September 26, 2022

CNC routers cut wood and other materials into numerous shapes. In woodworking, they are employed to produce pieces such as stair risers, table legs, and doors that have various types of cutouts. If you need to purchase one of these devices on a limited budget, shopping for used CNC routers is a good choice, as used woodworking tools commonly cost at least one-fourth less than new ones. Below are helpful tips for selecting pre-owned CNC low volume machining equipment that offers excellent dependability and performance.

Determine the Grade of Equipment You Need

There are three grades of woodworking equipment: hobby grade, performance grade, and industrial grade. The grade you need depends on four things:

  • How much work the machine will produce
  • The type of work it will produce
  • How frequently the machine will be operated
  • How long the machine will be owned

Industrial grade equipment is used to produce a high volume of heavy-duty work daily for a period of decades. A mid-grade model is capable of producing a medium volume of light-duty work daily for a period of years. A hobby grade model should only be used for low-volume, light-duty work that is performed irregularly.

Buy Reconditioned Equipment

Reconditioning improves equipment by replacing old parts and cleaning the inside of part housings. Unlike standard maintenance, which focuses on preserving the dependability and performance of the equipment, reconditioning focuses on increasing the equipment’s dependability and performance. Buying used CNC routers that have been properly reconditioned is almost like buying new equipment.

Inspect the Equipment

Inspecting equipment firsthand is the best way to assess its state of wear. Special care should be taken to inspect inner components such as wiring, electrical connections, gears, and the cutting mechanism. If the equipment has been reconditioned, the inspection should not reveal problems. However, even reconditioned equipment should be inspected.

Test the Equipment

Most sellers are let potential customers test equipment before they buy it. The test is usually short, and may not involve any cutting. Nevertheless, simply listening to the machine run and observing its movements is helpful for detecting potential problems such as misaligned gears or a failing motor.

Evaluate the Seller

Evaluating the seller is accomplished in four simple steps:

  • Speak with several of the seller’s professional references
  • Check the seller’s record at the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Be sure the seller has a physical business location
  • Make sure the seller has been in business for a minimum of two years

Sellers that have excellent references, a physical business location, have been in business for a minimum of two years, and have a clean BBB record should be considered reputable.


When they are properly maintained, and reconditioned after a certain period of operation, used CNC routers offer excellent reliability and performance. Because CNC equipment is usually expensive, many woodworkers choose to buy it from a seller of used woodworking tools. As long as the seller has credible references, a good record at the BBB, and has operated from a physical business location for at least two years, it meets the criteria of a reputable seller.

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