access to, and ease of movement always makes for more enjoyable and more accurate work.
Size of the table versus floorspace:
This is a big deal for most DIY'ers, and even for professionals with smaller workshops.
It’s a case of figuring out what sort of work you’ll be doing and not buying anything that’s massively bigger than you need.
Achieving the right balance here will mean that you can do all the jobs that you need to do, and not take up too much of your bench or floor.
How solid is the machine?
It’s a big factor with Mini Mills. Stability and accuracy will be affected as much with a mill, as with any other machine that can’t handle the stresses that working places on it.
A well-constructed mill is generally an accurate mill.
This is really important. When you’re looking to purchase a Mini Mill, you need to make sure that service and replacement parts are readily available.
Even the best made machine will at some point need a replacement part or a service. It’s vital to make sure that parts are readily available before you buy.
Headstock travel and throat:
This is a major factor for any machinist. The range of movement of the headstock affects the maximum depth of workpiece that you can use.
If you use 150mm pieces regularly, then don’t buy a machine with a 140mm headstock range or you’ll be sunk.
Power and Speed:
This is a crucial aspect of choosing the right mill for you. If you use hardwoods and you want to do heavier milling operations, you’ll need plenty of power.
You’ll also need, as with most machines, a great range of speed adjustment so that you can match the spindle speed to the types of tool and material that you’re working on.
Generally, a wider range of speeds is always better than a narrow range, because you’ll be able to take on more varied projects with your new mill.
So, What Does It All Mean?
The OTMT OT2213 was the best mini mill in our tests, bringing together a great balance of economy, size of workable area and build quality. It’s hard to beat that combination and the machine is a great buy.
Likewise, the Proxon 37110 is a great choice for milling, given the right user. Though smaller, any limit to the size of jobs you can do with this machine is easily made up for by it’s price - it’s a great option if you’re on a tight budget and you want to mill smaller parts.
The Mophorn XJ9512 is a great little mill with slightly more working area than our top pick and a very similar spec, but fell down when weighing up cost against versatility and takes up third place on our list.
In at number four was the HiTorque 3960. This is one of the machines at the top of the price range featured here and it earned its place because of its fixed column. A fixed column, as we know, offers a more accurate experience and will be a priority for some buyers.
The Erie Tools machine offered a very small footprint, and although the cost of this mill is comparatively high, it comes with a nice set of four-fluted cutters and will get you working straight out of the box. It’s small size gets it on this list, though, and it’s pretty well made.
Now, I’ve tried to give you as much information as possible in this guide, and I’ve picked the best machines out there for the amateur woodworker that has limited space. I hope that I’ve given you enough stuff to think about in order to make a great decision. Buying a mini mill can be a daunting task, but it is one that can be made easier when the choice is narrowed down.
So, what are you waiting for? If you’ve chosen the right mill for you, then get to it – start milling! You won’t regret it.
Icons: Mill by jon trillana from the Noun Project