Small milling machines are also widely used especially at home workshops.
They can be applied while machining the small parts made of wood, plastic, metal or other solid materials. They as well as bigger size mills are capable of drilling, planning, cutting gears, routing, and boring and have the wide range of other advantages such as simplicity in usage, small space requirements, portability and reliability. Purchasing a small milling machine you buy a rather long lasting tool at an affordable price.
If we speak about the difference between the big and small milling machines, it is worth mentioning that the difference between these two mill categories is not only in size of milling machines themselves but also in size of projects these machines are able to handle. On this reason the limitation in function stays one of the main disadvantages of small milling machines. Their size itself and the size of their constituent parts lead to the limitation in the size of parts being worked on with the help of mini mills. Among the other main disadvantages characteristic for this milling machines category there are still the limited working area for the operator, as the consequence of the short spindle-to-table distance of mini mills, and low working capacity, closely related to the mill motor size.
Small milling machines are mostly mills with the vertical axis of the spindle, which holds the rotating shaft with the tools mounted in it. The milling machines of this type are generally equipped with the work table moving both side-to–side and front to back, and the hand wheels. The work piece machined must be clamped or screwed into on the table. The main function of the hand wheels after that is to move the work piece against the cutting tool while operation.
There is a wide choice of small milling machines in our days. Mini mills as well as the big mills can be either plain, able to perform only a limited range of operations, or universal, equipped with a number of tools and various attachments and used for a greater number of operations needed while machining the small parts. Some of them are able to make the angle cuts, or provided with the electronic variable speed control and digital height gauge. Some of them are manually controlled, and some are digitally controlled ones.
In our days small milling machine manufacturers are able to provide you with the advanced Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) milling machines, having an additional Z axis, which adds more flexibility and precision to the operations performed on a small CNC mills. If you are not ready to pay more for the CNC milling machine right now you can purchase the one easily convertible into a CNC mini mill.