What do you think? Good Deal or NOT

I need some community wisdom.

As I patiently wait for the Shapeoko PRO XXL to come online so that I may buy one there is a Shapeoko for sale locally. Super low miles (10 hours total use) with an aluminum spoilboard.
Very nice

Built in 9/2017

The price might be less

The things that I can see different are

Belt Z axis
4 Year Technology
Thinner belts

I can wait a few months to invest in the bigger CNC real-estate needed for bigger projects that the PRO XXL offers

What are your words of wisdom for me?
Buy or Pass

Thank you in advance for your wisdom.

Cheers :beers:


As an owner of an XXL and XL unless you are going into production two units takes up considerable real estate. The belt Z works well but the HDZ is a lot better.

Carbide Motion does not like moving from machine to machine. The last time you send a configuration to a machine Carbide Motion remembers and treats the other machine like the last one you plugged into. That is fixable by sending the configuration when you change machines or have two computers.

So depending on the deal you will need a BitSetter, a BitZero and a BitRunner to make the machine really sing. You can do without all of that but they make the machine so much nicer to use.

The Pro has all the accessories included but you have to wait. Since I dont have a Pro I cannot say they are that much better than a Shapeoko 3 but my Shapeoko 3 makes some great stuff. My XXL had proximity switches, BitSetter, BitZero and BitRunner with an HDZ. The XL is Belt Z with mechanical switches, BitSetter, BitRunner and BitZero. In a way it is the difference between a Mustang GT or a Shelby. Both are fast but one is got more bells and whistles. Frankly I could drive a GT into a wall just as fast as a Shelby.

So what does your pocketbook say, do you have the spare cash to have two machines?

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@gdon_2003 Thank you so much for your quick reply.

That is good to know. I wonder if VCarve operates in a similar way. The proximity switches are a concern now that you mention it.

The costs of the accessories add up quickly if I buy separately to add to the old Shapeoko 3 to make it a smoother operation. The 16” x 16” work area will be outgrown fast.

The only thing that makes me still consider the used one as well is that is fully assembled and tuned.

Thank you again @gdon_2003 for chiming in with your expertise

Cheers :beers:


I dont think Vetric Vcarve will care which machine you use. I think you pick the post processor for the machine you have. Pretty sure the Desktop version of vcarve can only work with 24" x 24" until you go to the Pro version. Not sure but I think that is correct. The gcode for a project that is 24 x24 or less is exactly the same as for a 3 standard vs an XXL. The difference is in the post processor for the accessories to insert into the gcode for the BitSetter and automatic spindle control. You will have to look at the Vetric site for more guidance.

The Carbide Motion is the gcode sender for Carbide3d Machines. There are other free and pay gcode senders to use. Carbide Motion only works with Carbide3d machines.

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I own a Pro and also a few 2019 Shapeoko 3’s. The Pro is a complete redesign with almost every part having been upgraded, including a very sturdy frame that is a huge upgrade to the S3.
You can get a brand new S3 for 1400 with a C3D router, a ZPlus and new electronics and a Sweepy V2 which is very nice. Also if you wait a minute you will be able to get a S4 for slightly more.

Not trying to wreck a sale but the spoilboard upgrade is probably not worth buying a 4 year old machine for within 10% of the price of a new upgraded unit.

S3 is a great machine to tinker with, and that machine could be upgraded. Maybe offer $800-$1000…

I do not see a bit Zero or Bit Setter included, they are essential upgrades imo.

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You could update that to current specs by adding a Z-Plus for $250, or better still, get an HDZ.

and update to 9mm belts and rebuild it to pretty much like new for a $70 Maintenance Kit.

The alu. table is really nice and I suspect won’t be made again — it’s a great upgrade though and was $400 — whether you prefer it or the SO4’s extruded alu. bed and integrated MDF strips w/ optional HDPE filler strips is a matter of preference.


If one of these was for sale locally I would have bought it, done a @Vince.Fab to it (linear rail conversion and a HDZ) and used it for aluminium.


Does a machine this old have limit switches standard or was that made available after 9/2017?

What other things should I double check on a machine this old?

Thank you for your awesome input. I appreciate and respect your wisdom.

It has push button homing switches w/ the older sheet metal mounts.

As noted, the Maintenance Kit will allow you to rebuild the machine to like new.

It has the newer sheet metal electronics enclosure as well.

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