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The Differences Between CNC Router and CNC Mill

Views: 17     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2020-11-17      Origin: Site

In recent years, CNC machining has become an increasingly popular form of manufacturing, and its main advantage is to provide workshops with higher efficiency, functionality and less waste. Due to increasing popularity, we have seen several different types of CNC machines being developed, each with its own unique features and advantages.

The most popular are CNC milling machines and CNC router machines. The following is a breakdown of the functions that ordinary CNC machines can perform, and what are the main differences between CNC milling machines and CNC router machines.

What is a CNC machine?

CNC machine are computer-controlled mechanisms that automatically move the tool around the workpiece on a series of axes to perform cutting. All CNC machines use subtractive manufacturing to make the final product, which means they work by removing material from existing parts instead of adding material.

Travel speed, rotation speed and movement type are all programming factors that can help determine the cutting details of CNC machine. Although planers and rolling mills can provide extremely high precision, you should still be aware of many differences.

CNC router

CNC router are considered to be common tools in modern mechanical workshops, whose main purpose is to cut softer materials such as wood, plastic, acrylic, foam and some softer metals. It is usually installed on a fixed workbench with a large working space, and the main shaft of the workbench moves along three axes (X, Y, and Z).

Compared with CNC milling machines, most CNC router machines are designed to run at a higher speed, using speed as the driving force for cutting. Router machines usually have three axes, but there are also 4-axis to 6-axis variants, which are very suitable for more complex projects.


  • For cutting softer materials such as wood, plastic and foam

  • Installed on the largest fixed platform of the workbench

  • Has a main axis that moves along the X, Y and Z axes

  • high speed

  • Cut with speed

  • Convenient 3D cutting

CNC milling

In most cases, CNC milling machines can perform basically the same functions as CNC milling machines, but there are some major differences. Planers are generally used for softer materials, while rolling mills are generally used for cutting metals and harder materials. It uses a rotating cutting tool similar to a planer, but for a mill, its feed rate is much slower.

Many CNC milling machines move in an X-Y configuration, instead of using a fixed table, the spindle moves on a linear axis above the workpiece. This increases the clearance along the Z axis and allows the rolling mill to perform thicker cuts because the rolling mill uses torque instead of speed for cutting.


  • For cutting metals and harder materials

  • Working speed is slower than CNC router

  • Move along X-Y pattern

  • The spindle moves on the workpiece along the linear axis to increase the clearance along the Z axis

  • Can make thicker cuts

  • Use higher torque for cutting

  • Use ShopSabre to improve products

There are many key differences between CNC milling machines and CNC router machines, which will help you determine the most suitable workshop for you. Here, we will guide you through the decision to purchase the right equipment.

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