Best 3018 CNC Routers [2021]-Affordable and Reliable

Best 3018 CNC Routers [2021]-Affordable and Reliable

Best 3018 CNC Routers [2021]-Affordable and Reliable

A 3018 CNC router is a great choice when you want a CNC that fits on your desk and lets you work on small workpieces.

These CNC machines have made getting into hobby CNC quite affordable.

While there are several such machines available online, wading through them to find a quality choice can be a difficult task, especially when they all seem alike.

After a detailed analysis, I came up with a list of the best 3018 CNCs you can get in today's market.

I selected them based on several factors like size, build, software, electronics, controller, compatibility, and support.

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Quick Summary-Best 3018 CNCs

3018 CNCPRICE
1SainSmart Genmitsu 3018-PROVerBest feature-packedCheck price
2Daedalus 3018 Pro MaxBest for small-scale businesses Check price
3MYSWEETY CNC 3018 PRO-MBest for PCB makingCheck price
4VEVOR CNC 3018 Pro MaxConvenient to useCheck price
5mcwdoit CNC 3018 ProBest WarrantyCheck price
6RATTMMOTOR CNC 3018Pro MaxMost affordableCheck price

Best 3018 CNC routers

1. SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Router 3018-PROVer - Best Overall 3018 CNC router

SainSmart Genmitsu 3018 PROver with the offline control unit
SainSmart Genmitsu 3018 PROVer
Footprint15.7” x 13.0” x 9.4"
Workpiece thickness1.8"
Spindle775 type, 10,000 RPM, 120W
OS compatibilityWindows, macOS
Assembly30 minutes
WarrantyNo formal warranty

Quick summary of SainSmart Genmitsu 3018-PROVer

3018 CNCs are generic CNCs and SainSmart Genmitsu gave it a branded makeover with its Genmitsu 3018 CNCs.

It is a great machine for beginners for small-scale engraving businesses who want to dive into CNC milling without spending too much time assembling.

Size and build

The SainSmart Genmitsu 3018-PROVer is a desktop machine that has a 15.7” x 13.0” x 9.4" footprint which is quite similar to a printer.

The cutting area you get is 11.8” x 7.1” on which you can engrave workpieces with a maximum thickness of 1.8 inches which is the highest on this list.

The frame is made of aluminum which gives it good rigidity for engraving and supports spindles upgrades without a problem.

It has acrylic baffles on the side which protects allows you to view the cutting process safely.

Linear Motion

Lead screws are used for moving all three axes and the lead screws are driven by 12 V stepper motors with a maximum torque of 2.2 lb-in.

Spindle

The Genmistsu 775 spindle used on the 3018-PROVer is a low-power CNC spindle suitable for engraving on soft materials like wood and plastics.

It has a maximum speed of 10,000 RPM at 36 V and uses an ER11 collect that can clamp tools with a shank diameter less than 1/8".

If you want to engrave on aluminum you should swap the spindle with the drop-in spindle upgrade from Genmitsu that has a maximum speed of 20,000 RPM.

Controller and electronics

Genmitsu uses its proprietary control board for the 3018-PRO. It supports, laser modules, 3 stepper motors, and a spindle.

It uses the TB6S109 stepper driver from Toshiba that is really quiet and reliable. It can handle up to 4A of current through it for each motor.

The controller is GRBL based and connects with your computer via USB cable. You can use any G-code sending software to operate this CNC machine.

It comes with an offline controller with a 1.8” screen which gives you complete control over the machine. You can run G-code directly from a memory stick using the offline controller.

The controller has optocouplers that isolate input and output signals and protects the controller board from external high currents.

As for the electronics, it is feature-packed and comes with limit switches on all axes, Z-probe, and an emergency stop switch as standard.

The limit switches prevent the gantry from crashing into the frame.

The Z-probe makes zeroing the CNC router after each tool change an easy process.

The emergency stop switch lets you stop the machine instantly in case of any emergencies.

Software

You get a three-month subscription to  CARVECO CAM and design software. CARVECO is an easy-to-use and easy-to-learn software.

However, you can use any free CNC software to design the cuts and operate the machine.

For controlling the CNC router you can use GRBL Candle or UGS, which are popular G-code sending software.

Upgrades

SainSmart offers several upgrades for the Genmitsu 3018-PROVer that improve the capabilities of the machine.

Genmitsu GS-775M

It is a 24V, 20,000 RPM drop-in spindle replacement that lets you engrave on aluminum.

SainSmart Blue Laser Module Kit for Genmitsu CNC Machine 3018

If you want laser engraving capabilities you can choose this 2.5 W blue laser module that can be easily installed onto the PROVer

It uses a 445nm blue laser and works with a 12 V supply that draws 2A of current.

Assembly

The PROVer arrives as two parts that are pre-assembled. This reduces the time you need to spend on assembly.

You can assemble the PROVer in under 30 minutes using the pre-assembled parts.

You can find several helpful videos on YouTube to help you with each step of the assembly process.

SainSmart provides well-detailed online instructions manual for Genmistsu 3018-PRO.

Community and Support

The official support is reliable. The official website has troubleshooting tips for almost all problems you may face while using the 3018-PROVer.

Even though they lack a community forum, they have an active Facebook group where you can discuss the issues with your router and share ideas.

You can contact them through email or phone if you ever need any assistance from them.

The SainSmart Genmitsu 3018-PROVer is a feature-packed CNC router with good official support and is reliable.

A more detailed review of the PROVer can be found here-Sainsmart Genmitsu 3018 PROVer.

2. Daedalus 3018 Pro Max - Best 3018 CNC router for small scale businesses

Daedalus 3018 Pro Max
Daedalus 3018 Pro Max
Footprint14.1” x 12.2” x 9”
Workpiece thickness1.57"
SpindlePC12 type, 12,000 RPM, 300W
OS compatibilityWindows
Assembly30 minutes
WarrantyNo formal warranty

Quick summary of Daedalus 3018 PRO

The 3018 Pro Max from Daedalus is comparable to Genmitsu 3018-PROVer in terms of build quality and price.

Where the Daedalus lacks out on features, it gains on material capabilities when compared to the PROVer.

Apart from soft materials like wood and plastics, it can engrave on copper, stone, jade, and aluminum.

It is a good CNC engraver for beginner and small-scale businesses.

Size and build

It has a footprint of 14.1” x 12.2” x 9” which is compact. It lets you accommodate workpieces with a dimension of 11.8” x 7.1” x 1.57”.

The clearance on Z-axis is lower than other CNC routers on this list. This is due to the larger spindle on the Daedalus.

The frame is made of 10 mm thick 4040 aluminum alloy and uses an all-metal construction.

It has good rigidity and is a suitable machine for small-scale professional engraving.

The PROVer has baffles on the sides which is a good safety feature that the Daedalus lacks. However, the absence of baffles lets you access the work bed from all sides.

Linear Motion

The axes are moved using T8 lead screws that are driven by stepper motors with 0.25 Nm of torque.

Daedalus has incorporated handwheels on the X and Y axes that let you make fine manual adjustments to the X and Y axes.

This is useful for performing small operations as you can do it manually and do not have to spend time designing the cuts.

Spindle

The spindle used on Daedalus is what makes it unique among most of the 3018 CNCs.

Most 3018 CNCs use the generic 775 spindle design which is a low-power spindle suitable for light engraving.

The Daedalus uses PC12 48 V spindle with a maximum speed of 12,000 RPM.

It has a maximum power of 300W and is air-cooled making it suitable for engraving on materials like soft aluminum for longer durations than other 3018 CNCs.

You get an ER11 collet with the kit that can hold tools with a shank diameter of ⅛” or lower.

Controller and electronics

The controller on this CNC router kit is the Woodpecker CNC Camxtool v3 controller board. This is where the PROVer beats the Daedalus as the PROVer has a better controller board.

The controller has a port for the laser module but Daedalus does not have a laser module.

If you want you can use any compatible 2-pin or 3-pin laser module. The most popular choice is the Genmitsu blue laser module.

It comes with an offline controller that lets you run the machine without a computer and allows you to run G-code straight from a memory stick.

The controller connects to your computer via a USB cable and is compatible with Win XP, Win 7, Win 8, and Win 10 computers.

Furthermore, the PROVer has limit switches, z-probe, and an emergency stop switch which the Daedalus lacks.

Software

Daedalus provides a USB stick with the necessary drivers for the controllers.

You can use GRBL Candle, a free CNC control software for the GRBL controller for controlling the CNC router.

However, you can use any paid or free control software that is compatible with GRBL based controllers.

Daedalus does not ship with any CAD/CAM software packages and you will have to use your choice of CAD/CAM package for design purposes.

Assembly

The assembly process of the Daedalus is fast and smooth. You can have it up and running in under 30 minutes.

The CNC router arrives in two parts with most of the components pre-assembled. All you need to do is connect the two parts and attach the cables.

To make it easier, they also provide a good instruction manual that is well detailed.

Support

The official support is good but not better than the official support of SainSmart.

You can contact them over E-mail for support.

The Daedalus 3018 Pro Max is a rugged CNC router that can run for longer periods than other 3018 CNCs in a similar price range and is an affordable choice for small businesses and makers.

3. MYSWEETY CNC 3018 Pro-M - Best 3018 CNC router for PCB making

MYSWEETY CNC 3018 Pro-M
MYSWEETY CNC 3018 Pro-M
Footprint15.7” x 13” x 9.4”
Workpiece thickness1.8"
Spindle775 type, 10,000 RPM, 120W
OS compatibilityWindows
Assembly2-3 hours
WarrantyNo formal warranty

Quick summary of MYSWEETY CNC 3018 Pro-M

MYSWEETY CNC 3018 Pro-M is a CNC engraving machine that is good for beginners and small-scale engraving work.

MYSWEETY is a popular hobby CNC spindle and hobby CNC components maker.

They also have laser engravers that cost a bit more than the regular engravers and have similar specifications.

It is also one of the best cheap CNC machines in the market.

You can use this CNC machine to engrave on wood, bamboo, paper, leather, plastic, PCB, acrylic, metal surface paint, and metal surface plating.

Size and build

It has a footprint of 15.7” x 13” x 9.4” and is quite similar to the Genmitsu in terms of the area it covers. 

On this CNC router, you can accommodate workpieces that have a dimension less than 11.8” x 7.1” x 1.8”.

The frame is made of aluminum and bakelite. The work bed is made of aluminum profiles with slots for work-holding.

Linear Motion

Lead screws are used on all three axes of the 3018 Pro-M. These lead screws are driven by stepper motors rated at 12 V 1.33 A.

The stepper motors used on the 3018 Pro-M have a torque of 2.2 lb-in.

Spindle

It uses the generic 775 type spindle similar to the one used on Genmitsu with a 10,000 RPM maximum speed.

You can use ER11 collets with this spindle that can hold tools with a shank diameter less than 1/8".

Controller and electronics

The kit comes with a GRBL based control board. The controller board has DRV8825 stepper drivers.

The controller connects with your computer using a USB cable and is compatible with Windows-OS-based computers.

It comes with an offline controller that allows you to operate the machine without a computer.

You can use the CNC engraver without a computer by uploading the G-codes for your design on a memory stick and plugging it offline controller.

Software

MYSWEETY CNC 3018 Pro-M does not come with any software and you can use any paid or free software with this engraver.

For controlling the engraver you will need software that supports GRBL based controllers. 

You can use GRBL Candle or UGS, which are popular free software choices for controlling the CNC engraver.

Assembly

The kit needs to be assembled and can take around 2-3 hours to complete.

Additionally, you will need to make fine adjustments to achieve good accuracy with this engraver.

A drawback of this engraver is that it lacks proper documentation but has a good instruction manual in the USB stick that comes with it to help you through the assembly process.

Community and Support

There is no US-based customer support team for this CNC engraver and you will need to mail them for any queries.

They do not provide phone support but overall the support is better than most of the generic 3018 CNC machines in the market.

MYSWEETY CNC 3018 Pro-M is popular among the hobby PCB-making crowd and is a good 3018 CNC router for the purpose.

4. VEVOR CNC 3018 Pro Max - Most convenient 3018 CNC router

Vevor 3018 Pro Max
Vevor 3018 Pro Max
Footprint17.2” x 12.3” x 12”
Workpiece thickness1.77"
Spindle775 type, 10,000 RPM
OS compatibilityWindows, macOS
Assembly2-3 hours
WarrantyNo formal warranty

Quick summary of VEVOR CNC 3018 Pro Max

This is an engraver kit that belongs in the generic 3018 family of CNCs.

You can use this CNC router to engrave on soft materials like plastic, wood, acrylic, PVC and it can also engrave on soft aluminum. 

Size and build

The work area that you get is the same as in any 3018 CNC machine. You get a work area of 30cm x 18cm or 11.8” x 7.1”.

The maximum Z-axis travel you get is 1.77”.

It has a footprint of 17.2” x 12.3” x 12” which is similar to that of an office printer.

The frame is made out of aluminum and bakelite. An all-aluminum construction like that of Genmitsu 3018-PROVer would have been more rigid.

There are 5mm acrylic baffles on the sides that let you view the cutting process safely.

Linear Motion

All the three axes on the Vevor 3018 Pro Max are driven by T8 stainless steel screw rods which provide good rigidity.

The axes are supported by two cylindrical guide rails on each axis.

The stepper motors used on each axis require 1.3 A of current at 12V and it has a torque of 0.25 Nm.

Spindle

It uses the generic 775 type spindle. The spindle works with a 24 V supply and has a maximum speed of 10,000 RPM.

It ships with an ER11 collet and you can use ⅛” shank diameter tool on it.

Using larger collet and tools is not recommended considering the power and speed of the spindle.

Controller and electronics

Vevor ships their 3018 CNC with the XCronos Maker control board or the Annoy Tools control board.

You cannot choose which one you want, it will be randomly selected for you. But, both these control boards are similar, so no issue there.

These control boards work on the GRBL firmware and you can use any software for the GRBL controller for controlling it.

It also has an offline controller that lets you control the CNC engraver without a computer.

You can plug in a USB stick loaded with G-code to run the CNC router directly from the offline controller.

You can import JPG, BMP, PNG, and DXF files for engraving directly from the computer via a USB connection.

The controller supports Windows XP SP3, win7, win8, win10 (32/64), and macOS computers.

Software

Vevor CNC does not come with any software, the driver software required for the controller is provided in a USB stick that ships with the CNC router.

You can use any paid or free CNC software to make designs and control the machine.

Assembly

The product arrives as a kit and you need to assemble it. Be prepared to spend some time assembling it.

The instruction manual and videos provided on the USB stick that ships with the kit is of great help during assembly.

The entire assembly process can take about 2-3 hours as there are no pre-assembled parts in the kit.

Support

Vevor provides both E-mail and phone support in the US and they usually respond back within 24hrs. 

The official support and the user manuals provided are reliable.

Overall, this is a CNC router best suited for engraving on soft material and is easy to use.

VEVOR 3018 Pro Max is an easy-to-use piece of equipment as it can directly work with image files like jpg, making it a good choice for beginners

5. mcwdoit CNC 3018 Pro - 3018 CNC router with the best warranty

mcwdoit 3018 Pro
mcwdoit 3018 Pro
Workpiece thickness1.77"
Spindle775 type, 10,000 RPM
OS compatibilityWindows, Linux
Assembly3 hours
Warranty1-year warranty, 30-day return policy

Quick summary of mcwdoit CNC 3018 Pro

This 3018 CNC router is for light use on soft materials. It cannot cut through but it can engrave with good accuracy.

It is a good choice for PCB milling and engraving on soft materials. 

Size and build

You can use workpieces that have a dimension of 11.8” x 7.1” x 1.77”, as is the case with all 3018 CNC machines.

The frame is made of aluminum profiles and bakelite plates, which makes it a lightweight CNC router.

Linear Motion

For linear motion, all the axes use a lead screw mechanism that is driven by stepper motors.

The X and Y axes move on cylindrical guide rods supported by slide nuts.

Spindle

It uses the generic 775 spindle motors that have a maximum speed of 10,000 RPM for all engraving purposes.

The spindle speed is controlled by the controller board and does not require a separate power supply or control unit.

You will get an ER11 collet that holds ⅛” shank diameter bits with this CNC router kit.

Controller and electronics

For controlling the CNC router the Woodpecker CNC Camxtool v3 controller board is used. It is the same board that is used on the RATTMMOTOR and Genmitsu 3018-PRO CNC machines.

This controller is popular and is a go-to choice for DIY CNC builds. IT works on the GRBL firmware.

Furthermore, the offline controller is quite handy for using the machine without a computer.

However, you will need a computer to transfer the G-code files into a memory stick to use with the offline controller.

The controller can be connected to your PC via a USB cable.

Software

The kit arrives with a USB stick that contains the CH340 driver for the controller.

Additionally, the USB stick also contains a version of GRBL Candle, which is a popular free CNC control software.

GRBL Candle is an easy-to-use software that can run on Windows or Linux computers.

For design, you can use any CAD/CAM software combination and create the G-code for controlling the CNC router.

Assembly

Mcwdoit provides a good assembly manual with this CNC router. The instructions lack detailing but the illustrations provide enough help in putting this router together.

You can find the instruction manual on the product page in Amazon or inside the USB stick that comes with the CNC router.

Overall the assembly process should not take you more than three hours to complete.

Support

The official support for this CNC machine is good. They provide e-mail support for their customers.

Additionally, they offer a one-year warranty for the mcwdoit 3018 Pro and a 30-day return policy.

Warranty on 3018 CNCs is a rare thing these days.

The warranty on this CNC makes it an excellent choice for those skeptical about the equipment's durability.

6. RATTMMOTOR CNC 3018Pro Max - Best affordable 3018 CNC router

RATTMMOTOR 3018 Pro Max
RATTMMOTOR 3018 Pro Max
Footprint15.7” x 13” x 9.4”
Workpiece thickness1.77"
Spindle775 type, 10,000 RPM
OS compatibilyWindows XP, Windows 7
Assembly3 hours
WarrantyNo formal warranty

Quick summary of RATTMMOTOR CNC 3018Pro Max

Rattmmotor is a popular hobby CNC parts manufacturer that is known for their spindles for CNC routers.

The 3018 Pro Max is a hobby CNC router that is best for engraving on soft materials like wood, plastics, PVC, acrylics, and metals like copper and aluminum. 

Size and build

It has an 11.8” x 7.1” (30cm x 18cm) work area with a Z-axis travel of 1.77”.

You would need a space of at least 15.7” x 13” x 9.4” of space on your desk to place this CNC engraver.

The CNC has an aluminum and nylon frame which is rigid enough for engraving on soft metals like aluminum and copper.

Linear Motion

All three axes are driven by screw rods. These screw rods are driven by stepper motors.

The stepper motors used on this CNC have 0.25 Nm of torque and works with a 12 V 1.3 A supply.

Spindle

A 775 type spindle is used on this CNC router and it has a maximum speed of 10,000 RPM.

An ER11 collet is supplied with the kit which you can install on the extension rod of the spindle. It will let you hold bits with a ⅛” shank diameter.

Controller and electronics

The controller for this CNC machine is the Woodpecker CNC Camxtool v3 controller board, which is the same controller board used on the Genmitsu 3018-PRO (not PROVer).

It is a GRBL-firmware based controller and can be connected to your computer via a USB cable.

It also has an offline controller that accepts memory sticks with G-code files to control your machine without a computer.

The controller supports laser modules and 20,000 RPM spindles, meaning if you want these upgrades you are covered in terms of the controller.

You will need a computer with Win XP or Win 7 OS as the controller is not compatible with Windows 10 or macOS.

Software

You can use any CNC software for designing and controlling this CNC router.

The manufacturer does not provide any software for this product. However, it supports all control software that is compatible with GRBL firmware.

Assembly

The kit arrives as parts that need to be assembled. Most of the tools required for assembly are also provided in the kit.

You will need to spend around three hours putting this CNC router together.

The printed assembly manual that comes with the kit is detailed and will help you with the assembly process.

Support

This CNC router lacks proper official support or community. You will have to rely on videos available on the internet for support.

Most of the components that require support, like the controller, are sourced from other brands. You can contact the original manufacturer for troubleshooting.

The RATTMMOTOR CNC Pro Max is an affordable 3018 CNC machine that has enough capabilities for beginners.

About John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNC's and Power Tools at Mellowpine. I'm a CNC hobbyist who has been making CNC's and writing about CNC's for a while. I currently also work as a consultant for business owners and hobbyists setting up their own CNC's. 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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John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNC's and Power Tools at Mellowpine. I'm a CNC hobbyist who has been making CNC's and writing about CNC's for a while. I currently also work as a consultant for business owners and hobbyists setting up their own CNC's. 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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