Milling is the process of using a rotating cutteing tool to remove material from a workpiece. The workpiece is positioned and secured on the table of the machine. The table is moved either by hand, with traverse and feed handles, or by CNC. Typically the table rises to meet the cutting tool or the cutting tool is lowered into the workpiece. Using the traverse and feed handles, the table can move forward, backward, left, and right while the cutting tool removes material. The operator is able to be very precice using measurements on the handles and/or table.
Milling machines use variable speed belts to drive the cutting tool. In a vertical-aligned milling machine, the spindle is aligned vertically and allows the machine to perform plunge cuts and drilling.