8 Best CNC Router for Woodworking- Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Computer Numerical Control abbreviated as CNC refers to a method for automation of 3-dimensional cutting as well as milling processes. Using the best CNC router for woodworking allows you to produce factory-class work in your woodworking store.

Since CNC routers use a computer and software for a predetermined wood cutting procedure, it produces a reliable and precise final product. This tool is flexible as it is functional on several structures such as wood, foam, plastics, plus other materials to generate decorations, carvings, panels, signboards, frames, furniture, and a lot more.

If you are looking to buy a CNC router for woodworking, we have a breakdown of the very best routers you can find on the market today:

1. BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included

The BobsCNC E3 CNC Router has a reputation for performance and remains as arguably the best CNC router for woodworking. This router for woodworking comes with a large footprint, which allows it to do an excellent carving. The assembling of this tool is an easy one; the machine is light in weight, looks elegant, and above all comes in a durable design that carves and cuts the wood with ease.

What’s more impressive about this tool is the ease of use. Even the beginners in the woodworking industry will always find it easy to use this tool. You can control it with the Arduino microprocessor that runs GRBL motion control. You should connect this router to your laptop so that you can operate it. The good thing is that this router is compatible with operating systems such as Windows, OSX, Linux as well as Raspberry Pi.

BobsCNC E3 Router for woodworking is built using solid wood, an environmentally friendly wood. It has a rigid laser cut frame that makes it durable and sturdy. Besides, this router has a cutting head and gantry that operates on a popular rail system supported by SG20U bearing a GT2 Belt drive. Pricewise, it is one of the affordable routers out there.

The Summary of Top Features

  • Has Laser Cut Plywood Frame: It is among the most impressive of many features of the router. This tool is a product of Baltic birch plywood, which has a reputation for exceptional performance on the furniture. The frame is excellent for individuals who’d love to customize their router for the creation of decorative patterns.
  • The tool has an SG20U Supported Rail System: This device comes with a rail system that runs on the SG20U with a GT2 belt drive. The rail system allows for the effective performance of the cutting head and gantry of the router; you will realize that the system is handy, especially when you are carving or cutting the materials.
  • Availability of DW660 Router: This tool has a DEWALT router, which is perfect for CNC work. It comes with a control system thanks to its Arduino-based Microprocessor. Its powerful motor can cut hard materials with so much ease.
  • Portability: The device is portable, thanks to its lightweight. It weighs up to 26 pounds when assembled, which makes it easy to move from place to place.

Image of BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Kit, the best CNC router for woodworking

The Advantages

  • It comes with a user-friendly structure that provides a great working capacity for wood cutting and carving tasks.
  • The device supports so many operating systems such as Windows, Linux, OSX, and Raspberry Pi.
  • Assembling of the router is quite an easy one.
  • BobsCNC E3 comes with a laser-cut plywood frame, which is excellent on new designs.

Disadvantages 

  • You have to buy the software separately.
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2. CNC Piranha FX

CNC Piranha FX router is a beast for its size. When you buy it, you get a 12”x18” work table as well as a color touch screen and that’s why we consider it as the best CNC router for woodworking on projects such as plaques, carvings and other more.

With this router in your workshop, you can work with wood, plastics, plus soft metals and costs less, unlike the full-scale CNC machines.

This machine has a 3D carving ability with a 3D library, which allows the users to cut out different shapes and engravings effortlessly. The device gives you outstanding accuracy that can engrave customized circuit boards too.

One more thing, this compact CNC router is easy to mount on one end of the bench as it accords the user enough room for creativity.

Additionally, the CNC Piranha FX has the VCarve Desktop V8 Design software tagged along, and you can run the software on a computer to come up with the right designs for your woodworking projects.

The Summary of Top Features

  • You can store your programs on a USB drive, which you can connect to the machine for your model designs. This feature is great, especially if you are looking to keep your computer away from the working station.
  • This machine is equipped with a slotted table track created using aluminum, which allows for interlocking for easy customization of clamping.
  • It has a Vector Art 3D Sampler Pack for the smooth functioning of the machine.
  • The tool has a strong built with metals to enhance its durability.

The Advantages 

  • The tool comes with a color touch screen.
  • It has a designing program included
  • You can operate it using a USB drive.
  • In the package, you get a pendant and controller included
  • Even amateurs can use this device.
  • The customer’s support from manufacturers is one of the best.

Disadvantages

  • You have to buy the router separately
  • It cannot handle hard metals
  • Its software is not compatible with the Mac series.
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3. Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit 

It is an excellent router for woodworking that comes with nice user-friendly features. Even if you are a beginner in the usage of these tools, you will find this device an easy one to use for your wood carvings and other exquisite patterns. With this router, you can cut different materials such as plastic, wood, soft aluminum, PVC’s, acrylics, plus PCB’s.

This particular Genmitsu is the best CNC router for woodworking if you are looking for the one with more self-teaching features for easy performance on your DIY projects. The precision and efficiency that you get from this device allow you to work without causing any damage to the equipment. You get the flexibility of controlling the CNC router using the SainSmart offline controller module, which does not even demand that you connect it with a computer.

Furthermore, upon purchasing this tool, you will find items such as Extension Rod with ER11 Collet, 10 CNC Router Bits, 4 Plate Clamps, and an offline control module tagged along. This Genmitsu CNC Router supports all the windows OS such as Windows 7/8/10 on your computer.

 

The Summary of Top Features

  • It comes with an offline control which comes handy, especially when you are not in a position to connect your router with a computer, you get to continue your working through the SainSmart offline control.
  • Its mainboard got redesigned with the inclusion of the ABS case and fan. This newly designed mainboard is an improvement of the previous versions and does excellent in wood carving.
  • The router has Arduino and GRBL open sources which support the router when trying new ideas. 
  • It has a provision for the addition of a laser module kit for engraving the material to meet the design that you need; it gives room for your creativity.

The Advantages 

  • You can use it to engrave different materials like plastic, wood, acrylic, PVC, etc.
  • It is easy to use even for the learners in woodworking and other carving projects.
  • The tool gives room for trying new creative ideas and carvings.
  • You can control it offline.

Disadvantages

  • Some users complained of elements of inaccuracy.
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4. JFT 3040 3 Axis +Usb Port+mach 3 +1.5kw Cnc wood router metal stone milling Machine

The JFT 3040 is a Chinese product; it guarantees you industrial-grade features such as all-metal construction, 11.8 x 15.74 x 3.5 inches of XYZ travel, and a 22 x 14-inch work bed. When you buy this machine, you get a 110-volt water-cooled device with the ability to handle long, extended work effectively.

This 3040 wood router comes with a powerful and reliable two-phase stepper motor that generates a torque of .59 NM. The spindle rotates at a speed of up to 24000 RPM. It can engrave at a speed range of 2-137 inches each minute. It has separate housing containing a control unit that can operate on different kinds of software, among them the ArtCAM, CopperCAM, etc.

What makes this tool the best CNC router for woodworking and stands above the rest is its utilitarian appearance plus its massive construction. This tool has a hard aluminum gantry and 16mm ball screw that can stand industrial usage.

Its operation might not be straight as you need to learn or two things, but as soon as you get it up and running, this machine is a quiet one.

 

The Summary of Top Features

  • It comes with a new beautiful exterior design.
  • The Z-axis of this tool can travel up to 90mm, which allows you to carve large objects.
  • This tool comes with a new 3.5A high current stepping motor, top speed stability with the XYZ axis having an arranged travel limit switch to avoid possible operational problems.
  • The tool comes with a USB Port +Mach 3 +1.5Kw+3 Axis and is certified for European use as well.

The Advantages

  • The tool has a heavy construction
  • It is rigid and stable
  • The machine comes with a water-cooled operation
  • It works well with many operating systems.

Disadvantages

  • It’s heavy
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5. Next Wave Automation CNC Piranha XL

The CNC Piranha XL has more features to offer you as a woodworker as compared to what you can get from other routers. Its functionalities are more or less the same as those of the CNC Shark HD, though it is available at a much lower price.

This tool comes with a touchscreen controller plus auto-edge and auto-sensing features. Besides, it has a Virtual Zero workpiece mapping software, a Vector Art 3D software, and a VCarve Desktop V9.0packages. This tool comes with XYZ travel dimensions of 12 x 24 x 4 inches. It gives you the freedom to run Dewalt, Bosch, Porter-Cable, and many other similar palm-style routers for woodworking. Much as this router can work on almost every material, it works best on wood, and it does not necessarily need you to attach a computer to it. What’s impressive about this device is that it gives you the flexibility to design a project, save it on a flash disk, plug it on the machine and run it.

One more thing, this tool is already assembled and weighs just about At 75 pounds, which improves its stability with some level of portability. Operating this machine is not complicated. It is a plug and plays with some adjustments as needed.

Note: This tool is highly accurate if the device is positioned level and clamped.

Also, we recommend this tool for first-time users.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It has a color touch screen
  • You can operate this machine through a USB drive
  • Its portability is fair
  • The tool can work on several materials
  • You get it assembled already.

Advantages

  • It’s impressive for its price
  • Comes with a color touch screen
  • It’s a product of the USA, which makes it a reliable tool.

Disadvantages

  • Not functional with mac
  • It is less stable without clamping.
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6. BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included

It is the best CNC router for woodworking if you are looking for one for both commercial and professional usage. It’s a tool that comes with ample working space, and that’s what separates it from the rest of routers for woodworking.

The dimension of this router is 61 x 61 x 8.5 centimeters, which is why it cuts as the largest CNC router you can buy on the market today. This large working area allows you to handle several woodworking projects.

It can produce up to 600 watts of power, thereby handling some of the toughest professional woodworking projects.

This tool is constructed by the use of sturdy materials that increases its stability. Above all, the frame is a product of many laser-cut durable materials.

It is a top-rated device that uses the GT2 belt drive on its two axes, the X and Y. Furthermore, the device is supported by the SG20U rails system. These two features together increase the precision and efficiency of wood cutting and carving.

 

The Summary of Top Features

  • It is a spacious tool that gives room for the completion of several projects.
  • Generates up to 600 watts of power which is sufficient for large projects
  • The GT2 belt and SG20U rail system improves the precision of the tool
  • It’s a perfect financial tool.

The Advantages

  • It comes with a large if you are working on professional projects.
  • This tool generates high power for challenging tasks.
  • It’s a sturdy device thanks to its laser-cut frames.

Disadvantages

  • It’s expensive
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7. VEVOR CNC Router 3020 3 Axis CNC Router Machine

If engraving is your thing, then this tool is all that you need as it will complement your skill best. Vevor 3020T remains as one of the best CNC routers for woodworking, especially when it comes to engraving the soft materials such as wood, PVC, as well as PCB.

This device has 3 axes that are constructed by the use of trapezoidal screws together with hard shafts chrome-plate, features that optimize the router for plane engraving.

What’s more about this tool is that it has a working area created using aluminum plus a dust-proof plate which is easy to clean and last longer for extended service.

One other thing about this tool is its precision, which is facilitated by the powerful 300-watt motor, with a speed of up to 8,000 r/min.

For the control of this router, you need to use a desktop computer.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It uses the Mach3 control software
  • Has a working area of 22 x 42.5 x 1.5 centimeters
  • Its spindle Motor generates up to 300 watts
  • The spindle speed of this tool is 8,000 r/min
  • It has an aluminum frame material

The Advantages

  • Its features are optimized for engraving
  • The tool comes with aluminum and dust-proof working area
  • It boasts of a powerful and fast motor
  • The machines are software-driven for optimal control.

Disadvantages

  • You have to buy a software license separately.
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8. Upgrade Version CNC 3018 Pro GRBL Control DIY Mini CNC Machine

If you are working on a budget, then you need the MySweety 1610, this is the best CNC router for woodworking that will serve you well without having to dig so deep into your pockets. It is ideal for starters who are looking to do some wood projects like carving and cuttings.

With this tool, you get a great working space of 16 x 10 x 4.5 cm; this is a space enough to handle small projects like decorations on boards, plastic, foam, as well as many other materials.

It gives you a spindle speed of 7,000 r/min and does the work with a lot of precision.

 

The Summary of Top Features

  • The tool uses the GRBL standard design software; this program is easy to understand and has users all over, there are many forums of similar users where you can join for more insights when getting started.
  • This device is one of the easiest to set up as it comes with a detailed and easiest assembly guide.
  • Has an aluminum frame material
  • Comes with a spindle speed of 70000r/min

The Advantages

  • The tool is affordable
  • It’s great for small projects
  • It has a standard software package
  • The tool is easy to assemble.

Disadvantages

  • Not great for big projects
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Best CNC Router for Woodworking Buyer’s Guide

At this point, we have discussed some of the best CNC routers for woodworking that you can find out there. We have also discussed some of the benefits that come with these tools. Even so, you need to consider some essential factors so that you can land the best possible products, these factors include:

The material the Router can Handle

Routers are quite different, and each cut differently. Some routers can cut some materials that others cannot. The heavy-duty routers, for example, can cut more robust materials such as steel, the smaller ones can only cut through softer materials such as plastic and wood. In our reviews, we have indicated some of the materials that different wood routers can handle, therefore, understand your need for the router before settling for one.

The Spindle

The spindle of your router helps you determine the amount of horse speed you require for your woodworking projects. It will be a disaster if you buy a tool with a weak spindle for heavy-duty tasks. It might end up costing you a lot of money on constant replacement of the spindle.

Therefore, you need to ensure all the time that the CNC router that you buy has the right spindle options that will suit your types of projects. Soft materials need soft spindle.

Ensure that all components of your spindle works, the cooling system, for example, should work effectively to prolong the life of your device.

A water-cooling spindle, for instance, uses water for cooling purposes; they are usually very effective. If you have such a cooling system, you will need a water pump installed, which can be pretty much work.

As for the air cooling spindles, they blow cold air in to prevent the spindle from heating up. This cooling system does not need any added features like pumps.

The Availability of Spare Parts

The availability of spare parts of a CNC router is essential. Ensure that the router for woodworking that you are going to buy is readily available, and you can replace them as needed.

The Working Space

What size of projects are you going to handle? That’s another fundamental question that you need to ask yourself before buying one. If you are going to work on bigger projects, then you should go for the tool that will give you a larger working area.

The Price

Like you will notice from all our reviews, we stress so much about budgeting; you don’t have to buy a product that is too expensive for you. Go for tools that you know will leave you with financial comfort and still serve you in the best ways possible.

Conclusion

We have so many routers for woodworking. CNC wood routers, for example, are computerised and they make your projects more convenient especially if you get the right ones.

In this article, we have reviewed only the best CNC routers for wood that we know will serve you right. Our best overall product is the BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included.

We have also included crucial factors that you need to put into consideration before buying your wood router; we hope that you have found the information on this article helpful for your quest. You can let us know what you think about the information we have provided in the comment section below. In the meantime, enjoy your shopping!