A woodworking router (not to be confused with an Internet router) is a tool used to cut shapes in hard materials, most often wood. If you have a table with rounded edges, it was most likely shaped that way with the use of a router.
Routers first started out as handheld tools, first manual and then electric. By attaching different router bits you would get different results when cutting through wood. Nowadays, the most often type of router used by professional woodworking shops is the CNC router.
What does CNC mean?
CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. This type of router is controlled solely by the computer. Generally speaking, the computer tells the router how to move and what shape to cut. The user has the freedom to virtually create any kind of cut, as long as they can program the computer in a way the router can understand it. To do that, CAD (Computer Aided Drawings) software is used. The user can create their own designs and use pre-made designs shared by other users on the Internet.
What can a CNC router do?
A CNC router is an automated power machine and it is not limited by the steadiness of your hand. It is an extremely versatile machine and is an essential piece of equipment in any woodworking shop.
A CNC router can be used to make decorative edges on a piece of wood, carve intricate patterns into the surface, cut out grooves in any desired shape, create holes, and much more. Automation also means that you can repeat exactly the same pattern however many times you want. This is useful if you are creating your own line of furniture and want to make them look more unique. And if your clients ask you after a year to create another project with the same pattern you will have no trouble recreating it. The computer will hold all the information for you. The end result will always look perfect and exactly how you want it to. A CNC router is the most accurate router there is. Any industry that works with wood, be it furniture-making, creating wooden art or musical instruments, will benefit from having a CNC router. CNC routers can also work with other materials, such as acrylic, PVC and glass.
What are the best CNC routers?
CNC routers are not only for professionals. If you are an avid woodworker in your spare time or are into DIY, you can always purchase one for personal use, provided you have enough space at home. Fortunately, there are some smaller models available just for this purpose. Find the best cnc router reviews on HandymansGarage.com. Some of the features you want to look out for are speed settings control, the capability to work with different router bits, a kill switch and an easy-to-use control system.
As with any router, you will need to take some safety precautions. Even if the machine is automated, you still should not leave it unattended because you never know when something can go wrong. Use eye protection and a dust mask to protect yourself from sawdust.