November 29, 2021

Do CNC Machines Cut Wood?

CNC machines can cut wood

CNC machines cut a wide range of materials such as wood. CNC routers have a wide range of applications that work on any material you are working with. Whichever material you choose, it comes with the same benefits. 

CNC machines come with a technology of high level of accuracy and ability to repeat specifications. That means that once your program is verified, you can still make multiple, identical items. A CNC router is more often used for cutting wood and plastics, although it cuts aluminum and other non–ferrous metals. See our review of the best CNC machines for wood carving.

For cutting non-ferrous metal, there is no need to get a different router, but you need to use it differently. Choose a material to use in your CNC machining manufacturing process. It is a matter of preference and consideration for how the product will be used. Choose carefully and consider trying your product ideas in different materials to see which works best.

CNC machines can cut through most woods, but not plywood

CNC machines cut a variety of wood, but you cannot cut plywood without making adjustments. For cutting plywood sheets with a plywood CNC machine, try plywood router bits. There are spiral upcut or downcut compression plywood router bits made of solid tungsten carbide that cut with a shear action when cutting plywood.  

Types of Machines for woodworking

Drilling machine

A CNC machine operates a drilling machine. A first type is simply a drilling machine. As the name implies, a drilling machine makes precise holes using a drill bit. The CNC machine also works in companies that produce car parts. Using a CNC machine with a drilling machine ensures holes in the same spots on every piece that passes through the CNC machine. That is how consistency in evenness is created. 

CNC lathe

A CNC lathe works like a standard wood-turning lathe. The only difference comes with the computer that tells a computerized arm where to move along the piece of wood. A CNC lathe tells you how much pressure to apply so that it starts cutting away material. 

The setup is ideal for people who create table legs or baseball bats. Changing a manual wood turning machine to a CNC lathe increases your cutting efficiencies and ensures a perfect cut on all pieces.

CNC Router

The CNX router is a type of CNC machine that comes with versatility. It allows operators to make detailed and precise cuts out of wood. It does not matter if the user is at a hobbyist level. The chances are low that you will have topographical maps of an area cut from wood. These cuts can produce some artwork.

How Much Does A CNC Wood Router Cost?

It starts from 2,000 to 4,000 or more, depending on your budget. Buying an affordable router does not mean compromising quality. You can still have a good quality product.

How to choose a CNC router

Table Size

Table size determines the size of the raw material or the number of pieces cut in a time. For furniture or doors, a professional woodworking CNC Router machine. If you want to make wood, choose the Professional wood CNC Machinery.

If you are not using the machine to make crafts, gifts, or a big piece, the material is wood, PVC and you can choose a Mini CNC Router Machine. That allows you to produce several workpieces at once a time.

Spindle

The spindle’s working mode and Power are worth considering when choosing CNC router Machine. The spindle is divided into two kinds. That is a Water-cooling spindle and an Air-cooling spindle. Choose a suitable spindle that matches your material and your country’s temperature.

If your material is soft, such as MDF, PVC, and avoid smaller piece crafts. Consider using the lower power water cooling spindle. For furniture or doors, engraving, and cutting, you might choose the Air-cooling spindles. 

If you have solid wood, choosing the spindle power over 3.5KW can be the best option. Air-cooling spindles are a representation of innovation. If the material is MDF, 3.5KW, 4.5KW are ideal. 

Control System

There are three kinds of control systems for the CNC Router Machine. That is the DSP Control System, Nc Studio Control System, and Taiwan Syntec Control System. For NC Studio. The two versions are the copy version and an original version. The original version is better than the copy. 

Machine Guide Rail

There are multiple guide rails from different manufacturers. The Taiwan brand performs better, but for a bigger size CNC Router Machine, choose the bigger size guide rail such as 30mm. Big-size CNC routers must incorporate imported widened square rails.

Cutting wood on a CNC machine

Cutting wood is the last step in the CNC process. All your work on the computer comes to life as the piece of wood changes into the object you created. That is an easy step for the operator. 

At this point, it is up to the computer to execute the code that the operation created. Stay close to the machine so that it does not encounter any problems. What makes it easy for the operation is that nothing should be needed outside of keeping the area around the machine clean.

Can you use router bits on a CNC?

Yes, you can use router bits on a CNC. However, that is only if the router bit can remove wood quickly in a high-load situation. That is important since CNCs do their work much faster than a hand-held router. Any spiral router bit will work fine for woodworking tasks on any CNC machine that woodworkers use. 

What type of wood can you route on a CNC

  • Hardwood
  • Softwood

Hardwood for CNC Routing

Hardwoods are exotic wood used when you need high durability and quality on your product. High quality comes is a product of tight grains. These are tougher than softwoods. For better results, you might use a wood CNC machine that is rigid enough to mill hardwoods. 

Hardwoods blunt your tools, and using them to make items is costly. What makes them better than softwoods is the ability to do detailed and intricate carving work. It has the quality and visual that is appealing to other woods.

Softwood for CNC Routing

If you are looking for budget CNC woodworking material, softwood can be a better option. Softwoods are an ideal type for projects by hobbyists and makers due to their quality and affordability. 

They are easy to mill on a CNC router. However, some softwoods are hard as hardwoods. They are not as challenging as hardwood to mill and do not cause much blunting to your tools. 

David D. Hughes
Latest posts by David D. Hughes (see all)

Leave a Reply