Woodworking and other related activities have become much more than a full-time profession for a lot of people, it’s now something that a lot of young people and elderly people are finding pretty fun and soothing. You may be wondering, what is so soothing about something as tedious as woodworking.
Well, that’s probably because you’ve not seen the plethora of new tools that are changing the face of woodworking and other similar activities as we know it. Some of these tools have been around for over a decade, but thanks to the advent of the internet and social media, they are finally getting the respect they truly deserve.
Woodworking isn’t the same, and it doesn’t take someone a lot of clicks or flips of a manual to know why that’s the case.
Here we will be looking at one of the grandest tools that technology has gifted the noble profession of woodworking, a tool that makes everything so much easier, and gives a beginner the chance to unlock his or her creativity.
We will be describing in clear terms what a CNC spindle motor is used for, we will be describing what a CNC Router Machine is used for, we will describe the four different types of CNC routers in all clear terms, and to wrap things up we will be comparing CNC router motors and Spindles.
So without further ado, let’s get to enlighten you on how and why Spindles are the present and probable future of woodworking!
A lot of people are perturbed by the name, and they suspect that the router spindle would be an indiscernible tool that will give them multiple headaches unlocking. Well, the opposite is the case as router spindles are mere “the actual motor doing the cutting, with the help of a cutting tool of course. In other words, it’s the actual router of CNC router”.
Without a CNC spindle attached to the router, it would be utterly impossible to get any work done, and that’s where the majority of its usefulness arises.
It is also worthy of note that you require different spindles for different bodies of work, this would be discussed further along in this discourse. Ensure that your router spindle is the one for the job, to prevent any unforeseen circumstance or stories that touch.
In a nutshell, a spindle is “devised of a motor, a taper for holding tools, and a shaft that holds together all the separate components. Spindles rotate on an axis, which receives input on movement from the accompanying CNC controller”.
CNC Router Machine
Now, here is a machine that needs no introduction, at least to millennials that have picked up woodworking as a hobby, passion, or even a full-time job of some sort.
Computer Numerical Control Machines are known to be the future of woodworking, as although they perform similar functions to the Computer Numerical Control milling machines, they are known to provide greater efficiency, firm control of the wood as long as the job is being done, and top-notch finishing.
While at first CNC router machines may not be everyone’s cup of tea, eventually they turn out to be an asset that even the most technologically backward can’t help but applaud.
This tool is perfect for making intricate or complex shapes, tailoring an already created work to perfection, saving a woodworker from unnecessary waste, and of course, it radically helps productivity and mass production.
The best part about using a CNC Router Machine for woodworking is that your safety is more than less guaranteed, you’ll be saving yourself from unnecessary waste, the efficiency would be radically increased, and most importantly your entire woodworking output would be significantly upped!
Types of CNC Routers
Now that we understand what a Spindle Router is, and what a CNC Router is, it’s high time that we show you the types of routers and give you a glimpse of how they operate. Here they are:
Industrial CNC Routers
This is the most versatile of the bunch, and they have been unfairly tagged as a jack of all trades but master of none. Industrial CNC Routers are pretty large routers that are finely equipped to produce some of the most commonly used products we have in circulation, products such as furniture, doors, signs, among other things.
These routers are the largest on the list and by far the most expensive. It doesn’t come as a surprise, as they do a whole lot more work than the other routers on the list, and the most awesome part is that Industrial CNC Routers can be used for other activities rather than simply woodworking.
Mid-Range CNC Routers
This router has been described as the immediate little brother of the Industrial CNC Router, for the sole reason of their similarities, and ease of usage.
Mid-range CNC Routers live up to their name and billing, as they can perform all the functions shock their industrial counterparts can perform, only that they’ll be doing so at a slightly lesser pace.
Mid-range CNC Routers are the favorite choice for woodworkers that are working independently and can’t afford the industrial CNC router at the moment, they are much smaller, less expensive, and they give off slightly in production.
Hobby CNC Routers
As the name implies, these CNC routers are strictly for the part-timers or people that are merely grasping the complexities of woodworking, taking it one step at a time.
These are also known as homemade CNC routers, which goes to show you what exactly they are all about. A hobby CNC router is built by the person that is going to be using it, as such no two hobby CNC routers are the same.
The productivity of such a router depends on the builder, and how much work goes into coupling it. Hobby CNC Routers are suitable for small-time jobs, practice jobs, and anything that falls in between.
Specialty CNC routers
The last on the list of CNC routers is the Specialty CNC Router, a CNC Router that serves a specific function and doesn’t stray far from the description. The examples of Specialty CNC Routers range from engraving machines to 3D engraving machines, PCB routers, and a lot more.
It all depends on what you are looking to achieve, and lately, 3D engraving machines are in vogue. Routers of this nature are small, portable, specifically oriented, and you’ll be sure to be getting value for money spent.
CNC Router Motors Vs Spindles
Ease of Use
As regards ease of use, it all depends on the level of technical proficiency that the person using it possesses. If the person doing the work is an expert in the field of woodworking then a Spindle would be a better option, the reason being that Spindles need advanced knowledge to operate, as that’s the only way you can enjoy such a sophisticated tool.
However, if it’s a mere hobbyist or someone just learning the ropes then a Router Motor would be perfect for the job at hand. The reason is that just about anyone and anybody can properly operate a basic router.
Just ensure that you follow all the safety protocols, read the manual carefully, and you’re good to go.
As regards durability, the Spindle most certainly has it. The reason being that Spindles are well equipped to handle thousands of hours of strenuous work activity, and they are guaranteed to not break down after a given period.
However, the Router Motor on the other hand isn’t built to last as long, especially if such a router is being tasked with loads of work by the workman or handyman behind the tool.
There’s also a little issue known as the brush, which needs frequent changing when it comes to the Router Motor but doesn’t even become a factor when using a Spindle. Like we always say, the ball is in your court, but the Spindle has a longer lifespan than the Router Motor.
Now here’s something that doesn’t have a clear-cut answer, as both these machines are incredibly noisy whenever you task them with work at hand. It is advised that you protect your ears when working with a Spindle or a Router Motor, as they could be quite an earful.
Spindles are more expensive than Router Motors a brand new Spindle is reputed to cost a staggering ten times the amount that it will take to buy a brand new Router Motor.
However, you’ll be sure to be getting value for money thanks to the durability, extra workload being handled, and the added efficiency that it assures. The most important thing is working with your budget, and honestly purchasing a Router Motor won’t be such a bad idea if you’re cash strapped or working with a tight budget.
Router Motors are all air-cooled, as such you don’t have to worry about that when you’re setting up or using it for the first time. However, Spindles are quite different in make, they are almost exclusively air-cooled, except for the smaller iterations. To set up a Spindle could be pretty tedious, as you’ll need to incorporate a reservoir, piping, pump, amongst other things to get the job done.
The Better Power Tool
While both the Spindle and the Router Motor are amongst the most powerful tools in the entire woodworking industry, there has to be a winner in this high stakes game, and it’s easy to produce one thanks to what we’ve previously discussed.
The Spindle is the machine better equipped to handle more power-intensive projects, as it ticks far too many boxes. The disparity in power usage is so apparent, that the Spindle has been labeled as an industrial device, one which shouldn’t be entrusted in the hands of a mere hobbyist or someone just out to learn a few new tricks.
Spindles hit incredible degrees of power, they go to radical proportions, and the power limitation is almost non-existent. The Router Motor on the other hand is the more laid-back option, a woodworking tool that can hit reasonable speeds, and go twice as hard only for a matter of seconds, after which it would return to the default.
CNC Router Motors and Spindles are both amazing inventions that have changed the face of woodworking forever. They are ridiculously powerful, amazingly efficient, and they make hard work seem so enjoyable (except the noise part).
Spindles might be harder to operate and more expensive to purchase, but they more than make up for these with their efficiency, durability, and ability to get more work done.
Router Motors on the other hand come in different shapes, sizes and prices but they can’t handle the amount of work that Spindles get done on an off day. The choice is yours as regards the tool you’ll be willing to purchase, and whichever you purchase would certainly serve you well.
Just make sure that you’re protected, your ears are well covered up, and ensure that you read the instructions to get the best use of these magnificent gadgets!