How Much Do CNC Routers Cost? - Buying Guide
In 2022, the average CNC router costs $6,312 with an average payment of $526 per month, according to data from Amazon, Alibaba, AliExpress, eBay, and STYLECNC. Beyond the sticker price and payments, however, there are the costs of additional accessories, shipping costs, tax rates, customs, and other expenses you should consider.
We’ll figure out how much you’ll really spend on your new CNC routers.
How to Determine the Total Cost of a CNC Router?
According to data from the market, this is how much a new CNC router costs to own, including additional costs like router bits, automatic tool changers, dust collectors, rotary attachments, and software.
|Average new CNC router cost|
|New CNC router category||Average total cost||Average transaction price|
|Hobby CNC router||$2,768||$2,980|
|CNC wood router||$5,980||$6,860|
|CNC metal router||$6,708||$7,158|
|CNC stone router||$5,762||$5,981|
|CNC nesting router||$8,821||$9,622|
|3 axis types||$3,689||$3,867|
|4th axis (rotary axis) types||$5,280||$5,765|
|4 axis types||$9,789||$10,282|
|5 axis types||$12,098||$12,735|
|ATC types with tool changer||$10,129||$10,896|
Composition of total cost
The total cost is based on your CNC router table kits, spindle kits, controller, software, as well as the additional accessories, shipping costs, tax rates, customs, service, care and maintenance costs. Some are unavoidable, like the main parts. Others are optional add-ons, like router bits.
The average cost of a CNC router table is about $3980 with table sizes of 2' x 2', 2' x 3', 2' x 4', 4' x 4', 4' x 6', 4' x 8', 5' x 10', and 6' x 12'. The cast iron bed frames are stable, and expensive than welded steel bed frames. The vacuum tables cost about $1000 higher than T-slot tables.
The spindle is the core part of the CNC machine, including high-speed motorized spindle, air-cooled spindle and water-cooled spindle. The well-known spindle brands include HSD, HSK, HQD, Makita, Dewalt, and Bosch. Different spindle motor powers have different routing speeds, which can be used for different materials. The spindle cost depends on its brand and power.
The most commonly used CNC controllers include DSP, Mach3, Mach4, LNC, NcStudio, Syntec, OSAI, Siemens, and FANUC. DSP is a handheld controller with low cost, while the ability is limited. The others are CNC controller with computer control system, which has good extensibility. In addition, the CNC control systems have genuine versions with a little more expensive and cracked versions for free. Which version to use depends on whether your local laws allow the use of cracked system.
You will many CAD/CAM software in the market, including Type3, ArtCAM, Cabinet Vision, CorelDraw, Solidworks, UG, MeshCAM, UcanCAM, AlphaCAM, MasterCAM, PowerMILL, CASmate, Fusion360, Alibre, Aspire, Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD, Rhinoceros 3D. Most of them are paid software used in Windows, Linux, Mac, which cost from $1,000 up to $10,000. And some of them are free software with limited functions. You can choose based on your budget and actual needs.
The additional accessories include router bits, automatic tool changer, 4th axis for rotary carving & cutting, dust collector for woodworking, water tank for stone and glass, vacuum table for adsorption. The router bits cost from $8 to $268 with different powers to cut or mill different materials. The automatic tool changer spindle kits costs about $1,500. A 4th rotary axis costs start from $980. An additional water tank is priced from $780. The national average cost of vacuum table is about $1,200 based on different sizes.
Care & Maintenance
The care & maintenance for a new CNC router averages about $200 each month if it runs 10 hours per day. The costs includes the maintenance of spindles, motors, guides, ball screws, and tool replacement.
Almost all CNC router manufacturers have their free services and support in the warranty period from 1 to 3 years. If the warranty expires, the additional fees will occur to you. Of course, you can also extend or upgrade the warranty with the specified price from the manufacturers, suppliers, or dealers.
New vs. Used CNC Router Costs
Plainly put, used CNC routers cost less to buy. Data from the market shows that the customers will pay an average of $7,836 for new CNC routers and $2,132 for used CNC routers. Yet, used CNC machines generally have higher repair and maintenance costs due to breakdowns and diminishing warranty time. It's part of the trade-off when you are considering whether to buy a new or used CNC router.
How much does it cost to DIY a CNC router?
DIY CNC router kits cost start around $796 with everything for beginners, but it can reach as high as $5,600 for the highest configurations. The exact price will depend on the table size, the spindle brand and power, CNC controller, and any add-ons you need.
How much does it cost to ship a CNC router?
The average cost of shipping a CNC router is about $2,000 if you’re shipping it by international ocean freight in 2022, and is about $3,000 by by air or by international express logistics via FEDEX, DHL, and UPS. But the global shipping costs will up and down during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How much do router bits cost?
A router bit cost starts around $8. You can expect to spend between $80 and $160 on router bits every month based on the tools quality and the workload.
Is buying a CNC router worth it?
In the euphoria of buying an used or new CNC router, its easy to overlook the total cost of ownership. If you're working for a hobby, you can DIY or buy the best budget small desktop CNC router kit. If you use it for business, you can buy the right industrial CNC router machine for commercial use on the basis of planning the manufacturing. If its out of your budget, you need consider other alternatives that may lessen the cost of your business.