What CNC router is everyone using?

Hi everyone, just doing research into what cnc i might purchase. I think my budget will be around £25k. Does anyone have any recommendations for the UK?

Ive seen on the wikihouse manufacturees guide there are some listed such as shopbot PRS, Masterwood nesting, Tekcel M-series, biesse rover B, mechmate, axyz, elephant & maslow. Does anyone have any experinece with these?

Ive seen scott+sargeant do a itech / tigertech machine has anyone experience with these also?

Many thanks


I was looking up this information recently too to cost up a second CNC Router for our team. Unfortunately there is a lot of good information on the old Slack groups about this. Others may want to comment but I took a screenshot of this from the Slack channel that I think is a good summary. @Piyush and @melhof may want to comment further on their experience in the past 11 months.


Thanks amscraig, unfortuanelty Ive got on the wikihouse bandwagon too late for the slack content as it looks to be getting cancelled. Shame as it looks like there is a lot of great content on there. I will check out Blue elephant CNC though.

For me I think im would be happy to get a cheaper 3-axis machine intially that will provide the basic package of vacuum table, dust collection, PC screen and something I can get post processors for easily. Something that has been problematic in the past. Also I want a supplier who offers a good setup & support service in case something goes wrong and I need assistance.

On a side note I visited the Biesse factory to see the Rover B in action with the rest of their showcase products. I must say the experiecne was amazing this 5 axis product far surpasesd my expectations what would be possible with a CNC machine. Maybe one day I could purchase my own!

Hi Liam and Amber,

Last year we purchased Pegasus ATC router 10’ x 5’ and it is impressive and cost around £30K. I would say you may not need to spend this much if you can get one from China spec’d to be same.

I would say you need to look for minimum below.

  • Solid Cast IRON chassis
  • 9KW ER32 spindle
  • Vacuum Pump
  • Servo motors on all axis if possible

After this, you can add all sorts of bells and whistles.

Cutting wikihouse and custom cabinet making non-ATC machine would work nicely. If you want to go into contract manufacturing for furniture etc, I would say you would need ATC.

Maintenance of the machine is something you would want to keep in mind, the simpler it is, the easier to clean and maintain. The complex machine could go wrong in many ways and have to look after it.

Cutting 500 sheets of wikihouse as opposed to cutting 150 sheets of furniture grade part - would make equal money but have a considerable amount of difference on machine wearing.

Hope this helps.



Hello Leo and fellow CNC producers,

I would like to recommend the BlueElephant machine for those who are looking for a cost-effective option that comes with standard generic parts and a sturdy build. BE is one of the biggest machine producers in the world and can produce ANY type of machine and customiz it to your specific needs. Compared to a German machine, BE costs only 15% of the price, even after container transport and import taxes. You can purchase approximately 6 BE machines for the price of 1 German machine.

After conducting a multi-year study comparing many Chinese producers and their specifications, I can provide advice on which parts to choose and technical advice if you give a referral to BE using my name. The machine I purchased from BE has a CE certification shield, and they provide basic electrical schematics. However, you will need to connect all pumps, extraction, and compressor yourself. It is recommended to have an expert check your wires and wire thicknesses to ensure everything is properly connected.

BE provides support directly on a WhatsApp group of factory floor engineers and even gave me a live video call to change a setting in the control computer. However, keep in mind that in Chinese culture, they may not say “no” and may avoid answering a difficult question instead. But no hard feelings, you need to communicate as simple as possible and they are happy to answer the next after. BE sends spare parts for free if under warranty or at a significantly lower price than what you would pay in the EU. Although they cannot come to your door to install or fix, they do have resellers in some countries that can sell you a standard machine and come to your door.

When considering the quantity of use, it’s essential to estimate your main purpose for the machine, maximum electricity connection, and how much space you have in your workshop. I recommend staying away from self-made or very slow machines like Maslo, as a WikiHouse can have up to 500 sheets of plywood, which can be costly and time-consuming if your machine is slow or under-equipped. You don’t want to risk of failure or expensive complications due to cheeping out on the machine.

For those who want to produce more than a few houses and have a big enough workshop, I suggest investing in an automatic loading and unloading system for plywood sheets. But this limits general use with blocks of wood thicker than 6cm. And @Leo_098 this will stil fit in your budget.

A strong vacuum table, preferably with multiple pumps, is essential, but keep in mind that you will need a capable electricity connection for it. The frame of my BE machine is double the size of normal machine and made of welded iron, which is absolutely sturdy and doesn’t shake or deform. With the whole installation of tables and accessories, the machine takes up 10x5m floor space, and you will need about 4 times that for a workshop.

With 2x 11kW vacuum pumps on the table holding down the sheets, 2 pressure rollers on top for holding down support, I can cut with an 8mm compression router bit at 24,000 rpm at about a 7m/min feed rate, cutting 18mm thick plywood in one go. For an average WikiHouse sheet of 40m cutting distance, with engraving numbers, drilling, and pockets, it takes me about 10 minutes to cut a sheet. More straightforward sheets take less time (5 min), while very complex sheets [full of bow ties] may take longer (25 min).

I hope this information helps those looking to purchase a CNC machine for plywood house production. If you have any questions or would like further advice, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Here a timelaps of me producing parts on my BE machine in my workshop near Granada, South Spain.


Thanks Piyush & Melhof, both answers really go into great detail. I have looked at both cncs previously and both are impressive. I even got a quote from opus today about a Pegasus 2030 ATC CNC which was similar to what you had paid Piyush. I think whats key for me is a company that has uk based offices so that if i need the intial setup and ongoing support it is readily available. As this such a huge investment for me i cant afford for anything to halt progress after i take the plunge.

The time analysis you give given melhof is intereting. I never thought of the loading table was a must be will definitely consider it now based on you recomendation.

I’ve just had a BE arrive last week at the recommendation of @melhof - I paid around 19,880 USD for the machine, then 1650 USD shipping to NZ.

On top of that I had a 15% GST payment at customs, had to pay 400USD to Devan, then another 400USD to have it delivered to site. I have also hired an electrician to set up the wiring as our workshop was not specced for it. The electrician needed to replace two cables in the loading and unloading table to add an earth/ground as required by NZ standards. I estimate that will cost me another 1000-2000 USD.

I would check your workspace electrical capacity before buying a machine, it can cost thousands to tens of thousands to upgrade it and take several months to do so. If you are renting a workshop, make sure they can provide 3-phase 30-45kw of power to your machine; we had to upgrade our system.

My only complaint with BE is that there was no instruction manual on how to unpack or put everything together, but it was all pretty straightforward. They have been very quick to respond on the Whatsapp chat, and I’m definitely going to buy more from them in future.

I’ll do a write-up on the whole process from initial discussions with BE, to ordering, then finally to first cut once I’ve got everything set up.


Thanks Lachlan, great shout regarding rhe electrical requirements for the machine. I will definitely keep these in mind. You will have to upload some videos of it up and running. It seems crazy (despite how easy you found it) that there would be no assembly instructions, I would have thought this was a must. Although there are quite a lot of instructions videos on youtube for various cnc assemblies.

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I just want to support what @lachlan mentioned about ensuring where you install the machine will have 3 phase power. It took a good month before we could connect our machine up properly to 3 phase power. That was only because our landlords were amazing and daisy chained us off another warehouse. However, it took almost a year for the electricity company to sort our connection out properly. If our landlords weren’t so amazing we would have been without power for a while.