A milling machine is a type of industrial machine which removes raw material from a central block in order to carve tools, parts, of completed products from the chosen material. Milling machines work by fixing the chosen material and feeding it through a tool calling a milling cutter. The cutting tool will then rotate at incredibly high speeds and can be used to shave and carve away at the material until the desired shape is reached. There are seven main types of milling machines, each with its own unique uses:


Column milling machines are the most common, and tend to be equipped with five fundamental components: the head, knee, work table, saddle, and over arm. As well as the most common, column milling machines are the simplest and easiest type of milling machine to use. 


Sometimes referred to as the ‘Bridgeport-type’, turret milling machines are incredibly versatile and flexible in their usage and applications. Turret machines can be repositioned at any time during the machining process, giving you full control over your machining. Its versatility means it can be used to manufacture a wide variety of parts.


C-Frame milling machines are commonly used in industrial settings and for large-scale machining, as C-Frames are much sturdier and more durable than turret machines. C-Frame machines are come equipped with a hydraulic motor, making it far more powerful.


As the name may suggest, horizontal milling machines operate parallel to the ground. The table on which the desired material is fixed moves back and forth in a sideways motion, while the cutting device moves up and down to allow flexible and accurate machining.


Tracer-controlled milling machines take some of the work out of the process for the workers by being able to accurately machine a part based on a master model. This means that parts can be manufactured identically every time, taking out the risk of human error! Tracer-controlled machines are a favourite for almost all industrial uses for their consistency and ease.


On a bed-type milling machine the worktable is fixed to the bed, rather than being in its usual position on top. Bed-type machines do not have a knee component, which allows cutting movements in a longitudinal direction.


Planer-style milling machines are almost identical to bed-type machines, but the planner-style comes equipped with a selection of milling cutter heads that allow for a more diverse range of cutting actions and finishes.