CNC routers for woodworking are often used alongside two software applications – one that creates designs (Computer Added Design), and the other (Computer Aided Manufacturing), translates the designs made into M-code or G-code program of instructions for the machine in horizontal, perpendicular, or vertical coordinates.
The computer numerical control (CNC) router for woodworking is used for creating items like wooden frames, wood panels, decorations (interior & exterior), musical instruments, door carvings, and much more. Most importantly, it is designed to speed up the production process and also produce items that may not be possible manually.
Best CNC Routers For Woodworking
CNC routers are unique and they have different features hence choosing the right machine for CNC wood router projects may be a challenge. However, to help you make a better choice, some of the best CNC machines have been compiled below for you;
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If you are looking for a CNC machine that balances price with quality, without losing out on the industrial performance, then JFT 3030 3-Axis is the best way to go. Its work area is 558mm x 350mm and it costs about $3000.
- It is water-cooled which implies that it can be used for long operations without superheating.
- Its ball screw and aluminum gantry provide great stability and strength to the design.
- It also accommodates different software like ArtCAM and CopperCAM software which means that the user has access to more than one software unlike they do with some other CNC routers.
- It has two-phase stepper motors which provide the torque needed for the operation along with the spindle which can reach about 24000 RPM.
- It can operate with different software.
- Provides high speed
- It requires close monitoring when in operation.
Carbide 3D Shapeoko has the ability to handle materials like metals, plastics, and wood and it is one of the versatile CNC routers in the market. Its work area is 406 x 406mm. and it costs around $1,699.
- It has its own software and this makes it possible for you to create designs with it.
- Works well with several CNC router kits
- It has a high-quality engraving
- Has a large work area
- The software option is limited
This is an air-assisted tool CNC laser machine designed for materials like wood which can be used for cutting and engraving. It is one of the CNC machines with the largest marking area of 1400mm x 900mm. It cost $4900 on Amazon.
- Designs can be uploaded via USB
- Can engrave various materials asides from metals
- Has a large engraving area.
- It has better precision and quality to complete projects.
- Weighs about 800 pounds
- It is expensive
DIY CNC Routers For Woodworking
DIY CNC routers for woodworking are often the best way to have a CNC router, however it is challenging and time-consuming because it may require a 3D printer and you may also need to manufacture some parts locally by yourself.
So, if you get excited about getting things done yourself, you have a handful of projects to consider;
This DIY CNC router uses NEMA23. It is has a steel frame that accommodates tough users and it is one of the CNC router that is known for high performance
ThreeDesign has a calculator that is capable of giving you details of all the parts that you will need based on the specifications of your work. Its work area is 1050mm x 650mm x 65mm though it can be scaled to fit into your choice without altering its performance.
Note:A mini version of the ThreeDesign PrintNC using NEMA 17 will soon be introduced.
Check here for a detailed guide.
C-Beam Mini Mite
This CNC machine is expected to be an upgraded version of OpenBuilds Mini Mill. With a footprint of only 476 x 476 x 460mm, it is suitable for virtually all DIY CNC projects and requires small space.
This machine is easy to build and also gives room for a future upgrade in case you desire to take it to the next level. Your ability to effectively build this machine will give you a durable CNC machine suitable for small projects.
Check here for a comprehensive guide.
3D Printed CNC Mill
This large CNC machine has attracted millions of viewers on YouTube. It requires large use of 3D printed components, Fusion 360 and STLs. It is also suitable for metal and woodworking.
If you get excited about 3D printing, you may want to combine printing and building to construct your CNC machine.
You should check here for a comprehensive guide
OpenBuilds Sphinx 55
OpenBuilds Sphinx 55 is a perfect, strong, and capable DIY CNC router that can be improved upon to the next level. These routers are currently in short supply but are durable if you are fortunate to find one.
The Sphinx design smartly makes use of 3D printed components to mount the power supply, support the organization of cables, and make the machine look unique. With a cable drag chain and ferrules, the life span of the machine will be prolonged and maintenance reduced.
Click here for a comprehensive guide
This CNC machine was introduced in 2020. It is not so difficult to produce and it is capable of cutting and carving soft and tough foam, plastics, wood, and aluminum. It can be expanded to accommodate a plasma cutter.
Its base form has a meter work area of 730 x 810 x100mm and a 1-meter-square footprint which implies a workable material with a height of about 47mm.
Desktop CNC Routers For Woodworking
For your best choice of desktop CNC machine consider;
This machine is a perfect option for professional users. It mills wood, carves, and engraves and costs only $299.
- It can be used to cut various materials like wood, leather, or ceramic.
- The noise it makes is moderate
- It is accurate and repeats perfectly
- Suitable for only professionals
Small Scale CNC Routers For Woodworking
For CNC cutting, carving, and engraving from the comfort of your home, you have got a list of them here;
This CNC machine comes as a kit that requires you to assemble the parts yourself and it costs about $1,230.
- Its frame is created from laser-cut wood which impacts the price of the machine making it cheaper.
- It is perfect for low-budget artisans.
- The frame is usually unstable when used for cutting hard materials.
This machine is basic and so does not possess the professional features that can be seen in some other high-quality machines however it is suitable for beginners and can be cost only $246 on Amazon.
- Steeper motor and high-speed spindle motor make a compact set for newbies.
- It can engrave on PVC, PCBs, and wood.
- It is very easy to operate.
- It is limited in the level of work it can perform making it not suitable for all woodworking.
This CNC machine got its name from the size of engraving it approves, which is 300mm x 180mm.
- It is perfect for beginners.
- Its compatibility with Windows XPX 7,8, and 10 makes it usable by anyone who operates a computer system. It is mounted on an open-source Arduino platform that uses GRBL which makes G-code much easier.
- Easy to operate by newbies
- It is not a good option for experts.
CNC Routers For Woodworking Amazon
The below is one of the CNC routers for woodworking on Amazon;
This is one of the best CNC routers and CNC cutting machines. It is often used for agricultural machines, building products, and other heavy machinery. It offers a work area of 304.8 x 609.6mm with a milling depth of 101.6mm making it a perfect CNC router for woodworking and cost about $2499.
- It automatically detects the starting point of a job
- It comes with Carve Desktop V8 design that enables users to send completed designs directly to the CNC through USB using the software.
- Also, it has a rational sensing technology and auto edge that makes it possible for the machine to identify the workpiece and its size automatically.
- It is a good option for all categories of woodworking.
- It balances price with quality
- It may be expensive for low-budget users.
Cheap CNC Routers For Woodworking
Rattmotor 3018 is an affordable machine for low-budget users and costs $164.
- It has a stepper drive that has short circuit protection, offline recognition, and limit switches.
- Its spindle speed is 20,000 rpm.
- You get value for your money.
- A perfect option for small scale woodworking
- It is affordable for low-budget users.
If you are a carpenter owning a shop that specializes in carving wood furniture, the CNC router for woodworking becomes a necessity for you especially if you need to carve a large number within a short space.
It will help you to save the time and effort required to get the job done manually. You also save the repeated cost for human labor since you only make a one-off purchase for the CNC tool and you have it available for use for as long as you need it.
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