What to Consider When Buying a CNC Router

What to Consider When Buying a CNC Router

Are you in the market for a new CNC router? If so, you will want to make sure you do plenty of research before you make any purchasing commitment. Why? You’ll want to consider several different factors when deciding which router will suit your business needs.

7 Things to Consider Before Buying a new CNC Router

Whether you’re familiar with CNC routers or are looking for tips on choosing the right CNC router to add to your business, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind when doing your research. Here are seven crucial factors you’ll want to keep in mind when making your choice:

1. Features

One of the most important factors to take into consideration is the features your business requires in a CNC Router. Features can include, but are not limited to:

  • Spindles
  • Vacuum Systems
  • Automatic Tool Change
  • Knife Systems
  • Vision Registrations Systems
  • Misting Units
  • Locating Pins and much more

2. Table Size

Aside from features, you’ll also need to consider the table size. This will depend heavily on your production needs. There are several table types worth considering, starting from a 2’ x 3’ benchtop machine to a 6’x12’ full table machine. Longer/wider tables are also available.

Buy a CNC router machine that is large enough to handle your typical material size while also considering room for growth.

3. Electrical Requirements

You must know the electrical capabilities of your shop before you purchase any new CNC router machine. Some machines are setup to work with only certain voltages. You will want to make sure you check for:

  • Do you have Three Phase or Single Phase power
  • Volts/Amps required
  • Required connections, etc.

4. Drive Systems/Components

Your drive systems and drive components are crucial to consider because they are essentially what allows your CNC router to function, aside from the motor system and software, which we will cover shortly.

Your drive system moves your router’s axis and comprises several components, including the motor, ball screw, or rack and pinions. These components all work together to transfer controlled linear motion, allowing your machine to move along the axis.

Here at CAMaster, we use both helical rack-and-pinon and ball screw drive systems:

  • Helical Rack-and-Pinon Drive System: This system has a helical rack that is secured to the sides of the CNC router and a pinon that meshes with the rack. As the pinon, also referred to as a gear, moves, the machine will move. This drive system is ideal for longer axis.
  • Ball Screw Drive Systems: A ball and screw driver system comprises a nut, ball bearings, and a screw. They allow the machine to move by rotating the screw. This drive system is ideal for a shorter axis.

5. Motor System

There are two primary motor systems used in most CNC router machines, the stepper motor system or the servo motor system.

Stepper Motor Systems: This type of motor system is frequently referred to as an open-loop control motor. These motors rotate or “step” from one position to another. Stepper motors are less expensive and best for low – medium speed applications.

Servo Motor Systems: This type of motor system is often referred to as a closed-loop system that incorporates positional feedback to control either the linear or rotational position and speed of the machine’s shaft. Servo motors are best for high speed, high torque applications

6. Software Requirements

Finally, you will want to consider the software requirements of the CNC router you are looking at. The software is the necessary CAD software required to run the machine. When choosing a new machine, consider application specific software packages e.g. cabinet making software if this is your primary business.

7. Budget

One of the most important factors to take into consideration is your overall spending budget. When it comes to purchasing a CNC router for a small business or large shop, prices can and will vary quite a bit.

For example, an entry-level CNC router, such as the Stinger Series, starts at around $7,000. When looking at the high production machines, such as the Cobra Elite Series, prices start at approximately $33,000. So, before you make any purchase decision, factor in the price but always remember the old CNC adage – Buy your second machine first.

Choose CAMaster for Your Next CNC Router Machine

Choosing the right CNC router machine for your business can be a seemingly overwhelming process. If you take the time to list what your needs are and your budget, then you’ll be able to make a much more informed decision.

Need help choosing your next CNC router? Then contact the CAMaster team today and let us help!