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Top 5 Best Hobbyist CNC Machines Of 2022 You Can Buy Right Now!

Juan B MeaneyGlen G Teachout
  Oct 3, 2022 5:51 AM

A CNC machine is a specialized equipment for cutting wood and other hard materials into specific shapes quickly and efficiently.


Overview

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While there are quite a few good options, the best hobbyist CNC machine must meet the requirements of high compatibility, safety, ease of use, and more.

I have helped you to find the perfect versions with the above criteria to consider. If you want to know the pros and cons of each, check out these sections below!

Our Top Picks: Best Hobbyist CNC Machine


The Best Hobbyist CNC Machine Reviews

Let's explore in more detail the pros and cons of each of the top 5 best versions I recommend. I hope you will find a satisfactory product for your home workshop.

#1. Comgrow ROBO CNC 3018 - Best for Overall

Comgrow ROBO CNC 3018 (link)

Important specifications

  • Brand: ‎Comgrow

  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.25 x 11 inches

  • Item Weight: ‎19.96 pounds

Product's highlights

I decided to order this product after reading user reviews and watching product videos over and over again. And the very next day, I received the item.

The assembly is speedy. With the help of the manual, it only took me a few minutes to complete the process.

I get a controller to work even when not connected to the computer. In addition, this machine also comes with an outstanding plug. It allows me to connect an additional laser diode to get this a 2-in-1.

I use it for non-metallic material projects like plastic, wood, acrylic, and PCB. Unexpectedly, it gives me excellent working results.

When I set the spindle to run at 10,000rpm, it can easily engrave 0.019" thick pine wood at up to 2.36 ppm. Completing my project took about 1 hour and 45 minutes, but I think I can do it faster than 15 minutes.

Some machines I've used in the past often experience stalling when I push them to cut harder. Fortunately, the Comgrow ROBO CNC doesn't have this problem.

The machine does vibrate a bit about vibration, but I think that is due to the nature of the aluminum alloy material. I use a smartphone app to measure noise levels. It's around 75 dB and is a lot quieter than other models.

Another bonus is the excellent quality of service that accompanies the product. 

Comgrow offers a one-year warranty and free shipping with a 30-day money-back guarantee on their products.

This Comgrow 3018 has good rigidity, is easy to install and maintain, and is an ideal recommendation for the best milling machine for home shops.

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What We Like

  • Low noise level

  • Easy to install and maintain

  • The frame is solid and quite sturdy

  • Works well on a variety of soft materials

  • Easy to adjust and change the spindle system

Things to Consider

  • Not suitable for wood cutting work.

#2. SainSmart Genmitsu 3018-PROVer CNC - Best for Ease to Use

Genmitsu 3018-PROVer (link)

Important specifications

  • Manufacturer: ‎SainSmart

  • Dimensions: 18.42 x 16.61 x 10.79 inches

  • Item Weight: ‎21.5 pounds

Product's highlights

SainSmart Genmitsu 3018-PROVer CNC Router Machine is the best milling machine I have ever had. A depth of 1.8" helps me tackle wood carving, soft aluminum, PCB, acrylic, and PVC carving projects well.

I did some calibration tests on the machine right after I installed it and didn't have to adjust anything.

The things I get are a rich 300×180 working area and a powerful 775 engine. It also has an offline controller that can be easily upgraded to a laser engraver.

It is my first CNC machine, but I have a lot of experience with 3D printers, and they are all pretty much the same. Yet, this machine does not have a built-in handle, which makes it more difficult with complex and delicate operations.

Its other highlight is the quality of building materials. Because the body is aluminum, its ability to operate is stable and durable.

I had a smoother experience with the offline controller than with the PC-based Candle on the same task. I also worry about how much sound it will make in my apartment. But significantly, this motor doesn't wobble loudly and easily cuts through various kinds of wood at 300mm/min.

Lastly, don't forget that you will need a USB cable long enough to connect to your PC.

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What We Like

  • Good price

  • Easy assembly

  • Great build quality

  • Perfect deep carving

  • Great customer service

  • Candle software works well

  • Quite comfortable for a long time

Things to Consider

  • Need more practice to use it fluently

#3. Fox Alien CNC Router 4040-XE - Best for Offline Controller

Fox Alien CNC Router Machine 4040-XE (link)

Important specifications

  • Manufacturer: Fox Alien

  • Dimensions: ‎37.4 x 29.53 x 11.81 inches

  • Item Weight: 66 pounds

Product's highlights

While I was able to make some lovely carvings with my old product, now I want something more significant, faster, and more powerful. With this in mind, the Fox Alien CNC Router Machine 4040-XE is the next stop for my best CNC mill.

It has an offline controller with a large, beautiful, reliable touchscreen interface. 

These integrations allow me to view tool paths and workpieces and make adjustments quickly. Since the plug cable is compatible and fits almost any jack, wobbling or loosening is unlikely for long periods.

As a hobbyist, I don't find woodworking skills and techniques too much of an issue, including using a router.

I used Easel to generate my thin wood grains and then ran them through Candle to stream to the controller. This process is very intuitive and straightforward.

The powerful NEMA 23 motor and 300W spindle provide good balance and overall mobility. 

Another big plus is the dual-axis motor design and convenient control aluminum knob on the back. These designs make moving the shaft around for fine-tuning much easier.

I had a good experience carving and cutting plywood in 1/8 and 1/4 inch sizes. Operations with this device were faster and more efficient than with my old one.

As with any woodworking tool, you will need to take the time to learn how to maintain, set up, operate and master the control software.

For more close review, watch this video below:

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What We Like

  • Very nice control box

  • Well-designed belt system

  • Rugged and powerful

  • Easy-to-use software

  • Clean garbage collection

  • Long-term warranty policy

Things to Consider

  • No wires available for the laser module

  • Missing buttons/functions for online control

#4. Titoe Milling Machine 2 in 1 3000mW - Best for Smart Operation

Titoe Milling Machine Upgrade 2 in 1 3000mW (link)

Important specifications

  • Manufacturer: Titoe

  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 9.6 x 7 inches

  • Item Weight: 15.52 pounds

Product's highlights

I used to do servicing on cnc milling machines and lathes. So when starting to set up this best small CNC mill, everything happened quite quickly.

It comes with separate software and gives me a few easy-to-understand options. I got my tools up and running in less than 40 minutes and ran the CAD at work.

This Titoe Milling Machine can run on wood, plastic, and leather with impressive precision. I find it can also work perfectly on vinyl without burning the backings.

The lasers also operate uniformly at high accuracy. I tried using this mode at 500mm per minute, about 70% capacity, to plot my cutting table to reflect the X and Y axes. Amazingly, it allowed me to get accurate designs and much sharper.

The only downside I encountered was the 3-D printed Z axis, which wobbles easily when traveling up to 0.007" and down to the lead screw.

Not a plug-and-play version, this machine can be challenging for anyone unfamiliar with CNC machining. On the contrary, for experienced carpenters, its neatness and intelligence can produce many masterpieces in a short time.

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What We Like

  • Easy to use

  • Good price

  • Easy to assemble

  • Control software works fine

  • Work well on small projects

  • Perfect router bits and receivers

  • The device is not too powerful and too fast

Things to Consider

  • Loose frame screws

  • Expensive laser replacement

#5. xTool D1 Engraver 60W DIY Laser Cutter - Best for Accuracy

xTool Laser Engraver 60W DIY (link)

Important specifications

  • Manufacturer: Makeblock Co., Ltd.

  • Dimensions: 26 x 9.4 x 8 inches

  • Item Weight: 14.32 pounds

Product's highlights

Upon receipt, my first impression of the xTool Engraver was the neat packaging.

A sturdy carrying case is available to pack the product and other individual components. I think there will be minimal breakage during transportation.

This version is straightforward to assemble except for the loose cable connector, which worries me about the laser parts. But in general, the pieces are precisely machined and fit together perfectly.

I was pretty surprised by its smooth and gentle operation. The noise is almost at the lowest level I have ever worked with.

Plus, the manufacturer offers additional accessories to remove smoke and burn marks along the edges when cutting materials.

Another great function is the ability to engrave onto round surfaces and cut through thin materials about 1/8" thick. I was even quite surprised that it could run on a piece of my 3/16th thick plywood in just 1 turn.

I highly recommend software user interfaces because they are easy to understand and friendly to any user. Although it lacks some features, those do not interfere too much with the software functionality. I will consider buying another one shortly as I have more experience with it.

In short, this product is the best benchtop milling machine for the most demanding laser engraving tasks.

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What We Like

  • High accuracy

  • Easy to use

  • Quiet operation

  • User-friendly software

  • The parts fit together perfectly

  • Create a professional look for every project

Things to Consider

  • It may be dangerous to use


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Last update on 2022-10-03 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


FAQs

How do I choose a CNC machine?

Do not ignore the following factors if you want to choose the best CNC milling machine:

  • Operation speed

  • Weight of machine

  • Composition material

  • Longevity

  • Price range

  • Demand

  • The radius of work done

  • Energy Consumption

Is a wood CNC worth it?

A wood CNC is the ideal solution for creating precise curves and perfect cuts.

While CNC can't help you with everything, it's still effective for cutting bags of materials, cutting small craft pieces, and carving your signature.

Why are CNC machines so expensive?

CNC machines are often quite expensive due to the labor factor and the complex construction. 

Due to the complex and sophisticated parts, this product requires more extended and meticulous machining time. The overall cost also eventually increases significantly.

Are all CNC machines the same?

The answer is No. Although the parts or purposes of the machines may be the same, their actual construction and operation are entirely different.

How long do CNC machines last?

With proper use and regular care, each CNC machine has a lifespan ranging from 10 to 15 years.

How much does a DIY CNC router cost?

There is no specific price limit for a DIY CNC router. The minimum price you can spend with the desire to have a quality product is $ 200 or more.

You will get a set of engraver bits, stepper motor, and router for this price. These parts are all necessary conditions for the computer to handle and perfectly control the spindle operation.

Can you make money with a CNC machine?

Sure. You will make a lot of money from using a CNC machine for your project.


Final Thoughts

Hopefully, the best hobbyist CNC machines I provide in this article will give you a reasonable choice. If you are looking for the best lathe mill combo, the Comgrow ROBO seems to be a good recommendation.

You can also consider other quality options like the SainSmart Genmitsu 3018-PROVer and the xTool Laser Engraver 60W Laser.

Thank you for your interest in the article!


4.3
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