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CNC Routing Machines: Which Router Should You Choose?

CNC machinery offers more production capacity than standard machinery. This is because its cutter heads are computer controlled – a feature that expedites and improves routing work, making it possible to cut designs that standard routers cannot. Depending on their equipment grade, machines that contain CNC technology can cost substantially more than standard machines. Therefore, the first step in buying a CNC router is determining the grade of equipment you need: hobby grade, midgrade, or industrial grade.

Hobby Grade
As its name would indicate, a hobby grade router is intended for the hobbyist woodworker. Available in fully constructed models, these routers can also be built using kits or downloaded construction plans. Concerning production capacity, hobby grade CNC routing machines are intended for low volume woodwork. They also lack the large table size of their midgrade and industrial grade counterparts. If you need a router for large scale, high demand production, this router won’t suffice. If you need improved cutting accuracy for small scale, low volume woodwork, on the other hand, it could meet your needs.

Midgrade
In terms of production capacity and table size, midgrade CNC routers are positioned between hobby grade and industrial grade routers. Concerning production capacity, they feature more cutting power, and often contain more axes, than hobby grade routers. Their cutting table lets you produce furniture and cabinet pieces that you could not make with a hobby grade router. When buying a midgrade router, the key is not to buy it as a substitute for an industrial grade router – a move that some woodworkers make to preserve their equipment budget.

Industrial Grade
Industrial grade routers offer superior construction and production capacity. Designed to last for decades, they table sizes can accommodate the production of stair risers and other large pieces. They also contain up to five axes that allows their spindle to rotate in two additional planes, providing improved depth of cut. Industrial grade CNC routing machines have a high price tag that leads many woodworkers to buy them used. Considering their generous lifespan when they are well maintained, buying them secondhand is often the best option.

Buying Options

Due to their short lifespan, hobby grade routers should be purchased new, and buying them as a kit can offer meaningful cost savings. Unless they are lightly used, midgrade routers should also be purchased new. Their lifespan is longer than hobby grade routers, but years of use can create mechanical issues. Due to their long lifespan and rigid construction, buying industrial grade routers used is an excellent option.

At RT machine, we offer a variety of industrial grade used woodworking machinery, including CNC routers. If we don’t have the CNC machine that you need in stock, we can locate it and have it shipped to your location. For over ten years, RT Machine has supplied new and used woodworking machinery to discriminating woodworkers around the world. If you need help selecting the right CNC router, call us today.

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