Useful for automating carving, engraving, drilling, and milling on all kinds of different materials from wood to stone and from acrylic to aluminum, a CNC router is quickly becoming an important tool in many different workshops. While they’ve been a staple of professional woodworkers for some time now, they have been so useful they’ve even begun to find themselves in home workshops. For beginners, however, it can be confusing to determine which model is the best CNC router. There are a number of different models and some of these seem very similar to the untrained eye. And that’s why I’ve decided to hunt down the ten best CNC router models and list them below.
10. Beauty Star 1310 GRBL Control DIY Kit
More useful as a learning tool than a functional model, this machine is designed to be used for individual study and isn’t designed to be used for production. It’s also a model that requires self-assembly and a considerable amount of mechanical knowledge. With that being said, however, it’s still a tool that’s a good introduction to these machines and a useful research tool. It’s 9.8-inches by 9.8-inches by 10.6-inches in size, has a working area of 5.1-inches by 3.9-inches by 1.6-inches, and has a 1.7-inch spindle with a 775 motor. This model can be used with software that can be run on Window and Window 8 machines.
9. Taishi 3-Axis 3D Engraver 3040
This desktop engraving machine is designed to be used by individuals who may have a limited amount of space or have a limited budget. It’s a useful machine for cutting and engraving any number of different materials including wood, plastic, PVC, and acrylic. Which makes it useful for making signs, nameplates and bronzing plates. It uses Mach 3 software which is simple to use and can control the engraving process down to a fine detail. This model is simple to operate and can be controlled using a desktop computer. It also uses a stepping motor which makes the engraving process more precise.
8. Beauty Star 3018 DIY Router Kit GRBL-Control
This unit isn’t all that easy to assemble and is not intended for industrial grade production. However, if the user can get past these two things, this unit does have some attractive features. It contains ten cutters, an extension rod with ER11 collet and can be used with just about any Windows computer from XP to Windows 10, as well as Linux machines. While it doesn’t come with PCB processing software or Toolpath creation software, it does come with GRBL control software. It’s powered by a 775 spindle motor and a frame size of 33cm by 18cm by 4.5cm.
7. MySweety 3-Axis DIY Milling Machine
While this miniature unit has to be self-assembled and requires more than a basic knowledge of mechanics in order to do so, once assembled it’s easy-to-use and operate. It’s 9.8-inches by 9.8-inches by 10.6-inches, uses a 775 motor and has a 42mm diameter spindle. This model is ideal for hobby prototype building, for making artwork or for aircraft models and can cut plastic and engrave stainless steel. However, it’s not built to be used for industrial use. This model comes with all of the required components to build and an installation wrench.
6. Qiilu 1500 MW Laser Engraver
This model has a laser head that’s not only replaceable but is also cooled by a cooling fan so it can be used for longer periods of time. It can be connected to a computer and can be connected using Bluetooth. This engraver can engrave plastic, wood, bamboo, rubber and a variety of other materials, although it should be noted that it can’t carve metal or glass. This machine will work with Windows-based machines from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and can also be used with iPhone or Android devices as well. It’s a good unit for amateur use.
5. MySweety CNC Engraver Milling Machine
This easy-to-use machine has to be assembled by the user, but once that’s completed it is a system that can be used to engrave a wide variety of different materials including soft metals such as aluminum and copper, as well as materials such as wood, acrylic, and plastic. It’s GRBL control and can be used with Windows XP through Windows 10 and can even be used with Linux desktop systems. This model uses a 775 spindle motor, has an engraving area of 160x100x45mm and a professional T8 screw. All of this makes this a useful tool for hobby related projects.
4. MySweety DIY 3-Axis Engraving Kit
Designed more for amateur and hobby use, this machine is ideal for using to engrave or mill all kinds of different materials such as wood, PVC, PCB, plastic and acrylic surfaces. While it can’t be used for hard metals or gemstones and isn’t considered to be an industrial model, it is a good unit for learning how these type of routers work or for research purposes. This unit has a 775 spindle motor, a brack spindle chuck, and can be used with compatible Windows or Linux desktop systems. It also comes with a 10-piece set of bits.
3. MySweety DIY 1610 GRNL Milling Machine
The 1610 engraving unit is designed to engrave softer materials such as plastic, wood, acrylic, and PVC. It also has a 775 spindle motor, a T8 threaded stainless steel lead screw and double copper nuts that help to eliminate backlash. This system supports Windows and Linux desktop computers and has a frame size of 260x240x220mm. This unit comes not only with the machine but also comes with ten pieces PCB cutter and four set plates. While it doesn’t come with tool path creation or PBB processing software, GRBL software is included.
2. Beauty Star 2419 Router Kit
Equipped with ten mill engraving bits, but shipped without a laser module or limit switches, this router kit is designed to be used for amateur and DIY applications. Designed to engrave plastic, acrylic, wood and soft metals such as copper or aluminum, this product can be used for a number of different applications. This machine has a 775 spindle motor and supports Windows and Linux computers. Since this unit has to be assembled by the user, it’s an ideal machine for study or for research purposes and is not intended to handle heavy-duty or industrial jobs.
1. Bobs E3 CNC Engraver Kit
Equipped with a DeWalt DW660 router and an Arduino-based processor that uses GRBL and is connected through a USB connection, this system can be used for a variety of tasks and is designed to be compatible with desktop computer systems. This unit also has an SG20U supported rail system, a GT2 bet drive on X & Y axis and a rigid laser cut frame. This unit has a cutting area of 17.7-inches by 15.3-inches by 3.3-inches. While it has to be assembled by the user, it does offer enough power to do a variety of jobs and is a useful tool to own.