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CNC Wood Router: Should You Buy a Router at an Auction?

The difference between conventional routers and computer numerically controlled (CNC) routers lies in their style of operation. The former uses a spindle mechanism that is controlled by the machinist, while the latter features computer controlled cutter heads. As one would expect, a CNC model offers a faster, more accurate, more flexible machining experience than a conventional model—characteristics that are reflected in the equipment’s premium price.

Because CNC equipment costs significantly more than conventional equipment, some woodworkers consider buying the machines at an auction—a decision that might seem to have benefits, but will more likely elicit significant drawbacks.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of the Auction Block

The cost of industrial grade CNC routers and wood boring machines can easily reach the six-figure mark—a price many woodworkers find difficult to afford. Buying the equipment at auction could help lighten the financial burden, but assessing the condition of the equipment before the sale can be difficult.

Before the auction date, the host of the auction should supply a catalogue of the equipment to be auctioned. In some cases, this catalogue can make it easier to evaluate the equipment by listing some aspects you need to know about a pre-owned CNC Wood Router, particularly:

• The seller of the equipment
• The previous owner of the equipment
• The state of the equipment (reconditioned or not)
• The equipment’s maintenance record

In most cases, all this information is not provided in the auction catalogue, which puts the buyer in the difficult position of having to track down the remaining information—a task that is impossible to complete before the auction date. Examples of information that bidders must often discover on their own are:

• The environment in which the equipment was used
• Whether or not the equipment is reconditioned (a.k.a. refurbished)
• The state of the maintenance record
• Whether the seller has experience with used woodworking equipment

Not knowing this information about a CNC router makes buying at an auction a risky proposition, especially considering the significant investment that computer-controlled routers require, even when they are bought used. The best way to avoid this risk is to buy from a seller who can supply the necessary information, and not from an auction.

RT Machine Can Help

For over ten years, RT Machine has sold pre-owned routers, saws, and wood boring machines to individuals and woodworking companies around the globe. In addition to carefully selecting the used equipment we buy, we skillfully refurbish them before reselling them. If we do not have the product you need in stock, we can locate it at another equipment inventory warehouse and have it shipped to your location.

Auctions could result in a good deal, but are more likely to result in the purchaser getting questionable machinery due to the inability to perform a proper equipment evaluation. If you need a CNC wood router to play an integral role in your woodworking operation, buying it from a seller of used woodworking equipment, and not from an auctioneer, is the safest choice.

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