View Full Version : Best all round mill/router? Vertical mill or gantry router?

18-02-2014, 02:19 PM
Would I be right in saying that router style gantry machines are capable of better accuracy than a vertical mill (at similar prices)?

If I was looking for a machine that could mill pcbs and aluminium parts, would a gantry type machine be better?

If i was going to rule out ever cutting steel, would a gantry machine be a better all rounder?

Can a small vertical do pcb's just as well? (assuming it's a decent machine)

My milling experience was all on Bridgeport verticals during my apprenticeship.

I looking at all the various options for a small cnc milling machine: Buying a Sieg X3 type machine and converting it, Syil type machines, DIY gantry routers, etc etc.

I would be interested in hearing views from people that bought a vertical and wished they'd got a gantry machine and visa-verse.

In an ideal world i suppose both types of machine have their advantages...

18-02-2014, 02:39 PM
If you can get away with the small cutting area of a mill type machine, I would personally preffer a mill over a gantry type machine for PCB and small Aluminium parts.

The reason being they tend to be more accurate and easier to maintain. Most mills are also built well ie Sieg x3 or Syil they have large companies behind them that make mills professionally to work in light industry, small gantry type routers sub 10,000 tend to be made of cheap materials by small start up companies that don't always have much experience in what they are doing, im thinking aluminium extrusion and plastic laser cut mounts and all the rest of it. I think some of the lower end gantry machines are being sold by people who view them as toys rather than working machines capable of producing parts. Which is a shame cause there is a big market out there for a good 5000-6000 quailty router. I do think the chinese however have actually made some of the best small routers in this price bracket.

Do you know what feedrates you generally use for PCB milling?

18-02-2014, 03:18 PM
As gavztheouch says, if you want big then you will likely follow the gantry router path.
People start off with an idea of what they want to use the machine for but it soon expands into other areas like cutting aluminium.