CNC routers provide metalworkers and other manufacturing facilities a versatile tool when they require drilling, carving, engraving, grooving, milling, or cutting work for materials. These types of routers contain computer numerical control (CNC) software that automates many of the metalworking machines’ processes. Before searching for a new and used machinery dealer for this machine tool, consider the following factors so you make the right purchase.

Used CNC Router Purchasing Guide

Electrical engineer repairs a laser cutting head on large CNC computer numerical control printing and cutting machine

Material Requirements

CNC routers can grind, engrave, cut, and drill through a wide range of materials. These machines can handle metals, woods, foams, stones, acrylics, glass, MDF, plastics, and PVCs. When purchasing a used CNC router, you want to find the machine that handles the materials used in your operations. There are machines specially made for certain materials or projects such as industrial woodworking CNC routers, nesting CNC routers for cabinet making, CNC routers for 3D modeling, CNC routers for aluminum, and CNC routers for Styrofoam and EPS.

Table Types and Sizes

You will want a metalworking equipment table that is long and wide enough to handle the material sizes that will be cut, milled, or engraved. Router tables can come in sizes as small as 2-feet x 2-feet to as large as 6-feet by 12-feet. So the materials should comfortably fit on the table while being fed into the machine.

There are also different types of tables, such as slot tables and vacuum tables. A slot table has fixtures that are placed on the workpiece to keep it stable and steady during the router’s operations. A vacuum table uses a pump that sucks on the workpiece to keep it in place.

Motor Types

A used CNC router for sale may come with a specific motor that can handle different types of work. If you are looking for a router that can handle fine parts and workpieces, you may want a precision machining motor. 

These motors come with high speed and high precision while having a very low sound. They can make nameplates, stamps, and other work. However, these motors are typically not ideal for cutting into heavier materials and thicker materials.

Another type of motor is a high-power cutting motor. This one is very good when you are engraving and cutting into workpieces, yet it can also handle signs and nameplates. The motor is a crucial component of the machine as you want to inspect it to figure out the type of performance output it can provide.

Spindle Quality and Power

Without the spindle, the router cannot perform its functions. This tool has to be high quality to handle the mass production of parts and components. You want to evaluate the spindle’s operation and quality on every used metalworking machinery. 

If the spindle has high-precision bearings, you will know that the performance of the machine will be at an acceptable range when working for long-term speed rotations. These bearings can also extend the service life of the spindle’s motor.

You may also want to look for a spindle that has enough power to handle the types of materials which you plan to cut, drill, mill, or engrave. The key factor to keep in mind is that the thicker and heavier the material is, the spindle power will need to be at a higher power.

If you are working with hard metals, then the spindle power should range around 5.5 kilowatts to 9 kilowatts. If you are working on lighter and softer materials, the spindle power can be lower at 1.5 kilowatts to 3.0 kilowatts. Spindle motors should work at 2.2 kilowatts to 4.5 kilowatts for woods and 4.5 kilowatts to 7.5 kilowatts for stone. Foam can also come in different hardness levels as spindle motor power can range from 1.5 kilowatts to 2.2 kilowatts.

CNC Software

Factory worker is programming a CNC milling machine with a tablet computer.

The CNC software for used routers for sale will vary based on the age of the machine. There is also numerous specialty software out there for routers based on the type of projects you plan to do. Some CNC software comes integrated with computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) features. The software allows for more accuracy in 3D toll path calculations.

There is also specific design software based on the project, such as 3D-integrated cabinet design applications and relief/jewelry design software solutions. Always evaluate the available software on the used CNC router to see if it will be appropriate for your projects.

Other Purchasing Concerns

Once determining the specifications that you require, and whether the used CNC router meets these needs, you can now move on into figuring out whether the specific machine center is a good purchase. Some other considerations to keep in mind include:

  • Warranties: The CNC router may still be under a warranty. This is ideal if you want to place it immediately into operations to perform heavy production work. If there is no warranty, you may only want to purchase the machine if it has been maintained well or if you will use it sparingly for specific projects.
  • Outdated Parts: If it comes time to service the machine, will there be parts available for the router? This consideration is important if you are buying a machine that has been in operation for many years. You want to ensure that you can source the parts efficiently and that the part prices are within your budget.
  • Overall condition and maintenance: Always ask for maintenance records and inspect the used CNC router to look for any issues with the router spindle, motor, or CNC controls. These records should tell you whether the seller has a history of properly maintaining their equipment on a regular basis, as well as point to possible repair problems that could become reoccurring issues in the future.

Equipment Hub for Used CNC Routers

A used CNC router can help your business if you are a new company with a tight budget, if your company needs a piece of emergency equipment due to a breakdown, or if you are expanding current operations. Here at Equipment Hub, we offer used CNC routers for many industries that are in need of reliable and dependable metalworking equipment. Contact our company to learn more about our available inventory or shop our CNC routers online.

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