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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When I first saw this article on the top 11 CNC routers for 2020 I kind of just shrugged but I looked at it a bit closer and realized how bad it was. That compelled me to this post.

It started with a post on a different forum about the "top 11 routers for 2020". I am always a little suspicious of lists like this and within a few seconds it became clear my suspicious were warranted. First off, all of these routers are "low end". Most expensive is about $1500. Cheapest is about $250. There is no discussion along the lines of "what to look for in a CNC router".

To begin, this is posted at the top of the page: "When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission." OK, not necessarily a bad thing but... At least they are up front about their place in the marketing chain.

Next I read this "I and the rest of the team combined our extensive knowledge in CNC routers in a bid to find the market’s very finest." Oh, so a site with the word "Toolz" in the name has extensive knowledge of CNC routers. Of course glancing at the team's picture is very reassuring. They certainly look like they just popped out of the, uh, er, central casting lounge.

Then, onto the meat of their reviews. The number one CNC router (based on their extensive CNC knowledge of course) is a $250 machine with 3D printer steppers/drivers, a tiny work area and a vastly under powered spindle. That's number one. Oh, and their vast expertise leads them to say this about the work area "Although this may not be the greatest volume a router can offer, it is large enough to handle nearly all your DIY projects." I guess so, if all your DIY projects are for things around the doll house. I'm not saying this router is useless but it has a lot of limitations and these weren't addressed at all. Sadly, this router now becomes "Highly rated". Oh, and "not the greatest volume" - uh, maybe that should have been "is close to the smallest possible volume".

Each of the subsequent 10 routers on the list gets a similar treatment.

I wonder what their criteria for ranking is. Maybe the size of their affiliate commission?

[edit] The URL was removed by the mods because they don't want to send people to bad sites like that. I support that. If you care, you can use google to find it.[/edit]
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Here's the reason for the review site (bottom of the page plus what you noted), Phil - "Toolzview.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising & linking to Amazon.com. Amazon, The Amazon Logo, Amazonsupply, and the Amazonsupply Logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. As an Amazon associate we earn affiliate commissions from qualifying purchases."

I am removing the link because its sole purpose is to generate clicks and therefore money in someone's pocket, regardless of the accuracy of the reviews. We get spammers who have some connection to the revenue and we ban them as spammers.

Hope you understand!
David
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here's the reason for the review site (bottom of the page plus what you noted), Phil - "Toolzview.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising & linking to Amazon.com. Amazon, The Amazon Logo, Amazonsupply, and the Amazonsupply Logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. As an Amazon associate we earn affiliate commissions from qualifying purchases."

I am removing the link because its sole purpose is to generate clicks and therefore money in someone's pocket, regardless of the accuracy of the reviews. We get spammers who have some connection to the revenue and we ban them as spammers.

Hope you understand!
David
OK, no hard feelings. I just wanted to warn people about how bad it is. Those idiots probably never used a CNC machine in their lives. And, frankly, the site is so inept in their review process that the results are pretty much comedy.
 

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Reading reviews is kind of an art form alright Phil. You have to try and figure out first if the poster knew what he was talking about, is just there to promote the product on the seller`s behalf, or didn`t really know how to use it properly and is ranting about something that`s really his fault from a lack of knowledge and experience. Even with the best reviews you only find out how well the tool operates. It rarely tells you how reliable the tool will be in the long term. Sometimes web searches will tell you that though if you type that model in and search for reviews on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am also on some CNC related Facebook groups and an amazing number of people buy those little 3018 machines and then ask what now? They also figure that all the software costs too much, since “My CNC only cost $200!”!
The thing is, there is lots of free CNC, CAD and CAM software out there. Some of which is quite good. F360 for example. F-Engrave is too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Reading reviews is kind of an art form alright Phil. You have to try and figure out first if the poster knew what he was talking about, is just there to promote the product on the seller`s behalf, or didn`t really know how to use it properly and is ranting about something that`s really his fault from a lack of knowledge and experience. Even with the best reviews you only find out how well the tool operates. It rarely tells you how reliable the tool will be in the long term. Sometimes web searches will tell you that though if you type that model in and search for reviews on it.
TruDat! That's why I draw from all manner of sources when looking to spend money on something. It used to be that user reviews were a great source of info but these days even they need scruitiny with a jaundiced eye. Lots of "ballot box stuffing" to keep the review number high. Fortunately there are still 1 star reviews and you can see how bad something really is. I think the best example of a good system is Harbor Freight product reviews. They show the good with the bad. Lots of good information about failure modes and they also include a lot of fixes so you know going in what you might have to do to keep the product working.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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OK, no hard feelings. I just wanted to warn people about how bad it is. Those idiots probably never used a CNC machine in their lives. And, frankly, the site is so inept in their review process that the results are pretty much comedy.
Yes sir, that's why I left everything you wrote - nothing at all wrong with that! I just didn't want folks to click on the link and generate further income for a 'nothing site'.

David
 

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Glad it's marked but not taken down. You have to look at a mix of reviews on many sites. If they are ALL good, or not many and all good, it virtually shouts, CAUTION!!
 

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Steve
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Yes there’s a lot of terrible reviews out there . I find tons of bad tips on YouTube channels also , whether it’s regarding bathroom plumbing or roof repairs .
You have to do your research. Best advice I’ve gotten so far was on Forums such as this
Do you look up reviews on insulation too Rick? :grin:
 

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Amazon's reviews are pretty good too and Home Depot's aren't too bad. You do have to sort through them and weed out the ones from idiots.

I was on one or the other looking at buying a new 1/4 sheet pad sander and thinking about a Milwaukee when I read a review by Charley L, who I figured was the the same Charley L from this forum (and it was because I pmed him to make sure) who said don't buy it, you won't be able to keep the paper on it. That was a review I knew I could trust.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No geez that’s like putting a cross in a vampires face
Isn't this something like the 6th anniversary of people giving you gas about insulating your shop? At some point I think it's ok to give them a solid Dough McKenzie "Take off, hoser", eh?
 

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While reviews are a source to consider it can be highly questionable. First you have to consider if the person using the tool is even competent enough to use the tool properly. I've read many reviews where they had no idea. Tools that require sharpening for example. Yes new planes and chisels are somewhat sharp new and out of the box but really require honing before initial use if they are to perform as expected. Yet I've seen reviews that slam how badly they "cut" rather than slice/shave. And Amazon is one of the worst places to look at reviews as your more likely to read a review that has nothing to do with the model you're considering. They seem to list all the brand reviews together.

Not to mention the people that don't seem to understand the star system. How can a reviewer give 5 * to a " worst tool ever, drill bit couldn't cut through warm butter" or 1* and sing it's praises as the "best ever". I tend to look at the 1 & 2 star reviews and see if there is anything repetitive and of substance that also shows in other reviews elsewhere.

But I also put more stock in several forums by asking questions of users and looking at their responses. At least this way I have a feel for a users group. Still doesn't mean it's a sure thing but at least you have a group with experience and most of the forums have users very willing to share their knowledge and those willing to correct those who post inaccurately.

One other thing to consider is common sense. If in the case of say a CNC you see that prices range from $250 - $5,000 and up you have to realize there are many variances in models and makes. Knowing what you want to do and hope to eventually should be a guiding consideration. Going to local woodworking dealers even if somewhat of a drive and actually seeing the machine or similar is well worth the time and trouble. Taking a beginners class with such a machine if possible is also well worth it.

Finding out the abilities and limits is key unless you just want to buy, try, sell, and repeat until you finally find something you think will do the job. I also think utilizing searches on reputable magazines such as Fine Woodworking, Wood, Wood Smith and so on is a good practice. Go to their websites and do a search of the tool you're interested in and look for reviews.
 
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