Best CNC Machine Under $500 (Beginner & Advanced) 2023

Here’s the Best CNC machine under 500 dollars for those on a budget. The machines can cut plastic and wood. You can pick between three speeds.

Investments in wood CNC businesses are always sought after. Describe the advantages of portable CNC routers to me. This article highlights some of the most affordable options available for industrial setups.

You can save time and money by automating processes. With these low-cost machines, you won’t have to buy parts from outside.

Best Desktop CNC Router Machines 2023


These two entry-level CNCs from SainSmart, the MySWEETY CNC 3018 PRO and Genmitsu 3018, offer the same advantages. Both CNCs are prO-labelled to indicate enhanced capabilities. An offline controller is included with both CNCs. They do not require Internet access.

MYSWEETY is the popular name for the site. The work area is 300 x 180 mm and the Z-axis is 45 mm. It uses a 775-watt spindle motor and an aluminium and nylon frame.

Interested in CNC machining but worried about the cost? Here is our recommendation.

Key Features

  • Worked with woods, plastics, foam, and PCBs
  • 300 x 180 x 45 mm is the work area
  • Spindle is included.

What We Like

  • Spindle included.
  • Metal frame for durability.
  • A controller is included for offline use.

What We Don’t Like

  • Some people find it difficult to assemble the machine.

Customer’s Feedback:

It was nice to receive the unit in such a nicely packaged format. The parts came in individual bags or boxes. The instructions were easy to follow. My first experience with CNC was a steep learning curve, but after a few days of trial and error, I was able to get the unit working. Although I have modeled thousands of parts with CAD software, I have never used CAM software before. Getting a plug-in for Solid Works that generates .cn files that the provided software can use to send GRBL code to the unit was the biggest part of learning.

One thing I learned was that it is very important to position your 0,0,0 and to remember to push the reset button on the control board. The machine crashes if you fail to do that. It goes to the turned on position as 0,0,0 and doesn’t know if anything is in the way. By pressing the button, the zero point is reset to where it was just moved. My part is on the left, and the electrode I made on the right. Here’s an example of a larger visible example. I’m developing a graphite electrode for a maker’s mark in the vice. In the photo, you can see some details if you zoom in, but it’s quite a bit smaller.

My whole reason for buying this unit was to be able to make electrodes like the one on the left to perform specific tasks. With my table top EDM machine, I can burn shapes into any conductive material, even carbide, using the graphite electrodes created by this unit. My overall satisfaction with this unit and the support I received from the vendor is excellent.

Maslow CNC Router Kit

Maker Made has just released its Maslow CNC kit. A major objective of this open-source project is to construct powerful CNC machines that can process large materials. The machine measures 2438 x 1219, which is larger than a standard machine.

The reason I like this machine most is that it is an open-source project driven by the community. Using the machine, you place the router on top of the cutting material and move it along the functional chains along Maslow’s frame while cutting and moving.

Exactly as big CNC routers do, the machine works the same way. This machine must be purchased directly from Maker Made CNC in order to get the original Maslow design.

Woodworkers value this tool because of its low cost. If you need to process large materials cheaply, you should consider a Maker Made CNC router.

Key Features

  • Wood and plastics are the materials he works with.
  • It has a working area of 2348mm x 1219mm.
  • Spindles are not included.

What We Like

  • Volume of work large.
  • The highest level of functionality.

What We Don’t Like

  • Some beginners will not be able to handle it.

Sainsmart Genmitsu CNC 3018 – Best for Beginners

The Genmitsu CNC 3018-PROVer from Sainsmart is our first recommendation. Despite its affordable price, its quality makes it highly recommended. A good workspace is provided by its dimensions of 300 x 180 mm as well as a Z-axis depth of 45 mm. It is a great option for beginners because it is so cheap.

The router is ideal for those who want to take advantage of CNC without investing a lot of money. With Open Source Arduino (OSA), it can generate G-code and control motion.

The best materials are plastic, foam, and wood. An affordable and functional machine incorporating CNC principles is likely to be affordable.

Key Features

  • Wood, plastic, PCB, and aluminium are among the materials she works with.
  • Its dimensions are 300mm x 180mm x 45mm.
  • Spindle is included.
  • A controller for offline use.

What We Like

  • Affordably priced.
  • Easily navigable.
  • Spindle included.

What We Don’t Like

  • Steel will not be cut by this tool.

Customer’s Feedback:

The machine works very well. I’m surprised at how much detail you can get from this little guy. Assembly took quite some time, but was not difficult at all. Instructions are similar to those for LEGO, so take your time to distinguish the parts and screws.

They give a small area for gathering all the parts for each step, followed by a blown-up photo showing where to attach them. The assembly took between 1.5 and 2 hours (I recommend using a tape measure to verify the right lengths). In order to get started, I contacted Sainsmart for assistance. In spite of the difference in time, they were very helpful.

After they helped me solve my problem, they reached out again a few days later to ensure all was well. A great customer service experience, they seem to really care. Finding usable patterns, or software to create your own patterns, can be a daunting task. It is not an easy or cheap hobby, but the projects you can create are endless and of high quality. You will not be disappointed if you have time and patience for it.

FoxAlien CNC Router Machine 4040-XE, 300W Spindle 3-Axis Engraving Milling Machine for Wood Metal Acrylic MDF Nylon Carving Cutting Arts and Crafts DIY Design

  • Using 300W spindle and stepper motors, the 4040-XE CNC Router has a maximum moving speed of 2000mm/min and a speed range of 0~10000.
  • This controller has a 3.5″ touchscreen LCD display that can be used as an offline controller as well. It uses 110 volts as its input voltage.
  • With this machine, you can engrave, cut, and drill all kinds of materials, such as wood, metal, MDF, acrylic, foam, resin, nylon, carbon fiber, and PCB. It’s perfect for both home and business use.
  • An engravable area of 15.75″ x 15.75″ x 2.56″ (400x400x65mm). This CNC machine has a CNC control based on GRBL.
  • Wires are clearly labeled for fast connection and bundled into the drag chain for easy management. The main parts are pre-assembled, and assembly only takes 15-30 minutes.

What We Like

  • Easy to assemble
  • Pre-assembled
  • High quality components
  • Fast delivery time
  • Good performance
  • Excellent customer service

What We Don’t Like

  • No manual included

Customer’s Feedback:

Since I’ve owned this machine for a month now, I can honestly say it is one of my best purchases. If you’ve got even the slightest bit of creativity, you can take this baby and let your imagination run wild.

One thing to remember, even though it is sized for a desktop computer, it’s a real CNC. When you’re a beginner, you won’t be able to make intricate carvings out of the box right away.

With FoxAlien’s 4040xe, you might just be putting your name on the wood that evening! As good as it is, its user interface is so user friendly, you might be putting your name on the wood that evening! FoxAlien is wonderful with customer service and eager to help, even if it’s at a cost to them!

FoxAlien CNC Router Machine – Comparison Table

FoxAlien 4040-XE Masuter Pro WM-3020
Active Working Area 15.75” x 15.75” x 2.16” 15.75” x 15.75” x 2.36” 11.4″ x8.6″ x2.7″
Spindle Power 300W 60W 300W
Limit switches X,Y,Z X,Y,Z X,Y,Z
Enclosure X X X
Stepper Motor NEMA23 NEMA17 NEMA17
Compatible with 300W spindle, 5W/20W/40W module; trimmer router 300W spindle, 5W/20W/40W module; trimmer router 300W spindle, 5W/20W/40W module; trimmer router
Shortcut Buttons X Home shortcut button Home shortcut button

A Guide to Buying CNC routers

Not sure which one to choose? Take a look at our buying guide if you’re thinking about purchasing a CNC router.

Area and Dimensions

It is important to consider the work area. It determines the capabilities of the machine. Depending on your needs, you might choose one option over another.

Choosing the right material for an area is extremely important. Taking this into account when selecting a CNC router is important. Check if your machine can cut through thick materials if you plan to cut them.

Ensure that you have room for your new machine in your workshop or on your work counter.


Don’t forget to consider your needs. When it comes to small machines, they are typically limited to cutting wood and plastic, while advanced units can also cut soft metals like aluminum.

Kit or pre-assembled

If you enjoy tweaking things and building things from scratch, CNC router kits are a great choice. Nevertheless, if you do not have the time or energy to assemble the CNC system, you should opt for pre-assembled CNC systems.


Since router bits can get quite expensive, it is best to get a machine with more capabilities than just router bits. Some machines may come with spindles and lasers as well. It will be necessary to install these additional tools, but they are worthwhile.

FAQs – Best CNC Machine Under $500

What are the best ways to build a CNC router?

A CNC router can be built at home. You’ll need the right materials and some time.

What are the steps involved in assembling CNC routers?

Depending on your unit, this will differ. In some cases, bolts will need to be attached. A user could spend more than a day completing the process depending on their experience. If you don’t want to assemble the machine yourself, there are pre-assembled CNC routers available.

How can CNC routers be used?

Steel, glass, foams, plastics, wood, and composites can all be cut, engraved, and carved with CNC routers. Depending on the power and bits of the CNC router, different materials can be used.

What is the cost of CNC routers?

From as little as $189 to upwards of $8000, CNC machines are widely available. They are expensive, however, when they are used in industrial settings.

Why should you buy a CNC Router?

Any workshop can benefit from CNC routers as a useful and popular machine. Combining the power of software, technology, and machinery, it is a powerful machine.

Metal can also be cut using this machine, similar to handheld routers for wood, metal, and plastic. The following materials can be cut, carved and engraved: wood, steel, aluminium, plastic, foam, and composites.

Computers can also be used to control CNC mills, so you can do anything you want. Reduces waste by using CNC routers. Faster than traditional machines and saves time.

Utilize a CNC machine to bring your ideas to life. Got it? Do you have any concerns? Sure!

Below you can find information about some of the most affordable and functional CNC machines. Check out our offers to see if they are within your budget.


They were the most affordable and best CNC routers you could buy. Plastic, wood, plywood, foam, and other soft materials can be cut with these routers.

Although some of these routers can cut harder materials, we do not recommend them. These routers can engrave metals such as aluminium.

CNC routers provide a good amount of working space on X and Y axes, as well as Z axis depth.

We have achieved our goal by delivering the most affordable CNC routers on the market. You can now find the one that meets your exact needs and falls within your budget.

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