10 Best Cheap CNC Machines in 2021: Top Products Reviewed

CNC machines are heavy machines used for cutting wood, any other hard material to give it a certain shape. Most CNC machines have a strong build quality and can be used for a number of different purposes like cutting, milling and turning.

CNC is appropriate for low-to-medium and one-off jobs volume production, because of its high repeatability. Most CNC machines are expensive but here we will be looking at the best cheap CNC machines.

We understand that a lot of our readers are hobbyists woodworkers or beginners who have just fallen in love with woodworking and want to explore this domain but can’t afford the high price of some of the CNC machines. 

You may also want to check the best desktop CNC or hobbyists and small business ownersThings to keep in mind when we sorted our product to add in the list:Value for Money: Since we are discussing about cheap CNC machines here, we wanted to include the machine that are pocket friendly.Beginner Friendly: Most of our readers who wish to buy a cheap CNC are usually beginners, hence this was a good factor to include. Ease of assembly: All CNC machines are made up of several tiny parts and all of them need to fit properly and with use, otherwise it can get complicated. 

Product Name

Working Area

Purpose

BUY NOW

best Machine Overall

609.6mm X 609.6mm X 83.82mm

SG20U Supported Rail System

Value for Money

450mm X 390mm (85mm Depth Of Trave)

Laser Cut Frame With SG20U Supported Rail System.

Most Liked by people

300mm X 180mm X 45mm

Pre Assembled Parts. Hence, Easy To Setup


10 Best Cheap CNC Machines

1. BobsCNC E4 CNC Machine: Best Product Overall

BobCNC E4 CNC Machine

The first in the list is going to be one of the cnc routers that we personally love. The BobsCNC E4 is an excellent choice to begin with. It has a 610 mm x610 mm cutting area and is supported using a SG20U rail system. Made out of rigid laser cut frame, you are going to love the process of doing something on it.  BobsCNC E4 model closely resembles with BobsCNC e3. The model E4 is powered using a Nema 17 Stepper motor.

You can use this machine to work on hard plastic or light strength wood. When you buy it, the whole package comes in a very safe way with great quality of materials, best for anyone just starting out. BobsCNC also has their own youtube channel from where you can explore this machine and know more about them. 

VALUE FOR MONEY 86%
FOR BEGINNERS 86%
EASY TO ASSEMBLE 68%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • It makes an excellent, consistent connection of the screw to a motor.

  • Wobble is low when you reach the surface of the job.

  • The spatial movements of X and Y are quite smooth.

  • Ultimately, when fully assembled (except for the z drive), you will be amazed at the stiffness of a gantry test.

  • You will be disappointed by the screw on the Z drive—the volume of play that screws have had in the moving nut while being threaded.

  • What is also not good is How steady the nut gets locked into the z seat, there is almost 1/4 "of motion in either direction.

PRODUCT TIMELINE

2020: After several bug fixes and changes in the design BobsCNC launched E4 CNC router. 

2017: BobsCNC launched the evolution series of CNC router, with E3 CNC router being the first product in the line.


2. Mcwdoit CNC 3018 Pro Router: Best for Desktop Use

Mcwdoit CNC 3018 Pro Router

Mcwdoit CNC router offers all of the great qualities you expect from a router, and for a budget. It has an average size, perfect for desktop use where space may be limited. The router can be used offline, by simply downloading all of the necessary files onto a USB and then plugging it into the machine. 

The capacity of the offline tool is only 1GB, which should be enough space for storing multiple projects.This machine is not designed to be used for industrial-grade purposes, but it is powerful enough to complete jobs for personal use. When it comes to durability, t is not necessarily the strongest and most durable router, so you cannot expect to have this model forever without some wear and tear. 

This model comes with a 12-month warranty, so you are covered if something beyond your control happens to it in the first year. 

VALUE FOR MONEY 82%
FOR BEGINNERS 66%
EASY TO ASSEMBLE 82%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Ideal router for beginners

  • Easy assembly

  • The necessary software and manual can be downloaded online

  • Not ideal for larger projects


3. SainSmart Genmitsu 3018 PROVer: Easy to Assemble and Use

SeinSmart Genmitsu CNC Router Machine 3018

If you are looking for a small CNC router machine to install into your home, you will find many different options over the internet. However, if you want a machine that is as efficient and comes cheap, then you should try the SeinSmart Genmitsu CNC Router Machine 3018. This is a very smart machine loaded with features that make it very suitable to work for a beginner. SeinSmart 3018 has pre-assembled parts which make setting it up a very easy affair. It should not take you more than 15 minutes to set up.

You need knowledge of GRBL v1.1 software to be able to run this CNC router. It is ingrained with Toshiba TB6S109 drivers which work silently.Optocouplers are also added to this machine in an attempt to give extra protection to the mainboard for the longevity of this machine.

The sides are lined with acrylic baffles that ensure that you are safe as you keep an eye on the workpiece. The baffles also ensure that dust is not spread out everywhere as the machine is in action keeping your work area cleaner. 

This machine has a body crafted completely from aluminum. This gives it immense stability and also enhances its working quality as well as its life. You do not need to depend on the software to control this machine- there is a handheld remote provided with it which can be used to control the X, Y and Z axes. The 1.8” display also gives an account of the working of your machine.Get to know more about the softwares for CNC machines

VALUE FOR MONEY 80%
FOR BEGINNERS 80%
EASY TO ASSEMBLE 84%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Can cut through a wide range of materials (including soft aluminum)

  • Works with high-quality, open-source software

  • Swift assembly time

  • Can be used offline

  • Comes with confusing instructions (may be difficult for a beginner to understand)

  • This is clearly a beginner’s model, and the quality when completing minute work is very limited

PRODUCT TIMELINE

2020: Genmitsu 3018 PROVer was launched after upgrading the previous generation machine.

2019: Genmitsu 3018-MX3 was launched after few upgradations in the previous machine.

2018: Genmitsu 3018 Pro was launched


4. Yofuly CNC 3018 Pro: CNC Router with Best Rotary Device

Yofuly CNC 3018 Pro-MAX Router

If you are looking for a CNC router that can fit into the workshop in your garage which is also value for money, Yofuly CNC 3018 Pro-MAX is the router for you. The whole setup is carved from aluminum alloy and is therefore very rugged and durable. This CNC Router machine features a volume of 400mm x 330mm x 240mm with an effective work area of 300 mm x 180 mm. The spindle moves to a height of 45mm. The spindle requires a 24 V AC power source at 10A current. The spindle is also professionally made with air cooling systems to help you with smooth operations. 

You can position the components in the X, Y and Z axis using the GRBL software. You can also position them manually thus ensuring superior control over the machine and its applications. The spindle moves appreciably well and can cut through several soft materials by reaching a maximum power of up to 200 W. 

You get 10 drill bits with this package and 4 clamps to fix the workpiece, a pair of anti-light spectacles and other necessary types of equipment you would need to set up the machine. This is a very versatile machine that can easily run on different OS starting from Windows XP to Windows 10.

VALUE FOR MONEY 70%
FOR BEGINNERS 75%
EASY TO ASSEMBLE 80%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • The machine could also be made with a carousel tool saver, much like a 1530 ATC CNC Office Made Router.

  • The machine has an excellent rotary device.

  • The computer gets equipped with an adjustable rotary tool, which is different from the CNC system of the three axes. And this can be tailored to the duration so width according to the real needs.

  • If you want 3D, then the spindle needs to rotate at 180degree.


5. CNC Carve King MillRight : Best Under Budget

CNC Carve King MillRight

If you talk about design then the Carve king CNC by Millright is going to be a great machine. Not only is it a great budget CNC machine but packs a punch with a feature such as a USB controlled board which is pre-loaded with GRBL control firmware. The whole CNC has been built over a double refined ¾” MDF frame which supports the entire machine during the operations. 

When you are looking out for cheap options, you expect value for money products but sometimes you end up making compromises and that’s where it gets very important for you to know the features of any product. With Millright CNC, you are not made to buy unnecessary accessories that may not serve any purpose and so you get what you pay for.

VALUE FOR MONEY 70%
FOR BEGINNERS 50%
EASY TO ASSEMBLE 75%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • CNC millwright has AAA+++ service.Thanks to MILLRIGHT OF DEDEK! Had it been for a couple of weeks already, and have shared some of the designs. 2D, 2.5D, and 3D. No doubts about that purchase.

  • Black protective painting.

  • Home change kits with 3 snap connectors, change brackets, hardware, or cables.

  • The upgrade requires Wire splicing or connector crimping.

  • Difficult to fix Router, mount router, screw, end farms.

  • See certain products for adding mount and spindle to a router or router.

  • The vise is accessible at retailers with great tools.


6. Shapeoko 3 XXL Desktop CNC : Best for Large woodworking Projects

Shapeoko XXL Desktop CNC Carving Package

Shapeoko 3 XXL CNC machine is Shapeoko family’s most significant offering. In contrast to a vanilla Shapeoko 3, there are several other products that the brand makes. But, if you’re looking for a reasonable price for pushing into more considerable format CNC machining, then XXL will be a great purchase. 

If you look at the other version of the same machine called Shapeoko XL which has double the cutting area compared to its smaller counterpart the shapeoko standard machine. However, the shapeoko XXL has four times the cutting area. Now to be very honest, the shapeoko XXL is quite huge and may exceed your budget. 

This machine doesn’t come cheap but we mentioned it here since we thought you can, with any of the 3 options available. They have great features like all electronics and motors along with Carbide’s motion control software and aluminium extrusions and powder coated steel frame. 

VALUE FOR MONEY 86%
FOR BEGINNERS 75%
EASY TO ASSEMBLE 76%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Its XXL simply represents enormous value for either the ability or usable cutting region. Just try to ensure you get a sizable horizontal ground ready for this in the shop.

  • Its nuances for larger format machines are lacking, such as machined clamp holes or a freestanding base.

  • However, the devil is in the details when you see the quality of a Shapokeo's production.

PRODUCT TIMELINE

2020: Shapeoko 3 XXL was launched

2016: Shapeoko 3 XL was launched much larger in size than previous generation machines 

2015: Shapeoko 3 was launched


7. Workbee CNC machine: Best for Beginners

Workbee CNC machine

The workbee CNC machine is a flagship by Ooznest and has been built over a vast experience of listening to users and also coming up with features that newbies and professionals want in their machines. If you are a beginner and willing to work on low budget projects then this is a great machine to start. 

You can use it to cut foams, woods, plastics or even aluminium at depths that are greater than 25mm and that too till 0.2mm accuracy. 

The workbee CNC uses a Xtreme solid V wheels which are made using hard polycarbonate and what this does is reduce the wheel compression which means your machine goes a long way with minimum wear. The machine has a powerful 5 TMC2660 stepper driver that’s powerful for any CNC machine. 

VALUE FOR MONEY 88%
FOR BEGINNERS 80%
EASY TO ASSEMBLE 77%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • The great advantage of Belt driven architectures Speed is when I understand it.

  • They are also much quicker to reposition.
    Your input rate is constrained by how stable your router becomes, but these hobby type systems don't work well, placing themselves under tremendous tension.

  • Said that the energy you save on the light woods / shallower depths when repositioning or cutting would be immense, especially when you consider cut wood mainly.

  • Once the steppers have deactivated, you can migrate the gantry through the hand. It also saves a lot of time.

  • Need to follow the instructions carefully


8. MYSWEETY DIY CNC Router : Best multipurpose Machine

MYSWEETY DIY CNC Router

Having a CNC tool at your disposal is a great thing. Think of the number of possibilities that are opened up to you when you are using a CNC router right from your home. The idea of having a cheap CNC machine at home to craft any material or to use it for scientific or research works is made possible by MYSWEETY. The DIY CNC Router is a great product that can help you with all kinds of work.

It is a small machine that easily fits into the backyard workshop that you have created for yourself. The work table is just 160 mm x 100 mm. TThe spindle moves along a length of 45 mm making it very suitable to craft through many designs very easily and conveniently.The machine also supports different operating systems and even runs on Windows 10 or Linux, unlike other CNC machines. You can cut through all kinds of soft materials and metals (aluminum, copper) using this router.

The machine uses a 775 spindle to make excellent and smooth cuts on any surface. You can also attach a laser setup to this machine to meticulously etch calligraphy. And if you are not happy with the output this machine provides, they give you a warranty of a full refund within a year.Check Out: Best DIY CNC routers

VALUE FOR MONEY 84%
FOR BEGINNERS 86%
EASY TO ASSEMBLE 85%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Can be used offline

  • The laser is not included in the order, but it is compatible with the product

  • Relatively cheap

  • Cannot be used on hard materials such as metal

  • Not compatible with Mac devices

  • Does not come with software (although it can be used with open-source software easily found online)


9. 3 Axis CNC 3018 PRO by RATTMOTOR: Best for Hobbyists

3 Axis CNC 3018 PRO DIY Mini Engraver by RATTMOTOR

RATTMOTOR is a reputed maker of CNC Routers and makes some of the best machines. The 3 Axis CNC 3018 PRO is an excellent DIY tool for your home, backyard or garage workshop. It is small which makes it convenient for home use. However, its small size does not impact its working and it makes way for excellent cuts and carvings on a variety of materials.

The CNC Router comes in assembled parts and the buyer has to assemble the whole thing which isn’t difficult since it comes with manual information stored in a CD.  

You can run a motorized spindle bit on this machine for carving, chiseling and cutting operations. Users can also fix a laser to the head of the machine to etch designs on different types of surfaces.

The whole machine is crafted from aluminum making it a sturdy and durable machine. It provides you with a work area with dimensions 30 cm x 18 cm x 4.5 cm.

The machine requires 12 V supply at least to function smoothly. It can easily work on different operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows 7 and Linux making it a versatile unit.

VALUE FOR MONEY 70%
FOR BEGINNERS 77%
EASY TO ASSEMBLE 70%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • One of the best choice for hobby woodworkers since its not very complex

  • You can engrave on materials like plastic,wood, PVC and acrylic

  • Made up of aluminium which gives it core strength

  • The spindle that this cheap router comes with is not of very good quality

  • Price is a bit too high for the value


10. Mostics CNC Router : Easy to Setup and Durable

Mostics cheap cnc router

Mostics is a renowned maker of CNC routers and makes excellent tools. However, most of the CNC tools are gigantic and require a lot of space. If you are looking for an affordable CNC tool for your home, you need a small machine and the Mostics CNC 3018 Pro fits the purpose. 

The parts of this tool are also assembled in such a way that setting up this tool should not take you more than 20 minutes. You can also take the help of the disc that comes with the set- it is loaded with software, manuals and contact information for your convenience. The working bed on this CNC router is made from aluminum metal that increases its strength.

It covers 300 mm x 180 mm and the spindle can move along an axis of 45mm depth-wise. The router uses a 775 spindle that can run at a speed of 10000 rpm at 24 V and requires 12 to 36 V supply to function. It is packed with a lot of useful articles that find use in all kinds of woodworking projects.

You will get offline controllers, a 5.5 W laser, 4 clamps to fix your workpiece, 10 pieces of bits to last you a long time along with the engraving machine. With this extraordinary set up you can cut through any soft material, even soft metals such as aluminum and copper.

Value for Money 80%
For Beginners 70%
EASY TO ASSEMBLE 88%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • It is a versatile router with the availability of variable speed control dial to manage different applications.

  • The motor base along with its casing is made of metal to maintain durability.

  • Power button is dust-sealed for extra security.

  • Allows accurate cuts with precision.

  • Router often gets overheated and seizes the task.

  • Software is not of best quality


Conclusion

We discussed 10 best cheap CNC machines which one can purchase according to their requirement. Most of the CNC machines come at a very reasonable cost and can be used by the beginners to start with. 

The Edge Cutter is reader-supported website. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission.

19 thoughts on “10 Best Cheap CNC Machines in 2021: Top Products Reviewed”

  1. shapeoko XXL is trash. using it is a nightmare. issues:
    1. blanket level flexible table and all axes are horribly flexing too
    2. belt drive is inconsistent, looses up to 2mm in total cut length easily (adjusting it only fixes it for some weeks at best). seek ball srew machines.
    3. Z axis is not easily removable and accumulates dust.
    4. many machine disconnections, pcb and grounding is trash
    5. no emergency button, no machine switches. you only get a bed lamp grade switch which can switch itself on/off easily.
    6. no spindle on/off or speed control. dangerous, unproductive.
    7. provided dewalt router is horrible, too strong for the jelly like axes, too much power for grounding and interference handling for the pcb.
    8. no option for automatic tool changer
    9. everything is exposed to dust, no dust collection offered.
    10. difficult to square, this machine is not designed to be assembled and run accurately.
    11. software is horrible, simplistic, buggy.
    12. rhinoCAM carbide post processor is very buggy as well.
    14. limit switches are of horrendous quality and placement. 3 of them broke in 6 months of low duty operation. They are of abysmal accuracy as well. Forget about powering off the machine and continue working without re-zeroing your work. provision from the user while programming should be taken so that zero is placed in a fixed point that will not be cut during milling and can be used to rezero.
    15. the list goes on. we could continue talking about bad stuff about this machine forever.

    avoid shapeoko xxl by all means.

    Reply
    • Next wave automation makes a good entry level machine that is 4-axis capable.
      They are a little more expensive than the machines listed here but the upside is they include Vetric Vcarve software. Vcarve is a great product. I have owned their Piranha XL model for about 3 years now and although I plan on a major upgrade to an Axiom or Laguna machine next year I really can’t say anything bad about the NextWave Automation machines. I have had zero non-user induced issues with my Piranha model. Even when I have made mistakes I have yet to hurt the machine.
      The only reason for my upcoming upgrade is moving from hobby to some small scale production 3D work for sales, the NextWave Automation machine isn’t going to hold up long term for production 3D work and is a little slow compared to the higher end CNC machines I’m looking to buy. But I will be keeping the Piranha XL for 2D production. I expect to get many more years of use out of it.

      Reply
    • Hi Mike

      For purpose of carving, you can either go for BobCNC E3 which is great investment for a lot of projects but if you want something solely for carving then MySweety 3018 is a great machine.

      Reply
  2. What’s the best CNC machine for building an open source tiny home? Would it be possible to connect the machine to solar panels? We’re considering building an off grid cabin at a remote site.

    Reply
  3. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I
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    sites.

    Reply
  4. I enjoy what you guys tend to be up too.
    Such clever work and coverage! Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to
    blogroll.

    Reply
    • Hi Amy

      You should get a medium sized CNC machine since you are looking to make something on a larger wooden surface

      You can look for BobCNC machine or else opt for shapeko CNC Machines

      let me know if you need more help

      Reply
  5. Hi, thanks for the article…. uestion, which machine would you recommend for working with wood on projects up to 24 inches??? Engraving on cutting boards, juice grooves, etc?
    Thanks for your help!

    Reply
  6. I’m a beginner and looking for a router machine that will cut out wooden Christmas ornaments and smaller projects that are all wooden. Which machine would be best for a small space that can get the job done. Already assembled or easy assembly would be preferable and not to pricey. Thanks in advance

    Reply
  7. I’m looking for a machine that can engrave information on the side of a rifle barrel. not very deep. Do you have any suggestions?

    Reply
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    Reply

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