Best CNC Drilling Machines [2022]

Best CNC Drilling Machines [2022]

Best CNC Drilling Machines [2022]

CNC stands for "Computer Numerical Control", and CNC drilling machines are used to create threaded or plane holes in workpieces.

These machines are available in different configurations, like desktop, benchtop, and industrial models. Industrial CNC drills are much more advanced and have wider capabilities.

This article discusses the best CNC drilling machines by looking at their features, capabilities, support, etc.

In the end, I also discuss how to transform manual drilling machines into computer-controlled CNC drills.

MellowPine is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

What is CNC Drilling?

An illustration of CNC drilling
An illustration of CNC drilling

CNC drilling is an automated, high-precision drilling operation performed by computer-controlled drilling machines. These machines use a mechanical rotating tool to make radial plunge holes in the workpiece. Plunge rate, depth of cut, feed rate, spindle speed, tool diameter, etc., are some of the major parameters in CNC drilling.

With this CNC machine, you can process materials at a much faster speed than manual drilling techniques.

Moreover, modern CNC drills use intelligent tool swapping and positioning technologies, which further enhance their productivity.

Tapping is an important aspect of CNC drilling. Tapping operations are performed to make threaded holes on a workpiece.

Generally, in CNC drills the tool rotates at high RPM and moves along the Z-axis, while the workbed moves along the XY axes.

Best CNC Drilling Machines

CNC drilling machines are available in various sizes with different material capabilities, and this article discusses the five best CNC drilling machines on the basis of their features and abilities.

CNC Drilling MachinesTypeWork AreaPrice
1Accu-Pro VMCDesktop12.80" x 11.00" x 9.25"Check
2Tormach 770MBenchtop/Tabletop14" x 7.5" x 13.25"Check
3Hass DT-1Industrial20" x 16" x 15.5"Check
4KVR VMC SeriesIndustrial39.4” x 19.7” x 20.5”Check
5Style CNC S7-2412SIndustrial94.4" x 47.24" x 2.16"Check

Best CNC drilling machines

1. Accu-Pro VMC - Best Desktop CNC Drill for Hobbyists

Sherline Accu-Pro VMC
Sherline Accu-Pro VMC (Source: Sherline)
ParametersAccu-Pro VMC
Footprint25.25" x 26" x 29.375"
Work Area12.80" x 11.00" x 9.25"
Spindle Speed Range70 - 2800 RPM
Max Stepper Torque283 oz-in
 Automatic Tool ChangerNo
TransmissionLead Screw Driven
WarrantyOne Year

An overview of Accu-Pro VMC from Sherline

Accu-Pro Vertical Machining Center (VMC) is a desktop vertical drilling machine from Sherline's 18" NexGen 5800-series.

It has a footprint of 25.25" x 26" x 29.375" and a work area of 12.80" x 11.00" x 9.25". Its maximum clearance from the worktable to the spindle is 12.875".

Accu-Pro comes with a 7" x 13" tooling plate having three T-slots and fixture holes.

It uses a ball screw transmission mechanism with a linear tolerance of 0.002". NEMA 23 closed-loop stepper motors drive the ball screws.

Closed-loop stepper motors receive feedback data and correct errors like missteps or stalls.

Accu-Pro's spindle has a speed range of 70 - 2800 RPM.

The spindle is connected to the headstock using a drive belt. Sherline provides two headstock options, a standard morse taper, and an ER-16 collet headstock.

It requires you to regularly lubricate and maintain its moving parts to keep it in a working condition.

Accu-Pro's MASSO G3 touch controller can work independently without connecting to a computer.

You can connect a flash drive loaded with G-code on the touch controller. The files can then be navigated using the MASSO controller.

Sherline offers Accu-Pro with 3-axis and 4-axis software options. If your application requires a rotary operation, you can opt for the 4-axis version.

Accu-Pro comes in a half-assembled manner for the ease of shipment. Sherline provides a detailed instruction manual for assembly, and you can assemble it in about 2 - 3 hours.

Sherline provides a one-year warranty for the Accu-Pro VMC. You can contact them through a phone call, fill out a contact form on their website, or visit their factory in California, USA.

2. Tormach 770M - Best CNC Drill for Small Businesses

Tormach 770M Entry Package
Tormach 770M Entry Package (Source: Tormach)
ParametersTormach 770M
Footprint56" × 48.5" x 88"
Work Area14" x 7.5" x 13.25"
Spindle Speed10,000 RPM
Maximum Feed rate110 ipm
Threading and TappingYes
Automatic Tool ChangerYes
TransmissionBall Screw Driven
WarrantyOne Year

An overview of Tormach 770M

770M from Tormach is a 3-axis CNC mill capable of drilling and cutting threads on different materials.

You can upgrade it to 4-axis with the optional rotary attachment. You can also upgrade 770M to 700M+ with the addition of servo motors.

With the servo upgrade, you'll experience higher process speeds.

770M is available in four packages: Entry, Starter, Standard, and Premium.

FeaturesEntryStarterStandardPremium
770M Mill
770M Stand
Chip Tray
Backsplash Kit
Lifting Bar Kit
Enclosure Kit
LCD Monitor
Coolant Kit

A quick comparison of different packages of Tromach 770M

770M has a footprint of 56" × 48.5" x 88" and a work area of 14" x 7.5" x 13.25".

The spindle of 770M is powered by a 1.5 hp motor that can achieve a maximum speed of 10,000 RPM. It uses a Poly-V belt for driving the spindle.

For its transmission along all three axes, 770M uses ball screw drives that give higher accuracy than other drive mechanisms.

Along the Z-axis, it provides a maximum plunge rate of 110 ipm. For the XY axes, the maximum feed rate is 135 ipm.

Using Tormach 770M, you can perform threading or tapping operations with their dedicated tools.

CNC control software PathPilot is also provided with the machine. It allows you to generate designs and their necessary toolpath without any dedicated CAD/CAM software.

Tormach ships 770M in separate crates, and you need to assemble it. They also offer an assembling service, but it comes with additional charges.

770M comes with a standard one-year warranty. You can even upgrade the warranty for one more year to get a full two-year warranty on 770M.

You can contact Tormach through their website, email, or phone.

3. HAAS DT-1 - Best Industrial CNC Drill

HAAS DT-1
HAAS DT-1 (Source: Hass Automation Inc.)
ParametersDT-1
Footprint91" x 97" x 102"
Work Area20" x 16" x 15.5"
Spindle Speed10,000 RPM
Maximum Feed Rate590 ipm
Threading and TappingYes
Automatic Tool ChangerYes
TransmissionBall Screw Driven
WarrantyOne Year

An overview of DT-1 from Hass

DT-1 from Hass is the best industrial-grade CNC drilling machine on this list.

It has a footprint of 91" x 97" x 102" and a work area of 20" x 16" x 15.5".

DT-1 has a 3-axis configuration by default, but you can upgrade it to a 4 or 5-axis configuration.

It has many upgrade options available, including an automated robot attachment package.

UpgradesHass DT-1
Spindles12,000 RPM Spindle
15,000 RPM Spindle
20,000 RPMSpindle
ProbingWireless probing system
Z-axis4" Z-axis extension kit
Chip and Coolant ControlAutomatic air gun
Through-tool air blast
Through-tool coolant ready
Enclosure exhaust system
Auxilary coolant filter
Programmable coolant nozzle
Hass Control32/64 GB expanded memory
WiFi Support
Third-party rotary
High-speed machining
Control cabinet cooler
FixturingClamping kit
WarrantyOne year warranty extension

Some upgrade options available for Hass DT-1

With the help of its tool changer, you can perform complex drilling operations at faster speeds as you don't have to change the tools manually.

Including the tool mounted onto the spindle, the automatic tool changer can house 21 tools.

DT-1 can do tapping and threading operations. It can tap at a speed of 5,000 RPM, which helps you easily make products like fixturing plates.

Its spindle is powered by a 15 hp motor that can operate at 10,000 RPM. It also has 12,000 RPM, 15,000 RPM, and 20,000 RPM variants available.

The spindle on DT-1 uses a BT30 tapper to secure the cutting tools.

Hass DT-1 is driven using ball screw drives on all three axes, and it has a rapid speed of 2,400 ipm. The maximum cutting speed possible on DT-1 is 1,200 ipm.

DT-1 needs to be fixed to the ground during operation. Else, there will be increased vibration, which can even lead to unwanted movement of the machine at high spindle speeds.

It has a touch control screen that you can use to interface with the machine.

Hass CNC offers one year warranty for DT-1, but you can upgrade it to two years with their optional one-year warranty extension.

You can contact Hass through phone, email, social media channels, or their website.

4. KVR VMC Series

KVR Linear Way VMC Series
KVR Linear Way VMC Series (Source: Kent CNC)
ParametersKVR VMC Series
FootprintUp to 100″ x 90″ x 98.4″
Work AreaUp to 39.4” x 19.7” x 20.5”
Spindle SpeedUp to 20,000 RPM
Maximum Feed Rate590 ipm
Threading and TappingYes
Automatic Tool ChangerYes
TransmissionBall Screw Driven
WarrantyOne Year

An overview of the KVR VMC series from Kent CNC

KVR VMC series is a group of three linear-way industrial vertical machining centers/drills from Kent CNC.

The machines available under this series are KVR-2418/A, KVR-3618/A, and KVR-4020/A. You can choose either a 3-axis or a 4-axis compatible machine.

These models vary in terms of their footprint, work area, spindle speed, etc.

ParametersKVR-2418/AKVR-3618/AKVR-4020/A
Footprint95.3" x 89" x 94.5"95.3" x 89" x 94.5"100" x 90" x 98.4"
Work Area24" x 18.1" x 40"36" x 18.1" x 19.7"40" x 19.7" x 20.5"
Max Tool Diameter3"3"3"
Spindle Speed10K RPM
(12K and 15K optional)
10K RPM
(12K and 15K optional)
10K RPM
(12K and 15K optional)
Spindle Motor10 or 15 hp 10 or 15 hp 10 or 15 hp 
Max Feed Rate590 ipm590 ipm590 ipm
Max Transmission Speed1417 ipm1417 ipm1417 ipm

A quick comparison of different drills from the Kent KVR series

KVR series has a maximum working capacity of 39.4" x 19.7" x 20.5". By default, they are powered by a 15hp motor that can achieve a maximum speed of 10,000 RPM.

You also can choose its 12,000, 15,000, or 20,000 RPM versions.

Each axis (X, Y, and Z) of KVR is ball screw driven, and it uses roller-based linear rails for transmission.

Its transmission has a rapid speed of 1,417 ipm. The servo motor used for the XY axes has a power of 2.4 hp, and the Z-axis is powered by a 4 hp motor that provides a higher acceleration.

The maximum feed rate possible on KVR is 590 ipm, and with the right tool, it can drill on most hard metals.

It also has an automatic tool changer and a 1,000 psi high-pressure coolant wired through the spindle.

To reduce thermal expansion and its effects on machining, Kent provides a chiller that cools the spindle and its motor base.

KVR uses a Fanuc CNC control system to help you take control of the machine's operation.

Kent provides one year warranty for their CNC machines, and you can contact them through email, phone call, or by visiting their office in California, USA.

5. Style CNC S7-2412S - Best Industrial CNC Drill for Woodworking

S7-2412S from Style CNC
S7-2412S (Source: Style CNC)
ParametersS7-2412S
Work Area94.4" x 47.24" x 2.16"
Spindle Speed24,000 RPM
Threading and TappingNo
TransmissionBall Screw Driven
 Automatic Tool ChangerNo
Warranty24 months (Two Years)

An overview of S7-2412S from Style CNC

S7-2412S from Style CNC is a six-sided CNC drilling machine. It is best suited for processing wooden pannels.

It can work on all six sides of the workpiece as it automatically moves and aligns the workpiece.

In addition to wood, S7-2412S can also work on organic glass, plastics, acrylic, PVC, density boards, artificial stones, and metal sheets of copper and aluminum.

It can house panels of 94.4" x 47.24" (L x W) in size and with a maximum thickness of 2.16". The minimum required size of the workpiece is 2.36" x 0.39"

S7-2412S uses various tools to drill horizontal and vertical holes on the workpiece. It also has a grooving saw which operates at 5,000 RPM.

The spindle is powered by a 6 hp motor with a maximum speed of 24,000 RPM.

S7-2412S is built to machine different sheet materials, but it doesn't have the capability of performing treading and tapping operations.

For transmission, S7-2412S uses ball screw drives on all three axes. The max speed achievable along the X-axis is 1,574.8 ipm, and for the Y-axis, it's 2,362.2 ipm.

Style CNC provides a 24-month (two-year) warranty for the S7-2412S CNC drill. Also, you'll get free training on operating the machine and maintaining it.

You can contact Style CNC by phone call, skype, and email. They provide good after-sales support to their customers.

Converting Manual Drilling Machines to CNC Drills

Integrating a manual drill with a computer system
Integrating a manual drill with a computer system

Upgrading a manual drill can be a cheaper alternative to buying a new CNC drill.

There are various manufacturers that provide CNC upgrade kits for drills of all sizes.

However, it is recommended to primarily check with the manufacturer of your drill for an official upgrade kit. This will save time and eliminate the risk of compatibility issues.

Experimenting to upgrade a manual drill into a CNC drill by using custom parts can damage the machine, and therefore is advised to perform only under expert guidance.

CNC-ready drills are manual drills that support CNC integration. These drills are manually controlled by default but can be readily upgraded into computer-controlled drills.

You can easily convert CNC-ready manual drills to CNC drilling machines by retrofitting them with components like stepper motors, controllers, limits, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between CNC milling and CNC drilling?

The difference between CNC milling and CNC drilling is that CNC drilling induces a vertical cutting force on the surface of a material by plunging the tool. In CNC milling, vertical and horizontal cutting happens simultaneously. In common, both CNC mills and CNC drills are computer-controlled.

Can a CNC milling machine be used for drilling?

Yes, a CNC milling machine can also be used for drilling operations. The drilling quality will depend on the rigidity of the machine, spindle speed, tool diameter, plunge rate, etc.

Which CNC system is used for drilling operations?

For drilling in a CNC system, CNC Drilling machines or Vertical Machining Centers (VMC) are generally used.

About John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNCs and Power Tools at Mellowpine. I'm a CNC hobbyist who has been making CNCs and writing about CNCs for a while. I currently also work as a consultant for business owners and hobbyists setting up their own CNCs. If you have any questions related to CNC, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at john@mellowpine.com

DIY Profile
John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNCs and Power Tools at Mellowpine. I'm a CNC hobbyist who has been making CNCs and writing about CNCs for a while. I currently also work as a consultant for business owners and hobbyists setting up their own CNCs. If you have any questions related to CNC, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at john@mellowpine.com

Thanks for signing up.
Some error occured. Please try again.

Comments

The comments are closed.