Is the Shapeoko the right fit for me?

Hi there,

I’m very excited about the idea of having a CNC machine at home and the Shapeoko looked really like a great first machine, but being a complete noob, I realize that I can’t determine if it’s the right fit for my needs…

So I thought I’d ask the more experienced folks here!

The machine would need to take on these tasks:

  • Small to medium electronic enclosures (Raspberry, Arduino, …).
  • Robotic related stuff (mostly drone’s frames but also some smaller parts).
  • Resin mold making.
  • Small to medium furnitures.

All those tasks would be done with plastic or wood.

I considered buying a Nomad 883 Pro, but I found it’s build volume too small and the price too high for my current budget. I’ve read that the Shapeoko could take on reasonably small works, is it true and to what extent?

Note that when I say “small works” I’m aware that the Nomad 883 Pro is way more accurate but as a beginner not looking to do some clock works, I’m wondering if I could feel “frustrated” with the Shapeoko accuracy…

I’ve also read that Makita is somewhat better for plastic milling than DeWalt due to its wider RPM range, is it accurate?

Living in France I’m planning to buy a 220V Makita router, would the rest of the Shapeoko works also on 220V? Do I need to buy a French electrical outlet adapter?

Coming from this guide, and being a complete noob in CNC, I struggle to understand how to choose a collets based on criteria like the TIR is there any chance you can point me in the right direction based on what I said above?

Thank you for your time and patience :slight_smile:

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Yes, the Shapeoko should be fine for that, working within its capabilities. Like any hobby machine, it’s a matter of learning the machines capabilities. The machine is capable of better accuracy than a fair number of machinists.

Yes, the Makita is favoured by some folks doing plastics and metalworking for the lower RPM

Yes, the machine works with 220V, but you’ll need a cable:

While the Nomad uses ER11 collets, for the trim routers, the collet systems are proprietary, so you’ll need to get a collet which is compatible with your router. For the Makita, that’s Elaire Corp,:

Get collets which match the shaft diameters of the endmills which you plan on using. We have some notes on this at: — the community has more at:


I think the shapeoko is a great machine with more capabilities than most people can reach. It is very hackable and you can modify it to suit your needs. I myself am also a noob when it comes to machining and cnc work but with the shapeoko i have been able to create some awesome stuff and learn a lot along the way. My biggest advice is if you get it just practice and ask questions! Also if you want some real inspiration look at Vince fab’s aluminum work in the gallery section.

The shortest answer I could give is that the Shapeoko can be surprisingly accurate IF you are willing to put some effort into tuning it just right (squaring, tramming, calibration), which most users do as far as I can tell, and which is half of the fun of buying a CNC kit for me.

I bought the 220v makita and it is capable of lower RPM which indeed helps for plastics.

Choosing endmills is a struggle when procuring them from the EU, but I bought a set of adapters to fit 6.35mm and 3.175mm endmill from the US and all is good.

It will definitely fit the usecases you describe, I had similar needs initially and couldn’t be happier I invested in this machine, and for wood and plastics it’s a no-brainer.

I have a power supply with a EU/french plug, I can’t remember how/where in the order process I selected to get that…or if I just swapped it for the correct type. The part that hurts when ordering from France is taxes and shipping… ouch.

If it can be of interest to you, I documented my early shapeoko days here and here

Et si tu veux des conseils en français d’un utilisateur français de Shapeoko n’hésite pas à me faire un message :slight_smile:


Thanks a lot for the fast and detailed answer Will :grinning:

Gosh you’re like an angel sent by the gods :grinning:

With all the good answers I’ve got, I’m definitely going to buy a Shapeoko but I would LOVE to get some help on the French side of things mainly for the end-mills!

Merci beaucoup :wink:

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You can private-message any member from your profile page/message section, or just click on my icon and hit message, I’ll be happy to help in French. But do share your learning experience and questions publicly here also, this is a wonderful community and future Shapeoko newbies will benefit from it !

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When done I’ll try to make a French/English guide documenting my journey and how to choose the different parts needed for people in Europe and post it here :slight_smile:


We also have: which may be of interest.

If someone would like to compare the history of the English page to it and update where needed that would be most welcome.

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