CNC machines are electrically powered mechanical devices that use machine tools to shape materials such as wood or metal with the guidance of a pre-programmed set of instructional inputs. CNC is an acronym that stands for Computer Numerical Control, which refers to the device's ability to craft items from a digital file. The use of a wood CNC machine dates back to the 1950s, and these devices have become the industry standard for prototyping and shaping objects that have precise measurements and require multiple machine tools to shape.

Product FAQ's

1. What Is A Wood CNC Machine? 

A wood CNC machine in this article is a device that can perform machine tool operations on wood materials at your home.

2.What Does A Wood CNC Machine Do? 

A Wood CNC machine can enhance your productivity by automating technical and labor intensive part of the creation process. The device can create complex and precise shapes from a digital file by interpreting the instructions of any design of your choice. The flexibility of this tool can enable a new standard of productivity.

3. How Does A Wood CNC Machine Work? 

Wood CNC machines work in much of the same way a metal CNC machine would work. Combining the main three tools of a CNC machine, the drill, the lathe and the milling machine, the device follows a pre-programmed set of actions to shape the wood material into the final product. Many devices can operate laterally in the X and Y axis and longitudinally in the Z axis. Some advanced machines can operate rotationally or even flip the part over automatically.

4. Where can you Buy These Devices? 

Many of these wood CNC machines contained within this article are available from various online retailers such as eBay or Amazon allow you to have the device shipped directly to your home.

5. Price Range 

The price range of the wood CNC machines in this article start at $350 and go as high as $650. When considering the abilities these unique machines have, these prices offer the user a great value.

How We Reviewed These Devices

We reviewed the wood CNC machines in this article with the following criteria in mind: Pros & Cons of the product; the features offered by each of the machines, the price of the product, any accessories that come with the machine, and the ease of use of the machine. We've done our best to balance these factors and recommend only the top ten wood CNC machines available to consumers.

The Devices We Reviewed

  • 3040 CNC Router Milling Machine 
  • BobsCNC E3 CNC
  • Benbox DIY Mini 1310
  • TOPCHANCES
  • 4 Axis CNC3040
  • USB CNC Router 3040 
  • 3 AXIS ENGRAVER USB 
  • TOP 3 AXIS CNC
  • CNC3020T 4 Axis USB
  • Proxxon 37110 Micro

PRODUCT

FEATURES

PRICE

  • Simple operation and installation
  • Precise engraving operations for an affordable price
  • Chrome shafts are suitable for long-term use
  • Come with a micro-controller   
  • Easy assembly
  • Comes with a DW660 router
  • All metal build is sturdy
  • Simple assembly
  • Includes bits in the package
  • Precise laser engraving
  • Works with many materials
  • Easy Assembly
  • All metal build makes for a sturdy device 
  • Powerful motors allow for versatility
  • Works over USB
  • Features integrate 1Ghz CPU and 512MB of Ram 
  • Come with MACH3 software
  • Power motors enable working with many materials
  • Tons of thoughtful features such as dust guard plate
  • High-speed stepper motor
  • High torque transmission
  • Affordable price for precise engraving
  • Comes with intuitive software
  • 4th axis for cylindrical engraving
  • Easy to assemble
  • Precise shaping of the material
  • Precise shaping of the material
  • Comes with drill bits

FEATURES

This CNC machine features a 3 axis effective stroke of 290mm for the X-axis, 390mm for the Y-axis, 60mm for the Z axis. The table size is 525mm by 320mm which has a groove width of 7.5mm. The machine does not include a stepper motor, control box or cable chain carrier, so you will need to supply your own. The manufacturer makes the rack material of high strength 6061-T5 aluminum with a surface anodic oxidation treatment. The machine's maximum workpiece thickness tops out at about 70mm, and the rail type is a chrome plated shaft with linear bearings.

PROS

  • Simple operation and installation
  • Precise engraving operations for an affordable price
  • Chrome shafts are suitable for long-term use

CONS

  • Lacks stepper motor, control box or cable chain carrier
  • Lacks software

Price 

Consumers can find this product on Amazon with free shipping.


Where to Buy?


FEATURES

The BobsCNC features a 3 axis effective stroke of 450mm for the X-axis, 390mm for the Y-axis, 85mm for the Z axis. It uses a rigid laser cut frame with an SG20U rail system. The device comes with an Arduino-based micro-controller that users can connect through a USB port. The manufacturer designed the machine to work with Universal Gcode Sender Platform Version. This software is Java-based so it can run on Windows, OSX, Linux, and Raspberry Pi.

PROS

  • Come with a micro-controller   
  • Easy assembly
  • Comes with a DW660 router

CONS

  • Uses only a router for cutting
  • Can cut wood up to 3.3 inches depth only
  • Operates loudly

Price 

Consumers can find this product online for as low as around $628 on Amazon with free shipping.


Where to Buy?


FEATURES

The Benbox features a 3 axis effective stroke of 126mm for the X-axis, 88mm for the Y-axis, 38mm for the Z axis. It uses an all-metal build and 2-Phase 4-wire stepper motors. The device works with GRBL control compatible with Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8. The machine's motors can work with copper, aluminum and other soft materials like wood acrylic and other plastics.

PROS

  • All metal build is sturdy
  • Simple assembly
  • Includes bits in the package

CONS

  • The device is small which limits the size of materials 
  • Clamps are of lower quality

Price 

Consumers can find this product on Amazon with free shipping and amazon prime is available.


Where to Buy?


FEATURES

The Topchances engraving machine features a maximum engraving area of 17cm by 20cm. The device works with GRBL control compatible with Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8. The laser is a 200MW blue-violet light and comes with a cooling device can work for hours of engraving.
 

PROS

  • Precise laser engraving 
  • Works with many materials
  • Easy assembly

CONS

  • Manufacturer limits machine to engraving
  • Doesn't feature rotors or drills for machining

Price

Consumers can find this product on Amazon with free shipping.


Where to Buy?


FEATURES

The 4 Axis CNC3040 device gives the user a 4 axis effective stroke of 300mm for the X-axis, 400mm for the Y-axis, 60mm for the Z axis. This desktop router and engraver setup uses an aluminum build and powerful 400W motors to shape material. The device works over USB and is compatible with Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8. The machine's motors can work with many materials due to high powered motors.

PROS

  • All metal build makes for a sturdy device 
  • Powerful motors allow for versatility
  • Works over USB

CONS

  • Doesn't come with drill bits or many extras
  • Device's weight limits portability

Price 

Consumers can find this product on Amazon.


Where to Buy?


FEATURES

The USB CNC Router 3040 offers the user a 3 axis effective stroke of 275mm for the X-axis, 385mm for the Y-axis, 70mm for the Z axis. It features an all-metal construction and powerful 400W motors to shape material. The device also features a USB port compatible with Mach3 and EMC2 software applications and works with 32-bit versions of Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. The rating of the machine's motors are a powerful 400 watts for crafting your material of choice.
 

PROS

  • Features integrate 1Ghz CPU and 512MB of Ram 
  • Come with MACH3 software
  • Power motors enable working with many materials 

CONS

  • Won't work with 64-bit versions of Windows
  • Device's weight limits portability

Price 

Consumers can find this product on Amazon.


Where to Buy?


FEATURES

The 3 Axis Engraver USB offers the user a 3 axis effective stroke of 200mm for the X-axis, 300mm for the Y-axis, 50mm for the Z axis. It features a maximum spindle speed of 8,000 RPM and constructed completely of 6061/6063 aluminum alloy. Powerful two-phase 2 amp motors shape material with ease. The device also features a USB port which is compatible with multiple versions of Windows. Even the design of the machine's cable avoids damage from long-term bending or deformation.
 

PROS

  • Tons of thoughtful features such as dust guard plate   
  • High-speed stepper motor
  • High torque transmission

CONS

  • Lack of informational documentation
  • Device's weight limits portability

Price 

Consumers can find this product on Amazon.


Where to Buy?


FEATURES

The USB CNC Router 3040 offers the user a 3 axis effective stroke of 275mm for the X-axis, 385mm for the Y-axis, 60mm for the Z axis. They make this CNC from 6061 / 6063 Aluminium alloy and features powerful 2-phase, 1.8 amp motors to shape material. The device also features a USB port compatible with the simple and intelligent Mach3 software which works with Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows 7. The high precision stepping motor specializes in making engraving more accurate.
 

PROS

  • Affordable price for precise engraving
  • Comes with intuitive software

CONS

  • Setup can be difficult 
  • The user needs to check the wiring before use

Price

Consumers can find this product on Amazon.


Where to Buy?


FEATURES

The CNC3020T 4 Axis USB offers the user a 4 axis effective stroke of 200mm for the X-axis, 300mm for the Y-axis, 50mm for the Z axis and a 4th axis that you can assemble which to engraves cylinder or 3D shapes. The manufacturer constructs the device of a strong aluminum alloy, and it's powerful motors have a top speed of 8000 rpm. The device has a USB port on the back used to communicate with your Windows computer and can use the Mach3 software application for programming your digital designs. They rate the device's spindle motor at 200 watts, and it has an adjustable spindle speed controller.
 

PROS

  • 4th axis for cylindrical engraving
  • Easy to assemble
  • Precise shaping of the material

CONS

  • High weight can make moving the device around difficult
  • Complex assembly

Price 

Consumers can find this product on Amazon.


Where to Buy?


FEATURES

The Proxxon 37110 Micro offers the user a 3 axis effective stroke of 134mm for the X-axis, 46mm for the Y-axis, 70mm for the Z axis. They construct this mill from a cast-iron base, and a high-quality aluminum vertical column and compound lathe. The package comes with 6 triple slit hardened steel bits so you can begin immediately. The table has three t-slots and features an adjustable ruler scale to make positioning as easy as possible. The spindle motor has a maximum speed of 20,000 rpm with 100 watts of power.

PROS

  • High RPM motor
  • Comes with drill bits

CONS

  • Can't be programmed without modification
  • Additional software/equipment needed to make the mill into a true CNC

Price 

Consumers can find this product on Amazon with free shipping, and amazon prime is available.


Where to Buy?


The Verdict

Machinists can use many of these devices as an at-home wood CNC machine, but some specialize in certain tasks more than others. For example, if you are only looking to engrave wood or other materials, the Topchances engraving machine could be an excellent option, but lacks the full versatility of the other options we've reviewed.

The Proxxon 37110 Micro functions as a complete desktop milling machine, but with manual controls and needs to modification to work as a full wood CNC machine.

The 3 Axis Engraver USB looks to be the best value when speaking about a decent-sized, fully programmable wood CNC machine for at home use. This machine not only carries an affordable price but comes with everything you need to get started and requires no modification to use as a wood CNC machine.

If you have a little more money to spend, the 4 Axis CNC3040 is an excellent option as it features one of the highest power spindle motors at 400 watts, and offers the user the ability to shape materials along a 4th axis for engraving cylindrical or 3-dimensional objects.

Any of these wood CNC machines offer an excellent value for the money, and dependent on the projects you are looking to complete any of these devices could be a great fit for your project.

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