The Four Primary Types Of CNC Milling Machines


CNC milling is a popular manufacturing process used to make complex parts. They use CNC technology to cut through the hardest metals and materials when making various parts. The parts that CNC provides are also highly cost-efficient, produce high-quality parts, and are easy to apply. You can learn more about CNC milling here. In this post, we discuss CNC milling machine types. 

Types of CNC milling machines

The following are the main types of CNC milling machines;

1. Knee-type milling machines

These devices are the best choice for producing small to medium size parts. They are primarily used for maintenance and preparatory tasks and producing one-off parts. These machines also typically feature large and heavy parts. The weight of these parts can cause some instability.

 This is the primary challenge with this type of CNC milling machine. It is also worth mentioning that these machines’ frames set their limits when it comes to part dimensions. They also require tools to be changed manually after each operation. This element makes knee-type milling machines slower than their counterparts. This type of CNC milling machine is not currently widespread. However, modern CNC machining devices use some of their capabilities.

2. Bed-type milling machines

The primary defining element of these milling machines is the table machine bed component. Unlike knee-type milling machines, these types do not feature any stability issues. They can hold their ground perfectly. Some bed-type milling machines usually have a long bed that can hold multiple parts at the same time. This element makes them the most effective type of CNC milling machine in terms of workflow efficiency. In this type of milling machine, the worktable is attached directly to the bed. This allows it to move in two directions. Their spindle heads move axially to direct the depth of the cuts when using the machine.

3. Ram-type milling machines

These CNC milling machines have their cutting head mounted on a ram. The ram can slide back and forth, increasing the movement to two axes. Ram-type milling machines are available in both vertical and horizontal options. Most of these CNC milling machines also can swivel their cutting heads when operating.

4. Planer-type milling machines

Planer-type milling devices operate in a similar way to bed-type mils. For instance, like bed-type mills, planner-type machines have large working tables and spindles. Their spindles can also move in three directions. The element that sets planner-type mills apart from bed-type mills is their ability to hold several milling tools simultaneously. They are designed to accommodate up to four different tools at the same time.

They are also highly flexible. This element increases their efficiency and improves their performance speed. This is because you do not have to stop an operation from changing the tools.


Between the four types of CNC milling machines mentioned above, bed-type milling machines are the best option and the most popular. This is because of their flexibility, stability, and efficiency. However, planer-type milling machines are also quite popular. This can be attributed to their similarities to bed-type mills and their added efficiency.


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