Working with metal is can be one of the more useful skills to have under your belt. The best lathe mill combo in your shop will take this skill from unreachable directly into your hands.
It allows you to create parts that otherwise need to be purchased with a high pricetag. A lathe is a fantastic tool that helps you to shape materials like wood and metal, the combination of the lathe with milling abilities saves on both money and space in the shop. You no longer will need to hire on a professional mill to create what you need.
The shaping of raw materials is the primary focus of any wood or metal lathe or mill. These two machines are necessary for the best end products, but two big metal working machines will hit both the wallet and table top hard. With a lathe mill combo, all of the functionality is brought into one machine.
The problem then often lies in being able to figure out which lathe mill combo is the best for you. The range of costs, features, size, and all other parts that make up a metal lathe mill, make this decision difficult. Here, we lay out which lathe mill combo machine will make you the happiest with your personal or professional projects at the end of the day.
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Why is the Baileigh MLD the top pick?
The Baileigh MLD-1030 has proven to be the best of the best when it comes to lathe mill combo machines. It has the highest amount of power with two one horsepower motors, which also ensures the longer lifespan than those lathes and milling machines that only use one motor. It also functions as a drill press and is three machines in one space. It is a beast of a machine with durability ensured by a fantastic build quality. There is no question to it, the MLD-1030 is the best.
5 Best Lathe Mill Combos in 2020
1. Baileigh MLD-1030 Mill Drill Lathe – Best Overall
Baileigh brings us the top pick in this year’s lathe mill combo machines. Not only does it perform at the top of its class as a combo lathe mill machine, it adds on the capability of utilizing a drill press. That’s three different machines brought into a one of a kind piece in the shop.
One of the top qualities of the MLD-1030 is the two separate 110V 1HP motors for the lathe and mill. 110 volts can be run off almost any standard 120 volt household outlet, so there is no difficult maneuvering and adjusting of electricity just to make this machine operate. Two separate motors lets you divide out the workload and not put all the stress on one motor. This ends up bringing you a much longer lifespan for the machine.
The MLD-1030 features an adjustable rpm between 50 and 2000 for all different forms of materials. This speed is laid out on a convenient digital display so you are never guessing with tiny notches on a dial. The Baileigh MLD-1030 does weigh in at a whopping 429 pounds. It will be a beast to manage, but makes up for that in durability.
Features: 2 inch spindle stroke on drill press, 3-in-1 mill drill and lathe combo, 50-2000 adjustable rpm accompanied by digital readout screen for accurate cutting
- Adjustability in speed
- 3-in-1 versatility increases capacity and reduces use of workspace
- Incredible durability with size and two separate motors for increased lifespan
- High price
2. Proxxon 34104 Mill/ Drill Head PF 230 – Best Addition
The Proxxon 34104 Mill/Drill Head turns the Proxxon lathes into a much more versatile mill lathe combo machine. It can be set at 280, 550, 870, 1200, 1500, or 2200 rpm which does make it rather versatile for all different types of cutting, it is just not as capable of fine tuning as the Baileigh MLD-1030.
This attachment mill drill head weighs a heavy 17 pounds for a small sized piece of equipment. It does make turning your Proxxon lathe into a lathe mill combo a more affordable option than having to buy a whole new piece of industrial equipment. Replacing the top slide of the lathe will quickly and easily turn it into a compound table using the table that is supplied.
The main drawback is that you need to already own a Proxxon lathe, or need to get one in addition to the Proxxon 34104 mill drill head. This will significantly increase the required budget to get you the best lathe mill combo machine.
Features: 110-120 volts to be run on any household outlet, lathe transitions into compound table for longitudinal and cross-wise XY travel, 6/810mm colletes included in purchase
- Affordable price if you already own a Proxxon lathe
- Turns lathe into a compound table
- Includes three different collets
- Could use a universal drill chuck
- Need to already own the lathe
3. Erie Tools 7 x 14 Precision Bench Top Mini Metal Milling Lathe – Best for Beginners
Now, if a lathe mill combo is something that is second nature to you, you may want to look back up the list. If you are a beginner and wanting to not drop a fortune just to learn the trade, this will give you a quality machine that won’t break the bank. Even if you are seasoned at the lathe, it can still be great little machine to own for the shop.
This machine comes with everything from the lathe, the chuck key, a five-piece carbide tipped cutter kit, internal jaw chuck and external jaw chuck, and 11 different feed rate gears. The size of this machine is an impressive 14 inches long by 7 inches high and can still boost up to 2500 rpm. It includes a thread indicator to turn screws with threads between 12 and 52 TPI (threads per inch).
One thing to be ready for when purchasing this machine is the replacement of the plastic gears that are primarily used in the construction. This doesn’t allow for a very durable and long lifespan, but these parts can easily be found in metal but need to be switched over.
Features: comes with lathe, the chuck key, a five-piece carbide tipped cutter kit, internal and external chuck jaws, and 11 different feed rate gears, turns up to 2500 rpm, small size construction of 7 inches by 14
- Compact size construction
- Comes with everything you will need
- High rpm capability
- Plastic gears may need to be replaced with metal alternatives
Grizzly gives high quality machines for those that are serious about the craft. The Grizzly Industrial G0769 is a compact sized lathe mill combo that makes machining small parts a breeze. It comes with every single on of the machine tools you need in order to create on of the best lathe mill combo machine experiences found on the market today.
The milling machine apparatus has a head tilt up to 45° tilt left and right and a spindle travel of 1¾ inches. A 600 watt (¾ hp) motor powers the lathe and milling machine and runs on a 110 V source. The low setting on the spindle speed will roate from 50-1000 rpm and on high it moves between 100-2000 rpm. This machine is highly versatile and can perform at the top of its class in the shop. It has a 1½” t-slot on center, and two t-slots at ¼”.
The overall size of the Grizzly Industrial G0769 lathe with the milling head is 36” W, 20” D, 34” H. It doesn’t take up a crazy amount of space and can be managed easier with a weight of under 300 pounds. The Grizzly Industrial line has some of the best machines that can be found today and are a reliable and durable purchase.
Features: Comes with every machine tool necessary for operation, 45° head toilet on milling head with spindle travel of 1¾ inches, ¾ horsepower motor delivers high amount of power for a small machine, high thread range (9-44 tpi)
- Grizzly is a well-known brand that creates high quality products
- Comes with all the items you need, there are no additional purchases needed
- Variable speed options for spindle
- One of the best lathe mills on the market
- High pricetag
5. KKmoon Mini Metal Lathe DIY 6 in 1 – Best Miniature
Under a foot long and not even half a foot high, the KKmoon Mini Metal Lathe Mill Drill is a great machine tool for those people that are hoping to work on a small scale. It is a perfect lathe mill combo that is capable of several other functions to give a hobbyist everything they want in working with plastic, wood, and soft metals.
It may not be for industrial work, but it still runs on 110-140 V and has a high rpm capacity. When we are looking at lathe mill combos, this is something to get to play around with and learn the trade. It comes at a low price and is good to learn on without spending a fortune.
It is constructed of aluminum alloy that makes it rather durable for its small size. It’s only 7.7 pounds, so it can’t be expected to withstand everything you throw at it, but will still hold its own.
Features: 6-in-1 lathe mill machine, affordable price for a wide array of tools, aluminum alloy construction for durability
- Great for tiny scale construction and hobbyists
- Low price
- Versatility and small size saves a lot of space
- Not for larger jobs
- Build quality is low
- Could use a better manual for easier navigation
Lathes and milling machines are industrial sized pieces of equipment that have a lot going on inside of them. When they are brought into one machine, it’s both beautiful and complicated. There are a lot of different parts going on and two different machines to contemplate when only purchasing one. All of this going on makes this, normally expensive, decision a difficult one.
There are a few different things to really look for when trying to find the best lathe mill combo for your shop. You want to consider the different combinations each machine takes in, the size of the product, its build quality and lifespan, versatility and efficiency, price, and its comfort.
This is still a lot to look at, so we’ll break it down and chunk it out in attempts to help you out as you sort through the internet looking for the top choice.
You’re here because you’re looking for the best combo lathe mill machine. This is a machine all about combination and bringing multiple different functions into one space in the shop. There are machines on this list that will do six different things, and some that stick to the simple 2-in-1 lathe and milling machine combination. A precision combo lathe mill machine will bring a high performing machining center to your home with vast capability in milling and lathe operations.
If you are working with limited space, the higher the number of tasks the machine can perform the better. It is true, however, a jack of all trades will never be the master of one. When you are trying to combine too many things it may end up only being okay at each of them.
Certain products on our list are still masters of their class. The Baileigh MLD-1030 brings together a lathe, a milling machine, and drilling capabilities. The lathe mill drill combo makes this a great option for a combo lathe machine that brings other function. It ends up performing well in each area and doesn’t sacrifice much quality for the quantity. The KKMoon 6-in-1 spreads itself pretty thin. It isn’t the best at any of the six, and loses quality at the price of quantity. You may also like our related post on the best pulse MIG welder & the best welder for aluminum reviews.
One of the biggest reasons to get a lathe mill combo machine is to save on space. It makes it so you no longer need to buy two different machines that each take up floor or table space.
If your shop is small and getting cramped, something like the Erie Tools Mini Metal Milling Lathe will fit in and still deliver quality products. If space isn’t an obstacle, any of these products are still great options.
When making a huge lathe mill combo purchase, it’s important to know that it’s going to last. Something that is cheaply built will end up being very affordable but will need to be replaced in the near future. A solid construction product is going to stay in your life and continue to deliver, but it will be a tradeoff for a higher price.
Budget is always on the list of considerations when buying big machinery. A lot of quality products will really push the bank accounts to the limit. Fortunately, a lot of quality combo lathe mill machines exist that won’t require taking out a loan or sacrificing your kids’ college tuition for the semester. Just be aware and use this list to find your way to something that fits in the budget.
These lathe mill combos can add so much to your shop. They will save on space and save on money in more ways than one. For beginners and experts, there is a lathe mill combo perfect for all levels of skill. Getting into lathe milling requires the right tools and those tools will make all the difference. Hopefully, this has helped direct you towards the right kind of lathe mill combo for your home workshop or possibly even upping the game on a professional level.
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