Best Power Milling Machines in 2020



JESSEM Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides, JessEm# 04215 Review:


Decided to try these as I've found featherboards on the router fence more annoying than helpful. These stock guides are a definite improvement and make for a more smooth passage of the work across the router table. Build quality is quite good and the guide assemblies have a real heft to them. The t-track on my Kreg fence sits slightly behind the working surface of the fence, so I had to shim the guides with a washer on each of the t-bolts--easy fix. Without shimming the guide assemblies would tilt away from the fence along the bottom as the knobs were tightened. This is just a quirk of my fence design. A flush-mounted t-track would require no shimming.

Only quibble I have is that my kit arrived with only one of the knurled knobs broached for the included hex wrench you might want to use for setting the roller height. For extended routing a bit of extra tightening can be a good idea to prevent vibration loosening the knob. If your hands are getting a little arthritic the added leverage given by the hex wrench can be a real help. This product packaging error is minor, and is the only reason for my 4-star rating, but I'm not alone here as I came across a few other complaints with regard to missing hardware or other product problems with JessEm kit while researching router lifts, tables, and fence systems. Given the costs, more attention to detail would be welcome.



【The Best Deal】OriGlam Mist Coolant Lubrication Spray System for Metal Cutting Engraving Cooling Sprayer Machine for Air Pipe CNC Lathe Milling Drill Review:


This is very nice, especially for the price! Extremely adjustable for both fluid and air flow. Work well at just 5psi. I tend to run it around 20 psi with great results.

A few notes:
* The description says 8mm air hose, but standard 5/16 O.D. Hose from the big box stores also fits perfect and is cheaper than 8mm hose online.
* Non magnetic, but there are two mounting holes drilled through for attachment. You will need to fabricate a holder.
* If you mount your reservoir above the nozzle you will have a siphon situation and your fluid will keep draining.
* Make sure you tighten the lock nuts on the adjustment screws fairly tight our they will vibrate loose. The adjustment screws themselves will then vibrate open or closed as well.



Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit GRBL Control 3 Axis Plastic Acrylic PCB PVC Wood Carving Milling Engraving Machine, XYZ Working Area 300x180x45mm Review:


Oh sure you’re not going to mill an F-35 airframe out of a solid block of titanium with this unit. Nor are you going to make an heirloom wristwatch or prototype a PCB for the next generation smartphone.

But for learning, tinkering, and experimenting it’s fantastic. It looks to be quite maintainable, with no special custom parts that would be expensive or impossible to replace. It comes with a very common collet size for which a huge range of inexpensive tooling is available.

The frame is nice and rigid. However, there is noticeable flexion in the bearing rods. X and Y slop was ~0.25 mm. I have no idea what the second floating nut on the screw is for, since it’s on a spring that seems too weak to be doing anything.

The firmware was the latest Grbl 1.1f.

Biggest missing feature is limit switches. But the machine hardly seems powerful enough to tear itself apart in the event of a stall.

No way in hail would I use this to aim a multi-watt burning laser though. At least not without a full enclosure with safety interlocks.

The assembly instructions were not bad at all. They threw in an extra screw or two, which was great because one screw came badly threaded.

The external controller (sold separately) has been handy. Hint: Connecting it seems to cause protocol errors with the USB connection, so it’s one or the other.

Hint: Assemble the frame loosely fit and don’t tighten (most of) the screws all the way until it’s all together. There are some good videos on the optimal tightening sequence for bearings and ball screws.

Hint: Secure the deck. Be mindful of its sliding motion as you flip the unit around at various stages of assembly. It’s like moving furniture with drawers.

Hint: The 8 grub screws on the parts list are already in the couplings.



Metabo - 4" Variable Speed Burnisher Kit- 800-3, 000 Rpm -14.5 Amp W/Lock-On, Accessory Set (602259620 17-200 Rt), Inox - Stainless Steel Finishing Review:


I really like the Metabo. This is a quality tool. It is easy to control and has plenty of power. Even at the slowest speed the Metabo allowed me to apply quite a bit of pressure without bogging down. The tool performed very well. This was an excellent purchase. My use is in finishing cold rolled stainless steel by adding a brushed stainless appearance to the stainless. The drum sanding and flap wheels worked great in applying that finish. It was very easy for me to apply a brushed stainless appearance to stainless flat bar. Heads up... this is a quality tool. This tool is far superior to one other name brand "surface refinishing tool kit" that was 1/4 the price of this Metabo kit. I tried the other tool and returned it to Amazon. Truthfully you do get what you pay for in the Metabo. I have many other Metabo hand tools in my welding shop. When I am looking for a tool Metabo has been my first choice in tools. So far every Metabo has pleased me. This tool is worth the money. PS: it is also really easy to change from one type of drum to another. The other tool that I mention above takes twice the time to change to a different refinishing drum.



Upgrade Version CNC 3018 Pro GRBL Control DIY Mini CNC Machine, Wood Router Engraver with Offline Controller + 5mm ER11 PCB +20PCS 3.175MM CNC Router Bits + 4 Sets CNC Plates+ 13 Pcs ER11 Collet Set Review:


 I'm giving this 5-Stars, because it's a lot of good working hardware for $179 and the vendor ensured I got a working kit.
Here's what I liked and why it's good for my needs:

-Packed nicely here were no parts missing. Includes cables, power supply, even a very nice collet for spindle

-Nothing was bent or broken. None of the hardware seems too cheap or flimsy for its role for a hobby-grade tool.

-All three stepper motors work

-The spindle motor works

-The USB-based controller card works

-Kit assembles into a very nice compact solid unit. Very nice for a desktop. Great for small stuff.

-All the axis work and things move without resistance meaning everything aligns and squares up properly.

-Comes with most of allen wrench sizes needed (I needed to use one allen wrench for my tool box, that they didn't provide).

Note that giving it 5-stars in -spite- of the fact that it's not well-documented and it should be, and in spite of the fact that it was a bit of challenge to figure things out. But It's pretty much a nerd-level product and they tried to indicate that in the product description. So consider yourself warned that this leaves some of the research / experimentation to the buyer and they presume the buyer has some skills.

The default operating is based on free open source software and tools. It comes with a GRBL controller board (i.e. flashed with GRBL firmware) that talks over the USB port (which presents itself USB-to-serial device on your host computer, in my case, running on macOS Mojave).

When the GRBL CNC controller board provided with the kit is powered up and connected via USB, you can start sending GCODE commands to the GRBL interpreter running on the board and operate the motors. The first step I recommend is to try to connect with the Arduino IDE at 115200 baud and see if you can get the GRBL prompt. After that, it's a matter of finding the right CAD/CAM tools to speak GCODE to the GRBL interpreter.

The GRBL site recommends using (free) GRBL aware bCNC CAM software. I downloaded bCNC from github (bCNCis a python2 TCL/TK based GUI/CAM tool). It's a free, light unpolished MACH3 like GCODE interpreter GUI. As shown in the video I'm posting with this review, I was able to jog the motors and everything moved perfectly on the each, and I was able to start and stop the spindle motor with a GCODE command, and whalla! The rest is on me to get right. They sold me a 'piano' that works, but they can't make me a 'Mozart' :-)

However, I would not get this unless you feel pretty comfortable with CNC and hardware and are good and building stuff and figuring things out.

Documentation doesn't come with the kit; they give you a URL and a username/password to log in and then point you to a folder instructions for a different kit (similar basic building but many differences). I did have to scratch my head a few times to figure it out, but once's the frame is built things start to get clearer a little at a time as you attack problems.

The following describes issues I had or confusion, things I had to work at figuring out. Hopefully will save you some time and give you more confidence about getting a unit.

- The corner connectors: All the rails attach to one another with a 45º aluminum corner piece. Each takes a hex screw through a washer from the inside of the corner piece. The weird little nuts go into the aluminum rails. As you tighten them the nuts rotate to a crosswise position to lock it into the rail. Sometimes you have to loosen the screw a bit and retighten to get it to rotate, and in a couple of places I nudged them to their crosswise (e.g. securable position) with a wire. Anyway, after you get a couple of corners on, you'll be used to it. They make very solid connections, but don't tighten too much too early. Make sure things are aligned, flat and squared up before you start to tighten things down.

- 4 wing nuts and the associated washers and parts - those are the work clamps for holding work pieces to the X-Y table.

- Be careful when installing the rails and lead screws! Take you time to line things up and test the slide is smooth and then tighten the rails and make sure the axis sliding works perfectly before installing the lead screw parts, and when installing the lead screws, be sure to install the anti-backlash nuts for the X and Y axis (Z-axis comes pre-assembled). You want to be sure the rails work smoothly and the leadscrews are aligned and centered in the coupling nuts and to test things gradually and incrementally to avoid putting misaligned stress on things. One reviewer said he got a bent lead screw , but I suspect it got bent because either he built it out-of-alignment and forced something, or he didn't center the lead screws. Or he didn't properly use the set screws to center the motor spindles and lead screws in the couplers and he only assumed that the off-axis induced stress intervals meant a lead screw was bent.

- The anti-backlash nuts... brass. They are two flat-ish loose parts that have threads. They fit into the opposite ends of the threaded components for the X and Y axis. There's kind of a quasi slot on the 2 existing components with threaded inserts in them pre-assembles and it's into that slot that the anti-backlash nuts go.

- Centering the lead screws in the couplers: The X and Y lead screws attach to the stepper motor with couplers. Each coupler has 4 associated set screws and they need to be tightened opposing each other in such a way that they hold the associated motor spindle and lead screw centered. If the couplers are attached off-center you may think that the lead screws are bent as the leadscrew rotation will fill like bind a little in parts of the rotation. If you get them centered the motors will be able to move the parts along the axis without any binding. You will feel smooth unhampered rotation throughout the cycles and the full range of linear motion.

- Controller board does allow you to buy/add your own limit switches (you can see the X, Y, Z hookups for the switches).
- I also read you can get automated Z-axis zeroing via the A4 pin (hole) on the controller board. From what I understand grounding that pin makes it believe that the tool has hit the metal plate on the table... so you can wire that up.

Note that if you search Amazon, you can find various identical 1610 and similar models, many of which use the same GRBL based USB CNC controller board. And if you read through the comments and Q and A you can get a lot of answers for questions you have, for any I haven't already answered here.



Mophorn Power Feed Al-310S X-Axis Torque 450 in-lb Power Feed Milling Machine 200PRM Power Table Feed Mill Fits Bridgeport Acer (450 in-lb X-Axis Torque) Review:


I gave this 5 stars ONLY to keep them from erasing the review. They claim that this fits a bridgeport mill. Yes it will but you have to modify it to fit. It is not a direct replacement. The key way in the drive gear is poorly machined , Shim pac was missing, and the instruction un readable. The bracket that mounts to machine had to be modified as well The ONLY WAY i got mine to work was to rob parts from other machine to get it to work. After I got it to work the motor was LOUD and runs ruff .If you contact the seller he will ask for pictures. This is a stall tactic. He uses it on other web sites too!!. I am a season machinist and I can tell you, this is JUNK . GOOD LUCK WITH COSTUMER SERVICE TOO ! Cause as soon as he gets you money the warrant ENDS.



Multifunction Worktable Milling Working Table Milling Machine Compound Drilling Slide Table For Bench Drill Review:


Overall, good for the price for basic hobby type work. I would not expect this to be used in a commercial machine shop.

As noted in other comments, I had to tighten the set screws on each cross-slide gib to remove "end shake" . It was easy to do and a small allen wrench is provided.

The instructions are not clear on where/how to tighten these set screws. See my attached photo for locations. There are 3 set screws on each cross-slide gib (one set of 3 for X- direction, another set for Y-Direction). There is a lock-nut on each set screw (most of mine were loose already). You need to loosen the lock nut to adjust the set screw. Slightly tighten each set screw to remove any looseness in the cross-slide. However, the trade off is the tighter you make the set screws, the harder it will be to turn the crank handle used to move the cross-slide. Don't forget to tighten each lock nut after making the adjustments!

I was able to find a good compromise that eliminated the end shake movement in each cross-slide, while still easily being able to turn each hand crank.

-Steve



MYSWEETY Compound Slide Table/Worktable Milling Working Cross Table Milling Machine Compound Drilling Slide Table For Bench Drill Adjustme X-Y Review:


Overall, good for the price for basic hobby type work. I would not expect this to be used in a commercial machine shop.

As noted in other comments, I had to tighten the set screws on each cross-slide gib to remove "end shake" . It was easy to do and a small allen wrench is provided.

The instructions are not clear on where/how to tighten these set screws. See my attached photo for locations. There are 3 set screws on each cross-slide gib (one set of 3 for X- direction, another set for Y-Direction). There is a lock-nut on each set screw (most of mine were loose already). You need to loosen the lock nut to adjust the set screw. Slightly tighten each set screw to remove any looseness in the cross-slide. However, the trade off is the tighter you make the set screws, the harder it will be to turn the crank handle used to move the cross-slide. Don't forget to tighten each lock nut after making the adjustments!

I was able to find a good compromise that eliminated the end shake movement in each cross-slide, while still easily being able to turn each hand crank.

-Steve



【The Best Deal】OriGlam Mist Coolant Mist Lubrication, Spray System Unit Used for CNC Lathe Milling Drill Machine Review:


Valve does not have any affect at all. Cannot adjust air flow. Segmented line leaks air badly.
Update: They were nice enough to send me a new one. It still has the same problems so I decided to modify it. I replaced the valve with an elbow, added a fish tank pump and check valve, installed a metering valve in the fluid line, a regulator and air solenoid in the air line. Now I have excellent control, the fluid doesn't syphon back to the tank, and start up is instant. With these modifications it is easily the best mist coolant unit I own. I'm changing my rating just because the seller was actually concerned and tried to help.



Carmyra Portable Chainsaw mill 36" Inch Planking Milling Bar Size 14" to 36" Review:


Got it on time and have to say I was pretty impressed with the quality of the parts. The aluminum rails are very well finished and the steel parts appear to be chromed. Being an "off brand" I honestly expected to see some crude parts but this thing is sturdy, well built and looks really good. I mean really good. I'd defiantly buy it again. I will only update if its fuction does not match its build quality, so if I don't update this it's safe to assume I'm in the timber making up slabs! Thanks Carmyra and Farmertech! Oh, I will add.....the directions stink, just an exploded view and parts list but very doable with common sense.