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CNC Mill vs CNC Router: Which is Right for You?

Are you considering investing in computer numerical control (CNC) machinery for your workshops or manufacturing facility? With the variety of options available, it can be challenging to choose between a CNC mill and a CNC router. Both machines offer precision, automation, and increased productivity. However, they have distinct differences that make them suitable for specific applications and industries. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences, capabilities, and common use cases of CNC mills and CNC routers to help you make an informed decision.

What is a CNC Mill?

A CNC mill, also known as a milling machine, is a versatile machining tool used for cutting and shaping various materials. It operates by removing material from a workpiece using rotary cutters. CNC mills are capable of performing complex cutting operations, including 3D contouring and drilling holes at precise angles. They are commonly used in industries such as automotive, aerospace, and metal fabrication.

Key Features and Applications of CNC Mills:

  • Precision cutting and sculpting of metal and hard materials.
  • Ability to handle larger workpieces and heavier cutting loads.
  • Ideal for industrial applications requiring high accuracy and repeatability.
  • Used for creating components, molds, and prototypes in various materials.
  • Offers compatibility with a wide range of tooling and attachments.

What is a CNC Router?

A CNC router is a computerized cutting machine that utilizes a rotating cutting tool to shape and carve materials. Unlike CNC mills, routers primarily focus on cutting softer materials, such as wood, plastics, and foam. They come in different sizes, from small desktop models to large industrial routers, catering to a range of applications. CNC routers are widely used in industries like woodworking, sign-making, and cabinetry.

Key Features and Applications of CNC Routers:

  • Precise cutting and engraving of softer materials, especially wood and plastic.
  • Ability to create intricate designs, patterns, and decorative elements.
  • Used in industries like woodworking, sign-making, and artistic production.
  • Well-suited for applications that require high-speed cuts and finer details.
  • Offers compatibility with various cutting bits and specialized routing tools.

Choosing Between a CNC Mill and a CNC Router

The decision between a CNC mill and a CNC router depends on your specific requirements, materials, and desired outcomes. Consider these factors to make an informed choice:

  1. Material: Determine the type of materials you primarily work with. If you mainly deal with metals or dense materials, a CNC mill is preferable. However, if you predominantly work with soft materials like wood or plastics, a CNC router is more suitable.
  2. Complexity: Evaluate the complexity of your designs and projects. CNC routers excel at intricate cuts, while CNC mills are better suited for precise drilling, three-axis machining, and complex surface contouring.
  3. Size and Weight: Consider the dimensions and weight of your workpieces. CNC mills handle larger and heavier materials, making them suitable for industrial applications that demand stability and robustness.
  4. Speed: CNC routers are generally faster than CNC mills, making them advantageous for high-speed cutting and intricate engraving. Mills, on the other hand, provide superior accuracy and precision.
  5. Cost: Budget is an important consideration. CNC routers are typically more affordable than CNC mills, making them a popular choice for small businesses or hobbyists.

To sum up, both CNC mills and CNC routers have their own strengths and applications. Your decision should be based on the materials you work with, project complexity, size requirements, speed, and budget. It's advised to consult with experts in the field or manufacturers to determine the most suitable machine for your specific needs. Investing in the right CNC machinery will enhance your production capabilities and improve your overall efficiency and profitability.

cnc mill vs cnc router

Asianstar: Professional CNC Machining Supplier

From year of 2005, Asianstar Company establish the CNC Machining Factory in Guangdong Province, China.
We mostly provide CNC Turning, Milling, Drilling, Grinding, and Multi Machining processes service on various materials.
With the Belief of becoming a key supplier in the supply-chain of Precision Components, we strictly control our product quality, keep high precision on our components production, buildup the whole-process QC System and submit the satisfaction for every order.
By long term development, we have buildup partnership with world-wide clients, supporting our partners in Designing, Optimizing, Producing and Testing on each type of components.


CNC Turning Service

CNC Turning Service

Our CNC Turning Service provides different sizes of roll shape work-pieces, the diameter range is from 0.5mm to 480mm, reaching tolerance +/-0.003mm.

CNC Milling Service

CNC Milling Service

Our milling machines and CNC centers are able to produce complicated structure part, five-axis devices produce multi-sides at one-time jag which bring high precision result

Sheet Metal Fabrication

Sheet Metal Fabrication

Our Sheet Metal Fabrication provides slicing, punching, bending, welding, painting and assembling for set products, unique tooling for each project to raise production efficiency

Aluminum Extrusion

Aluminum Extrusion

Our Aluminum Extrusion brings clients various shapes of aluminum parts, high efficiency for mass quantity, our precision extrusion mold control tolerance within 0.01mm

Forging Service

Forging Service

For some steel serious products, we apply Forging Service to make out their outer shape and them use CNC devices to start drilling, forming, rolling, cutting, etc.

Finishing Service

Finishing Service

Our Surface Finishing Service uses chemical or electro post-treatments after machining tasks are finished, normally includes Oxide, Anodizing, Passivation, E-Plating, Painting,etc.


CNC Brass Machining


CNC Machining Brass material is used for wide range components, we support clients to produce a variety of parts such as gears, locks, electronics, pipe fittings, etc.

CNC Copper Machining


CNC Machining Copper material is soft and easy to machining on different shape of components. We mostly produce copper components for electric devices by machining and stamping

CNC Aluminum Machining


CNC Machining Aluminum materials is one of our most used materials. We support clients to turning, drilling or milling on aluminum material from size 0.5mm to 470mm

CNC Stainless Steel Machining

Stainless Steel

CNC Machining Stainless Steel are common material for wide range components, we produce Stainless Steel turning parts, milling parts, high smoothness components, etc.

CNC Titanium Machining


CNC Machining Titanium material brings components superb features, we use titanium to produce high precision work-piece for clients from aircraft, aerospace, medical devices

CNC Plastic Machining


Our CNC Machining Plastic materials includes ABS, HDPE, LDPE, Nylon, POM, Peek, Polycarbonate, etc. We produce them in high precision and high smoothness.


Experienced Skills

Asianstar have long term experience in CNC machining service and built up skillful team servicing clients from designing to product

High Quality

Asianstar QC system controls the production following internal quality protocol, which make sure every procedure are working under quality demands

High Efficiency

Asianstar abundant facilities allows multiple machining process, we can support clients in rapid sampling/prototyping and quick order lead-time

Competitive Price

Asianstar has enough in-house facilities for all machining processes, so we can choose the best machining solutions to make the production cost lowest


  • Q1.Do you support ODM/OEM?

    Yes, we support ODM/OEM, we provide custom-made service for clients or even support clients on designing or improving

  • Q2.Do You Have Stock
  • Q3.What Is Your Production Capacity?
  • Q4.Where Is Your Factory?
  • Q5.Can You Provide Samples?
  • Q6.How About Your After-sales Service?
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