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Vertical vs Horizontal Mill???

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  • Vertical vs Horizontal Mill???

    Can someone explain to me what a verical mill can do that a horizontal can't and visa versa? Also the pros and cons to each would be interesting.


  • #2
    It's easy to end mill on a vertical mill but difficult on a horizontal, especially on flat plates because they need to be fixtured vertically. It's also difficult to drill holes with a horizontal mill but it's a piece of cake on a vertical. Horizontal mills win in the metal removal rate contest but verticals are much easier to use on parts with complex angled surfaces. You can do differential indexing on a horizontal, but not on most verticals. Tooling is MUCH more expensive for a horizontal mill than a vertical.

    In short, the horizontal mill is more specialized. If you need to square up a lot of large parts or remove a lot of material in a hurry, the horizontal mill is best. If you are looking for versatility, get a vertical mill.

    Last edited by TGriffin; 02-21-2012, 02:24 PM.
    Tom's Techniques


    • #3
      or both


      • #4
        having both is highly desirable, good news is horizontals aren't much money. Verticals are great for fidgety bits, coordinate work and as a heavy drill press, horizontals are great a plough out a 1x1" groove or take 1/2" off a 5" wide slab...all in one pass. My horizontal is considered a small one at 5hp.

        If I only had one, I think as everyone would say, it would be a vertical. Having said that, the horizontal sees as lot more milling action, probably 5:1 or 10:1 if measured by material removed. The horizontal could do a lot of the drilling and boring but it would be a major pita doing everything in the wrong plane with an angle plate.

        With a horizontal though it almost becomes a necessity to have a tool and cutter grinder. Loads of tooling can accumulated for small dollars, but not new or resharpened. Buying horizontal milling cutter new, especially the large ones, just isn't feasible
        in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


        • #5
          Thanks for the info!


          • #6
            Apples vs oranges. Which do you want?

            Horizontals have more uses. Verticals get used more.

            People make comments about horizontals not being easy for certain operations, usually the same people that have never spent much time using them. To me its like asking the question of "big car vs compact car?" If youre used to one, driving the other is a pain, while the one you know is simple. Basically, you learn to adapt.

            Horizontal tooling is dirt cheap (even free) in most cases, as much of it is horizontal only, and plentiful in excellant condition on the used market. Vertical tooling by and large can be used on either, is much more in demand by hobbyists, and sells for more on the used market. You also likely will toss close to half of the used vertical tooling you buy in the scrap bin immediately as its used up. Pound for pound new, its pretty much the same but some confuse the issue bc the horizontal tooling generally is larger.

            Given the choice of one, I would rather own a larger universal horizontal. The ultimate setup is the reason Bridgeport is in business - not bc of their machines but bc of their heads. Put a Bport head on a heavy horiztonal's overarms as many did in the past, and you can do it all with one machine.
            "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."