7 Best GRBL CNC Controllers: Top Choices Reviewed

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GRBL is an useful open source software that helps in effective control of CNC machines. A GRBL CNC controller can function effectively when you connect GRBL with Arduino. Due to its use with Arduino, it is easy to set up G-code since the input and output point offers easy control. 

In simpler terms, with the use of GRBL, the G-code can be used for better motor movement in the CNC movement. The software should be uploaded to the Arduino. Soon after installation of GRBL on the Arduino, the G-code is created that enables hassle-free control on the CNC controller machine. 

Product Name

Input Voltage

Special Features

Price

Expert Choice


ICROATO GRBL Controller

3 axes,power input 24V (12-24)

Supports Windows XP/7/8/10

Value For Money


Beauty Star Controller

DC 24V (12-24)

No need of a compute. Works offline with SD Card.

Runner Up


RATTM Motor Controller

12-24VDC (recommend 24VDC)

Support System:Windows XP/7/8/10. Supports XYZ 3 axis Control

These controllers are mostly used by DIY enthusiasts when they are building their own custom DIY CNC machine. Below are some of the best GRBL CNC controllers that have been enumerated for better guidance of an Arduino user.

7 Best GRBL CNC Controllers

3 Axis GRBL

The above said GRBL or the G-code sender is compatible to run with Windows XP, Windows 7, 8 and 10. It supports a 12 V laser, and its input voltage can vary from 12 to 24 VDC. With its three-axis control, laser head and spindle, it offers easy accessibility. Moreover, the GRBL comes installed with a control board that helps to keep away from short circuit issues even when using it for a long time.

RATTM Motor CNC controller has an easy power button. The drive module is well connected with the motor drive, offering protection from short circuits enabling smooth heart distribution through a quality aluminum alloy body. 

Another unique feature is its offline recognition as it can be easily connected with offline modules and systems. At this time, the system can identify the control system on the computer. Adding to this, The USB interface prevents collision, easy to use, durable, and available in the form of a plugged-in device. 

Pros:

  • Supports XYZ axis
  • The CNC controller supports GRBL Control/Candle(3 axis)/Universal Gcode Sender
  • Supports Windows XP/7/8/10

Cons:

  • Doesn’t support Mac OS

3 Axis GRBL 1.1f USB Port CNC Engraving Machine Controller

This 3 axis GRBL Offline Controller contains a USB cable, latest SD card, GRBL 1.1 J 3 axis control board for proper functioning. It offers a hassle-free setup with many technical glitches. The features of the GRBL CNC machine make it perfect to be used for different projects. 

The controller is installed with LED lights with an easy to use axis button on it. Plug in, connect with the GRBL software and it is good to go. With the easy connectivity of the GRBL CNC controller with USB, it is easy to start using it. Therefore, it is suitable for use both by beginners and experienced ones.  

Pros:

  • Comes with offline control
  • The controller also has a cooling fan
  • The CNC controller comes with Atmel 328P master chip

Cons:

  • Few users have reported the axis button not working

3D Printer CNC Controller Kit with for ArduinoIDE

The above said Longruner printer kit is installed with quality sensor and component modules that are suitable to cater to different project needs. It includes items like Longruner broad, shield board, USB cable. In addition to this, it contains a 17 stepper motor 1.7A, motor mounting bracket, easy mechanical stop switch, cable. 

The controller has a DRV8825 stepper motor driver, an aluminum heatsink with solid tape backing. With these components, it becomes easy to work on the CNC controller especially for 3D printing operations. When planning to invest for a professional 3d printer controller kit, this is the one. Each of these kits from Longruner is made from premium quality material that has ease of handling and better connectivity. 

Moreover, the components of the kit are designed in such a way that it has found wide use across different applications. The USB interface has an ATmega16U2 voltage capacity with 6 I-I/O pin output current of the analog current input.

Pros:

  • The build quality of components used in the set is of high quality
  • Supports 4 axis(X, Y, Z and the fourth axis)
  • Has a clock speed of 16MHz

Cons:

  • Comes with 3 end stops instead of 6 

GRBL 1.1 Controller Board for CNC Engraving Machine

When looking for an upgraded version of GRBL, this 1.1 controller is a suitable option that is perfect to work on the CNC machine. Comes with 3 axes and a power input of 24V, it is a suitable one for use. It is supportive of operating system versions like Windows XP, 7, 8 and Windows 10. Along with this, it comes with a 42/57 step motor, 775ER support spindle motor, and a 12V5A max laser support. 

With the use of a quality controller board and USB cable, it becomes easy to work with the GRBL CNC controller. Other features installed are the E-stop and limit switch button. It offers the convenience of use, and therefore, it is worthy of investing in this GRBL CNC controller. The design of motor control is perfect to be used even by beginners. 

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Pros:

  • Supports 3 axes with input power of 24V
  • Best for CNC 3018 machines due to flexibility of controls
  • Comes with E-stop and limit switch headers

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come calibrated by default

3-Axis GRBL USB Driver Controller

If you are looking for a model that is perfect to be configured with a 3 axis CNC router, the above said GRBL CNC controller is the one. The 0.9J USB GRBL controller is compatible to run with this software. The controller has two 12 to 36V input voltage, one 12V laser output and a 24V 775 motor output for ease of access. 

In addition to the above features, the grbl controller comes installed with a 3 stepper driver of A4988. Along with this, it has a 12V support stepper and 4 master chip of 328P arduino nano.

With unique features like offline support and easy Bluetooth functionality, it can be one of the suitable investments to choose from. It comes with 5.5-2.5mm DC interface power adapter and easy spindle support, when looking for a quality GRBL CNC controller machine; this can be one of the latest models.  

Pros:

  • Can be used by DIY enthusiasts for multi-purpose operations
  • You can by control the device by CNC Software 0.9J USB GRBL Controller
  • Supports integration with 3 stepper motors

Cons:

  • A bit expensive than usual GRBL controllers

3 Axis 1.1f Laser Control Board USB GRBL Controller

The above said GRBL 1.1F 3 Axis Control also supports offline controller connectivity. With an input voltage range of 12 to 24 VDC, this laser GRBL is compatible to run with versions of operating systems like Windows XP, Windows 7, 8, 10. The laser configuration is 12V that makes it perfect to work with. It requires a 12V laser stepper motor that should be configured with at least 2A current or less within 1.5A range. 

Even the master chip of atmega328P on Arduino Nano supports easy offline control and both the TF and SD card can be handled at the same time. With a total of 1G capacity, the GRBL with the CNC controller is an easy bet to use.   

The axis location can be manually controlled on the machine with an easy offline file recognition technique. The integrated motor drive is an easy one to use with better outer casting. In addition, it has an easy power switch button to use.

Pros:

  • Works easily with Lightburn and
  • LaserGRBL while supporting all windows OS versions
  • The 3 axis controller also supports offline control
  • Ability to control laser and spindle at the same time

Cons:

  • Can’t be used for multiple purposes

3 Axis Grbl Control Double Y-Axis USB CNC Controller

Are you looking for a GRBL controller that can be connected with the offline controller? The above-said product is a suitable option to try. Installed with some cutting edge functionalities, it has easy Bluetooth connectivity. Perfect for all-in round usage, the latest 3 A4988 drivers are used in this controller. This enables a direct connection with the stepper motor. 

The subversion driver section can be easily adjusted as required. The package comes with one USB data cable, 1 motor line, and 1 control board. With little technical knowledge, it is easy to establish connected between the negative and positive poles. 

Moreover, the driver can be adjusted with easy support of limit switches along with a probe interface. Also, the offline controller functions easily making it worthy to invest for the above said one.     

Pros:

  • Provides support for 3 axes
  • The driver subdivision is adjustable
  • Controller has bluetooth functionality and also support cutter setting adjustment

Cons:

  • The delivery time taken by manufacturer is more than the usual time

Conclusion

It is important that the GRBL should be properly installed on the CNC controller machine. This will help in the smooth functioning of the machine. After the installation, proper configuration is required so that the GRBL can adapt to the specifications of the controller. Make sure that the correct settings are made on the controller for proper functioning. 

2 thoughts on “7 Best GRBL CNC Controllers: Top Choices Reviewed”

  1. I didn’t see it mentioned in your reviews so I thought I’d bring it up. A nice feature is dual y stepper motor outputs off of the grbl board. This is a nice feature as most engravers use two stepper motors for the y axis. Sometimes a rod is used to transfer the power from one motor but this is not as good as two motors in my opinion. I’m not sure about this being a big deal for DIY cnc but for those makers using a low cost engraver to run a small spindle, Dremel or plasma cutter then this is a desirable feature. One other thing is I don’t think Mac or pc connection matters as the board reads gcode and that s universal.

    Reply
    • I agree that choice of OS doesn’t matter. The one I have claims that it doesn’t support Mac but runs just fine off my MacBook Pro. Not sure of the name brand as it came with my machine all the information just states GRBL Control; Power Supply: 24V 5A(110V-220V). It looks like a wood pecker with the plastic enclosure but several in this list have the same looking enclosure as well.

      Reply

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