Are you looking for the best mini cnc lathe? Well I know finding the right mini cnc lathe can be hard. Finding the right machine can be a great opportunity though as there are some solid options out there.
Below is my comparison of the top mini lathe cnc machines available out there on the market right now:
NOTE: As there are many different brands and machines out there, I’ll list the mini cnc lathe manufacturers and brands that I think are worth checking out and the specifics to go along each brand such as which models are better than others.
Sherline: These guys are awesome and have a ton of tabletop and benchtop cnc mini lathes available. If you are looking for a mini cnc lathe for sale, Sherline should be your first stop.
Their 4000CNC/4100CNC as well as their 4400CNC/4410CNC are solid options to choose from.
Some of their lathes can even be retrofitted for CNC use, so you can talk to them to see which of their lathes would be suitable for a mini lathe cnc conversion and go from there.
Of course with the above, you would also need to add drivers, stepper motors a computer and cad/cnc software. Remember that their stuff is made in the USA, which means warranty issues and spare parts can be sorted easily if you are purchasing in the USA.
Grizzly – Grizzly G0602 – This is a great mini lathe, while it’s not CNC straight out of the box – this is a great machine to buy and convert to CNC. This is a 10″ x 22″ bench lathe that supports a wider bed, larger chuck and a variety of different thread ranges – perfect for a wide range of smaller cnc jobs that deal with metal.
The 1 HP, 110V single phase motor on this should be able to handle a solid amount of jobs in most home or even professional workshops. Convert this to a CNC machine and save yourself some solid $$
Intelitek – proLIGHT 3000 – This requires no conversion as it is already a great and also affordable desktop CNC milling center. The Super proLIGHT 1000 also makes for a great desktop 3-axis cnc machine. With the proLIGHT 3000 you are getting a very capable machine that also comes with user-friendly software.
I have always argued that cnc software is one of the biggest hinderences to a great machine, especially for people on a tight budget. The software included provides support for linear and circular interpolation, canned cycles, different multi-tool programming as well as cutter threading and compensation. These are big benefits in a piece of software – and should not be overlooked – as software that provides this sort of functionality would add to the cost of a home conversion from a regular lathe.
Gunhead – Gunhead machine werks makes some great CNC lathes. They have a solid 7 x 14″ cnc lathe that I highly recommend. Their V2 has a longer 27″ bed, offering 16″ between centers – which is a good amount of space for most projects for a mini cnc lathe. Check out their Gunhead V2 cnc lathe here.
The whole CNC kit is only $1999 on top of the 7x cnc machine if you already own one – so upgrading is fairly reasonable – although I’d like to see this price come down even more over the next year with the CNC and 3d printing market heating up.
Conclusion – Which is the best mini cnc lathe for the masses?
It’s a tough call – although there can be limited brands depending on where you live – I’d definitely go for Sherline or Gunhead. Both these manufacturers have relatively user friendly and cost friendly cnc conversion kits that work well with their machines.
What cnc mini mill would you recommend? Leave your comments below!