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Small Shop CNC: A Class of Machines Designed to Fit | Popular Woodworking Magazine

CNC machines come in a wide range sizes and prices. Size determines usage, so the first step is to think about what you’ll be using the machine for. It also helps to consider how much space you have. For hobbyists and small shops, 24” by 36-48” is about right. This class of CNC machines feature a Z height of at least 6”, 3hp water-cooled spindles, linear rails, ball screws, and a simple pendant controller. The Axiom Precision Pro Series and Laguna Tools each have two routers in this class in the $6,000 to $7,000 range. Powermatic Tools has a machine this size for $8,499.

Key Takeaways:

  • The size of the CNC machines and your purpose of using it should determine which one to get.
  • Even small CNC machines can work on projects that is better suited for large CNC machines.
  • Machines with a 24” wide and 36 to 48” length are ideal for serious furniture hobbyists while smaller CNCs can be used for smaller crafts.

“Over time, I’ll cover different sizes and classes of CNC machines from less expensive tabletop machines all the way up to bigger, fancier, and thus pricier, solutions.”

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