Hello! to all my woodworking peeps reading this blog. If you are trying hard to find a suitable DIY CNC router for you. This blog will surely guide you with the basic and advanced concepts along with all the technical information needed to buy and setup the best CNC router of your own.
To start with the preliminary concept of what a CNC machine is; it is a Computerized Numerical Control machine that is preset on programming for performing periodic operations with high precision, quality, and surface finish in a limited time.
The manufacturing process performed is called the CNC machining process and it can work with tools like mills, grinders, lathes, and routers. CNC machines are available in single axes up to 6 axes. The essential components of a CNC machine are:
- Part program
- Machine Control Unit (MCU)
- Machine tool
- Program input device
- Drive system
- Feedback system
The CNC machines dedicated to woodworking are known as CNC woodworking routers. A router is a hand-held or power-driven woodworking tool used to perform wood cutting and finishing operations, including boring and cutting joinery operations like mortises, dowelling, and tenons. The elementary function of a CNC router is that it provides finished cuts and repetitive manufacturing processes with the same accuracy every time. The router is controlled by G-codes and M-codes stored in the system of Computer Numerical Control in which the tool paths are defined.
- Types Of CNC Routers
- 10 Best DIY CNC Routers For Wood
- 1. Sintron CNC 3018 Pro Router Kit
- 2. VEVOR CNC Wood Router for Hobbyists
- 3. 2020B Mini CNC Engraving Machine
- 4. TEN-HIGH 6090 CNC Router
- 5. JFT 60130 CNC Wood Router For Beginners
- 6. CNC 3020 Wood Carving Engraving Router
- 7. JFT 6090 CNC Router For Wood
- 8. Next Wave 10022 Shark HD510 CNC Router
- 9. Bobs CNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit
- 10. 3018-SE V2 CNC Router Machine
- 5 Things To Consider While Buying CNC Router For Wood
- Final Verdict:
Types Of CNC Routers
The basic types of CNC routers are:
- Industrial CNC router
- Mid-range CNC router
- Hobby CNC router
- Specially designed CNC router
1. Industrial CNC router
This type of CNC router is the most commonly available one in the market. It is used for bulk production by woodworking companies. These routers encourage furniture, doors, and signboard designing operations.
2. Mid-range CNC router
Mid-range CNC routers are feasible for use in a cottage or small industry setup. They are as accurate and precise as industrial machines but the only difference is that they are lighter in weight and smaller in size.
3. Hobby CNC router
The hobby CNC machines are the ones designed at homes by the hobbyist woodworkers. They are light in weight and portable in size. The most amazing thing about Hobby CNC router is that they come on a budget of less than 2000 US dollars. They are moderately accurate and cannot handle bulk production quantity.
4. Specially designed CNC router
These are customized designed routers specifically custom-made for different uses. They can vary from single-axis to multi-axis CNC machines.
10 Best DIY CNC Routers For Wood
The list discussed below contains efficient and portable DIY CNC routers to give you a clear vision for promptly investing in the most suitable product for you.
Each of these CNC routers is discussed in detail with their features along with its pros and cons. The descriptive description will also give you a clear understanding that which product is better than the other. So let’s get started!
1. Sintron CNC 3018 Pro Router Kit
Sintron values your safety and for that, it has developed an improved adapter in the 2020 model. The adapter is high quality, suitable for long uses at a stretch. This DIY CNC router comes with a 775 spindle motor and ER11-style chuck which are highly efficient and gives you a speedy woodworking experience.
This CNC router comes with the main components that include clamps, spindle motor, control board, stepper motor, power supply, end mills, and collets. It is the best CNC router for beginners to start their learning experience with an easy setup and nicely guided setting up instructions. Once you get your handset on the given components, upgrade them for better production volume and quality.
The Sintron router kit is efficient in cutting and inscribing anything softer than wax. Just do keep in mind that you need to be patient while running it. Your hassle can result in a damage to spindle.
The most amazing thing about Sintron 3018 Pro CNC router kit is that it can cut horizontally as well as vertically which makes it suitable for making various kinds of designs. This 3-axis CNC router allows you to carve intricate designs, signboards, and even 3D designs too.
2. VEVOR CNC Wood Router for Hobbyists
The Vevor CNC 3018 pro comes in 5 different models with slight modifications according to the usage. The DIY CNC router is built of aluminum and Bakelite that gives it sturdiness. All of its components are fixed which reduces the fuss of alignment and positioning, resulting in improved accuracy and surface finish.
The Vevor CNC router kit encourages smooth manufacturing with an effective working area of 11.8 “x7.1” x 1.8 “. Besides, the driving unit contains T8 screw rods which are made of 304-grade stainless steel that gives durability and long-term service to the unit.
The Vevor CNC router kit supports a GRBL support system along with an offline controller which encourages unlimited file download and easy manual handling of the spindle. The 42 stepper motors give efficiency and speed and enhance the CNC in versatile applications.
This DIY CNC router also provides flexible control with the help of a USB port. Along with this, the mini laser engraver supports Windows XP, Win 7, Win 8, and Win 10.
3. 2020B Mini CNC Engraving Machine
KHYOPE is the manufacturer of the 2020B Mini CNC engraving machine that possesses a dimension of 400*430*350 mm. it comes with a high-speed spindle motor of 300W which is efficient for any woodcutting operation of cutting, drilling, or engraving.
This DIY CNC router, like other routers, run on instructions based on G-coding, and the system supports Win 7, Win 8, Win 10, and XP.
The cheap DIY CNC router shares a USB interface and it supports all the hobbyist woodworkers having desktop or notebook computers.
The effective engraving area of 200 * 200 * 60mm allows smooth working with the perfect surface finish.
4. TEN-HIGH 6090 CNC Router
If you are a professional woodworker and ready to invest your money in buying a DIY CNC router that is aesthetically attractive, then Ten-High is your thing. It comes with a complete setup that will last for a long time without demanding any modification that includes an engraving machine, control box, engraving tools, spindle wrench, USB cable, power cord, machine connecting line, pressure plate, and water pump.
This incredible CNC DIY router consists of a 4th-axis that allows you to perfectly engrave hoardings, decorating items, furniture, and other household artifacts. But keep in mind this will be something heavy on your pocket.
Although it comes with a high-speed spindle power of 1500W that encourages quick operations and it also offers an exceptionally wide working area of 1135 x 700mm. The overall structure is built of aluminum alloy that makes it durable and resilient to impact.
This woodworking CNC router supports Mach 3 control software and also contains a USB port. This magnanimous structure is super user-friendly with almost all kinds of computer systems and laptops ultimately providing you with the best of precision and accurateness.
5. JFT 60130 CNC Wood Router For Beginners
JFT comes from a renowned brand know as Jessica that is known for providing heavy structures suitable for bulk production. It possesses an effective cutting space and working travel of 600 x 1300 x 110mm.
This exceptionally great CNC router is designed for industrial purposes due to which it is equipped with a water cooling system and automatic spray cutting system that enhances its ability to work till long hours at a stretch without burning out.
This CNC router is a 4-axis machine capable of engraving till perfections. It also consists of limit switches which enhances its safety features for convenient use.
Its high-speed spindle gives it quick manufacturing ability with ultimate precision. Not only this, this CNC woodworking router is highly user friendly supporting G-codes and almost all types of Windows operating systems. Moreover, the package contains everything you need in starting up your woodworking venture.
6. CNC 3020 Wood Carving Engraving Router
Purewords is a famous brand in the domain of CNC making. It has got numerous models like 3018, 3040, and many others but, among all these CNC 3020 wood carving and engraving machine is the recent love of woodworkers.
This CNC router is equally suitable for newbies, enthusiasts, and professionals with a spacious working area of 300 x 200 x 800mm having a high moving spindle with a 9000RPM spindle. Its amazing feature is that the speed of the spindle can be easily adjusted as per your requirement.
The Purewords CNC 3020 is the modified version of the 3018 model with enhanced accuracy of 0.05 mm which is greater than the JFT 60130 CNC wood router.
The gantry style structure gives you a formal industrial look with a strongly built structure. It comes with a 57 stepper motor, efficient than many other models discussed in this list. The DIY CNC supports GRBL controller and easy to use with almost every variant of Microsoft windows.
The most incredible feature of the CNC 3020 wood router is that it eliminates the hassle of assembling. It is a complete pre-built setup that you need to plug-in the switchboard whenever there is a need to use the machine. The 4th axis i.e. rotatory axis encourages drilling, digging, cutting, and carving operations.
7. JFT 6090 CNC Router For Wood
The latest model of Jessica CNC routers JFT 6090 is designed specifically for industrial purposes. The gantry type structure is made up of high-grade aluminum that has an anodized surface which gives longevity to the setup. The surface is highly flattened for perfect square pieces.
This CNC router machine is equipped with a closed-loop hybrid stepper motor that produces a high manufacturing speed of up to 10000mm/m. another distinctive feature is that it gives a manageable engraving speed from 50 to 10000mm/m. Moreover, it gives a repeatable positioning accuracy of up to 0.02mm.
Like its previous model JFT 60130, JFT 6090 also possesses a water cooling system. And it’s perfectly designed dust cover keeps the environment neat and clean that has been exclusively designed to fit for batch production. Moreover, it gives an effective travel of 600 x 900 x 110mm.
This high-quality machine is extremely versatile in its operations and can easily process engraving, 3D sculpture designing, drilling, and milling processes. Furthermore, its noiseless spindle eliminates the continuous machining din.
8. Next Wave 10022 Shark HD510 CNC Router
The Next wave HD510 router is unbiasedly the hottest cake item present in the woodworking industry that can easily fit into your little hobbyist workshop as well as a production house. It features a strong built aluminum gantry structure along with industrial-grade supportive legs that refrain the router from wobbling during high-speed machining.
The Shark HD510, is a perfect reflection of its name, giving you cut-throat accuracy with the anti-backlash mechanism. It also features an interlocking aluminum table and its linear guide rails and numerous clamps enable the machine for fixing the work job perfectly while machining. The best CNC woodworking router caters to several routers available in the market. It also features an effective travel of 24″ x 24″ x 7″.
Moreover, the Next wave CNC router comes in a package including everything you need for woodworking operations. Also, it is equipped with the latest version of Vectric VCarve Desktop software and carbide bits that gives longevity and a resilient bidding experience.
9. Bobs CNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit
Bobs are known for their extremely friendly customer services and quality products. E3 and E4 both are one heck of the examples. Bobs’ CNC E4 router kit is the updated version of E3 having a cutting area of 17.7″ x 15.3″ upgraded to 24″ x 24″ which can be further improved to 24″ x 48″ with the Bobs’ professional assistance.
This CNC woodworking router is equipped with a NEMA stepper motor that gives you a full-fledged torque for your heavy-duty applications. With a rigid gantry style structure Bobs’ E4 CNC router comes with a package of quality products and on-time delivery.
Although the biggest downside is that it requires whole two days for assembling which does not guarantee you the complete learning of its mechanism and functioning. Along with this, it requires a steep learning curve therefore not exactly suitable for beginner woodworkers.
The humongous structure does wobble during machining of rough lumber due to the over-due play in
drive screw of z-axis still overall, Bobs’ CNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit worth every penny of yours.
10. 3018-SE V2 CNC Router Machine
The 3018-SE V2 CNC router is the best fit for hobbyist woodworkers with enhanced safety features and a mediocre price. The package of the CNC router kit is divided into 2 parts one is the desktop machine and the other is the CNC upgrade kit.
The amazing CNC DIY router is equipped with a transparent shield that is designed specifically for beginners who can keep the manufacturing process under control. The shield also keeps the wood chips inside the cutting area to keep the environment clean. Other safety features include emergency stop buttons, limit switches, and an integrated power button, and a control box.
This incredible CNC router kit is almost industry built-up and you just need to plug-in the power with little touch-ups to get it started. Hence, suitable for small industry purposes and home-based workshops too.
The 3018 SE-V2 CNC router kit is compatible with all types of Windows operating systems and runs with the help of G-code. With enhanced efficiency and precision 3018-SE V2 router kit is appropriate for cutting and engraving operations.
5 Things To Consider While Buying CNC Router For Wood
Selecting a CNC router is a tough task but, we have made it easy for you by providing few key pointers you need to consider while choosing the best CNC DIY router for you.
1. Type of use
The first thing you need to evaluate is the type of production you need your router to handle. Are you going to use it commercially or in your leisure time only? If you are a newbie woodworker the router must be inexpensive and have a slow learning curve that encourages you to practice and experience more with its friendly nature, rather than discouraging you with the steep learning curve and technicalities offered at the beginning.
As a hobbyist try to buy a router that comes assembled by the manufacturer and you just need to plug-in power to start using. As a commercial woodworker you need to answer the following questions:
- What is the quantity of product you need daily?
- What type of projects you are going to handle? It will further describe the sturdiness of the tool and spindle.
- Are you intend to use it for multiple purposes? This will decide that whether the machine should be upgradable or not.
2. Safety Features
Woodworking offers numerous hazards of cutting, chip encounter, electric shock, and several others. Another point that needs to be kept in mind is your safety and if you are a starter and unaware of the fact that how woodworking is done then you must buy a router that is safe enough. For that, you may consider the 3018-SE V2 CNC Router that possesses a transparent shield that holds aback the wooden chips, emergency stop button, and limit switches.
3. After-Sales Service
After-sales service is surely a blessing in disguise. Many times we come across scenarios in which we feel helpless and require technical support. Not every one of us has a good mechanical and electronic background. There comes the use of it.
Furthermore, if we intend to upgrade the provided setup in an advanced one we must need technical assistance and for that after-sales service matters a lot. In this case, Bobs’ CNC routers provide you the best in town service and never leaves you unattended.
4. Working Space
These woodworking routers mostly acquire a pretty good space and they are not repeatedly moveable therefore, you need to find a perfect place where you can keep it fixed forever. For that you need to evaluate that you are going to buy it for a home-based workshop; obviously, then there be limited space available or for commercial use where you have already designed a particular space for storing it. So working space is an important consideration while buying a CNC router.
Your budget is the last but foremost important thing while buying a CNC router. If you are investing your hard-earned labor then it must contain all the essential key features required for your personalized project. Make sure not a single penny of yours gets wasted.
What is a CNC Machine?
A CNC machine is a computer-operated tool using a specific G-code system for performing precise and intricate machining of complex natured parts.
What is a CNC router?
A CNC router is a modernized machining tool that helps:
- Cutting of softer materials like wood, plastic, and foam.
- Operates at a higher speed
- Is equipped with a high-speed spindle that moves along the X, Y, and Z axes.
- Simplifies 3D cutting
What is the difference between a CNC router and a CNC mill?
A CNC router handles soft materials like foam, plastics, and woods while a CNC mill operates on tough metals. A CNC mill performs delicate and complex operations in comparison to a CNC router due to which it has a lower speed spindle than a CNC router. The mill caters to an X-Y configuration while the spindle moves in Z-axes for getting better clearance.
How much does a CNC router costs?
Generally, a hobbyist CNC router costs between $200 to $400 while for commercial use it may reach up to $1200 like that of Bobs’ E4 CNC router kit.
is it worth buying a CNC router?
If you are a hobbyist and intend to make woodworking your ultimate profession then learning to operate a CNC machine is the first thing that you will need. A perfect CNC router offers you a moderate learning curve and helps develop your woodworking skills in lesser time with efficiency.
The list of 10 best CNC DIY routers provides you an amazing range from which you can choose your woodworking mate. The buying guide will help you to evaluate your criteria in choosing the best DIY router for you. Furthermore, the FAQ section will help you in eliminating all the persisting ambiguities.
We would recommend you to invest in an inexpensive router if you are a beginner and experiment in fun learning experiences and for that 3018-SE V2 CNC Router Machine is a perfect choice for you. However, if you are a professional woodworker then Bob’s CNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit and Next Wave 10022 Shark HD510 CNC Machine are worth spending options for you.