If you are looking for a CNC Router to work a full 4x8 sheet of plywood, MDF, or any other sheet material, then this guide will help you choose the right machine for your need.
I considered almost 20 different popular CNC Router brands to come up with the best choices for each price category.
The most important factors I considered were accuracy, speed, software availability, ease of use, ease of assembly, warranty, customer support, the community around the product, and longevity.
Considering all these factors, I found the PRO4896 4x8 CNC Router from Avid CNC to be the best overall choice due to its efficient and fast cutting, highly rigid extruded aluminum frame, dual drive rack and pinion drive system, and maintenance-free operation.
Here are the best 4x8 CNC Router Machines on the market [in 2023]:
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Best 4x8 CNC Router under $10,000
The Avid CNC-CRP4896 is the best and only choice in my opinion if you are looking to get a high-quality 4x8 CNC router under $10,000.
The brand and the product are highly reputed in the CNC community due to the quality of their machines.
All Avid users I know swear by their Avid, and these are people who've been using the same machine for at least 3 years.
Unlike 4x4 CNCs and other smaller CNCs, 4x8 CNCs are complicated due to the long travel distance that's involved.
The Y-axis is 8 feet (96"), and the best choice for the drive of a 4x8 CNC is a rack and pinion system, and the avid uses that.
The speed is a major challenge with full-sheet CNC routers, due to the large travel.
While a belt system offers good speed it is not accurate enough for 4x8 CNCs, and this is where a rack and pinion system wins.
The frame of the CNC is high-quality extruded aluminum, which stays rigid without flexing even when running at the highest speeds.
Although some machinists insist on welded steel as the frame material, as some of the models that come in the latter part of this review, the frame on the Avid CNC is strong enough to produce accurate cuts for even medium-grade production work.
The avid PRO4896 runs its Y-axis on dual drives, meaning each Y-axis is run by a separate NEMA23/34 stepper motor.
This helps avoid an issue called racking which's common in 4x8 CNC gantries, due to the long Y-axis length.
Racking can cause the X-axis to flex and produce inaccurate cutting.
The Z-axis of the avid uses a precision ball screw drive which is much more accurate than Acme drives.
Since the Z-axis need not cover large travel distances, you don't need it to be as fast as the X and Y axes. This makes the lead screw drive an acceptable choice here, instead of rack and pinion.
This 4x8 CNC comes as a router kit and needs to be assembled using the manual and Avid makes it as easy as possible using their well-documented manual.
I personally loved the cable management tracks which run by the side of the avid. Any CNC machine of this size comes with a lot of cables, as expected.
In terms of pure specs, the cutting area is 49-½"x 97-½" which means a 4x8 full sheet material will fit in fine.
The size of the bed can be expanded later, by buying an additional length of frames if necessary. This can arise if you want to work with 5x5 or 5x10 sheets like large baltic birch and MDF sheets.
If you don't want to custom-build the electronics, Avid offers a fully bundled plug-and-play solution for the electronics of this machine, which has to be bought separately along with a few other things like the z probe and Mach4 software.
I loved the electronics bundle which is incredibly powerful and also packed neatly inside their custom industrial NEMA enclosure.
Mach4 is the software option if you go with the plug-and-play bundle. A new license for Mach4 will cost you $200.
I talk in detail about CNC software choices here-Best CNC Software [Free and Paid]
If you do production work, I highly recommend you get the NEMA 34 version which can achieve a cutting speed of 500 ipm and a rapid speed of 1000 ipm (yes!).
The stepper driver used in this kit is a CRP8070 driver that can handle up to 7A.
With this machine, you are looking at an accuracy of 0.005" and repeatability of 0.002", which is more than enough for almost any woodworking CNC job.
All these features make the Avid CNC PRO4896 a great choice for woodworking production work for businesses.
I compiled a table to show how much you will need to spend to get a full setup Avid CNC Pro 4x8 Machine:
|PRO4896 4' x 8' CNC Router Kit with NEMA 34 control system and 12" Z travel||$12,305|
|4 HP Plug and Play Spindle with spindle mount||$2,094|
|Pepperl + Fuchs Proximity Sensor Kit||$315|
|Auto Z and Corner Finding Touch Plate||$164.75|
Yes, I know that came to $15,079, but this is the cost of this CNC with almost all the features maxed out (except maybe the 8 HP spindle).
If you already have a router and can work with a NEMA 23 control system with 8" Z travel, you can get the basic variant of the kit for around $10,785.
If you are not doing production work, a NEMA 23 electronics bundle will work fine. The NEMA 34 just helps in achieving the cuts faster which is important for production.
If you choose the CRP4896 standard CNC kit with a router instead of the Avid 4x8 PRO kit above, you can keep the total cost to $8,000.
Avid CNC ATC Spindle
Another upgrade that you should consider is the S30 ATC spindle upgrade from CNC Depot.
This is a third-party spindle upgrade for Avid CNC machines that converts the single tool spindle to an Automatic Tool Changer.
Although it's expensive, it doesn't cost as much as the ATC upgrades of other CNC brands.
This is a turnkey package that you can install into your Avid CNC machine.
CNC Depot buys the Spindle Control Box from Avid CNC and modifies it to convert the whole package into an ATC.
If you buy the S30, you don't need to buy the spindle from Avid CNC, however, you'll need to buy the spindle mount.
Having an ATC can dramatically improve production if you constantly work with multi-tool projects.
Without an ATC, you need to manually change the tool and Zero the spindle each time.
There are situations when a 4x8 is insufficient and you need a 5x10 CNC router.
The most common reason is that you need to work with 5x10 size plywood sheets.
Avid CNC PRO4896 can be upgraded to a 5x10 version down the line by buying extra components.
This is a great advantage to buying a bolted frame CNC like Avid over a welded steel frame CNC.
All users of the avid speak very highly of their customer support with a direct phone line in case you have issues.
It started in 2009 under the name CNC Router Parts, this US-based brand renamed itself Avid CNC in 2019.
Avid is a 100% USA-made CNC router.
Overall, this is my recommendation for a 4x8 CNC if your maximum budget is around $15,000.
- Best and only viable 4x8 CNC for around $10,000
- Excellent customer care and community support
- Need to assemble it yourself
- Uses an extruded aluminum frame and not a steel frame
A more detailed review of Avid CNC 4x8 PRO4896 can be found here- Avid CNC 4x8 PRO4896 Review 
Other 4x8 CNC routers under $10,000 that didn't make the cut
I also considered the Zenbot 4896, Stepcraft Q.408, Blackfoot 4x8 (from Build Your CNC), Maverick 4x8 (legacy), Mechmate (for the crazies), and CNC4Newbie among other 4x8 CNC router tables in the under $10,000 category.
If you think 4x8 CNCs are too big or too expensive for your requirement, consider Desktop CNC Router Machines.
Best 4x8 CNC Routers between $10,000-$30,000
A better description of this category would be routers costing between $20,000 and $25,000 because, beyond the avid CNC, the cost of CNC machines ranges between $20,000 and $25,000 for their most basic 4x8 models with all essentials included.
At this price range, most CNCs come fully assembled or as pre-assembled modules, unlike the Avid CNC which comes as a kit that needs to be assembled and trammed for accuracy.
These machines are for you if you run production work all day, every day.
After going through most of the reliable options available on the market, I zeroed in on the PRSalpha 96-48-8, Camaster Stinger III, and the ShopSabre RC8.
Note that all these brands have really high-end 4x8 CNC router tables too, which cost upwards of $50,000.
But my review is only regarding their models under $25,000 which I think is the category where most people fall in.
The Shopbot PRSalpha 96-48 is my first choice in this category because it's a really powerful machine and also because shopbot is a great company to their customers.
It's a tad bit more expensive when compared to the others in this list like the Stinger III and ShopSabre RC8.
However, the high quality of this 4x8 CNC router more than justifies its cost.
The PRSalpha 96-48 costs ~$20k-$23k and it includes almost everything you need to run the CNC except the router bits and a dust collection system.
But then, those have to be bought extra for any CNC.
So, what will that kind of money get you?
Shopbot promises a robust machine capable of doing the production work in a 3-shift factory. That means all day, every day.
This is one area where the avid CNC falls behind, as it is not designed for 24x7 production work.
The chassis/frame of the PRSalpha is high-quality steel with bolted connections.
The bed size of this CNC is 105" x 49" which is more than a 4x8 sheet. The Z-axis can move by a maximum of 8" height.
Shopbot offers custom bed sizes for this model like 5' x 8', and even a 5' x 12' size. You can also choose to have 14" Z travel as an extra.
The X-axis is a dual drive with two stepper motors to run it. The X-axis has hardened steel rails which gives it high rigidity even during heavy cutting.
The PRSalpha has X, Y, and Z axes running on a rack and pinion drive.
How fast is this CNC? The PRSalpha has a rapid speed of 1800 ipm and a cutting speed of 600 ipm. That's almost twice the rapid speed of the avid CNC.
This 4x8 CNC is most commonly used for working wood by woodworkers running a business.
With all these features, the PRSalpha can give you positional repeatability of 0.002".
One drawback I noticed is that the PRS alpha ships as a 4-module half-assembled box or CNC router table kit.
You need to assemble the table using the parts and manual provided.
The gantry comes pre-assembled and is to be just placed on the table after the table is set. It's not too difficult and there's no tramming or accuracy check required, but there is a bit of assembly.
The shopbot is controlled by its own proprietary software that is included with the machine purchase.
It is incredibly easy-to-learn and uses software programs with enough features to accomplish anything you might need.
In addition, you get a free VCarve Pro license which is worth $700, to use as your design software.
Also, you can run the shopbot using a laptop, which is not possible with the Stinger 3 and ShopSabre as they use WinCNC control software.
Shopbot offers a two-year warranty on this machine and unlimited tech support.
The company ShopBot Tools, Inc. is based in North Carolina and all the machines are designed and built in the USA.
More than what's advertised, shopbot has a highly loyal user base, who speak very highly of their excellent customer support.
Among all the products listed here, I'd say shopbot is the best in terms of customer service. Added to this, is their highly active community forum which can answer almost any query you have.
For a few thousand dollars more you can add the automatic tool changer (ATC) accessory as well to the shopbot which can help speed up things a lot.
Overall, the shopbot is my recommendation in this category of 4x8 CNCs, especially if you want a hassle-free hands-off experience.
If you think the price is too steep and you are not into heavy production work, you can consider the Shopbot PRSalpha Buddy BT48 which has a moving expansion table called powerstick that can be pulled out if you need to cut a full sheet.
The PRS alpha buddy sells at $20,214.
- Best in terms of customer support
- Excellent community and widespread user base
- Most expensive among the three considered in this category.
If your CNC router requirement is primarily at the job site and you need to work on very large workpieces, a handheld CNC can be a great option - Best Handheld CNC Router: Shaper Origin Review.
The Camaster Stinger III is another good choice among 4x8 CNC Machines.
Stinger III is the least expensive of the three machines in this category. The full machine with standard accessories sells at $17,995.
This CNC has a welded steel chassis, unlike the PRSalpha which has a bolted steel frame.
This also means the Camaster steel frame CNC router comes fully assembled.
Almost all industrial CNC machines have a welded chassis, and this helps tremendously in reducing the vibrations in the machine.
The disadvantage to having a welded steel frame is the lack of flexibility if you wish to expand your machine to a 5x10 or bigger down the road.
With a bolted steel frame, you can often buy extra components and do the upgrade.
Like all fully assembled CNCs, you will need pallet jacks and help to move this heavy 1500 lbs. CNC into your shop.
The Stinger III has rack and pinion drives for the X and Y axes. A ball screw drive is used for the shorter Z-axis, unlike the PRSalpha which uses rack and pinion for Z-axis as well.
The 8' Y-axis is dual drive with two motors, as is with all good 4x8 CNC routers.
Stinger 3 has a maximum cutting speed of 500 ipm and rapids of 1000 ipm, which is the lowest among all the 3 CNCs in this category.
The standard version ships with a 3.5 HP Milwaukee Router, unlike the PRSalpha which ships with a 4HP spindle, and that is a bit underwhelming.
For continuous production work, a spindle is always preferable to a router, because routers heat up rather quickly.
Speaking of upgrades, a highly popular upgraded version of the stinger 3 is the Camaster X3 option, whereby you get two 2.25 HP Milwaukee routers alongside the main central cutting tool.
The main tool can be another router or a spindle. I recommend you choose a CNC spindle instead of a router.
In the stinger X3 version, when you get to load two other tools in the two additional routers. This means you don't need to do a tool change unless you need a fourth tool.
You can call it a budget version of an ATC, and it's really all you need if you use only 3 tools. So the choice of upgrading to the X3 version depends on the intended application of your CNC.
If you choose the X3 version, the total cost of owning the Stinger CNC comes to around $22,000, which is close to the price of the PRSalpha 4896.
The Stinger 3 ships with a controller PC and has a Windows 10 OS and 19" LED monitor. This PC is equipped with the WINCNC control software that runs the Stinger CNC.
Just like the PRSalpha, the Stinger 3 comes with the Vectric Vcarve Pro license included. You can install the Vectric Pro in a PC of your choice.
What kind of support can you expect? Camaster offers free tech support for the life of the machine and also a free remote support technician for the life of the machine.
How about the community? Just like Shopbot, Camaster also has a highly active community around their product with the "Camheads" forum being their watering hole.
Having a good community around the product is a sign of a company that offers excellent customer support.
Camaster has a good reputation for taking care of its customers and this shows in its community.
Camaster also offers tech support to owners with second-hand Camaster machines as well, which is quite great. The support is for the machine, whoever owns it then.
The company CAMaster, Inc. is based in Cartersville, Georgia and all their machines are designed and built in the USA.
The Stinger 3 is a great option for a 4x8 CNC and would come a close second to the PRSalpha.
- Excellent customer support
- Highly Active community
- Ships with a router in the basic version.
The RC8 has a heavy welded steel frame just like the Stinger 3 and weighs around 2000 lbs.
RC8 uses a six-leg design for the table for better stability and to reduce vibrations.
The cutting area on the RC8 is 55” x 98”, making it sufficient for sheet cutting.
The X and Y axes on the Shopsabre use a rack and pinion drive system while the Z-axis uses a precision ball screw system just like the Stinger 3.
RC8 has a maximum cutting speed of 500 ipm and rapids of 1500 ipm, which is lower than the PRSalpha but higher than the Stinger 3.
In the basic version, the RC8 uses a 3.25HP CNC router. Upgrade to an HSD spindle is available, of course.
Just like the other two machines, a VCarve Pro license is included with the machine.
The RC8 is the least expensive among the three CNCs in this category. The basic version ships at $19,495.
But even with an upgrade to a 4 HP HSD spindle, the total cost comes only to around $20,000, which is a few thousand dollars less than the Stinger 3 and of course the PRSalpha.
The RC8 4x8 CNC router machine offers an automatic tool changer as an upgrade.
Just like in the other CNCs the freight charges are not included in the listed pricing, and that's extra.
The controller software on the ShopSabre is WinCNC like in the Stinger 3.
The company ShopSabre is based in Lakeville, Minnesota and all its machines are designed and built in the USA.
Unlike the Camaster, ShopSabre doesn't offer free support to second or subsequent owners, which is a letdown. It also makes a used ShopSabre less attractive compared to the other brands.
Of course, if you are the second owner, you can buy a new support plan which costs $2,000 for one year or $4,000 for a lifetime.
ShopSabre does not have an active community or an active forum around their products and that's a major disadvantage, especially if you are a beginner in CNC.
There is a Facebook group, but it's nowhere near what you get with the ShopBot and the Camaster.
Overall, this is a good, made-in-USA CNC and costs less than the other options in this category. However, you don't get to enjoy much community support with this machine
A more detailed review of this CNC- Shopsabre RC8 Review 
Other 4x8 CNC routers between $10,000-$30,000 that didn't make the cut
I also considered the Laguna Swift, STM1325-R3 among other machines in this category.
Budget Options for Hobbyists
If you think the prices of the CNCs above are too high for a hobbyist and you definitely need a 4x8 CNC, then I'd like you to consider two other options in the market.
The first is the BobsCNC KL744 with the extension kit and the Maslow CNC.
The BobsCNC KL744 is a 4x4 CNC Router that sells for $3,375, with a birch plywood frame.
BobsCNC has an extension kit to the KL744 that sells for around $614 (without the table), which converts the KL744 into a full-size 4x8 CNC router that lets you work on a full sheet.
That brings the total price to $3,989 without the table. With a table that comes to $4,378. Also, you need to buy extra X-rails locally, and that is not included in the extension kit.
The birch plywood frame is fine for hobby work and does not vibrate too much unless pushed to very high speeds.
The drive system on this CNC is belt drive, and not rack and pinion like the other more expensive CNCs in this list. That does mean there will be a bit of compromise in terms of accuracy.
As with many budget CNCs, it runs on GRBL firmware on the Arduino Uno.
It is of course possible to just buy the KL744 (4x4) without the extension kit and manually move the sheet when you are done with one-half of the sheet.
- Less expensive compared to Avid CNC
- Too slow for any commercial work.
- Plywood frame is not as rigid as metallic frames.
2. Maslow CNC
Costing just around $500, Maslow CNC is a 4x8 vertically mounted CNC that started as a community-driven open-source project.
Maslow is now sold by several companies with their own custom adjustments. However, the one by Maker Made is the most popular version.
The Maslow CNC runs on ground control software which is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux computers.
This CNC can work on many different materials like hardwood, softwood, plastics, and MDF. It takes multiple slow shallow passes to remove material.
A great advantage to Maslow is that it is a vertical CNC router, which saves considerable shop space for you.
You do need to buy a separate router to use with Maslow. Any fixed-base router with a 1/2" or 1/4" collet will work with Maslow.
What you get with Maslow are the cables and the electronics. The easel-style frame that you see on the Maslow CNCs is built separately by each Maslow owner.
The Maslow community website gives the plan and detailed instructions to build the frame. It's not too difficult if you know basic woodworking and can be accomplished in a weekend.
You need some 2x4's, plywood, and two bricks as materials. The brick is for the sled which you also need to make yourself in addition to the frame.
The frame and the sled come to a total of around $100 in materials, so factor that into the overall price for getting a Maslow up and running.
With few DIY adjustments, it is possible to do surprisingly good projects with this CNC. If you check the community section of Maslow, you'll get to know what it can do for you- Maslow Projects by Community.
You get a USB with ten sample projects that let you try out the Maslow immediately after you get it assembled.
A lot of people complain about how slow Maslow is, but then you need to consider how cost-efficient it is as well.
At a travel speed of 31 ipm, the Maslow can seem slow compared to more expensive CNCs.
Additionally, the z travel you get is quite limited with 1-2" depending on your choice of router.
Because it is a vertically mounted machine, Maslow doesn't take up much horizontal shop space. Maslow's footprint is only 10'x3'.
All things considered, Maslow really makes CNCs affordable to hobbyists who are getting started with CNCs.
- Extremely low price.
- Requires a lot of DIY building before you can get started.
- Very slow travel speed.
A more detailed review of this CNC router- Maslow CNC Router from MakerMade Review.
Buyers Guide: What to look for when buying a 4x8 CNC Router
1. Bed Size or Cutting Area
Decide whether you will be working with 4x8 sheets or 5x5 sheets or 5x10 sheets. If you need to go higher than 4 feet, then consider the size-upgraded version of the CNCs listed above.
All of these large CNC routers have a bed size upgrade.
2. Drive System
For 4x8 CNCs it is essential that the longer X and Y axes are run using a rack and pinion system. Screw drives are too slow for such long travels and belt drives are too inaccurate for any serious work.
There are two kinds of speeds. The travel speed and the cutting speed. Both kinds of speeds are expressed in inches per minute for CNCs.
Due to the large travel distance along the X and Y axes, you need to carefully consider the travel speed of your 4x8 CNC.
The Avid PRO CNC has a maximum travel speed of 1000 ipm whereas the ShopBot PRSalpha has a speed of 1800 ipm.
The cutting speed refers to the RPM of the spindle and how fast the CNC can eat through the material.
4. Cutting System
A spindle is almost always better than a router. Routers are not meant for continuous use and should never be used for production work.
Almost always, routers are noisier compared to spindles.
Also, the hp ratings on a router cannot be compared with the hp ratings on a spindle. Spindles are more powerful and efficient and are meant to run all the time.
If you really have to compare, take only half the advertised hp rating on a router to compare with the full advertised hp rating of a spindle.
The power rating on your spindle is related to how much cutting depth you need in one pass and the material you're cutting.
A lower hp spindle will take more passes to remove the same depth of material as a higher hp spindle.
A higher hp spindle is also quieter. For any kind of production work, you should get at least a 2hp or higher spindle.
5. Ease of Assembly
If you want to get to production quickly without doing any DIY assembly by looking at the manual, then a fully assembled machine is what you need.
Typically most under $10,000 CNCs come in a kit form and need to be assembled.
You need to be careful during the assembly to ensure everything is square and aligned or it can affect the accuracy of your cutting.
Look for brands with good documentation regarding the assembly.
Also, watch youtube videos showing the assembly of your target CNC to see how hard it is.
6. Test the CNC
Most CNC brands sell all over the USA and you would be able to find someone who owns the specific model you're looking at.
Test the CNC with the material you plan on using and see how it performs.
7. Vacuum and Dust Collection
Vacuum tables can clamp the material down for you during the cutting and if you intend to do fast production work, then you will likely need a powerful vacuum.
You will need to fasten your material each time with fasteners if you don't have a vacuum table setup. This is likely fine if you're a hobbyist though.
All the brands listed above sell excellent vacuum solutions as an add-on to the machine.
In terms of dust collection, if you are cutting full sheet goods all the time, then that will generate a ton of dust and you definitely need a proper dust collection system attached to the vacuum.
Industrial CNC router tables will need a vacuum system at some point down the line.
8. Warranty and Customer Support
It is essential that the seller offers at least a one-year warranty on their 4x8 CNC.
Also, direct phone line customer support can be of great help.
For most Chinese machines, this is not an option. While you might get the machine at a lower initial price, you might get subpar after-sales support.
Also if you're buying a used machine, check if the manufacturer provides support to the next owner.
Camaster supports whoever is the current owner while ShopSabre does not offer free support to the second owner.
9. Community around the brand
All the best brands have an active community of users around their products. Typically, there's also an online forum where everyone shares their projects and any questions they have.
Not having an active community around the product is a red flag in my opinion.
What Can You do With a 4x8 CNC Router?
Having a 4x8 router provides the opportunity to work on projects of various sizes ranging from a small signboard to a large piece of furniture.
Signboards are one of the most popular CNC projects that can be found in almost every household, restaurant, office, etc.
A 4x8 CNC router provides the ability to work on large-sized signboards that are generally ideal for business applications.
Apart from that, their large work area provides the ability to carve out multiple small-sized signboards in a single go. This enhances productivity by reducing the cycle time.
Some of the common signboard projects include wooden nameplates for homes, acrylic signboards for shops and other commercial entities, etc.
However, if your primary requirement involves working with small sign boards only, you can consider other sign-making CNC routers that provide a comparatively smaller work area.
Wall clocks are one of the basic requirements in almost every household or office.
It not only tells the time but also enhances the aesthetics of the interior design of the room.
Therefore, using your 4x8 CNC router to make oversized wall clocks with unique and custom designs can be a great project idea.
You can also put your creativity to work and use different types of wood to make elegant and beautiful clocks.
Although a 4x8 router might seem too large for making trays, it can be used for carving out multiple trays in a single go.
This reduces the cycle time and enhances productivity, making it ideal for the mass production of trays.
Apart from that, you can also 4x8 router to make customized trays for special occasions like weddings.
Oversized projects are a fun way to add to the aesthetics of the surroundings.
A 4x8 CNC router provides the ideal work area for making large-size projects like an oversized ruler to measure the height of your kids.
Apart from that, you can use your creativity to make different types of oversized projects like oversized chess pieces, dice, keys, etc.
You can also personalize these projects on customer demand to earn a little extra profit on them.
4x8 CNC router can be used for making wall art projects and other decorative items that are used for enhancing the aesthetics of your surroundings.
These routers can also be used to carve out religious artifacts and wooden panels for walls.
However, carving out artwork with extremely detailed textures requires an experienced machinist with good design and machining skills.
The large work area of 4x8 CNC routers provides the ability to work on an entire sheet of plywood, making it the best-suited router for making furniture.
These routers can be used to carve out table tops and other furniture pieces. You can also include a rotary axis in your kit to work on cylindrical objects like furniture legs.
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