Best CNC Routers under $1000 – Top Picks of 2021
Since writing this article on the Best CNC Routers under $1000 I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from those who have since started their CNC machining journey. Some have since gone on to start making money with their CNC machine, while others are just enjoying the creativity and possibilities that can be obtained with their new woodworking machine.
Getting started with your first CNC router can be a bit frightening, especially to those with no experience. However, with today’s abundance of resources at our fingertips, there is no need to be afraid. There are literally thousands of people out there willing to offer their advice and expertise on almost any subject, including CNC Routers.
There are a lot of people who want to buy a CNC router, but don’t know where to start and are quickly put off by the prices. The high-end industrial-size CNC routers can go for a hefty price. On top of that, there’s software that usually comes separately and it is not always cheap. That can spook many aspiring woodworkers and those with a tight budget.
Luckily you should know that there are great CNC routers that don’t cost a fortune. We can introduce you to a world of engraving and cutting for a much lower price. Now lets review some of our favorite CNC routers under $1000.
Best CNC Router Under $1,000 Reviews
1. BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router
The BobsCNC E4 is a slight upgrade from the highly successful E3 model. It has the same sturdy plywood base. Don’t let the first impression fool you. It may seem shaky, but it’s pretty robust and durable.
There are a few improvements from the previous version. First of all, the overall cutting area is square-shaped and bigger (24” x 24”), making it ideal for those working on larger CNC projects.
Another notable difference stems from the type of the spoil board. The E4 has a T-slot board, which is a tad smoother and more elegant than the E3’s ¼” board holes.
The router is suitable for entry-level woodworkers, and it’s easy to assemble. You won’t get instructions in the package, but you can easily download them from the manufacturer’s website.
Like other routers from this series, you should use it only on thin and softer materials. If you try to engrave aluminum alloy, copper, or similar material, the outcome may disappoint you.
Overall, it’s a larger, smoother, and a tad pricier version of the E3 router. It’s a great choice if you want to work on bigger pieces and we think it’s the best CNC Router under $1000 currently available in today’s marketplace.
2. SainSmart Genmitsu 3018-PROVer CNC Router
The 3018-PROVer is the perfect small, cheap, and always does the trick. If you’re still exploring your passion for engraving, you’ll enjoy this router.
The aluminum construction provides ample stability. The working area of 7” x 4” is suited for smaller projects that you’ll need to engrave with finesse.
Furthermore, the router can work with a variety of different materials. You can try carving plastic, aluminum, acrylics, PVC, and similar elements. Since it’s cheap, you can innovate without worrying about damaging the equipment.
The Genmitsu also offers some incredible features from a technical perspective. First, you don’t need to connect it to a computer, thanks to the offline control option. Also, it’s based on GRBL and Arduino, two popular open-source software platforms.
Hence, you can find an abundance of freeware tools, guides, and ideas online. Additionally, you can add a laser module kit to the router to add more variation to your work.
3. BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router
BobsCNC is a reputable manufacturer among crafters, makers, and woodworkers. They’ve earned their reputation for their high-quality CNC machines and excellent customer support.
Their E3 router follows the aesthetic trademark of BobsCNC. The base of the router consists of smooth laser-cut plywood, making it lightweight and portable.
The machine is easy to assemble with plenty of screws to keep it stable. As long as you cut cardboard and wood, you won’t have any stability issues. Considering that the router speed is about 30,000RPM, you’ll hardly cut anything firmer than that.
Both beginners and seasoned crafters can expect first-rate performance from this router. It can carve up to 3” thick wood without any issues. The cutting area of 17.7” x 15.3” is enough for most sizable projects.
One of the downsides of this router is that you won’t receive any CNC software with it. However, there are enough free tools that should ease your way into the craft.
4. VEVOR 3040 CNC Routing Machine
Vevor is another CNC machine that is ideal for smaller projects and engravings. It’s one of the cheapest options of the bunch, but also maybe the most versatile. However, it’s still sufficient for hobbyists and those wanting to get started with CNC on a budget.
First off, the aluminum construction has a large working travel range of 12” x 20”, which is bigger than most routers in this price range. The durable base should also last for a considerable time.
One of the most significant upsides of Vevor is its software compatibility. It’s built on GRBL, which supports the majority of operating systems, including Linux and Raspberry Pi. Furthermore, it comes with the GRBL command board for smooth control of the 3-axis system.
The machine falls short when it comes to power. With the top speed of merely 8,000RPM, you’ll have trouble cutting anything else other than the cardboard, softer wood, and plastics. However, it’s still enough to make some top-grade designs.
5. 3018Pro Max CNC Router
The 3018 Pro Max offers a balance between size, power, and performance for a bargain-basement price.
The sturdy aluminum base comes with a protection board on the sides, minimizing the risk of accidents. It’s also high-temperature and wear-resistant, increasing its longevity.
Furthermore, the router adds some essential features. There are a control limit button and a cooling fan that limit any potential damage, for example.
The GBLR-based software allows you to experiment and adjust the tools according to your needs. Another interesting touch is the offline controller. It will enable you to maneuver your router smoothly when disconnected from the computer.
Finally, it can adjust the power of both the spindle motor and stepping motor from 0 to 100%. So, you can lower the RPMs when cutting soft materials and vice-versa.
Overall, it’s one of the best CNC routers for the price.
In Review - Final Take
As things stand, there’s no need to go overboard when buying a CNC Router, especially if you’re only starting. There are plenty of machines out there that will do more than a decent job.
If you’re an absolute beginner, we highly recommend you go with the Vevor or Genmitsu. They are both affordable, small, and capable of precision curves.
On the other hand, if you require a large work area you can go with one of the BobsCNC models for more extensive and more demanding projects. In the end, the 3018-PROVer is probably the best catch for the price.
So think about what you want to cut and engrave, and you’ll quickly decide which router suits you best.