What are the Differences Between CNC Routing and CNC Milling?

We provide our customers with a fantastic range of metal fabrication solutions ranging from welding, CNC machining, and more. One question that we are regularly asked is what are the differences between CNC routing and CNC milling, and is this article we explain all.


What is CNC Routing?:

CNC Wood Routing at Red Box EngineeringComputer numerically controlled routing is a manufacturing process used to guide drill-bits for the cutting, shaping and carving of materials.

This method of routing is very useful when fabricating inserts for tools and equipment in protective cases and other specialty packaging applications. This is because the routing heads can easily fabricate multiple cavity depths.


Utilising CNC routing with foams, plastics, wood or other speciality materials can provide an exceptional and complex part or finish.

Red Box’s High Speed CNC routing using 3 axis control for the production of machined materials. A large bed gantry machine allows for materials up to 3m x 2.5m to be machined in one operation or several matched or different nested pieces up to this size to be routed in one operation.


What is CNC Milling?:

What is CNC Milling?CNC Milling is a type of CNC machining where the cutter is able to move along multiple axes. This means that there is a greater flexibility in the cutting process, resulting in a vast number of shapes, holes and other impressions being cut into your chosen material. By comparison, a standard drill has a much more limited level of flexibility due to it being restricted to a single axis motion. This means that milling offers our customers a greater level of possibilities.

Metal materials are most commonly milled, but almost all types of materials are suitable. It is important that the right CNC machine tools are chosen though, depending on the material used for the process. To achieve the best results, it is essential that the material density is considered. You also need to consider the rotation of the cutting tool, before any work is carried out.


What Are the Differences Between CNC Routing and CNC Milling?:

Although very similar, there are key differences between CNC milling and CNC routing, with the biggest being the type of materials that they are largely used for. Soft materials, such as plastic, light metals and wood are ideal for CNC routing. CNC milling is more adept when used on heavier materials, such as heavy metals, hard plastic and wood. This is due to mill machines usually being far stronger than router machines.

Also, if the job requires greater precision, CNC milling produces far better results than routers. This is down to the fact that the milling machine is able to cut metal at an incredible 1,000th of an inch, hence why this process is extremely common across industrial tasks, as precision is key.


Our Capabilities:

Red Box Engineering are able to provide our customers with both processes at our factory in Totton, Southampton. Now that you know the differences between CNC Routing and CNC Milling, please contact us with your individual requirements.

We offer our services throughout the nearby areas, including Eastleigh, Winchester, Salisbury, Portsmouth, Andover, Fareham, Waterlooville, and throughout the UK.