A CNC router is a computer-controlled cutting machine. A power tool router is affixed to the machine that directs its X and Y coordinates as it's cutting. CNC stands for computer numerical control and a CNC router only functions when it's hooked up to a computer loaded with software to direct the tool path of the machine. Router bits of various shapes and sizes are used for achieving different cutting results. CNC routers can be used to cut wood, foam, and plastics, but most hobbyists use it for carving wood. Uses include interior and exterior decorations, sign boards, wood frames, toys, and moldings, as well as larger objects like furniture, boats, and even houses.
Fully assembled and ready to work when rolled out of the shipping crate, the design makes use of a rigid, stationary gantry over a moving table. The gantry is a heavy custom extrusion, precisely machined for sturdy linear rails. The steel and solid aluminum Z-axis also rides on linear rails.
The speed at which a Router spins the bit is called its RPM (revolutions per minute). Every bit has an ideal range of speed or RPMs it needs to operate within.
A Spindle has infinitely variable speeds ranging from around 5,000 – 25,000. In either case the speeds available are not slow enough for machining of metals, however with proper bits, alloys and cooling methods some people experience success with non ferrous metals.The strength or power of a router is rated in HP (horse power) Generally more is better... The harder you plan to work the machine (commercial environment like a cabinet shop) the more HP you will want. Lighter work loads (hobby, prototype, or 3D) call for a smaller motor.