Axminster Engineer Series ZX30M Mill Drill
Axminster Engineer Series ZX30M Mill Drill
£1,249.96 (£1,041.63 Ex. VAT)

Axminster Engineer Series ZX30M Mill Drill

Code: 505109

  • For the serious home engineer or small professional workshop
  • Quiet, belt driven head provides a range of speeds
  • Rack and pinion control for head height
  • 3-arm control wheel controls chuck travel for drilling
  • Lockable fine downfeed control for milling
  • Heavy duty optional steel stand (795mm high, 580mm wide, 750mm deep)
  • Optional powerfeed provides smooth variable speed drive to longitudinal travel
  • Show More
£1,249.96 (£1,041.63 Ex. VAT)

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Axminster Engineer Series ZX30M Mill Drill
  • Axminster ZX30M Floor Stand
  • 14mm T Slot Clamp Kit for Mills
  • Axminster ER32 Precision Collet Wrench
Total: £1,580.20

In Detail

Engineer Classification & 3 Year Guarantee

This rugged and well made machine with good capacities and plenty of power is a good choice for the serious home engineer, school D & T department or small professional workshop. The belt driven head provides a useful range of 12 speeds, 100-2,080 rpm and is quiet in operation. The head can be re-positioned on the column with the aid of a handle driven rack and pinion drive; fine height control is achieved by a low geared control wheel, whilst the drilling downfeed is achieved with the 3-arm control wheel on the right of the head. The fine downfeed control can be locked firmly in position when milling and the mill also features an easy-to-read inboard depth stop. The spindle is driven by a powerful 1.5kW induction motor via a 12 speed belt drive system, which is smooth running and very reliable. The table has three 14mm T-slots to allow the mounting of work directly or in a milling vice, and is positioned with two large diameter control wheels with metric calibrations for the horizontal axis. There are two moveable stops to control the traverse length of travel and the table can be locked into position in either axis. It is supplied with a 13mm drill chuck and arbor, ER32 collet holder, tools and interlocked chuck guard. The ZX30M can be mounted either on a solidly made bench (please note the weight of 270kg!) or on our custom-made floor stand. This stand is made of heavy duty steel sheet and measures 795mm high, 580mm wide and 750mm deep. Another useful accessory is the power feed unit (700095), which can be fitted to the left hand end of the table to provide a smooth variable speed drive to the traverse travel.

Please note: the ZX30M Mill is graduated METRIC only.

Information Downloads

This product is on page 104 of the Axminster Tools & Machinery 2018/19 Catalogue.


Diameter of Column 115 mm
End Milling Capacity 20 mm
Face Milling Capacity 75 mm
Lateral Table Movement 175 mm
Longitudinal Table Movement 500 mm
Max Drilling Mild Steel 30 mm
Model ZX30M
Nett Weight 270 kg
Nose of Spindle to Table [Max] 475 mm
Overall L x W x H 1,095 mm x 1,010 mm x 1,125 mm
Power 1.5 kW
Rating Engineer
Spindle Speed 100 - 2,080 rpm (12)
Spindle Taper 3 MT
Spindle Travel 130 mm
Table Size 730 mm x 210 mm
Throat 202 mm
T Slot Size 14 mm
Voltage 230 V
Plug Type UK 3 pin plug
Reviews (4)

Customer Reviews

Overall rating 4.1 out of 5 based on 4 reviews

Newest Customer Reviews



22 March 2018

Update to my review.

In my original review I didn't think much of the stand I had seen before I bought my mill. I have just been in to my local Axminster and the stand they now have for the ZX30M is more solid than before. I still don't think it's good value but it does now appear it may be man enough for the job. Only fair to acknowledge the improvement.

The Mill continues to please and for anyone concerned about the limitations of round column mills I've found an easy way to ensure I can realign after raising or lowering the head. Attach a cheap laser pointer to the head and use it to align with a line on a distant wall. Plenty accurate enough for many things and saves swapping back to an edge finder.


3 February 2018

Great all rounder

ZX30M Mill Drill from Axminster Tools

This machine is pitched at the serious amateur or light professional use. Similar versions are sold under a variety of names worldwide. It is priced alongside a variety of smaller machines so how does it compare? Everything about this machine is a bit bigger, heavier, more powerful and greater range than most of the price competition. I've used everything from tiny toy machines to frightening large industrial stuff but this time it's my own money so I wanted to get it right.

It is a mill drill not an outright mill. The key difference is the absence of a knee i.e. the work table doesn't raise and lower. Instead it has a rack and pinion to raise and lower the head on a round column. This is a separate motion to the quill which has a good travel (130mm, 5”). Together they offer up to a generous 475mm (18.7”) vertically from the nose of the quill to the table. The only problem with this is, if you need more than 130mm travel, when you raise or lower the head, you need to reference off the part again to keep alignment because the head can turn on the column.

The quill can be operated by a three spoke drill handle or the fine feed hand wheel for milling. It has an MT3 taper with a selection of drawbars (mine had three M12, M10 and 3/8”) to hold tooling, collets or the 13mm drill chuck. I like MT3 as I already had a selection of tooling but I know some prefer the R8 taper that is used on other similar sized machines. As with any machine remember to budget for tooling, it's easy to spend the same sort of money as the machine itself costs.

The work table (730 x 210mm, 28.7” x 8.3”) claims 14mm T slots (mine varied from 15.4 to 16.6, but soon machined to all fit 16mm) and a generous movement of 500 x 175mm (19.6” x 6.9”). A powerful 1500W (2HP) single phase induction motor drives two belts giving 12 speeds (100 to 2080 rpm). It lacks the convenience of a geared head but is quiet, smooth and easy to change belts.

A key thing this machine doesn't have that many of its competitors offer is the ability to rotate the head. If you want to do horizontal milling or inclined machining this will be an issue but it does help to make the head rock solid on the column. You also won't get DRO (digital read out), powered feed, coolant or a variable speed motor as standard but you can add these at extra cost.

As with many machines of Chinese origin the finishing details leave a bit to be desired so be prepared to spend a little time tidying it up, then it is certainly good value. The graduation dials on the hand wheels are rather small and not particularly smooth. The X and Y dials are bizarrely marked 0 to 12.5 with 0.02mm intervals but the lead screws are 2.5mm pitch so you have to divide all the readings by five! They clearly make a 0 to 2.5 dial as used on the Z axis so why not on the others? One area that warrants immediate improvement is the electrics. Poorly terminated wires and insulation stripped back beyond the entry into enclosures. The lack of overload protection for the motor (other than a 13A plug fuse) should be addressed with a proper thermal overload.

For such a heavy lump the optional cabinet stand is too small and flimsy so I opted to build my own and incorporate levelling feet, anti-vibration rubbers, tool drawers, swarf/coolant tray and a foot operated kick stop bar rather than rely solely on the Estop button provided on the side of the head. You could bench mount it but it would need a really solid bench as it weighs in at 270kg (600lb).

If you are precision model making you might be better off with one of the smaller precision machines but if, like me, you want an accurate machine capable of tackling some larger work but your pocket (or workshop space) won't stretch to a full blown bridgeport clone then this is a serious contender. If you want a production machine or are going to work at the machine daily then you might need a workhorse with a few of the convenience features this lacks. I think this is a great all rounder and perfect for my kind of prototyping use.

As for Axminster, once again, I can't fault their service. Courteous, helpful and they delivered when they said they would. Their driver even arrived with mince pies!


6 September 2015


Love my milling machine for my Model Engineering seems very accurate.
Drilling and Milling is with a breeze.
The only Downfall is the Dials need to be a good at maths to work out if they where in Metric be a great machine but so far that's the only downside


3 August 2015

Pleased with ZX-30M

Thought i'd better put up the good news on the recent ZX30M after all the noise i made about obtaining an accurate machine.
It's no Bridgeport, it's a light mill/drill and it's not going to win any prizes for quality of materials, assembly and finish. (some loose screws, soft steel fasteners, missing washers, rough castings, chipped paint etc) They just aren't the neatest turned out of items, and that probably puts some off - but it has turned out to be well set up in terms of key alignments. Very much in the territory shown on the test sheet. (pardon if i'm coming over as a bit surprised :) ) .
With decent belts on it runs nice and smoothly. Hums actually. The 4 star rating for quality reflects the rough edges, and could yet prove optimistic - but three stars might seem unduly negative given the price point.
I've no idea if mine is typical, but the quill/spindle clocks close to zero runout inside the quill taper. (less than i can measure with a 0.001in dial gauge) This goes up to over 3 thou on a ground dowel pin mounted in the chuck. There's a hint of movement if it's pulled on, but very lightly nipping up the lock more or less eliminates it.
The numbers suggest a chuck that's fairly typical of commodity general purpose items from Western makers, with scope to improve by changing it for a precision item. Nothing wrong with it though.
The tables while not the sweetest on the hand wheels ( a bit tight to start with) are actually pretty accurate too.
The front face/edge of the Y (cross) table clocked spot on parallel to its direction of travel. The X is out of square to it by a hair over a thou in 3in - not too bad for a machine like this. The top surface is meanwhile dead nuts square to the axis of the spindle as best i can test tramming it with a dial gauge mounted in the chuck. There's small ripple/hollow of around a thou deep in one small area, but it's otherwise flat.
One basic alignment i've not checked is whether or not the head stays square over the table as it cranks up and down the column, but it seems likely to be reasonable.
It's completed a first project which entailed milling 1/4in slots in and drilling accurately sized and placed holes with a doctored slot drill to accept press in dowel pins (a good test of spindle runout) in 20mm 6082T6 aluminium plate with no obvious problems. Time will tell how it does on heavier cutting in steel, but YouTube video seem to suggest the type is reasonably capable if handled sympathetically.
It mightn't sound like it, but overall I'm pleased as it's not the fanciest ever price point.
It's likely not a hard use commercial jobbing machine, but i'd imagine that paying more than double for an Eastern made gear head machine of similar work envelope buys little if anything more in terms of build quality and accuracy. (excluding of course bring a tilting head into the picture and avoiding the scenario where the round column loses register if the head needs raising or lowering mid job)
Hopefully it'll prove reliable and hard wearing enough for my not too heavy use.
Thanks for the help and for taking on the challenge of a questioning customer - it's been nice to find somebody prepared to go the extra mile….

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