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Which brand of bench top drill mill would you buy and why?

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  • Which brand of bench top drill mill would you buy and why?

    I am new to this forum and I would like to know your thoughts and experiences buying the different brands of bench top drill mills. I have looked at Grizzly, Enco, Wholesale Tool, OTMT, and Rong Fu, but you probably know about other brands I haven't heard of.

    What brand would you buy and why? Why would you not buy a particular brand?

    Thanks,
    TD

  • #2
    I know their will be a lot flak about this,but the Rong Fu 6 speed geared mill drill I think is a good all around machine in this class.I never owned one but have a friend that has used one for years and has performed great,big advantage with these is stick in low gear and drill some good size holes and has 5" of quill travel.

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    • #3
      I'd cut 3' off your bench & buy a good used Bridgeport with a 32" table. It will do so much more, cost the same or less & hold it's value better.

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      • #4
        I have HF machines that work well enough for me, but if I wanted to purchase new I would probably go with what is offered by Little Machine Shop. They seem to be of decent quality and performance, and their service is reported to be excellent. I like the idea of being able to move my machines by myself without having to be built like a gorilla.
        http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
        Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
        USA Maryland 21030

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        • #5

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          • #6
            Started with a mill drill and its limitations frustrated me.
            Lack of power, lack of work space and so on.
            I bought a 6X26 knee mill from WT Tool and have been very happy with it.
            It is just right for my needs and doesn't take up a lot of space.
            It has enough power so that I have never strained it.
            It's accurate and has both a knee and a movable quill.
            Most suppliers have that model.
            I think they are all built in the same factory in Tiawan.
            Bill
            I cut it off twice and it's still too short!

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            • #7
              I expect to downsize in a year or two and my BP will not fit in the basement. I bought a Rong Fu RF45. It is made in Tiawan, not China. It has been around for quite a while and it is sold by multiple vendors so I do not expect a problem ordering repair parts. If I were buying a house brand from Enco, Victor, Travers, Grizzly, etc. I would not know where the machine was manufactured or how long parts would be available.

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              • #8
                I have had the Wholesale Tool square column mill RF-45 type for several years. The motor is typical Chinese, complete crap and had to be replaced but the rest of the mill is very good.
                The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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                • #9
                  I got a 1984 RongFu with some other machines along with a factory 110V M head Bridgeport. Kept the Bidgeport & sold the RongFu the next day. Everyone want's one but me

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                  • #10
                    I'm in a similar boat as some others... man, if at all possible, get a knee mill. Even the smallest size available, 6 x 26 table. I have a PM25MV, similar to Grizzly's G0704, from Precision Matthews/Quality Machine Tools. Good machine, good quality for being Chinese, and the company is a real pleasure to deal with - but the machine is just more limited than I thought it would be. Lack of quill rigidity for one thing. Using a boring head is difficult on my mill. That's my biggest gripe.

                    Drilling with an end mill (for a counterbore, etc.) will drag the spindle around, giving an out-of-round hole, unless you lock everything solid. Then you have to use the head to drill with, which is very awkward, and it still won't hold true.

                    If I could do it again, I'd buy a 6x26 knee mill. I believe Grizzly makes one that is 110v, even, which was my main requirement.

                    It may be that a larger MD, like an RF45-size machine, would be more rigid, though. I would still prefer a knee mill.

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                    • #11
                      Tormach 440 if it must be table top, otherwise 1100

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TN Pat View Post
                        If I could do it again, I'd buy a 6x26 knee mill. I believe Grizzly makes one that is 110v, even, which was my main requirement.
                        You may be referencing the Grizzly G0728, a 6x26 knee mill. I have a 35 year old mill based on the same design. I can attest to the usability of the mill. It's fairly stiff and has plenty of power for it's size. It does have limitations. Unlike a Bridgeport (or clone), it does not have a ram. That means the maximum distance from spindle to column is about 7 inches. On a drill press, you'd say it has a 13 inch swing.

                        I must admit that I like having mine. Even so, I occasionally come across a bridgeport on craigslist and wish I had room for another.


                        Dan
                        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                        Location: SF East Bay.

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                        • #13
                          What do you guys make of the Grizzly G0730, a small 8x30 knee mill on a stand? It's more robust than the G0728 mentioned, just has a smaller vertical envelope than a light floor model. Some of us are restricted by being able to get it into a basement. I don't even have the headroom for a mill with a motor over the belts. My 80's vintage Jet-16 is getting a loose quill and losing accuracy for non quill locked operations. I wouldn't want a mill that couldn't handle a 6" vise.

                          http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2016/main/584?p=584

                          Edit: as I look at the pics of the 2 mills, it sure looks like the ONLY difference is the bed dims! Would the 6x26 handle a 6" vise? I'm so used to my wide 9x24 jet.
                          Last edited by gellfex; 06-04-2016, 01:06 AM.
                          Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gellfex View Post
                            What do you guys make of the Grizzly G0730, a small 8x30 knee mill on a stand?
                            [ snip ]

                            Edit: as I look at the pics of the 2 mills, it sure looks like the ONLY difference is the bed dims! Would the 6x26 handle a 6" vise? I'm so used to my wide 9x24 jet.
                            The 8x30 is what is sitting in my garage. The weight makes it a hassle to move. Mine is an older model (late 70s) and the whole base and column is one piece of cast iron. It's somewhere north of 1/2 ton. I'd hate to wrestle it down a set of basement stairs. It is compact enough to fit in areas with low ceilings. The belts are under the cover just like a drill press, so the open cover adds to the height requirement.

                            I expect a 6 inch (openinging, not width, right) will work but will have some overhang.

                            Did I remember to say that I like this model? Adding a 3-phase motor with VFD and DRO really makes it easy to use.

                            At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                            Location: SF East Bay.

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                            • #15
                              danlb, ned to get some foot wear on!!

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