X carve or pro?

Hello, I’m in the market for a CNC and have settled upon inventibles x carve or the pro. I’m hoping someone has insight as to which machine would be the best choice for me before I make my purchase (as well as recommendations for bits).

I’m currently using a scroll saw to make children’s toys (animal figures, puzzles etc.) Typically I am using 1" hard maple. I need a machine that can handle intricate cuts and is simple to use as I am new to the world of CNC.

I’m leaning toward the xcarve over the pro as I’m not sure I need the larger machine as long as the xcarve can easily handle what I’m working on.

Thanks for any and all input!

Disclaimer: I don’t own an x-carve or an x-carve pro. I own 2 modified openbuilds lead cnc’s (chinese knock-offs) and one homemade screw driven cnc.

If you’re set on deciding between the x-carve or x-carve pro, I’d recommend the x-carve pro. Mostly because it is ball-screw driven vs. belt driven. IMO this will give you far better cut quality especially in the harder woods. You’re less likely to lose steps w/ a screw driven machine vs a belt driven machine. You should also have improved resolution with the screw driven machine over a belt driven machine.

I’m not saying you can’t do it with the x-carve, and I’m sure there are a number of users on here who can attest to the quality that they can achieve with their standard x-carves.

We’d love to see a few pictures of what you’re planning to make. Maybe we can give some more feedback based on them.

Good luck with your choice and welcome to the community! Let us know if you need any help w/ designing with Easel.


Thanks for your input Ethan! Here is a photo of the types of toys I am building. They are rather simple right now as I’m just beginning :slight_smile:

I guess the way I look at it, it boils down to accuracy and repeatability. You want supported linear guides, ball screws or anti-backlash screws, and a rigid framework to really achieve that. If I were really interested in using a cnc for a business, I’d look at the Pro.

I have a shapeoko2 upgraded to current X carve specs. I added an aftermarket Z axis, stiffeners, risers, and 9 mm belts. I have extra extrusion supporting the machine. I can do lots of things with it, but at the end of the day, it’s a hobbiest machine.

I’m sure you could make your parts with it if you can stand minor variations in them, but 1" maple is pretty hard stuff. You’ll have to take shallower cuts and more of them with such dense material. Those extra cuts lead to those minor variations in my opinion, as the bit will flex a little.

You could probably do some creative roughing and then a final cut to depth all the way around. If I were you, I’d find somebody with an X carve and see if they’ll cut something for you. That way you can see if you would be happy with the results.

It may make more sense to buy your second machine first. :-).

The only benefit of the X Carve Pro over the X Carve…truly is speed.
I mean, there is some accuracy improvements there, but that’d be a thing due to trying to push the machine beyond good speeds.

You can honestly cut these things faster with a skill saw faster than you could with a X Carve Pro (even cranked up to 200%)… but the big thing is:

  1. Do you have space for it? I mean, it’s about a 5’x5’ area needed (Assuming you do the 4x4 Model). If you did the 4x2 model, i’d still suspect about a 5’x3’ area.

  2. Do you have the money for it? You can get a X Carve fully loaded for under $2k… but the new XCP is $10k+.

Do what you feel comfortable with, and ask yourself if you can truly justify the price.

From my experience this is inaccurate. A rigid framework, supported linear guides, and ball screws are substantially superior to wheels and bearings riding on extrusion guided by belts. You can get high speeds out of the x carve on belts too. The flexing of the parts on an x-carve and the structural rigidity is what makes the Pro more substantial. You get what you pay for with cnc routers like anything else. Look at higher end machines and you’ll see what the components look like and make comparisons.

1 Like

You’re absolutely right. I reread my message, and would like to add.

Speed w/ Accuracy is the pro’s true selling points.