10 Best DIY CNC Routers in 2021: Reviews and Buying Guide

As woodworkers we all learn somewhere and make mistakes in our early days while exploring our CNC machines. If you are one of those hobbyist woodworkers who wants to build their own DIY CNC machine then it makes sense for you to invest in a budget friendly CNC router that can help you learn the different applications of a CNC router.

In this post, we have reviewed the best DIY CNC routers and have also crafted a guide on things to consider when you are buying your first Do-It-Yourself CNC router.

Product Name

Working Area

Special Features

BUY NOW

Best Selling Product

300 X 180 X 45mm

Has A High Speed 775 Spindle Motor. Materials Machined: Wood, Plastics, Ivory, Leather, Ceramic, Stone

Best Product

300x180x45mm

Laser Cut Frame With SG20U Supported Rail System.

Runner Up

300x180x45mm

All-Aluminum Body And Comes With Powerful Ye Silent Toshiba Drivers


Best DIY CNC Routers

1. McDowit 3018 Pro : Best Product Overall

McDowit 3018 Pro

McDowit DIY CNC router is a great option for everyone interested in the compact DIY machine, from beginners to experienced craftsmen.

The tool is simple enough to set up and learn how to use, making it perfect for someone who has had very limited interaction with this kind of machine.

But the capabilities of this tool are very high and the range is wide, meaning that more experienced users can also get everything they need out of it.

This router model is capable of cutting through a range of different materials, including wood, plastic, and softer metals such as aluminum.

It states that it is not suitable for harder metals, but there are very few routers out there that can achieve this. It is also one of the best CNC routers that’s also great for beginners.

This product comes with a number of parts including the router, a laser head, offline controller, and ten different router bits. Experienced craftsmen may feel as though this selection is not enough, but it provides the most-used basics.

This desktop CNC also offers a 1-year warranty period, and it does appear as though their customer service team are great at troubleshooting, and offering repairs or replacements where necessary. 

EASY TO ASSEMBLE 82%
VALUE FOR MONEY 88%
ACCURACY 88%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Great option for beginners

  • Can engrave a range of different materials

  • Offers offline mode

  • Relatively good price

  • 1-year warranty

  • It cannot carve hard metals


2. Cenoz 3018 Pro : Best Pick Under Budget

Cenoz 3018 Pro

If you are looking for a reliable router to get you started in this field of cutting and engraving, then this is a great option for you.

The lower price point means that it’s affordable and accessible to many people, and provides all of the capabilities you would expect from a router.

This is also referred to as the quick-assembly version, so although you are required to put together some pieces, most of it has already been done for you, making it easier and faster. 

This DIY CNC (computer numerical control) router offers three different modes of control, depending on your preference. You can take advantage of the computer control, which is the most widely used by people with a router.

You can also use the manual control option, which allows you to input G-code yourself. Finally, you can take advantage of the offline mode, which is capable of storing 1GB of information, big enough for your project.

Whichever method you choose, this desktop cnc is fast and reliable. They also make great milling machines. 

EASY TO ASSEMBLE 74%
VALUE FOR MONEY 70%
ACCURACY 80%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Very fast assembly - only 20 minutes

  • Offers computer control, manual control, and offline control

  • Relatively cheap option

  • Laser is not included, and must be bought separately

  • Only compatible with Windows computers (not Mac)


3. MySweety 3018 Pro : Best Selling Product

MySweety 3018

Mysweety 3018 DIY CNC router is probably not an ideal model for first-time users, just because of the higher-than-average cost associated with it. This is a large machine, perfect for creating bigger projects.

It comes with a powerful laser (5.5 watts), for extra precision and care.

It also has a stronger control board (in comparison to other models from this company), which is capable of supporting more powerful spindles (up to 20,000 rpm).

The offline controller has a capacity of 1GB, and can store G-code for use when programming movements. 

Mysweety 3018 comes with the router, an extension rod, the offline remote, ten different router bits, and four plates to keep your item in place while it is being cut.

The product also thoughtfully included a set of safety goggles, so that you can remain protected while you use it. Like the other MYSWEETY item on the list, this one offers a free 1-year warranty, so that you know you are covered if something were to go wrong in that timeframe. 

EASY TO ASSEMBLE 90%
VALUE FOR MONEY 88%
ACCURACY 90%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Provides an offline mode

  • Offers a 1-year warranty

  • This is an expensive model

  • Only works on Windows, not iOS

  • Not capable of working on any form of metal


4. BobCNC E4 : Best Premium Pick

BobCNC E4

BobsCNC Evolution 4 product truly is one of the best quality options on the market. After you have constructed it yourself, you are left with a DIY CNC router that is built to tackle even the hardest of jobs.

One of the downsides to this machine is the time it takes to assemble. Although one can argue that spending two days putting together all of the components provides a greater understanding of how they all work, it’s not necessary.

People can easily work a router without having to spend so long doing that. 

This company offers extensive resources for understanding how to assemble and work this machine on their website, and on their YouTube channel.

Many buyers may find this invaluable, as it provides you with a visual guide, to help you understand all parts of the process that you have maybe been struggling with.

With a 24″ x 24″ cutting area ,this makes Evolution 4 a really great option for beginners, because it shows you how everything is done, but it also has a wide range of capabilities, so that you can expand your learning as much as possible. Read: In-depth review of BobsCNC Evolution 3

EASY TO ASSEMBLE 68%
VALUE FOR MONEY 86%
ACCURACY 85%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Software compatible with all major OS

  • Great for beginners

  • Vast range of technical support documents on their website and

  • YouTube self-help videos

  • Very expensive


5. Kyhope CNC 2020B : Best Pick for Small Projects

Kyhope CNC Machine

If you are someone who only needs a DIY CNC router for small jobs, then this might be the tool for you. It is designed to be smaller than the average router, making it easier to move around and store when not in use.

The smaller machine also has a smaller price, making it more affordable than a lot of regular-sized options. This is clearly not a commercial router, but it should be enough for hobbyists. 

This model of router is supported by the GRBL system. This may take some time to get used to, by people who are unfamiliar with this system, but it functions perfectly fine once you learn to understand it.

The router can connect to any Windows computer or notebook via USB, so that you can start engraving. It is unclear whether or not this model comes with software, but there are a number of open-source programs you can find online if this router doesn’t have its own. 

EASY TO ASSEMBLE 60%
VALUE FOR MONEY 50%
ACCURACY 88%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Low price

  • This router is compact, making it easier to move around and complete smaller projects

  • Some people may find it difficult to work on a smaller surface

  • Limited options when it comes to engraving materials (only works on wood, PVC, and PCB)


6. MySweety 3018 : Best Pick For Professionals

MySweety 3018

This machine is an upgraded version of a previous model by MYSWEETY, and functions even better. This is a product for experienced engravers, and can be used when connected to the computer, or offline.

When using it with a computer, simply download the software and use that to create your designs that the router will follow. If you want to use it offline, you must disconnect it from the computer entirely.

This option allows you to manually adjust the settings of the machine so that you can still easily carve. 

This product comes with the necessary software, offline controller, and 10 different bits. This range should be enough for most people and is comprised of basic pieces that may get a lot of use.

Of course, experienced cutters may require different bits, but this is a solid beginning of a collection that can be built upon.

The company also offers a great 1-year warranty, so you know that you are covered if any of the pieces are defective. 

EASY TO ASSEMBLE 80%
VALUE FOR MONEY 80%
ACCURACY 80%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Offline mode is available

  • Options for manual control

  • Can engrave a range of different materials with ease

  • 1-year warranty

  • In order to use offline mode, it must be completely disconnected from the computer

  • The instruction manual is very limited
    Can’t engrave metal


Other Great Picks

7. Genmitsu 3018 Pro

Genmitsu CNC Machine

If you are new to the world of DIY CNC routers, the Genmitsu model is an excellent machine to learn from. It’s very simple to use, and most people manage to pick it up fairly quickly.

This is the perfect router to practice on, because not only is it durable and capable of weathering some damage, but it’s not too expensive either. If something does end up breaking, it’s a lot cheaper to fix.

This router is also great for more experienced craftsmen who prefer simplicity and ease, although it may not offer the power and capabilities you are looking for. 

There is obviously some compromise when it comes to the price, and that comes in the form of quality. There are definitely other routers that create better designs, but they are far more expensive.

This model also has an offline control option, perfect for wherever you are. Although it does not come with the product, it also has laser capabilities.

You can purchase a laser from the same brand, which offers a whole new range of opportunities when it comes to engraving. 

EASY TO ASSEMBLE 88%
VALUE FOR MONEY 80%
ACCURACY 80%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Easy setup (only takes 15 minutes)

  • Cheap

  • Can handle a number of different materials

  • Designed for beginners

  • May not offer a full scope of work that experienced router users are accustomed to


8. Zen Toolworks

Zen Toolworks CNC Machine

As far as DIY CNC routers go, Zen toolworks CNC  is not necessarily the best on the market. Other brands offer other items that you know you will need in order to work the router, such as software, a motor driver, spindle/cutter, and a power supply.

Some people may already have these components at home but for many craftsmen, these are things that must be bought separately.

If you are committed to buying the corresponding packages, then this may still be a good option for you. Its one of the best cnc routers if you are a professional. 

Aside from that, the machine works well when you get it up and running. It is capable of performing advanced tasks on hard materials such as metal, with no issues whatsoever.

The set-up process is relatively easy, and can be done fairly quickly. If you are struggling, there are a number of tutorial videos on the company’s YouTube channel, for clarification.

They also offer further help on their website, as well as a strong customer support team. 

EASY TO ASSEMBLE 88%
VALUE FOR MONEY 75%
ACCURACY 80%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Can be used on metal

  • Replacement parts can be easily sourced if you ever need them

  • Swift assembly process

  • This model is relatively expensive compared to others that can be found

  • Doesn’t come with software like some of the other options do


9. CnCest 4-Axis 3040

CnCest CNC Machine

If you have been looking for a DIY CNC router that is capable of handling projects that are slightly larger and tougher, this might be the router for you.

The company claims that this is suitable for both personal and commercial use, thanks to the quality and precision of the milling machine. It can be used as an engraver kit in a number of different materials, and the computer control ensures that everything is accurate. 

This router is easy to assemble meaning that customers should get it up and running fairly easily. One of the only downsides is the fact that you can only use it when connected to the computer, there is no offline mode.

Although computer mode is easy to use, as well as accurate and precise, others may prefer the control of doing it all themselves.

There are also compatibility issues with what kind of computers are capable of running the necessary software for this router (it only works on Windows).

The company also states that this router should not be used with notebooks, as their power-saving abilities can disrupt the engraving process. 

EASY TO ASSEMBLE 88%
VALUE FOR MONEY 50%
ACCURACY 80%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Strong frame for longer durability

  • Wide range of capabilities, suitable for a range of projects

  • Only computer-driven. Does not come with capabilities for an offline mode

  • Not compatible with all computers or devices


THE BELOW PRODUCT IS NOT AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM

10. Purewords

Purewords CNC Machine

If you are looking for a DIY CNC router with a bit of style, this model might just be for you. It looks sleeker and more professional than some of the others and while that may have no impact on the way it actually works, it does help it to look good with all of the other tools you may have.

The working table is of average size compared to other routers, so you aren’t losing the opportunity to complete larger tasks. The setup process is simple, and the company also sends video tutorials as support, so that you can be sure you’re doing everything right. 

This router can be used offline, for those who prefer this option. When used with the computer control, the software is compatible only with Windows, but a range of Windows systems.

You don’t have to update your OS in order to get this router to work. Unfortunately it only works on Windows, but those who use alternative operating systems can still take advantage of the offline option. 

EASY TO ASSEMBLE 88%
EASY TO ASSEMBLE 50%
ACCURACY 80%

*The above mentioned scores are out of 100

PROS

CONS

  • Can engrave on a wide range of materials, including some metals and leather

  • Strong motor power

  • Not designed for industrial use

  • Only compatible with Windows OS


Things to consider when buying a DIY CNC router

There is a wide price range

DIY CNC routers can be purchased at a number of different prices. In most cases, the cost is definitely a reflection of the quality you are going to get. If you are a beginner, it may be wise to opt for a cheaper model just until you get the hang of things. Definitely consider investing your money in a product that will perform better later on, when you are confident. 

Pick a size that is right for you

DIY CNC routers can be found with different-sized tables, and you may want to double check that they meet your specifications. Smaller options are great for those who only create small works, but of course this might not suit all users. 

Commercial vs personal

Many DIY CNC routers are designed to be used at home, for minor jobs. They are not built to withstand heavier use. If you know that you are going to be using that machine a significant amount, it may be worth it to purchase a more durable and hardworking machine. You save money in the long run by not having to pay so much for repairs and replacements.

Not all routers can be used on all materials

Understand what your likely uses are, and then use that to find the right router. Many routers have limitations on what materials they can engrave or cut, which can then affect what you are trying to do. If you are just cutting wood or plastic this is usually fine, but not all models have the capabilities for options such as aluminum. 

Check the reviews for assembly experiences

Some DIY CNC routers are a breeze to put together, while others are not. This can all depend on the quality of the instructions, and how clear the company is. Many products come with YouTube tutorials that can help when you get stuck, or you can consider purchasing a semi-constructor router, to get rid of part of the struggle. 


Final Verdict

You now have 10 different options to choose from the Best DIY CNC router, it can be confusing but only if you are not clear about your purpose. You may choose based on your budget or the end product that you wish to create.

We will recommend you invest in a machine that’s not very expensive but yet gets the job done. For new woodworkers who want to hone their woodworking skills, It’s always great to learn first, make some mistakes and then invest in a machine that’s more refined. 

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3 thoughts on “10 Best DIY CNC Routers in 2021: Reviews and Buying Guide”

  1. What would you suggest if you only have $500 to invest I do woodworking but I only needed to make drawer fronts for cabinets or doors

    Reply
    • Hi Charles

      If you have just $500 and want to make drawer fronts for cabinets or doors then

      I will recommend you Sainsmart-Genmitsu CNC Router since its a compact size and works well with wood. Its the perfect size for such small size projects

      Reply

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