Best CNC Router-2020 Top Models Reviewed

CNC stands for Computer Numerically controlled and it is a simple functionality where a machine produces things after digesting the files developed on a computer using a good program.  It is also regarded as a method where people automate 3 dimensions milling process and cutting.

Choosing the best CNC router will make it easy for you to produce factory grade work at home. All you need is a computer and a proper program to direct a process. These routers will deliver precise and a continuous work. It also increases the productivity rate.

CNC Routers will help you work with wood, foam, plastics and several other materials. The challenge is selecting the best cnc router for your work and at the same time knowing the features to check and how to approach the purchase process.

The list below contains 10 best CNC routers that will help you work with different materials to produce moldings, furniture, decorations, sign boards and carvings. With so many brands in the market, it’s very easy to find a CNC router that will help you work precisely without having to drain your pocket.

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Product Name

Prime


Weights

Details

BobsCNC E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit

BobsCNC E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit


58 pounds

CNC Piranha FX

CNC Piranha FX


58.8 pounds

BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit

BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit


32 pounds

Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit

Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit


15.66 pounds

Next Wave Automation CNC Piranha XL

Next Wave Automation CNC Piranha XL


75 pounds

MYSWEETY Upgrade Version CNC 3018 Pro

MYSWEETY Upgrade Version CNC 3018 Pro


15.27 pounds

mcwdoit Laser Engraver CNC 3018 Pro Router Kit

mcwdoit Laser Engraver CNC 3018 Pro Router Kit


15.57 pounds

SZCY LLC Engraver CNC 3018 Pro Engraving Machine

SZCY LLC Engraver CNC 3018 Pro Engraving Machine


4.62 pounds

VEVOR CNC 3018 CNC Router Kit

VEVOR CNC 3018 CNC Router Kit


15 pounds

Top 9 Best CNC Router Reviews

1. BobsCNC E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit

BobsCNC E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit

Price $1,098.00

Are you starting in this industry and wanted a CNC router that will help you with your tasks appropriately? If yes then try Bobs CNC machines.  They are home built with all it takes to help you work with ease and produce the best carvings and other products.

The company has produced several other routers but the E4 CNC is their latest product. This router is the last one in the E series. One big reason why this product is at the top of our list today is because it can work with large sheets of wood, aluminum and plywood. The main reason is because the cutting edge is large.

Most features of this cnc router are the same with the E3 series. Though, this machine works with plywood and aluminum better than the E3. The other difference is the assembled footprint and the size of the cutting area.

If you have thought of working on larger materials, then you should choose the E4 model. It makes it easier for you to carve any design you want on bigger sheets.  With the latest Arduino Uno, you will see the work done within no time.

What We Liked

  • It makes it easier to work with larger materials.
  • The router is cheaper than other models.
  • The machines are comparably smaller than their competitors.
  • Everything comes in a single box
  • More than 90% positive reviews on Amazon.
  • It works well with pro woodworkers and the beginners.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Wonderful customer service.

What We Did't Like

  • It’s difficult to run accurately.
BobsCNC E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit

BobsCNC E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit

2. CNC Piranha FX

CNC Piranha FX

Price Price not available

Starting as a woodworker is not a warm potato to swallow. It comes with its own challenges with the biggest being the CNC router you are using at the moment. One of the best that we have in the market is the CNC Piranha FX.This router is also marked as one of the woodworking technologies that you should have today. 

This machine just started as a high level CNC tool for pro woodworkers.The new generations of this brand have ensured that the tool is easy to use and perfect for starters. The machine has also been made to help you solve all the issues you have at hand.

This tool comes with 3 effortless usable modules. This is going to combine their efforts and curve and print your work perfectly. It also makes laser engraving less of a hustle.

The device combines a all-new intuitive touch screen that has an awesome digitizer. These are the features that have made this product stand against all the other top products in the market.

The Piranha uses standard router. This gives the whole technology an edge when it comes to functionality and flexibility. Many woodworkers also love the machine because it can engrave anything into the shape you want.

What We Liked

  • It has a beautiful design.
  • It’s one of the most durable machines.
  • It’s very easy to use.
  • Best for starters and students.
  • You don’t have to seek expert advice and assistance.
  • Its affordable.

What We Did't Like

  • It’s not a heavy-duty machine-it’s not very reliable in such a case.
  • It’s not the best for rock materials.
CNC Piranha FX

CNC Piranha FX

3. BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit

Similar to the E4 model, this router is made for pro woodworkers and starters alike.  It actually makes a good starter for student CNC unit and starters. This machine also offers 17.7X15.3X3.3 inch cutting area. This cutting area is relatively smaller compared to the E3 model.

It also comes with DEWALT 660 router. The machine’s cutting edge and the gantry uses SG2oU  rail system.  Additionally, it’s easy to control the machine because it’s made easy by the Arduino-based microprocessor motion controller.

On the other hand, you need a connected computer to run this router. The good thing is that it can work easily with OSX, Linux, Raspberry and Windows. Another thing I must mention is that putting this machine together is a project. You need to have the right educational experience.

That doesn’t mean the machine is difficult or very complicated to run, you just need the right knowledge and everything else will follow. Additionally, it’s a good match for people looking for a CNC Router on a budget.

Other drawback includes the fact that it’s hard to remove flex from the gantry and the bed. This is because there are several joints and fastening connections. As a new user, you are very likely to take a lot of your time checking and tightening.

The major benefit of this machine is that it’s made of wood which is considered environmentally friendly. For starters, wood is also very easy to work with. Given all the benefits, this is a very nice beginner router.

What We Liked

  • The primary material is wood which is environmentally good.
  • It’s perfect for starters and students.
  • The wood makes it easy and safe for beginners.
  • The router offers a large operation area.
  • Its lightweight and small.
  • The router is affordable.
  • Good customer experience.
  • Many positive reviews on Amazon.

What We Did't Like

  • You have to keep on looking and adjusting.
  • You need some expertise to run this router.
  • It doesn’t include software.
BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit

BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit

4. Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit

Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit

Price $249.99

On our list today, we have thought of including the genmitsu router because it’s one of the few brands that have brought safety improvements into the page. Whenever you are working with tools and machines, you should be very concerned about your safety and likelihood of accidents.

This company has thought of safety improvements and also has CE/FCC/UL approval. The machine has been specifically crafted to handle heavy workloads. This means that the machine is for people that have a large workload and those that want to complete their tasks fast enough.

The feature offers complete protection for your machine and you when you are operating. This is the case even when you work for a long time. It is integrated with custom software, main board. It is also designed to communicate seamlessly between the software and the hardware.

This company chooses GRBL software for high performance and controlled movement. The machine also runs on Arduino.

The other feature that we have found very beneficial is the fact that the machine is versatile, this means that you will not face any troubles when cutting all types of materials including plastics, PVCs, PCBs, wood, aluminum and acrylics

For people that don’t have enough experience in the industry, this machine is for you because of the simplicity to assemble. It comes with all the assembly instructions. If you are stuck, you can as well choose to visit their online page for further assistance.

What We Liked

  • Good customer service.
  • Easy to work with.
  • The machine is very versatile.
  • It communicates seamlessly between hardware and software.
  • Best for big workloads.
  • Safest of all in the market today.
  • Comes with all the assemble instructions.

What We Did't Like

  • It’s comparably expensive.
Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit

Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit

5. Next Wave Automation CNC Piranha XL

Next Wave Automation CNC Piranha XL

Price Price not available

For woodwork experts that have so many projects to complete, the Piranha XL is better than the FX model. One major benefit of this is that it has a bigger table where you can work from. The cutting space also measures 12X24X4.  This is an indication that the machine was made to handle longer and taller materials.

On the side of the software, there’s no difference between the Piranha XL and the Piranha FX. The two models use the same software. Though, it comes with Vcarve Desktop, a sampler model with 3D models and V8 Design.

This is good news to all the people that wants to get the best carves with little efforts. You just have to install the program on the PC and eventually create your projects. The good news is that it’s very compatible with the Windows. The disadvantage here is that the program is only compatible with the windows.

This router is capable of engraving ornaments inlays with soft metals and wood. Additionally, it comes with a touch screen module that is known as pendant. It also comes with an USB 2.0 port. What this means is that you can always copy your projects from a computer and load it directly on the machine.

The other issue is that this kit doesn’t include a router. It’s clear that you will have to install your own router. It can work perfectly with Dewalt, Bosch and Porter Cable. So make up your mind and see whether these features can work for you.

What We Liked

  • Compatible with USB 2.0.
  • Wonderful customer experience.
  • Has pendant which is the touch screen module.
  • The machine can engrave circuit boards.
  • Large working area.
  • The returns will attract a 15% restock fee.
  • Best for people with large projects.

What We Did't Like

  • It only works with Windows.
  • Doesn’t come with a router.
Next Wave Automation CNC Piranha XL

Next Wave Automation CNC Piranha XL

6. MYSWEETY Upgrade Version CNC 3018 Pro

MYSWEETY Upgrade Version CNC 3018 Pro

Price $219.89

MYSWEETY will come with all the parts included on the kit. The router is made of mostly aluminum and few plastics. The machine can work easily with 240 volts. For people with medium works, this is perfect for you. Reasons being it comes with a 6.5X7.5X2 inches working area.

Assembling this machine is very easy even when you don’t have enough information. The good thing is that there are a couple of product support materials available in the market.

It comes with GRBL controller software. Additionally, you can run it in a couple of other programs.The other advantage is that the machine is low priced. The machine looks like an easy model but it’s very functional. It is also very easy and a lot of fun to put together.

It has a learning curve. This is an indication that you have to supply information from the computer to the tool. Additionally, it comes with PCB cutting bits for cutting wood and several other materials.

The router offers great value for your money. It works perfectly and is durable enough. This is an indication that you don’t have to worry about replacing your machine constantly.

What We Liked

  • This machine is the best for students and beginners.
  • Works perfect with different materials.
  • Compatible with several OS.
  • It comes partly assembled.
  • It has a learning carve.
  • The machine is very affordable.

What We Did't Like

  • It’s made of plastic in some areas.
  • It works well with small works only.
MYSWEETY Upgrade Version CNC 3018 Pro

MYSWEETY Upgrade Version CNC 3018 Pro

7. mcwdoit Laser Engraver CNC 3018 Pro Router Kit

mcwdoit Laser Engraver CNC 3018 Pro Router Kit

Price $299.00

For someone that needs a product that is easy to assemble, then this is the right for you. All its accessories come well positioned to reduce the installation hustle and eliminate the difficulty of precision.

The router doesn’t use any corner pieces, no errors and uses one-piece molding. The base of this machine is 4cm and has the highest stability and strength.  The other benefit is that this machine has been positioned when the motor is installed. This is an indication that you will not have to readjust it again.

It comes with manual controls where you can manually adjust the position of XYZ three axis when you are starting to engrave.  For people that like documenting everything, you have a chance to document the engraving. To document, you will have to use the offline board that can be connected to the GRBL board to store all the data as you engrave.

What We Liked

  • Graded version of high quality.
  • Laser modules are available.
  • Its affordable.
  • You can document the process.
  • Storage file.
  • You can manually control and adjust the XYZ

What We Did't Like

  • Its relatively expensive.
mcwdoit Laser Engraver CNC 3018 Pro Router Kit

mcwdoit Laser Engraver CNC 3018 Pro Router Kit

8. SZCY LLC Engraver CNC 3018 Pro Engraving Machine

SZCY LLC Engraver CNC 3018 Pro Engraving Machine

Price Price not available

An engraver with a new design that makes it easy for the worker to install and operate the machine. The machine comes with an offline controller which outshines the need to have it connected to a PC. The offline controller already has files stored to it where it can receive commands and work perfectly. This also means that there’s no need to download the files offline.

The engraving area is 330X400X240 mm which allows people to create large forms from any material you choose. It has also been made in such a way that it will come in handy with other light duty applications.

The machine will always work with different materials including wood, soft aluminum, and other soft metals, bamboo, PCB, cardboard, canvas, wood and leather. This means that if you are one of the people that make forms from such materials, you will definitely benefit from this machine.

The laser module gas a heat sink which ensures proper heat debauchery.  This is a benefit because it maintains high functionality and prolonged service life.

The machine also uses GRBL systems for controlling and can be compatible with several OS including Windows xp, win Linux, windows 7,8 and even windows 10. This is a benefit because you can work with it regardless of the software you are using.

What We Liked

  • It is very easy to assemble.
  • It has preinstalled files which means you don’t have to keep it connected to the computer.
  • Its compatible with several OS.
  • Its affordable.
  • Its highly versatile.
  • Its durable.

What We Did't Like

  • There are no limit switches.
SZCY LLC Engraver CNC 3018 Pro Engraving Machine

SZCY LLC Engraver CNC 3018 Pro Engraving Machine

9. VEVOR CNC 3018 CNC Router Kit

Lastly, let’s talk about the most durable machine for heavy duty tasks. The machine is made of aluminum, wood, metal and some parts made of Bakelite materials. This machine is one of the best because of its appearances, high precision and durability. It has a working area of 300X180X 40mm.

With this machine, you get GRBL control board where you can send all the commands with ease. You can actually connect this to a computer using USB 2.0 port. It is also able to support PWM, TTL functions and 2p/3p. These all features are to make it work better and help you achieve greater applicability.

You also get offline controller which is configured to control the machine remotely. You don’t need to download the files online since you can also manually adjust the XYZ axis.

There are more efficient motors which also makes a big difference in this case. There are 3 42-stepper motors included on three different axes.

What We Liked

  • Has efficient motors.
  • Its comparably efficient.
  • Its relatively affordable.
  • The machine works greatly with all types of materials.
  • Its compatible with  almost all windows OS.
  • It has a wide application.
  • Ease to use.
  • Convenient controls.
  • High performance.
  • Premium quality.

What We Did't Like

  • Not compatible with iOS versions.
  • It’s expensive.
VEVOR CNC 3018 CNC Router Kit

VEVOR CNC 3018 CNC Router Kit

Buying CNC Router Guide

Buying a CNC router is a serious task especially if you have little or no information about the same. To help you buy your first CNC Router from the online stores, we have listed some of the factors you have to consider.

Materials You Will Be Using

Before you even think of finalizing a purchase for CNC routers, start by considering the materials that you will be working with. This is because not all the routers work perfectly with all the materials.  Some of the materials to think of are stone, wood, plastics, MDF, PVC, ACM, Glass, Copper, Brass, Aluminum and foam.

With that in mind, just understand the materials you are about to use and consider the best CNC router that will work marvelously. This is what will inform your decision.

The Application

The application possibilities of these machines will also make a difference. Not all the routers will be perfect for 2D and 3D carving. For that reason, start by considering your main application. Other applications to think of are Aerospace, Cabinetry, Sign Making, Aluminum Fabrication, Acrylic publication and several others.

The Motor System

Choose a router for high speed or high torque  applications. This will also be determined by how you want to use your machine. Make sure you consider the ability of the motor system to work with the preferred materials.

Drive System

The drive system is also something that you are supposed to consider. There are 3 types of drive systems that you should consider. They include Lead Screw, Rack and pinion and Ballscrew. Among them, the last one is the most expensive. Though, if you are using larger materials, the Ballscrew will be the best.

The Rack and Pinion can be your match when you have to work with axes that are greater than 4 feet in length. The other advantage is that they are very affordable. Though, they will not be the best when you want to work on the z-axis, and rack because it will cost you the time to set and operate.

Lead Screw-This drive system option will help you work more accurately but they are preferred for large projects. For high throughput and high speed application, this will fail you.

The ballscrew as disused above is the most expensive but they are nice for big projects and have higher accuracy rates.

ATC

For people that require the use of more than one tool when they are operating, you may have to consider Automatic Toolchanger System. This system will help to change tools from one to the other. However, its not necessary if you don’t keep on changing from one tool to the other.

Spindle

This is actually among the most beneficial parts of the router. They are the parts that do the actual cutting. To ensure you have a highly functional machine, then ensure you spare some time to check on their capabilities. When checking, consider load rating; spindle motor type, torque, power requirements and other dimensions.

Wight

You don’t want a heavy machine that will make it difficult for you to use. However, you also should factor in the fact that the heavier the machine the more sturdy and durable it is, its also works better. Though, if you usually transport this machine from one place to the other, you should consider lighter alternatives.

The Table Size

Depending on the size of the materials you are using, you may require a larger table size. What this means is that you should buy larger table sizes to be sure it will handle the materials perfectly. This also allows room for longer and larger materials to be operated on.

The Features

Besides the features we have discussed above, there are many other features you should consider. Invest on a CNC router that offers the best features. These features essentially makes the work very easy for you as you work.

Your Budget

I know you have already checked the information shared above and noticed there are many CNC router brands. Each brand has their unique features, which later translates to varying prices. When you are in the market searching for these machines, factor in the amount of money you are willing and able to pay. The higher the price of a specific brands the better the features. On average, the price varies from affordable to expensive.

Consult

Whenever you are buying a CNC Router, you should feel comfortable to consult and ask all the questions you have in mind, if at all you feel uncomfortable with any of the information, features, functionality or price, then move to the next provider. We highly recommend discussing all the questions you have with the customer care.

Reviews

Some manufacturers will not share satisfactory information about their product. As a matter of fact, they are very likely to hide some sensitive information including what people are complaining about the most.

To avoid confusion and misunderstanding when purchasing the CNC Router, always check online for reviews and user comments. This is where you will learn from the prior users and make a decision based on what they are complaining about and their praises.

Compatibility

Lastly, someone should check to see whether the router they are about to get is compatible with their computers. Some of these routers are only compatible with Windows OS. However, several other brands can work perfectly well with other Operating systems.

CNC Routers Frequently Asked Questions

How Does The CNC Router Machine Work?

I know you want to understand how these machines work. Based on our definition given at the beginning of this article, its easy to deduce that the cnc routers are controlled by the computer. The data known as G-Codes will be assembled on the CNC Program that your router is using.  The codes start with a ‘’G’’ followed by other numbers. When the data is inserted, then the machine will start to work

How Much Dies A CNC Router Cost?

The overall cost of a CNC router depends greatly on the brand and the features at hand. The cost may vary from cheap and affordable to expensive. There are other expensive routers out there. There are many things that make the difference here.

Are There Other Hidden Costs Of Operating A CNC Router?

Most are the times when you buy a machine and come to realize that there are many other hidden costs that you will have to pay. In our case, there are some costs that will accrue before the machine starts to work.

First and foremost, you will end up buying computer-aided design software. This is the one you will use to create designs. The software can be expensive. In moist cases, they cost up to $15,000.

The other costs will include training costs which can range from anywhere between $200 and $500. This will depend on where you are going to get the knowledge and the type of knowledge you want.

The other cost that accrues immediately you purchase this product is the shipping costs. The shipping cost will depend on how long the product will be shipped and the company you are using to ship.

The good news is that you can find some companies that will offer purchases comprising of the cost of the product, shipping cost, training, installation and several others. These are the best companies to go for.

Are There Different Types Of CNC Routers?

The differences in CNC routers are not very much of a concern to some people. They are broadly categorized as Mini/small/Desktop series, ATC series, intelligent series, 3 axis series, 4 axis series and 5 axis series. All the subtypes here have different features and other functionalities that can make your work particularly easier.

What Software Can Be Used For CNC Router Machine?

Some of the software that you can choose include: Artcam, Cabinet vision, Typoe3 and Alphcam.

What Control Systems Should I Choose From?

To choose the control systems, you also need additional information. In this case, consider Mach, syntec, NK200, NK260 and nc-studio.

Final Verdict

I hope the information has been helpful and has offered you the assistance you needed. We have discussed different cnc routers for different needs and preferences. If you need a cnc router on a budget, or you want the one that will make your work easier as you learn or begin, then BobsCNC E4 is the best for you. This cnc router is also perfect for people with large projects. There are other routers you can consider.

Before finalizing the purchase, its also very imperative to check on user reviews on amazon and other sites. Make sure you read all the user comments and internalize all the complaints and prais.

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