How to choose the best CNC router?

CNC routers are essential engraving tools for both hobbyists and woodworking professionals. As a result, there are many different brands and CNC products that make it difficult for most people to find the best router for their needs.

How to choose the best CNC route

There are many brands and models of CNC routers on the market today (see catalogue, for instance). However, the availability of many routers is an issue as most people struggle to choose the best product for a variety of uses.
Some of the critical factors you should consider when considering buying a router include the following.

First of all, choosing the right router depends on the type of business you want to run. Make sure you choose a template that matches most of the projects you will need to complete with the machine. Thus, you will buy a product that will serve you well.

Types of tables in laser machines

Lamellar table

Lamellas most often come as standard with the machine, they are very convenient to pull out and easy to clean.

But at the same time, they are not designed for working with small parts and for working with fabrics.

That is, they are suitable for almost everything, except for specific and thin materials, such as cardboard or paper.

Honeycomb table

The honeycomb table cover is just right for making small parts, because it is very dense and does not allow products to fall.

The honeycomb table is designed for processing thin materials – paper, fabric. Because they do not sag on it, unlike the lamella.

Conveyor table

There are also conveyor tables. They are designed for processing roll materials. And here again we are talking about fabric, or leather or leatherette.

Such a table provides a continuous supply of the workpiece and facilitates the work of the operator.

Now let's talk about the configuration.


Complete set of laser machine

Machine body

First of all, pay attention to what your machine is made of. It should be thick enough and high-quality iron. And for a floor machine, the presence of a frame is very important.

This is, in fact, a frame, which is a rectangular pipe that runs around the perimeter inside the machine.

When there is no frame, if you try to lift one edge of the machine, even if only by a few millimeters, the other three will remain standing.

It is obvious how this will affect the quality of the cut. Especially if the machine is simply impossible to adjust on an uneven floor.

Laser tube

One of the main parameters.

The power of the laser tube determines how fast the machine will work and how much thickness it can cut in one pass.

The power of the CO2 tube is from 40 to 400 watts. But in work, tubes up to 180 watts are most often used. Laser tubes have not only power, but also a service life.

For example, desktop machines have a power of 40-50 W and a service life of 1500-3000 hours. In medium format machines, as a rule, tubes with a power of 60-80 W are installed, and their service life is 6500-10000 hours.

And in widescreen there are already more powerful tubes for 100-400 W with a service life of 6500-10000 hours. They are designed for cutting rather than engraving, although they can perform both functions.

And don't forget – if you want to extend the life of your tube, don't load it more than 85%.

For example, if you cut fabric, cardboard, then by and large, theoretically, 50 watts will be enough for you. But taking into account the fact that, for example, a roll of fabric has a width of 1.5 meters, and cardboard is usually also large, it can be assumed that you will process these materials on medium or large-format machines. And here it is already recommended to put the handset more powerful, somewhere around 80-100 W due to the length of the optical path.

What are we talking about? For example, on the WATTSAN 1610 machine, the maximum distance from the tube to the material is almost 3 meters. That is, the laser needs to go all this distance. And the more distance it travels, the more it scatters. And the more it dissipates, the more it loses its cutting ability. At this distance, the beam of a 50-watt tube will scatter too much and be ineffective.

Typically you need 10W of power to cut 1mm of plywood. But here it is worth considering that plywood is also different. It comes in different resins, water content and different woods.

In other articles we will talk more about the materials. About how to cut them correctly, settings, which components to choose.

For the manufacture of, for example, souvenir products from plywood 5 mm thick, a small machine with a 50 W laser tube is suitable for you. And for large-scale furniture production, you will need a large machine and a powerful tube from 100 watts. If you need to do both cutting and engraving, then a medium format universal machine with a tube power of 50-80 watts is suitable for you.

You always need to proceed from your specific situation, depending on what you need.