- More Info
Now includes VCarve Pro 7.0 w/Cut 3-D software package
(over $900 value!), 1/2'' dia. V-groove router bit and two
Bring the speed and precision of computer-controlled
machinery to your
shop with this top value CNC Shark® system! With a table
measuring 15-3/4" x
31-1/2" it’s ideally suited for carvings and machining
operations on a large
variety of signs, doors and other small projects. It boasts
speed, accuracy, and ease of use. With its robust steel and
poly-ethylene construction, it can take accidental impacts
damage or destroy an aluminum or MDF machine.
Clamping Table features two hold-down slots for securing
length of the table. The unit comes with two hold-down
hold-downs are available separately). It is fully compatible
with the Bosch
Colt Palm Router and includes a 1/2" diameter V-groove
router bit. The CNC
Shark also includes the new
version (7.0) of the VCarve Pro w/Cut 3-D software package —
over $900 value. You supply a
PC computer with USB 2.0
port and a Bosch Colt router (router sold separately).
Simply connect the USB
cable to the controller box and the other end to your
compatible with Mac computers).
Made in the U.S.A. Rockler is the exclusive distributor of
this item in the United States.
Don't forget to download your FREE CNC Project Plans
from Woodworker's Journal!
Please note: This item can only be
shipped within the 48 Continental United States. There is a
15% restocking fee on all CNC Shark returns.
, a new website presented by Rockler where CNC
Shark and CNC Shark Pro users can chat together, watch how-
to videos, ask questions, learn from each other and even
show off their CNC Shark projects. Now online - visit today!
Choosing the right CNC Machine for your shop can be
difficult with so many details to sift through. Whether you
are a hobbyist looking to make extravagant gifts or a
to mass produce detailed wood products, Rockler has the
perfect model to fit your needs!
*Longer lengths will require support
beyond the table surface.
16,000 - 35,000 RPM
||1.5 - 2.25 HP
& .50mm (Conical)
||Depends on Material
||PC; Windows XP or Newer
(Excluding Windows 8)
||PC; Windows XP
(w/Latest Service Pack) or Newer
Pro and Cut 3D
||VCarve Pro, Photo
Carve, ARTCAM, BMP,
|VCarve Pro, Photo Carve,
Cut 3D, BobCAD, BobART, Lazy Cam
- Travel: X: 13" Y: 24" Z: 4.5".
- High Speed traverse rate: 200 ipm
- Bearings: 12 precision linear bearing guides (4 on
each axis) for
- Resolution: Full step of 0.0005 inch; at 1/8 step
- 269 oz/in 1.8-degree steppers.
- USB interface with on controller memory storage.
- 5 turn ACME precision modified threaded with acetyl
reducing nuts on all axes.
- 24V Supply to provide full power to the steppers.
- VCarve Pro 7.0 w/Cut 3-D software package included
(over $900 value).
- Includes 1/2'' Dia. V-Groove Router Bit
- Includes two Hold-down Clamps
- Includes mounts for a Bosch Router (Router Motor is
NOT included, sold separately)
- Free downloadable control program included
- One year warranty on parts and labor, special
shipping exclusions apply
- CNC Touch Probe
- Download free project plans from Vectric
here for more detailed information on the CNC Shark Routing
Customer Reviews and Photos for:
CNC Shark Routing System, with New 7.0 Software
(18 customer reviews)
Add your review...
1) Submitted by
JD Jones, from Greencastle, PA
I've put @ 3,000 hours on my Shark and I'm very happy with it. There were 3 months were I ran it 60+ hours a week without any problems and have made my total investment back (including all the software and 3D models) the first year I owned it. And this is just working part time! I plan on buying additional machines in the future. An excellent product with great support from the manufacturer.
2) Submitted by
Thomas Tramontana, from East Norriton, PA
I received my Shark CNC router about four weeks ago. After a lot of research, I bought the Shark largely on the strength of the reviews I read on here along with its affordability and size. I have not been disappointed. It is as advertised in every way. I bought the 1/4" and 1/8" precision collets for the Colt router although I'm not sure I had to. The 1/8" collet is good for those 1/16" end mills that are so good for details. The 5.5 VCarve program can get done almost anything I want to do. If something eventually breaks down, we'll see who will come to my rescue and how helpful they will be. But for now, everything is working perfectly and I am having a ball.
3) Submitted by
Larry Stobbs Jr., from St. Joseph, MO
I bought my Shark earlier this year and it was money well spent. I did a lot of research before the purchase and for a homeowner or a small shop this is the ticket. I used the V-Carve program that came with it and it was easy to learn and a well thought out program. I have also bought the 3D program that is available called Aspire, which is expensive, but I am getting great results. The photo is an Army Seal I did for a veteran recently. I do have a few recommendations for anyone that purchases this. First, the MDF clamping table is ok for when you first start using it and if you make a rookie mistake and cut into it, you are not out much. I bought a laminated birch top that is 1 1/2 inches thick, installed T-tracks in it and took the time to level it to the cutter head. This is important if you are doing very precise work. Second, the collet on the Bosch Router is pretty good, but I bought a precision collet that keeps the bit perfectly centered. Third, get some type of dust collection for the system, an enclosure is easy to add but it needs to be on the machine. I orignally did not worry about anything but the computer and controller so I enclosed them to keep out dust. The problem I found out is that even though the Colt Router is excellent, the machine produces very fine dust when working with walnut and cherry and those fine particles were getting sucked into the router. I have had the bearing replaced on two routers so far due to dust getting in and am working on an enclosure now that I can hook up to my dust collection. Keep in mind, I run my Shark almost everyday, so this may not be an issue for most, but if the router acts like it is underpowered, this is probably the reason. One last point that several have addressed before, I bought the smaller version and now I which I had bought the larger one because you will end up wanting to make bigger projects. I plan on buying another one of these in the next year or two as an additional machine.
4) Submitted by
Caleb Dawson, from Troy, AL
The car model in the picture below took several days to machine on the CNC Shark but I am happy with how it turned out. The learning curve on the CNC Shark is relatively steep but the results are worth it. I would like to add a physical E-stop switch on the machine itself and the control software could use a few usability tweaks.
I have been using the CNC Shark for about 18 months. It's a good value-especially compared to my experience with another, more complicated, less capable carving machine. The CNC Shark is well built and designed to withstand the rookie mistakes that users like me will inevitably make. I'm glad I bought it.
more pictures of the car model at:
5) Submitted by
Anthony, from Bemidji, MN
When placing my order, I chose the cheapest, slowest method of delivery. I received my shark about one and a half days later. Though I can't rate the product itself yet, Rockler did such an excellent job shipping the machine that I had to drop a comment. Absolutely excellent and extremely fast delivery.
6) Submitted by
Bob Hartig, from Sheboygan, WI
I continue to have fun with this machine. Instead of writing a thousand word review, I'm sending this picture of my latest CNC project. All parts were cut on the Shark. The wood gear clock was intended to be made using a scroll saw. It was easy to use the Vectric software to adapt the plans for cnc cutting. All cuts and holes were made using a 1/8" up spiral bit.
Wooden gear clock
7) Submitted by
Bob Hartig, from Sheboygan, WI
I'm still having fun with my Shark. Because of all the sawdust generated, I have been trying different methods of dust collection. This dust foot and vacuum hose suspension has been working out great. The 4" hose is from Rockler. I chose it because of its flexibility. There is no pressure or resistance to gantry movement. The dust foot is a shop build. I used bristle clumps removed from a bench brush. There is no problem with the brushes riding over clamps. About 90 percent of the dust is captured.
Editor's Note: Please be aware of two issues that may arise from this arrangement - first, we do know of at least one instance where a dust hose connected to a Shark was responsible for repeatedly damaging one of the stepper motors; static charge building up on the outside of the hose was discharging to the motor and/or motor cabling. Second, any additional weight added to the head may throw the bit axis off of vertical, affecting cut accuracy; and the additional torque from the weight may also cause undue wear on the Shark itself. The farther the weight is from the gantry guide rods, the more torque will be exerted, and the risk becomes greater.
(We have contacted Bob and alerted him to these possible risks).
Dust foot and vacuum hose
8) Submitted by
Don Strenczewilk, from Rochester, NY
Got the machine a couple of weeks ago. It was simple to assemble. I was up and running my first piece in a couple of hours, including the time it took to download and install the software on my Vista laptop.
I cut some mdf and it worked wonderfully. But it made a dusty mess. So, it needs some sort of dust collection, especially with the computer nearby whose fans suck up the dust. I built an enclosure around it with mdf sides, a Plexiglas front and top, added a 4" port for the dust collector and made another 4" hole at the opposite end of the enclosure. Total cost of the enclosure and hardware was about $50. At the end of a job, I blow it out any remaining dust and shavings with the blower end of shop vac. Two unanticipated benefits of the enclosure are that (1) the servo's and router stay pretty cool since the air is constantly flowing around them which should make them last longer, and (2) it quiets it down enough that I can work on the next program without earplugs to muffle the whining router.
Being my first experience with a cnc machine, quite a bit of experimentation with bits, feed rate, and pass depth, was needed to get as clean cuts on hardwood that I get by hand with a router.
The Vcarve software is fantastic. It is very easy to use. I thought I'd need a CAD program for design but Vcarve is fine for my CAD needs, and it's much simpler to learn.
The controller software works but there a couple of minor annoyances. It has button controls that let you manually move the router along the axes at any of three speeds to move the router to its start point. Problem is that after you run a program, it moves very very slowly and the speed buttons don't work. The only way I've found to get it to function properly after running a program is to shut it down and restart it. I emailed New Wave Automations about it and got no reply. The other annoyances probably aren't worth mentioning.
This review is getting toolong so to summarize, the machine and software perform very nicely and I am very happy with them, especially when comparing the price of other CNC routers. Sorry I didn't get one sooner!
9) Submitted by
Brad, from Minneapolis, MN
My only mistake was not buying the bigger size. This works so well you want to do bigger projects. The MDF table was off just a hair - I only noticed it when I was routing a topographical lake map and noticed the depth of the lines at the top was just a fraction higher than the depth of the bottom some 12 inches away. Nothing that a couple of cards won't take care of. I did get a little frustrated when the X and Z connections were mislabeled - but that became obvious when trying to zero out the machine. When you push the Z+ button and it goes to the right - you know the connections aren't right. Other than the slight alignment issue - the accuracy of the machine is incredible. But the map of the lake would be really impressive if it were 24 x 24 instead of 12 x 12...... I hope it lasts - this tool has tons of possibilities!
10) Submitted by
Bob, from Sheboygan, WISCONSIN
Everything seems to be working just fine. The Shark is making huge amounts of sawdust. Neighbors are getting ideas for things I can make. The variety of what can be done with this machine is just incredible. It looks like I'm in for a lot of fun. I agree with all comments others have made so I will stop writing and keep on making sawdust
Thank you for your help.
11) Submitted by
Joe Wainwright, from Highlands Ranch, CO
After seeing a number of advertisements about Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines and what they can produce I had to investigate. It is amazing that a computer controlled tool can create beautiful 3 dimensional carvings and much more. I have always been partial to ornate furniture and have found that this tool will add a whole new dimension to your woodworking.
First, let me say that I spent time researching the other commonly seen CNC machine on the market. The more I read about this other machine the more I felt that it was a risk to buy it. Over 50% of the people reviewing that machine were unhappy with it and their customer support. I am convinced that it is plagued with problems.
On the other hand, I found that the CNC Shark is a simple and well thought out machine. But, do not let the simplicity fool you, the more I work with it the more I am finding it to be very precise and able to handle some pretty challenging tasks.
Initially, I knew nothing about how these CNC machines operated. So, I decided to spend a few weeks just reviewing the software behind the whole thing. The CNC Shark comes with an application for designing projects called VCarve Pro 3.1. It is produced by a British based company (www.vectric.com) and let me say all of their products are just out right great! Don’t take my word for it. You can download free trial versions with excellent tutorials to check it all out.
If you upgrade to VCarve 4.6 or 5.0 you have more options like importing bit map drawings. The software will trace the outline of the drawing and allow you to create cutting paths for it. How cool is that! As an example, I imported a bit map drawing of a cluster of grapes and created a complex carving. You can use it to create inlay work, build templates, do precise drilling, mortises, and more. With a special bit the machine will also let you engrave in soft metals and ceramic. The uses are endless.
So what about the more complex stuff? I was wondering if it was possible to create more complex 3-dimensional shapes like a round solid sphere, a finial for a clock, or a toy car where it needs to be cut on multiple sides. If you purchase Vectric’s Cut3D application you can create tool paths to do just that. To build a 3D image you can buy them or build them using CAD software.
• I really like the simple design of the machine. Simple relates to fewer problems. Having a removable router as opposed to a built in router makes a lot of sense.
• I found the Customer Service people at Next Wave Automation (manufacture of the Shark) to be very responsive and very good about answering my questions.
• The Controller software is very easy to use and had a great interface.
• VCarve Pro 3.1 that comes with the product is a great application. I found Customer Support at Vectric to be a little slow in responding but they always came through.
• I also really liked all of the optional applications created by Vectric. All of their applications had a great user interface.
• Overall the machine is fairly light weight but very rugged.
• You can machine wood, soft metals, plastics, and ceramic.
• I really felt that the CNC Shark should come with the latest version of VCarve Pro 5.0. It is an additional cost to upgrade to this version. You are spending a lot for a great machine it should come with the most current version of the application.
• The power pack and electronics come as two separate boxes. It would be nice if at some point these were merged into a single housing.
• The bolt and nut that hold the router in place uses a star head screw. I switched mine out to use a more common wing nut and Philips head.
• The instruction manual did not cover any real information regarding the maintenance of the unit.
12) Submitted by
Jeff Elliott, from Irvine, CALIFORNIA
Purchased a CNC Shark Pro in February. Although the supplied documentation was sparse, assembly was simple - 12 bolts and plugging some wires together. I was up and cutting very quickly.
The Shark, like most other shop tools, requires additional equipment in order to function. Rockler is good about mentioning the need for the Bosch Colt router and having that on-hand. Some means of holding the workpiece down is essential, and because of the construction of the Shark a T-slot clamp is practically a necessity. Make sure you have a few, or you'll be making a second trip!
As for bits - CNC machines, as it turns out, don't rely on the usual assortment of router bits. Unless someone at your Rockler store is really into the Shark, they might not really know what you need. My Rockler certainly didn't stock most of the bits I use, so I've gone to online bit suppliers. The Colt uses a 1/4" collet, so your 1/2" bits are no good here! Here are my must-have bits:
1/4" up-spiral end mill - general cutting and surfacing
1/8" up-spiral end mill - finer work and drilling smaller holes
90 degree V-bit - nothing fancy, a solid carbide 1/4" will work.
60 degree V-bit - same story. These are the V-carving/sign-making bits.
1/8" or smaller ball-nose end mill - this is for 3-d work and texturing.
I also use .050" end mills for cutting out little prefab doll-house parts. These are tiny bits!
You'll find yourself needing a 1/8" collet adapter for the smaller bits - always check the shank size!
As for the Shark: It's wonderful! Every time I use it I come up with new possibilities. The precision is as advertised - I can reliably get sub-.001" by machining in multiple passes and using the appropriate feed rates for the material and bit. So far I've worked in: walnut, red oak, doug. fir, poplar, alder, basswood, MDF, hardboard, acrylic, melamine-coated products and aluminum. As always with woodworking (or metalworking) tools, experience and knowledge are key to a good finished product. There are plenty of places to get good advice online.
The MDF table that comes with the Shark wasn't flat enough for my tastes, so I replaced it with 18mm baltic birch plywood. I've placed threaded #8 inserts on a 3" grid over the face of the table - holding your work down is critical to getting good results, and a few #8 machine screws work wonders. I haven't touched a clamp in a week or so.
13) Submitted by
Patrick Price, from Smiths Grove, KY
I just received the CNC Shark last week, and put it together this weekend in about an hour. The instructions were a bit sparse but adequate. I ran in to some difficulty getting an older laptop running Windows XP to communicate with the controller. When trying to launch some g-code, the router would raise and lower an inch or so in the Z axis, then stop. I verified the laptop was USB 2.0 compatible, tried reinstalling the Shark controller software, the VCarve software and the .NET Framework 2.0 software from Microsoft, as per the instructions on the Next Wave website. I even tried a different memory stick...all without success. I called on Al Wolford and Phil at Rockler and they were more than willing to help, and both suggested that I try running a sample g-code file that routes a simple 1 in square. This file was installed in the same folder as the CNC Shark controller software, though it is not mentioned anywhere in the setup instructions. In my case it did not help, but at least it verified for me that the error was not in the g-code I had created. Over the weekend I tried a completely different laptop running Windows Vista, and everything worked perfectly. This confirmed that the problem must be in the older XP laptop I wanted to use, so I wiped all the programs from the laptop and started over installing the VCarve Software, the CNC Shark Controller software, and the .NET Framework software from Microsoft. However, this time the instructions on the Next Wave website had been updated, and now said to use the .NET Framework version 3.5, instead of 2.0. This did the trick. I first ran the sample file to route the 1 inch square and the Shark immediately sprang to life. The take home from all this is that the problems I experienced were all attributable to the computer (and likely the Microsoft .NET patch), not the Shark!
I purchase the CNC Shark to machine small plastic parts that I usually draw up in AutoCAD. I had never used a CNC machine before but found that VCarve and the Shark Controller software were very intuitive and I was cutting out my first precision parts withing a couple of hours. I work with what I thought were very tight tolerences, machining to within a few thousanths of an inch, and I was worried the precision of the Shark would not be what I was hoping for...boy was I wrong. This is one tight little machine!!! It has exceeded all my expectations, and cuts the parts precisely and repeatedly, time after time. I hadn't planned on using this machine for production runs, but after seeing how well the CNC Shark runs, I can't think of a good reason not to.
The router itself, the Colt, is more that adequate for the CNC Shark. It's obvious to me that CNC work is about precision, not pure muscle. VCarve easily allows you to make deep cuts with multiple progressively deeper paths, rather that trying to cut massive swaths all at once. Using multiple passes, the Colt breezes through the 1 inch thick polyethylene I've been cutting without the slightest hesitation, and the precision is so tight, you'd be hard pressed looking at the edges to tell the pieces have been cut in multiple passes. Anything more powerful would just add to the noise and vibration.
While getting the hang of the VCarve and controller software, I inadvertently tried to run the gantry past it's X limits of travel, and the Shark ka-chunked several times before I could hit the emergency stop button. I was concerned I may have damaged something, but Tim at Next Wave assured me that the Shark is built to withstand this. I hope to never do it again, but it is nice to know the machine is bullet proof enough to take it.
In short, I'm thrilled with the CNC Shark. $2300 is a nice chunk of change, but I did a lot of research before purchasing it, and I'm happy to say it is a lot of machine for the money, and I don't think I could have done better.
14) Submitted by
Bob Stout, from Milwaukee, WI
This machine is great for the woodworker with experience in routing and familiarity with CNC machines and PC software. The CNC Shark is well designed and when teamed with the Bosch router and Vcarve software, make an excellent addition to any workshop.
It took about an hour to unpack the machine and drop the X axis gantry onto the table and install all the software. Attach the router and the machine is ready to go.
The software installs easily but the controller does require the latest .Net software free from Microsoft. This is easy to do with a fast Internet connection. The Vcarve software from Vectric is top-notch and fun to use. I would recommend upgrading to their version 4 software for added features. Exporting designs from Corel draw into Vcarve is nice for doing more advanced design work but Vcarve also has a lot of great features for designing your own jobs.
The machine does not include much information for the absolute beginner so some experience with this sort of equipment helps. However, with all the information available on-line and from the manufacturer and other forums, I would recommend this machine to anyone wanting to expand their woodworking horizons.
15) Submitted by
Phillip Atkins, from Kingsville, TX
First of all, I want to preface my review by stating that my opinion is based on the CNC Shark Routing System itself--this is not a comparison review.
Before I bought the system, my main concern was having my laptop in the same area as the Shark. I bought a small cabinet with doors to keep the laptop and 2 control boxes in, trying to keep as much dust as possible away from them. I added a tabletop dust collector funnel beside the Shark and hooked it up to my dust collector. Doing these things, along with the fact that the Shark is an open design system, has eliminated practically all airborne dust.
CNC SHARK--This is an extremely well-built and solid machine. From head to toe, it appears to be a well engineered machine that is really precise in its actions. The setup of the Shark is straight forward and easy to follow. The support for the Shark is fantastic.
BOSCH COLT ROUTER--This little rascal is really tough. It has taken everything I've thrown at it.
VCARVE PRO SOFTWARE--There could not have been a better choice of software to team up with the Shark.
It gives the user complete control of the project being worked on(e.g., pass depth, clearance pass stepover, final pass stepover, spindle speed, feed rate, plunge rate). All of these elements are programmable and once these parameters are learned, it is possible to produce an end product that exceeds expectations and they require little or no sanding. Pictures of projects will follow shortly.
Support for this software is immediate--it is available through both email and the Vectric forum and all questions are fully answered.
The CNC Shark Routing System does not miss a beat. The quality of the entire system justifies the price.
16) Submitted by
Frank Downwind, from Minneapolis, MN
I have owned the Shark for about a month now. I am VERY pleased with it's performance and quality.
17) Submitted by
Hany, from Madison, WI
After all the trouble I went through with the Craftsman, I took it back and now I have the CNC Shark. I Love the result & how much quiter it is. Easy to get the job done in a short time and I learned to work from all the training online and now I can do everything. I will buy another one.Please don't make my mistake, buy the CNC Shark. Its so strong & goes so smooth though the hardest wood. I work 4-8 Hrs a day non stop and I have the perfect result everytime. Good luck to everyone.
18) Submitted by
Nathan Bird, from Chino, CA
This machine is great. A lot faster then the Compucarve at Sears. Its nice and quiet compact but big enough for small signs. Great product.
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