Best CNC Router for Small Shop

Disclaimer: All claims are strictly my personal opinion. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.

Being a small shop owner, it is tough to invest in tools to maintain cash flow. But a CNC machine is the need of the hour.

A CNC router is just a type of CNC machine. A CNC – Computer Numeric Control is just a generic term, remember.

A CNC router can rotate the spindle very fast that ultimately can increase the overall efficiency.

It does not matter how professional you are, you still cannot make a piece twice with precision – A CNC machine can do it for you.

Finding the best CNC router is a daunting task, and I do agree with this.


QUICK PICKS

Here are my recommended products picked out through amazon you would be interested in depending on your budget…

Best Value
BobsCNC Quantum Mini CNC Router Kit with the Router Included...
BobsCNC Quantum Mini CNC Router Kit with the Router Included...
A rigid laser cut 5-Ply Baltic Birch frame with SG20U supported rail system.; NEMA 17 Stepper Motors and Home switches on all axes with a Self-Squaring Gantry.

10 Best CNC Router for Small Shop Reviews

But to make your buying process simpler and more accessible, we have listed down the highly compatible and easy-to-use CNC router machines.

All the products listed below are budget-friendly and allow easy access to users, whether you are a beginner or a professional.

Here is a list of the 10 Best CNC Router for Small Shop that I have picked as per my recommendation;

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1. SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Router Machine | Best for Small Shop


  • Engraving Area: 260 x 155 x 35 mm
  • Spindle:775 motor, 10,000 RPM
  • Frame Size: 400 x 330 x 240 mm
  • Rated Power: 60W
  • Power Supply: 24V/5A
  • Drill Bits:Tip of 0.1 mm, 20 degrees & Diameter 3.175 mm

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Safety design.
  • Offline controller with LCD.
  • Top-notch quality aluminum body.
Things to Consider!
  • Dust is an issue for some users.

Overview

Our first product on the list of best CNC routers for small shops is SainSmart 3018-PROVer which is more powerful, comes with a noiseless operation, and offers efficient performance. Moreover, Optocouplers protect the main board of the CNC machine against any damage eliminating the signal noise for longevity and consistency in projects.

Take immediate control of the CNC machine with your fingertips now with the 1.8-inch display, which also comes with an emergency control stop that is easily accessible and visible for an instant shutdown.

The best part regarding this CNC router is that it features an efficient pre-assembled desktop allowing you to run the machine for around 30 minutes rather than two hours of assembling and then starting. This machine works well for beginners.

You’ll love this CNC router for small shops because it comes with a safety design with 5mm acrylic baffles that block the wood and different cutaway materials.

You can safely monitor the entire engraving process with complete details using this CNC router machine. Moreover, this CNC router machine comes with a 1.8” LCD which features an offline controller to read out clearly with complete control over the CNC router machine.

The high quality of this CNC router machine features an oxidized blue look with an all-aluminum body giving a premium feel to the device. The added stability of the machine makes the milling of a wide range of materials easier without causing any mess.


2. ORTUR Laser Master | Best for DIY Engraving


  • Carving Area: 400 x 430 mm
  • Carving Speed: 3000 mm/ Min
  • Laser Wave Length: 445 ± 5nm
  • Adapter power: 36 W, 12 V & 3A
  • Image size: No Limit

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Highly compatible software.
  • Precision and accuracy.
  • Top-notch quality.
Things to Consider!
  • Need connection with the computer for operation.

Overview

What you’ll love about the Ortur laser master 2 CNC machine is that it’s a laser engraving machine that allows you to perform DIY laser marking for all metals, plastics, and more.

Plus, this CNC machine comes with a 32-bit motherboard having a significant engraving area of around 400x430mm.

The best part regarding this Ortur laser master machine is that it comes with advanced firmware making it faster, smarter, highly accurate, and easy to use.

You can process around 32 instructions using this engraving machine which supports about 921600 baud rate. Moreover, the engraving speed with this machine is around 3000mm/min.

That’s not all! This CNC machine comes with high safety protection as it features a G sensor within the mainboard. If there is any unusual; movement within the board, the machine eventually detects it and stops the laser beam.

Moreover, if the computer stops working or the USB is disconnected, the laser engraver stops any movement and prevents fire. If you continue working on laser engraving but don’t remember to operate the machine, the motor eventually stops to avoid fire.

This best CNC machine comes with a highly compatible system known as LightBurn or LaserGRBL software which is very easy to use. You can achieve precise engraving utilizing this machine, allowing you to work more accurately with this top-notch laser unit.

Overall, it’s a top-notch product with comprehensive features making it an ideal choice for users.


3. VEVOR CNC 3018-PRO | Best for Wood Carving


  • Frame material: Aluminum & Bakelite
  • Working area: 300 x 180 x 45 mm
  • Weight: 14.9 pounds
  • Motor speed: 0-10000 rpm
  • Compatible: Windows, macOS, and Linux

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • High performance.
  • Versatile usage.
  • Ease of use.
Things to Consider!
  • Lower bearings over the cradle are not great.

Overview

Vevor CNC 3018 PRO comes with a three-axis GRBL control having offline control on the machine. What makes this CNC controller machine stunning is that you can use it for plastic, PCB, acrylic, wood, PVC carving, engraving, milling, and more.

The best part about this CNC controller machine is that it comes with premium quality. You don’t need to position the machine, which means no more difficulty using this equipment with improved stability and work performance.

This CNC 3018 PRO comes with ultimate support to Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Windows 10, Linux, and macOS. To help you with using this machine, there are installation instructions within the USB drive, making it highly portable with no damage to your files.

Enjoyconveninetc control over the machine by immediate control using GRBL. It is open-source software that runs over Arduino for quick control over movement.

This machine also comes with an offline controller, which features easy usage remote control.

What benefits will this CNC machine offer? There is no need to connect the computer, download files, and manual adjustments of X, Y, and Z positions.

Moreover, this CNC machine features T8 screw rods drive units with three stepper motors with a 775 24 volts spindle engine with a rotational speed of around 10000r/mins.

Lastly, get your hands on this CNC router for a small shop which is highly versatile and allows perfect engraving on different materials.


4. MYSWEETY DIY CNC 3018-PRO | Best for PCB Milling


  • Working area: 300 x 180 x 45 cm
  • Supported System: Windows
  • Motor speed: 0-10000 rpm
  • Spindle: 775
  • Weight: 15.82 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Simple assembly.
  • Easy user interface.
  • Lightweight with small size.
Things to Consider!
  • It does not work well on silver, stainless steel, glass, iron, and metal.

Overview

This CNC router comes with a 7W module and 7000mW, making it an ideal choice for wood carving, PCB milling, engraving. This three-axis machine features an offline control board having a 5mm extension rod with ER 11. The control software featured in this machine is GRBL, with a working area of around 30x18x4.5cm. It features a 775 spindle motor with 24V having 10000r/min. This CNC router machine supports Windows7,8, ten, and XP.

The best part regarding this CNC router machine is that it easily carves bamboo, wood, ivory, paper, flammable plastic, leather, ceramic/ stone, PCB, metal surface paints, and plating.

That’s not all! This CNC router machine features an offline controller, which allows you to work on it without connecting it with the computer. No more need to download the files. Plus, it comes with manual adjustment of X, Y, Z axes with manual opening and closing of spindle and features a cooling fan.

Overall, it comes with a lightweight and small size USB interface. The single assembly of this machine allows you to set the machine up easily. What this package includes:

  • Full set engraving machine
  • 7W 7000mW Module
  • ER11 Collet Set
  • offline controller
  • 4pcs clamp
  • 10pcs bits and 10pcs Titanium Coat Bits
  • Extension rod having ER11 collet

5. Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO CNC Router | Best All Rounder CNC


  • Working area: 300 x 180 x 45 mm
  • Rated Power: 60W
  • Maximum Power: 120W
  • Motor speed: 0-10000 rpm
  • Weight: 15.21 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Highly versatile.
  • Comes with integrated software.
  • Features mind-blowing performance.
Things to Consider!
  • Challenging to assemble the components of this machine.

Overview

What you’ll love about this CNC router kit is that it serves well as an all-rounder. You can use it for plastic, PCB, acrylic, PVC, milling, engraving, wood carving, and more having X, Y, Z, a working area of around 300x180x45mm.

The best part regarding this CNC router machine is that it needs no positioning of components, reducing any hassle of assembling it. Plus, this CNC router machine allows improved working accuracy with improved machine stability having a base height of around 4cm.

Moreover, this CNC machine is integrated with incredibly customized software and mainboard, allowing immediate communication between hardware and software, giving a seamless feel.

This Genmitsu CNC machine features GRBL software which offers exceptional performance for controlling the entire movement, which runs well over Arduino. The simplicity and dependability of the GRBL software make this machine a great choice.

Overall, it’s an incredibly versatile machine that allows you to work on all material types ranging from soft aluminum, plastics, wood, PVCs, acrylics, or PCBs, making it an all-rounder machine. Lastly, the simple assembly of this machine with easy-to-follow instructions makes it a great choice.


6. 3018 Pro-M CNC Router | Best for Hobbyist

Best CNC Router for Small Shop
  • Material: PF & Aluminum
  • Working area: 300 x 180 x 45 mm
  • Frame Size: 400 x 330 x 240 mm
  • Motor speed: 0-10000 rpm
  • Weight: 16.27 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Allows easy installation.
  • Comes with an offline controller.
  • Works well on soft materials like plastics, acrylics, and more.
Things to Consider!
  • Clamps not of high quality.

Overview

Next up on our list is this 2-in-1 CNC router machine which comes with 7000m having 3axis control with perfect engraving, milling, and cutting options for woods, plastics, MDF, PCB, and acrylic. This CNC router machine features an offline controller, which means you don’t need to connect it with the computer at all times. This machine features CNC router bits with ER11 collects.

You can buy this machine in three different sizes ranging from small, large, and extra-large sizes. This upgraded 3018 PRO CNC router machine comes integrated with a driver chip having a fixed heat sink with an external fan. What you’ll love about this CNC machine is that it features a sturdy casing that offers it a long life. The self-contained circuit protection prevents the machine from any damage.

The best part! This CNC machine comes with easy installation with instructions written in eight simple steps making it a great choice.

You can easily carve wood, leather, kraft paper, rubber, and bamboo with this machine. The 775 spindle featured in this machine allows immediate engravement over plastic, acrylic, wood, PCB engraving, or cutting.

This CNC router machine is controlled with GRBL software plus offline manual control. The only thing you need to look for about using this machine is knowing how to prepare G code.


7. 3 Axis Desktop DIY Mini CNC | Best for Small Shop


  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Working area: 300 x 180 x 45 mm
  • Axis: 3 axes (XYZ)
  • Motor speed: 0-10000 rpm
  • Weight: 16.08 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Comes with enough working area.
  • Features GRBL software with complete stability and accuracy.
  • Allows easy assembly.
Things to Consider!
  • It does not work well on complex material.

Overview

This CNC router for small shops allows you to work on DIY milling, engraving and carving over different materials. The materials include acrylic, Plastics, PVC, PCB, wood carving, and more. This machine comes with GRBL control having a working area of around 30x18x4.5cm. The frame size measured in this CNC controller machine is around 40x33x24cm.

This desktop CNC router machine comes with a USB port. Desktop CNC having easy assembly instructions.

That’s not all! This CNC router machine comes with a 775 spindle motor having 24V with 7000rotations per minute and 36V for 9000rotations per minute. The fuselage length in this machine is around 34mm, with a current of 1.33A having a torque of 0.25N/M.

The support system compatible with this CNC machine is WindowsXP SP3, Linux, Windows7 and 8.

Other than the more complex materials, this machine can efficiently work on softer materials, like aluminum, copper, and other materials. However, it does not work well on hard metal or jade. Lastly, this kit also comes with the 4G USB flash drive, which comes with GRBL software with an English user manual.


8. TiToe 3018 Pro CNC Engraver Machine | Best for DIYers


  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Working Area: 300 x 180 x 45 mm
  • Axis: 3 axes (XYZ)
  • Motor speed: 0-10000 rpm
  • Weight: 15.57 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Easy to install.
  • Integrated driver chip and sturdy casing.
  • Works well for engraving wood, plastics, & acrylic.
Things to Consider!
  • The machine seems slightly slow.

Overview

This 2-in-1 CNC router machine comes with GRBL software offering 3-axis control. You can efficiently work on plastics, wood, acrylic, PVC, PCB milling, carving, or engraving. What you’ll love about this machine is that it comes with an offline controller featuring 10 CNC router bits.

You’ll love this CNC controller machine because it comes with a 3018Pro Control board having an integrated driver chip with a fixed heated sink. Moreover, it features an external fan with a sturdy casing allowing extended life for the control board. That’s not all! It also features self-contained protection in a short circuit, which prevents the machine from any damage. Enjoy the easy to install feature in this machine which comes with the instructions on paper, allowing you to set it up quickly. The 7000mW module offers extreme precision with perfect accuracy for long-term projects.

The exceptional engraving area offered with this machine is around 300 x 180 x 45 mm, allowing accessible accommodation for most projects. Moreover, it supports Windows XP, Win7,8,10. The offline controller enables you to work without connecting with the computer. You can manually adjust the X, Y, Z-axis.


9. Upgraded Version 3018Pro CNC Router | Best for Woodworking


  • Frame Material: Tungsten Steel
  • Working Area: 300 x 180 x 45 mm
  • Axis: 3 axes (XYZ)
  • Motor speed: 0-10000 rpm
  • Weight: 15.57 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Comes with easy installation.
  • Offers a wide range of applications.
  • Features offline controller.
Things to Consider!
  • Not capable of working on harder materials.

Overview

Our second last product on the list is the Upgraded version 3018 PRO CNC router, which works well as a DIY CNC machine with GRBL control. This wood router engraving machine comes with CNC router bits.

This machine comes with the latest control bewitching an integrated driver chip with a fixed heat with having an external fan with a sturdy casing.

You’ll love this machine because it comes extended with a self-contained circuit protectioncuit, which prevents it from any damage.

The best part! This CNC machine comes with easy installation through English manual instructions. It just takes around 20 minutes to assemble the components of this machine. Enjoy using this machine that comes with a stable structure having accessible installation features.

That’s not all! Grab this CNC router machine now as it works well for beginners having a capacity of around 128MB to about 1G.

The main advantage of this CNC-controlled machine is that you can efficiently operate it without connecting with the computer. Besides that, this machine also comes with an SD card reader.

Overall, this CNC router for small shops works well for carving wood, plastics, PCB, acrylic, soft metals like aluminum, copper, and more. Lastly, you also get a 12 months customer satisfaction service for users.


10. BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Kit | Best for Home Shop


  • Frame material: Rigid laser cut
  • Working area: 400 x 200 x 80 mm
  • Voltage: 115 Volts
    Wattage: 600 watts
  • Weight: 32 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Easy to use.
  • Highly convenient and stable.
  • Portable and lightweight.
Things to Consider!
  • Some people find it quite loud.

Overview

This is our final product in the list of best CNC routers for small shops. This CNC router works well for both beginners and professionals. It is a perfect go-to CNC router machine with complete accuracy and speed, reaching around 30000 rpm.

This router comes with features well suited for various materials ranging from plastics, softwood, or plastics.

Moreover, you can use the CNC machine using an Arduino-based microprocessor. It also features a USB port which allows an easy connection.

The best part! You can use this CNC router machine for Windows, Raspberry Pi, OSX, or Linux. Enjoy using this versatile CNC router machine which is highly compatible.

The tabletop of this CNC router machine allows you to work on different materials of different sizes, making it highly convenient and portable for use. Overall, this CNC router machine is easy to assemble and lightweight.


Comparision

Here is a comparison among top rated CNC Routers to help you to choose a better one;

NAME Working Area/mm Spindle RPM Weight/lb Power Supply Rating

GENMITSU

260 x 155 x 35 10,000 21.4 24V/5A 4.2

VEVOR

300 x 180 x 45 10,000 14.9 24V 5A

3.9

MYSWEETY

300 x 180 x 45 10,000 16.0 24V 4.0

TITOE

300 x 180 x 45 10,000 15.57 24V 3.8

BOBSCNC

400 x 200 x 80 30.0 32.0 24V 4.2

Best CNC router for a small shop – An Ultimate Buying Guide

A great variety of models is available when it comes to CNC routers for small projects and workshops. You can find great competition in the market as different brands launch new models now and then.

This is why we come with a detailed buying guide to make sure you find the best CNC router for a small shop.

Nature of Project

In the market, you can find a heavy-duty CNC router as well as a beginner-level machine. Therefore, it is important to check the capabilities of the CNC machine.

You need to step in with clear thoughts about the nature of projects you intend to accomplish with the CNC router machine. Grab the one that resonates with your project’s details.

Compatibility

A CNC router machine is needed to connect with the computer to print out wood or other materials. For this purpose, you need software that controls the processing throughout the operation.

Ensure that the machine you choose should be compatible with the software you will use in your project.

Engraving area

Analyzing the engraving area is quite important. If you intend to make small accessories, then look for small engraving table dimensions. Experts recommend buying tables with a large engraving area as you can use them for various projects. However, it depends upon your budget as well.

Drive system

Drive system is also important to look at while buying the best CNC router for a small shop. You can find three types of CNC router machines – ball screw, lead screw, and rack & pinion.

Choose the one that best defines your needs. According to the customer’s feedback reports, the ball screw has the capability to handle different materials.

Motor

The motor is also an important factor as the cutting speed, and the torque depends upon it. Choose a high efficacy motor CNC machine to avail fast cutting speed.

Vacuum pressure

Vacuum pressure shows that hoe strongly the materials are going to hold on to the CNC machine. You can hold heavier materials with a strong vacuum system.

Budget

Last but not least, you don’t need to spend the soo much on a CNC router machine. Look for an affordable CNC machine that is ready to fulfill your needs. For the small workshops, DIY projects, look for a small, inexpensive CNC router machine.

Final Verdict

Giant sizes and different ranges of CNC routers are not going to haunt you anymore. Get hands-on with your most compact and suitable CNC router today to compete for your business on a whole new level. No second thoughts for smart additions.


Video Guide about CNC Routers

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Frequently Asked Questions about CNC Router Machines

Here are a few questions that people used to ask about these CNC Routers;

What is the Best CNC Router for Small Shop?

Here is a list of the 10 Best CNC Router for Small Shop that I have picked as per my recommendation;

  1. SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Router Machine | Best for Small Shop
  2. ORTUR Laser Master | Best for DIY Engraving
  3. VEVOR CNC 3018-PRO | Best for Wood Carving
  4. MYSWEETY DIY CNC 3018-PRO | Best for PCB Milling
  5. Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO CNC Router | Best All Rounder CNC
  6. 3018 Pro-M CNC Router | Best for Hobbyist
  7. TiToe 3018 Pro CNC Engraver Machine | Best for DIYers
  8. Upgraded Version 3018Pro CNC Router | Best for Woodworking
  9. Upgraded Version 3018Pro CNC Router | Best for Woodworking
  10. BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Kit | Best for Home Shop

What is the lifespan of a CNC Router machine?

The lifeSpan of a CNC router machine depends upon the engraving frequency, materials, and the way you handle it. Proper care and maintenance can add years to the life of your CNC machine. Make sure that you engrave the materials as recommended by the manufacturers.

What is a GRBL controller?

GRBL controller is another hit software that is used to send codes to the CNC machines. This specialized software works exceptionally well to translate user commands for the router.

How much CNC router machine costs?

Great price variations can be found in the market for CNC machines. You can find a mini CNC machine that costs $200 and is as expensive as 1000 dollars.

Can you use a wood router on aluminum?

You can use a wood router machine on aluminum or other soft materials. However, you can’t use it on hard materials.

David Houghton
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