Different types of milling machine

In order to achieve the best milling operation at different levels, various types of machines must be experienced. This is because they are available with different features and some are designed specifically to fit a project.

Read more: Everything you need to know about drilling machine

The milling machine as a tool used in industrial workshops offers numerous functions in different operations. These machines contain a cutter that is controlled at a specific speed range in order to create the desired shape. Due to the adjustable speed, generally, milling machines can be controlled for more precise cuts. these machines can handle multiple tanks such as carving, threading, milling, drilling, and cutting.

types of milling machine

Well, there are several types of milling machines out there with varying functions depending on the standard criteria. These machines are sometimes named according to the kind of control, the orientation of the spindle, the number of axis present, its purpose, the size of the tool, the source of power, etc.


Types of milling machines

The following represent the various milling machine types used in the manufacturing world:

 Column and knee:  

This machine has 5 basic components just like some other types which include, a table, saddle, head, knee, and overarm. It is one of the simplest and most common. Its cutting device is vertically suspended on the workpiece causing it to drill. It is mostly used when creating car parts because it is portable and handy.

It consists of a vertical column attached to the bed that contains all gear drives that rotate the knee and saddle. The knee which is situated on the base provides vertical motion to the workpiece, making it moves up and down. Also, the saddle is attached to the upper section of the knee which moves in the transverse direction. Finally, the table is placed over, which holds the workpiece with the use of climbing bolts.

Vertical milling machine:

In vertical types of milling machines, the spindle is positioned vertically and no arbor is required. The cutting tool is in a cylindrical shape and the cutting edges are at the circumference of the cylindrical face

Horizontal milling machine:

In this situation, the spindle is situated horizontally and rotates at a horizontal position. Unlike the vertical type, an arbor is used, which helps to hold the cylindrical disk shape cutter that aids the cutting of the metal workpiece.

Universal milling machine:

The universal types of milling machines are much similar to the horizontal type, except for the arrangement of the swing-up table to 45 degrees in either direction.

Read: The operations performed on the milling machine

Fixed bed milling machine:

in this type, the bed is fixed to the machine and there is no arrangement of the knee and saddle that moves vertically and transversally. The worktable is directly attached to the fixed bed and the spindle is mounted on a movable spindle head. Finally, this machine can move in vertical and horizontal directions when cutting.


The turret is also called the Bridgeport milling machine. Its functionality is advanced as different products can be produced as well as car parts and repositioning can be easily achieved.


This machine is sturdier than the turret type. It is mostly found in industrial settings and it is controlled hydraulically, making it very powerful.

Simplex milling machine:

in this machine, the spindle head or the spindle travels only in one direction, but mostly in the vertical direction

Duplex milling machine:

In this type, the spindle travels both vertical and horizontal directions.

Triplex milling machine:

In the triplex type, the spindle moves in all three directions along X, Y, and Z-axis.

Planner milling machine:

The types of milling machines are widely used for facing operations in mass production. It is similar to the bed type only that it can be mounted on different cutters and spindle heads. Facing operations can be simultaneously performed on this machine making it a great option.

Special milling machine:

This is one of the modern types of milling machines, which are manufactured for easy milling operations according to the type of jobs.

Tracer milling machine:

This machine is used to perform complicated operations like, die making the job by synchronizing the tracing unit and can develop any difficult shape. Tracer milling machines are often found in the automobile and aerospace industries.

CNC milling machine:

The CNC is the most versatile milling machine which is controlled by a computer. It is an upgraded version of the bed type of milling machine, as the spindle also moves in all three directions and the table rotates at 360 degrees. The movement is controlled hydraulically, which is controlled as the computer commands. CNCs are ideal for difficult geometrical objects.

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