5 Best Desktop CNC Router Machines for Hobbyists 2021

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

While regular CNC machines are often large and bulky, a desktop CNC router machine is a smaller and more compact version of the same.

It performs all the basic tasks of drilling, cutting, and milling tasks, especially while working on lighter materials like wood, plastic, and foam.

These machines can be an excellent starting point for newbies and hobbyists who wish to acquire the necessary skills and start a small-scale business without getting into full-fledged, high-volume manufacturing.

This blog offers a quick round-up of the best desktop CNC machines for hobbyists.


QUICK PICKS

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

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BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included...
BobsCNC Evolution 4 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.

5 Best Desktop CNC Router for Hobbyists Reviews

You are a DIYer or a hobbyist, I have compiled a list of the Desktop CNC Router machines available.

Here is a list of 5 Desktop CNC Router for Hobbyists that we have picked as per our reviewer;

The following are some of the best and highly rated desktop CNC Router machines for hobbyists:

1. Yofuly CNC 3018 PRO

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The Yofuly CNC 3018 PRO strikes the perfect balance of cost and functionality.

One of the greatest USPs of this CNC router machine is its ability to work in online and offline modes, which adds to its portability.

For the offline operation, you can download the necessary files on the controller and run it even if the computer is not linked.

Plus, you can also adjust the spindle, axes, and cooling fans manually.

What We Like:

  • Offers a high degree of accuracy for a desktop CNC router machine.
  • Offline support through micro SD and TF cards.
  • Can machine various materials like plastic, leather, acrylic, paper, bamboo, wood, and PCB.

Things to Consider:

  • Assembly can be slightly complicated.
  • The controller board may not prove to be as durable in certain cases.

2. Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO

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The Genmitsu is another desktop CNC machine that hits the right notes when it comes to affordability and performance.

As you can operate it using multiple open-source applications, the device provides adequate exposure without weighing on your pockets.

You can also run the machine on offline mode, which imparts mobility to it.

What We Like:

  • Can cut through a wide range of materials, including soft metals like aluminum.
  • Compatible with an array of high-quality, open-source software applications like GRBL.
  • An easy plug-and-play operation that allows users to set it up in less than three minutes.

Things to Consider:

  • The device manual contains sparse information and is not very educational.
  • It lacks auto-homing, which means that the operator must be vigilant about marking the starting point.

3. MySweety CNC 3018

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MySweety CNC 3018 also offers offline control that is exercised through GRBL.

It is shipped disassembled, but the assembly is rather straightforward. This CNC machine also lends support to online and offline operation and offers a high degree of flexibility and versatility.

It runs a powerful spindle motor with a highly accurate drive mechanism along the X and Y axes.

What We Like:

  • Durable and lightweight build made from aluminum parts.
  • Apart from soft materials like plastic, acrylic, and foam, and metals like aluminum and copper, it can also cut through hardwood like oak, pine, and poplar.
  • Includes a 7W output laser with added compatibility with other laser cutting modules.

Things to Consider:

  • Works only with Windows devices with no support to the Mac OS.
  • The software has to be downloaded separately.
  • Noisy operation.

4. Bob CNC Evolution 4

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Bob CNC E4 can be an excellent option if you are operating on a small scale at present but plan on scaling your operations in the future.

It can handle large-scale projects and produce at a higher frequency than most desktop CNC routers.

The laser-cut wooden frame can easily withstand repeat usage and is highly durable.

Since it is slightly on the expensive side, you may consider investing in this piece only if you are truly serious about pursuing your hobby as a CNC machinist.

What We Like:

  • Robust and durable build for long-term and high-volume usage.
  • A wealth of educational videos is available on YouTube to help beginners.
  • Excellent customer support and service.

Things to Consider:

  • Assembly is challenging and definitely not suited for beginners. It may take as much as two whole days.
  • The wooden build can be a downer, especially at the price point.

5. Mcwdoit 3018 PRO CNC

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If you are looking for a cheap CNC machine that gets the job done, then this machine is perfect for you.

The Mcwdoit 3018 PRO CNC machine offers offline and online operations with an internal memory of 1GB.

Even though the machine may not score a perfect 10 in terms of durability, it makes up for it with excellent customer support.

What We Like:

  • Can carve wood, plastic, acrylic, PCB, wood, bamboo, and soft metals like aluminum and copper.
  • Quick and easy to assemble.
  • Excellent customer support by the vendor.

Things to Consider:

  • The instructions that come with the machine are unclear. You will have to deep-dive through YouTube to gain operational knowledge.

Conclusion

Choose any of the desktop CNC routers listed above depending on your skills, competencies, and requirement. Of course, while making the decision, factor in the variables such as the size of the workpiece, material, tolerance, speed, and accuracy. You may also need to invest in accessories such as a dust collector as you would be operating these machines indoors.

Finally, research the community support enjoyed by the manufacturers because it can come a long way in making the learning curve somewhat bearable.

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

Peter Jacobs
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