Differentiating between Milling Machines – Vertical Vs. Horizontal

Milling refers to the process that involves the removal of excess metal from a workpiece, using cutting tools, to obtain a specific end product in a bulky and sturdy yet compact piece of machinery called a milling machine.

While all milling machines incorporate this general principle when operating, there are milling machines that deviate from the specifics yet follow the fundamental process of chipping away at the excess metal to supply the desired product.

  • Based on their unique characteristics, there exist broad categories of commonly used manual milling machines. Here, we shall focus on the general characteristics that separate a vertical manual milling machine from a horizontal manual milling machine.

Vertical Milling Machine

  • A highly preferred option among the manufacturing companies, the commonly used manual vertical milling machine comprises a vertically oriented spindle and as such, moves along the vertical axis during operations.
  • The spindle can have the capability to hold either a single cutting tool or multiple cutting tools, making it more efficient and productive.
  • The cutting tools are held firmly by the spindle and rotated against the stationary workpiece, chipping away at the extra material to obtain the desired end product.

Horizontal Milling Machine

  • Often preferred during the need for heavier operations, the roughly used manual horizontal milling machine differs in its orientation of the spindle when compared to its counterpart, the vertical milling machine. The spindle lies horizontally; thereby the cutting tools move along the horizontal axes.
  • With the horizontal milling machine, the cutting tools utilized are more sturdy and thick since they are used to perform heavy-duty operations like cutting slots and grooves into the workpiece.

Depending on the work-load or the type of work the production needs to carry out, milling machines have to be chosen accordingly. Plenty of factors pass through consideration before the final decision is made.

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