February 10, 2022

Are lathe mill combos any good

What are lathe mill combos?

A lathe mill combo is a combination of a lathe or lathe mill. They combine lathe and milling capabilities into one machine. They are good for relatively small jobs. They are generally less efficient than having two separate machines. Lathe Mills are also fondly known as the ‘Mother of Machine Tools.’ It has been given this name because of its wide range of capabilities.

Many machinists are unhappy with the constant need to switch between several devices while crafting their art. This need derails their progress and rhythm, leading them to a less consistent product that takes longer to create. The amount of fatigue made is a cause for concern when changing systems.

It is common for beginners to forget to make minor adjustments constantly. You will have to restart the project again on the other machine when you forget this. This can become repetitive and demoralizing over time. A lathe mill combo will help to bring back some of the joy involved in creating something different and high quality.

People have turned to lathe mill combo machines to solve this dilemma. These multi-purpose machines help the consumer save time, workspace, and energy. It’s a complex machine to build but well worth its advantages.

It’s needless to say; a lathe mill combo is one of the best benchtop tools that an artisan can have. Using this, take your work to another level without sacrificing floor space.

What is the difference between milling and turning?

When a lathe needs to remove some material from a rotating workpiece with a cutting tool, it can be done by turning. The item being worked on moves through turning while the cutting tool remains stationary. This allows for a consistent level of cutting in the same position.

Boring is another standard process that machines use when lathing. The main thing you will notice is that turning is created to remove material. It takes off layers from the outside of your workpiece, which is different from boring, designed to take off material from the inside. Combining boring and turning makes the machine’s stationary cutting move towards and press on the rotating workpiece.

Milling is a machining process that involves removing material from a workpiece that is not moving. This material is drawn through the use of a rotating cutting tool. The concept used to power this idea uses similar principles to turning. The cutting tools are pressed on the workpiece, which takes off the material. Suppose you want to understand the differences between these processes; you have to look at their use of rotation. When using a turning machine, it is the workpiece that turns. When you are milling, it is the cutting tool that is turning.

Can you mill on a lathe?

Milling is an activity that can be done on a lathe. It is a valuable tool for exercise and can do an excellent job with a few minor modifications. You will only have good results on the account you made the lathe reasonably solid. You will be pretty accurate within plus or minus one inch. It is pretty common to find this type of lathe being used.

For people who perform a limited amount of milling, using ample space for a milling machine might not be financially possible. This alternative helps provide a lightweight option to the consumer.

Why you may want a lathe mill combo

A lathe mill combo is an excellent option to consider for people who need to work on raw materials. It makes cutting raw materials into specific shapes very convenient. You can easily cut the material into the desired shape, size, and quantity.

It works to reduce raw materials using special cutting tools that are attached. The tools or “blades” cut the materials as the rotation happens. This process is only possible if you have the correct type of lathe.

Cost Comparison: Getting a combo vs. getting a mill and a lathe

A mill and a lathe will cost you $ 2,500 to $3,000. It will also require ideal space to set up and install. A combo will cost you a minimum of $500.

What to consider when buying a lathe mill combo

Strength of parts

Burdensome duty operations are involved; therefore, you must ensure the material is hard and sturdy. You will need to check the mill combo’s build quality and ergonomic design. Parts like the spindle bar, toolpost, and drill head must be subjected to intense scrutiny.

Ease of maneuver

This is a complicated machine; therefore, you need to know if it’s easy to use. If it is difficult to use, you will not produce good work. It will also be challenging to work on the machine for hours.


Check the performance ability of your machine before you buy it. The power it can exert will be a good indicator. Check for the RPM to know how fast the machine can cut.

Do they still make Bridgeport Mills?

Bridgeport Mills are still made within the U.S.A.

Brands that make mill lathe combos

  • Baileigh
  • Bolton Tools
  • Damatomacchine
  • Grizzly
  • Harbor Freight
  • Hengwei
  • Mophorn
  • Optimum
  • Shop Fox
  • Smithy
  • Warco
  • ‎Proxxon

Best mill lathe combo

Shop Fox M1018 Combo Lathe/Mill

The Shop Fox M1018 is the best lathe mill combo. Amateur and pro machinists will thoroughly enjoy this versatile machine. It works wonders for turning, cutting threads, and drilling. You will be able to do different small milling projects. It has excellent features, such as a 4-way turret tool post and a 9-1/2-inch faceplate. You will also find a 4-inch 3-jaw chuck and a built-in rotating vise. The swing over the bed is 16-1/2-inch, 11-1/2-inch swing over the saddle, 19-3/16-inch distance between centers, and 3/4-inch spindle bore.

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