Who says you need to buy all those machines to create a prototype board? You don’t need tons of devices in your workshop. Just get your hands on one PCB milling machine, and it will do all your works.
Now here’s the catch, though. Unless you have a good one, you won’t have much of a benefit; count on that. Plus, the market is full of low-end junk these days. But wait, we’re not telling you to get all teared up right away.
You can read our best PCB milling machine reviews right now and get yourself a full-functioning beast. Want to know all about the top ones in the market? Here’s the top 4.
Best PCB Milling Machine Comparison in 2021
Last update on 2021-04-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best PCB Milling Machine Review in 2021
PCB milling is a very delicate job. To carry out such type of work, a milling machine must have the power and efficiency to give precise outputs. That’s why we reached for the moon and picked the 4 best machines for you.
Before picking each product, our experts’ kind of fulfilled their crazy milling desires, which ultimately helped to test the performance of products. Let’s dive in to know more!
1. CNC 3018 Pro GRBL 3 Axis Pcb Milling
Whether you’re buying clothes or gadgets, budget plays a great role during purchase. The same thing goes for a milling machine.
No worries, the CNC 3018 Pro from MYSWEETY might be the best budget PCB milling machine you can get your hands on.
At an affordable price, it comes in a very compact size and weighs only 15.27 pounds, allowing you to carry it wherever you want but, of course, not in one piece.
You have to run a disassemble and assemble process, which is a piece of cake by following the instruction manual.
Plus, you’ll get a befitting amount of engraving space 30 x 18 x 4.5mm. Yeah, it’s not enough for the heavy-duty engraver, but it’ll surely do the work for a DIY hobbyist.
Speaking of engraving, CNC 3018 PRO allows you to engrave on versatile materials such as acrylic, plastic, PVC, wood, PCB, or the like materials.A big thanks to the 775-spindle motor for offering such flexibility.
No hard feelings MAC and Linux users for the fact that its software only works on Windows. However, it boasts an offline controller to operate this machine via G code.
By connecting the offline board to the GRBL control board, you won’t need any computers to operate it. Now that’s quite patronizing, right? You do not need to download files either while operating manually.
Since it’s a 3 axis PCB milling, you can manually align the locations X, Y, Z-axis depending on the engraving starting point. Additionally, you can manually open and close the spindle and cooling fan, respectively.
Meanwhile, the updated CNC Router 3018-Pro being compatible with laser comes with overtemperature, overcurrent, and current limit protection to keep your project on the safe line. You have to buy the laser heads separately.
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2. 3 Axis DIY Mini 3018 Laser CNC Milling Machine
Do you have some free space on your desktop? Do you want to do some trimming and modeling on different materials out of curiosity? Consider the Mini 3018 Laser CNC Milling Machine from esata.
It’s a micro-engraving milling machine that offers a 30x18x4 cm working area. As a result, it’s going to take petite place on your desktop while supporting your DIY enthusiasm.
Due to its small frame design, which is 40x33x24 cm, it can be tagged as the best desktop PCB milling machine.
Though assembling this machine is pretty easy, you won’t get it pre-assembled. If you find assembling hard at any point, don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer. Meanwhile, you’ll get all the parts required to assemble this machine with spare tools.
As it stands, it’s a 3-axis milling machine that operates on fuselage length 34MM stepper motor of 0.25N/M torque.
Thus, you can connect it to the 775-spindle motor, which offers 10000r/m on 24V. So, stick to your guns and fulfill your cherished DIY desires.
Besides, you can control it by the GRBL software effortlessly, owing to its simple user design. With this software, you can send G-code to control the motion of the machine. You, therefore, can operate and adjust the X, Y, Z-axis during milling just like that.
However, it breaks our heart to inform you that this software only supports Windows. But on the bright side, it supports 2500MW laser heads along with 0.1 mm tip drill bits having 3.175mm diameter and 30 degrees. Start to carve wood, PVC, and PCB via this router right now.
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3. Mini CNC 1610 + 500mw laser CNC engraving machine
Is your skull loaded with dope designs? Do you want to turn them into reality? Try out the Mini CNC 1610 engraving machine from FRANKLU, it’s waiting to carve your DIY ideas delightfully.
It’s a 3D engraving machine that couples up with aluminum and plastic to make the body. Meanwhile, its size is 260x240x220-mm, and weight is 12 pounds, which are considerably small and light.
So, carrying and placing this machine will just be like a walk in the park, unless you’re walking in Jurassic Park, you know!
Besides, when you’re taking this machine to places, you’ll have to assemble and disassemble it quite often. Its easy-to-read instruction manual will help you to do the break-up and set-up easily. Wish we could have such manuals to try in our real life!
After setting it up, you’ll get a 160x100x45-mm area for engraving. And when it comes to engraving, this Mini CNC 1610 supports an array of materials such as plastic, PVC, wood, PCB, acrylic to be carved.
Most importantly, it uses the latest 42 stepper motor. As a result, you can connect it to the 775-spindle motor.
If you want to get 7000R per minute, connect it on 24V, and on 36V, to get 9000R per minute. All of the functions curtail your doubt on the quality you’re going to get from this machine.
Plus, it provides GRBL controlling software. You can send G code and adjust the axis effortlessly via this software.
However, get a Windows or Linux operating system. Unfortunately, if you’re currently using MAC, this milling machine is a no go!
As it stands, it offers three laser options, which are 500mw, 2500mw, and 5500mw, to execute your design on the materials incisively. So, what’re you thinking? Don’t let your creativity get wasted inside your head.
4. 2 in 1 4500mw PCB Milling Machine
If you’re looking for a bit unconventional yet efficient milling machine, the 2 in 1 4500mw PCB Milling Machine from HANDOO will be great.
To your surprise, its overall body is made of aluminum and plastic, so you have no reason to doubt its durability.
As it stands, it’s going to take a very little amount of space on your desk. Most of the core components are already assembled; you’ll need to do some light assembling work by following the instruction.
And you know what, your pet may weigh more than this machine! Really it weighs only 11 pounds. Thus, you can move it and place it wherever you want.
Now let not the aforementioned quality cloud your judgment about this double axis machine. Why? Because it offers you 200×170×50 mm of engraving area along with a non-slip pad design so that it stays steady during milling and/or printing.
Besides, do you have any preference of materials on which you want to engrave? Well, whether you have or not, PVC, plastic, acrylic, PCB, wood, and the like materials can be carved by this machine.
Meanwhile, it powers up on a 24V 5A power adapter that is controllable by GRBL control software. But again, deep apologies to MAC users, its operating software only runs on Windows and Linux.
As far as the quality is concerned, this Mini Laser & CNC Engraving Machine from HANDOO boasts a new 42 stepper motor.
It renders high torque at low speed to ensure reliable quality. As such, with its 2265 × 2665 print resolution, it will spill wow from your mouth!
In addition, to provide quality, it offers flexibility in selecting laser heads. Well, it supports three laser heads — 1500mw, 3500mw, 4500mw, to tag itself as the best CNC milling machine for PCB. You, therefore, will get precise, stable carving all along with your DIY projects.
Features to Look for Before Buying
We know that going through the details weren’t that easy, and you have your heart set to buy the best PCB CNC milling machine.
Now, different individuals have separate preferences. Without realizing what you want to do, you can’t pick the right machine.
As such, we’re going to discuss inevitable features that have to exist in an ideal milling machine. Measure out what are the things that you need from our enlightening discussion underneath.
Number of Axis
Basically, the PCB milling machine comes with two, three, four, and five-axis, respectively.
A two-axis machine can only be used for drilling holes and very little amount of milling.
But most machines come with three-axis. In such a machine, a vertical axis raises the table towards the cutter whilst two horizontal axes move the table transversely and longitudinally in a proper manner.
At the same time, a four-axis milling machine allows the fourth axis to rotate the table. As a result, you won’t need to dismantle and replace the part to get machined from different angles at each time.
Lastly, the five-axis milling machine. It includes a spindle rotation axis that directs the cutter to approach from different angles.
Now depending upon the projects you want to do, you should pick a machine with the number of axes you’ll need. You should consider this as the major priority while choosing the best PCB CNC machine.
PCB milling machines come in different sizes. Now there’s a difference, one is the overall area, and the other is the working area for engraving. Both of them are interconnected with each other.
If the total area is small, then the working area will be a kind of younger sibling. But then again, if you’re just thinking of doing some small DIY projects, a smaller machine is good enough.
On the other hand, to carry out a batch of projects, you must go for a big machine; otherwise, you may regret it and will face unfortunate circumstances.
Though most of the milling machines are easy-peasy to assemble, some give a lot of trouble. Most of the manufacturers provide manuals to set up the machine; however, check whether the instruction is clear and easy to understand.
Even many products provide YouTube tutorials for user’s convenience while assembling the machine. Of course, you don’t want a device that will be left alone and sit in pieces in the corner of your room, do you?
What are you going to engrave? This question leads to which milling machine you should get. Not all machines can engrave or cut all kinds of materials.
Now, if you want a machine to carve on aluminum and chose a machine that doesn’t support it, you’ll sure remorse.
Some machines are able to carve on aluminum, some have the capacity to carve on woods, plastics, PVC, PCB, etc.
So, be careful to check on whether your upcoming machine supports your materials or not. Because you don’t want to spend your hard-earned money just to buy a machine that won’t help you fulfill your desires.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many types of milling machines are there?
There are 7 types of milling machines. They vary in terms of function and specifications. Namely, they are — horizontal, column, planer-style, turret, C-frame, tracer controlled, and bed type.
Can I use a CNC machine to engrave?
Yes, you can use a CNC machine for extremely sophisticated engraving. For instance, if you want to add a serial number to a part, a CNC engraving machine is able to function usefully.
What is meant by GRBL control?
GRBL is a firmware that helps you to control the movement of a PCB CNC milling machine. You need to upload the software to the Arduino so that the stepper motor can be controlled by it. Simply speaking, the G-code is translated by the GRBL firmware.
What is G-code?
People direct the computerized machine to work by using the G-code language. It deals with the geometry of hardware such as penetrating tasks, calculating the units of approximation, and straight cutting developments.
What is the difference between drilling and milling?
The difference is that drills move up and down to dig out holes into a surface by using a spinning bit. Whereas, a milling machine not only can do the same work but also can cut sideways to extend the holes.
All our milling machines can be used for both PCB and CNC working effortlessly. They bear the versatility, efficiency, and power to satisfy your desire.
Now, we did our part to deliver you with the knowledge of the best PCB milling machine. And as you know, knowledge is power, use your power to make the right decision.