In case you don’t know, CNC mill means Computer Numeric Control mill. They are highly versatile and as the full form implies, they are computer operated. CNC is a method that is used for automating three-dimensional cutting and milling. They give amazing finished products.
However, if you have short of space and money then a benchtop CNC mill will be a great option for you. But for getting that expected performance, you will need to choose the best small cnc mill. In order to narrow down your options and help you choose the right one, we have come up with a list of top 5 best benchtop CNC milling machines which are trending for their amazing performances.
So pull a chair and sit tight, your very own CNC mill is just a few clicks away!
Editor’s Recommendation: Top 5 Benchtop CNC Mill
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Bringing up these 5 CNC machines was pretty daunting for us since a bunch of models is quite similar to each other. However, after comparing the performance, durability, versatility and a little bit of price, finally, our experts have found the following models that deliver expected service. Have a look below!
Starting with the BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit. And before we get started with the product let me tell a little about the brand first. BobsCNC is among those brands which have never failed their consumers, it is one of the top-rated brands that are leading the CNC mill industry for quite a long time now. The brand holds a great reputation because of their product quality. And in this list, there is a total of two BobsCNC routers both of them are excellent.
Well, the BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit will be a great starter kit for the beginners. The main material used in the machine is wood. It has a cutting area of 17.7 x 15.3 x 3.3 which is a decent size suitable for most of the medium-duty milling works. The machine also features a DEWALT 660 router, have you heard the name DeWalt? Oh, sure you have!
One of the finest brands that are and 660 router offers good power as well. It features SG20U supported Rail system on which the cutting head and gantry run. There is an Arduino based microprocessor running Grbl motion control software as well through which you are supposed to control the machine. And as you have already guessed, a computer connection is mandatory to operate the machine. And in case you are worrying, the machine is compatible with Windows, Linux, Raspberry Pi, OSX, etc.
Though this is an interesting machine, in the beginning, a newcomer might struggle with the using process a bit. They might need to give a little extra effort but that will worth it. There are some drawbacks as well of these machines, which are, you won’t be able to remove the flex from gantry and bed. And the software is not included with the purchase, you have to get it separately.
- Best for beginners.
- Easy to assemble.
- Compatible with Windows, OSX, Linux.
- Great customer service.
- Offers excellent performance.
- Doesn’t come with the software.
- Could be difficult to operate at the beginning.
2. BobsCNC E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit
And as mentioned earlier, this is another BobsCNC CNC mill. The manufacturer has taken the BobsCNC E4 CNC Router Engraver Kit a little higher than the BobsCNC E3 model. The performance if offers is better than the previous model and that is obvious since every brand wants to bring products better than before and that is exactly what BobsCNC have done. With some features, there is a little jump in the price as well, but having that said, the machine worth each penny.
BobsCNC has made the assembling process of this E4 model, way too easier than the E3 model. Easy to understand instruction guide comes with the purchase and online tutorials are widely available as well. Plus, you will even get troubleshooting guides on the internet easily. A great choice for both intermediate and professional use. Your computer surely has a USB port, that is enough for operating this CNC router. The previous E3 model doesn’t have it.
The major difference between the E3 and E4 model is the cutting area. This very model comes with the bigger cutting area, 610 x 610mm. And the depth of travel is 85mm which is similar to the E3 model. With this machine you can cut various kind of wood such as composite, hardwood, etc. but when it comes down to thickness, you cannot use more than 3.3-inches thick wood stock. The previous model E3 is capable of cutting through soft materials but it is wise to check the compatibility.
The wood frame construction is top-notch. The manufacturer has used 6mm 5ply Baltic birch and for the soil board 1/2” MDF. The machine is heavily constructed and will last for long periods. Like the E3 machine, this E4 also comes with the same issue, you won’t get the software with the purchase. That being said, the software is widely available online.
- Bigger cutting area.
- Heavier construction.
- Can cut thick wood stock.
- Easy to assemble.
- Troubleshooting guide.
- Software not included.
- Little expensive price.
3. DIY CNC MYSWEETY 3018 GRBL Milling Engraving Machine
The DIY CNC MYSWEETY Engraving machine is another top-notch milling engraving machine that comes at an affordable price. And with the purchase, you will get all the parts. This machine is constructed heavily with mostly aluminum, and few parts are there which constructed with plastic. It is a moderately powerful CNC machine that comes with 3-axis. It offers a large working area as well.
The machine got a working area of 30 x 18 x 4.5cm which is enough for most of the small to medium wood engraving works. Comes with an aluminum cutting plate and the max spindle speed is 7000 RPM which is controlled by 3 two-phase 1.3 amp stepper motors. The manufacturer has kept the assembling process extremely easy and even if somehow you get stuck in the middle of the assembling you will get a wide range of support online. GRBL controller software is also included with the purchase.
Even after coming at an extremely price tag, this machine comes with all the ideal features. The accuracy is amazing which is mandatory for any engraving machine and the heavily constructed base makes the entire machine highly stable. We forgot to tell one thing, assembling the machine is super fun and watching it working as well. This machine comes with a set of PCB bits only, so if you are about to cut woods or other materials make sure you purchase suitable bits separately.
- Very easy to assemble.
- Offers good accuracy.
- Works on various materials.
- Compatible with various operating systems.
- Stable machine.
- Comes at an affordable price.
- Bits need to be purchased.
- Doesn’t come with LED readout.
4. DiYCNC CNC3018-PRO 3 Axis CNC Router Kit
And here comes the last product of the top list and that is none other than the DiYCNC CNC3018-PRO 3 Axis CNC Router Kit. This is a machine suitable for craft makers, hobbyists, and artists who are looking for fun and at the same time wants to learn. If you looking forward use the machine for the business, then that’s a BIG NO. It is not designed for heavy use.
You are going to get great stability and accuracy with this machine. It comes with a sturdy and heavy base which keeps the unit extremely stable when the machine is operating. And you will have great accuracy as well. This machine got an excellent appearance as well. The assembling process is very easy, even if you are a beginner you will only need 20 to 25 minutes to assemble the machine entirely. You will get all the needed accessories for assembling with the purchase, that’s a relief.
The machine is not compatible with the various operating system, that’s a drawback of this machine. It is only compatible with windows. Comes with a large cutting area, 300 x 180 x 45mm. This machine will allow you to engrave various materials such as PVC. Plastic, Wood, Acrylic, PCB and other materials.
- Comes with large working area.
- Works on various materials.
- Easy to assemble and use.
- Offers good stability and accuracy.
- Looks great as well.
- Only compatible with Windows Operating system.
- Comes at an expensive price tag.
5. Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit
Are you looking for a small wood engraving machine that comes at an affordable price tag? Then you got it, the Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit is the thing. This is a small wood engraving machine that can only handle small wood sheets. If you need something to work on a medium or large project, then this is definitely not your thing. This would be the best choice for small and lightweight tasks. And the price of this Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit machine is reasonable as well
This machine packs a bunch of great features and lets have a look at all of them. First of all, in CNC machines the most important thing is accuracy. If the accuracy is better, you will get the expected engraving, otherwise, you are just going to waste the wood sheet. And this very CNC 3018 pro machine comes with improved accuracy. The base height of this machine is 4-cm and that makes it highly stable.
The assembling process is very easy, the instruction guide that comes with the machine will guide you. And if somehow you are not comfortable with the instruction guide, you will find a lot of instruction sources online. All the components of this machine don’t need to be positioned that reduces the assembling difficulty and time largely, it helps in improving the accuracy as well.
This machine uses GRBL open source software which is high performing and that allows you to control the movement and runs. And there is a lot of information on the web about the software, so if you get stuck just search online. Not only wood, but this very machine can also engrave or cut through different materials such as plastic, soft aluminum, acrylics, PCBs, PVCs, woods, etc.
- Affordable price.
- Very easy to assemble.
- Can work on different materials.
- Information available on the web.
- Offers great accuracy and stability.
- Software has issues.
How to Choose the Best Benchtop CNC Milling Machine?
You will find more than a hundred models of different brands in the market which will leave you confused and you might end up choosing the wrong CNC machine. Especially if you don’t have any prior experience in this field. However, we have demonstrated a few factors which you should consider before making a purchase decision, with these you can hope to get your hand on the best desktop cnc mill.
Before you even step out of your house for a CNC machine, make one question to yourself. What you will be using the machine? Which material you will be carving or engraving? Choosing the right CNC machine largely depends on this. For example, suppose you will be engraving woods but you have chosen a CNC machine that is best for carving aluminum, do you expect to get good service from that? That doesn’t make any sense at all.
So first, think! what you will be carving or engraving? Is it mostly wood? Or anything harder than that? There are some CNC machines that is compatible with most kind of materials, choosing that could be a safe option if you can’t figure yet which materials you will be using most.
Spare Parts Availability
Good CNC machine lasts for a couple of years at least but during the time might be needing some parts of machines. And that’s where the problem arises. There are some CNC routers which spare parts are rarely found, even sometimes the manufacturer gets unable to provide the parts. However, choose a CNC router that has available spare parts in the market. But how would you know that which models spare parts are widely available? Just go with the machines that come from old and famous brands.
CNC routers are software operated and that software needs to be compatible with your computer’s operating system. For example, if your computer is running on a Windows operating system, then you have to choose a software that is compatible with windows. That being said, there are some models which come with software’s that are compatible with different operating systems such as Linux, windows, etc.
The size of the machine is another mandatory feature to consider. If you will be using the CNC router in your home, then you have to choose a machine according to that. If you have a short space in your home, picking up giant CNC router won’t make any sense. If you will be placing the machine in your workshop where you have a kept separate space for the machine, then you can go for industrial-grade CNC routers, since they come in giant sizes.
CNC Spindle Vs Router
Most newcomers mix up both thing. Though they are doing the same work but there are still some differences which are attention catchy. A spindle CNC machine is more suitable for heavy-duty tasks compared to the router. CNC spindles are powered by 3-phase line by an inverter and with that, they offer even more cutting power even at the lower speed which you won’t get from routers.
Besides that, CNC spindle comes with the precision bearing that makes the cutting more precise, smoother, accurate and beautiful. They are constructed heavily which is why there are so beneficial and having that said, you have to get your hands deep inside the pocket (expensive) to get a CNC spindle.
On the contrary, CNC router comes at affordable prices and they are mainly used for small and light-duty works. For beginners and hobbyists, CNC routers are an excellent choice since they require less money and space.
CNC routers come in three different drive systems which are Lead screw, Ball screw, Rack and pinion. Among these three drive system lead screw, rack and pinion drive system are affordable. And the reason why Ball screw is highly expensive is because of their versatility and great accuracy.
Cutting speed is necessary if you don’t mind sitting for a couple of hours in front of the machine. The speed and torque entirely depend on the motor system. Choose a machine that comes with high-rated motor, the higher the motor rating, the faster the cutting speed you will get.
Automatic Tool Changing
If you will be combining more than one device, then you must choose a CNC router that comes with an automatic tool changing system. The ATC system will allow you to change the tools faster and effectively. Moreover, with the ATC system, you will see fewer delays and errors in the work.
Dust collecting Port
There will be a lot of dust in the working area and you should not work in dust for a long time, that’s unhealthy. A solution for that is, there are machines which comes with dust collection port where all the dust stores. And when you are done working, you can simply put the dust on the appropriate place. But make sure you check the dust holding capacity, go for the large one.
What are the Uses of CNC Milling Machine?
We have mentioned above, saying again, CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. It is a computer-based cutting machine which can be used on different kind of materials such as glass, plastic, foam, alloy, steel, wood, etc. Many carpenters also use these machines for woodwork applications such as spindling, molding, drilling and sawing. CNC machines are also called a CNC router.
Both the milling machine and CNC router is almost the same. The only difference is the CNC machine is operated by computer. That being said, if compared the CNC machine offers great finished products, it happens because it is operated by computer. You will get error-free output with the CNC machine.
With the wood CNC machine, you can make cabinet doors, boxes, shelves, etc. The reason behind is almost all the wood doors, boxes, shelves have designs on them. Giving those excellent designs on the doors or anywhere requires precision, stability, and accuracy. And nothing can deliver these better than a CNC machine. With these machines, you will get exactly the same engraving as you put into the system through the computer.
If not wrong, engraving signs are one of the toughest jobs in the world since people have different signs and there are a lot of complexities in them. But that also will become very easy with the CNC router. These machines will allow you to carve out 3D designs on most of the materials including, wood, foam, plastic, aluminum, etc.
Wood workpieces are well decorated with different designs. You might have engraved in wood toys, plates, glasses, boards, frames, etc. These decorations on the woods require accuracy and speed which only CNC router offers excellently.
Once people used to prototype carves with hands. There were some disadvantages of hand prototyping which are less flexible and time-consuming. However, now prototyping is a matter of a few seconds. Just put the input in the computer and hit the start button, even you will enjoy the speedy process.
Time to wrap up the article for now! These are the 5 best benchtop CNC mill you would find in the market right now. All of these machines deliver superb value, we are not saying this but the users are. Just head over to the feedback sections of these products and the number of positive user feedbacks will tell you all. However, try your best not to end up with a piece of shit. Make proper research before you go out to buy a CNC router. Hope this article helped!
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