HomeCNC RoutersThe Ultimate CNC Router Review Buyers Guide, Best CNC Routers

The Ultimate CNC Router Review Buyers Guide, Best CNC Routers

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This CNC router review video tutorial for beginners and newbies teaches you how to select the best CNC router, the best CNC design software for CNC router projects, and the best controller software for you as a beginner researching CNC routers.

Whether you want to enhance your woodworking, start a CNC hobby, or start a CNC business to make money with your CNC projects, this video will help you find the exact CNC router for you and to avoid possible purchase mistakes. We will also cover the best starter CNC router bits, and the essential CNC router bits needed to start creating CNC projects.

Using the Longmill MK2 CNC router as a baseline, we compare everything about CNC routers for your home wood shop.

You will learn the difference between desktop CNC routers, benchtop CNC routers, and industrial CNC routers. And you will understand what makes for a good CNC router. This video is also a review of the Longmill MK2 CNC router.

Your list of all supplies needed. Download the PDF here → https://idcwoodcraft.com/download/6458/

CNC Insiders: Discounts, freebies & special deals → https://idcwoodcraft.com/cnc-lp2-free-files/
* CNC Routers * (Longmill special links)
– Longmill MK2 30×30 → https://bit.ly/3JQx3BB
– Longmill MK2 30×48 → https://bit.ly/3JQx3BB
– Longmill MK1 48″ Extension kit → https://bit.ly/3wGxBG5
– gSender control software FREE download → https://bit.ly/3y6rnwg
– Corner touch probe (XYZ probe)→ https://bit.ly/36tsMFq
– Auto-zero touch probe → https://bit.ly/36tsMFq
– Longmill limit switches (MK2) → https://bit.ly/3yjqaVL
– Longmill spoilboard file → https://etsy.me/3oxX79l
* CNC Router Bits & Sets *
– Complete 13-piece beginners starter set [premium grade] → https://bit.ly/3ty7gpw
– Essential 6-piece beginners starter set [premium grade] → https://bit.ly/3HRoQg6
– IDC Woodcraft CNC router bit store → https://idcwoodcraft.com/cnc-router-bits-2/
– Surfacing bit → https://bit.ly/3Oyqw0k
– 1/4″ down-cutting endmill → https://bit.ly/3yfBqT7
– 1/8″ down-cut endmill → https://bit.ly/3HSoF4j
– 1/16″ down-cut endmill → https://bit.ly/3yjoiwd
– 90° v bit → https://bit.ly/3xTzFJZ
– 60° v bit → https://bit.ly/39NFf8R
– 30° engraving v bit → https://bit.ly/3xWzxt6
– 1/4″ ball nose endmill → https://bit.ly/3zZ26c9
– 1/8″ ball nose endmill → https://bit.ly/3QM6Zv7
– 1/4″ to 1/8″ adaptor collet → https://bit.ly/3tWo3Vt
– Glass engraving drag bit → https://bit.ly/3tRy98s
* Design Software *
NOTE: With these, you can carve 3D models but cannot design them
– Vectric Vcarve Pro → https://bit.ly/3d4WrEU
– Carveco Maker → https://bit.ly/3QPPMRg

NOTE: To create 3D models, get the following instead of the above
– Vectric Aspire (for 3D work) → https://shrsl.com/37pw9
– Carveco Maker Plus → https://bit.ly/3A3VUPX
* Control Software *
– Gsender control software → https://bit.ly/3y6rnwg
– Lightburn (for laser add-on) → https://bit.ly/3ykLwSX
* Dust Collection *
– Dust shields for Longmill → https://bit.ly/3xWlTGj
– Dust shoe (order yours with your Longmill → https://bit.ly/3u0gSf6
– Flexible 20′ vacuum tube from Amazon → https://amzn.to/39UcJSW
– Recommended shop vac → https://amzn.to/3u40H0d
– Hurricane adaptor separator for shop vac → https://amzn.to/3bwfz0Z
Laser add-on for your CNC router → https://bit.ly/3A0b2y1
You will need to add Lightburn software to use the laser → https://bit.ly/3ykLwSX
→ Calipers: https://amzn.to/338MAt3
→ Hearing protection (plugs don’t work): https://amzn.to/2Hs1RgW
Starbond CA Glue Products
GET 10% OFF when you use this discount code: IDCWOODCRAFT
Starbond link: https://bit.ly/3g81RRU
Join CNC ENTREPRENEURS Facebook group → https://www.facebook.com/groups/cncentrepreneurs
CNC Insiders sign up (free files and more): https://idcwoodcraft.com/cnc-lp2-free-files/
* Channel Playlists *
CNC FOR BEGINNERS: https://bit.ly/3rg4WTl
CNC ENTREPRENEURS: https://bit.ly/3mxz6Ok
CNC FOR BEGINNERS PODCAST: https://anchor.fm/cnc-for-beginners
Garrett Fromme
Facebook: https://fb.me/IDCWoodcraft
Website: www.idcwoodcraft.com
Email: support@idcwoodcraft.com

#cnc #cncrouters #cncforbeginners #vcarvetutorials #vectric #carveco


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  1. You're not wrong with "when you first buy one, it almost always has something go wrong with it". I ended up going with a OneFinity machine. I just got my table surfaced, and was about to start my first project, some wood clamps from you by the way… It starts cutting and all of a sudden one Y axis bearings got screwed up? and the machined would stutter and get stuck. After some troubleshooting I narrowed it down to a bad bearing. Anyways, after contacting Onefinity, explaining and showing video to them on whats happening, they're sending me a whole new y axis to replace it. I was not expecting that. I was expecting for me to have to pull pieces apart and replace the bearing myself. Part of this could be from having a 12 month warranty, but still I was impressed mostly. Communication could have been faster, limited to only email for technical issues. At least I know now, they do have a support team to contact, something I didnt fully research prior to buying. I'm seeing this video a bit too late.

  2. Educational, entertaining and just a great watch. Thanks Garrett! You list all your experience in the beginning of the video, but you forgot to mention that you are a great storyteller! Almost two hours long, but didn't get bored once! 😉

    Only "negative" I would say is that you are a bit harsh when you tell who this this video is for, or not for…. I came looking for hints, tips and insight about stepper motor drivers, yet came out wanting a Longmill MK2…. I don't know if that is good or bad… 😉 Bad for me and my no-budget, "scrap material" DIY build, but maybe a greater good for my goal of making/offering/selling Soap Box Car KITs….. Its a more of a hobby at the moment, more than a business, but this video (and others of yours) might help me through to the next level!!

    Again: Great video, and love your "presenting style"! Hope it's authentic and not only for commercial gain… 😉

    Best regards from another continent, Paul

    Ps. Also loved that you stood on the actual gantry of that thing! When I understood that you were going to stand on it I first assumed you would stand on the x-rails, and surely on the parts where they are supported directly underneath… But I was mistaking: You went for the gantry! And while running the machine!! Bravo!

  3. I have a 32×48 now but would love to know what you were suggesting in the industrial sizes. I would love to be able to throw 4×8 sheets on one day. Also love the idea of having a vacuum hold down.

  4. Great video! The design software for the CNC router doesn’t allow you to make registration marks so that you can cut projects larger than your work area like lasers with Lightburn software?

  5. hey thanks for the hog bit that is a awesome bit cuts like hell . just ordered two more cause i broke my mistake board wasn't down tight broke the bit. but hey that happens. i forget I'm on wife's account talk to you on Monday when i ordered so i am he not she lmao

  6. Great video!
    I don’t have a cnc machine, haven’t tried operating ANY cnc machine in my life but after watching your video, i feel like i am pro! Wow! What a feeling!
    What i have right now is the interest about cnc and the dream to have one!
    Thank you for sharing and good luck!
    God bless brother!?

  7. I watched all 1 hour, 47 min and 56 seconds of this video. I'm going to buy a longmill and your starter set of bits when I'm ready to jump in the pool. I nearly bought one of the cheaper desktop mills today, I'm glad I waited! I also subscribed and hit the thumbs up! Great video and I'll be watching more of them.

  8. Nicely done Garrett! I learned quite a bit. And, I would like to buy a Longmill, but I just don’t have the room for that size footprint. Is there any chance they have a smaller version coming sone time in the future. Say something with a foot print of 30 x 30 that could cut projects to the 24 x 24 desktop software limit?
    Thank you for providing the information.

  9. Good morning Garrett. Awesome, informative video. I am a newbie in the cnc world. Looking to purchase my first machine. The Shopsabre 23 was top on my list, but the table size was my limiting factor 40×30. I would love to purchase one if their bigger units but cost is a factor. Now, I’m looking into Longmill. Again thank you for a great video!
    Sincerely, Joseph.

  10. Making the longmill Mk2 purchase this evening through your affiliate link when I get home. Your video was very well done and informative. Thank you for the love and dedication to the craft. Will be following closely.

  11. I was thinking of getting the long mill 30 x 48. I tried asking a simple question on there website but got so frustrated with there stupid website set up because it would not let me submit the question so i am looking elsewhere for a cnc.

  12. I am 76 yrs old tiple bypass, one foot on a banna peel. I would have a longmill if I had the room. I am trying to get my nephew to purchase one and offered him some help with the cost. The vid was a bit wordy but well done and I did learn a few things. Thank You

  13. I really appreciate you taking the risk of a long form video, as they are not popular.

    I have been doing a lot of research on cnc routers, and I came to some of the same conculsions that you did. But I wish I had found this video like right when you uploaded it. It would have saved me a lot of time doing research, as well I learned a lot of things I didn't know I needed to take into account.

    I am going to start a cnc router business, and your video gives me more confidence in starting that business.

    Thank you so much.

  14. love your no nonsense style.
    I’m building trades/carpentry/ HS teacher. Thinking about introducing basic cnc classes.Any advise about resources ?I am master carpenter but I have to educate myself on cnc and cnm

  15. Thanks Garrett – great instructional video for a beginner. My project is to advise my Men's Shed on the most suitable CNC machine to add to our existing desktop unit for bigger projects. Unfortunately, Longmill don't export to Australia! So I will use your advice to try and navigate my way through what's available here. Cheers. Ron

  16. Honestly, I'm interested in this machine however you can tell me all day long that it's overbuilt and that it's strong and you can stand on the gantry all you like but showing me that this machine can Mill wood doesn't answer the question I need answered. I want to Mill aluminum and I want to Mill it cleanly. I saw one video for the first generation machine milling aluminum and it wasn't what I would call in depth. I saw, if I remember correctly, a dinosaur head relief and that's it!

    Milling wood isn't all that impressive to me. Sure it will be the main material that I use the machine for but I would also like to create molds for injections that I plan to do and I would prefer to Mill them myself rather than pay to have them done. So honestly, enough of the theatrics let's see some creating with hard materials like aluminum or at least hard hard wood like Ironwood.

  17. Great video again. One question that keeps bugging me is why you don't put the same mdf underneat the cnc rails to keep the maximum z capacity? When attaching cnc directly on the bench with a mdf spoil board beneath the rails, we loose 3/4 inch of height for nothing no?

  18. When I went looking for my machine, I went online and began to gather information. It was quite confusing with it being difficult to impossible to figure out what you were getting. I didn't want to build something and get free software I can download from somewhere, then get something else that doesn't cost much and works pretty well, but I may need to do this, that and the other thing to get it to work properly. I ruled those out. I didn't want to get something from China for numerous reasons.

    I began looking at what seemed to be fairly well known brands. I figured for my needs, I would need at least a 24 X 36 work envelope. I found something that looked pretty good. I did a lot of research on it. There seemed to be some issues where tech support was MIA. Some people had complaints. One person I was chatting with had a problem where his parameters got erased. He reached out to the company but they could not help him. You would think they would have a boot disk included or available if an internal battery went dead and those parameters were lost. There was considerable speculation where many felt it was a Chinese machine rebranded.

    Then I came upon a competing brand where they addressed and corrected the short comings of the aforementioned machine. It looked good. I was leaning towards that. People who used it liked it. Then when I researched further, there was a lot of additional items I would have to purchase to make it work. There was lots of interesting and good choices, but it added to the price considerably. I paused, based on that. I wanted something well known and widely used. I wanted plug and play and I had a price point I didn't want to exceed.

    I also wanted something that came with it's own frame work. I thought a machine where the table you mounted the machine on was the machine base seemed inaccurate, even with facing a spoil board between the rails. It just was not going to be flat. And belt drives were out. Maybe my reluctance with a table mounted machine was from many years in CNC Manufacturing where gantry mills came with a base that was mounted to and leveled on a foundation. Many of them were driven by one lead screw on all their axes. So multiple drive motors and screws were not important to me.

    I decided on the Shark HD4 extended. It came within my price range, seemed to come with everything I needed, delivery was free and fast. I liked there was forums where you could learn about the machine and what people thought of it, and it was sold in a lot of retail establishments, although none near me. I would have liked to see it working. It's been pretty good so far. Not dissatisfied at all.

    Doing it all over again, would I have bought the same machine? Probably. But seeing videos from you and others on the Longmill and other similar table top designs, I would surely give that design consideration. Price wise, feature wise and price wise they seems hard to beat.

    PS – Thank god and god bless Danny Thomas and St. Jude's. There has to be a special place in heaven for him. The same for his daughter Marlo who has carried on the legacy.

  19. It was your videos that lead me to get the Longmill 9 months ago. Now I am making signs, catchall trays, and my creation this past weekend was a wall hanging gun rack. I can not leave well enough alone. I removed the top spoil board, used a 1/4 end mill and cut through the table top I made for it. Going to water proof the frame and make a stainless water bed the size of the cut area. I an adding a plasma torch to add metal designs to my wood signs. I found in G-sender you can turn on the laser option. That will provide 4.5 volts the the Laser/Spindle pins on the controller. Hook that to a relay switch and connect the relay to the plasma cutter and we are off to the races.

  20. I watched a previous iteration of this video (and countless others of Garrett's videos) as I planned on buying my first CNC machine last year. I pulled the trigger in November, set the machine up and started using it in February – making some awesome projects as I learned… for myself and what has turned out to be several dozen clients so far as a side gig.

    I took things to the next level yesterday with running my first 3D carve.

    I have Garrett and this channel to thank for an amazing launch to an amazing journey – I have the MK1 Longmill, Vectric VCarve Pro… and have even bought a number of bits from IDC so far and will keep expanding my collection as the need arises, even with the extra shipping costs to ?? – totally worth it.

    If you're on the fence and new to IDC Woodcraft, buckle up and watch, watch and watch. I'm what… five months into using my machine? I still love watching the machine do its thing!! Join us!!

  21. We've watched most every one of your shows some more than once. Please keep up the outstanding work. I have one question concerning the auto zero touch probe. Is the reason it may not work with other CNC machines or control software because of the different G-Codding commands required? I've been looking at a different one that is three times the cost.

  22. Great informative video and well done on the delivery of the instructions. Wished you would’ve dove into the programming aspect. Explaining the pros and cons of the software. An example is I bought a longmill 30×30 and am using vcarve desktop and only able to carve a 24×24 and lost out on the extra design space of what the longmill can actually use. Again wonderful information and you are the go to guy for down to earth teaching for us newbie’s. Keep up the great work

  23. Hi Garrett. Thanks for the information.I took a risk with a Chinese 6040 as this is the size I wanted.This is a generic term and they vary considerably. The gantry on some is pretty flimsy but the one I got is pretty solid and I have not had any issues. The controller it comes with works but it is not very good. It only works with Mark 3 or DrufelCNC Post processor. I have replaced the controller. The spindle is a E11 1500 watt which works OK but was not grounded. I have just received a better quality replacement spindle. I will be using my CNC for artwork, starting with 3 and 4 axis and then indexed 5 axis(3 + 2). If I can not get the level of detail I need the then in 12 months or so I will look at a mini 5 axis system. These start at USD$5000.

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