Are you looking for the best horizontal milling machine? Well look no further, as this article will review and look at the best horizontal milling machine for your milling purposes.
First of all, what is a horizontal milling machine?
There are some big differences between a horizontal and a vertical mill. Well a horizontal mill does still have a bed which has the x-y table. But the cutters are mounted onto a horizontal arbor. You can mount more than one cutter at a time to produce more results, faster. A single spindle machine is called a simplex, while a two spindle machine are called duplex mills.
Best horizontal milling machine for sale (in no particular order)
Well this really all depends on your project needs. I can help you out in terms of what manufacturers to look at. From there, you should be able to find a machine that best suits your machining purposes. Here are the top horizontal milling machine manufacturers:
Sheldons – Solid mills that have a good following due to its quality and ruggedness. Definitely worth checking out if you can find one in great condition.
Burke – Burke mills are old school and are definitely worth a look if you can get your hands on one. They have a few different numbers for their model numbers, for example, the machine may be called a #3 or a #4. There is also good support online through other enthusiasts that also own this machine.
Rockwell – Head on over to the Rockwell Yahoo Group files section (Yahoo Rockwell mill forum right here) for more information on Rockwell horizontal mills.
Brown & Sharp – Also worth a look at, although doesn’t seem like there is a huge community of users online for this manufacturer.
Atlas – Best place to check out for an Atlas horizontal milling machine might be Ebay for this manufacturer. Head on over to their Yahoo group here for more tips and info from other users.
Bridgeport – They have a great website and with a lot of modern machines that you can get new easily. Their horizontal mill is rather large, and offer a 4 axis model range for their horizontal milling machine cutters. Definitely worth a look depending if you need something of that size for a cnc horizontal milling machine.
Cincinnati – These guys are also really old school, founded in 1889. A good Cincinnati horizontal milling machine is a good choice for those who are looking for a good used machine.
Universal – A good Universal horizontal milling machine is definitely worth its weight in gold. There are a ton of different mills from this manufacturer, so check them out if you are looking for variety.
Best small horizontal milling machine
That title would probably best go to the Van Norman 12. This is a solid machine and can do both horizontal and vertical milling. The Nichols horizontal milling machine is also a good option and is even smaller than the Van Norman, so would be a good option for a small horizontal milling machine.
Tips for buying a used horizontal milling machine
Going used is a great option to save on cash. Of course, there are a few things you should be on the look out for:
1. A trusted seller. Look for a well trusted seller and always try to go through your credit card, as you can do a charge back if something were to go wrong (i.e. your mill never arrives).
2. Make sure to get the model number. That way you can look it up and see what parts you may need. Head on over to the Practical Machinist or cnczone.com forum to see if someone there may have a similar machine. Usually there is and they can point you in the right direction for additional horizontal milling machine parts.
3. Make sure it can be used by you easily. If it is cnc, then you may need to get additional training, which is hard for horizontal milling machine operations that require older software.
4. Shipping and transport costs to get it a machine and horizontal milling machine parts can be a bit of a mission. Because of this, you will have to look local, unless you can get cheap shipping. Also watch out for extra fees like customs fees if importing.
5. Make sure you have the space. A lot of these machines are not mini, so will take up a good sized footprint within your workshop.