May 18, 2021

Best Hobby CNC Machine | Which Of These 10 Wins?

In an earlier post, we discussed the Best CNC Router. While the CNC machine is great for making intricate cuts, the most common use for a CNC machine is to make 3D models. So what is the Best Hobby CNC machine? It depends on what you want to use the machine for.

We encourage you to strike a good balance between price and utility. A hobby CNC machine should be reasonably priced, and it should also be useful and functional enough to give you an authentic experience. If you want to make parts for model cars, boats, and airplanes, you will need a smaller machine—one with less horsepower. A good milling machine will work for this. But if you want to make models of small things like jewelry, or larger statues, you will need a larger machine with more power to make the cuts.

Top Pick

SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Router Machine 3018-PROVer with GRBL Offline Control

The SainSmart CNC router is easy to use. It comes with pre-assembled accessories. That means it takes less time to assemble the machine. It produces consistent projects, and it lasts longer. More details are below the box.

The aluminum body gives the machine stability when milling, and its performance does not change with the change of material. 

It makes clean projects, and the acrylic baffles make it safe. The 3018-PROVER desktop by the CNC machine is the latest version of the 3018 desktops. It allows you to control the machine with your fingertips. Readouts are on the screen, and the manual is easy to understand. The emergency stop control makes it easy and convenient to make adjustments and corrections.

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Powerful
  • Pre-assembled
  • Safe
  • Protects you from dust

Cons

  • The limit switches are confusing.

Reviews

Next Wave CNC 4Th Axis 

The Next wave machine makes precise spindles that have tricky and innovative carvings and designs that are creative. It attaches to your CNC bed, and the jaw chuck makes it a complete, user-friendly package. The 1inch x 8 TPI drive shaft is compatible with lathe accessories. 

It is of solid aluminum that makes it durable. It adds a 4th Axis to the CNC Shark and a one-year warranty. It weighs up to 16lbs. The 4th axis controller port is motorized, and there is software to activate the controller port that facilitates the CNC shark motor.

Pros 

  • High precision
  • Compatible with multiple lathe accessories
  • Durable
  • Mounting hardware included
  • 4th axis functionality

Cons

  • One year warranty.

Next Wave – SHARK SD100 CNC Machine 

The Shark SD100 CNC machine specializes in 3D carvings or machine parts in multiple sizes, and it works on wood, soft metals, and plastics. The VCarve Desktop saves the design as a toolpath, and you are allowed to use other software. 

The Shark machine is pre-assembled, and you have to add a router bracket and a palm router that you have to buy separately. The operation requires a laptop or computer that has a USB port. The plug-and-play design allows the machine to work with multiple New Wave accessories. 

Pros

  • Fully assembled
  • Works on multiple materials
  • Variety clamping positions
  • VCarve Desktop Design software
  • Straightforward manual

Cons

  • Buying the palm router separately.

BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included 

The Evolution 4 CNC machine comes with a Makita RT0701C router and a microprocessor that uses a grbl connected through a USB port. It works perfectly with the Universal G code sender platform version, as software that runs on multiple operating systems by Microsoft. 

It weighs up to 58 pounds. It is a great starter machine for beginners, and it takes you through the learning process with the help of an informative manual. However, there are many parts to assemble, and that takes time.  

Pros

  • High quality
  • Well-written manual
  • Great customer service
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Value for money

Cons

  • It takes more time when assembling.

MYSWEETY CNC 3018PRO-M Mini DIY CNC Machine, 3 Axis PCB Milling Machine

The MySweet CNC machine works on multiple materials such as acrylic, wood, and paper. It is a 2in1 machine with two 5mm acrylic baffles on both sides, allowing you to monitor the engraving process. 

It has an offline controller that allows you to control the CNC router without connecting to the computer. That is convenient to the user working from a garage or workshop. The new control board makes the machine sturdy and lasts longer. The instructions are easy to follow when assembling the machine. 

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • To control methods
  • Versatile
  • Simple assembly
  • Convenient

Cons

  • Not compatible with some software.

ORTUR Laser Master 2, Laser Engraver CNC, Laser Engraving Cutting Machine 

The pixel of the Ortur Laser Master 2 is accurate and adjustable to see clearly, and that improves image quality. The CNC machine supports multiple computer systems, and it is user-friendly. It comes with free software (LaserGRBL) for carving, importing different format images, editing, and cutting. 

It covers a big engraving area that is bigger than an A3 paper. It gives you multiple engraving options. It has a 32 bits motherboard for smooth and faster carving. The G sensor on the mainboard makes the machine safe, and any unauthorized movement makes the machine stop operating.  It is ideal for professional users. The high-speed machine has a maximum speed of 3000mm/min. 

Pros

  • High precision
  • Fast engraving speed
  • Safe
  • High quality
  • Durable

Cons

  • Thick materials slow down the machine a bit.

2 in 1 7000mW CNC 3018 Pro Engraver Machine 

The 2in1 7000Mw CNC machine is ideal for beginners. It is a budget machine that allows you to add curved words and beautiful patterns. It helps users in coding and designing without complicating the process. You use the 2in1 machine as a router. It is easy to assemble, and the 30218-PRO desktop CNC machine is controllable whilst offline. 

It has manual control without using a computer. The upgraded control board has a fixed heat sink, external fan, and sturdy case that make it safe to use. The CNC machine is high quality and needs minimum maintenance. If you want to upgrade it, the 7000mw module kit is the ideal kit to buy.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Update control board
  • Offline control
  • High precision
  • Versatile

Cons

  • The clamping design could have been better.

Upgraded Version 3018 Pro CNC Router Kit

The Upgraded Version 3018 Pro CNC Router Kit is convenient to use, and it is versatile and works on plastic, wood, soft metal, and acrylic. The mechanical parts come with straightforward instructions on the manual that make it easy for beginners to assemble and use the CNC router. 

It has an offline controller option that makes it convenient. You are allowed to operate without a computer, and it comes with an SD reader. The new control board has a driver chip, fixed heat sink, and external fan makes it safe to use. A sturdy casing makes the control board durable and difficult to damage the CNC router. 

Pros

  • Offline controller
  • Versatile
  • Professional
  • Sturdy casing
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • It does not work on hard metal.

LiFuJunDong 4 Axis USB CNC6040 Router Engraving Machine

The LiFuJunDong 4 Axis USB CNC6040 Router Engraving Machine is versatile, making it a hobby machine. It works with multiple materials, and that makes it exciting to use. You are not limited to creativity, and it is used for engraving, creating badges and plates. It is easy to move around due to its compact size. 

The machine connects to a computer and external devices such as the printer and scanner. It is a high-speed CNC machine that has a lubrication system that makes it accurate. The cooling system cools the spindle and protects the machine from burning out. The waterproof design makes it durable. 

Pros

  • Water cooling system
  • Versatile
  • Easy to move
  • High speed
  • Durable

Cons

  • The spindle motor connects with a VFD.

CNC Piranha FX 1774

The CNC Piranha FX machine is innovative and has a compact size. The touch-screen interface makes it convenient to use. The compact size makes it ideal for small-scale projects like carvings. It works on numerous materials such as wood and plastic, and it is for 3D carvings. It is accurate and allows you to have unlimited creativity. 

The machine does not take more space from your garage. It is easy to operate and uses the VCarve desktop design software and a 2.0 USB port. The program saves to the USB drive, and you plug it into the pendant. You select the file and run the machine.

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Innovative
  • Versatile
  • Great construction
  • Accurate

Cons

  • The software is a bit difficult for beginners.

Conclusion

Woodworking has become an increasingly popular hobby, in part because of the many amazing things you can make with a CNC machine. CNC – or Computer Numerical Control – machines use special programs to convert your computer’s digital designs into woodcuts. Unlike with a typical computer-aided design (CAD) program, your CNC machine can physically cut out your projects, making them more detailed than anything you can create on a computer screen. If you are ever in doubt, our top pick is worth your while.

David D. Hughes
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