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crookedkut,

I cannot tell you much about the Stepcraft I have the X-carve XXL. It is great for what I do. It will carve about 30 in 30 in product. It works very well when you get it adjusted. This is a kit you must put together, however there are great instructions on the net. If I were to buy again, I would look around and see what it is out there.
The Shark C NC Machines are very good and they come assembled. I have the smaller version with a a 12 x 12 cut. The X-carve for the price is pretty tough to beat. One other thing, there service is great and their support people are very knowledgeable and willing to help and have great patience in my case. Yes I would buy the same unit again.
good Luck
 

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I am not real familiar with Stepcraft, but looking at the pricing I am guessing they are a kit based or entry level CNC similar to the XCarve.

The biggest thing to ask yourself before making a purchase decision is what are you wanting to cut? Those machines should cut wood okay, as well as softer materials. If you want to get into working metals such as Aluminum or Brass, these machines may not be the best option for you.

Another consideration, you can look at what I am doing, and build your own machine. For about the same cost as one of those two machines you could build a more robust machine. There are several guys here in the CNC group that have completed machines. It is not as difficult as you may think, however it is a definitely time investment. I am now into a year of building my machine, though I haven't worked on it at all this winter.
 
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