Drilling and milling machines are a staple when it comes to metalwork, but one definitely cannot say they both serve the same purpose. Any drilling milling machine can perform various functions, however, the main purpose is to bring the desired finish, regardless of the material subject. The advantages of both machines are different, which makes the comparison easier. However, if you still have a difficulty finding the best machine for you, we have listed down various factors that can help you make this decision easily.
What are The Differences between a Drilling and Milling Machine?
Although drilling and milling machines look similar, their functions are incredibly different. A drilling machine primarily works by drilling holes through wood, metal or other hard materials. On the other hand, a milling machine works only on metallic surfaces.
Additionally, a drilling machine works by cutting onto the surfaces vertically, while a milling machine provides the advantages of both vertical and horizontal cuts simultaneously. Drilling machines can be compact and used in the forms of a drill press or powered hand drill, making them a more convenient option compared to milling machines that can only be used for milling.
The mechanism of action of the drilling machine is purely based on the upward and downward motions of the drill to make circular holes. In contrast, a milling device employs the same method and widens the holes horizontally or tappers it.
Milling machines always come with an extra piece such as the table to secure work material; hence milling machines are not as convenient to carry as one would like them to be. On the other hand, drill press does not come with such extra attachments, and if they do, they are not as effective as the T-bracings provided with a milling machine.
A milling machine allows the user to use drill bits to cut holes with an upward and downward motion, but a drilling machine does not let the user use a milling device to cut holes horizontally to widen them. Hence it’s easier to say that a milling machine provides greater utility than a drilling machine does.
Milling machines are controlled with a computer, providing great precision and accuracy when producing cuts for the end product. The margin for error with the milling machine is close to nil. In this sense, milling machines can be considered an ideal tool to possess compared to a drilling device that uses manpower and is subjected to human error. In addition to this, digitalization reduces the need for skilled works and decreases the margin between product demand and supply. It is more convenient, cost-efficient and produces higher quality end-product.
However, not all is lost if you own a drilling machine. The most notable advantage that drilling machines offer is in the form of a portable drill press that is compact enough to be carried anywhere. Additionally, having a battery-powered drill press further enhances the usefulness a drilling machine provides compared to a milling device. Hence a milling machine that is bulky and needs a consistent power supply seems to be an unfavourable tool in certain scenarios.
Last but not least, as mentioned previously, milling machines can only be used on metal surfaces; hence a drilling machine is more versatile when it comes to material cuttings.
Is a Drilling Machine Better or A Milling Machine?
To tell whether a drilling or a milling machine would make a better companion in your collection of tools, one has to sit down and list the advantages and usefulness of each device and the shortcomings in the design and usability.
First, we will take a look at the usefulness of a milling machine. A milling device, as mentioned previously, utilizes both vertical and horizontal cuts, which one cannot deny is greatly useful when it comes to creating wider holes and perfectly tapered ends.
Milling tools are more precise since they utilize computer-aided technology to produce the end product. A computer-produced end product will always produce much precise and higher quality end products than a manual worker. Additionally, modern milling machines now use moisture to prevent over-heating of the equipment and reduce friction while producing cuts.
Since milling machines are specifically used to produce metallic cuttings, there is never a need to shift speed or change drills heads, reducing the time and need to remember what power and head work best with which material. Moreover, milling machines use an incredible amount of force while cutting; hence the user does not feel any vibrations as they would with a low-quality drill machine.
The most significant advantage of purchasing a milling device is the ability to rotate and move the machine to produce angulated unique cuts, which otherwise is not possible with a drilling machine.
Considering we have covered the advantages of a milling machine, it is only fair to discuss what a drill machine can offer. Number one on the list is one that nobody can deny, which includes the device’s longevity compared to a milling machine. The credit for the longevity of drilling machines can be given to the several years of refining the device, making drilling machines a useful long-term product.
Users also cannot deny that the portable assembly of drills makes them an excellent choice if you need to carry your machine with you. Drilling machines can easily be kept in a specialized box in the trunk while moving.
Some drilling machines are battery-powered; hence they do not have long wiring, which can become a tripping hazard at the workplace. Additionally, one does not have to constantly search for a power outlet to work the device.
Drilling machines also make the most convenient option for newbies who have no experience handling and using tools. The working of machines is straightforward and requires no prior experience with power tools. Although initially changing the drill power settings and drill heads can be troublesome, the setting is not altered or adjusted after each cut, unlike a milling machine.
When taking cost into account, drilling devices are much cheaper to purchase and maintain in the long run. The long life of the drilling machine also adds to the cost cut down.
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