Best Cheap CNC Machines: In 2020 – [5 Top Beginner Picks]

These are the best cheap CNC machines on the market at present.

It's good news for the CNC entrance. The CNC mills are too expensive tools in the woodworking industry. Professionals use a CNC milling machine that may cost more than $10,000, which is not practical to possess for beginners.

We have found some cheap CNC machines for the learners who will like them for study and lightweight jobs. Most professionals also use these tools for their small projects at home or job sites.

These tools are compatible with GRBL and similar software and cut better on woods, plastic, acrylic, etc. So, it’s handy to work on small projects and a perfect scope for the CNC learners.

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Bottom Line

Product Name

Shipping Weight

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BobsCNC E3

Weight: 32 pounds
Dimensions: 27 x 32 x 21 inches

Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO

Weight: 15.41 pounds
Dimensions: 17.36 x 9.8 x 7.17 inches

SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Router

Weight: 21.3 pounds
Size: 18.2 x 16.2 x 11 inches

ORTUR Laser Engraver CNC

Weight: 7.28 pounds
Size: 22.44 x 21.65 x 6.9 inches

MYSWEETY CNC 3018PRO-M

Weight: 16.76 pounds
Size: 17.3 x 9.5 x 6.6 inches

5 Best Cheap CNC Machines

Here's the best cheap CNC machines you can buy.

 1. BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router - (Top Pick)

best cheap CNC machine

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BENEFITS

BobsCNC Evolution 3 offers plenty of excellent features and benefits, which makes it worthy for the top choosers. Moreover, it comes with a brand new router and an Arduino microprocessor for smooth operations and clean cuts.

First, in the list, the E3 CNC router runs by Java-based software the G-code, and it’s a nice home-built CNC kit considered as an excellent starter tool.

You can connect it thru a USB port, and the software you’ll use is compatible with Windows, Linux, OSX, or Raspberry Pi.

The E3 CNC comes in hands to engrave and cut woods, MDF, and some other similar materials. In its X, Y & Z axis area, it can cut almost 1.2-inch deep of a 3.3-inch thick wood stock without changing the router.

The solid wood construction BobsCNC comes with a standard router promising to give you an excellent user-experience all the time. It’s a nice option for the starters; however, it may exceed the price range for you as a beginner.

DRAWBACKS

The features enriched BobsCNC E3 comes with a lot of benefits alongside some of its downsides as well. It may be quite hard for you to remove the flex from the bed. We tried to tighten things there to move with ease, but it results in worse circumstances. We found it’s wearing off.  

EXTRA FEATURES

It is a featured enrich product though no complexity in its structure. With its solid construction, it comes with a rigid laser cut frame for smooth plain application.

An excellent SG20U rail system is out there to support and accommodate wood pieces for smooth cutting.

There is a GT2 belt to drive on the X and Y-axis. Also, there is an ACME TR8 to run from the Z-axis.

The router has included a 16-inch and an 18-inch cutting area from the X-axis to Y-axis. There is a 3.3-inch trip for Z-axis as well.

BUYING ADVICE

Before you go for buying it, look into carefully whether the router is of a renowned brand. Check out if the software is compatible with the Windows or the operating system you are using.

The USB port is flexible and user-friendly. So, look into it if it’s missing or not.

If you want some more CNC options, you can check them right here.

Pros

  • Sturdy and simple construction
  • Smoothly runs from X to Y-axis
  • Compatible with Windows, Linux, OSX, or Raspberry Pi
  • Advanced Java software
  • A quick start guide available

Cons

  • Difficult to remove the flex from the bed
  • May be pricey for some novices  

2. Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit - (Runner Up)

Genmitsu 3018-PRO CNC

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BENEFITS

Integrated custom software, Genmitsu CNC router is a feature enriched router kit, and anyone wants to buy a prolific CNC machine, this pro version is for him. Genmitsu is seamless and integrated with custom software, so no threat of stuck.

This beginner-friendly router is compatible with wood, any plastic, PVC, PCB, acrylics, and soft aluminum, though not perfect for metal or steel. It is well-built and sturdy, and most users agree that it is perfect, preferably for beginners.

Tons of YouTube videos are available out there for assembly instructions, and anyone can easily set it up within a short while.

This 3018 Pro version is versatile and user-friendly. It is compatible with the offline controller as well. So if you want not to connect it with your desktop computer, you can still run it with the offline controller available to buy.

The CNC 3018-PRO is a relatively compact and small router weighing only 15lbs, so it is easy to move around. Besides, you will comfortably use this tool if you are working from a tight space like a garage or workshop.

The X, Y & Z axis engraving area of 300 x 180 x 45 mm is available in its frame, so you can get space to work effectively to engrave your coding area. It is a super, versatile kit having 1.8 inches engraving depth with router bits of 0.1 mm, 3.175 mm diameter tip and it allows working from a 20-degree angle.

It also comes with an over-voltage and short-circuits protection system, so you can feel completely safe and secure while routing with this tool.

If you are a learner, it is one of the best inexpensive options to learn CNC from the first experience.

DRAWBACKS

Genmitsu is one of the best options to start learning CNC, but if you intend to use this tool for your regular high-end jobs, I’d suggest you not to go for this CNC router. It doesn’t give you superior performance if you are a professional. Moreover, it is unable to engrave on metal or steel plates, but it is super to cut on soft aluminum, wood, and similar things.

EXTRA FEATURES

The SainSmart CNC router comes with a new power adaptor that controls high-voltage and over-heating. So, there is less or no short-circuiting possibilities.

One of the most significant benefits of this router kit is its offline control system. If you like to run it keeping offline, you can surely do this by connecting with the offline controller module.

Moreover, it comes with a new and improved mainboard with an ABC case and fan. It is more stable and powerful for performance.

Furthermore, it facilitates its users allowing Arduino and GRBL, an open-source motion-control software. What you need is to connect it with a USB cable.

BUYING ADVICE

Check out before the final cut if any accessories are missing. It has a new power adapter for voltage control. Ensure you got it in the package.

You can also run it offline, and it may require you to buy an additional offline controller. Be sure if you want it.

Also, be sure if you are familiar with the GRBL software.

Pros

  • Versatile, compact, and portable
  • Inexpensive, cost-saving for starters
  • Features enriched, safe and controllable
  • Ideal for beginners and DIYers

Cons

  • Low performer for high-end jobs
  • Can’t engrave on metal or steel

3. SainSmartGenmitsu 3018-PROVer CNC Router

SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Prover

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BENEFITS

Genmitsu 3018 is the popular series of SainSmart’s CNC, and the 3018 PROVer is the latest version of it. The PROVer comes with some upgraded features to engrave without breaking the edge. The Arduino is its platform, and the GRBL software encodes its G-codes.

Some key premium features distinguish it from its brother tools to ensure safety and a better user experience.

The PROVer includes Toshiba drivers, which gives you better performance and a longer life span. You might notice that CNC routers frequently get stuck, but this PROVer comes with Opt couplers as the protection thread for the mainboard. This technology protects your CNC machine from a sudden hard stop and gives you a silent and powerful engraving experience.

You’ll be happy to learn that you can very easily control this desktop engraver with fingertips. If you feel comfortable using it offline, you can do it as well. It will display the readouts, and if you want, you can control it manually offline. Not only does this, but it also will help you if you need an emergency shutdown. An emergency stop control is out there. You can use this button during any inconsistent performance.

Overall, this one is a budget-friendly weapon to work with, and users experience an excellent performance though it is a beginner-friendly router.

DRAWBACKS

Though it seems to have a simplified assembly process, practically, it takes a longer time to get assembled. And it comes with assembly instruction, is not sufficient to guide properly. Of course, tons of YouTube videos are available to assist you.

EXTRA FEATURES

The PROVer CNC router also comes with an oxide blue look aluminum body as a safety guard. The acrylic baffles it comes with will block the stumps flying during operations.

And like most other engravers, it also compatible with MAC OS, Linux, Windows XP, Windows 7 – 10. Out in the box, you’ll get some accessories, including screws, nuts, and an offline controller module.

BUYING ADVICE

This milling machine is a beginner-friendly CNC mill. It can cut soft and hardwood, aluminum, etc. so before your final selection, be aware of which jobs you’re looking for this CNC router. We suggest it for lightweight projects only.

Check carefully if anything missing from the box. Essential accessories are combined with this pack.

Pros

  • The upgraded and latest version
  • A good performer with a longer life span
  • Compact and compatible for desktop use
  • Digital display available needing no desktop

Cons

  • Perfect for starters only
  • Requires searching online for assembly instructions

4. Best Budget CNC Router – ORTUR Laser Master 2 CNC Machine

ORTUR Laser Master 2 CNC

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BENEFITS

This time we choose a complex CNC machine that is not recommended for industrial purposes. It comes with comparatively high speed, and unauthorized activities may cause unwanted incidents. But still, it has a significant demand for individual users at home or the workshop. You can expect a mediocre result from it. But the amazing feature it includes is appreciating.

It comes with G-sensor to detect unauthorized movement automatically and performs super-fast. The laser engraver is technologically sound and comes with a pro protection system. In any circumstances, the router will protect the whole mechanism if any incident arises because the laser beam will automatically stop working even if the motor turns off. It will ultimately prevent firing.

ORTUR laser master 2 is compatible with GRBL or LightBurn software and supports almost all the operating systems - Windows, Mac, and Linux. It can engrave over unlimited sizes of images, but 300-px/inch is its default measurement scale though it permits free adjustment.

This laser machine is particularly perfect for image engraving. It comes with a large engraving area of about 400 x 300 mm.

If you want a solid structure and smooth operation for small size projects, this one is the best cost-effective options.

DRAWBACKS

ORTUR brand introduces a lightweight laser machine and is considered as the solution to some small projects. It can’t perform from Z-axis and not suitable for industrial engraving solutions.

Moreover, unauthorized activities may cause a sudden halt during operations. The offline facility is absent, and a continuous USB connection is required.

EXTRA FEATURES

You’ll notice a fine tuner is attached to adjust laser power, speed, and the number of passes. It cuts through the X and Y axis only.

You might have the chance of occurrence, and that’s why it comes with some built-in safety features.

BUYING ADVICE

If you aim to have it for personal and small size projects, that is fine. It is well-built for desktop use, so determine whether you are going to have for industrial purposes.

Pros

  • Large engraving area
  • Compatible in both GRBL + LightBurn
  • Compatible with a 32-bit motherboard
  • Desktop use and USB facility

Cons

  • No offline option
  • May cause unwanted incident

5. MYSWEETY DIY CNC 3018PRO-M Router Kit

MYSWEETY CNC Router

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BENEFITS

MYSWEETY is another version of 3018, and it comes with a similar design of 5mm acrylic baffles like GENMITSU. The safety design will give you protection and visibility to monitor the work very closely. Besides, this mini CNC machine is accurate and efficient for cutting and engraving.

Most people like the large working area consisting of 300 x 180 x 45 mm space. GRBL is its software, and it allows offline applications. The machine is compatible with most operating systems. You can operate it from the X, Y & Z axis and can set them manually.

The aluminum construction of this router is sturdy and durable, and it allows superior performance for a long time.

The DIY CNC 3018PRO-M is the best option for entrance CNC, and the learner will find it more productive to get in touch. It is simple and works great for beginners. Also, it’s a budget-friendly kit.

This Mini CNC Machine is a perfect choice for the beginner DIYers because with its 12-36V motor, spindle 775, runs fast revolving 10000r/min.

Aluminum and nylon construction provide you a long-lasting opportunity so that you no longer need to replace it within a short while.

Overall, MYSWEETY CNC 3018PRO-M is an ideal choice for learners as well as lightweight projects. Compared to similar products, it is safe, productive, and a good learning scope.

DRAWBACKS

This one is a mare CNC tool for the learning opportunists and will be a wrong choice if selected for large and loaded projects. It also requires some manual jobs to reinstall spindle, cooling fan, etc.

EXTRA FEATURES

It also comes with 5.5W and 5500mW Module. A larger working area most people like it. And it supports all versions of Windows.

BUYING ADVICE

Though it works great for engraving wood, leather, flammable plastic, etc. it can’t cut metal, jewelry, or stainless steel. So, the advice is to make sure your primary purpose before choosing it.

Pros

  • Lightweight, safe, and beginner-friendly CNC tool
  • Acrylic baffles covering
  • Large engraving area
  • Ideal for learner and hobbyists

Cons

  • Manual tasks to get set up
  • Can’t afford large projects

Final Words

It’s now evident from the above information of different models that BobsCNC E3 is superior to any other model at a reasonable rate. That’s why we pull it to the top, and I hope you’ll not lose buying it. However, Genmitsu 3018-PRO is runner up in our list for a legit reason. Considering its large engraving area, safety feature, and engraving capacity, we picked it up there.

To me, ORTUR Laser Master 2 is the best cheap CNC machine you can pick. It is a beginner-friendly, compact, well-built, and technologically sound CNC router kit.

I hope your buying decision has now been very shortcut and smooth.


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Richard K. Christensen
 

As a hobbyist, I love DIY and want woodworking life better. I took writing as a profession and never looked back.

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