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How to choose a suitable CNC router machine-the ultimate guide

Author: Jack; Last Modify: Jan 27, 2021


Different users have different processing requirements, and different types of CNC router machines also have their own processing materials and processing areas. How to choose a suitable CNC wood router with high-cost performance is one of the most important issues for users.

As a professional CNC router manufacturer with decades of experience in the CNC router machine industry and thousands of users from home and abroad, we will help you analyze the three main aspects. These aspects include the CNC router machine itself,  the CNC router kits, the user's perspective, and the manufacturer's perspective. There are also a lot of small details to pay attention to in every aspect. Our purpose is to help all users in the woodworking engraving machine industry to choose a suitable CNC router machine or spend the least money on the most cost-effective CNC router machine.

part1: In term of the CNC router machine itself


1.1 The processing function of the different CNC router machine


3 axis CNC router/wood CNC router

As we all know, ordinary wood engraving machines have three axes, that is, the XYZ axis. The structure of this type of CNC wood engraving machine and the programming of the movement form is relatively simple. During the processing, the direction of the tool will not change. Therefore, this type of CNC router machine is easier to operate and use. And it is suitable for beginners or novices in the CNC industry.

Due to the structural advantages, this CNC wood router can achieve a large machining stroke. Therefore, it can also meet diverse processing needs. It has always been regarded as the best-selling CNC router machine in the field of CNC machining. This type of CNC wood router on the market includes the multispindle CNC machine, ATC CNC router machine, mini wood engraving machine, stone CNC router machine, etc. If you just do some simple plane processing, you can choose this wood CNC machine.

4 axis CNC router

The above is the processing function of the ordinary wood CNC router (3-axis CNC machine)and the corresponding selection user. Next, let's talk about the 4-axis CNC router machine. The 4 axis CNC router machine has four processing directions of X, Y, Z, and A axes. Since the spindle of this type of CNC machine can swing left and right, the spindle tool can approach the workpiece from many different angles and effectively process three effective processing surfaces. The CNC machine can not only realize plane engraving but also realize 3D engraving of irregular and complex workpieces.

Rotary axis CNC router

In addition, there is a kind of CNC router machine with a rotary device which is also called a rotary axis CNC router or 4 axis CNC router by many users. This type of wood engraving machine is equipped with a special rotary device, which can effectively process four processing surfaces, especially when processing cylindrical and four-sided three-dimensional workpieces, greatly reducing the number of clamping, and can perform multi-sided processing more easily. Therefore, this type of four-axis CNC engraving machine can realize the processing of three-dimensional workpieces such as keels, Buddha statues, Roman columns, gourds, and cylindrical, turning and box-shaped columns, corbels, armrests, chair legs, door, and window frames processing.

3 axis cnc router

Tips: For the choice of these two types of 4 axis CNC machines, many users are easily mistaken. Choosing the wrong CNC router machine not only fails to meet your processing needs but also wastes a lot of financial resources, manpower, materials, and time. Why is there such a phenomenon of true and false 4 axis CNC router, stems from engraving? Some small samples such as olive cores have a small amount of deformation during the engraving process. The processing requirements of this relief engraving are suitable for processing with a rotary axis CNC router(false 4 axis CNC router).

This type of wood CNC router machine with the rotary device is also suitable for processing dragon columns, or some symmetrical or cylindrical workpieces. However, for some asymmetric or square and rectangular workpieces, the amount of deformation during the engraving process is too large, it is not suitable to choose the rotary axis engraving machine, so those customers who engrave Guanyin or Buddha ornaments should not consider this rotary axis engraving machine.

4 axis cnc router

Above we are talking about the processing functions and corresponding customers of the 3-axis CNC router machine, 4-axis wood engraving machine, and rotary axis CNC router machine. In short, the 3 axis CNC router machine is suitable for simple plane engraving. The 4-axis CNC router is suitable for engraving relatively complex three-dimensional workpieces. The rotary axis CNC router is suitable for engraving cylindrical workpieces.

In addition, if the production volume is relatively large or the production efficiency and processing accuracy are relatively high, you can choose an ATC CNC router or a multi-process CNC router machine. If it is mostly processing in the stone industry, you can choose a stone CNC machine. If it is mostly the processing in the advertising industry or handicraft enthusiasts, you can choose the mini CNC router. For more selection guides, you can contact us. Our professional team provides you with customized machine guides to ensure that you will spend the least amount of money and buy the most satisfactory CNC router machine.

rotary axis cnc router

Part2. In term of choice of CNC router machine kits/parts

The CNC router kits determine the service life of the CNC router machine, and the choice of CNC router kit also plays a vital role in the choice of the CNC router machine. Next, we will use a long space to analyze for you to choose the s of the CNC router kits. Whether it is the machine bed, control system, guide rails, or various machine parts such as the spindle and working table, we will tell you one by one.

2.1. The CNC router machine bed.

The first requirement for the bed is to be stable. The stability of the bed directly affects the machining accuracy and quality of the CNC router machine. Therefore, the bed of the CNC router machine must be firm and not deformed. Otherwise, the CNC router machine will sway when engraving the plate, causing the head to not follow the prescribed path, which ultimately affects the processing quality of the CNC router machine.

Commonly used in the field of CNC router machines are T-shaped beds and square tube beds. Both are structurally stable and can achieve the desired processing results for customers. In comparison, the T-bed is structurally stronger and has a longer service life. Frame bed, the purchase cost is relatively low, users with limited budget can consider this bed.

It is necessary to remind everyone that for the convenience of transportation, Blue Elephant CNC can provide users with a split bed, which will facilitate the transportation of the machine without affecting the stability of the bed. Therefore, it is very popular with customers. If you have the conditions, you can also go to the production workshop of the engraving machine manufacturer to test the carving on-site to check the stability of the bed.

cnc router bed

2.2. The  CNC router motor.

We all know that the motor directly affects the engraving speed of the wood engraving machine. Speed equals efficiency. Therefore, the processing speed affects the processing efficiency and accordingly affects the user's economic benefits. In the CNC router machine industry, there are mainly two types of the drive motors such as servo motor and stepper motor. The servo motor has the advantages of high precision, fast speed, and long service life. In addition, the ability to withstand overload is strong and can withstand a load three times the rated torque. The operation is stable and the noise is very low.

Blue elephant CNC router machine uses imported brand servo motors like YASKAWA, Panasonic, Siemens. This type of servo motor can not only ensure the rapid and stable operation of the machine but also ensure high precision and high quality.

Stepper motors have the advantages of simple structure, convenient control, high reliability, high precision, and low cost. Blue Elephant provides users with Leadshine, YAKO, and other well-known brands to ensure that the machine has a long service life.

I think you will ask when to choose a servo motor and when to choose a stepper motor? Stepper motors are generally selected for simple plane engraving or small engraving machines. If you have high requirements on processing accuracy and complicated processing patterns, select the servo motor with.

In addition, the power of the motor determines the engraving strength of the CNC router machine. Taking the woodworking industry as an example, everyone knows that the wood engraving machine has three major functions such as cutting, embossing, and punching. Especially for the cutting function, when the engraving machine needs to cut the board, it needs to use a high-power motor. The relief function is generally only 1-2mm, so it just needs a low-power motor such as 1.5kw or 2.2kw.

2.3. CNC router machine transmission mode

In the field of CNC router machines, there are two transmission modes such as rack drive and screw drive. The screw drive is the transmission mode at the origin of the engraving machine. It has high precision, slow running speed, high environmental requirements, and relatively short service life. The Y-axis single screw is not easy to be too long (the model cannot be too large). It is easy to shake. If the installation accuracy is not high, the Y-axis screw may runoff for a long time. If the precision is too high, the Y-axis double screw structure can meet the processing requirements. A screw drive is mainly used for carving in the advertising industry, wood products, small crafts, lighter stone, etc.

Rack drive is an upgraded transmission method of screw drive. It is a newly developed transmission method that cannot be satisfied by the high-speed processing of the screw machine. It is also a relatively widely used mechanical transmission in modern machinery. The transmission accuracy is high. It can reach 0.1mm, the bearing capacity is large, the transmission speed is very fast, it can be connected with unlimited length and the high-speed operation will not affect the accuracy of the rack. If the configuration is higher, the positioning accuracy can reach 0.03 ~ 0.05mm, the repeated positioning accuracy is about 0.03mm, and the reverse gap is only less than 0.01mm.

Compared with the ball screw, the rack and pinion transmission can transmit the motion between the two shafts at any angle and can ensure a constant transmission ratio, higher reliability, smooth operation, better durability, and greater transmission power. It is widely used in laser cutting machines, glass/steel plate CNC cutting machines, large engraving machines, and CNC machining centers, etc.

2.4. CNC router spindle

We mainly distinguish the spindle from the cooling mode, mainly including air-cooled spindle and water-cooled spindle. The air-cooled spindle adopts the fan cooling method to cool the spindle. And it has the advantages of simple operation, convenient maintenance, and low cost, no special maintenance is required, so maintenance and use costs are low. This type of CNC router spindle is suitable for users who are short of water resources. Especially the users in the north, it is recommended to choose the air-cooled spindle, which can avoid the freezing water in winter due to the low temperature.

The water-cooled spindle uses water circulation to cool the heat generated by the spindle at high speed. It has the advantages of a good cooling effect, low noise, long service life, and high accuracy. Blue Elephant provides two kinds of cooling spindles for users to choose, to meet the diverse processing needs of users.

2.5. CNC router c on trol system

As we all know, the operation of the woodworking engraving machine is closely related to its control system. The CNC router controller on the market mainly contains computer control, handle control, and integrated machine control. Computer control is to control the walking path of the engraving machine's XYZ axis and the rotation of the spindle motor by installing a control card on the PCI slot of the computer motherboard and installing a driver on the computer.

With this control method, the operator can preview the processing effect, can see the processing track at any time, and can correct it in time if the program loading error. The Weihong control system used by the Blue elephant CNC machine is the most widely used system in the CNC machine control system at present. It has many features like a user-friendly interface, simple and convenient operation, complete functions, and high program compatibility. And all kinds of engraving CAM software can be direct or indirect import. The disadvantage is that you need to configure a computer separately, but fortunately, the computer configuration requirements are extremely low. For customers with a small budget, you can configure second-hand obsolete computers.

Then lets we talk about handle control. Handle control is a control method that can be used to control the movement of the CNC wood engraving machine. The biggest advantage is that it saves space and does not require a computer. It greatly reduces the space occupied by the equipment, and it is more convenient to set the knife. The disadvantage is that the operation is relatively troublesome. After all, all the functions are collected on one control panel. If you are not skilled, it is easy to press the wrong function key. What’s more, the disadvantage is that there is no preview and other functions, and the interface is not as intuitive as the computer.

The last thing to talk about is all-in-one machine control. This control method adopts an independent integrated design, adopts integrated control of industrial computers, PLC, and so on. It has rich interfaces and complete functions and can realize multi-axis control and automatic tool change. This control system is mainly used for high-end CNC machines, machining centers, and some mold machine wood engraving machines, etc. The anti-jamming capability of this control system, as well as all aspects of performance and control, accuracy are better than other control methods. The disadvantage is that the price is higher and the operation is more inclined to CNC router machine tools. It is a bit difficult for some customers to operate.

The above is the introduction of the advantages and disadvantages of these three control methods. It is recommended that users select the control method that suits their processing needs based on their own budget, operating capacity, and other factors.

control systerm

2.6. CNC router guide

The guide rails on the market are mainly including round rails and square rails. The square rail has high positioning accuracy, good reproduction, and the friction coefficient is particularly small, especially the gap between the static friction force and the dynamic friction force is very small, even when the micro feed is small, there will be no slipping phenomenon, and the resolution is good, so it can be achieved positioning accuracy of high level. Low friction resistance can maintain accuracy for a long time.

In addition, because the square rail can withstand high load capacity in four directions, it can simultaneously bear radial, reverse radial, and lateral loads, and maintain walking accuracy. The square rail is suitable for high-speed applications. It has the characteristics of low friction resistance, low demand for the driving horsepower of the equipment, and large energy-saving effects, especially low motion wear and low temperature rise effect, which can achieve the requirements of miniaturization and high-speed machinery.

The characteristics of the round rail wood engraving machine are high bearing capacity, and precision is generally a substitute for square linear guide rails on many occasions because of the relatively low cost of the circular guide rail, short production cycle, and easy installation.

In short, the round rail is suitable for small-sized wood engraving machines such as advertising CNC router machines and desktop wood CNC router. Square rails are more suitable for wood engraving machines and machining centers with larger machining strokes.

guild rail

2.7. Tool change method

The automatic tool changer CNC router machine is popular with more and more users due to its advantages such as fast tool change speed and high production efficiency. According to the tool change method, it mainly contains in-line tool change and disc tool change. The number of tool magazines in the line-up tool magazine can be customized according to the user's specific processing requirements.

The position of the inline tool magazine can be placed under the gantry or behind the bed. This tool change method has the advantages of low cost and fast tool change speed. In particular, the straight-line tool magazine placed under the gantry greatly saves the time of tool change, improves the processing efficiency, reduces the wear on the guide rails, and prolongs the service life of the machine accordingly. The position placed under the gantry is the most reasonable, because this way the tool change speed is fast, the wear on the guide rail is small, saving time, and there is no need to run to the rear every time the tool is changed.

The number of tools in the rotary tool magazine can be customized according to the user's processing requirements. The tool magazine can be placed next to the spindle or the side of the gantry. This rotary tool change method has the characteristics of faster tool change speed, so the production efficiency is higher. In addition, this tool change method makes the machine run more stable, which can ensure higher processing accuracy and higher processing quality.

2.8. CNC router table

There are two kinds of CNC router tables in the engraving machine industry like common tables and vacuum adsorption tables. The common aluminum T-slot working table fixed materials by fixtures. A layer of aluminum profiles with T-slots is placed on the bottom of the table, and a layer of PVC is placed on the table. This table is fixed by fixtures, which is suitable for irregular material shapes which is not easy to fix by vacuum adsorption or the processing technology is a relief, hollowing, cutting, and other processes.

The vacuum table consists of a vacuum pump and high-quality bakelite, which includes six-zone and eight-zone vacuum adsorption, which can further enhance the adsorption function. We just need to put the workpiece on the vacuum adsorption table, turn on the vacuum pump, open the control valve, and directly suck the workpiece on the table, there is no need to clamp it with a fixture. Its advantage is that even if it is an irregular plate, it can still be tightly fixed on the table of the engraving machine, and there will be no vibration during the engraving process that will affect the engraving effect.

Especially for thinner and lighter or irregular plates, the material is fixed more firmly by a vacuum adsorption table. If this kind of plate is fixed by fixtures, it may cause small-displacement due to machine vibration during the engraving process, which will affect the accuracy of engraving, and this problem will not exist in the vacuum adsorption table. However, if the board is relatively heavy, such a board itself is heavy enough, and it is a bit laborious to absorb, and only need to be fixed by a jig to ensure that no displacement will affect the accuracy of engraving, and there is no need to use a vacuum suction table.

cnc router table

2.9. CNC router tool sensor

Under certain conditions, the accuracy of tool setting can determine the machining accuracy of the CNC router part. At the same time, the efficiency of tool setting also directly affects the efficiency of engraving processing. Common tool setting methods for engraving machines include tool setting block setting and automatic tool setting. The tool setting instrument is equivalent to a fixed tool setting trial cutting workpiece, and the position is recorded when the tool touches.

Therefore, if it is a variety of small-batch processing, it is best to buy a tool setting tool to save time. This tool setting method is easy to operate. It is not limited by the size and surface shape of the workpiece, which shortens the tool setting time and improves the work efficiency. The device has an accurate tool setting effect and can fully guarantee the processing requirements of the workpiece. Automatic tool setting is another tool setting method. Automatic tool setting can automatically correct and modify the tool offset, with high tool setting accuracy, saving tool setting time, reducing operation errors, and improving efficiency.

2.10. Lubrication system

We all know that the lubrication of the equipment can extend the service life of the CNC router machine, improve the machining accuracy of the machine, and can also increase the production efficiency accordingly. The CNC wood engraving machine lubrication method mainly includes automatic lubrication and manual lubrication.

For the key equipment that uses the same kind of lubricant, has many lubrication points, and is concentrated, the use of a centralized automatic lubrication system is the ideal choice for equipment lubrication management. This lubrication method has the advantages of centralized control, automatic lubrication, timing and quantitative, energy-saving, and fuel-saving.

For the key and important equipment with few lubrication points and relatively scattered, it is the best way to use a single-point or multi-point automatic lubricator. For general equipment, and where operators can easily reach, manual lubrication is still an option. The manually lubricated oil pump has a small volume, which is convenient to install, easy to use, and has an anti-reverse device to avoid oil backflow.

The above is how we analyze how to choose a suitable machine from the perspective of the machine itself, including the processing function of the machine, and the various accessories of the machine. Next, we will talk about how to choose the machine from the user's own perspective, including the user's psychological purchasing psychology and the user's own processing needs, etc.

Part 3: In terms of users themselves

3.1. Processing requirements

First of all, do not try to buy the best machine at the lowest price, because this is unrealistic and impossible.

Secondly, whether it is to buy any commodity is not the higher the price, the better the product. We must understand that what suits us is the best. The same is true for CNC router machines. The CNC router machine that can meet your processing needs is the best CNC machine.

The last thing I want to say is not to try to buy an all-around machine, each CNC router machine has its own processing materials and applications. Moreover, the operation of powerful machines is relatively complicated, and the personal operation ability is limited.

Especially for novices, it is enough to buy a machine that best meets the industry you want to engage in. For example, if you process PVC, UV flat panel, KT board, etc., a small CNC router machine can meet the processing requirements. If you doa variety of solid wood doors, cabinet doors, etc., an automatic tool changer or multi-process wood engraving machine can be achieved. If it is just simple nesting, and the processing accuracy of the machine is not high, and ordinary wood CNC router can be realized. If you need to process soft materials such as leather, cloth, etc., the oscillating knife engraving machine is the ideal choice.

Finally, I want to say that if conditions permit, it is best to run a few more field trips, processing plants of large companies, for testing engraving machine, equipment configuration, debugging equipment, after-sales personnel, business personnel, office areas, etc. If you are confused about anything about the machine, you must make it clear in advance. In short, correct your mind, understand your needs, and do your homework in advance with the machine and the manufacturer, you can buy a CNC router machine with a high-cost performance at a low cost.

3.2. Economic budget

Estimate the cost of purchasing the CNC router machine, the cost of use, and the cost of later CNC router machine maintenance and repair according to your own production requirements, which must be considered within the budget. Excessively high purchase costs will increase the financial burden of the enterprise accordingly, and also cause unnecessary waste of financial resources. Too low a purchase cost may not achieve the desired processing effect, resulting in a waste of manpower, material, and financial resources, affecting the normal production progress of the enterprise. Therefore, it is recommended that users try to consume within their own economic budget capacity to achieve an ideal effect.

3.3. Do the inspection work

Before purchasing the CNC router machine, in order to ensure the processing effect of your machine, if possible, let it come to the manufacturer's production workshop. Let the sales staff or you operate the machine by yourself to test the most important processing material pairs. Simultaneously calculate the work efficiency, observe the effect of the processing effect, fully test the performance of all aspects of the CNC router machine, and ensure the final processing quality of the CNC router machine.

3.4. Sign the contract

After deciding to purchase the CNC router machine, the most important link is to sign a contract with the seller. When signing the contract, be sure to pay attention to the following details including the contract should indicate the purchased model, configuration, price, delivery time and delivery method, training methods, warranty terms, and payment methods. After the contract is signed, usually a certain deposit (except those in stock) should be paid according to the contract.

3.5. Delivery and training

After receiving the CNC router machine, the technicians usually come to the door to unpack and inspect the machine. After power on, you should carefully check whether the appearance is damaged and whether it is damaged by impact during transportation. If it is intact, then check the random accessories of the machine configuration according to the contract manual. The technician installs the machine (including hardware installation, removal of fixing parts, placement of the machine, and connection of various cables. If there is no condition, the technician can be remotely provided with installation guides and precautions for a startup.

Part 4: In terms of the manufacturer's perspective

4.1. Services provided by the manufacturer

We all know that when buying any goods, service is also very important, including professional pre-sale service and perfect after-sales service. Especially for this kind of CNC router machine, perfect after-sales service is crucial.

4.2. Professional pre-sales guidance

Regarding pre-sale services, we have to assess whether the manufacturer has a professional team, whether there are qualified employees, the degree of understanding of the CNC router machine, and the degree of understanding of the CNC router industry and the processing application of the machine.

We has a professional team to provide you with all-day online and offline services, including machine support, machine model selection, and the most suitable production plan according to user processing requirements. Responding to user needs as soon as possible is the most sincere commitment of our most customers, and we have been practicing in actual actions.

4.3. Perfect after-sales service

After buying the CNC router machine, we will encounter a series of problems, such as machine operation, machine maintenance, and other related problems. At this time, the perfect after-sales service of the merchant is very important to our users. We need to check with the CNC router manufacturer what is included in the after-sales service provided by the manufacturer, which is free, and which is charged. Can the merchant provide on-site training, parts replacement, and machine repair services?

Our users are all over the world. No matter where the customers are, as long as they have needs, all we can do is solve the problems for the customers at the first time. We can not only provide technical guidance, machine installation, and machine use to users remotely. Machine maintenance, etc., if customers have needs, we can visit customers in person. In addition, we visit customers in various countries every year and solve practical problems for them on site.

4.4. Manufacturer's production strength

For industry, the company's strength is usually reflected in the company's size, the company's operating time, the research and development capabilities of new products, and the types of products provided by the company. The same is true in the CNC router machine industry. Regarding the size of the company, the larger the scale, the more reliable the production strength is.

Secondly, the longer the company is established, the more abundant the production experience is. In addition, the higher the qualifications of the R & D personnel in the company's R & D department, the richer the R & D experience, the stronger the R & D capabilities. The variety of products provided by the factory is also a manifestation of the company's strength. A company with a single product is not enough to meet the diverse processing needs of customers.

On the contrary, the product variety is rich enough to meet the personalized processing needs of users. Blue Elephant CNC can provide users with common woodworking engraving machines, 4-axis CNC router, 5-axis CNC router, ATC CNC router, multi-process CNC router, and the digital cutting machine, laser machine, plasma cutting machines, and furniture production line. In addition, we can also provide users with customized processing needs. Whether it is in terms of product configuration or product features, We can help you achieve.


These are the precautions for us to analyze how to buy the CNC router machine from the perspective of the machine, the user, and the manufacturer.

Take the point of the CNC router machine, it is mainly explained from the processing function of the machine and the configuration of the machine.

From the users, it is mainly from the perspective of processing needs, economic budget and machine inspection, and signing contracts.

And from the perspective of the manufacturers, mainly analyze from the perspectives of service and production strength. If you think this article is helpful for you to buy a CNC router machine, follow me, please. You can also leave a message to tell me the CNC router machine knowledge and topics you want to know.