Should you upgrade to servos on your Tormach CNC mill?

Sure, you’ve been enjoying your Tormach 1100M CNC mill so far. It’s been working great.

But you already knew that.

You shopped around, you did your homework, and after some serious thought, you realised when it came to getting the right blend of cost, cutting power, compact size, reliability and versatility, the Tormach 1100M was the only real option.

You’ve probably used it to mill more auto parts, machine spares, and pieces of jewellery that you can remember using everything from softwood to hardened steel. 

You’ve probably also had your fair share of machine crashes, sore fingers, ruined projects and four-letter moments as well. But that’s all part of becoming an experienced CNC machinist! 

Yes, your Tormach 1100M CNC machine has done you proud. 

It’s cut anything you’ve asked, been easy to maintain, and it’s delivered you the professional finish you’ve needed on all your cuts. 

But now you’re looking to step up. 

Naturally, you were initially impressed with the cutting power of the Tormach 1100M. But one of the reasons you ordered it in the first place was because it could be easily upgraded to suit your needs as they grew.

Now you’ve been in the saddle for a while, and your CNC machine knowledge has grown, you know your Tormach 1100M better and you can complete the basics (the ones which used to take you hours!) like second nature. 

But now you need to go faster.

You need to complete more projects quicker so you can either spend less time in the workshop or produce more items at a quicker rate to sell.

Either way, if you want to reduce production time on future projects, then you need to think about upgrading to servos on your Tormach 1100M CNC mill.

Upgrading your Tormach 1100M with servos means faster cut times

First off, the most noticeable improvement you’re going to see is speed. Servos are much faster. 

How much faster? Well, they’ll almost double your feed rates from day one and will boost your Tormach 1100M’s acceleration allowing your CNC machine to get up to speed much quicker. 

Upgrading to servos is a perfect solution if you’re looking to slash overall production times . This helps save you both time and money on every part you make and lets you spend more time with the family or more time out on the track using whatever it is you make with your Tormach.

But how much time can you save?

It’s not the answer you want to hear, but this will vary depending on your part geometry, materials, tooling and a whole lot more. The more intricate the part, the longer the cut is going to take (upgraded servo or not).

But as a guide, we recently saved over 22% cycle time by just changing the rapid speeds on a simple cross-cut as seen below.


That’s reducing your cut time by almost a quarter! Which is going to add up on multiple runs meaning you can both produce and sell more parts in a shorter time.

Upgraded to servos means less noise 

Productivity isn’t the only reason to upgrade to servo motors on you mill. CNC mills can be loud. That’s just a fact. And it can be a problem if you’re running a mill out of your garage, basement or home workshop.  

That’s why upgrading to servos is also a great idea if you want to reduce noise in your home set up.

Will upgrading to servos make my Tormach 1100M more efficient?

In short, no. But it’s not meant to, either.

One common misconception about servo motors is they improve the accuracy of the machine. But unfortunately, this just isn’t true. 

Yes, it can help. But it isn’t just the axis motor which determines efficiency. The overall accuracy of any CNC machine is determined by both the sum total of all its parts and how well it was installed. Accuracy is determined by everything from the base casting to the part in your vise. 

And since the step resolution on a stepper-based system and the servos are the same at one-tenth of a thousand, then the accuracy of the machine isn’t really going to be affected either way.

Upgrading to servos means faster production times and a quieter workshop

Any upgrade is an expense. And as experienced machinists ourselves, we understand that better than anybody. 

But we also know reduced run times can mean more profits through increased output and more time with the family, enjoying your hobby or working on the other parts of your hobbyist business such as marketing, admin and sales.

A Tormach 1100M CNC mill servo upgrade kit is more than just a nice bonus. 

It’s an investment in yourself.