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CNC Routers for Woodworking: Evaluating Routers by Grade

From intricate cutouts to stair risers, routers can produce a variety of work pieces. But what they produce and how fast they produce it depends on their control method: manual control or computer numerical control (CNC), in which a computer controls the cutter heads. Computer controlled routers come in three grades: hobby grade, mid grade, and industrial grade. Each grade is ideal for a certain level of woodworking.

Hobby Grade Routers

As their name suggests, hobby grade routers are intended for woodworking that is performed as a hobby. Although the accuracy of hobby grade routers can be similar to that of mid grade and industrial grade CNC routers, they have a smaller cutting table, offer less production capacity, and experience premature breakdown when used for large production runs. Although hobby grade models can be purchased as finished units, they are also built from scratch using purchased or downloaded construction plans.

Do you need a hobby grade CNC router? If your woodwork is a hobby and you need more cutting accuracy than a standard router offers, the answer is probably yes.

Mid Grade Routers

For cutting table dimensions and production capacity, mid-grade CNC routers for woodworking fall somewhere between hobby grade and industrial grade routers. Used for amateur and professional woodworking alike, these machines offer a noticeable increase in capacity that allows you to be more flexible with your production runs. The only downside to mid grade models is their tendency to be used in place of industrial ones – a decision that leads to premature breakdowns and halts the production process.

Do you need a mid grade CNC router? If you perform professional woodwork and experience a low to moderate production demand, the answer is probably yes.

Industrial Grade Routers

Offering the most production capacity and the largest table dimensions, industrial grade CNC routers are intended for woodworking operations that experience high production demand and require machinery to be utterly reliable. Due to their high price, industrial CNC routers are often purchased as used woodworking machinery – a move that could save thousands of dollars without compromising on the quality or reliability of the equipment.

Do you need an industrial grade CNC router? If you experience a high production demand and you need the broadest cutting table dimensions, the answer is probably yes.

Getting Your Equipment from RT Machine

For over a decade, RT Machine has specialized in selling high quality new and used woodworking machinery to a variety of woodworking operations, from small woodshops to the largest production companies. If you need a mid grade or an industrial grade CNC router, we may have what you need in stock. If we don’t, our machine locator service can locate it at another seller and have it shipped to your location. At RT Machine, we help you get the machinery you need at the price you need. To learn more about which type of router is right for your operation and the potential value of buying it used, call us today.

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