Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Choosing a Milling machine

Choosing a Milling machine

Choosing a Milling machine

Hi! guys!

I have a mission to buy a milling machine, but this is completely new for me.

The milling machine is to simply applications in a maintenance department in an industry. The task will be to fabricate simple parts like key, keyway, keyseat, undercuts, gears, ...

What should I observe to buy it? What is relevant? What should I consider in a comparative with my options?


Anderson Oliveira
Mechanical Engineer

RE: Choosing a Milling machine

How big are the parts?
How many do you need to make?
How full is your wallet?

RE: Choosing a Milling machine

I think first you need to find the machinist who has experience using a milling machine and will be responsible for operating this one. If that person is you, find a place to take a course on using a milling machine before buying one. You would need to learn anyway and it will allow for a better selection. Otherwise it is like saying you want to have a farm, and asking what kind should it be.

RE: Choosing a Milling machine

Useful rule of thumb for buying machinery:
To select from a group of similar machines, buy the heaviest one.

Useful rule of thumb for buying used machinery:
In general, you don't want the one that's extraordinarily clean, because it likely suffered from a large number of service calls. ... which suggests that it broke a lot, and maybe never ever ran right.
You want the one with layers of factory grime (as opposed to rust), suggeting that it lived a productive life and didn't demand a lot of attention.

For milling machines especially, inspect the table. If there are worn, scarred areas on the surface that's supposed to be flat, that suggests that wrenches were dropped on the table thousands of times, by people who didn't know how to care for the machine, or didn't care to know how.

In any case, take along someone who knows how to run the machine, and demonstrate that all the functions work and all the needed parts are present.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Choosing a Milling machine

Going new or used? Most people will start out with a manual mill but you might want to look at a CNC mill - so much easier to cut non-straight lines and multiple features and do it in fewer setups.

RE: Choosing a Milling machine

If you are going with a manual mill, try to find one with a good digital reader , whilst it is an added luxury, and a good machinist can work without one. It does take a lot of hassle out counting turns on the handles, and compensating for backlash on the screws.
As has been said before here, take the guy who is going to use it with you to look at the machine.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Choosing a Milling machine

While I wait the answer from here, I started some researches.

The milling machine will be an Iso 30 or 40 ( I don't know the better option about it yet)

We will use just to fabricate parts eventually to maintenance actives. Like one or two parts a day.

How essential is a digital painel.

The machine will be new.

Here in Brazil,we have only chineses options:

Eurostec, Pinnacle, Wess, Tornitec

RE: Choosing a Milling machine

A digital read out (DRO) is extremely useful. It greatly increased productivity and accuracy of a manual machine.

RE: Choosing a Milling machine

You really need to find a reputable dealer to help you in your search. Try to find some shops who have this equipment in your area and ask them what they think of the dealer and the associated service. A reputable dealer will help steer you in the right direction once you show what you are trying to accomplish.

The size and specifications of a machine are very dependent upon what you are doing. 'Milling machines' encompass a very broad range of equipment.

Gears are not simple things to manufacture on a mill. You need a lot of tooling and generally gears are manufactured on specialized equipment.

If you are looking just to do key ways and the like you are probably looking for a standard knee mill - a 'Bridgeport' clone. Provided you have an experienced machinist to run it, I would simply go with a manual Bridgeport clone with an R8 spindle and digital read out (DRO), if the parts will fit into it. Don't count on making gearing with such a machine unless you have very motivated and creative machinists on staff, in which case I would let them pick out the machine.

RE: Choosing a Milling machine

You still haven't answered the earlier question:
How big are the parts?
How thick is your wallet (= budget)

Right now we don't know if you need an oil field mill, or a watchmakers.


RE: Choosing a Milling machine

How critically dimensioned are the parts?
How capable is the machinist who is going to be cutting them?

You will pay tens of thousands to get 1/10000 accuracy for nothing if you only really are going to need +/- 0.002 or 0.001 that will be cut by by semi-skilled machinist only accurate to 0.010 or 0.008 accuracy in HIS measuring and aligning!

If the parts can be "crude" at 0.010 or 0.005 accuracy, or if the machinist is not very good at reading dials and micrometers of offset gages - which is why digital readouts are better in today's terrible schools - the expense of a very good, very heavy, very accurate machine will be somewhat wasted.

RE: Choosing a Milling machine

Thank you

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


White Paper - Implementing a Multi-Domain System
IoT systems are multi-domain designs that often require AMS, Digital, RF, photonics and MEMS elements within the system. Tanner EDA provides an integrated, top-down design flow for IoT design that supports all these design domains. Learn more about key solutions that the Tanner design flow offers for successful IoT system design and verification. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close