Small CNC Router Reviews

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Zentoolworks and Shapeoko

I bought the ZenToolWorks because they have active forums and the kit price was only $300 for their small 7" x 7". They also had a few folks successfully using EMC2 (linux based) which is what I use. I don't think Shapeoko was available at that time (March 2011) or I might have bought that. A open source mill / stepper controller is not as big a selling point (for me) as the community and the software tools (EMC2 / gEDA) that I spend all my time working with. It's ironic to me that Eagle (a shareware PCB tool) is frequently used to produce open source hardware.

I use my ZTW 7x7 everyday for milling plexiglass covers and every few months I'll sit down and mill a double-sided board with it. There is a particular fish tail bit I like to use for milling traces at high speed. It's only accurate to 20 mil with this bit, but the board come out at 10x the speed. It's never broke down or failed required any maintenance besides some 3-in-1 oil on the threaded rods every few months.

Which ones have you tried so far? I'm in the market for a larger CNC to cut more cases at a time.