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HomeCNC Router MachineThe Ultimate Desktop CNC Router Comparison - Which Should You Buy?

The Ultimate Desktop CNC Router Comparison – Which Should You Buy?


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I compare the X-carve, Shapeoko, and Onefinity desktop CNC routers from the angle of looking to purchase your first CNC. All the information comes from the respective brand’s websites, just as you would find if you went to the websites on your own. I give my thoughts on the information we find.


Join The CNC Inner Circle – https://bit.ly/3MdVfyl

X-Carve – 1:01
Shapeoko – 9:11
Onefinity – 17:15

? What to Watch Next: The Reality of Getting Into CNC Routers https://youtu.be/Ujt3h8TlMxE

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  1. Brilliant CNC video Andy bro.. I live in IRELAND and CNC's are not a major thing here atm as far as I know. I mentioned building my own to people I work with and my job designs and builds routers and the boards. I'm new to all this stuff but I have been buying the component parts to build my own. My failings will show up once I begin getting into the software to run this bad boy I want to build. I bought Longrunner Nema 17 stepper motors and I will buy the 1200mm lead screws for the Axis on all fronts. Atm they're very expensive but I will put the lead screws on both sides and I will buy the shorter length screws for the Axis thaT HOLDS THE SPINDLE, ETC.
    Like I already said this is all new to me but I know I can build the CNC eventually. I want to learn about how to set up the Steppers.
    I looked at a Shapoko? for about 800 Euros which was a desktop but it was about 400mm x 400mm cutting size or so. I get u lose some of the board cutting size due to parts on the rails. I have a fair bit to learn over the next 12 months pal but I'm all in now. It's going to take me a little time to get to where I wanna go but eventually I want to build my own small business that please God takes off and allows me to give back to my community in terms of education for youths coming through.
    Most young folks today have a great grounding in computers and all it entails which I never got in school but after school is where a lot of them get caught up in some BS.. I wanna change that eventually. I will take a few years but I intend on changing a whole lot of things around my hometown.
    Apologies for rabbiting on so much bro. Love ur playlist on here too. So much brilliant information on the videos and I will be picking ur brain one day soon about other things in this line. Thanks for the information Andy mate and keep up the great work.

  2. An apples-to-apples comparison for a hobby-class machine is appropriate only for the X-Carve and Shapeoko. Onefinity machines are what I'd call "prosumer" to low-volume production offerings. For this reason (and many others), I'd confine this type of analysis to the X-Carve and Shapeoko.

    Of these, the Shapeoko is a much better machine than the X-Carve…for essentially the same price.

    With all that said, if you're committed to CNC, but aren't ready to step up to an industrial-grade machine, such as an Avid, Laguna, Phantom, ShopSabre, or other 4'x8' or larger machine, save yourself time, money and frustration, and go with the Onefinity Journeyman X-50 (48"x32"). You'll be able to cut 2D, 2.5D and 3D shapes on standard full 4' wide stock; doing what's known as "tiling" for jobs exceeding the 32" Y-axis of the Journeyman. Additionally, due to the use of ballscrews on all axes, coupled with optional larger stepper motors, the feed rates of the Onefinity rival that of machines costing three to ten times as much. The increased rigidity of the machine also makes cutting non-ferrous metal much more of a reality vs. machines targeted to the hobbyist community.

    With access to a ShopSabre Pro408 (4'x8'), I just like having a smaller machine that's capable of handling a majority of the work I do. No high power requirements. No lengthy start-up cycle. Just turn it on, home it and get to cutting. All with similar precision to much larger and far more expensive machines. Ballscrews, not belts or leadscrews. Fast, smooth, accurate motion that's simply amazing…and well worth the nominal premium over X-Carves and Shapeokos.

    As for software, both Easel and Carbide Create can be used with Onefinity CNC's, though the serious hobbyist or entrepreneur will want to quickly graduate to Vectric's VCarve Pro software. A bit pricey, but definitely worth it. Alternatives include OnShape, which has a free hobbyist license, and Fusion 360, which includes both CAD and CAM in the same package.

    One thing this video didn't address is flexibility. Coming from machines with vacuum holddown, that's a must for me, and that's a breeze to accomplish for the Onefinity. A drop table for on-edge work, such as mortises, tenons, dovetail drawer boxes, pockets for cutting board handles or hidden hinges, etc., is also easily accomplished with the Onefinity.

    All this in addition to wired and wireless controller accessories, touchscreen capability, WiFi, remote monitoring/control and, of course, the ability to create simple jobs and run the machine without a computer.

    The Onefinity community is also extremely active and helpful, and a robust assortment of accessories are available from community members.

    Lastly, Onefinity CNC machines are also capable of functioning as plotters, cutting vinyl, leather and cardboard using a drag knife, even laser engraving with either 7W or 14W diode laser offerings. So, after you've cut a project's shapes, you can label parts, make a custom box, even burn a logo or design (or simply cut thin stock) into the product. You're also able to diversify by laser cutting wood and engraving either metal or wood. All with a single, very capable machine. Be prepared to spend upwards of $6,000 for a full set-up, though. On the plus side, this can all be done incrementally, over time, without losing anything. In that regard, the Onefinity is a platform that can be expanded as either your hobby interests increase, or your business expands.

  3. Shout out from down Under Australia. Great video mate. I've been looking at buying a CNC machine for the past few months. I'm a complete novice and found this video very helpful. Cheers. ???

  4. Nema 23 motors specify ONLY the size. What about the power ratings? ONLY the OneFinity uses ball screws, the others use the much less expensive lead screws. It might have been nice to include the Longmill. I have no affiliations.

  5. I think yes, the OneFinity is more expensive, but it provides the next step up from belt driven. I am seeing 3 levels, Belt Driven, Ball screw on all three axis, then a Spindle Drive one (AvidCNS, $5,00+). With the OneFinity you have no belts, I believe you are spending more for that next step to no belts.

  6. Thanks for the video. I enjoyed it and I have a request if you can do it?
    Would you mind doing comparisons between the Onefinity, the Longmill MK2 and the Millright Mega V.
    You did such a good job on this one you should do another comparison. It would be interesting to watch.

  7. Awesome video! I know this videos is older, any reviews on the Bulkman3D Ultimate Queen Bee CNC? I have owned my x-carve since 2016. I have upgraded it as much as possible but I would like to upgrade machines from belt to a ball screw and linear rails as well as a water or air cooled spindle that hold a up to 1/2 bit. This is would be my hobby machine and not business. Any advice?

  8. If you're putting together any desktop machine, laser engraver, 3d printer, cnc, etc, and it takes you more than 2 hours for your first time ever putting one together, it's totally not worth it. 16 hours is ridiculous. I can see that amount of time for a large industrial machine that's a couple thousand pounds, that requires multiple people to put together, but not a desktop unit that has a 15 inch work area.

  9. First let me say think you very much for this video.. very well done and I was just about ready to purchase my CNC.. when another friends presented one more company to look into..
    I've done some research into the CNC but wanted to see what your thoughts are on the LongMill 30×30… my main use for this Machine is to help in the production of my Custom Guitars.

    do you have any thoughts on this company and the Long mill 30 x 30

  10. NEMA23 only refers to the dimensions of a motor mount. There are NEMA23 motors of many different power levels. So your assumption that they use the same motors is not correct. (All the NEMA designations are like this – NEMA17, NEMA34, etc.)

  11. I had a Shapeoko XXL3 and sold it for the 1F Woodworker. Pros for the move.. no belts, no v-wheels, FASTER! and more ridged. Cons.. Firmware needs some serious additions. Such as adding a bitsetter option for doing bit changes in one G-Code. Right now I run different G-Codes for each tool needed. Having the option to preset an X and Y zero for those of us that use stops or dogs for locating our work piece. The mount for the screen is a terrible design, I bought a swing arm mount for mine that works great!
    I was running the XXL3 at 80 IPM, the 1F is set at 150 IPM and can do more. I keep hoping the folks at 1F will come out with an optional controller that has those features for multiple bit tool paths and a designated X and Y zero, but nothing yet.
    Great video! I enjoy watching your stuff, no nonsense straight forward!

  12. X-carb does offer a upgrade to their x-car table at rigidity to the rails goes to a 16mm belt with new Step Motors and offers in you Z height router assembly and it does come now with a DeWalt 611 router.

  13. India enjoy your videos and all the information you offer to everybody out there in the CNC world. By myself m a x-carve owner the one thing I didn't notice that you had said in your video of the three comparisons the height is only two and a half inches not four and a half

  14. I just wish they were not 900+ shipping cost top get to Australia, i have snapmaker 2.0 atm which uses the onefinity screw system but it terrible design when it comes for CNC due to the bed moves that access so it doesnt get the best pocket cuts

  15. You are better off buying you own extrusions, rails, bearings, ball screws, and motors, and building it yourself. For about $4000 yo $5000 you can build a pro-level machine, with 4080 extrusions, Nema 34 motors, digital motor drivers, and a sound proof box, with a double paned acrylic door. You need some time to do all the work, but you end up with something that is not junk. You can also buy machines from China for about $3000, and then .replace the electronics, but you are looking at $4000 without a sound proof box. But for those fairly large machines, likt say 3' x 4' work area, they look like to be a good option. A real CNC machine has to be strong, and to do that means it has to be really heavy in the end. My pro-level machine is relatively compact, with about 20" x 30" work area. It took me forever to make it, as I had many setbacks , because I did not know what I was doing. But I slowly solved all the problems and now I have a fantastic machine. Like the quality of $20,000 machine, or more. But it took so long that it held up my CNC software development. I make CNC software products. . In order to keep developing my CNC software products, I had to build a wooden CoreXY CNC Draw machine, as drawing is the best type of CNC'ing for developing a 2D drawing software program with GCode generator, with auto centering, auto sizing, auto swap XY, for maximum-sizing of a drawing, so that it will take up the full large sized sheet of paper. In fact, my CNC build took so long that I even built a small wooden CoreXY machine for milling PCB's but it was not anywhere near strong enough. The things that delayed my big pro CNC the most is that I ordered the machine built with no pulleys and belts on the dual motor axis that moves the gantry. Because of that, the machine moved way to fast, and it was not really usable. I ordered it built for me with no belts and pulleys on that 1 axis beacuse of the way he wanted to build it,
    which mean it would not be flat and so it would be hard to make a table and sound proof box for it. To solve the problem, I screwed a 4040 extrusion to the side of hte 4080, and then screwed another 4040 to the other 4040 and built a shelf so that the motor could be further away from the ball screw, so that a pulley and belt could be added, to get the gearing I needed, to slow down the machine. I had to have the ball screws machined to accomodate the pulleys and belts, and that took forever. The other big delay was with the crappy motor drivers that I bought originally, which were TB6560S which are inadequate for Nema 34's. I also had to buy a new transformer. I use a 76v transformer to drive 3 awesome digital Yakko motor drivers. And I still had problems. I had to go back and re-wire everything, and use shielded wire for all the controls, and from the Arduino to the motor drivers. But for the wires going from the motor drivesr to the Nema 34 motors, I used large straight, not twisted pair, wire and added a tinned copper braided shielding, and grounded eveyrthing, and now many years later, I have a $25000 pro level CNC with sound proof box, And with the sound proof box, I can mill PCB's in an apartment at 11pm at night, and with a little music playing, no one even knows.

  16. Excellent video. It is exactly what many people are looking for. I like the way you said "these rails look really thin". They WERE really thin. Those 3 machine are made to separate your money from you. They are not to help you. They would be good for a laser and maybe some light engraving, but they are too expensive for that usage, and not strong enough to do anything good with precision. They are basically junk machines. Keep your money in your pocket. Don't throw it away on junk like these 3 machines.

  17. Fantastic job on this! I’m a shapoko pro owner and I must say one thing that’s intriguing with the new guy is I can literally put it on a 4×8 sheet or a table top and crave on it where I have to cut things down to fit on my hybrid table on my shapoko.

  18. Thanks for this review. I am in the market for a desktop CNC and need to understand the basics. I have heard good things about the LongMill CNC – especially regarding rigidity. Those rails look solid. Thoughts?

  19. I'm interested in a cnc router to make custom bass guitars at home. I only have cnc laser and lath experience. Laser uses g coding. I want a working area of 1.5m by 2m. Speed isn't important cause its a hobby.

  20. Looking into cnc for the first time in detail And for what I can see most of these machines are built with very cheap components these are glorified 3D printer frames. What I’m looking for it quality linear rails & ball and screw at least geared nema27 .
    I’m sure we can make better.
    A open source project is most likely my next move at these prices could get some good parts is my thinking.
    Thanks for the upload.

  21. Before you gave us your opinion I had already picket the One infinity. I believe that it is held down by screws and you have to screw the unit down by screwing down the screws on the inside first I think the outside screw holes at the feet on the outside are at an angle that would cause the leg to push or pull the unit "OUT OF SQUARE" . I wished you had included the Longmill in this comparison. I purchased a CNC from Vevor which was a disaster. No support, no operation manual. So I'm stuck with something I know nothing about, now it cost me $895 plus shipping and they reimbursed me a small amount and I keep the cnc which is will be for sale pre-assembled.

  22. As a guy with industrial maintenance experience, I’ll say that I’d rather deal with belts than ball screws, especially from a “average user” standpoint. Ball screws ARE more rigid and CAN be more accurate but they will require more attention. In a factory I worked in, our panel drilling machine used compressed air nozzles to keep wood dust off the ball screws; this isn’t a good idea for a small shop owner who would be relegated to manually brushing the screws from time to time. A dry silicone based lubricant is also a good idea for them so you’ll add some extra supplies.
    As for belts. I’ve witnessed belt-driven machines tear apart their own steel and aluminum structures and smash through safety fences. The Shapeoko 15mm wide belt is an impressive upgrade as far as strength and rigidity goes. You’ll handily snap a bit before damaging the belts and get great resolution in your cuts with them. I’m a breath away from diving into a CNC table and I think the Shapeoko is becoming a clear front-runner in my opinion.

    Thanks for making this video, it really puts the important info together as it needs to be shown.

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