Stepcraft is a company that has been around for about eight years now, and it has gained quite the popularity in all these years of its existence. Stepcraft 840 is one of their flagship CNC machine series.
This German company has its own loyal band of users, and in fact, a very active community at the social media platforms to help you out if you face any glitch or any setbacks.
Now, the company has a pretty wide range of offerings, in terms of CNC machines and CNC offerings, and you must have even heard most users say good things about the products.
And, this might have led you to consider the 2/D.840 Construction Kit from the brand for your wood engraving and vinyl cutting needs. The question that is surely going around in your mind right now is whether or not buying the product would be the right investment.
If you are still looking for something very specific then take a look at best wood routers under 200.
So, let’s help you in making the decision today by providing you a detailed review of the product. You will surely be able to make your decision after you know the pros and cons of this CNC router.Read detailed review of all Stepcraft Machines
Best for Beginners
With Tool Changer
Table of Contents
Coming from the D-series of Stepcraft, the brand has made sure to provide this compact router with a plethora of pretty commendable features.
From letting you cut a wide variety of materials, allowing the customization with a number of add-ons, to the ease of assembling, there is a lot to like about the product, and a few things that need to be changed. Let’s take a look at the features, pros, and cons of Stepcraft-2/D.840.
Features of Stepcraft-2/D.840
1. Cuts through a range of materials
Though it is certainly not an industrial router, it does let you play with a whole variety of materials, in spite of its size. You can basically cut almost anything with it, and that includes aluminum, thermoplastics, carbon, Plexiglas, polyamide, all kinds of PVC, PP, PE, ABS, and certainly wood. That is pretty good range for a CNC router that you put your trust on.
if youare working more on metal’s like aluminum than wood, then take a look at the best cnc routers for aluminum
2. Customization options through add-on tools
To top it off, the brand offers you further opportunities to extend your creativity by allowing you to equip the CNC router with a range of tools that you can mount and exchange as you need. So, as per your need, you can put in the 3D Printer Head, the HF-500 Spindle, the hot wire cutter, the point engraver, and the laser cutter. This actually widens the limits of what you can do with the router.
3. Easy to assemble and maintain
When Stepcraft promises you that assembling would be easy, they mean it. The assembling instructions are easy to understand, and you get step by step videos to guide you on the process. The EasyBuild manual that the brand offers you helps you in assembling the router within a couple of hours. Besides, since you will be able to assemble the entire router all by yourself, it will be easier for you to adjust and maintain it afterwards.
4. High-quality materials used in manufacturing
Now, let’s talk about the materials used to make this CNC router. First off, the anodizing and powder coating makes the surface easy to care and resistant to everyday wear and tear. The connection elements are made from high-quality aluminum or stainless steel.
The brand sources the lead screws from the experts in Switzerland and the spindle nuts are made from bearing bronze. The Y axis has a silicon sealing for making it dirt resistant. The machine table is made from HPL, which is resistant to wear and tear. So, all in all, the durability and sturdiness of the product is assured.
Let’s Take a look at the Pros and Cons of the Machine
- The compact size makes it perfect for the smaller workstations that need the machine to fit in the space and also deliver precise work.
- The ability to power through a wide range of materials, right from aluminum, thermoplastics, carbon, Plexiglas, polyamide, all kinds of PVC, PP, PE, ABS, to wood.
- Ability to accommodate a number of tools that are commonly used, such as, the 3D Printer Head, the HF-500 Spindle, the hot wire cutter, the point engraver, and the laser cutter.
- Assembling is super easy thanks to the graphical description in the EasyBuild manual, along with multiple videos that you will find online.
- The router is easy to maintain and adjust as per your needs since you get to know all about it while assembling
- A durable and sturdy product because of the use of top-notch materials in the construction of its parts
- Highly active Facebook community to offer you solutions, suggestions, ideas, and so on. You can find answers to any query about the product in there.
- The product comes with a warranty of two years.
- An affordable price range compared to many other options and a commendable cutting surface on offer
- The router is driven by one stepper motor which moves the two axis through one belt. So, things need to be really aligned or they will bind while moving along the axis. A fix is to buy StepCraft’s performance kit which removes the belt and single motor and replaces it with dual motors with encoders giving more power and speed and much less issues with Y alignment.
- Getting the aluminum base is a must if you want to cut materials that are harder than softwood
- Alignment of the axis in relation to the cutting plane is all wrong. You have no effective way of ensuring that the mill stays perpendicular to the surface. The fix is if you loosen the bolts that secure the X axis to the Gantry uprights, there is a little bit of play in the holes that allow you to move each side slightly up and down. This way you can perfectly Tram the gantry to the machine table.
- The compact size might be a problem when you have hone your skills further and want to try your hand at more options. The limitation of the 840 is only in X axis, You can tile jobs and run unlimited in Y if you like. Especially if you are using Vectric because they have a nice tile function. However If you wanted to start doing 4×8 foot material, then yes the 840 would not work.
There is no perfect CNC router in the world, and as such, Stepcraft 840 has its flaws too. What is commendable is that the brand keeps learning from its mistakes and keeps evolving its products. For instance, the Q series is more expensive and robust compared to the D series. In fact, Stepcraft is already planning to include two motors for two axs to solve the previously mentioned issue.
In the present state of the product, the Stepcraft 840 is for semi-professional use. It is not for the hardcore professionals who need a machine that can do more, and is certainly, bigger in size. But, the beginners can get this affordable CNC Router that gets the job done. All in all, the product is a good buy.