At a loss. Ready to buy either XCarve or Shapeoko XXL

I know that there may be some inherent bias just because of the nature of the forum’s but I could really use some perspective here. My wife and I have started a small woodworking business. We primarily do engraving on cutting boards. We have narrowed it down to these two machines and still can’t get a solid grasp of one being better than the other. Would love to hear your perspective on the pros and cons of each given the scope of our business. Thanks in advance!

As the owner of a few different CnC routers, and knowing what I know now, I’d have to say that if I were seriously considering a machine for a business, I would pick a machine with supported linear guides and anti-backlash lead screws. Xcarve , Shapeoko, and other machines with little wheels and small size extrusions will have flex that bigger more industrial nature machines won’t have. It really boils down to rigidity and repeatability.

Obviously the work that people show here on their x carve is really nice stuff. While people may say the S3 is more rigid, I bet they are pretty comparable. I like the fact that there are aftermarket accessories to add to the basic X carve, and the flexibility to modify it to your needs.

I bought a Shapeoko2 back when they were out and have added all the stuff to make it a current X carve. Then I added an aftermarket Z axis, 9mm belts, Y axis stiffeners and risers. That made it a pretty decent machine for what my needs are.

If all you are planning to do are cutting boards, then probably either one would do the job.

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… and price … :wink:

What a person really needs to do is truly understand what they are buying. People should look at the hobby CNC routers for exactly what they are. They are a very cheap way to get into CNC … stuff. You can do quite a bit with a wide variety of machines out there, X-Carve included, but one should not compare it to a Haas. Just food for thought …

And by the way, I absolutely love my X-Carve!!


Brandon Parker


The Xcarve is a great first CNC. Easel can do what you are doing in your business and you can change the design in moments. A good second CNC would be cnc4newbie. It solves all the problems that the Xcarve has