CNC drilling machines are widely used across various industries to automate drilling processes, making for a more efficient production line.
While they’re typically used in industrial settings, more and more cheap CNC drilling machines are also becoming available, allowing hobbyists to get involved.
Whether you’re a hobbyist or a business owner, there are several considerations to take into account when purchasing a CNC machine. Working area, compatibility, durability, torque level, spindle speed and usability are just a few of the factors that come into play. With so many things to consider, finding the right machine for you can be tricky. That’s where we come in.
We’ve recommended our best CNC drilling machines for 2021. Our list features both cheaper CNC drills alongside industrial machines, so there’s something for everyone.
Before we get into the top CNC drilling machines, however, let’s first take a closer look at how CNC drilling works and where it’s used.
What is CNC Drilling?
A computer numerical control (CNC) drilling machine is a machine that drills holes in a workpiece using a rotating cutting tip according to code sent by a computer. CNC drills essentially automate the drilling process.
These machines work in tandem with CNC software, which sends instructions to the drilling machine. The user inputs a computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) file into the computer program, and the machine then cuts according to the instructions sent by the software in the form of g code.
Like other CNC machines, CNC drills are beneficial as they’re much more accurate and efficient than traditional drilling methods. Due to this, CNC drilling is widely used for mass production across various industries.
Most CNC machines are capable of cutting a wide range of materials, from glass and wood to plastics and soft metals. This makes them an invaluable tool to a whole range of different businesses, including woodworkers, metal and plastic fabricators, and even computer part manufacturers.
While CNC drilling is most widely used in industrial settings, there are now several low cost machines that hobbyists can easily purchase for home use.
These days, many CNC machines are able to perform multiple functions – routing, milling, engraving, drilling and so on. So, you may be wondering when a drilling machine is better than alternative machines.
Well, the key to this is knowing that CNC machines that can perform specific drilling functions are generally less widely available and more expensive than standard routers or milling machines.
This means that it’s only worth buying a CNC drilling machine if you specifically need the drilling capability. This is most commonly required in industrial production. If it’s something you could easily drill yourself, you could save some money by just going with a regular CNC router or mill.
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Vevor 3040 CNC Drilling Machine – Best Cheap CNC Drilling Machine
- Price: $579.99 — Available on Amazon here
Vevor is well known in the CNC industry for its high quality machines, and their 3040 CNC drilling machine proves it.
This machine has a wide range of applications – as well as drilling, it’s suitable for routing, milling and engraving. So it’s a versatile machine that you can use for a wide range of different CNC projects. You can use it for drilling plastic, wood, acrylic, PVC, PCV, MDF board and other materials.
It has a working area of 300 x 400 x 500mm and is equipped with 3 axes with a working travel of 300 x 400 x 55mm.
One of the most impressive aspects of this CNC drilling machine is its durability. It’s built with an aluminum backing plate, so it’s very hardy and provides steady drilling. The plate is dust-proof, making it easy to clean and reliable over long term use.
The Vevor 3040 CNC machine also has three durable chrome shafts which have a long work life, and the cover plates help prevent the screws and shafts from becoming damaged. With the chrome shafts as sliding units and 1202 trapezoidal screws as driving units, the machine is very efficient and drills quietly.
Another positive feature is the flexible coupling that can be used for high torque transmission, providing plenty of power. It comes equipped with a 57 two-phase stepper motor on each axis, and the spindle speed is up to 8,000 RPM/min. You can use the spindle motor knob to make small positioning adjustments, which helps provide precise drilling and engraving.
Finally, this Vevor CNC drill machine also has great compatibility. You can replace the traditional parallel interface with USB, and it’s compatible with a wide range of Windows operating systems.
CNC 3020 400W Drilling Machine – Easy to Use CNC Drilling Machine
- Price: $900 — Available on Amazon here
This is a 3 axis CNC drill router that’s suitable for both amateur and professional use.
One of the main aspects that makes this 3020 CNC drill machine suitable for hobbyists is that it’s incredibly easy to set up and use. The kit comes with a control box, rack, motor, software, tools, and fixtures, and there’s no need to assemble – you can plug it in and get drilling right away.
This machine is suitable for various applications – as well as drilling, it can be also be used for cutting and carving.
It’s compatible with a wide range of materials, including native wood, MDF board, plastic, PMMA, acrylic, and soft metals. So whether you want to build prototypes, make models or create artwork, you can do so with this CNC machine.
In terms of the specs, this machine has a CNC drill table size of 400 x 240 x 400mm, with a working area of 300 x 200 x 80mm. The spindle is adjustable and reaches speeds of up to 9,000 RPM/min.
There is a USB port so that you can connect the drill machine to your computer, and it’s compatible with Windows operating systems.
Foraver CNC 3040T 4 Axis Router – Best Affordable CNC Drill Machine with 4 Axes
- Price: $880.02 — Available on Amazon here
This is another affordable CNC drilling machine that stands out thanks to the fact it has four axes, rather than just three.
If you’re not familiar with the differences between 3 and 4 axis CNC machines, 4 axis machines have a rotational axis alongside the regular X, Y and Z-axis.
This allows them to work on more sides of a workpiece in a single fixture, providing greater flexibility, accuracy, and efficiency. 4 axis CNC drilling machines can also drill 3D and round objects rather than just plane drilling.
The Foraver CNC 3040T drilling machine is a user-friendly machine that’s small enough to easily keep at your home.
It can drill many materials, including metals like steel, solid wood, MDF board, stone, and composite plywood. It’s designed for both industrial and hobbyist use, can be used for creating signs, advertising, arts, and more.
This CNC drill press machine is equipped with an aluminum alloy frame to ensure it’s strong and steady, as well as cover plates that reduce screw and shaft pollution. It also has a spindle motor knob that makes it easy to make small positional adjustments.
One downside of this drilling machine is that it can only be controlled by a desktop and isn’t compatible with laptops.
DNYSYSJ 1500W 6040 CNC Drilling Machine
- CNC Drilling Machine Price: $999 — Available on Amazon here
This is a high quality CNC router drill machine that’s suitable for a wide range of applications, including industrial production, art creation, hobbyist projects, and teaching.
The DNYSYSJ CNC drilling machine has some great features that help it stand out. For example, it has a water cooled spindle motor that allows it to work longer times than air cooled motor machines. This also helps it maintain efficiency over long working times and extends the machine’s working life.
This machine also has high quality ball screws that make for precise engraving and excellent durability. The aluminum alloy structure of the machine and the pressure cast aluminum pipe water jacket makes for a far steadier, stabler machine.
It can work with a wide range of different materials, including aluminum, copper, wood, acrylic, PVC, MDF board, plastic, and silver.
This CNC drilling machine has a working area of 600 x 390 x 120mm. As this is a fairly small machine with a movable frame, it’s ideal for hobbyists and small businesses. You can easily connect the machine to your computer and other external devices like a 3D printer via the USB port.
Ten-High 3040 CNC Drilling Machine with 4th Axis & Sink Device – Best CNC Drill Machine for Small Businesses
- Price: $3,000 — Available on Amazon here
This is one of the more expensive CNC drilling machines, but it offers exceptionally high quality drilling and is perfect for serious hobbyists and small businesses looking for a 4 axis CNC Machine.
The sink is made of 304 stainless steel, which can protect the tool from heating when working on hard materials. This CNC drill machine is also very strong and stable thanks to the powerful clamping force.
This means you can use this machine for a wide range of applications. These include PVC, acrylic, two-color board, solid wood, engineering plastics, MDF board, stone, Bakelite and soft metals like aluminum, copper, silver and gold.
Another excellent feature of this machine is the high quality ball screw with reversibility, high efficiency and low frictional resistance. This helps make the machine very stable and accurate during drilling.
Another benefit is that water-cooled motor in the main shaft. This allows the machine to drill for a long time while maintaining high performance and accuracy. The motor is also low-noise.
The Ten-High 3040 CNC drilling machine is equipped with a USB port and supports various systems, including 32bit and 64bit on both computer and laptop.
There are three purchase options for the Ten-High 3040 CNC drill machine. We’ve shown the price for the machine with a USB port, 4th axis and sink device, but there are cheaper versions with either just a 4th axis or neither a 4th axis or a sink.
StyleCNC S7-2412S – Best Industrial CNC Drilling Machine
- CNC Drilling Machine Price: $28,000
If you’re a business owner looking for a professional CNC drilling machine that offers high performance and efficiency in an industrial setting, you can’t look past the StyleCNC S7-2412S.
This is a really versatile 4 axis CNC machine that can be used for vertical drilling, horizontal side drilling, pentahedron drilling, and slotting. It’s excellent for woodworking and furniture making, but its versatility means it can be used for a wide range of different applications.
For example, you can use it for sign making, advertising board or wall decoration production. It’s suitable for drilling a wide range of materials, including wood, marble, organic boards, double color boards, plastics, glass, bamboo and soft metals. As well as drilling, you can also use it for cutting, milling and carving.
One of the best things about the S7-24122S is that it’s incredibly easy to use for an industrial drilling machine. It requires just one key to start, and you can simply scan a QR code to start drilling without the need for setting, debugging or programming.
This is also an incredibly industrial CNC drilling machine. It has an inclined vertical working table with automatic positioning, meaning that workpieces can be slid onto it without moving the working head, allowing the machine to drill continuously. It’s up to five times more efficient than traditional row drilling.
The machine can drill 60mm narrow plates and has an automatic detection module to detect the sheet size. Thanks to the auxiliary clamping mechanism, the machine can process bent or warped panels normally.
Finally, it comes with free training and 24/7 technical support by phone and email should you ever require assistance.
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