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Thread: Benchtop CNC $2500-3000, What Companies Have the Best Phone Support, Etc?

  1. #1

    Benchtop CNC $2500-3000, What Companies Have the Best Phone Support, Etc?

    You folks have given me some great ideas in the past about acquiring my first CNC router for my shop. Specifically, the two names I hear frequently are Shapeoko and Inventables. I have a small shop and manufacture a miniscule product, so I would never need a table larger than 12" x 24". Also, two-axis is fine for theforeseeable future.

    Budget range: $3000, tops (and that's stretching it).

    I have an Epilog laser that is the cat's meow and, as most of you know, Epilog has a well-earned reputation for excellent customer service, phone support etc. I am brand-new to CNCing and, although I have some machinist friends to help me get up to speed, I definitely want to deal with a company that is accessible and ready to assist on the phone for quick questions. I don't mind purchasing an off-shore machine, but only if that company has a solid support staff here in the States.

    With all that being said, appreciate your insights and recommendations.

    Scott

    P.S., I do a LOT of research before pulling the trigger, so this aquisition is slated for fourth quarter of 2021.
    Last edited by Scott Memmer; 03-03-2021 at 6:46 PM.

  2. I love my Shapeoko and the customer service has been great. I've probably only talked to them on the phone once but they have always replied to my emails and their community forums are extremely helpful. I have a Shapeoko XXL that I've been upgrading with the newer parts they keep coming out with. I'd love to just get the new Pro version but I can't justify it as my older machine still works great. If you really only want phone support you should post on their community forum and see what people say about that. You will get a lot of responses.
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 03-14-2021 at 8:41 AM. Reason: Removed link to forum

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy Weymouth View Post
    I love my Shapeoko and the customer service has been great. I've probably only talked to them on the phone once but they have always replied to my emails and their community forums are extremely helpful. I have a Shapeoko XXL that I've been upgrading with the newer parts they keep coming out with. I'd love to just get the new Pro version but I can't justify it as my older machine still works great. If you really only want phone support you should post on their community forum and see what people say about that. You will get a lot of responses.
    Sandy, hi. Thanks for taking the time to post.

    Yes, they have a great reputation and are certainly one of the companies I'm looking at. We're getting some revenue coming in through tax refunds and stimulus, etc., so I'm hoping to move up my timeline on acquiring a machine to May or June, rather than the fall.

    Thanks Again. Safety and health to you and those you love.

    Scott
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 03-14-2021 at 8:41 AM.

  4. #4
    The way I look at it, when someone tells me that a company has great customer service and answers questions fast, I tend to avoid those companies because that tells me that they must have problems. I prefer companies that I should never need their customer service.
    You really should choose which one offers the best forum. Usually you will just need to be taught how to do something correctly and you can get that info quickly from other members on active forums.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Bobby, I can appreciate why you feel that way and with all things equal, never needing assistance would be great. But the reality of things for the very large numbers of folks buying CNC machines these days is that they need help with conceptual things. That's particularly true with the hobby buyer which the OP appears to be. I absolutely agree that a strong user base forum is an amazing benefit...I certainly take advantage of that myself! But accessible and pleasant customer support from the manufacturer is also a good thing.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
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    Cambridge Vermont
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    A CNC router isn't like a circular saw. One is pretty basic while the other is much more complex. Being an entry level most likely means CNC routing is something new. With so many places for something to go wrong someone new is going to need support. It could be on a forum like this (or the manufacturers forum where more specific answer can be had) but if that isn't enough then you'll need the help of the people who made it. One of the brands in the OP's price range has a very bad track record when it comes to after sales support. While I haven't ruled them out they are much lower on my list because of it.

  7. #7

    OneFinity

    I picked up a OneFinity - they are in the price range you've mentioned, and have outstanding customer support. With steel rails, and ball-screws, I think they are a step up from the belts/wheels of the Shapeoko and X-Carve.

    Unfortunately, they are so popular that there's a 3+month backorder.

    Check them out: https://www.onefinitycnc.com/

    Mike.

  8. #8
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    I can highly recommend the Canadian - built Sienci Long Mill. http://www.sienci.com. The largest has a capacity of 30" x 30". It uses lead screws, not belts. After sales service is excellent and there is a very active user forum.
    Grant
    Ottawa ON

  9. .....................
    Last edited by jeremy sanderson; 11-19-2021 at 10:35 PM.

  10. Bobby i agree...a good designed machine should not need cust service...i buy product not customer service...ehen you buy a product its in your hands your control...companies come and go so cust service serves no purpose....ive got well made cnc machines that are 25yrs old and company been out of business for 29 yrs...who cares...i dont need cust serv ...the machine does what it should.....when u buy crap like bobs cnc xcarve and shapeoko you will spend more time with headaches then msking things....there are many better options at same price range....xcarve and shspeoko use marketing techniques that remind me of late night tv infomercisls for their overpriced junk products
    Last edited by jeremy sanderson; 11-19-2021 at 10:42 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy sanderson View Post
    And Long Mill...junk.

    Don't know what this means. What is "long mill junk"?
    David

  12. ......................
    Last edited by jeremy sanderson; 11-19-2021 at 10:43 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy sanderson View Post
    It means long mill is a crappy designed cnc...just like bobs cnc...ultra low end and not very capable

    OK. What is a "long mill"? Is this one that uses long endmills, or?
    David

  14. Its a diy.kit..home hobby cnc machine ..search online

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Jeremy, there are lots of folks who are happy with their hobby machines for what they paid for them. To you, they might be "junk" and that's ok...don't buy one. But to them, they are productive tools. It's all relative to expectations. Not everyone can afford a big Camaster or ShopSabre...or even their very reasonably priced 2x4 sized machines. Shapeoko, Inventables and others have machines that are functional and affordable. Same goes for the next tier up from there. I'm very happy I was able to afford my Camaster machine, but I'm also very happy when others get enjoyment from what they decided was the best choice for them.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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