Updated router choice - makita vs "purpose built" cnc routers

Alright, lowrider kit order placed at the V1 store, very stoked!!

As best I can tell, this has not been asked directly (I found one of the options buried in a thread about rail stiffness) - and definitely doesn’t seem to have been circled back to in the last couple years.

Has anyone seen any relevant comparisons between the makita 700 series (I’m ignoring the dewalt 611 because of it’s higher min speed) and the couple “purpose built”/custom cnc Routers available in the same price bracket? All about $150:

While I’ll be making cabinets for myself right away, I hope to eventually solve some problems I have in metal, which would stress the bearings and make runnout matter a lot more than plywood. And CNCs in general are obviously a ton harder on a router than hand use.

some of the [old] threads that got me here:

All the “CNC” routers are is a trim router like the Makita but with ER11 collets. Same with the Kobalt. While that Carbide3D one is $150, there’s a version with 1/8" and 1/4" collets for $80. I personally haven’t done anything (at least yet) with a bit with a shaft outside those sizes. From what I can tell, the speed, specifically a slower RPM, is the most important part. I typically run my Kobalt with an 1/8" single flute at a speed setting from #1 to #2.

Then you can get a spindle that you can control the speed from the controller, but I’m not well versed on that. Cutting metal is a bit more advanced and I haven’t done that yet either. Aluminum seems reasonable but steel is pushing the boundaries of what it’s capable of.

Note that replacing a router might involve 3d printing some minor parts, but isn’t difficult. I don’t think any of these is a bad choice.

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Yeah, the pessimist in me strongly agrees!!

However, my thinking was that esp. for the spindle bearing, a company “designing” (ordering from an ODM, I’m sure) a new router and expressly considering CNC use would have astronomically higher loads & duration on that bearing, right? For the likes of Carbide3d this would be reputational, for lowes this would be a 5yr warranty that (I assume) can be returned to store (no paying for shipping, etc - ie more likely to be used).

I have never worked in this particular space, but in related engineering problems there is a LOT of nuance with the supplier to tailor the quality for each part to the need. At the volume a Kobalt sees, they’re looking at fractions of pennies on literally every part. There’s a lot of room their “duration testing” to uncover failed shaft bearings leading to a few more pennies spent there to optimize profit vs warranty costs.

All speculation obviously.

on the separate topic of the ER11 collet itself - an additional reason I’m hesitant to just go with the strongly recommended makita is that a big use case of mine will involve drilling holes - buying a cheap er11 collet set will let me use cheap small drill bits directly. This seems like a lot better solution than putting a jacobs chuck in the 1/4" collet of the makita, which would be less accurate and take up a ton of my Z travel.

Maybe this could be a plan B, Added ER11 chuck to my Makita RT0701C