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How to Choose the Right CNC Router for Your Workshop: A Beginner’s Guide

By Paul

March 12, 2022

cnc, woodworking cnc

Time to Upgrade the Workshop

5 minute read...


At Dusty Workbench, we're always looking for ways to improve our shop's efficiency and productivity.

One of the things we decided we needed was a CNC machine to help us with precision cutting and engraving. 

However, choosing the right CNC machine can be daunting, so we wanted to share our experience and what we learned during the process.

Researching Types of Machines

We began our research by looking at three different types of machines: hobbyist machines, professional industrial machines, and professional desktop machines.

Each had its own advantages and disadvantages, and we had to consider our budget and the size of the machine we wanted.

Hobbyist Machines

We looked at hobbyist machines like the X-Carve, which are less expensive but have limited capacity and reliability.

They can be a good option for beginners or those with a limited budget, but we ultimately decided that we needed a more robust machine.

Professional Industrial Machines

Next, we looked at professional industrial machines, which are built for heavy-duty use and are extremely reliable.

However, these machines can be very expensive and often require a dedicated workspace.

While they were tempting, they weren't a practical option for our small shop.

Professional Desktop Machines

Finally, we considered professional desktop machines, which are designed to be a middle ground between hobbyist and industrial machines.

These machines are more affordable than industrial machines but offer more capacity and reliability than hobbyist machines.

 Ultimately, we decided that this was the best option for our shop.

LongMill CNC Router MK2

After doing our research, we decided on the LongMill CNC Router MK2. It was the perfect size for our shop and offered the capacity and reliability we needed.

The LongMill comes in three different sizes: 12x30, 30x30, and 48x30, so we were able to choose the size that worked best for us.

Materials and Applications

The LongMill can work with a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, soft metals like aluminum and brass, and machinable foams and waxes.

This made it the perfect choice for our woodworking and fabrication needs.

Features and Specifications

The LongMill was designed to be the best hobby CNC router in its class, offering rigidity and reliability.

It has large extruded aluminum rails, fully supported Y-axes, 1/4" steel gantries on all axes, high-power NEMA 23 motors, and high-precision MG-12 type linear guides on the Z-axis. 

It also comes with all the electronics needed, including a power supply, controller, drivers, and motors.


In conclusion, choosing the right CNC machine for your shop can be a daunting task, but it's worth doing the research and considering your options.

For us, the LongMill CNC Router MK2 was the perfect choice, offering the capacity and reliability we needed at an affordable price. We're excited to see what we can create with this machine and look forward to sharing our projects with you!

We encourage you to read up on this machine by going to the Sienci Labs website. You will be happy you did.

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