10 Best CNC Router 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Disclaimer: All claims are strictly my personal opinion. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.

CNC Routers are very popular among hobbyists as well as professionals. A CNC router spindle can go up to 20,000 RPM – Much faster than typical CNC machines like CNC milling, engraving machine, etc.

A CNC router is good for softer materials like wood, PCB boards, PVC, soft aluminum sheets, while a CNC mill machine can deal with all kinds of metals, ferrous or no ferrous, special alloys like tools steel, die steel with precision and ease.

A CNC router is just a type of CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machine.


QUICK PICKS

Here are my recommended products picked out through amazon you would be interested in depending on your budget…

Best Value
BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included...
BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included...
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.

10 Best CNC Router Reviews

Either you are a hobbyist or a professional, then you know a CNC machine is not that cheap but worthy equipment in any shop. I have compiled a list of the best but cheaper CNC router machines available.

1. SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Router Machine | Best CNC Router and Laser Combo


  • Engraving Area: 260 x 155 x 35mm
  • Spindle: 775 motor, 10,000 RPM
  • Frame Size: 400 x 330 x 240mm
  • Rated Power: 60W
  • Power Supply: 24V/5A
  • Drill Bits: Tip of 0.1 mm, 20 degrees & Diameter 3.175 mm

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • All-aluminum body
  • Acrylic safety baffles
  • Durst controlled operation
  • Easy to control via finger tips
Things to Consider!
  • You may took a little to work out the software

Overview

SainSmart Genmitsu 3018-PROVer got great safety features like emergency stop, end stop. The body is made of Aluminum.

Acrylic CNC Enclosure will save your extra cost for a dust collector. The operating noise is very low due to this Acrylic enclosure.

The best part is the support is very good, and these guys are professional users as well. The video guide will help you to explain the process in an easy manner.

SainSmart Genmitsu 3018-PROVer is the latest version of the 3018 Desktop CNC kit series.

Overall an amazing DIYer machine to explore CNC and Gcode.

What’s My Take…

SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Router Machine is the best when it comes to laser engraving. This is a great choice if you are a DIY or owns a CNC for a small shop. It is beginner-friendly, and one can operate it on fingertips. The dust collection system adds value to it. The body is solidly built using aluminum alloy.


2. VEVOR 3 Axis CNC Router Kit for Small Shop


  • Working area: 750mm x 480mm x 15mm
  • Spindle: 24000 RPM
  • Frame material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Maximum workpiece size: 750mm * 480mm
  • Maximum thickness of material: 100mm

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Powerful CNC router
  • 3 rotating axis
  • aluminum dust-proof plate
Things to Consider!
  • A bit costly than others

Overview

VEVOR 3 Axis CNC Router Kit is s a complete package for your small shop.

You can operate it via computer with all types of latest Windows operating system like Windows 2000, XP, Windows 7, and the Windows 10.

The aluminum backing plate makes it easy to clean, and also it helps to control the dust in your shop.

It has a wide working table dimension (750mm*480mm*15mm) that allows you to deal with the big workpiece.

It has a total power of 1000W that makes it different from others on the list.

What’s My Take…

VEVOR 3 Axis CNC Router kit is not exclusive to a dedicated project but a handy CNC machine for a small shop. It can handle big workpieces efficiently. The best part is it is much more powerful, which means it can also deal with soft aluminum.


3. Mophorn CNC 3 Axis DIY CNC Router


  • Working area: 16x10x4cm
  • Spindle speed: 10000 rpm
  • Frame material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Input Power: DC 24V
  • Gross Weight: 13.6 lbs

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Premium quality CNC machine
  • Very easy to use
  • Very High Performance
Things to Consider!
  • No any to mention

Overview

Mophorn CNC 3 Axis CNC Router Kit covers a wide range of material that makes it a perfect recipe for a small shop. It can deal with soft Aluminum, wood, Acrylics, PVC, and, you know, any soft material.

It has Three 42 stepper motors that help to give a precise engraving.

It is a wide three-axis CNC router kit with a spindle speed of up to 10.000 r/min.

It has a multifunctional offline controller that helps to operate it without connecting to a computer.

What’s My Take…

Mophorn CNC 3 Axis CNC router is strong built using aluminum alloy. The best part I like is you can operate it offline means connecting to a PC or laptop. A wise working table can deal with big projects.


4. 3018 Pro CNC Router Kit with Offline Controller

  • Effective working area: 300x180x45mm
  • Spindle: 10000 RPM
  • Power Supply: 24V for 775 motor
  • Weight: 15.66 pounds
  • Supported System: Windows

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • It has a fixed heat sink & an external fan
  • It contains a Integrated driver chip
  • Professional support by manufacturer
  • It included SD card reader to write into root directory
Things to Consider!
  • You cannot use it on glass, jewlery.

Overview

The best feature of this router it can work continuously as it uses Grbl control(Candle) software. It has sufficient enough area to get your workpiece to get the required output.

You can operate it at Windows XP / Win 7 / Win 8 / Win 10.

It can deal with carve wood, bamboo hardwood, leather, plastic, acrylic, PCB, CCL.

You can manually adjust X, Y, Z, axis location as an engraving starting point.

What’s My Take…

3018 Pro CNC Router has the specialty to deal with precise PCB carving and engraving. If you are a DIYer, then you can safely invest in it and can deal with literally all the soft materials, including hardwood, aluminum sheets, etc.


5. MYSWEETY CNC 3018Pro Wood Router Engraver with Offline Controller

  • Working area: 30x18x4.5cm
  • Spindle: 12000 RPM
  • Power Supply:24V
  • Weight:23 pounds
  • Supported System: Windows

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Not easy to damage. 12 Months Warranty
  • It has a short circuit protection
  • It has high precision and high strength
Things to Consider!
  • Not any specific to mention.

Overview

This CNC router is of the Pro Max version. This has enough working area to deal with medium range workpiece. The spindle speed is 12,000 RPM that can finish the small jobs in a flash.

This is ideal if you have a small shop or home garage.

You can use it for Windows XP, Win 7, Win 8, and Win 10.

You will get all the instructions, and if got stuck, you will get free assistance from the manufacturer.

You may also like: 10 Best DIY CNC Routers Reviews 2021

What’s My Take…

MYSWEETY CNC 3018Pro is specially designed as a woodworking router. This wood engraver with an offline controller. The spindle speed is very fast and can do a job in a flash. If your project is not that heavy, then you can safely go for it.


6. MYSWEETY Wood Carving Engraving Machine | Simple DIY CNC Router

  • Working Area: 30 x 18 x 4.5cm
  • Spindle: 10,000 RPM
  • Power Supply: 24 Volts
  • Support system: Windows
  • Weight: 15.82 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • It is ideal for garage and workshop
  • It can cut plastics, woods, acrylics, PVCs, and PCBs
  • It has a 12 Months Warranty
Things to Consider!
  • Not any specific to mention

Overview

MYSWEETY Wood Carving Engraving Machine is an ideal guy in your workshop. This machine is designed for absolute beginners.

If you like to use it manually, then you can use it without connecting it to the computer.

You will get one year warranty. If you got stuck in between then, you could contact the manufacture.

What’s My Take…

This CNC router MYSWEETY is beginner friendly. The best one when it comes to the wood carving engraving. A one-year manufacturer warranty is enough to get confidence as a beginner.


7. CNC 3018PRO Wood Router Engraver with Offline Controller

  • Engraving area: 300 x 180 x 45 mm
  • Spindle: 10000 RPM
  • Power Supply: 24 Volts
  • Supported System: Windows
  • Weight: 2.99 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • You can directly import pictures to lasergrbl for engraving
  • No need to connect the computer.
  • Fixed Heat Sink & External Fan
Things to Consider!
  • No good for hard material

Overview

This can deal with most of a DIYers project as it has enough effective engraving area of 300 x 180 x 45 mm.

You can get any software related technical support.

You can use an offline controller but make sure you don’t use both online and offline simultaneously.

You can use it for wood, plastic, acrylic, soft metal like copper and aluminum.

What’s My Take…

This CNC 3018PRO wood router engraver comes with an offline controller. Make sure this is not designed to deal with harder materials like steel milling or engraving. Overall it is the best for small projects.

Read Also: Best Benchtop CNC Milling Machine and Hard Carbide Router Bits


8. BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Kit | Cheap CNC Router

  • It has rigid laser cut frame.
  • It has an SG20U supported rail system.
  • GT2 belt drives on the X-axis and Y-axis.
  • ACME TR8 on the Z axis

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • It is Makita RT0701C router
  • It has Arduino based microprocessor
  • It communication thru USB port.
Things to Consider!
  • It may not handle bigger projects

Overview

Evolution 3 CNC Router is according to the modern requirements. It has the latest Arduino based microprocessor.

It can be operated with all types of operating systems, including Windows, OSX, Linux, and Raspberry Pi.

This CNC router is beginner friendly, and all the instructions are available on the manufacturer’s website.

What’s My Take…

The BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router is cheap but the best to deal with hard material through rigid laser cut. This is a smart CNC router as it uses Arduino based microprocessor.

Read Also: Best CNC Router Bits, Engraving Router Bits, Whiteside Router Bits, CNC Limit Switch & Touch Plate


9. CNC 3018 Pro GRBL Control DIY Mini CNC Machine | Wood Router

  • Working area: 30x18x4.5cm
  • Spindle: 10000r / min
  • Power Supply: 24V
  • Weight: 15.27 pounds
  • Supported System: Windows

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Beuatiful Aesthetic
  • Very easy to install & operate
  • Software is in USB
Things to Consider!
  • No any mention

Overview

This is an upgraded CNC router 3018 version that has enough speed to do the jobs in no time.

It has an integrated driver chip like all the other mentions. You can install it in a small shop or in the garage.

It is beginner friendly as well as a self-protection system. This upgraded CNC router can deal with harder material to engrave.

This machine comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty. You can have dedicated Craftsman Router bits for this.

What’s My Take…

This CNC 3018 Pro is GRBL Control and dedicated to DIYers. It can deal with hard materials like soft aluminum and hardwood. It has enough memory to use offline.


10. Mostics 2 in 1 CNC 3018 Pro Machine | Desktop MiNi CNC Wood Router

  • Working Area: 300 x 180 x 45mm
  • Spindle: 10,000 RPM
  • Power Supply: 24V
  • Supported System: Windows
  • Weight: 17.03 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • It has a fixed heat sink & an external fan
  • It contains a Integrated driver chip
  • Professional support by manufacturer
Things to Consider!
  • It may not handle the larger projects

Overview

Being a hobbyist, this is one of the top priorities as it can up to 10,000 RPM easily. You can deal with wood, soft aluminum wood, acrylic, PVC and PCBs, and soft rubber.

It has built-in by taking care of DIYers and for small shop guys. This is a very easy to install and beginner friendly CNC router with clear instructions to follow along.

You may not need to have a computer to operate, as only an SD card is enough to run it for your jobs. You can connect it with the Desktop computer if you need to.

It has 3 wheels to move and making the engraving much easier. Also, the spindle can be manually open and close.

It has a self-sufficient short circuit protection system. It supports all desktop systems Win XP/Win7/Win8/Win10.

It included an SD card reader to write into the root directory.

The CNC 3018 Pro machine comes with one year manufacture warranty.

What’s My Take…

Mostics is a 2 in 1 CNC 3018 Pro Machine. It is a Desktop Mini CNC wood router. It is portable and very easy to use. One year manufacturer’s warranty is very handy to put your hands on this machine.

Read More: Best Desktop CNC Machines for Beginners


Comparision

Here, I have compiled a comparison table for different CNC routers with a major specification to help you to choose from;

NAME Working Area Spindle RPM Weight/lb Power Supply Best for…

GENMITSU

260 x 155 x 35mm 10,000 21 24V Hobbyists

VEVOR

750 x 480 x 15mm 24,000 117 110V Small Shop

MOPHORN

160 x 100 x 40mm 10,000 12 24V Acrylic PCB

MOSTICS

300 x 180 x 45mm 10,000 17 24V Woodwork
MYSWEETY 300x 180 x 45mm 10,000 16 24V Sign Making

What can we do with a CNC router?

A CNC router is useful in many areas. Let me explain some key areas where we can see these machines;

Sign Making

CNC routers are commonly used to carve signs out of a variety of materials, including bronze, plastic, wood, foam, and aluminum.

Woodworking

Cabinets, as well as other wooden objects such as doors, shelves, countertops, and drawers, are made with CNC routers. These can be used on both large and small projects.

Plastic and PCB Boards

CNC routers are a great help for PCB boards and other plastic works. You can get a lot of creative designs on Plastics, foam, and other softer workpieces.

Aluminum Machining

You can cut Aluminum sheets with CNC routers. A good-quality router bit is required for aluminum CNC machining.

Architectural Models

We can prepare a mock up design for our architectural needs when doing finishing work on a building.

More Areas

You can get help from tungsten carbide drills to work on even harder materials like steel and titanium.


Buying Guide for Best CNC Router Kit | How do I choose a CNC machine?

When you are going to buy a CNC router, then you need to consider the following factors;

Offline Communication

This is a very important factor to know and make sure you have both the options. Also, make sure don’t use both these communication channels at the same time that will block your communication.

Safety Protection

Most of the routers came in self-sustaining circuit protection.

Heat Sink

Normally a heat sink & external fan are installed in any router as speed is higher in this mini CNC machine that needs efficient cooling.

Hardness of Workpiece

As I have mentioned, a CNC router is good for soft material due to higher speed still you can get to engrave for Aluminum or hard metal surface with the help of special bits.

Availability of Spare Parts

This is another factor to keep in mind that if you can spare parts in your locality or see the manufacture take the responsibility even after the warranty is expired.

Router Motor

Motor controls the speed and the torque during engraving or cutting. You need to see if the stepper motors and the servo motors are as per your requirements.

You also need to see according to your power source if compatible spindle. Servo motors are of great help when you need higher precision.

CNC Router Spindle

This is the backbone of any CNC router machine. This part actually responsible for the cutting with the help of the router cutter. You need to watch out for these specifications while buying a CNC router for your business or shop.

Dust Collection System

As I mentioned, the first CNC router that contains an acrylic casing that helps to maintain the dust while working on a workpiece. Also, you need to find a compatible dust collection system if it is not available with the package.

Operating System

As technology has advanced, you can now use Windows, Linux, Raspberry P, and other operating systems, as mentioned by many manufacturers.

Working Area

Working area matters according to your project. If you have a larger workpiece, then go for a larger deck.

RPM Required

The major function of CNC router is the speed that is 10,000 RPM

Ease of Maintenance

Every machine needs maintenance, but some are prone to it, and others need it once in a while. A regular check-up is a must before starting and finishing the day’s job.

However, you need to buy a machine that needs less maintenance, even how pro you are in your field. The manufacturer’s warranty may help you in this regard – the longer the warranty, the less maintenance you can expect.

Drive System

The rack, ball screw pinion, and lead screw are the drive systems for a CNC router. Rack and lead screws are a bit cheaper, but the ball screws are much costlier that can give you much precision.

Preassembled or Router Kit

Most of the routers are in the form of kits, but you can also ask for a preassembled one. I will go with preassembled any day so that I will not mess up.

Specifications

Make sure to have a motor, drive system, power that is compatible with your shop area.

Software Availability

Although the new routers are compatible with multiple operating systems like Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc., one needs to choose the system that is available for the shop easily.

Multipurpose Routers

See if you can afford a machine that can handle wood engraving, soft aluminum, PVC, and other softer material. Yes, I know, you need to change the router bits for every job may be.

Even if you are going for a woodworking project, I suggest you get a powerful router so that you do not need to invest in metallic projects in the future.

Budget

See your budget as routers are a heavy investment but worthy too.

Final Verdict

The best part is you have many choices to choose from, like if you are an absolute beginner, then don’t put a high amount instead, go for a manufacturer that will give you a proper set of instructions.

I have explained it all in easy format plus you can see the manufacturer page if any change what I have explained here.

Related Posts:

You may also love to read these my reviews and the buying guides…


People Also Asked about CNC Router

Here are a few questions that people also ask about CNC router kit;

What is the best CNC Router 2021?

Here is a list of a top rated CNC machine as per my recommendation;

  1. Mostics 2 in 1 CNC 3018 Pro | Desktop CNC Wood Router
  2. 3018 Pro CNC Router Kit with Offline Controller
  3. MYSWEETY CNC 3018Pro Wood Router Engraver with Offline Controller
  4. MYSWEETY Wood Carving Engraving Machine
  5. CNC 3018PRO Wood Router Engraver with Offline Controller
  6. BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Kit | Cheap CNC Router
  7. CNC 3018 Pro GRBL Control DIY Mini CNC Machine | Wood Router

What can a CNC router do?

Actually, a CNC (computer numerical control) router is based on the concept of a CNC milling machine. Here we are not moving the part by hand instead it is driven by the computer. This makes it faster than a typical CNC machine.

It is used in cutting and engraving soft materials like wood, composites, aluminum, plastics, glass, and metals. It is a computer-controlled cutting machine called a computer numerical control (CNC) router.

A CNC router is used for cutting materials like aluminum, wood, composites, plastics, and any soft material.

Can a CNC router cut aluminum?

Yes, it can cut through soft aluminum. It all depends on the motor power and the types of router bits.

Are CNC routers worth it?

Yes, CNC routers are not any replacement of CNC but can divide some job of it like Router can be operated at a higher speed like 10,000 RPM while a CNC machine can be operated less than 20 times.

CNC machine is a generic term that we use for a machine operated through a numeric control function.

A CNC router is just a CNC machine. But a CNC machine may not be a CNC Router. It could be an engraver, a 3d printer, a plasma cutter, a CNC mill, etc.

What is the main difference between CNC Router and CNC Mill?

The major difference is in terms of efficiency. Softer materials, such as plastics, wood, and aluminum, are cut with CNC routers. They have precision but are incapable of doing heavy-duty tasks.

What is the Price Range of a CNC Router?

You can get a CNC router for 150$ and it can go up to 10,000$. This all depends on what are your needs on a particular project. The price may vary keeping in view the features, size, durability, functionality and like that.

David Houghton

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