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CNC Router – Pros & Cons

Are you unsure about whether or not you should purchase a CNC router or something that would suit your needs better? We can help offer you unbiased views on the correct machine for you and your business.

When buying a machine from any supplier, including Mantech UK they must offer you the right advice, ensuring you purchase a machine that can achieve your application and desired result. Our industry experts will be able to assist you, ensuring you choose the correct machine for the right job.

CNC Router – A capable machine

A CNC router is an extremely versatile industrial machine, processing large areas of materials on the vacuum or T-slot type bed. On the subject of materials CNC routers are capable of cutting a wide range:

Soft & hardwoods like pine, walnut, oak as well as MDF and plywood, OSB board etc.
Acrylics & plastics like Plexiglass, HDPE etc
Aluminium composites such as Dibond and Alcupanel
Soft metals such as aluminium, brass, lead, copper
Corian and similar acrylic-based composites
Foam and foam board
Wood composites and veneers
This list is not exhaustive, you can cut many more materials not listed
CNC router – materials to cut and or engrave
Spartan CNC Router
Spartan CNC router – Industrial grade entry level system.

Products you can make on a CNC router

Ply lining kits for vans, campervans and full internal conversions
Kitchen cabinets and doors
Corian or solid surface worktops and sinks
Custom furniture manufacturing for the home and office
Playground furniture for schools and parks
Metal components for use in other products from materials such as aluminium, brass, lead, copper and brass
Personalised gifts
Letter faces and profiles made out of either plastic/acrylic or aluminium and their returns (sides) to make 3D letters
Sign panels of any shape
Shelving units
Cladding products
Boat components
Bespoke speaker cabinets / musical instruments such as guitars
Engraved products such as giant engraved rulers for schools etc
Personalised bath caddy with engraved messages.
Aerospace components
Automotive components
With a CNC router the options are endless.
CNC Router Infographic
Spartan CNC Router Infographic

Main pros for buying and owning a CNC router

Lets get started with the main pro points of owning a CNC router:

  • A CNC can help you automate your business tasks
  • Keep staff levels at a more consistent level
  • Helps to reduce waste by optimising your material usage
  • High accuracy and repeatability
  • Huge range of materials that can be cut and engraved
  • Large selection of tools available to enable you to produce different types of cuts and engraves such as profiling, drilling, pocketing, simple engraving, v-cuts, bevel cuts, prism and 3d engraving
  • Process thicker materials than say a laser cutter due to the power of the spindle and hardness of tools (including gantry height)
  • Fast cutting speeds
  • Short production times
  • Consistency of output – reduced human error
  • Cutting areas can be very small like 600 x 900, right up to some of the larger beds such as 2050 x 8000 mm and beyond.
  • Large range of CAD / CAM software to design in such as Vectric V Carve Pro, AlphaCAM, Cabinet Master etc
  • Some models come with integrated PC systems to enable editing of files on the fly at your machine (Merlin and Apollo CNC Routers)
  • Rigidly built and robust to deal with years of use

Cons – what’s against:

  • CNC routers are relatively loud because of the vacuum system, extraction and spindle (different materials will make different sounds and loudness)
  • Residual dust – even though CNC routers come extraction systems, there is almost always some kind of residual dust/swarf created. This is especially apparent if using compression tools that force the excess materials into the cut paths – this will need to be cleaned away.
  • Tools don’t last forever and will need to be replaced with new units when they are worn or break.
  • Steeper learning curve than say a CO2 laser cutter – however all of our systems come with full training, our Spartan CNC router range has been designed with ease of use in mind.
  • Loss of skilled labour within the workforce, the machine does all of the hard work – this can also be classed as a plus.
  • Cutting different types of materials and thickness will require you to hold multiple tools

Armed with the right information you can make an informed decision on whether a CNC router is something you would need in the workshop. Our team of industry experts are on hand to offer you impartial advice, ensuring you make the correct choice of machine for your needs.

You can contact us on live chat, telephone 0121 541 1444 and even request a quotation on every product page or if you would rather email – its sales@mantechmachinery.com

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