What is a CNC Router and How Does it Work?

Technologyby Mashum Mollah17 May 2019

CNC Router

CNC router stands for computer numerical control. It’s been used in a machine that actually is used for cutting and routing wood, and can easily be used to cut other materials as well, from metals to plastics. In a sense, CNC routers are made to help make the routing process a lot faster and more efficient than other old-style routers. This isn’t your old run of the mill handheld router though, even though the cutting parts of the machine are literally that size. These routers are more similar to a milling machine, and the paths are completely automated with a specific program.

Ultimate Precision:

Because CNC routers are computer programmed, they are commonly used for applications like die-cutting and projects that require extreme precision (for example, making the tools that are used to make copper fittings). While metals aren’t the only thing that they cut, they’re also useful in professional applications for things like styling trim, door features, and so much more with flare. You can program intricate designs into them, so they can properly rout out complex shapes, sharp corners that normal routers have a harder time doing.

How Big Are They?

CNC routers are more of an industrial tool, so it’s imperative to realize that while the older models were for large project benches, newer models can actually fit more on smaller worktables. This is after so you can use these routers at home by using software and a desktop CNC router to get things done, which makes them perfect for smaller and home-based businesses. Of course, they may not be quite as powerful as a large industrial model though so you may want to look into different options if you’re working in a large area industrially.

A Good Prime Example:

One way to use a CNC router would be to cut shapes as mentioned above in window trim, cut decorative designs in things like chairs, door frames, and even metal. Utilizing special CAM (computer aided manufacturing) and CAD (computer aided drafting) software, you can literally program the router to cut in these intricate designs so when you put your project together, it can even make seamless design.

Another way you can use a CNC router is similar to etching, and while the industrial machines are used more for manufacturing purposes, the desktop models are great in smaller shops to achieve the same results without having to spend a literal fortune.


CNC routers are often used also for other projects, such as engraving, and some actually even have 3D printing capabilities. This enables them to do much more intricate designs with various details. If you’re looking for the perfect fit to make your workshop, you can even do things like routing special floral designs on even stone and ceramic if you’re needing to do something like that for your home project. While a desktop router is not as expensive as its counterpart, do expect them to cost a minimum of a couple of hundred dollars.

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at thedailynotes.com/.

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