Do you deal with metals, plastics, wood, and other hard materials, and you frequently need cutting and shaping them for decoration? You will agree with me that cutting these materials using manual tools can be both tedious and time-consuming. You may also require many machines together in your workshop to perform various tasks. It will be not only expensive to buy but also need an extra workforce. A CNC router, however, can perform the functions of the spindle molder, panel saw, and boring machines all at once since it is computer-controlled. You can also use the tool to cut mortises and tenons, and this helps to increase your factory’s productivity.
Are you tired of producing inconsistent and poor-quality work? Do you also desire to reduce the frequency of errors, wastage of materials, and the time you take to complete your projects? Then look no further than a CNC router. There are various brands of this tool in the market, and you will, therefore, need to compare several of them before picking the best. Do you have all the time and resources to do a trial and error? I guess you don’t. But worry no more since we have done it for you and come up with six of the best of these tools. We will show you what to look for and the ideal tools. READ on and pick what suits your job by clicking on the links provided:
Factors to consider when buying a CNC Router
A CNC router helps you to cut materials and wood into various shapes for such as stair risers, doors, and table legs, among others. When selecting what is suitable for you, multiple factors need to be put into consideration, such as:
- The grade of the material
The grade of the material that you purchase plays a significant role in the selection of these tools. There are usually three grades to choose from that include performance, industrial, and hobby grades. The category will depend on the type and amount of work that the machine will do, the frequency of use, and the length of time the device will operate. If you are producing high volume heavy-duty work for a more extended period, then the industrial-grade is ideal. If you need to create low-volume, light-duty work irregularly, then a hobby-grade is what you need.
- The table size
The table size of a router determines the pieces that it can cut. If you need to cut large pieces such as stair risers, then a large and long table is ideal. The large table may also produce small and mid-size pieces in larger quantities. It is, therefore, to know the amount and size of work that you need to cut before purchasing this vital tool.
- The number of axes on the router
The number of axes that a router has played a significant role in determining the types and sizes of cuts it produces. If you need basic cuts, for example, then a three-axis router will be suitable. If, on the other hand, you need several complex cuts, then the axes should be at least five. It is, therefore, necessary for you to know what you are dealing with before purchasing the tool to avoid errors and extra cost.
- The production capacity
The production demand for your work is vital when it comes to choosing any tool, and a CNC router is not an exception. You need to know how much production you need both at present and in the prospective future. Remember, the capacity will determine the cost of the machine, and it is, therefore, advisable not to spend so much on what you may not require.
- The brand
Before purchasing this tool, you must look at the brand and know whether it will be easy to maintain the machine. You will also need to be sure of the availability of user manual, spare parts in case it breaks down. It is necessary to know whether you will get a technician to fix the tool if need be. Some brands offer you warranties on various aspects, which may be required when it comes to trusting the equipment.
- Your budget
Different brands will give varying prices for the same equipment. Since it is not necessarily true that costly equipment is the best, it is advisable to shop around and compare the different prices. You should negotiate with the sellers to get that which is within your budget but ensure it is the right quality. You may need to consult with others who have this equipment and get their views on the quality and functionality of their machines. Consulting may help you save on unnecessary costs and avoid making a mistake that somebody else made before you.
Top CNC routers in 2020 (Best Picks)
In a hurry? Check the bestseller top CNC routers from Amazon. Just check the product link, the details and price.
Summary of the six best CNC routers
Time is precious, and you need to spend it well. We understand that you may not have all the time and resources required to shop around and pick the best equipment. Though you know what to look for, it may not be possible to try various tools before choosing the perfect one. It is not only time consuming but practically impossible. It is for this reason that we have researched for you, tested and certified the best of these machines, and listed them. READ on:
Features / Benefits
Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181
Can attach to any workbench
Adjustable feather boards Has a dust collection port A 6 feet power cord and dual outlet switch
Has aluminum fence with MDF
Bosch 1617EVS Wood Router Tool kit – 12 Amp 2-1/4 Hp Fixed Base hand Router with ¼ inch and ½ inch C
12 amp Two ¼ Hp fixed base
Includes ¼ and ½ inch collets Adjustable Flexible speed control technology Long-lasting
Genmistu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit GRBL Control 3 Axis Plastic Acrylic PCB PVC Wood Carving milling Engraving Machine
Easy to assemble Improved working accuracy Raised base for better stability High performance, open-source software for movement control Can cut all plastics, soft aluminum, woods, etc
HQMaster CNC Router Bits
Works on several materials Highly efficient Used for carving, engraving, slotting, milling, etc
Ideal for 3dimensional sculpture, surface machining, 3D relief sculpturing
Bosch MRC23EVSK Combination Router – 15 Amp 2.3 Horsepower Corded Variable Speed Combination Plunge Speed Combination
Trigger control system Adjustable speed dial for matching speed to work
Router table compatibility Trigger control system
Dewalt Router Fixed /Plunge Base kit, Variable Speed, 12-Amp, 2-1/4-HP (DW618Pk)
12-amp electronic variable speed motor Includes ¼ -inch and ½-inch collets for improved flexibility and bit retention Flexible, tool-free steel motor cam lock for depth-adjustment Integral, through-the-column dust collection
Features & Specs of The Top CNC routers Of the Market!
1. Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181
The Bosch RA1181 router is a tabletop device that provides ample working space for accuracy and flexibility. It has a large aluminum top that makes it both portable and durable since it is lightweight. The tool fits several routers since it is adaptable and serves as an indispensable portion of any wood workshop. The device has a rigid aluminum plate that is pre-drilled for compatibility with various routers and for mounting the router. It has a 2 ½ inches dust collection port for maintaining a clean working environment.
The benchtop router table also features an aluminum fence that is tall and which has adjustable MDF faceplates, mounting hardware, an aluminum router plate, and two outfeed shims. The tool also includes a starter pin and a guard for routing curved workpieces and also has cord wrap that is built-in for secure storage.
- Two adjustable feather boards
- Attaches to any workbench
- Three mounting plate insert rings
- Includes a flexible clear guard
- A large aluminum top
- Extra-large aluminum fence
- Consists of a dust collection port
- Style: benchtop router table
- Material: clear-coated aluminum top
- Dimension: 27 inches by 18-inch work surface
- Max, throat opening: 3 5/8 inches
- Item weight: 30 pounds
- Voltage: 120 volts
Compatible with various routers!
2. Bosch 1617EVS Wood Router Tool Kit
The Bosch 1617EVS is a sturdy wood router that is capable of handling even the toughest routing jobs. It has a 12-amp motor and a 2.25-horsepower and an adjustable speed range of 8,000 to 25,000 RPM that makes its production rate very high. The adjustable speed makes it possible for you to set the optimum speed for each task and which will remain constant due to the continuous response circuitry that is in-built.
For secure and smooth handling and transition, the device has an integrated soft-start feature that reduces the torque upon startup. You will get an improved consistency and precision since the tool’s design lets you work with the switch and cord on the right and left. The device is durable due to its rugged aluminum base and housing. It also includes a one-year limited warranty, one-year service protection plan, as well as a thirty-day money-back guarantee hence giving you value for your money.
The adjustable kit has al, the necessary components for fixed-depth routing and micro-fine bit-depth regulation on the base with an overall range of one inch. It has an accuracy of up to 1/64 inches that allows you to accurately and quickly change. It’s precision centering structure allows for the bit centering with the sub-base or free template guides. It is easy to maintain the bit on required cutting-line when working with guideline devices such as jigs, dovetail fixtures, or templates.
- Powerful, variable-speed motor with soft start
- Powerful palm route at 12 amp
- Adjustable speed range of 8,000 to 25,000 RPM
- A variable speed dial to allow for setting the optimal speed of routing task
- Advanced speed control technology for maintaining desired consistency in RPM
- Rugged aluminum base and housing for durability
- Style: 2.25 HP variable speed router
- Power source: corded-electric
- Voltage: 127 volts
- Special features: fixed-base
- Item weight: 9.92 pounds
- Product dimension: 12.5 x 10.4 x8.1 inches
The perfect tool for maximum production!
3. Genmistu CNC 3018 – PRO Router kit GRBL Control 3 Axis Plastic Acrylic PCB Wood Carving Milling Engraving Machine
Genmistu is an ideal CNC router for beginners. You can use the tool to add features such as beautiful patterns and words. It can also help you to learn CNC if you are a student learning how to engrave models that you design and code. The tool is flexible; hence, you can use it to cut all types of plastics, soft aluminum, acrylics, PCBs woods, and PVCs. It has an adequate engraving depth of 1.8 inches, which makes it easy for us.
The Genmistu router has a SainSmart offline controller module that enables you to control it without having to link it to a computer; hence, you can place it anywhere, even the workshop or garage. The tool also comes with a fan and ABS case for improved stability and performance. A laser module is available for this device that helps an advanced CNC engraving enthusiast to unleash new creativity.
- Dependable and reliable
- Versatile and can cut several materials such as wood, plastic, PVCs and so on
- Easy to assemble and comes with instructions
- Can be controlled without connecting to the computer
- Laser module available
- Frame material: PF+ Aluminum
- Size of frame: 400 x 330 x 240 mm ( 15.7 x 13.0 x 9.4 inches )
- Z-axis component material: Nylon
- Rated power: 60 W
- Power supply: 24V/5A
- Supported OS: Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
4. HQMaster CNC Router-Bits, 1/8 Router Bit, 1 8 End Mill
HQMaster CNC router has a wide application that includes cutting, engraving, carving, slotting, milling, and sculpturing. It can be used on various materials, including ABS, PVC, MDF, nylon acrylic, plastics, density board, wood, among others. The tool is suitable for 3-dimensional sculpture, 3D relief sculpturing, and surface machining. The tool is highly efficient since it has a design of two flutes, smooth cutting, and fast chip-removal.
The device has an ample spiral chip space that makes non-stick crumbs. It has high precision, durable, and does not easily break. The tool does not produce smoke, and it is burr-free while processing. The bits are well packed in a plastic bag for secure storage.
- Highly efficient
- Perfect cutting
- Ideal for wood, aluminum, and other materials
- Easy to install
- Used for engraving, woodcutting, carving, etc
- Durable and not easy to break
- Material type: solid carbide
- Item weight: 1.6 ounces
- Package dimension: 2.3 x 2.2 x 0.5 inches
- Sizes: 2 flute 3.175 x 17 x 38.5 mm
- Color: silver
- Shape: straight and spiral
A perfect for various uses!
5. Bosch MRC23EVSK Combination Router – n15 Amp 12.3 Horsepower Corded Variable Speed
The Bosch MRC23EVSK is a superior set-up with a fixed base and a plunge base for the MR23EVS router. You will be able to control the series using the trigger-control system that has a power switch available in both fixed-base and plunge bases handle. The adjustable speed-dial allows you to set the right speed for the task. It has ergonomic, contoured soft-grip handles, which makes it possible to control and use comfortably throughout the day.
You will be able to adjust the bit-depth at any plunge setting since the device features after lock micro-fine bit-depth control. The tool also has an adjustable turret stop that makes it easy to set any depth for multi-pass functions. It has a precision-centering structure that allows the bit to be placed at the center with the sub-base. The router can cut through even the toughest routing jobs due to its beefy 2.3 horsepower, variable speed range of 10,000 to 25,000 rpm, and 15-amp motor.
- Powerful variable-speed
- Stable and smooth
- The electronic modular router system
- Outstanding operator control
- Trigger control system
- Constant response circuitry for delivery of constant speed
- Style: 2.3 HP combination router
- Power source: corded-electric
- Product dimension: 22.7 x 15.2 x 9.8
- Voltage: 120 volts
- Item weight: 25.8 pounds
- Special feature: plunge
An all-round tool for multiple tasks!
6. Dewalt Router Fixed /Plunge Base Kit, Variable Speed, 12,-Amp, 2-1/4-HP (DW618PK)
This tool features a 12-amp adjustable-speed, soft start motor. The plunge-base router combo kit has smart structured features that make it easy for routing. It has an integrated dust control that keeps the working area clean and improves the visibility of the cut line. The machine has a comfortable, secure base and bit changes that offer maximum bit visibility and durability. It also has a dust-sealed switch that protects it from dust ingestion hence ensuring the strength of the tool.
- Built for consistency and durability
- Quick, secure base and bit changes
- Powerful and accurate with adjustable-speed control
- Lexan sub-base for optimum bit visibility and durability
- Comfortable function with integrated dust control
- Style: Router kit
- Item weight: 22.5 pounds
- Product dimension: 15.9 x 24 x 9.1 inches
- Voltage: 120 volts
- Power source: corded-electric
- Horsepower: 2.25
Frequently asked about CNC routers
There are several questions that technology- enthusiasts ask before purchasing or using CNC routers. You may also be having the same questions as others, and we have therefore sampled the FAQs and provide you with the answer. We believe they will be of help to you as well. Continue reading:
Q. What is a CNC router?
A CNC (Computer Numerical Control) router is a cutting device that is computer-controlled. It is used for cutting wood, metals and other hard materials and shapes them for decorations. It makes work more comfortable since it can combine the functions of several different devices.
Which is the best CNC router?
The best router depends on what you want, for example, the quantity of your production. The length of time that you are using it, as well as your budget, are also necessary. We have however, compiled a list of six machines that we feel are ideal and that pass the test of time.
Q. How can I use a CNC router?
The device can use computer numeric control that routes the tool paths hence enabling it to function. The machines come with a user manual that helps you to operate them with ease and quickly. They help you to increase productivity, save on time, and reduce wastage. You will be able to produce large quantities of time within a shorter period than when you use other machines.
Q. what are the advantages of using a CNC router?
A CNC router has many benefits to the user that include reduction of wastage and errors in your work, creating flexibility in manufacturing and increasing productivity within a given period. The tool also increases the safety of the user and enables you to perform complex tasks with the correct details.
Q. Can I cut metals using CNC routers?
Though this tool is mostly used in cutting wood, it can also cut several other materials, including metals such as aluminum and other non-ferrous metals. However, the grade of the tool is crucial in determining the quantity of production and functioning of the machine.
How to operate a CNC router for beginners
If you are a design enthusiast and you love delivering quality products on time, then you have to embrace technology. With a CNC router, you will be able to cut materials such as wood and metals easily and engrave the patterns you want, hence produce fabulous items such as tables, chairs, and so on. You will also be able to work for long without getting fatigued, therefore produce more items within a short period. A CNC router helps to minimize wastage and errors and also enables you to take your skills a notch higher.
With the advancement in technology, you need to impress your clients by producing the most magnificent items that pass the test of time. If you must be on top of your competitors with innovation, then this tool is a must-have. You will need to buy what is comfortable and adequate for your work. Choose what suits your needs, and you won’t regret it!