110 volt CNC Router?

We have a young team in Las Vegas looking to add a CNC Router to their wish list. Problem is they only have access to 110 volt source currently. Is anyone aware of a 110 volt cnc router capable of cutting .125" aluminum. 24x36" would be minimum size for them.

Any of the ones that run on a wood router would be 110V.

The cheaper Chinese 2.2kW spindles can run off a VFD with 110V power if you spec them that way. They would work fine on a 110V 20A circuit. Despite the rating, you won’t be pulling anywhere near full amperage on that spindle for most of your cutting needs.

Outside of the spindle, everything else should be fine to run on 110V as well.

As a specific brand, my CNCRouterParts router can be fully configured to run on 110V power, and the Velox can be ordered with a wood router (or just talk to them about configuring around a 110V source)

Would a 110v - 220v converter be an option? I’m of limited help in something like this, but a cursory google looks like there seem to be 110v to 220v that can handle several thousand watts. I’ve never even seen one before - anyone else have any suggestions on if this is a possible solution?

Tormach resells this, which adds the power from two nearby out-of-phase 110v circuits. It might give your electrical inspector a headache, but it should work:

The problem is that if someone only has 110 available, it’s likely all on 20A or 30A circuits. If something is available only in 220 (or higher), it is almost certainly because it needs more power than a 110V 30A circuit can safely provide.

Don’t. If you ignore that advice:

  • Get everything else off of both circuits.
  • Use circuits with the same-size breaker.
  • If a breaker trips, remember that the breaker for the OTHER circuit probably did not, so your system is probably still energized
    . This working counter to normal safety procedures is my #1 reason (of several) why the answer is Don’t.

I agree. That’s a good list of “buts”.

Dang. This is going to be an issue for my kids’ team going forward as well. Very limited options inside the school. I’ve been looking hard at a Velox, but it’s 220v as well. This will be tricky to figure out…


This unit has a safety interlock to trip the 220V load when either 120V circuit is interrupted.

I have an 800W Kress spindle (it’s 110AC) on my 48inx48in router and routinely cut 0.08-0.10 5052 aluminum full DOC at 20-30ish IPM. One could arguably install that on almost any other table and have reasonable results.

My table is an older TorchMate Small Shop Machine.

I don’t really see why you need a special 110V spindle. Maybe I’m missing something.

Our CNC from CNCRouterParts came with a 2.2kW 220V spindle. According to the company, it draws 9A @ 230V peak. It just so happens that power here is 220V, so it worked fine just plugging it into the wall.

Since I moved to Israel from the US, I brought with me a number of electronics that require substantial power and only work off 110V. So I bought a 5kW 220V to 110V transformer for about $100; it can power a large TV and a vacuum cleaner at the same time. I don’t see any reason why the opposite (110V to 220V) transformer wouldn’t work to power a 2.2kW spindle. If the transformer is 90% efficient, 9A @ 230V corresponds to ~21A @ 110V. I’m not sure what the standard breaker size is there, but here its 16A @ 220V (equivalent to 32A @ 110V), which is plenty to account for the transformer inefficiency.

The VeloxCNC that 1678 runs only uses 110/120V. We have the router spindle currently, but many VFDs are capable of plugging into 110/120V and then running the spindle at 220/240V. You just need a high amperage circuit or two. If I recall correctly, our router has 2 separate power plugs, one JUST for the spindle and one for the control box and the steppers. If I am wrong, I know that the router plug can be operated independent of the machine by physically turning the spindle switch on and off when needed.

Here’s an example of a VFD I bought for the school to run a drill press i got that was 3phase 220 off a 110V 20A circuit. It was ~1hP or less.


Also, most commercial buildings will have 220V readily available. Just because the given shop doesn’t have 220V outlets existing and the average teacher/admin may think it is impossible to do “electrical work”, doesn’t mean it is uncommon/impossible. I worked with the supervisor for maintenance/custodial services to submit a work order, waited 6 months, and eventually our shop got 2 drops of 220V 30A for ~$700. Little pricey, but I’d do it again.

Shopbot Desktop MAX cuts thick aluminum (we have only done up to 1/4" but no reason it can’t do more) at 24" x 36". It gets the job done.

Slightly under your recommended size, but our Omio X8 is 21” x 31” envelope and runs on 110V no problem.

+1 for the Omio X8

Oh, I didn’t notice the default was a 110v router, I only saw the 220v. I’d prefer the spindle since it’ll likely be in a fairly enclosed area, so the router will likely be pretty loud, but that’s good news.

299 runs a 3kw 110v to 220v transformer on their router for the 2.2kw spindle. Works great. They bought it from Amazon for $100ish.

In my experience, residential 110 breakers are usually 15A, with 20A not uncommon for specific functions (e.g. refrigerator or microwave circuits).

For commercial, 20A seems to be the default, with 30A common for larger loads (e.g. the room which originally housed a rear-projector “wall of thunder” behind our watch floor at work).

We have a similar thing here (commercial standard is actually 10A, but most of the circuits in the robotics wing of the school are 16A). It’s not unlikely to think that the team would be able to find a 30A breaker somewhere where they can plug in a transformer to use a 220V spindle. I stand by the statement that a faster, stronger 48x48" router with a transformer is better than a slower, weaker 24x26" or 21x31" 110V router.

Another thing: CNC spindles like 1.5kw/2.2kw spindles will never actually hit that much power draw in operation. They theoretically can, but most machines aren’t nearly rigid enough to take cuts that actually use 2HP (especially not in aluminum). Plus, VFDs all support soft-start by default, so you don’t draw a ton of power on startup either. 299’s router can support the computer and the spindle on a single outlet (which I believe is a 20A breaker) and still leave room for a shop vac.
Regular wood routers have a much larger power surge when they start up, so you may need to be careful with those.