Computer Numerically controlled (CNC) routers are essentially designed to drill, cut, route and cart such materials as rubber, plastic, acrylic, and wood.
The automated machines are known to work with utmost accuracy and at amazing speeds, even on certain metal types such as steel building.
Since their introduction, such machines have been applied to an array of industries, including circuit board manufacture, furniture design, as well as plastics manufacturing.
The price of CNC routers depends on several factors. For instance, hobby CNC router kits—the most common of them all—are priced between $600 and $4,000 each.
However, industrial models can cost as much as $100,000 or even more. Throughout this guide, you will learn the much you should expect to pay for a CNC router.
Hobby CNC Routers (Between $600 and $4,000 each)
Most of the hobby CNC routers in the market come in kits, with most of them measuring from 12” by 12” to a 3’ by 6’.
Such units are suited for home business and hobbyists. Such units are often made of aluminum or wood and only have basic features to offer.
For instance, most feature a 3-axes system that is driven by stepper motors and ACME screws. Depending on the price point, the machine may come with a controller system.
If included, the controller system will increase the cost of the CNC router. With a hobby CNC router, you should expect tolerances of between 01” to .001” repeatable.
Depending on its size and capabilities, you should expect to spend between $600 and $4,000 per unit.
Low-End CNC Router Price
These are bigger than the hobby routers, measuring up to 4 by 8 feet. As such, they are only suited for light-duty applications. Although most of the low-end CNC routers are equipped with three axes, their Z-axis is often limited to six inches.
The cost of these machines mainly depends on the type of spindle, with most of them having a standard router spindle. Such a standard unit is priced at around $4,000.
The costlier low-end CNC routers are often equipped with industrial router spindles, delivering 3 to 6 HP. For such a router, you should expect to spend up to $25,000.
You should expect to pay more for one that has a dust collection system, a vacuum system, and other additional features.
Featuring a steel frame or aluminum construction, machines within this range have a full set of linear rails and bearing blocks. The tolerances may be anywhere from .01” to.001” repeatable.
Mid-Range CNC Router Cost ($25,000 to $60,000 each)
These feature a heavier construction, with a reinforced steel frame. The 3 axes system of the machine is often powered by a servo closed-loop system with rack and pinion or ball screws.
Units within this range often come with a CNC controller, duct collection system and an industrial-style style router spindle.
However, features like an automatic tool change spindle will inflate the purchase cost. The actual cost of CNC routers within this range mainly depends on the brand as well as the vendor you choose.
You will find many similar machines by different manufacturers within this range that are priced differently.
High-End Models ($60,000 to $100,000 each)
These are mainly the heavy-duty models solely meant for industrial applications. The machines may be up to 7’ by 20’ or more and weigh several tons. Owing to their heavy-duty applications, they are almost entirely made of steel.
Some of the features you should expect on routers within this range include ATC spindles and a standalone vacuum system.
The controller and computer should also come as a module. Some of the leading vendors will charge you extra for training and assembly, as discussed below.
Industrial-Grade CNC Router Cost ($150,000+ each)
These are the largest of CNC router machines available in the market. Since they are meant for heavy-duty industrial applications, these models have four to five axes.
Large plants and industries may own several of these machines for the primary portion of their production. In this price range, all features and accessories should be provided by the vendor.
Additional CNC Router Cost Factors
In addition to the above-mentioned industry-standard rates, the overall cost of a CNC router will also depend on several other factors.
These include the additional costs you will incur while purchasing the machine, such as:
CNC Router Software
In addition to the CNC machine itself, you will also be required to purchase a computer-aided design (CAD) software.
The software is used to create designs. On average, you should expect to spend between $2,500 and $10,000 for each CAD software package.
CNC routers weigh between a few hundred pounds and several tons. This will determine the transportation fee you need to pay to have the machine delivered to your premises.
However, some companies have an exclusive service that is included in the price.
Shipping starts at several hundred dollars but may cost up to $3,000 depending on its weight and the distance it needs to be transported.
Training usually costs anywhere from $500 to $1,000 per day. Depending on the knowledge level of your staff, the process could take a few hours or several days.
Installation cost is often priced between $500 and $1,000 for a day's worth of labor.
Ready to Buy a CNC Router?
CNC routers are important pieces of equipment for various industries, including furniture and design.
However, such machines do not come cheap, especially the heavy-duty models for industrial applications.
Hobby CNC routers are the cheapest with some priced below $1,000.
To accurately estimate the cost of a CNC router more accurately, you also need to factor in software, training and shipping costs.