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A full-size turret mill is, of necessity, a heavy, expensive piece of equipment, impractical for most individual owners due to space and/or monetary constraints. For hobby work, however, a so-called “mini mill” can perform very well. The chief limitation of a mini-mill is not so much the quality of the work it can produce, but the size of the work it can handle.

Most mini-mills on the U.S. market today are manufactured by SIEG Industrial Group in Shanghai. Their X2 model is typical, and versions of the tool are sold under various brands in the U.S. including Grizzly, Central Machinery (Harbor Freight), and Microlux (Micro-Mark). This chart from LittleMachineShop.com (who sell their own high-end version of the X2, pictured at the top of this post), compares the features of the various brands, and seems like a pretty good place to start planning a purchase. Frank Hoose’s pages, as usual, are another good source of information.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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