Top 5 Best CNC Routers Under $2000 – Complete Reviews with Comparisons

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The price tag for CNC routers continues to decrease gradually. These machines are becoming more affordable, making it easier for hobbyists or those who are interested in CNC cutting to own one. There are CNC routers that come as DIY kits, which you can assemble at home. These kits allow you to save money on shipping. You can also find pre-assembled CNC routers. These machines help you save time since you can use it immediately. However, not all CNC routers can be considered as reliable machines. This guide will help you choose the best CNC router under $2000. 

Comparison Chart

51b55YeaSZL. SL500
3 AXIS 800W 6040 Desktop CNC Router 3D Engraving Drilling Milling Machine 110V with 1605 Ball Screw and 1.5KW VFD
41s9IwRGfAL. SL500
CNC Piranha FX
41J C0J58S. SL500
DIY Mini CNC 3018 PRO GRBL Control CNC Router Kit 3 Axis Desktop Milling Engraver
41K1uX9WcmL. SL500
BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Kit with the Router Included (16″ x 18″ cutting area and 3.3″ Z travel)
41wZT5ZGwHL. SL500
VEVOR CNC Router 3020 3 Axis CNC Router Machine 300x200mm Cnc Router Kit 200W MACH3 Control Engraving Machine Cnc Router Kit With USB(3020 3 Axis With USB)

Detailed Product Info & Reviews


1. Taishi Desktop CNC Router

51b55YeaSZL. SL500

The Taishi Desktop CNC Router is a 3D drilling, milling, and engraving machine with a solid construction and small footprint. It’s the perfect machine for a small-materials craftsman or hobbyist. The CNC router is capable of cutting to 0.04mm accuracy and resetting to 0.05mm once properly leveled and mounted. 

Product Highlights

  • 21″ gantry height and small 35″ x 26″ footprint
  • 0.8 KW air-cooled spindle runs up to 24000 RPM and reinforces the machine’s processing capacity and allows it to process hard wood and aluminum alloy 
  • engraving speed level is up to 137″ per minute
  • features an external 3-axis control box and aluminum frame materials that make up for a durable and steady CNC router
  • stepping motor knob allows for small positioning adjustment 
  • cover plates reduce pollution for the shafts and screws
  • emergency stop button improves security 
  • CNC router allows you to make large 3D engraving in MDF board, acrylic, soft wood, PVC and native wood 
  • thickened and reinforced machine body allows for safe transportation and longer lifespan 
  • a flexible coupling is useful for high torque transmission 

What We Like

The smooth operation of the motor, the low noise levels, and the solid build of the gantry and table are some of the best things about this machine. It’s a great addition to any workshop or work bench because of its features. 

What We Don’t Like

Your desktop computer should run Mach 3 so that you can operate the CNC router. This means that you need to install this software if your computer doesn’t have it, or you won’t be able to use the CNC router.

What We Like

  • ​easy to assemble and set up
  • ​solid construction
  • ​quiet operation
  • ​accurate
  • ​small footprint

What We Don’t Like

  • ​needs a connected desktop computer
  • ​heavy

2. CNC Piranha FX

41s9IwRGfAL. SL500

The CNC Piranha FX is a small CNC machine designed by Next Wave Automation. It runs Dewalt, Bosch, and similar palm routers. The machine features 12″ x 13″ x 3″ of XYZ travel and a 12″ x 18″ table. It can trace and duplicate an object down to 0.001-inch detail. The CNC Piranha FX is equipped with touchscreen control and sophisticated features found in more expensive models. 

The package includes fully-assembled parts, making it a great option for advanced beginners and those who want to take on smaller-scale projects such as intricate carvings and plaques. The machine has a 3D model library that is included in the Vector Art Sampler Pack. The CNC Piranha FX can cut a wide range of materials, including composite plywood, plastics, MDF, solid woods, stone, and metals, and engrave circuit boards. 

Product Highlights

  • compact 12” x 18” table makes it ideal for smaller-scale projects such as ornamental boxes, carvings, plaques and precision parts made from soft metals, plastics, and wood
  • color touch-screen interface 
  • 3-D carving capacity allows you to cut complex engravings and inlays and carve luxurious corbels 
  • interlocking Slotted Table Track is made of Aluminum and allows for customizable clamping
  • comes with Vector Art 3-D Sampler Pack and VCarve Desktop V8 
  • package includes two hold-down clamps and 1/4″ V-router bit

What We Like

The CNC router offers a good balance of price and capability. Since it features a color touch-screen interface, you don’t need a computer to control the machine. You only need to transfer the file through a USB drive, and your data is displayed on the screen. Although its work area is quite small considering its price, measuring only 12″ x 18″ x 3″ or 304 x 457 x 76mm, it doesn’t affect the versatility or quality of the CNC router. 

What We Don’t Like

The machine has an initial learning curve, so it’s not an ideal option for those who don’t like such hindrance.  Unless you have a lot of persistence and patience, you shouldn’t get this CNC router, especially if you’re a complete beginner. Advanced beginners and above will find it easier to use the machine. Other than the initial learning curve, the CNC Piranha FX is a great machine for those who want to try CNC cutting or engraving at home. 

What We Like

  • ​touchscreen controller
  • ​compact design
  • ​ideal for advanced beginners
  • ​comes with 3D models library
  • ​excellent cutting performance
  • ​comes fully assembled

What We Don’t Like

  • ​has an initial learning curve
  • ​doesn’t work with Macs

​3. 3018 GRBL Control DIY Mini CNC Router Kit

41J C0J58S. SL500

Beauty Star’s DIY CNC Router Kit is a great option for those with some mechanical skill or knowledge in working with CNC routers. The 3-axis CNC router is an ideal choice for those who want to study fine engraving using various materials because it is easy to use and store. 

Product Highlights

  • provides a working area of 300, 180 and 45mm for X, Y, Z respectively 
  • backed by a 12-month warranty
  • frame dimension of 330, 400 and 240mm for X, Y, Z respectively
  • features a 775 spindle
  • the machine supports Linux and Windows 7, 9 and XP
  • can be used for carving plastic, wood, PCB CCL, acrylic and soft metals such as aluminum and copper
  • the package comes with all mechanical parts, including stepper motors, power supply, frame, and electronic control board

What We Like

The machine has a powerful spindle motor that works really well. It is also a great tool for those with some mechanical aptitude or knowledge about CNC routers. The working area is sufficient for smaller DIY designs. The machine will not cut stone or hard metals, but there are a lot of softer materials that you can experiment with. This is a good way to improve your craft and create beautiful work pieces. 

What We Don’t Like

You need to assemble the machine before you can use it, but the setup process is not easy. The manual doesn’t help much. That is why having some mechanical ability or prior knowledge is beneficial when buying this machine. However, once you have assembled the machine, you have a durable CNC router that performs really well. 

What We Like

  • ​compact design
  • ​solid construction
  • ​lightweight and compact
  • ​user-friendly
  • ​excellent precision cutting and power

What We Don’t Like

  • ​vague instructions
  • ​difficult to assemble
  • ​can’t carve hard metals like jade


​4. BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Kit

41K1uX9WcmL. SL500

The E3 CNC Router Kit from a BobsCNC is a home-built kit that is perfect for those who are new to CNC cutting or engraving. It features a DEWALT 660 router and a large 17.7″ x 15.3″ x 3.3″ cutting area. The machine is equipped with an Arduino-based microprocessor that is responsible for controlling the CNC router. The gantry and cutting work through an SG20U-supported rail mechanism. You need a computer to run the machine. Linux, Raspberry Pi, Windows, and OSX are compatible with the CNC router. 

Product Highlights

  • GT2 belt drive on Y and X axis
  • equipped with a solid laser cut frame, DEWALT 660 router, and Arduino-based microprocessor
  • comes with a SG20U supported rail system
  • Z axis features a 5/16-18 nut

What We Like

The BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Kit is a user-friendly beginner machine provided that you know what you’re doing. It has a solid wood construction, so you are assured that it will last for a long time. The best thing about the machine is that when you’re working on wood, it’s easy to make modifications anytime you want. 

What We Don’t Like

Removing flex from the gantry and bed is impossible due to the machine’s solid wood construction. The CNC router is also challenging to assemble, but once you put it together, the BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Kit is worth the time and penny you’ve spent. 

What We Like

  • ​the high quality starter CNC machine
  • ​works with OSX
  • ​easy to assemble

What We Don’t Like

  • ​software not included

5. VEVOR 3020T CNC Router 

41wZT5ZGwHL. SL500

The VEVOR 3020T CNC Router features 3 rotating axis that can perform plane engraving efficiently. The 3 axis CNC router has high efficiency and low noise levels. It can be used to engrave on soft materials like wood, PVC, plastic, PCB, and acrylic. 

Product Highlights 

  • includes a 300W spindle motor and three 57 2-phase stepper motors, allowing the CNC router to reach a speed level of 8000 rpm per minute
  • features 3 axis that consists of chrome plate hard shafts and trapezoidal screws 
  • dust-proof plate and large aluminum 300 x 200 x50 mm worktable ensure long-term use and easy cleaning of the machine 
  • The USB port allows users to connect the machine to a desktop computer 
  • 8000 PRM motor speed
  • supports G-code files like TAB, NC and NCC
  • Package includes one 3 axis CNC engraving milling machine, one USB, one USB cable, one set of installation tools and one user manual 

What We Like

The VEVOR 3020T CNC Router is easy to set up as you only need to follow the instructions given in the manual. The machine uses spiral flute bits, allowing you to engrave various materials such as composite board plywood, stone, metal, solid wood, steel and MDF board. It comes with user-friendly software and provides workspace travel of 65, 200, and 300 mm for Z, Y, and X, respectively. The aluminum frame makes it durable as well. 

What We Don’t Like

Since the machine doesn’t have limit switches, you have to make sure that you don’t over travel. Other than that, the CNC router works really well. 

What We Like

  • ​easy assembly
  • ​supports three axes for more design options
  • ​300 ~ 8000rpm variable spindle speed
  • ​the software works with Windows

What We Don’t Like

  • ​doesn’t have Mac support

CNC Router Buyer’s Guide 

Don’t buy the first CNC router that you see. You have to make sure that it fits your needs and budget. Here are some of the most important things that you should consider when buying a CNC router. 

Automatic Tool Changer Function

If you are running a business and you need to change tools occasionally during production, getting an automatic tool changer system is a good option for you as it will reduce time exhausted between jobs as well as operator errors. You don’t need this function if CNC cutting or engraving is a hobby for you, and you need to use only one tool. Sign making CNC routers may be enough for your needs. 

It is also important to understand what CNC routers do and what software will release updates on a regular basis and provide precise cuts. You should consider getting specialized software if you produce complex parts. 

Motor Size

High-speed operations that need constant load changes will benefit from servo motors with a high torque capacity. These motors are not extremely loud when being used. Servo motors are efficient and don’t heat up. Stepper motors are cheaper than servo motors and work at high torque applications and medium to low speeds. 

The movements of these motors are based on pulses and won’t get feedback from a real location. Stepper motors are easy to set up and use as well. These motors last for a long time as they won’t be damaged due to overload, but they are quite loud when working at moderate to high speeds. Regardless of the motor you choose, you should pick a CNC router that will need minimal supervision and function efficiently.


Heavier machines are said to be more durable than lighter ones. However, you should find a CNC router that is both durable and doesn’t weigh a lot if you have to move the machine around. 


The spindle does the cutting through a cutting tool, and it comes in a wide range of sizes and shapes. You can make heavier cuts by considering different factors, such as cycle time and application. Assess the spindle’s capacity before you buy anything. This means that you need to examine the spindle motor type, power requirements, and torque. 

Vacuum System

You also need to consider the table’s capability to hold down the materials you want. The CNC router’s vacuum pressure will determine how heavy the materials can be. CNC routers will produce a large number of metal shavings, dust, or sawdust, so you should know how much dust will be produced by the machine so that you can determine where you should put the vacuum system to keep your production space clean. Your computer should be far enough from the CNC router to protect it from the dust, but also near enough so that you can easily access it. 

Router Size

Consider your current and future production to determine the right router size that you should buy. This is particularly important if you’re a small business, and you don’t want to limit your production because the machine can’t accommodate a larger material. The best option is to get a CNC router that offers a lot of room for expansion without requiring you to buy another CNC router. 

CNC Router Software

The CNC router should come with advanced software that offers regular updates, accuracy, and efficiency. If you need to manufacture complex parts, you should look for a dedicated software package. 


Find a CNC router that offers a wide range of features. The machine should be productive and capable of processing efficiently. It shouldn’t require a lot of supervision from you once you’ve set it up. 


Look for durable router bits. You also need to take care of and maintain the router bits to keep them sharp. 

CNC Router Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

(Q) What are the kinds of CNC routers?

(A) There are 6 axis, 5 axis, 4 axis, and 3 axis CNC routers. 5 and 4 axis CNC routers are capable of cutting precise 3D parts. The spindle of 5 axis CNC routers can spin in two additional planes. The turntable of 4 axis CNC routers is attached to either the spindle head or cutting bed. 3 axis CNC routers cut materials in 3D form and are limited to the depth in some dimensions.

5 axis CNC routers are expensive but efficient in artistic applications and rapid prototyping. You should have enough knowledge of specific software and controllers in order to operate such machines. It’s even better if you have prior training regarding the use of the controls of CNC routers. High-efficiency industrial CNC routers are perfect for batch or bulk production. 

(Q) What materials can CNC routers cut?

(A) If you don’t have a handheld router to cut the material you’re working on, you can use a CNC router instead. These machines are capable of cutting through a wide range of materials, including steel, plywood, metals, hardwood, composites, fiberglass, acrylic, aluminum, foam, and plastic.

(Q) What CNC router size should you choose? 

(A) Consider what kind of work you’re doing right now and what you want to do now about three years from now. A 4 x 8′ or larger CNC router is perfect for those who have plans to cut full sheets. A smaller machine is enough for those who want to create small parts. 

(Q) Do you need to learn G Code or other programming languages to use a CNC router? 

(A) No. You can import drawings and photos and design files as well as manipulate them then the software will produce the code that the CNC router will use to cut the parts you need.

(Q) What are the differences between a router and a spindle? 

(A) The router and the spindle hold and rotate a router bit to cut materials at high speed. That’s where their similarity ends. Spindles are industrial motors for cutting during the production process, while routers are 110V consumer-grade tools that are used intermittently. Spindles are equipped with precision bearings and are more powerful than routers. These machines can maintain their torque even at lower RPMs. However, you should also keep in mind that the hp ratings between spindles and routers are not equal. 

Final Verdict …

CNC routers are a great investment for workshops as they can cut through different kinds of materials accurately and smoothly. However, it’s also a fact that these machines are not exactly cheap. The best CNC router under 2000 is the Taishi Desktop CNC Router due to its features. It has a solid aluminum alloy plate and weighs over 120 lbs. 

The machine has a 21″ gantry height and small 35″ x 26″ footprint, so it’s a stable and rigid CNC router. It features a 0.8-kilowatt air-cooled spindle that runs up to 24000 RPM. The Taishi Desktop CNC Router produces engraving speeds up to 137″ per minute. Making small positioning adjustments is also possible thanks to its stepping motor knob. The emergency stop button also improves safety and security while you are working. 

If you’re on a budget and you are looking for a cheaper option, you can try the ​BobsCNC E3 Router Kit. It can cut all kinds of plastic, wood, PVC, acrylic, PCB, and soft aluminum. Its working area measures ​17.7″ x 15.3″ x 3.3,” and since you don’t need to position the components of the machine, you can assemble it easily and enjoy greater working accuracy. The CNC router runs on Arduino and uses GRBL to control the machine’s movement. It also comes with assembly instructions.

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