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Looking To Buy A CNC Router, Opinions On These Brands--?

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Forum topic by copcarcollector posted 09-02-2014 08:17 PM 5172 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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copcarcollector

254 posts in 1585 days


09-02-2014 08:17 PM

I am fixated on buying a CNC router! I do not have any plans for what I want to build, I just think it would be fun to use. I am constraining my search mostly by budget.

So far I have looked at the Shark from New Wave / Rockler, the Stinger I from CamMaster, and the IQ from Laguna. Of these I am leaning towards the Laguna. (When I say ‘looked at’, I mean online, not in person!)

The Laguna looks solidly built, has a water cooled spindle, and comes with the spindle motor itself, where the other brands require you to add your own router (no big deal really). The Shark seems to have some issues with table flatness, and also the way the jack screw attaches to the motor, the Laguna looks much more robust at that connection point. These are all about 2×3 foot workspace, I don’t think I have the room or budget for anything larger.

So, anyone out there own a machine from any of these brands, or other brands in the $7K region? Anything good, bad, or other to share…?

I have zero experience with a CNC router, and would need to learn the drawing software as well. Not interested in a DIY set up. Like I said, I just thought it would be fun! That’s a good enough reason to buy, right..?!

Thanks in advance for any input.


17 replies so far

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dannelson

181 posts in 1839 days


#1 posted 09-02-2014 09:25 PM

Camaster hands down. Look on the cam heads forum sometimes you see great deals on used machines but they dont stay there long. id advise to take a look-at Vetric products for the CAD software you can download for free to try it . Dan Nelson

-- nelson woodcrafters

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copcarcollector

254 posts in 1585 days


#2 posted 09-02-2014 09:27 PM

Thanks for the reply. Any particular reason you would choose the Camaster over another brand?

I have checked their forum and it is quite extensive and lots of recent posts, vs the Laguna which is a ghost town!

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dannelson

181 posts in 1839 days


#3 posted 09-03-2014 01:34 AM

Looks like you answered your own question SUPPORT after the sale. And a rock solid machine that preforms everyday.these are not toys. Someone said buy your second cnc first. I couldnt agree more. Please seemypost here on the cnc pages camaster finally here. Dan Nelson

-- nelson woodcrafters

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Ger21

1047 posts in 2599 days


#4 posted 09-03-2014 01:45 AM

The Shark is nothing but a toy. Nowhere near the same class as the other two.
When you look closer, the Laguna has two issues when compared to Camaster.
1) The Laguna uses round linear shafts. Camaster uses HiWin profile guides. The Hiwins are a large improverment in rigidity and load capacity vs round shafts.
2) Laguna uses a proprietary hendheld controller. Not nearly as flexible or user friendly as WinCNC running on a PC, which Camaster uses.

Also note that the spindle on the Laguna and VFD to control it can be purchased for around $400 on Ebay.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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Gshepherd

1727 posts in 1669 days


#5 posted 09-03-2014 04:42 PM

Camaster hands down, Better built, Better Customer service. I myself looked at a lot of diffrent brands but one look at CaMaster and the reviews sold me.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

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JAAune

1646 posts in 1784 days


#6 posted 09-03-2014 06:44 PM

In your position I’d be getting the Camaster based upon reviews and feedback I’ve seen.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2390 days


#7 posted 09-03-2014 11:39 PM

I do not have a CNC tool but a friend of mine that sells tools warned me that, typically, a routed image will take about seven hours to complete. None of my three routers would run for seven hours without damage. So “ANY” router is not a good option.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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,

2387 posts in 3015 days


#8 posted 09-04-2014 12:24 AM

I really cannot offer any intellect on your question so I wont even advise. But I do want to encourage u as our cnc has been a fun upgrade for our shop. I will be cutting a job with it tomorrow. I am sure u would not regret a camaster and I am sure like us you would have a ton of fun with your new cnc.

-- .

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RockyTopScott

1184 posts in 2946 days


#9 posted 09-04-2014 12:25 AM

What Gshepherd said.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

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dannelson

181 posts in 1839 days


#10 posted 09-04-2014 12:36 AM

Anyone thinking of buying a cnc should check out camasters forum post (FAQ) buying a cnc do your homework by gary campbell a no bull read

-- nelson woodcrafters

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copcarcollector

254 posts in 1585 days


#11 posted 09-04-2014 06:13 AM

I do not have a CNC tool but a friend of mine that sells tools warned me that, typically, a routed image will take about seven hours to complete. None of my three routers would run for seven hours without damage. So “ANY” router is not a good option.

Thanks for the replies so far. For me the Shark is now out of the running, and the Camasters look better and better. But to the router longevity question, for those who have a Camaster, how do you find the drop in router fairs over time? That’s one reason I like the Laguna machine better, the spindle vs drop in router.

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Ger21

1047 posts in 2599 days


#12 posted 09-04-2014 01:57 PM

I’ve run my PC 690 on my CNC for up to 12 hours at a time. With a router, you can change brushes and bearings when they wear out, for very little money.
I control my 690 with a SuperPID speed control, which allows me to run it as slow as 5000 rpm. I typically run it between 10,000-13,000 rpm, which in my opinion greatly extends the life of the router. At these speeds, it can run for hours and barely get warm.
While it’s expensive, the SuperPID gives full CNC control of the router, and gives much more power at lower rpm than your typical $40 router speed control.

However, as I mentioned earlier, for $400, you can get a spindle like the Laguna uses from Ebay. These spindles are used by thousands of DIY CNC machine builders.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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dannelson

181 posts in 1839 days


#13 posted 09-04-2014 08:57 PM

copcarcollect For what your looking at as far as size camaster offers a stinger I. you can add a 1.34 hp hsd spindle from the factory.On my stinger III I have 2 2.25 portercable routers as well as a main spindle. routers and brushes are cheap.part of doing business. You have to be smart as to what you ask them to do. Im not going to chuck up a 1/2 bit and try to hog out 3/4 plywood in one pass like I can do with my main spindle. Shelf pins, finish 3d passes, vcarvings,ect for the routers. Not any different than by doing it by hand, you know when you push them too hard

-- nelson woodcrafters

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dannelson

181 posts in 1839 days


#14 posted 09-04-2014 09:04 PM

delete,fat fingers on this one

-- nelson woodcrafters

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frazil

11 posts in 959 days


#15 posted 09-05-2014 03:21 AM

I have had a Stinger I from CAMaster for about 18 months. The stinger is configured so that the router can operate over the right hand edge of the table. I built a bracket that allows me to clamp a board vertically and then engrave on the edge of the board. It would also work well for Ger21’s dovetails. The PC892 that comes with the Stinger has variable speed and has performed well for me.

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