How to use CNC wood router

Published On: June 7, 20202 Comments on How to use CNC wood routerTags: Last Updated: February 11, 20243.7 min read

If you are looking for an activity that would occupy your time, then diving into the CNC router activity will get you hooked. It is also suitable for those people with interest in art, development of products, and production work. CNC is an abbreviation of computer numerical control, and its router is used in cutting different materials.

How to use CNC wood router

What is a CNC wood router?

A CNC wood router is an object that employs the Cartesian coordinate system as a control system to move in 3D hence make anything from wood. The coordinates are put in the controller that is away from the CAD program. The CAD program is used in creating the design of the patterns, while the CAM program is used in translating the three coordinates. A wood router spins with a range of 12500 RPM to 24000RPM, and it uses both CAM and CAD applications, which include AlphaCam and Bobcad. In a nutshell, it’s basically a wood router but instead of hands, it’s controlled by computer. You can know more about wood router here.

Ten tips for using CNC wood router

  1. Contrary to popular belief, it is better to use holding screws instead of holding tabs as many people find it hard to strike a balance of using enough holding screws. However, be sure to make holes on the spoil board that would be supporting the material you are making.
  2. Ensure that the CNC has been well calibrated or not out of a square to ensure that the input and output matches.
  3. Ensure the appropriate shape of the bit is used as it affects both the feed rate and the edge of the product. Compression bits are also great as they bring about a smooth surface on all sides.
  4. Use the appropriate mill. After checking for the calibration, it is important to use the correct end mill as there are many different types of end mills.
  5. For one to cut parts accurately with clean edges, it is important to use different roughing and finishing operations, especially during the CAM stage. The initial pass will ensure that there is a wide-cut while the last phase will ensure that the edges are clean.
  6. Use and adjust the feed rate according to its appropriate pass. The wrong feed rate could result in bringing about a broken mill. The best feed rate for plywood is 80inches per minute, while its depth is usually 0.4 inches.
  7. The cutting depth should be targeted to be deeper than the actual thickness of the product material. By doing this, one is assured of a cut of full depth.
  8. You need to carefully use the lossless design by placing every component as close as possible. By doing this, one can save time and money as the end mill only cuts through once.
  9. Limit the number of flutes as a small number of flutes ensure that big chips are able to escape, and it also ensures that there is enough space between the cutting edges.
  10. If you want to increase the RPM, it is advisable to use cutters of small diameters, preferably lowering them by a ¼ of their actual diameter.

How to use CNC wood router - CNC wood projects

Frequently asked questions

What can I do with the CNC router?

A CNC router is used to make musical instruments, signboards, door carvings, furniture, and decorations by cutting hard material such as wood, plastic, and glass.

How does a CNC router work?

It uses different programming languages, but the common is the G-code, and this language will direct the CNC machine. By using the numerical control system, route tool paths are created; hence the product is made with minimal waste and reduced time.

Can you CNC wood?

Yes, one can CNC wood, and it is the most commonly used material as it is light hence accessible to CNC.

How long does a CNC router take?

Without considering different factors that would influence the time of finishing a product, the known time is usually 18hours to finish 200 parts.

How much does a CNC router cost?

The price range depends on the model and its features. A hobby CNC price range is between $600 and $4000. Low-end models tend to be between $4000 and $250000, while high-end models’ price ranges are between $60000 and $100000.


CNC routers are great machines to use when making products that require high precision. They are also great at reproducing patterns accurately and with speed.

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Leave A Comment

  1. Handyman tips September 25, 2022 at 7:34 am

    Hi Bill,

    most of CNC routers can’t work on curved surfaces! There are newer CNC 4-axis router types that can work on curved surfaces but they are rather expensive!

    The Handyman tips team!

  2. Bill September 24, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    I’m building some chairs with a curved upper back crest rail. Everything I’ve seen about CNC routers shows them working on a flat surface. Can a CNC router be programmed to carve on a curved surface?

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