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13 Different Types Of Milling Machine

Milling Machine

Milling machines are one of the most basic pieces of equipment that you can find in any workshop, as they help your work to be accurate. These pieces of equipment help to shape metals by expelling them through the rotating milling cutter at a very high speed. There are various types of milling machines and each has its own unique function.

Furthermore, the different types of milling machines are important in industries such as manufacturing, automotive and aerospace. Some of these milling machines include: vertical milling machines, horizontal milling machines, CNC and lots more.

For better understanding, we’ll be delving into the different types of milling machines and their functions. It is important to know the best milling machine that will fit your desired outcome; this article will help you figure that out.

What is a milling machine?

A milling machine is a type of machine used for cutting material in an operationally controlled manner. It is described as a method used for cutting meter or non-meter tools. The operator becomes precise on what should be done on a workpiece in order to achieve the purpose of the work.

More so, there is a need to clearly understand or know what makes up a milling machine so as to identify the type of milling machine that is made up of this component. The following are different components of a milling machine, which are:


This is the major and key component of a milling machine. The main work is mounted on the base, which helps to perform milling accurately.


This is another component of a milling machine. It has to do with the frame on which the machine-moving parts are based.


The knee milling component can be located close to the base. It has to do with the weight of a worktable.


The major role this component performs is to help in the movement of the work table by connecting it to the knee


The spindle milling machine is a component that helps in the rotation in different directions.


It is a type of milling component that has a side cutter that is very close to the sponle.

Work Table

This is a milling machine part that is used to hold the workshop.


This is a component that connects with the rest of the machine for easy movement.


This type of component helps to manage the weight of the spindle.

Types Of Milling Machine

There are different types of milling machines that have diverse functions based on what they are needed for. It is crucial that you take note of that type so as to know the right tools to use when working on metal or tools. Let’s consider the different types of milling machines so as to give you clarity on each and enable you to make a good choice.

1. Vertical Milling Machine

Vertical milling is one of the most common and major tools used for any kind of workpiece. Just as the name implies, it has a vertical plane shape that has the ability to perform different types of milling, such as end milling, face milling, etc.

2. Horizontal Milling Machine

This is another type of milling machine that has its own area of function. The machine has a horizontal plane, which is used to cut thicker and larger work pieces. It has a milling table where tools can be placed in order to have accurate cutting of different work pieces. The main purpose of this machine is to cut heavy materials to achieve a multi-task milling operation.

3. Bed Milling Machine

This type of machine has a bed with the machine. It has the ability to perform any work piece in a vertical or horizontal direction. One of the important things you must know about bed milling machines is that you cannot operate this type of machine and kneel on it at the same time. This is because it has a movable head attached to the machine.

4. CNC Milling Machine

The full meaning of this machine is computer numeric control. This type of machine uses a computer to control how it operates. It has the ability to rotate or move in any direction. For this to be achieved, all you need to do is load the workpiece into your computer and then you can easily cut the sketch you want to cut, depending on the workpiece you want to cut. The essence of this machine is to remove material from work pieces excellently.

5. Drum Milling Machine

One special attribute about this type of milling machine is that it has about four spindle heads, of which you can remove one and fix another one depending on the workpiece you are operating on.

Furthermore, it has its own table that is capable of rotating in a horizontal direction and can be removed from the table whenever you want to change any of the spindle heads.

6. Tracer Controlled Milling Machine

This is a quite complicated machine that can reproduce dies with work pieces that have a complex and irregular shape.

7. Rotary Table Milling Machine

This type of machine operates on a circular table and performs two major pieces of work. The first is to rough up the work pieces and the second is to finish the surface.

8. Planer Milling Machine

This is another type of milling machine. It is very large and can perform heavy or complex work. It has an adjustable spindle head that can be controlled in different directions so as to achieve and perfect your work in a short period of time. The unique attribute of this machine is that there is an increase in cutting speed as the table keeps moving.

9. Universal Milling Machine

The word universal means wide range, which automatically implies its meaning. It has the ability to perform a wide range of operations. This machine allows you to attach extra tools to it so as to make it more effective.

10. Column Milling Machine

This type of machine is mostly used for car parts. Although it is also useful in different industries, This type of milling machine is quite expensive due to the fact that it covers an extensive area.

11. C-frame Milling Machine

This machine has a high speed of operation, which has made it possible to use it for a large number of productions. This machine has the ability to move more in the vertical direction.

12. Gantry Milling Machine

This type of machine is usually used on large work pieces. It operates similarly to a column machine. It moves in a horizontal direction. The major uses of a gantry milling machine are to move a particular load from one spot to another, to know the weight of the load and to make our work easy and fast to achieve.

13. Manual Milling Machine

This is one of the cheapest milling machines. It requires you to use your hand to control the tools used for work pieces. Currently, Manual milling machines have been recorded as having the lowest usage among different types of milling machines.

What To Consider When Choosing A Milling Machine

Choosing the best milling machine is one of the best decisions you can make as an operator for an effective result. The following are things to consider when selecting the type of milling machine you want to buy:

1. Budget

Your budget is a very sensitive point that you must first consider before choosing any type of machine. When you decide on a rounded figure of the cost of the machine you want, it will serve as a guide for what you are expected to go for so that you won’t run out of finance.

2. The Size Of The Machine

Due to the fact that this machine comes in different sizes, you need to decide the size you want to go for. Your working pieces and the frequency with which you operate on materials will determine the size at which you should be working for an effective and productive result.

3. Material

To choose a milling machine accurately, it is important to consider the type of material you are working on so as to choose a machine that can give you the accurate cut you desire.

4. Durability

Consider buying a machine that will not only work for you but rather work for you for a longer period of time. So as to avoid you changing or fixing your milling machine all the time.

5. Capacity

The capacity of your machine determines how much it can work at a time; therefore, this is important, but you must consider it first before buying a machine, although the greater the capacity, the more expensive it will be.

Final Word

Now you understand the different types of milling machines we have. This is able to guide you on the type of work you should get based on the outcome you desire. More so, the quality of the milling machine used will determine the quality result you will be getting from each specific task. To choose accurately, there is a need to go over this article again.


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