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:
Best CNC Router for Woodworking Comparison Table
|BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included (16" x 18" cutting area and 3.3" Z travel)||Buy On Amazon|
|CNC Piranha FX||Buy On Amazon|
|Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit GRBL Control 3 Axis Plastic Acrylic PCB PVC Wood Carving Milling Engraving Machine, XYZ Working Area 300x180x45mm||Buy On Amazon|
|JFT 3040 3 Axis +Usb Port+mach 3 +1.5kw Cnc wood router metal stone milling Machine||Buy On Amazon|
|CNC Piranha FX||Buy On Amazon|
|BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included (24" x 24" cutting area and 3.3" of Z travel)||Buy On Amazon|
|VEVOR CNC Machine 3020 CNC Router 3 Axis CNC Router Engraver Machine 300W CNC Router Engraving Drilling Milling Machine MACH3 with Usb Port for DIY Artwork （3 Axis,300x200mm,300W）||Buy On Amazon|
|CNC Machine, MYSWEETY Upgrade Version CNC 3018 Pro GRBL Control DIY Mini CNC Machine, 3 Axis Pcb Milling Machine, Wood Router Engraver with Offline Controller, with ER11 and 5mm Extension Rod||Buy On Amazon|
|CNC Router Machine 4040-XE, 300W Spindle 3-Axis Engraving Milling Machine for Wood Metal Acrylic MDF Nylon Carving Cutting Arts and Crafts DIY Design||Buy On Amazon|
|CNCEST USB ER20 4AXIS 2.2KW 6090 CNC Router Metal Engraver Milling Drilling Machine VFD Ball Screws 3D Spindle Carving Drilling Machine 110V For Wood Working Cutting Mill PCB Badges Bronzing Plate||Buy On Amazon|
|JFT 6040 CNC wood router 3 Axis +Usb Port +Mach 3 woodworking cnc machine (800w +3 axis)||Buy On Amazon|
Best CNC Router for Woodworking Buyer’s Guide
In this section, I’ll pay close attention to different aspects of the CNC router machine that you need to know even as you prepare to acquire one for your projects.
Why You Need the Best CNC Router for Woodworking
- Easy to use. These units have an efficient operating system that allows you to operate with ease. Additionally, the operating dials are conveniently located for easy access.
- Multifunctional. You can use these machines for various woodworking activities such as milling and drilling.
- Reduced waste work. Unlike the standard routers, these machines have a computerized operating system that allows for maximum work output due to high precision.
- Safe for use. The CNCs are safe for use since they distance you from their cutting mechanisms, creating a safer working environment. For this reason, large companies will require less workforce resulting in fewer production losses.
- Increased production capacity. With these machines, you rest assured of increased production rates due to the fewer waste pieces and the topnotch efficiency. It’s even better if you go for the industrial CNC routers with large cutting tables.
- Excellent repeatability. Since these units are computer-controlled, you can use them to produce hundreds or thousands of similar pieces. Therefore, they are the ultimate choice for companies that need a high value of quality assurance.
- Large cutting field. The CNC routers can handle a very large workpiece, thanks to their large working space. Even better, you can use these machines for either small or large cutting jobs.
- Precision and accuracy. With these units, you rest assured of precision and accuracy, unlike the standard routers that require handheld operations.
Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best CNC router for woodworking
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 router can handle, therefore, understand your need for the router before settling for one.
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 the 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 a 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.
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
The first thing you need to consider before purchasing a CNC router is the input voltage that it consumes. Most of them use the 240V input supply. However, it can be more convenient if you had the one that can use both 110V and 220V.
For the case of power, you also have to check on the motor type and spindle. Doing this will ensure that you choose a machine with high performance.
Maximum Moving and Spindle Speed
You won’t want to go for the machine with a slower moving or spindle speed for efficient operation. It even becomes of more concern for large industries that require high production rates. Due to different manufacturing companies, you’ll find different CNC routers with different operating moving and spindle speeds. The standard operating speeds are around 2000 mm/min for moving speed and 10000 for spindle speed.
Installing, Debugging, and Setting up a CNC router Machine.
Before you can use the CNC router, you need to know how to set it up, install, and debug. The following steps show the straightforward way of doing it.
Step 1: Setup the machine frame
After unpacking your machine and ensuring that everything is intact, gently place it on the base with the four feet. You can now adjust the feet to ensure that they evenly balance the floor or your work surface. After this, you can remove the outer cover and clean the anti-rust oil on the lead screw and guide rail. You’ll require an anti silk cloth with kerosene or gasoline for the cleaning.
Besides, remember to add lubricants to all the motion mechanisms, including the lead screw and the guide rail. When you’re done, set up the outer cover, then ground the machine’s frame.
Step 2: Install CNC router accessories.
In this step, you’ll have to install the cooling water tank of the spindle motor then connect it to the cooling pipe. But it would be nice to use soft water for cooling. Afterward, install the workpiece cooling system, then using a water pipe, connect the coolant tank to the water outlet.
Besides, don’t forget to connect the upper water pipe. Next, if you have an applicable workpiece coolant, add it to the workpiece coolant box. The last step is connecting the lock and signal line of the tool setting instrument to the interface of the tool setting instrument.
Step 3: Setup the electrical control cabinet
Before taking any other step, ensure you set up a ground control cabinet. After that, use a control cable to connect and lock any input interface of your machine with the corresponding output of the electrical control cabinet.
The next step is using a control cable to connect the electrical control cabinet to the control computer. You shouldn’t forget to lock it up with screws, though.
With a control cable, ensure you connect and lock the interface between the electrical control cabinet and the operation keyboard. Finally, connect the power cable to a 220V power supply with the power switch turned off.
Step 4: Install CNC control system and software
With the control computer turned on, carefully install the attached control system of the CNC router.
Step 5: Equipment debugging and trial operation
Here, you’ll start by checking whether you made all the connections correctly, then power the machine warming it up for at least 10 minutes.
Check whether the movement mechanisms are well functioning by operating the keyboard. Finally, run an idle test while lubricating the moving parts.
Best CNC Router for Woodworking Products Reviews
Let’s look at the individual products, their top features, advantages, and disadvantages that come with the use of each product for different woodworking projects.
1. BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included
The BobsCNC E3 CNC Router has a reputation for performance and remains arguably the best CNC router for woodworking. This router for woodworking comes with a large footprint, which allows it to do excellent carving. 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 router is the ease of use. Even 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 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.
- 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.
- You have to buy the software separately.
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 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 strong built with metals to enhance its durability.
- 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.
- You have to buy the router separately
- It cannot handle hard metals
- Its software is not compatible with the Mac series.
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, PVCs, acrylics, plus PCBs.
This particular Genmitsu is the best CNC router for woodworking if you are looking for 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 in 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.
- You can use it to engrave different materials like plastic, wood, acrylic, PVC, etc.
- It is easy to use even for learners in woodworking and other carving projects.
- The tool gives room for trying new creative ideas and carvings.
- You can control it offline.
- Some users complained of elements of inaccuracy.
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 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.
- It’s heavy
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.
- 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.
- Not functional with mac
- It is less stable without clamping.
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 the 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.
- 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.
- It’s expensive
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 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
- Its features are optimized for engraving
- The tool comes with an aluminum and dust-proof working area
- It boasts of a powerful and fast motor
- The machines are software-driven for optimal control.
- You have to buy a software license separately.
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 tool is affordable
- It’s great for small projects
- It has a standard software package
- The tool is easy to assemble.
- Not great for big projects
9. FoxAlien CNC Router Machine 4040-XE
For the best experience with CNC routers, you’ll want to choose the one that produces more power. With this in mind, I recommend going for the FoxAlien CNC Router Machine 4040-XE. This machine uses the NEMA23 stepper motors and 300W spindle to produce immense power. With such features, the 4040-XE reaches a maximum speed of 2000mm/min with a spindle range between 0 to 10000.
Not only that, the unit comes with its control board, emergency stop, power supply, and wires well integrated into a newly designed box. As a result, the box is safe, easy to clean, and simple to operate. You’ll also find a convenient 3.5” touchscreen LCD to use as an offline controller.
With an extended engravable area, you can comfortably work on both small and large materials. The machine is also compatible with GRBL control software, and you can fully assemble it in only 15 to 30 minutes.
- It has well-labeled wires for fast connections.
- This machine is compatible with the GRBL control software.
- The controller has a large 3.5” touchscreen LCD.
- It has a maximum moving speed of up to 2000 mm/min.
- The spindle speed ranges between 0-10000.
- It uses a 300W spindle and NEMA23 stepper motors.
- The assembly time takes between 15 to 30 minutes.
- It comes with the main parts pre-assembled.
- You can use it for cutting, drilling, and engraving.
- Its simple to operate, clean, and safe for use.
- The maximum operating speed is only 2000 mm/min.
10. CNCEST USB ER20 4AXIS 2.2KW 6090 CNC Router
With its unique design, including the new 2.2KW water-cooled VFD, the CNCEST USB ER20 4AXIS 2.2KW 6090 is indeed the best CNC router for woodworking. Additionally, the VFD water cooler operates for a longer time, reinforcing the processing ability of your machine. Therefore, you can use it for engraving on aluminum alloy and hardwood materials.
The 6090 also has a user-friendly design that includes high-quality, accurate ball screws drive, making the engraving more precise. The machine also features a water cooling spindle which works more stable and durable.
What makes this item stand out is how you can use it for industrial woodworking applications. Some of the applications include sculpture, wooden handicraft processing, round carving, and many more. You can also use it for making advertising signs such as logo making, cutting acrylic, plastic molding, and other advertising decorative products.
Summary of the key features
- It has the new 2.2KW water-cooled VFD system.
- The machine has a rugged accurate ball screws drive.
- There is a water cooling spindle.
- You can use it for industrial woodworking applications.
- This item has an anti-back flash high precision mechanism.
- It has a user-friendly design.
- You can use it for other industries apart from woodworking.
- It has a large engravable area.
- The machine is more stable and durable.
- It’s easy to use.
- You can get quality services within 24 hours if you encounter any problem.
- It’s a drilling and milling machine.
- It produces only 2.2 KW of power.
11. JFT 6040 CNC wood router
The JFT 6040 CNC wood router has various applications, including industry, advertising design, art creation, student projects, teaching, technology research, and hobby purposes. Not forgetting, it works with various materials, including wood, plastic, PVC, aluminum, copper, rubber, double face board, stainless steel, and many more.
What’s fantastic about this unit is its large working area that measures 840x480x20mm. As a result, the 6040 has a maximum operating speed ranging from 0 to 24000 rpm. Additionally, the maximum feeding speed is 4000 mm/min, increasing its capability.
That’s not all, the JFT 6040 CNC wood router has a maximum carving speed that ranges from 50 to 3000 mm/min. With a water-cooled cooling system, your machine will operate effectively without overheating. The unique thing about this item is how it uses either 220V or 110V input voltage.
Summary of the key features.
- It has a maximum operating speed of 24000 rpm.
- The maximum feeding speed is 4000 mm/min.
- This machine has a carving speed ranging between 50 to 3000 mm/min.
- It has a USB port for Mach 3 software.
- The Z-axis travel is up to 100mm.
- You’ll experience no trouble in the operation process.
- It has an accuracy of 0.02-0.03mm.
- It’s suitable for industry, technology research, and many more.
- The item uses an input voltage of 220V or 110V.
- The X, Y, Z axes have a working travel of only 400x600x100mm.
We have so many routers for woodworking. CNC wood routers, for example, are computerized 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 in 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!