Nomad o Shapeoko for engraving Stainless Steel?

Hello, everyone. I´m new to this forum, my name is Liza from Monterrey, MX and would really appreciate your advice and opinion.

I design and sell personalized (engraved) stainless steel jewerly and accesories, such as keychains, necklaces, bracelets, dogtags (militar) pet tags, etc. All the pieces I make are small and flat. Some of them can be as small as 1/3" wide x 1" long or 3/4" diameter. Most of the pieces I make are not that small, but I need to be able to go as small as that. Currently I only engrave the parts, do not cut them, but if I can find a machine that can do both: cut and engrave, it would be AWESOME! If If it only engraves, it´s ok as well.

I really love the Nomad 883 and I´m seriously considering to buy it, but would very much like to read your opinions based on your experience with both, the Nomad and the Shapeoko. Which one would you recomend for me considering I know nothing about CNCs, but I´m smart and fast learner though) hehehe

Here are some examples of the type of work I do so you can have a better idea of the results I´m seeking.

Thanks a lot, I really look forward to read all your opinions.

Have a great day!

What type of Stainless Steel? 303, no problem, 304/316: need a SLOW spindle (Less than 9k)

I engraved my 303 Stainless Watch:

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Thanks Rich! It´s 316 actually. Can the Nomad or Shapeoko engrave it?

To expand on Rich’s answer, to do 316 stainless steel you won’t be able to use a stock trim router (which spin at 10,000 RPM at their slowest).

Not sure if a VFD can make a trim router spin that slowly and not overheat.

One would need a specialty spindle — the community has various notes on them at: another concern is whether or no the machine is rigid enough to hold position at the forces needed to make the cut — anyone have any calculations on what those would be and how they’d compare to the Delrin V-wheels?


Nomad: Yes (right out of the box)

Shapeoko: As Will stated


Thanks a lot for your opinions. So, just to confirm I got this right: Nomad can engrave stainless steel 316 right out of the box. Shapeoko would need to be modified to spin slower, right?

One more question. Would nomad also cut stainless steel 316? If so, how thick?

Thanks again!! :smiley:

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316 is tough stuff which work hardens — can you use 303 instead?

Previous discussion:

I will have to further investigate on this. I hope I can though, seems like the easiest way to go.

Thanks a lot!!