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ATC CNC Router VS. Entry-Level Wood Router

Publish Date: Feb. 27, 2023 Author: Jackie Publisher: EagleTec CNC Modify Date: Feb. 27, 2023

CNC Router is a widely known cnc woodworking machine in furniture making industry. It can be divided into different models according to various functions. And different model means different machine costs. Many friends ask: Should I pay another 10k dollars to upgrade my cnc router to ATC one? Is it worth it? EagleTec will give a detailed description to tell you whether it is worth it.


A single-head CNC machine with an MTC spindle is an entry-level cnc router. A computer-controlled device has a more stable hand than a manual technician, so unprecedented engraving precision and efficiency can be achieved. We load the wood and then start the machine. Then the machine will keep working until we stop it.

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ATC CNC router, as the name suggests, it is a kind of cnc router with an auto tool changer (ATC). ATC function means the machine can change different tools as per the production needs automatically during the run of a toolpath file that requires multiple tools.

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We will compare these two models in the following aspects: machine construction, control system, and input-output ratio.


Machine base

All EagleTec cnc wood routers adopt 4mm (not 1.5mm) thick metal tubes to build the machine beds to ensure our machines' performance. But the machine table of the basic cnc router model usually adopts a straight shape. In contrast, the machine bed for cnc router with automatic tool changer is a heavy trapezoidal shape to increase machine stability.

Also, the ATC cnc woodworking machine has a tool library setting behind the machine bed to hold 8 to 12 tools.


An entry-level cnc router spindle is a general 3.5Kw water-cooling or air-cooling spindle (according to the customer's request). ATC cnc router for woodworking is equipped with an ATC spindle which is the essential part that can help cnc router realize the auto tool changing function. Usually, for the economic ATC machine, we use a Chinese-brand HQD ATC spindle. We use the Italy-brand HSD ATC spindle for the ones with higher quality levels.

Motors and Drivers

The basic machine has stepping motors with an ample torque of 6.0N.m; YAKO Stepper drivers model. YKA2811MA and Fuling VFD inverter.

ATC model uses Delta servo on XYZ, dual-drive on Y-axis. (or Yasakawa)


Control system

The basic cnc router model comes with a simple handheld DSP controller. Easy to learn and controlling system is stable.

ATC cnc woodworking machine is equipped with WEIHONG or SYNTEC control system. With a computer screen, we can see the real-time routing path.

Input-output ratio

A basic cnc router costs less than an ATC machine in the purchase process. For small woodworking businesses, a basic model is adequate.

But if you want to enlarge your business, or most of your projects require multiple tools, an ATC model would be the perfect fit. It has an independent tool magazine, which can automatically switch the required tools while processing the workpiece without stopping the work. When routing complex patterns, different cutters can be selected and finish tool settings automatically, dramatically accelerating work efficiency and improving product quality. Production efficiency is often more important than machine cost for some enterprises with large production scales or considering expansion. Greater efficiency and lower labor costs will result in more revenue and profits.


I hope all cnc enthusiasts and practitioners can find their ideal machine. If you are looking to buy high-quality cnc routers, please feel free to contact EagleTec CNC.

Original Post from EagleTec CNC

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