Start Your CNC Business with a Onefinity Elite Journeyman

Start Your CNC Business with a Onefinity Elite Journeyman


Watch as Izzy Swan, a woodworking and CNC expert, breaks down how you can earn income with the Onefinity Elite Journeyman CNC machine.

Let’s start a conversation in the comments about starting your own business! Have you started to sell anything made on your Onefinity? Tips and tricks for those just starting out? Leave a comment below!


I’ll start with a few topics inspired by the growing video discussion on Izzy’s YT channel.

  1. The equipment Izzy was given from Onefinity and PwnCNC is certainly less than an industrial set up. It would however cost me very close to $8000.00 CA after taxes (not incl delivery, tooling, dust extraction, etc) to get this equipment if I chose this high tier system. I would be interested to hear how others manage this up front start up cost. Save for it, loans, CC with monthly payments, etc.? Have you found it manageable?

  2. There are business expenses (perhaps some similar between US states and Canadian provinces/territories) to factor in such as taxes, perhaps lawyer/accountant fees and employee related costs. I would be interested to know more about experiences with these.

  3. Izzy certainly stresses that it will require a lot of work, and he specifically mentions getting sales. He already had an established sign business, but it would be interesting to hear from others about the methods and costs for getting your products to market/buyers. What worked and what did not?

NOTE: I know from my time on the forums that this has been discussed at length on and off in various places. Would now be a good time to add a new ‘business’ category to the Onefinity forum, where such discussions and resources could be gathered and accessed? There are other videos like Izzy’s out there that could be added to this new category as well.


Sales and marketing of your products are the challenging part of running a successful manufacturing business. While you certainly do not need an industrial CNC machine to get started, having a CNC machine is not a guaranteed recipe for success. I’m always skeptical of the “you can make $$$” videos on the internet where the only marks in the spoilboard are from the cutout they demoed in the video :slight_smile:

Bear in mind… during the gold rush of the 1850s the people making the most money were the ones selling picks and shovels :wink:


Hey all,

So if you are looking for a business with the expectation of success, you could become a Onefinity distributor.

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I was thinking YouTube influencer where you get a bunch of free stuff to demo and make clickbaity titles then collect the $$$.

For what it’s worth, in 2 years of owning a Onefinity it has earned 10x+ what I invested in it (including upgrades) but it’s no where near $320 an hour. For me I don’t batch out a bunch of the same parts over and over so each hour of machine time needs 1-5 hours of design time and another 1-2 hours of sanding and finishing.

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Hey Derek,

I didn’t know that you earned money with it. I yet don’t, because I want to use the machine only in a state that takes a little longer to set up, but I haven’t bought this machine to found a business with it, but to let the machine do already existing work steps that I’ve exclusively done do by hand so far.

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While I’m not the first person to express the idea, I would like to echo the sentiment that my Onefinity isn’t a goldmine.

It is, however, one of the least expensive and most skilled employee I have ever had.

Got to give him thorough instructions and keep an eye on him though…


Yes I do, the Onefinity CNC has replaced previously manual processes, enhanced existing processes and added capabilities to my shop that I did not have before.

Yeah, he only does what I tell him and I can only blame myself when he messes up… like hiring a nephew :slight_smile:

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Coming from a hobby perspective, I try to not think of it as hourly. There is a lot of design and finish work involved, which is fine and where I get my enjoyment from. I will say that I still take the cost of my cnc (plus electric) and break that down across a two year ‘pay-back’ period.

I did this with a smaller desktop cnc (FoxAlien) and had it paid back within a couple months of creating some custom items.

Also to @TMToronto first question. I chose a loan so I would not feel the pain of dropping so much all at once… however traveling for work and too many hours has my Elite Foreman already paid off and it still hasn’t shipped from OneFinity yet!


This is a hobby machine and I enjoy playing with it. I am retired and don’t really want a job, however there is nothing wrong with your hobby paying for itself.

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I think I’ve only paid for a few of my endmills from sales so far :stuck_out_tongue:

Hello everyone.

I have never sat down and calculated how many products I’ve sold that originated from my CNC and what the resultant income and profit would be, but I can certainly tell you the items I make are not flying off the shelves like Izzy implies (and many other YouTubers). Like Tom said, Izzy has a well established business and he will make money with or without the CNC. So by that metric, $320/hr is great, but if you only get 1-2 hours of “work” a year, then that really changes the dynamic – he definitely glossed over that point.

I do like how he tries to break down gross vs net revenue – I wish he used more graphics and call outs, and less talking. I completely lost track of all the costs and revenue and had a hard time following his 320/hr claim - I’m sure if I rewatched it and paid closer attention it would make more sense. But he did leave out the start up costs, software, and a ton of other hidden costs . Even at $320/hr, it would take a fair amount of time to recoup the start up costs. I personally paid all that up front and I continue to dilute my profit when I break end mills, replace the waste board, etc.

Finally, I think it is a little disingenuous to say you can earn XXX with a Onefinity specifically – you can make money with any CNC (or laser or 3d printer). That said, I do think the OF is superior to most other machines on the market right now. Though the Elite model is close to pricing itself out of the hobbyist market. I said this before, but there are basically no entry level CNCs on the market that are both reasonably priced and good quality. I feel like my X-Carve XL at $1200 was a good deal for what it offered. I feel like my current Onefinity was an excellent deal for the quality vs price. I think the X50 woodworker is still a great value for the price, but it is at least 4x more than I paid for my very first CNC and 2x what I paid for my X-Carve. If I was starting from scratch right now, there little chance I could afford a new Elite model and could barely choke down the cost of the X50 (I barely survived when the spouse found out I bought the original X35! :wink: ). So I do think there is some trade space in the market for a true entry level CNC that doesn’t suck, it approachable from a use perspective and doesn’t cost a fortune. Sure you can get a cheap Chinese CNC from Amazon for like $250 but they can’t really mill anything significant and will only leave you wanting more or force you out of the hobby through frustration.

I’m certainly curious what other think - are you using your OF for business, side hustle, or just as a hobby? Is it worth the cost? Do you expect to “break even” at some point? Do you think “entry” level machines are too expensive these days?


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100% my OF is worth the cost and I have well over the cost of a new OF Elite Foreman invested in it as I started out with the X35 woodworker, upgraded to the Journeyman and then a DIY Masso conversion. I run my OF as part of a business that is for me a side hustle but is a FT operation for 2 other people. I agree it is difficult to exactly calculate how much the OF has earned as it has transformed many manual operations and enabled us to offer products and services we could not before. I have found if you go at it thinking you are going to manufacture and sell 100 of X, you won’t succeed. Most everything we do with the OF is customized to some degree which increases the profitability of those items but require more design time. From time to time there are requests for an item where it would require 10 hours of machine time and the customer thinks it should cost $20 to machine that we have to turn down… Usually we shoot for $50 per hour for machine time.

I don’t think of the OF as an entry level machine, to me it falls in the prosumer category when compared to things like a 3018 and other machines on the market, or the many DIY machines that have made their way into the market where you spend 100 hours 3d printing parts to put it together and are endlessly fiddling with improvements for better accuracy. I opted for the OF mostly because it didn’t have v wheels and belts as a local makerspace had a machine with both and they were a constant headache.

Oh I am so glad others feel the same way about this video. May I suggest you go back and watch a few of Izzy’s videos over the years. Just look at what tools he has in the shop. Most recently it seems he had a large “ATC Router Phantom” in his " Retirement Table Saw Setup" episode. I think this is at best an infomercial.

This also troubles me because as a few of you know, I will be one the first to kick around a 2.2 Kw ATC Elite Foreman. To be a “crash test dummy” there has been some serious horse-trading go on. They will have had my machine for 4-6 months and for that I get a percentage off. The amount of the percentage… well you can do better at Rockler/Woodcraft/HarborFreight sales.

So, I trust my integrity and honor are still intact. I do not want to be contact by ShamWow.

Here is what I wrote on youtube:

Videos like this scare me. While you are correct Izzy you can make money off of the CNC, but it is NOT a money printing machine. I see too often folks with no real woodworking experience see what a CNC can do, and the promise of fast cash and they plunk their money down. Have you been to a Woodcraft or Rockler recently? The market is or is becoming VERY saturated with CNC, it is not like 15 yrs ago.

My guess is that 1 out of 25 make enough money to pay for their machines, and 1 out of 50 make a few pennies. Most “newbies” end up begging for files to cut, and wondering why they can’t sell that carved alligator that took them FOREVER to make. ( I see that Onefinity has already posted your video, guess this is all about marketing)

I am on my #2 or #3 Onefinity machine depending on how you count it. I started with a Woodworker, upgraded it to a Journeyman. I now have a Onefinity Elite Foreman, with a 2.2 Kw spindle (ISO-30) and an ATC. With this setup I hope puts me in the 1:25 category.

*Let me also say I am a retired mechanical engineer, who is taking classes at a community college, There we are running Haas 3 Axis machines, so the knowledge is transferable. Topics like feeds & speed, work holding (soft jaws) and 3D CAM programing. If you are 60 or older these classes are often free. *

Also, the overhead of running a legit small business is big. I get to file state sales tax EVERY month even if I don’t sell anything. Then there is what to charge for what you make. My last project when I went back and calculated time & costs, I ended up paying myself $2.30 an hr with no “profit”. (That project was a $600 consignment) I would be better off financially working at Mc D’s… but again I am retired. On the other hand, if you are considering this as a business, I am you competition.

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Sales and marketing are the key. My journey started with a woodworking business where we outsourced CNC work so it was only natural to buy our own when a highly capable product (eg, one that didn’t need adjustment and calibration every 4 hours of run time due to belts and v wheels) became available and made the CNC almost instantly profitable. It also allowed us to add in time saving steps using CNC for manual processes that didn’t make sense to ship out taking what was an hour with a router and template to 5 minutes on the CNC (but would be multiple days to outsource).


this is 1f marketing at its best. I challenge 1f to find someone who piad for their machine and all tooling, etc.without freebies and then was able to do anywhere near the numbers this guy talks about with their newly started CNC business… Its all marketing to sell more machines and rack up views on YT. Buy the CNC if you have the throwaway cash and want a hobby, dont listen to the BS about making all this money with a new business. Its all smoke and mirrors.


I bought an CNC machine a few years ago, and came upon some brewers that needed tap handles. I made over 70k in two years. Paid for my machine and my shop. The brewers have gone away, but I am still satisfied with that I got.

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I never got into CNC to ‘make money’, but it just sort of happened. Most notably, with Xometry. Once I did their test part and became a qualified supplier, I’ve probably made about $2400 USD over the last 2 years. I get work just often enough to keep it interesting, without getting buried.

Izzy only lightly touched on custom signs. In my book, literally every sign I have ever made has been custom. That’s a pretty huge part of making anything on any CNC router. Literally everything must start out as a CAD file, whether created on Easel, or in a more serious CAD application. Some have been simple, and some have been quite complex. That said, I have spent countless hours on CAD reverse-engineering signs (in this case, a vintage travel trailer replacement plaque). I got $150 for making 4 of these which isn’t bad to cover material & machining, but the CAD hours are basically ‘unbilled’ in this case (done for a friend). Between Xometry and word-of-mouth, I have easily paid for my hobby, but that’s about it. I’ve made (and sold) more coasters than you could possibly believe, so I’ve grown weary of making those. I’ve found it easier to charge a decent price to a stranger (or Xometry), but when it comes to making stuff for friends, I haven’t made too much $$.


I agree with many of you here, the video makes it sound too easy.
Step 1 - Get a machine
Step 2 - Set it up
Step 3 - Get sales
Step 4 $300 an hour

There is a lot that goes into making a business successful, so much more than the scope of most YouTube videos will ever tell you.

As an example: Data from the BLS shows that approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more.

Now for the big question WHY??? There are a magnitude of reasons but for me (who has created multiple businesses over the years) I have always approached my quest with this main question in mind, How do I separate myself from everyone else, as an example, who makes signs on a CNC?

There is a GREAT book called Blu Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. In a nutshell, if you are in a red ocean, you are in a bloodbath, everyone fighting on price and delivery (and of course saying I am the best at what I do). A blue ocean would be to find a problem that exists in a red ocean and solve it.

Izzy did this with the layered plastic sheets and focusing on a very niche area (and a lot of help from his contacts and viewers, I’m sure). The bottom line he had to build that up at some point.

So here is my question for each and every person wanting to get into CNC as a business, what is your blue ocean, what separates you from the rest?

Now go forth and conquer the world, just don’t expect the world to hand it to you!

I have one question about this. The Onefinity warranty states it “does not cover repairs for Onefinity CNC used for commercial purposes”. It’s unclear to me what “commercial purposes” means. But I assume using it in a business (as opposed to strictly as a hobby) voids the warranty.