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I am buying a new rolling mill

I am in the market for a rolling mill. For the last 20 years I have
used what has become known as The Economy Mill and have been pretty
much pleased with it. I broke a gear on the mill and have had no
luck with completing a purchase of a replacement gear although I am
told they are available. As my business has become somewhat
dependent on owning an operating mill I am in the market. There
seems to be a variety of mills available and the price seems to be
either in the economy mill range or $999.99 or up. I would buy a new
Economy Mill but I would like a mill with more capacity.

I am willing to spend the money for a good serviceable product but I
want the mill to be worth what I spend for it.

I know Durston seems to be workhorse of the small shop. But what of
the other brands available? I am asking about Pepe in particular.
Opinions please. And thanks.

Don Meixner
Old Erie Crafters

I bought a Durston from a jewelry store that used it for many, many
years before me. I have been using it very consistently for 9 years.
Before that I had an economy one that broke within months of
purchase. If I ever needed to purchase another, I’d go with out a
doubt for another Durston.


Durston makes decent rolling mills, however they are not the most
attending company to work with, customer service can be sluggish at

Just get a Durston.

What I did was wait until Rio Grande or any other of the big dealers
have an open box or floor model. I bought a 1200 dollar Durston for
900 bucks that way.

If you are in Europe, you can get all kinds of great old German or
Italian ones as well. But here in the States, you don’t have much
choice but to just spend the money on a new Durston. It’s worth it


I think pepe is an economy mill. I have one at work. It’s fine for
most things. The think I wish I had was small square rolling ability.
The pepe has square but it could use one smaller groove. If you have
the money get a durston. Harder steel better quality gearing. Just
make sure it’s got the rollers you need.

The only complaint I have besides the square wire Grove is that it
doesn’t roll very thick stock. The gears Start to lock up with the
thickness of my larger ingot mold. Can’t go right to the mill with
it out needs reducing first.

This is true. I have been waiting since last summer for either Rio
or Otto Frei to quote me a custom profile external roller that is in
the Duston online catalog. They both say the holdup is Durston. I
have also communicated directly with Durston. In both cases, they
say that they need an accurate drawing. I suspect that they have a
drawing since they show the item in their catalog. In the end, I am
just looking for some way to make 2X4 triangular wire. None of the
draw plates that I can find (purchased one), will allow me to draw
this size wire. I come closest using the one square wire roller and
a flat roller on my old economy mill. Running a doubled over piece
of 8 gauge wire thru the full square rollers of the Durston works
some of the time, but the profile gets out of whack usually right in
the middle of a length that is otherwise fine. I have even tried
making my own draw plate, but have yet to tame the steel that I am
using. All very frustrating, but I can still buy it from Hoover and
Strong if all else fails. Rob

Rob Meixner

Hi Don,

I’ve owned 3 Durston mills over the last 30 years. My first was a
direct drive mini combo mill, which I sold to buy an over/under
Durston 128mm, which I sold and bought my present Durston 158mm

I really couldn’t be happier. I always got close to what I paid for
the mills that I sold, do in part to the fact that I held onto them
for quite a while and as the price of new ones rose, so did the
willingness to pay more for a used one.

I respect the tool but defiitely not a squeaky clean fanatic about
it. I use it many times throughout every working day, rolling out
sheet, wire, rod, etc. I taper forge in the mill, roller print and
even use the wire rollers for texturing sheet.

I don’t think that you can go wrong with a Durston.

Take care,

Thanks for all the input. Looks like a Durston mill is in my future.
Now I just have to select which one. Can different rollers be bought
for Durston mills?

Don Meixner