August 08, 2022 8 min read

The sheer diversity of options can be overwhelming when you're planning on buying a saw or wood machine for your project.

A CNC wood machine is the best option, thanks to its extreme versatility and cost-efficiency for a number of wood working applications.

In this article, we'll take a close look at the following:

  • The best CNC machine overall
  • How wood CNC machines work
  • Types of CNC saw and wood machines
  • The base price of a CNC wood cutter machine
  • Pros of using a CNC machine for cutting wood
  • What to look for before you buy a CNC machine for wood
Table of Contents
  1. Wood CNC Machine Price
  2. What to Look For in a Wood Cutter Machine
  3. What is the Best CNC Machine for Wood?
  4. Advantages of a CNC Machine When Working with Wood
  5. Types of Wood-Cutting CNC Machines
  6. Does a CNC Machine Cut Wood?
  7. How Does a Wood CNC Machine Work?
  8. Final Words

Wood CNC Machine Price

The price of a CNC saw, or wood machine can vary significantly depending on what you buy. With a range spanning from under $1,000 to over $300,000, the market can be overwhelming.

You can buy an entry-level hobbyist router for as little as $150, but it will have limited capabilities. It will also lack the wherewithal of more extensive, better-constructed machines.

A medium-sized CNC machine without industrial abilities costs around $1,500. While it will be better than a hobbyist's device, it still won't manage the workload required by a business.

If you're looking for a well-priced CNC with plenty of versatility, 3-axis CNC routers meet the mark. They cost between $25,000 and $60,000.

You can also buy larger devices with more axes that fall short of industrial standards. Their costs range from as little as $60,000 to well over $200,000.

Top-of-the-range machines designed for industry use go for a minimum of $200,000 and can cost considerably more, depending on the product's abilities.

What to Look For in a Wood Cutter Machine

Before buying a wood saw machine, you need to decide what you want. Some essential factors to consider include:

  • Your Budget - The price of non-entry-level CNCs varies significantly, ranging from $25,000 to over $500,000. It would be best to determine how much you're willing to spend and look for machines in that range.
  • Intended Purpose - How do you want to use the machine? Do you need a wood cutting machine for crafts? Do you wish to expedite making wooden furniture? Once you know what you need, you can decide whether you require the versatility of a router or would prefer something with a singular purpose.
  • Space Constraints - How much space do you have in your factory or workshop? These devices come in various sizes, allowing you to choose one that best suits your space.
  • Amount of Detail Required - How much detail are you putting into the products you're creating? If you're doing finely detailed scrollwork for doors, trims, or furniture, you may want a more precise CNC.

    In these cases, buying a laser cutter or engraver might be best. If you want the versatility of a router, you might consider purchasing a 4-axis or 5-axis CNC.
  • Needed Power - Most CNC saws and wood machines have a standard motor (around four horsepower). If you're planning on working with the denser hardwoods, like hickory, you may want to consider paying for a larger motor.
  • Training and Installation - If you require training to teach you or your staff to use the machine, you can expect to pay additional fees. Often, the manufacturer will offer a combined package including training and installation.
  • Extended Warranties - Do you need an extended warranty for your device? Most machines come with a warranty valid for 12-24 months. If you need the service plan to last longer, consider paying for an extended warranty.
  • Added Extras - Typically, any CNC manufacturer will allow you to customize your machine to some extent. It would help to decide which will add value to your purpose. Some of them include:
    • Misting Systems - Misting systems help keep your machine cool during the cutting process. They can be helpful if you're working with denser types of wood or using your device for long periods.
    • Dust Collection Systems - When using a CNC saw or wood machine, the process generates a lot of dust. You can buy a collection system as an extra to keep your work area clean.
    • Automated Tool Racks - While most machines have a linear tool storage system, you can get something better. You can add a rotating tool carousel to your device for an additional cost.

What is the Best CNC Machine for Wood?

While there are many excellent CNC machines for wood, we believe that the best type is the 3-axis CNC router.

3-axis CNC routers offer the versatility of cutting and engraving, at a low price tag

These machines are affordable, readily available, and highly versatile. With some ingenuity, you can easily accomplish many of the tasks you'd otherwise perform with a lathe, or a wood saw machine.

These devices also come in a variety of sizes, including the following:

Advantages of a CNC Machine When Working with Wood

When you buy a CNC wood cutter machine, you get several advantages, including:

  • Versatility - Unlike a scroll saw, or other wood saw machine, a CNC router can accomplish many different things. Using your router or mill, you can:
    • Cut wood into appropriate sizes
    • Easily create mortars and other types of joinery
    • Design and produce detailed cut-outs and carvings
    • Manufacture complex products like cylinders and other moving parts
  • Efficiency - Using a wood CNC can significantly reduce the time spent on any particular workpiece. Unlike your average wood saw machine, the CNC requires little input beyond positioning the workpiece. Once you've programmed a design using the software, you can repeat it effortlessly.
  • Expediency - Thanks to its replication abilities, the CNC saves you time and frees you up to do other things. Especially in SMEs, where a small core of staff does all the work, this ability allows you to finish more projects in less time.
  • Affordability - Considering their diverse range of abilities, these devices are more affordable than their task-oriented counterparts. If you were to buy traditional alternatives to perform each of the CNC router's tasks, you'd need a:
    • Lathe
    • Scroll Saw
    • Table Saw
    • Router Table

All in all, you'd spend well over the $25,000 base price for a 3-axis CNC without the time benefits.

  • Availability - Whether you need a wood cutting machine for crafts, or a heavy-duty workhorse, finding an appropriate CNC is relatively easy. Many companies, like Tork CNC, sell excellent devices and ship straight to your door.
  • Precision - Since you program your designs' exact depths and dimensions into the software, a CNC creates precisely what you want. The potential for inaccuracy is much less than with any other wood saw machine.

Types of Wood-Cutting CNC Machines

There are many different types of CNC saw and wood machines. Some of them only have a single purpose, while others are more diverse.

Below, we'll take a closer look at some of the CNC types and their purposes.


CNC lathes are specialist devices that focus on producing workpieces with inner and outer diameters. For example, you may use these machines if you want to make wooden tubes that will become a part of display lights or simple machines.

The most basic lathes have only two axes, with their cutting tools mounted in a specific position. Since the workpiece fits on a rotating spindle, these machines work best when creating cylindrical objects or other objects which require uniform cutting around the circumference.

You can expect to pay around $6,000 to $80,000 for one of these machines. If you buy an industrial version, it may cost well over $100,000.


A CNC router is probably the most versatile wood-cutting machine. These devices see use by a plethora of different industries, including:

  • Engraving
  • Sign creation
  • Carving doors and trims
  • Automated trimming in factories

Since these routers can cut both two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes, they can accomplish more than any other machine on this list. Almost anything you can achieve with an engraver or lathe, you can do with a router.

Depending on the bit you use, you can achieve almost anything with a CNC router

Depending on how large the machine is, you can expect the following price ranges:

  • 3-axis CNC - $25,0000 - $50,000
  • 4-axis CNC - $40,000 - $100,000
  • 5-axis CNC - $80,000 - $500,000+


Engineered designed these devices specifically to engrave wood or metal parts. Much of the engraved branding you see on furniture and mechanical parts is the result of this process.

People often use CNC engravers to make detailed designs, like this one.

Typically, engravers employ a laser or rotary tool to make their mark. Their uses are pretty limited and primarily extend to engraving and delicate scrollwork.

These machines may cost as much as $70,000.

Laser Cutters

The laser cutter is arguably the best wood cutting machine for crafts. Many of the slot-together children's toys you see in craft stores result from the laser cutting process.

Laser cutters are ideal for fine work, like cutting outlines.

You may also see trinkets, coasters, and other small objects created by these machines.

As the name implies, these devices employ a laser to mark, cut, or engrave the workpiece. Laser cutters are incredibly versatile and operate with pinpoint accuracy.

Along with the routers, laser cutters are the jacks-of-all-trades of the CNC industry. They can cut, engrave, carve, and do scrollwork with equal ease.

The disadvantage of these machines is that they tend to be high-priced. These machines can easily cost between $70,000 and $300,000.

You may be able to find a cheaper laser-cutting wood saw machine, but it will probably be a cutter or an engraver, not a tool with multiple purposes.

In some cases, a standard CNC router or mill may also be able to take an additional laser.

Does a CNC Machine Cut Wood?

Yes, the CNC is a valuable wood cutter machine. These machines may be complete mills, lathes, routers, engravers, or laser cutters.

While engineers have designed some CNC machines to work purely on metal, most devices can work on wood or multiple materials.

How Does a Wood CNC Machine Work?

Depending on the machine you buy, a CNC may work in several ways.

The first set of differences lies in how you attach the work object. It could:

  • Have a moving spindle that rotates the workpiece, as with a CNC lathe
  • Have a flat, stationary workspace over which the cutting tool or laser moves

The next set of differences lies in the cutting tool. These machines may feature:

  • Diamond-tipped cutting bits for cutting metals
  • Metal cutting bits for cutting wood and soft materials
  • A laser cutter used for precision cutting multiple materials

The basic principles remain the same regardless of the type of machine you choose. A CNC saw, or wood machine, has a series of axes or cutting paths.

The axes move the cutting tool or laser over the work object to cut, engrave, or route the design. Each CNC machine uses software that you program to tell the device how and where to cut the workpiece.

Final Words

While there are many types of saws and wood-cutting machines on the market, the CNC is one of the most versatile.

There are many different types, but we recommend the 3-axis CNC for extreme versatility and cost efficiency. These machines can work as routers, engravers, or cutters. With some effort, you can also accomplish many of the things you'd do with a lathe.

Please get in touch with us if you'd like to know more about these machines and what they can do for you. We'll be happy to help you determine what you need from your device and to assemble a package that meets your needs.

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