How Do I Choose the Best CNC Router Kit?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Man with a drill
Man with a drill

A CNC router kit can include various components to allow for precision cutting, and it helps to determine what you will be using the tool for before you commit to a kit purchase. CNC stands for computer numeric control, which means the CNC router kit will be designed to work with a computer; some kits include the computer, while others may only include the software that will need to be loaded onto an existing computer. Be sure to determine your computer needs before committing to a CNC machine kit.

First, determine what size machine you will need for your purposes. A router is a device that cuts into a variety of materials using a rapidly rotating bit, and the size of the machine will be determined by the size of material that you intend to cut. Try to think about the largest piece of material you are likely to cut with your CNC router kit and choose a machine accordingly. If your workshop has size constraints, be sure to take this into consideration before purchasing. Measure the work space carefully with a tape measure and compare the measurements to the size of the CNC router kit you are considering.

Make sure the CNC router kit you are considering purchasing comes with all the necessary software to run the machine, as well as a variety of cutting bits. It helps to choose a machine with a bit chuck that is easy to use; this means you will be able to change bits quickly and easily. Some machines even include a function that will allow the machine to change bits automatically, though this feature is likely to cost more than manual bit machines. More automation on the machine's part usually translates into a reduction of production time.

Take note of the cutting speed of the machine included with the CNC router kit. Some machines can cut quite quickly, while others work a bit slower. You may be able to save money by choosing a slower machine, but this will be problematic if you are a professional who has to fill numerous work orders throughout the day. If production time is important to you, consider a faster machine at a higher purchase price. A hobbyist may be fine with a slower machine, however, and the cost of the machine will be low enough to be appropriate for hobbyists looking to save some money.

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      Man with a drill