The Best CNC Router For Sign Making: Complete Reviews & Comparison

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​Many artists would argue that making signs takes skill and talent. However, no one can deny the fact that it has gotten much easier and better thanks to technology and, in particular, CNC routers.


Computer Numerical Control (CNC) routers have made it possible for artists to bring their most complex sign and to carve ideas to life. These machines are computerized and work with programs designed to make signs. The program controls the router as it carves its way through materials such as wood, plastic, and glass. These machines are more accurate, more versatile, and faster than the best sign engravers.


CNC routers are popular. You will come across lots of options when shopping, and you need to pick out the best one for your needs as it is a worthy investment. So, how can you tell which router is ideal? Here is a comprehensive review of the best CNC router for sign making.


​'Top 6 Best CNC Routers for Sign Making' Comparison Chart

Editor's Choice
BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included (24" x 24" cutting area and 3.3" of Z travel)
VEVOR CNC Router 3020 4 Axis CNC Router Machine 300x200mm CNC Router Kit 200W MACH3 Control Large 3D Engraving Machine CNC Router Kit with USB(3020 4 Axis with USB)
3 AXIS 800W 6040 Desktop CNC Router 3D Engraving Drilling Milling Machine 110V with 1605 Ball Screw and 1.5KW VFD
Axiom Precision AR4 Pro+ 24" x 24" 4-Axis Ready CNC Router
Next Wave Automation CNC Shark HD 4, 36-1/4''W x 36''L x 24-1/2''H
Next Wave Automation CNC Piranha XL
BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included (24" x 24" cutting area and 3.3" of Z travel)
VEVOR CNC Router 3020 4 Axis CNC Router Machine 300x200mm CNC Router Kit 200W MACH3 Control Large 3D Engraving Machine CNC Router Kit with USB(3020 4 Axis with USB)
3 AXIS 800W 6040 Desktop CNC Router 3D Engraving Drilling Milling Machine 110V with 1605 Ball Screw and 1.5KW VFD
Axiom Precision AR4 Pro+ 24" x 24" 4-Axis Ready CNC Router
Next Wave Automation CNC Shark HD 4, 36-1/4''W x 36''L x 24-1/2''H
Next Wave Automation CNC Piranha XL
Editor's Choice
BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included (24" x 24" cutting area and 3.3" of Z travel)
BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included (24" x 24" cutting area and 3.3" of Z travel)
VEVOR CNC Router 3020 4 Axis CNC Router Machine 300x200mm CNC Router Kit 200W MACH3 Control Large 3D Engraving Machine CNC Router Kit with USB(3020 4 Axis with USB)
VEVOR CNC Router 3020 4 Axis CNC Router Machine 300x200mm CNC Router Kit 200W MACH3 Control Large 3D Engraving Machine CNC Router Kit with USB(3020 4 Axis with USB)
3 AXIS 800W 6040 Desktop CNC Router 3D Engraving Drilling Milling Machine 110V with 1605 Ball Screw and 1.5KW VFD
3 AXIS 800W 6040 Desktop CNC Router 3D Engraving Drilling Milling Machine 110V with 1605 Ball Screw and 1.5KW VFD
Axiom Precision AR4 Pro+ 24" x 24" 4-Axis Ready CNC Router
Axiom Precision AR4 Pro+ 24" x 24" 4-Axis Ready CNC Router
Next Wave Automation CNC Shark HD 4, 36-1/4''W x 36''L x 24-1/2''H
Next Wave Automation CNC Shark HD 4, 36-1/4''W x 36''L x 24-1/2''H
Next Wave Automation CNC Piranha XL
Next Wave Automation CNC Piranha XL

​Detailed Product Info & Reviews

1. BobsCNC E3 CNC Router

BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included (24' x 24' cutting area and 3.3' of Z travel)

The BobsCNC E3 CNC Router features some of the latest CNC router designs and technologies. It is also the highest-ranked router on Amazon based on positive reviews, so it is our favorite pick.


Features

The BobsCNC E3 CNC Router has the following to offer:


Versatile Laser-Cutting Frame

This router has a powerful laser that can cut through any wood. That, however, is not what makes it exceptional. The laser-cutting frame is capable of holding multiple objects with ease for multi-tasking purposes. It comes fitted with a DeWalt spindle that has a collection of 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch ports. These ports can support materials of different shapes, as long as they can fit.


Arduino-Based Microprocessor

The ​CNC Router utilizes one of the most powerful microprocessors. The Arduino-based microprocessor can be connected to an on-board USB port for smooth operation when enough computer power is lacking.


Universal Compatibility

You do not need any special computer software to use this CNC router. It comes with Java installed to support its compatibility with all the major Operating Systems, including Windows, Linux, OSX, and Raspberry Pi.


Easily Portable

Th​is CNC Router weighs only 26 pounds and measures 25 square-inches. It is also easy to set up. Overall, it is easily portable and ideal for freelance sign engravers.


​1. ​BobsCNC E3 CNC Router

What We Like

  • ​Powerful cutting laser
  • ​Large, multi-tasking cutting frame
  • ​Universal compatibility
  • ​An overall user-friendly design

What We Don't Like

  • ​The control system software can develop issues

Our Verdict

This CNC router is ideal for sign-engravers who mainly work with wood. It especially comes in handy for sign engravers who need to move from place to place. It is easy to use, so it is recommended for amateurs and professionals alike.


​2. VEVOR CNC Router 3020T

VEVOR CNC Router 3020 4 Axis CNC Router Machine 300x200mm CNC Router Kit 200W MACH3 Control Large 3D Engraving Machine CNC Router Kit with USB(3020 4 Axis with USB)

The BobsCNC E3 CNC router maybe the market's popular choice, but the VEVOR CNC 3020T is the best CNC router for sign making in terms of power and sophistication. This is an industrial-grade router that has other capabilities besides sign engraving.


Features

The VEVOR CNC 3020T router has the following to offer:


Multi-Functional

The VEVOR CNC 3020T router is designed to do it all. For starters, it not only engraves signs but also makes carvings. It is also suitable for professional use for purposes such as art, research, and teaching. It is so powerful and versatile that it is recommended for heavy-duty industrial use. The router has a large working area capable of accommodating a wide range of sizes.


Incredibly Powerful Laser

The laser on this CNC router is so powerful that it is capable of cutting through hard materials such as stone, metals, steel, solid wood, plywood, and MDF boards. It is also precise as it boasts of a return accuracy of 0.05mm, so it leaves smooth edges on all materials.


3D Designing Capability

There is virtually no limit to the signs you can make using this CNC router. This is because it comes with a 3D design capability that lets users replicate anything. To this end, the CNC router can be used to make not only complex signs but also RC models and building prototypes.


Universal Compatibility

This CNC router has a universal USB port that lets users connect to computers. It is also compatible with all of the major Operating Systems. Additionally, it can work with designs from a mounted USB flash drive.


Fast Carving Speeds

The spindle on this CNC router has a speed of 300-800RPM, depending on the material. Additionally, the router has a carving speed of up to 2000mm per minute.


​2. ​VEVOR CNC Router 3020T

What We Like

  • ​Powerful laser
  • ​Supports breakpoint carvings
  • ​Supports customized keyboard
  • ​Compatible with all major Operating Systems
  • ​Supports use of spiral bits

What We Don't Like

  • ​Needs a supported computer to use for any purpose
  • ​It is heavy and requires setting up, thus limiting portability
  • ​The price is higher than the average

Our Verdict

​The VEVOR CNC 3020T router is recommended for professionals with heavy-duty engraving needs. It is especially recommended for use with hard materials such as stone and metals. Amateurs may find it complicated, and the price would be too high to pay for every day sign engraving purposes.


​3. Taishi 3 AXIS 6040 Desktop Router

3 AXIS 800W 6040 Desktop CNC Router 3D Engraving Drilling Milling Machine 110V with 1605 Ball Screw and 1.5KW VFD

The Taishi 3 AXIS 6040 CNC router is one of the most advanced CNC routers in the market today. It is designed for industrialists and professionals who need to engrave complex signs on hard materials such as steel and stone.


Features

The Taishi 3 AXIS 6040 CNC router has the following to offer:


Compact Build

This CNC router's body is made of stainless steel, while its frame is made of aluminum alloy. It is designed for durability and reliability with hard materials. However, the compact build makes this router heavier than the average standard as it weighs 121 pounds.


Advanced Engraving Technology

Due to the nature of the type of surface it works on, this machine has a very advanced engraving technology. The cutting mechanism contains a powerful 0.8 KW air-cooled spindle.


Fast Engraving and Carving Speeds

This machine can produce engravings at a top speed of up to 137 inches per minute.


​3. ​Taishi 3 AXIS 6040 Desktop Router

What We Like

  • ​Durable
  • ​Strong for hard materials
  • ​Very accurate
  • ​Easy to assemble

What We Don't Like

  • ​Very heavy
  • ​Control limited to a desktop

Our Verdict

​On account of its small budget and impressive service, the Taishi 3 AXIS 6040 CNC would be a great purchase if you are up for some hard surface engraving. Professionals often opt for this product. Its long service life and reliability is something to keep in mind when you go shopping.


4. Axiom Precision AR4 Pro+ 4-Axis-Ready CNC Router

Axiom Precision AR4 Pro+ 24' x 24' 4-Axis Ready CNC Router

This machine is like a big industrial machine encompassed in the body of a small shop machine. It comes with some impressive features that will make your sign-making experience more worthwhile.


Features

The Axiom Precision AR4 Pro+ 4-Axis-Ready CNC Router flaunts the following features:


Better Mechanical Capabilities

This machine has a liquid-cooled 3HP variable-speed spindle, precision balls screws for maximum balance, and a powerful stepper motor. It further posses a spacious 24 by 24-inch table and is covered by a durable aluminum body.


Manageable Controls

While most other router entails having an external computer connection, it does not. The design file is read from an external flash drive. As such, it adopts a handheld control that almost anybody can handle.


Easy Configuration

One impressive quality about this machine is that you can configure it according to your needs. Once you establish your needs, you can reach out to the manufacturers, who will alter the design of the machine to your liking. You can increase its accuracy and boost production speed.


High Quality Components

Its every component is of the highest quality around. The nuts, the bolts, the ball screws, and the on-board coolers are all of high quality. This is one of the qualities that set this machine apart from the rest in the market.


​4. ​​Axiom Precision AR4 Pro+ CNC Router

What We Like

  • ​High quality and Capability
  • ​4-axis capable
  • ​Free training and servicing after purchase

What We Don't Like

  • ​Very Heavy
  • ​Expensive

Our Verdict

The Axiom Precision AR4 Pro+ 4-Axis-Ready CNC Router is perfect for engraving professionals looking to produce the most precise and accurate engravings and signs. It is built for the most complex and engaging carvings.


5. CNC Shark HD 4

Next Wave Automation CNC Shark HD 4, 36-1/4''W x 36''L x 24-1/2''H

This is an upgrade of the Shark Pro Plus and is entirely automatic. It boasts of several desirable features that engravers will enjoy. Moreover, it comes with several additions to the whole package, such as a VCarve Desktop V9.0 Design Software and Vector Art 3D Sampler Pack.


Features


A Heavy-duty Reinforced Aluminum Table

One of the notable improvements incorporated in this router is a reinforced gantry and interlocking aluminum table. Such is aimed at reducing the wobble and backlash that affected its predecessor.


Touch Screen Pendant Controller

This feature allows you to run programs by an external flash drive hence no need for a computer.


Simple Design

The CNC Shark HD 4 has no excess parts and attachments, reducing its bulkiness significantly. Furthermore, it can be controlled without an external computer connection. However, despite having a smaller and simpler design than most other routers, it is one of the most stable and rigid machines in the market.


​5. ​​CNC Shark HD 4

What We Like

  • ​Reinforced stature
  • ​Touchscreen controller
  • ​Compatible with other routers

What We Don't Like

  • ​Incompatible with Macs
  • ​Expensive
  • ​Heavy build

Our Verdict

If you are a high-end DIY or light manufacturing engraver, this would be a great addition to your collection of CNC routers. It can be used for both a large and a smaller scale production.


6. CNC Piranha XL

Next Wave Automation CNC Piranha XL

CNC Piranha XL takes the crown when it comes to ease of use and engraving power. It utilizes cutting-edge technology that automates engraving without the need for specialized IT skills. It is also easy to set up.


Features

The CNC Piranha XL has the following to offer:


Comes Pre-Assembled

This CNC router comes with every part intact. You can plug it in straight out of the box and put it to work.


Cutting-Edge Engraving Technology

The CNC Piranha XL features a powerful laser that can easily engrave any wood, plastic, and soft metals. The laser is powered by Auto-Edge and Rotational Technology, which makes it easy to position the engraving material to engrave in virtually any position. The laser is also precise and leaves silky-smooth edges on the engraving material.


Interactive LCD Touchscreen

This CNC router is one of the easiest to operate as you can do everything through its interactive on-board touchscreen. The controls are easy to access from the touchscreen, so beginners should have a smooth start.


On-Board Engraving Program

One of the best things about this CNC router is that it doesn't need a computer to operate. It comes fitted with an on-board engraving program. You need to connect a SUB-flash-drive with the engraving instructions, and the router will do the rest.


​6. ​​CNC ​Piranha XL

What We Like

  • ​Powerful laser to use with wood, plastic, and soft metals
  • ​Cutting-edge laser technology for unrestricted engraving
  • ​Easy to use

What We Don't Like

  • ​Not compatible with programs designed using Mac computers

Our Verdict

​The CNC Piranha XL is recommended for amateurs who are still relatively new to sign engraving owing to its ease of use. However, professionals may find some of its engraving capabilities below par for intricate designs.


To Wrap Up...

As said before, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) routers have enabled artists to input their most complicated sign and to carve ideas to life. These machines are computerized and work with programs designed to make signs. The program controls the router as it carves its way through materials such as wood, plastic, and glass. Overtime, these machines have gottten more accurate, more versatile, and faster than the best sign engravers.


While The BobsCNC E3 CNC Router might be placed on top of the pinnacle in the world of routers according to multiple reviews, it does not mean it suits you best. There are other critical factors that you should consider before you make you purchase a router. Such could include the following:


  • The price
  • Productivity
  • Machine tolerance
  • Machine hours


Such factors define your needs, and your needs should be the basis of your buying decision. You cannot buy what you cannot afford, and you cannot buy a soft surface machine if you work on hard surfaces.


About the Author Dan

Just a random guy who likes to build things. Providing tool knowledge, appliance/device testing tips, and DIY project info in an easy-to read & non-intimidating style.

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