Variable Speed RF45 Clone or Geared Head?

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Active Member
Nov 12, 2013
Hi folks,

I'm looking at options for a milling machine, and one contender is this:


I was wondering what your thoughts were on this versus a standard geared head?

I'm no electronics guy and was wondering if it would be giving up anything in terms of torque to a geared head, it has a 2.2Kw motor compared to a 1.5Kw of the geared head...is this to compensate for the reduced torque? The VFD also runs off single phase, and I understand it might be better to run VFD's off of 3 phase motor to maintain torque at lower speeds. What do you think?

The variable speed also gives up 400rpm's of top speed over the geared head, which isnt the end of the world for me I'll be machining steel mostly although some aluminium parts and even wood will definitely be cut.

For guys who have used this style of bed mill and Bridgeport size knee mills...should I be putting the same money into a used Bridgeport or are you guys happy with your RF45 and clones?

Any input appreciated, thanks!


Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Mar 24, 2014
Wonder how many guys have a variable speed 45 type mill I know that Grizzly offers one here in the states, but never have seen one. Pretty sure that the common answer to your question is " Get the biggest mill you can fit/ afford in your shop" . And with no doubt that statement is the truth. Hopefully someone will chime in with the experienced answer to your question. For me the idea of having to rebuild an experienced machine is a no go due to lack of knowledge in that respect.


Active User
Oct 4, 2012
have enco mill similar to that one.

not variable speed.....never had a need for it

variable speed on lathe, yes... or always changing belts

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