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Best Wood for CNC Machines

Best Wood for CNC Machines

CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine technology is essential in nearly every industry. This technology makes CNC components for persons in the healthcare, automobile, aerospace, military, and electrical sectors because of speed and precision. CNC machining is critical to machining projects' success. This method is used in various materials such as metal, plastic, wood, ceramics, and rubber. This technology's dependability is also employed to create remote sensing equipment.

CNC makers develop these tools using lathes, grinders, mills, and other cutting equipment in contemporary machining. Precision machining is used to construct these tools, which decreases the possibility of an error during data collection in sectors like the aerospace sector. You can use any materials stated above with CNC machines. This article will focus on the best wood you need to get the best results with CNC machines.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Woodworking CNC Machine

To get the best results with your wood, it is vital to get the best CNC machine to work with. The following are some factors to consider:

Check the requirements

First and foremost, make sure that the functionality of the woodworking equipment you've chosen precisely fulfills your requirements. Some people prefer product just because they enjoy the brand or features, even if it does not meet their needs. As a result, double-check that the device's functionality matches your requirements.

Check your budget

Another important consideration is your budget for obtaining the necessary woodworking equipment. Many woodworking tools are, in fact, rather pricey nowadays. Furthermore, higher-quality instruments are always accessible at a higher cost. On the other hand, some people overlook higher-quality equipment, favoring lower-cost alternatives. Again, low-cost machines may not survive as long as higher-cost equipment, may not perform effectively, and require regular maintenance and repairs.


Another consideration is the size of the woodworking machine with the available space in your workplace. If you have a spacious workstation, you can easily fit many large-sized instruments there. For tiny workplaces, however, compact and small is preferable. A combination machine is also recommended since it can execute numerous functions in a single unit.

Things to Consider When Purchasing Wood for CNC machines

When purchasing wood for your CNC routing project, there are a few things to keep in mind. What you need to know about the piece of wood you're about to buy.

  1. Size: Check to see if the piece of wood is sufficient for the project. Because you require various routed wood signs, you may need to use a smaller or larger part to avoid wrapping or knot.
  2. Appearance: Searching for a nice piece of wood for your routed wood signs is also important since it should be as clean as possible. Check if the mold or marking on the wood thal makes your task more difficult.
  3. Wrapping: Wrapping a piece of wood differs from the thickness of the wood. This is usually caused by the quantity of moisture in the wood and the drying process. Wrapping comes in a variety of forms:
  4. Bowing: is a type of wrapping that occurs on the surface of the wood.
  5. Crook: A wrapping that runs the length of a piece of wood.
  6. Kink: A wrapping with a more localized effect on the wood.
  7. Cup: A bow that runs the length of the wood.

Factors to Consider for CNC Cutting Wood

Here are some essential factors you need to consider before choosing wood for CNC cutting.

  • Grain size: The grain size determines whether the wood is hardwood or softwood. We have a range of complex and softwood to pick from below.
  • Moisture Content: The moisture content of the wood determines resilience, flexibility, and durability. High moisture content wood is susceptible to quick decay.

Types of Wood for CNC Machines

Every wood substance has its characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses, and the tools you use in the shop will influence how you handle it and what you can accomplish. Everything from tool selection to sawing speed and beyond is influenced by material. Generally, both hardwood and softwood can be used for CNC machines, but there are specifications in picking the best wood.


Hardwood is typically made from transitory trees (those that lose their leaves during the monsoon) and is darker, tougher, and more resilient than softwood. They're known for creating microscopic incisions and cutting intricate details. Hardwood expands more slowly than softwood, so it is costly, but it is still a long-lasting material that may be used to make high-quality decks, flooring, furniture, and other items.

Here are some of the best hardwoods to choose from:

1.    Ashwood

Ashwood is a dense, light-colored wood with several rings in its grain. Its mechanical qualities, including rigidity and hardness, make it ideal for CNC projects such as chairs, tables, and hockey sticks. You may even use your CNC lathe to shape a piece of Ashwood into baseball bats or route it into tennis racquets. Ashwood is the second-best choice because of its toughness and shock resistance.

2.    Beech

Beech is comparable to Ash in terms of strength, and it can be bent to produce chair and table legs. Because Beechwood does not split, it is easy to grind. Because beechwood has no odor, it may manufacture spoons cutting boards, and plates. They may be used to make goblets and turned items.

3.    Elmwood

Elmwood's hue ranges from light to medium reddish-brown. Although it is classified as hardwood, it's on the soft end of the range. While cutting Elmwood, avoid using a low-powered spindle since it can easily pull out when cutting across the grain. Elmwood may be used to produce furniture, cutting boards, decorative paneling, hockey sticks, and bats.

4.    Mahogany

Mahogany is prized for its solid reddish-brown appearance as well as its strength. It is water-resistant, making it an excellent choice for boat construction. On your CNC lathe, you can convert a block of Mahogany into gorgeous chalices. Aside from that, Mahogany wood may be used to make musical instruments, furniture, and flooring.

5.    Oakwood

Oakwood is dense and resistant to fracture. It also has a strong ring grain, making it ideal for objects with a high aesthetic value. It is resistant to dampness and weather, making it suitable for furniture pieces and shipbuilding. When routing the end grains on Oakwood, perform short passes and utilize a supporting board for cross-grain cuts to avoid splinters.

6.    Walnut

Walnut wood is a costly brown hardwood that is sturdy and long-lasting. Because of its ability to absorb shocks, it has been chiefly utilized for gunstocks.  It's a popular choice for woodworkers for sculptures, relief carvings, furniture pieces, and musical instruments. While walnut does not burn as quickly as other woods when machining, create shallow cuts to avoid tear-out.

7.    Cherry wood

Cherry wood is strong and has a mild reddish-brown hue. It does not readily warp; thus, it is suitable for carving crafts. When milling cherry wood on a CNC machine, the notches of the tools must be razor-sharp. Leaving sear marks on your product may occur if you use rough tools on Cherry wood. Cherry wood may be used for turning, carving, and cutting. They can be used for any purpose.


Softwoods aren't all the same; some are tougher than others, so make sure you choose the right one for the CNC routing job. Softwood comes from trees with needles that don't shed in the cold and are often lighter in color. This type of bit is easy to cut, but if it is dull or low quality, a split will most certainly emerge.

1.    Cedar

It has a reddish-brown hue and a unique, pleasant scent. The wood contains numerous knots, making milling difficult. It's resistant to the elements and may be used for outdoor furniture, poles, boats, and fences. Cedarwood, unlike other hardwoods, does not burn quickly at low feed rates.

2.    Firwood

Firwood has a regular pattern and is simple to work with. Even though it is softwood, it can be used for furniture and flooring that would usually be reserved for hardwoods. It offers a comparable level of durability to hardwoods. Furthermore, it has a bit of blunting impact on cutters.

3.    Pinewood

Pinewood has a lighter, pale tint and is relatively light. It doesn't shrink much and keeps its shape. Pinewood is soft, yet it is hard enough to make machining difficult. Detailing and carving are challenging because of the hardness. When dealing with pine wood, decrease the length of cuts to prevent splintering.

4.    Redwood

Redwood is unique for its red color and its resistance to decay.Its exceptional resistance to moisture and other environmental factors makes it fit for outdoor purposes. 


CNC routing is quite interesting with wood if you are the type to play around with it. We’ve provided some of the best wood that would make CNC routing easy for you. We’ve also provided some factors to consider when purchasing your CNC machine.

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