A Computer Numerical Control, or CNC router for short, is the name for a computer-controlled cutting machine used for cutting a variety of materials including wood, glass, plastic, metals, and composites to produce carvings, signs, decorations, furniture, moldings, and other DIY products.
Whereas in the past these cutting movements would be guided by hand, with a CNC router they are instead guided by a computer guaranteeing precision and quality. Because the CNC router in operation directly correlates to the efficiency and quality of the product produced, it’s important that factories and producers find a good one.
To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 of the best CNC routers for you to choose from.
CNC Router Reviews
It provides powerful electro-spindle performance and rotary machining capability in a compact industrial machine. The V5 Series CNC routers have a full 6” Z travel capacity and a quiet but powerful 3HP electro-spindle with an upgraded liquid cooling system.
Each V5 machine is prewired to accept Axiom’s optional Rotary Kit. It comes with precision ball screws, prismatic guides, a robust steel frame, and an interlocking aluminum table. In addition, the integrated MDF spoil boards give you all the precision you need.
MDF spoil boards can easily be milled flat for a true perpendicular surface to the spindle. There is no need to attach your CNC router to your computer to operate it. Simply transfer your file to the handheld controller via a USB storage device. The handheld RichAuto controller is a powerful, lightweight, and easy-to-use controller with nearly a decade of proven results in demanding applications. Axiom Precision ARPro CNC Machine is available in three footprint options, 24” x 24”, 24” x 36”, and 24” x 48”.
- Heavy-duty interlocking aluminum table
- 4-AXIS ready with optional rotary kit accessory
- No computer needed
- Industrial quality
- Life support
- The professional industrial quality and life support come at a price. A very expensive model
- Heavy-duty interlocking aluminum table and MDF integrated spoil board provides rigidity and accuracy at an industrial level.
- 4-AXIS ready with optional rotary kit accessory.
- No computer required. Stand alone DSP RichAuto B18 controller performs all functions needed.
- Prismatic guides and precision ball screws on all axes allow for rapid movement on each axis while maintaining precise spindle placement.
- 6'' Z travel capacity and 3 HP ER-20 self-contained liquid cooled electro spindle for high power and extended run times.
The CNC Piranha FX is the base model CNC router produced by Next Wave Automation, but don’t be put off by its modest price tag. The CNC Piranha FX offers nearly all of the same features as some of the most expensive CNC routers on the market just in a smaller, slightly less rigid structure. If you’re working with softer materials or are looking for an entry-level product then the CNC Piranha FX ticks all the boxes whilst not breaking the bank. With a 12-inch by 18-inch table, this CNC router is perfect for precision engravings and smaller-scale projects and can neatly fit on the end of even a small workbench whilst still offering a good range of X, Y, and Z travel.
The CNC router is controlled by an impressive touch screen controller, best used with a stylus, and for those new to design and engraving, the CNC Piranha FX also comes with VCarve Desktop V8 Design Software which is compatible with Windows PC’s and a Vector Art-3-D Sampler Pack helping you get up and running straight away. Overall the CNC Piranha FX is a solid-looking piece of kit packing a small but mighty punch at a reasonable price and can be mastered relatively easily by complete CNC novices – definitely one to consider for those looking to take their projects to the next level.
- Great accuracy and detail
- Excellent software
- Once you learn the software it is loaded with unlimited possibilities
- Delivered fully assembled
- Durable and sturdy machine
- Horrible instructions that do not have setup info
- Router does not fit the collar
For students and beginners, BobsCNC E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit is an affordable CNC solution. Coming in pieces the BobsCNC E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit is self-assembled at home, taking most users a day or so to complete, this not only helps to keep the cost of the machine down but also teaches the new owner the inner workings of the machine which greatly benefits their understanding.
Despite being self-assembled, made of wood, and also being one of the most cost-effective CNC routers on the market, the E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit surpasses expectations when it comes to the rigidity of its casing and the quality of the work it can produce.
The E4 CNC router comes with the Dewalt 660 router and Arduino-based microprocessor and requires a connection with a computer that can be obtained through a USB connection.
With a 24-inch by 24-inch by 3-inch cutting area and a small 30-inch by 38-inch by 19-inch footprint the router is perfect for more petit beginner projects and will not take up too much space on a desk or workspace. If you’re looking for your first CNC router and like the idea of assembling your first machine yourself then the E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit is the machine for you and will teach you all you need to know about getting started with precision cutting.
- Rigid wooden frame
- Easy to assemble
- Low-quality proximity switches
- Basic programming knowledge required
- A rigid laser cut 5-Ply Baltic Birch frame with SG20U supported rail system.
- GT2 belt drive on X and Y-axis and Tr8 Acme Rod mounted with an ACME Nut on the Z-axis.
- NEMA 17 Stepper Motors and Home switches on all axes with a Self-Squaring Gantry.
- 3/4” MDF Spoil-board with 1/4-20 threaded inserts and includes the Makita RT0701C Variable Speed Router.
- Designed to use GRBL1.1 firmware on the Arduino Uno with repeatability of 0.002” to 0.004”.
Just remember to remove the module when using the spindle, please remove the module. It features a1G Capacity offline controller for you to control the CNC router without connecting to the computer. Featuring a new control board, an integrated driver chip, a fixed heat sink, an external fan all housed in a casing to extend the life of the machine. It also has self-contained short circuit protection.
It’s versatile and capable of cutting all types of plastics, woods, acrylics (suitable for spindle milling cutter engraving only), PVCs, and PCBs. MYSWEETY DIY CNC 3018 PRO-M can be used on a wide range of projects and materials.
The CNC router is compact enough that it can be placed wherever you want, such as in your garage and workshop. Assembly instructions are provided for easy assembly, and it comes with 12 months full warranty for your protection and peace of mind.
- Designed for the absolute beginner
- Offline controller
- New control board
- Versatile and capable of cutting all types of plastics, woods, acrylics
- Simple assembly
- ‘Software’ is a jump drive supposed to help me run the machine was corrupted
- Seriously underpowered so have to make so many passes to complete the project
- 🛠️【2-IN-1 CNC 3018 Pro】 - Designed for the absolute beginner, this machine is a great tool for starting CNC learning. It come with the spindle motor and 5.5W module on Z axis. If you use the spindle, please remove the module.
- 🛠️【Offline Controller】- The offline controller is 1G Capacity. You can control the CNC router without connecting to the computer. The CNC router can be placed wherever you want, such as garage and workshop.
- 🛠️【New Control Board】- Integrated driver chip + fixed heat sink + external fan + sturdy casing to extend the life of the control board, Self-contained short circuit protection, Not easy to damage. 12 Months Warranty.
- 🛠️【Versatile】- Capable of cutting all types of plastics, woods, acrylics(Only suitable for spindle milling cutter engraving), PVCs, and PCBs, the MYSWEETY can be used on a wide range of projects and materials.
- 🛠️【Simple Assembly】- Assembly instructions are provided, but if you get stuck, contact us with any questions that arise. Thank you!
An upgrade on the previous Cenoz CNC 3018 Pro 3-Axis PCB/PVC milling and engraving, and wood router engraver machine. It has a good-sized working area to engrave on plastics, soft aluminum, woods, acrylics, PVC, and PCB of 11.8 x 7 x 1.8 inches.
With intelligent software, the GRBL three-axis control board can be used on Win XP/Win7/Win8/Linux systems. It also supports offline control, with a controller to manually adjust X, Y, Z-axis without connecting to the computer and download files. The Cenoz Upgrade CNC 3018 Pro comes with the latest version control board and GRBL 3 axis control, more control, precision, and power.
Included are an integrated driver chip, external fan, and a fixed heat sink. Also, it also comes with an extension rod. It arrives with all of the components already positioned for quick and easy assembly and setup, only taking approximately 20 minutes to do so. And for any problems or questions, Cenoz has a 24/7 support team to provide professional help.
- Intelligent software
- Offline control way
- Latest control board
- Quick assembly version
- Easy to operate
- Supposedly intelligent software is difficult to understand
- Arrived with missing parts
- Quick assembly Version : All components of this 3018 pro cnc engraving machine no need to be positioned, which greatly reduces the time of assembly . It takes only about 20 minutes to complete assembly.
- Intelligent software: GRBL three-axis control board can be use on Win xp/Win7/Win8/Linux system ,reduce more operational problems .can engrave on plastics, soft aluminum, woods, acrylics, PVC, and PCB.
- Offline control way : Support offline controller , manually adjust X, Y, Z-axis without connecting to the computer and download files ,not only just a unique gift for your lover, family，friends ,but also satisfy your desire to create handicrafts perfectly .
- The latest control board : in order to meet most customers’ needs ,we upgrade the cnc milling machine , provide new version control board ,latest GRBL 3 axis control ,more power ,more precise , include Integrated Driver Chip + Fixed Heat Sink +External Fan +Sturdy .
- Any question welcome to contacting our professional team , we promise to solve your any issue in 24 hours .
For those on a budget or those who are just beginning their CNC journey then look no further than the BobsCNC E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit. The self-assembly aspect of this kit is a great way to learn more about how CNC routers work and at the end of it, you will have created a good quality machine from which to learn on.
The smaller cutting area and compact footprint of the BobsCNC E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit make it perfect for keeping in the house or in a garage space whilst its cutting area is still adequately sized for most starter projects. With rave reviews on Amazon and a great customer service team this CNC router is built to please and that’s why it receives our recommendation as the best CNC router for those on a budget.
For those looking for superior cutting quality or seeking to set up a CNC-based business, then the Axiom Precision AutoRoute 8 Pro+ is well worth the investment and tops our list as the best premier CNC router. With three footprint sizes available, the Axiom Precision AutoRoute 8 Pro+ can handle a wide variety of projects in a number of materials and has the capability to produce professional quality work.
Although it comes with a much higher price tag than the other CNC routers on our list, the Axiom Precision AutoRoute 8 Pro+ is built to last with a solid steel frame, liquid cooling system, and interlocking aluminum table and will be able to accommodate far more advanced projects.
Still not convinced you need a CNC router? Check out this video that shows a few of the many projects they can help you with: