Shaper Origin Hand-Held CNC Machine

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Why it made the list: A hand-held CNC machine that you can program to cut out virtually anything you can design is just awesome. Plus, it has great potential for cabinet makers and installers, flooring installers, and trim carpenters to produce highly accurate and repeatable results.

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Though it was originally introduced last year, we didn't see the Shaper Origin in action until a recent visit to Festool Connect. The unit is indeed a hand-held CNC machine, with a spindle that is made by Festool. The $1,899 pre-order price point (expected retail will be $2,399 when it hits the market in January 2018) sounds like a lot until you see what you can do with it: The Shaper allows you to cut any image or shape into wood that you can put on a flash drive. The features on this tool are incredible - not the least of which is the fact that you can't screw up the pattern because it'll pull the bit up immediately once you "color outside the lines." The technology is powered by computer vision, using an on-board camera that reads marker tape, which you install on the work surface. Scan the surface once the tape is down, then the unit knows where to go from there. Watch the unit in action to get a better understanding of how this all works.

[Update January 2021: The Origin Cutting System is currently available from Shaper Tools for a list price of $2499.00. Check out the website for more information about applications for this unique tool.].