Best 2x4 CNC Routers [2021] for Businesses and Hobbyists

Best 2x4 CNC Routers [2021] for Businesses and Hobbyists

Best 2x4 CNC Routers [2021] for Businesses and Hobbyists

If you are looking for a CNC machine that can work on a 4'x2' sheet of material, this guide will help you in choosing the CNC router you need.

4x2 is considered a medium-sized CNC router, and you have several good choices in this category.

I've listed 6 of the best 2x4 CNC router kits available today in this guide.

They vary a bit in terms of price owing to the different speeds, and power of each machine.

I evaluated these CNC routers on parameters such as cutting area, linear motion components, router/spindle, software, dust shoe, price, warranty, and customer support.

MellowPine is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

ProductPrice
Avid CNC PRO4824Check Price
X-Carve ProCheck Price
Ooznest WorkBee Z1+Check Price
Next Wave Shark HD520Check Price
BobsCNC Evolution 4Check Price
STEPCRAFT Q.204Check Price

Best 2 x 4 CNC Routers [2021]

1. Avid CNC PRO4824- Best Overall 2x4 CNC Router

Avid CNC PRO4824 base configuration
Avid CNC PRO4824 base configuration
Footprint40 ¾” x 67”
Cutting area49 ½” x 24” x 8”/12”
Linear motionPRO rack and pinion (X and Y-axes) and ball screws (Z-axis)
Spindle/RouterBought Separately
SoftwareMach4 with LayCAM add-on (purchase separately)
WarrantyOne-year
Dust shoeNot included in the kit

Quick summary of Avid CNC PRO4824

If there is a 2x4 CNC router that balances performance and price perfectly then it's this CNC router.

The Avid CNC PRO4824 is perfect for small businesses that need to move volume at an affordable cost.

PRO4824 CNC kit has to be bought along with the recommended electronics kit, software, and accessories.

Avid CNC lets you choose components and custom build your CNC router, and your final price will vary considerably depending on the components you choose.

Size and Build

The PRO4824 CNC router kit has a 40 ¾” x 67” footprint that gives you a cutting area of 49 ½” x 24” with a standard Z-axis travel of 8 inches.

Avid CNC offers extension kits to expand the frame of PRO4824. You also have an option to increase Z-axis travel up to 12 inches. 

You can use a spoilboard or vacuum hold down to make the workbed for workpiece holding.

Its chassis is made of heavy-duty aluminum extrusions and steel components, which give the CNC a solid foundation for challenging projects.

The gantry of PRO4824 has a width of 67 inches, which can be extended to 77 inches at an extra cost. The extended gantry is helpful for dual Z-axis operation.

The best thing about Avid CNC routers is their modular design which lets you upgrade this 2x4 CNC router to either a 4x4 CNC router or 4x8 CNC router down the road by buying extra components.

Linear Motion

PRO4824 CNC router uses PRO rack and pinion with linear rails to provide linear motion in X and Y-axes, which gives you a resolution of 0.0005 inches.

Its Z-axis is ball screw driven and has a resolution of 0.0002 inches.

Rack and pinion drive systems give you incredible speeds while working without compromising precision.

Spindle

Avid CNC offers two stepper motor versions to drive the axes of PRO4824, the NEMA 23 and the NEMA 34.

For light production work, I suggest the NEMA 23 type stepper motor.  Using Avid CNC electronics, you can get a maximum rapid traverse of 500 ipm and a maximum cutting speed of 250 ipm.

If your business requires high production rates, then a NEMA 34 type stepper motor is suitable for you. You can get a maximum rapid traverse of 1,000 ipm and a maximum cutting speed of 500 ipm.

Similarly, you have the option to choose between two spindles for the Avid PRO4824 CNC machine.

I suggest the 4 hp (3 kW) spindle for small businesses and the 8.7 hp (6.5 KW) spindle for maximizing production.

The 4 hp spindle has a material removal rate of 95 cubic inches per minute but the 8.7 hp spindle can remove material 2.3 times faster, so if you need to make deep cuts fast you should go for the larger spindle.

Both are plug-and-play VFD spindles and can be easily connected to the Avid CNC controller without any additional components.

Controller and Electronics

Avid CNC provides you the option to customize your PRO4824 router according to your production requirements.

You can either purchase the plug-and-play Avid CNC electronics kit or custom-build the electronics for the PRO4824 CNC machine.

Hobbyists and home based businesses only need the Plug and Play NEMA 23 CNC Control System.

If time is a critical factor for you in your production process, get the NEMA 34 CNC control system for faster milling.

To complete the electronics build, you will need stepper motors with an appropriate controller, auto Z and corner finding touch plate, and Pepperl + Fuchs proximity sensor kit.

If you get the kit from Avid CNC, the controller, breakout boards, stepper motor drivers, and power supply modules are housed inside an industrial NEMA-type enclosure.

Software

Avid CNC recommends Mach4 CNC motion control software for PRO4824 CNC machines.

Mach4 is an industrial-grade CNC control software and is quite responsive for use with large G-code files.

It is a robust software program and fast enough to provide instructions to make complex cuts quickly and allows you to control the CNC remotely.

Mach4 is compatible with computers running on Windows 7 or higher OS, and with the LazyCAM add-on, the software can perform CAM operations.

It has an easy-to-operate user interface. Additionally, you will get good community support to resolve your queries.

You can use any CAD/CAM software and use the G-code from it on Mach4.

Alternatively, you can use other popular software that can run ethernet Smoothstepper controllers like LinuxCNC.

Assembly

PRO4824 CNC machine ships as parts, and it takes roughly 40 hours to set up the machine completely.

Avid CNC provides good resources, which are helpful to complete the assembly of the PRO4824 CNC router.

Community and Support

Avid CNC has a large online official forum and several unofficial forums of active users, which helps resolve your Avid CNC-related issues quickly.

PRO4824 CNC comes with a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

Avid CNC provides excellent US-based customer support, and you can contact them via call or email.

Overall, the Avid CNC PRO4824 is my best pick among all the machines in this list.

2. X-Carve Pro 2x4 CNC Router

X-Carve Pro 2x4
X-Carve Pro 2x4
Footprint65.75” x 31.6”
Cutting area4’ x 2’ x 5”
Linear motionBall screws (all axes)
Spindle/Router2 HP proprietary VFD spindle
SoftwareEasel Pro
WarrantyOne-year
Dust shoeIntegrated with spindle

Quick summary of X-Carve Pro 2x4

Inventables is a highly popular CNC brand, and the X-Carve is their most popular CNC router.

The X-Carve Pro is their offering for small businesses, and it is a completely different CNC compared to X-Carve.

The Pro is available in 4x2 and 4x4 cutting area options, and both share the same gantry and air-cooled spindle.

Size and Build

X-Carve Pro 4 x 2 has a 65.75” x 31.6” footprint, and offers you a cutting area of 4’ x 2’, with a weight around 275 lbs.

Inventables recommends a 6’ x 3’ table for this CNC machine. You also need some space to place its main controller box underneath, so you should consider at least a 36” tall table.

Its gantry has a 5” clearance from the workbed, which lets you cut workpieces with a maximum thickness of 4 inches.

The chassis is made of powder-coated aluminum C-bars, and the thick aluminum extrusions underneath the workbed give it a sturdy foundation.

It also has six leveling feet underneath the extrusions to keep the workbed level on uneven surfaces.

The workbed is made of MDF with threaded inserts for workpiece holding.

Linear Motion

X-Carve Pro 4 x 2 uses ball screws with 25 mm rods to drive all axes, which have less backlash compared to lead screws systems.

The ball screws are hidden in the aluminum C-bars, which prevent dust and debris from getting into them.

It has linear rails to guide motion on all axes. With this good build quality, X-Carve Pro 4 x 2 gives you repeatability of 0.001 inches.

Spindle

X-Carve Pro 4 x 2 CNC machine uses four NEMA 23 type stepper motors, with holding torque of 292 oz-in, to drive lead screws on all axes. 

You can achieve a maximum rapid traverse of 300 ipm and cutting speed up to 162 ipm on soft materials.

The X-Carve Pro 4 x 2 CNC kit includes a 2 HP proprietary VFD spindle, which offers a speed range between 8,000-24,000 RPM.

It is air-cooled, which allows you to run it for long durations.

Controller and Electronics

The controller box houses a GRBL-based controller board, power supply, heat sinks, and cooling fans and can be placed underneath the table.

In addition to the main controller, you get a pendant-like controller. 

Inventables calls it the ‘HMI’, which stands for Human Machine Interface, and you can use it to pause, resume, and reset the cutting process.

The HMI also has a USB port to connect X-Carve Pro with a computer for transferring G-code and controlling its operation.

You can also connect the Z-probe to HMI, which lets you reset the Z-axis whenever you change the cutting tool.

X-Carve Pro 4 x 2 has homing switches on all axes, letting you home the device with a single tap.

Software

X-Carve Pro 4 x 2 comes with Easel Pro software, which is an all-in-one CNC software. It lets you perform both CAD/CAM and CNC motion control operations.

It is a cloud-based software that requires an active internet connection only to save and load your projects. Once it is loaded, you can work offline.

Easel Pro is compatible with computers running on Windows 7 or higher, Ubuntu 18.04 or higher, OR macOS 10.10 or higher operating systems.

Its tiling feature divides large designs into small sections.

Tiling lets you mill materials with an area larger than the cutting area (2'x4') of the CNC router.

You can mill a full-size 4'x8’ sheet on this CNC by making use of the open design combined with tiling.

The CNC kit comes with a three-year license of Easel PRO, which needs to be renewed after the first 3 years. Its annual subscription costs you roughly $156. 

Easel Pro can create 2D designs, and for 3D modeling, you can use other software like Autodesk Fusion 360.

Once you create a G-code of your 3D design, you can import it into Easel Pro for 3D carving using X-Carve Pro 4 x 2 CNC machine.

Assembly

The X-Carve Pro 4 x 2 CNC ships as a router kit with well-labeled shipping boxes and pre-assembled parts. 

Inventables provide easy-to-understand assembly instructions, and with this, you can complete the assembly in under three hours.

Community and Support

Inventables has a large online community forum of active users, which is a highly useful aspect for a CNC owner.

X-Carve Pro comes with a one-year limited warranty and can be extended to three years for an additional cost of around $500.

Inventables offers excellent customer support to their customers, and you can reach the support team via call or email.

The biggest advantage to buying the X Carve Pro is the highly active community around the brand, which gives you continued support and easy troubleshooting as a user.

More detailed review of this CNC router- X Carve Pro CNC Router [2021]

3. Ooznest WorkBee Z1+ CNC Router

Ooznest Workbee Z1+
Ooznest Workbee Z1+
Footprint39.37” x 59.05”
Cutting area30.31” x 50” x 3.46”
Linear motionLead screw
Spindle/RouterNot included in the kit
SoftwareWorkBee Control
WarrantyOne-year
Dust shoeNot included in the kit

Quick summary of Ooznest Workbee Z1+

Ooznest released the WorkBee Z1+ CNC router in August 2021.

It is the successor of the highly popular original WorkBee CNC router from Ooznest.

WorkBee Z1+ comes with improved features that make it an excellent choice for hobbyists and home businesses that need a 2'x4' cutting area.

The CNC machine with router and mounting head, dust shoe, Vcarve Pro software, and essential accessories will costs you around $4,000.

If you already own an original WorkBee CNC router, you can upgrade it to WorkBee Z1+ using the kit provided by Ooznest.

Size and Build

The all-new WorkBee Z1+ CNC router kit is offered in six different size options.

Its 39.37” x 59.05” (1000 mm x 1500 mm) option provides you a cutting area of 30.31” x 50”, which is a few inches larger than 2'x4'.

Although the CNC router has a maximum Z-axis travel of 3.46 inches, the maximum cut depth you can achieve depends upon the spoilboard thickness.

You will need a table size of around 4’ x 6’ to keep this CNC machine.

The chassis is made of anodized aluminum extrusion. You can choose either black or clear coat options for it.

Its 6 mm anodized aluminum plates and A2 stainless steel bolts tie the frame extrusions with good rigidity and give it sturdy build quality.

Linear Motion

WorkBee Z1+ CNC includes an 8 mm lead screw system with thrust bearings to drive all axes.

The polycarbonate V-wheels run over V-slot extrusions to move the gantry on Y-rails, V-wheels need less maintenance than other guide mechanisms.

Overall, the rigidity and linear motion components of the WorkBee Z1+ offer accuracy of 0.003 inches.

Spindle

The axes of WorkBee Z1+ are driven by NEMA 23 type stepper motors, which have a holding torque of 175 oz-in.

These stepper motors are powerful enough and give you a maximum feed rate of 100 ipm, and its dual-drive Y-axis prevents racking of the gantry.

Ooznest offers two router options to pair with your WorkBee Z1+ CNC at an additional cost. If you are looking for a router with a US power cord, I suggest Mafell FM 1000 milling motor.

It is a 1 kW manual speed control router with a 4,000 - 25,000 RPM variable speed range. 

Alternatively, while purchasing WorkBee Z1+, you have the option to select one of the 63mm, 65mm, or 69mm spindle mounts to use with a router of your choice.

Controller and Electronics

The core of the WorkBee Z1+ controller is a Duet2 board with RepRapFirmware v3.3 flashed onto it. 

Its controller is housed inside a case mounted onto the gantry and has multiple cooling fans to keep the controller cool.

You can choose from ethernet or wifi connectivity options while purchasing the WorkBee Z1+ CNC kit.

The wifi option also lets you connect your mobile or tablet with a WorkBee Z1+ CNC machine.

Although you can transfer the G-codes using an SD card, the connectivity module provides convenient file transfer than SD cards.

WorkBee Z1+ has limit switches on all axes, which helps to home the CNC machine and prevent the gantry from crashing into the frame.

It has a Meanwell HLG Series Power supply, which is dust resistant, and available in EU, UK, and US power cord options.

The E-stop button is integrated with the power supply to stop the machine immediately in case of emergencies.

Software

The WorkBee Z1+ CNC kit comes with built-in WorkBee control software, accessed through a browser-based interface.

To use its control interface, you can log in to the software through a computer or mobile. 

Make sure that your computer or mobile and CNC machine are connected to the same wifi network.

Alternatively, the CNC machine can be connected to a computer via an ethernet cable.

WorkBee control software is only for controlling the machine, and you will need separate CAD/CAM  software to create G-codes for your projects.

Assembly

WorkBee Z1+ arrives as parts in two different shipping boxes, and it will take around 12 hours to assemble the CNC machine completely.

Ooznest provides good assembly guides and resources to make the task easy for you.

Community and Support

Ooznest has a large online community forum of active users where you can discuss CNC-related queries.

They also have Ooznest Learning Portal, an excellent place to get ideas for your projects and tips to troubleshoot Ooznest CNC machines.

WorkBee Z1+ comes with a one-year warranty against parts and manufacturing defects.

Ooznest has excellent UK-based customer support, and you can contact them via call or email.

Overall, the Z1+ CNC router is a relatively affordable option in this list, and can do the job for you if you're a hobbyist.

More detailed review of this CNC router- Workbee Z1+ CNC Review [2021]

4. Next Wave Shark HD520- 2x4 CNC for Woodworkers

Next Wave Shark HD520
Next Wave Shark HD520
Footprint63” x 36 ¼ “
Cutting area25’’ x 50’’ x 7”
Linear motionLead screws (all axes)
Spindle/RouterNot included in the kit
SoftwareVectric VCarve Pro
WarrantyTwo-year
Dust shoeNot included in the kit

Quick summary of Next Wave Shark HD520

Shark HD520 is the largest CNC machine offered by Next Wave CNC.

Whether it's your home or for a production environment, Shark HD520 includes almost everything to meet all your milling needs.

The HD520 is designed and built with CNC woodworking as its prime focus and quite expectably this CNC router is most popular among woodworkers.

Size and Build

HD520 CNC has a footprint of 63” x 36 ¼ “, and its workbed lets you hold workpieces with a maximum size of 28’’ x 63’’.

It has a cutting area of 25’’ x 50’’, and can cut workpieces of thickness up to 7 inches.

The chassis is made of industrial-grade aluminum interlocked with stainless steel. 

Its heavy-duty workbed integrates InterLoc T-slots, giving you endless possibilities for workpiece clamping.

The steel-reinforced gantry has steel-encased legs, which offers good rigidity for challenging production environments and excellent vibration damping.

Linear Motion

All axes of Shark HD520 are driven by lead screw systems, which include an anti-backlash nut to compensate for the inherent axial movement between nut and screw.

The gantry and Z-axis assembly have linear rails which guide the movement in X and Z-direction.

Movement in Y-axis is guided by heavy steel polished shafts that include bearings to maximize rigidity.

Spindle

Each axis of Shark HD520 is equipped with a NEMA 23 type stepper motor.

Next Wave does not supply a router/spindle with the kit but provides an aluminum router mount with the CNC kit.

You need to purchase a router/spindle separately that meets the need of your requirements.

HD520 CNC is reinforced to handle Bosch 1617 (2 HP), DeWalt DW618 (2 ¼ HP), Porter Cable 690, and 890 series routers up to 2 ¼ HP.

You can also use the water-cooled spindle from Next Wave CNC. 

It is a 2 HP (1.5 kW) brushless spindle and can achieve a maximum speed of 24,000 RPM. You can plug it into a 110 V (15 A)  standard wall socket.

Shark HD520 includes a router power control unit, which has a power outlet for the router cable.

If you wish to do CNC wood turning, you can get the 4th rotary axis add-on from Nextwave, which works seamlessly with the HD520.

Unlike most other CNC brands, Nextwave has their own laser kit, which you can integrate with this CNC router.

Controller and Electronics

The controller is divided into two, the main controller box and a pendant controller.

It has ports for the router power control unit, stepper motor cables, and homing switches. You can plug it into a standard 120 V socket.

The pendant controller is for motion control, and it is connected to the main controller box. It provides a convenient way of jogging your CNC router.

It also has a USB port that lets you plug in a USB stick to run G-code files directly without a computer.

As for control electronics, the X and Y axes of Shark HD520 include homing switches for easy homing.

Software

Shark HD520 CNC comes with Vectric VCarve Pro design software included.

VCarve Pro costs hundreds of dollars if you buy it separately and you should consider this cost saving while comparing with other CNCs in this list.

It is a CAD/CAM software capable of creating 2D designs and 2.5D toolpaths and must be purchased separately.

Although you cannot create 3D designs with VCarve Pro, it lets you import 3D models created using other software like Fusion 360.

VCarve Pro requires a computer running with Windows Vista or higher operating system having a minimum of 4GB RAM.

The perpetual license of this powerful software costs you roughly $700.

Additionally, it comes with Ready2Control control software. It has the Virtual Zero unlimited feature, which maps the entire workpiece surface with dynamic reference points. 

Hence the software lets the router keep a constant cutting depth on intricately shaped or oddly shaped workpieces.

Assembly

The pre-assembled base and gantry, and necessary hardware of Shark HD520 arrive in different boxes.

The assembly is quite straightforward and hassle-free but you will need two people two unpack and lift the preassembled gantry and base.

After lifting out from the boxes, you need to attach the gantry to its base and then connect the pendant controller, router power control unit, and electronics to the controller box.

Next Wave provides good assembly instructions, and it will take around 1 hour to set up the CNC machine.

Community and Support

Next Wave has two online community forums-CNCSharkTalk and nextwaveautomation forum.

CNCSharkTalk is owned and managed by Rockler while the Nextwaveautomation forum is owned and operated by Nextwave CNC.

Both are highly active forums offering plenty of resources and support for Shark CNC owners.

Shark HD520 includes a two-year warranty on parts and lifetime technical support from Next Wave.

Overall, the Shark HD520 is the whole package.

It gives you all the tools you need to get your CNC business rolling without any hassles.

This is a great 2x4 CNC router kit if you primarily work with wood and wood-related materials.

Next Wave Shark HD520 CNC
  • Next Wave exclusive software allows you to map the surface of your material by taking an unlimited number of reference points. The program then uses these points to auto adjust the G-code to conform to the actual surface of your material. This eliminates problems caused by a warped or bowed work piece and allows you to maintain a constant cutting depth on projects that other machines would not be able to handle.
  • Virtual Zero UnlimitedColored touch screen pendant controller. Ready2Control, a computer control panel software. Includes the latest edition of Vectrics VCarve Pro design software - $699 Retail value. Vector Art 3D Sampler Pack. $99 retail value. X & Y homing capability.

A more detailed review of this CNC router can be found here- Shark HD520 CNC Review [2021]

5. BobsCNC Evolution 4 with Extension Kit

Bobs Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit with a Dewalt Router
Bobs Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit
Footprint58.7" x 39"
Cutting area4' х 2’ x 3.3”
Linear motionGT2 belt drive (X and Y-axes) and Acme threaded rod on Z-axis
Spindle/RouterNot included in the kit
SoftwareUGS CNC motion control software
Warranty90-days
Dust shoeNot included in the kit

Quick summary of BobsCNC Evolution 4

The Evolution 4 CNC router, manufactured by BobsCNC, is popular among hobbyists and woodworkers.

It is the successor of the erstwhile E4 CNC router from BobsCNC. 

Its not big enough to cut 2 x 4 sheets in its default configuration but with the extension kit for Evolution 4 you can take the cutting area to 2 x 4.

Although the extension kit does not ship with a spoilboard, BobsCNC provides resources to build a spoilboard for the extended CNC router.

Size and Build

Evolution 4 has a 2’ x 2’ work area which can be extended to 2’ x 4’ by using the extension kit that BobsCNC offers.

The extended Evolution 4 CNC has a 58.7" x 39" footprint.

Although the Z-axis can travel up to 3.3 inches, the thickness of the workpiece that you can cut will depend on the length of the cutting tool you use.

For your extended Evolution 4 CNC router, spoilboard mounting kit, spoilboard, and rods for gantry movement need to be purchased separately. 

The chassis of the Evolution 4 CNC router is made of laser-cut baltic birch plywood, which makes it unique from other CNC machines in the market.

BobsCNC opted for wooden chassis to keep the cost low, making it a suitable choice for people who have a limited budget.

Although Baltic birch gives strength to its frame, the plywood chassis is prone to flexing when compared to an aluminum chassis.

You can keep the chassis flex very low with recommended cut settings. 

With its rigid wooden chassis, the Evolution 4 CNC router gives you repeatability of about 0.002 to 0.004 inches.

Linear Motion

Evolution 4 CNC machine uses GT2 belt drive on X and Y-axes, which requires less maintenance and is a good option for entry-level CNC.

It uses a 4 mm pitch Acme threaded rod on Z-axis, which is responsive and makes it rigid.

Spindle

Evolution 4 has four NEMA 17 type stepper motors with holding torque of 76 oz-in and lets you achieve a jog speed of 200 ipm.

Its dual drive Y-axis prevents racking of the wide gantry.

BobsCNC provides a 1.25 HP Makita RT0701C compact router with Evolution 4 CNC kit. 

With its variable speed dial, you can choose multiple speeds of 10,000, 12,000, 17,000, 22,000, 27,000, and 30,000 RPM to meet the needs of your project.

As Evolution 4 CNC runs on GRBL based controller, it only has 3 axis of motion.

If you wish to do rotary milling, you need to buy the Revolution Rotary Axis CNC Router Kit from BobsCNC, a highly affordable rotary CNC.

Controller and Electronics

BobsCNC provides an Arduino Uno-based controller for Evolution 4 CNC with GRBL 1.1 firmware flashed onto it.

You can connect the controller with your computer using a USB cable.

Evolution 4 CNC includes homing switches on all three axes that let the CNC machine home quickly.

Software

The controller accepts standard G-codes created using any CAD/CAM software.

BobsCNC recommends UGS software for CNC motion control. 

It requires a computer running on Windows, macOS, Linux operating systems, or a Raspberry Pi for CNC control.

Assembly

Evolution 4 CNC kit ships with various modules and requires around one day to assemble it.

BobsCNC provides well-labeled boxes and detailed instructions to make the process easy for you.

You can also find various videos on YouTube, which can help you to resolve most assembly-related issues.

Community and Support

Although BobsCNC does not have an official online forum, you can find an active official Facebook group for addressing your queries.

BobsCNC offers a 90 days warranty period for the Evolution 4 CNC router. 

If you are unsatisfied with the CNC kit, you can return it within the first 30 days after its purchase for a complete refund (before assembly).

The Evolution 4 CNC router is the least expensive 2x4 CNC router in this list, and is your best bet if you're on a budget.

BobsCNC Evolution 4 CNC Router Kit
  • A rigid laser cut 5-Ply Baltic Birch frame with SG20U supported rail system.
  • GT2 belt drive on X and Y-axis and Tr8 Acme Rod mounted with an ACME Nut on the Z-axis.

6. STEPCRAFT Q.204- Best ATC 2x4 CNC Router

STEPCRAFT Q.204 with ATC spindle and tool post
STEPCRAFT Q.204 with ATC spindle and tool post
Footprint 39” x 59”
Cutting area 24.5” x 48.14” x 5.7”
Linear motionBall screws
Spindle/RouterNot included in the kit
SoftwareUCCNC control sodtware
WarrantyOne-year
Dust shoeNot included in the kit

Quick summary of Stepcraft Q.204

Stepcraft Q.204 2x4 CNC router is a powerful machine with modern designs.

The Q.204 is primarily developed for businesses which need a 2'x4' cutting area.

What separates it from the other CNCs in this list is the availability of ATC spindles, and a fully-assembled option.

Size and Build

Q.204 CNC has a 39” x 59” footprint, which provides a cutting area of 24.5” x 48.14” with both ends open on the Y-axis that lets you slide in long sheets.

This CNC machine lets you clamp workpieces of a maximum size of 31.5" x 59" with a maximum thickness of 5.7 inches on its work bed.

Aluminum extrusions and steel components are used for the frame giving it the heft it needs.

The machine stand (optional) is made of structural steel, and its frame components are welded together to provide a solid foundation and rigidity to Q.204 CNC router.

The workbed of the Q.204 CNC machine has custom aluminum extruded cross members underneath to provide a flatter workbed for accurate cutting and prevents sagging.

Also, all corners have leveling feet at the bottom to keep the machine level on uneven surfaces.

The MDF workbed has integrated aluminum T-slots to give you the flexibility to fix workpieces onto it.

Linear Motion

The Q.204 CNC machine has a ball screw drive system manufactured by Hiwin on all axes.

The precise drive system gives you repeatability of 0.0006 inches and a maximum feed rate of 395 ipm.

It has 20 mm linear steel guides with 8 bearings on each Y-axis rail to provide you with smooth gantry movement. 

The drive components of the X-axis are concealed using brushes and sealed for Y and Z-axes to prevent dust and debris from getting into it and require low maintenance.

Spindle

Q.204 does not ship with a spindle, and you need to add it at an additional cost.

Stepcraft gives you multiple spindle choices to custom-configure to meet your production demands.

The 3 HP ATC-2200 spindle is suitable for projects which require frequent tool changes.

You can configure its tool rack to hold up to 10 tools.

If you need a continuous operation but do not want automatic tool changing, you can choose the 3 hp HFS-2200 air-cooled VFD spindle.

To use the ATC-2200 and HFS-2200 router, you will need a 30A socket for the entire system.

If your budget is tight, but your project requires a powerful spindle, you can opt for the 3.25 hp router, and it requires a 15A power outlet.

For thin and easy-to-cut materials like foam, you can choose the 1.4 HP spindle. 

Alternatively, with the appropriate router mount, you can use any spindle or router of your choice.

Controller and Electronics

Q.204 comes with a NEMA 24 type stepper motor to drive ball screw systems on each axis.

The motor controls the ball screw nut and has enough power to drive the axes without slowing the feed rate under load.

It includes limit switches on all axes to protect the gantry from crashing into the frame.

Stepcraft provides a proprietary controller that can communicate with your computer via USB cable or parallel port.

Software

Q.204 comes with UCCNC machine control software, which is fast and industrial-grade software.

This software is compatible with Windows 7 or higher OR macOS X 10.3.9 or higher operating systems.

It can run G-code from all popular CAD/CAM software; hence you can use any CAD/CAM software for creating G-code.

You can find several free online tutorial videos from Stepcraft to learn UCCNC software.

Assembly

If you choose Q.204 CNC with the stand option, it comes with a welded steel frame that cannot be dismantled and arrives fully assembled. 

The Q.204 CNC machine without the stand also comes fully assembled on a pallet.

It is a ready-to-run CNC machine and requires around 1 hour for its complete setup.

Community and Support

The Stepcraft Q.204 CNC machine comes with a one-year warranty. This machine is German engineered and built in the US.

They provide excellent US-based customer support, and you can reach the support team over call or email.

Stepcraft also has a large online community with many active members who can assist you in finding answers to your product-related queries.

You can talk to other Stepcraft owners and discuss ideas by joining the Stepcraft Facebook group.

Designed in Germany and manufactured in the USA, Stepcraft machines are becoming fast popular in North America.

Overall, this is the machine you need if the ATC spindle is a priority for you.

About John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNCs and Power Tools at Mellowpine. I'm a CNC hobbyist who has been making CNCs and writing about CNCs for a while. I currently also work as a consultant for business owners and hobbyists setting up their own CNCs. If you have any questions related to CNC, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at john@mellowpine.com

DIY Profile
John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNCs and Power Tools at Mellowpine. I'm a CNC hobbyist who has been making CNCs and writing about CNCs for a while. I currently also work as a consultant for business owners and hobbyists setting up their own CNCs. If you have any questions related to CNC, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at john@mellowpine.com

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