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CNC Router Guidance

A CNC router uses computer numerical control (CNC) to cut pre-programmed shapes and templates from wood and metal with pin-point accuracy. Large standalone units are for professional use while smaller bench top models are a versatile choice for the DIY enthusiast or hobbyist.
CNC routerBoth types feature a fixed or plunge adjustable height bar and a sprung collet for holding the cutters. Adaptable controls for feed rate, spindle speed, step down and step over is provided by the CAM software package.

Tool Paths

The CNC router follows a programmable code or pattern known as a tool path to cut or carve the required shape. A profile or contour tool path is used for completely cutting out loose shapes. A pocket tool path only carves into the surface to create a recessed pattern and the process can be repeated until the required depth is achieved. The router can be used to cut multi-dimensional shapes in decorative panels. Beginners are advised to master the two-dimensional reliefs before progressing to sophisticated three-dimensional work which uses containment boundaries to limit the cutting tool on a set of x and y co-ordinates.


Although there are many specialised tools available, the router uses relatively inexpensive tools or bits that are categorised into four flute patterns.

  • Straight – A versatile bit that effectively removes material
  • Compression – A combined flute pattern that is effective on laminated surfaces
  • Down Spiral – It is less effective at material removal and works at a slower pace
  • Up Spiral – Ideal for removing the surface layer of plywood

The cuts from the router bits as they rotate at high speeds are referred to as climb and conventional depending on which side they are moving on. A left-sided cut is a climb and is particularly useful when the material has a left-sided grain. A right-sided conventional cut offers the beginner a greater degree of control.

Our Service

Stoney CNC has an extensive selection of affordable and professional routers to suit beginners and professionals. Accessories include specialised bits, electronic control panels and mist coolants. Stoney CNC offer training in using our products and we provide fast and reliable customer support.

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