The 10 Best Laser Engraver Machines | Full Buying Guide for 2023

The best laser engravers should match your situation, purpose, and budget. The choice for a beginner hobbyist, small business, and professional venture will differ. These are 10 of the best laser cutters and engravers I’ve come across โ€“ take your pick!

If you’re considering turning your laser-cutting and engraving hobby into a business venture, GO FOR IT.

I did it, and it was one of my most fulfilling endeavors!

But first things first, you must INVEST in an excellent laser engraver machine that can handle high-volume workloads and produce the best quality.

I thought I’d share my research with you and help you simplify your decision-making process. These are my top 10 recommendations that will be worth your money!

The 10 Best Laser Engraver Machines – Full Reviews

Table of Contents

There’s a suitable choice for you in this list, whether you’re a beginner or a professional. Read through these reviews and make your choice! Here’s the list of the 10 best laser engraver machines.

1. xTool D1 Pro Upgraded Laser Engraver – Best Overall

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xTool D1 Pro Laser Engraver, 20W Output Powerful Laser Cutter DIY...
  • 20W TOP Cutting Capability: Thanks to 20W high...
  • High Accuracy & Speed Laser Engraver Machine: The...

It shouldn’t be surprising that the xTool D1 PRO is still one of the best laser engravers. It gives clean-cut and good-quality outputs at par with professional machines.

Although the xTool D1 Pro is already considered pricey, its performance can keep up with business operations, and you’ll see returns in no time.

Besides cutting wood and metal, xTool D1 Pro also cuts my labor time in half so I can produce more outputs in a shorter time.

EFFICIENCY, along with IMPROVED QUALITY, has significantly helped grow my business!

The only downside of the D1 Pro is that there’s a steep learning curve. Beginners unfamiliar with setup and technicalities may not maximize the machine’s full potential and find it faulty.

I suggest researching thoroughly before purchasing the xTool D1 Pro to maximize its benefits. If not, their customer service is also commendable and willing to help.

Additionally, I recommend purchasing some D1 PRO accessories if you have the budget to spare. I like the Air Assist tool the most, as it helps with smoke control and protects the laser head lens.

Type of Laser: Diode laser | Power of Laser: 2oW laser module; 120W machine power | Engraving Speed: Up to 24000mm/min | 40 mm/s | Dimensions: 31.3 x 14.5 x 5.3 inches | Weight: 19.58 lbs. | Engraving Area: 16.9 x 15.7 inches | Materials Engravable: Wood, acrylic, glass, leather, thin metal | Software: xTool Creative Space; compatible with LightBurn (but sold separately); connect via Wi-Fi, USB cable, TF card

2. SCULPFUN S30 Pro Max Laser Engraver – Best Laser Engraver for Metal

SCULPFUN S30 Pro Max Laser Engraver, 20W Laser Cutter,Automatic Air...
  • ใ€Automatic SCULPFUN Air Assist Systemใ€‘The...
  • ใ€High-Pressure Air-Assisted Nozzleใ€‘The...

Most laser engravers can’t cut through non-metal materials. Although the SCULPFUN S30 can only go so far, the 0.05 mm is an edge I appreciate since not all machines do that.

For the price, this laser cutter comes with great features and a robust engraving process comparable to other expensive machines. It’s overall a good deal.

An example is the Air Assist feature that already comes with the machine, while other brands sell them separately. This tool produces much better outputs which you’ll surely prefer.

The S30 Pro Max is also COMPATIBLE with many types of software, some of which are free. However, I still find LightBurn the best option, but it’s an additional $60 โ€“ worth it, though!

Anyway, only LightBurn can control the auto Air Assist feature, too. Unfortunately, it’s not compatible with LaserGRBL.

Type of Laser: Diode laser engraver | Power of Laser: 2oW laser module; 60W machine power | Engraving Speed: N/A | Dimensions: 22.44 x 23.23 x 10.63 inches | Weight: 17.21 lbs. | Engraving Area: 410 x 400mm (standard version); expandable to 935 x 900mm | Materials Engravable: Wood, MDF, zigzag, cardboard, plastic, leather, circuit board, aluminum oxide, 304 stainless steel, ceramics, dark stone, black acrylic sheets, cardboard, non-woven fabric, bamboo sheets, leather, certain plastic sheets, circuit boards | Software: LightBurn, LaserGRBL, Benbox, GrblController, LiteFire | Supports Windows and MAC system | Supports NC, BMP, JPG, PNG, DXF, and other image formats.

3. OMTech 40W CO2 Laser Engraver

OMTech 40W Laser Engraver, 8"x12" Desktop K40 Laser Engraving Machine,...
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If you’re getting into the K40 laser cutters, the OMTech 40W CO2 Laser Engraver is a good starting point. K40 is an affordable class of laser cutters for those who don’t know.

But don’t let the word “affordable” cloud your judgment! These produce good outputs, considering the price point difference.

This one from OMTech, in particular, offers exceptional laser power that works beautifully on wood and other non-metal materials.

For even better results, read about how to engrave wood.

Don’t expect too much, though. Since it’s K40, it won’t be on par with the high-end laser cutters โ€“ but it still performs well.

I suggest downloading supporting software programs such as Inkscape and K40 Whisperer to improve the experience. The software it comes with is not the best.

Type of Laser: Gas laser (K40 CO2 laser tube) | Power of Laser: 40W laser module | Engraving Speed: 100-255 mm/s | Dimensions: โ€Ž31.5 x 19.69 x 9.84 inches | Weight: 57 lbs. | Engraving Area: 8×12 inch workbed; 0.7 square feet; 2″ height for thickness | Materials Engravable: Wood, bamboo, acrylic, fabric, glass, ceramic, Delrin, cloth, leather, marble, matte board, melamine, paper, mylar, pressboard, rubber, fiberglass, anodized aluminum, tile, plastic, cork, and more non-metal materials | Software: Compatible with CorelLaser & CorelDraw; compatible with most printers and scanning machines | Compatible formats: TIF, BMP, JPG, JPEG, WMF, EMF, PLT

4. ORTUR Laser Master 3 – Best for Intermediate Engravers

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ORTUR Laser Master 3 with Foldable Feet 10W Output Power Laser...
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The ORTUR Laser Master 3 sits between a “hobbyist’s toy” and a “professional laser cutting machine.” It surprisingly has a lot of advanced features for its reasonable price.

I’d say the target market of this engraving machine is quite specific. It’s perfect for those at the intermediate level.

You know, when you’re ready to take your hobby to the next step but not for a significant business yet โ€” perhaps customizing jewelry (yes, some engraving machines work on jewelry) or other items for your circle or selling to some acquaintances!

One thing’s for sure, though โ€“ it’s not for beginners. The assembly is complicated, and the instructions from ORTUR aren’t too clear either.

However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll enjoy the various projects you can accomplish with this laser engraving machine.

It’s also a “true 10W” laser engraving machine, which, if you noticed, most have 20W. This showcases a higher power. It can easily cut a 10 mm pine board and 30mm thick black acrylics.

Type of Laser: Diode laser | Power of Laser: 10W laser module | Engraving Speed: 20000 mm/min | Dimensions: 24 x 7 x 8 inches | Weight: 13.82 lbs | Engraving Area: 400 x 400 mm | Materials Engravable: Wood, acrylic sheets, glass, steel, stone, etc. | Software: LaserGRBL, LightBurn, Laser Explorer APP | Compatible with TF Card/USB/Wi-Fi/APP

5. ORTUR 24V Laser Engraver 2 Pro-S2-SF – Best Budget Pick

ORTUR 24V Laser Engraver 2 Pro-S2-SF, Laser Cutter 5.5W Output Power...
  • โœ…[Ortur new upgrade pro model] Laser Master 2...
  • โœ…[Overall optimization] Laser Master 2 Pro S2 SF...

When reviewing this laser engraving machine, the price point is one thing to consider. It’s a “cheap” laser cutter and engraver (more than others on this list), so the quality is also different.

But that doesn’t mean that this laser cutter and engraver perform poorly. This machine engraves on stainless steel quite well!

Admittedly, it’s not a winner in the category of laser cutters. It engraves well but DOESN’T cut perfectly. Then again, we shouldn’t expect top-notch performance for a lower price.

Another complaint I have (other users seem to echo this) is the OVERLY SENSITIVE flame sensors. These are great safety features for laser engravers, but the sensor goes off inaccurately.

It reacts to bright lights, usually used when working on something. It can be frustrating if it often interrupts the work in progress.

But overall, this laser engraving machine produces surprisingly good results. The images are clean and crisp!

Type of Laser: Diode laser | Power of Laser: 5.5W laser module | Engraving Speed: 10000 mm/min | Dimensions: 26.1 x 10.1 x 4.9 inches | Weight: 10.43 lbs | Engraving Area: 400 x 400 mm | Materials Engravable: Stainless steel, paper, wood, acrylic, cloth, denim, leather, base plate, ABS-based color board, rubber, cork, sandpaper, food, glass fiber, plastic, etc. | Software: LaserGRBL (free), LightBurn (paid software)

6. LaserPecker 1 Laser Etcher – Best for Beginners

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LaserPecker 1 Mini Laser Engraver, Laser Engraving Machine Portable...
  • ๐ŸŽCreate Inspiration Anytime: With LaserPecker 1...
  • ๐ŸŽVersatile Engraving Options: Engrave on a...

If you’re intimidated by fiber lasers and many of the advanced laser engravers on the market, it’s a good idea to start with a simple laser engraver like the LaserPecker 1.

I’d say that it’s the closest to what people call a toy since it’s a STRAIGHTFORWARD and MINIMALIST laser engraving tool. No frills or complications โ€“ just fun!

It’s great for people who love to customize gifts, personalized items, or do crafts in general. However, note that it doesn’t cut materials and is solely for engraving.

Type of Laser: Diode laser | Power of Laser: 1.6W laser head | Engraving Speed: N/A | Dimensions: 2.6 x 2.4 x 2 inches | Weight: 1.96 lbs | Engraving Area: 3.9″ x 3.9″ | Materials Engravable: Wood, kraft paper, leather, fruit, felt, etc. | Software: SmartAPP

7. LaserPecker 2 Pro Laser Engraver – Best for Leather, Wood, and Alloy

LaserPecker 2(Pro) Laser Engraver, 60W Laser Engraving Machine...
  • ๐Ÿ’ŽBest Choice for Laser Engraving: LaserPecker 2...
  • ๐Ÿ’Ž360ยฐ Rotary/Mobile Engraving: The versatile...

The best thing about this laser cutter and engraver is its simplicity. Beginners shouldn’t deal with complicated parts and assembly, and LaserPecker seemed to understand.

It’s one of the MOST EFFORTLESS machines I’ve ever set up. And if you encounter problems, their tech and customer support are approachable and responsive.

I can say that it’s still considered a compact and handy tool. It’s not a laser cutter or engraver for professionals, but it delivers the basic outputs precisely!

This is a friendly choice if you want to upgrade from laser cutting and engraving soft materials to harder ones. It’s still not intimidating but has a world of difference.

Type of Laser: Diode laser | Power of Laser: 60W laser power, 5W laser output power, 15W laser output machine | Engraving Speed: 36,000 mm/min | Dimensions: 5.91 x 5.91 x 8.66 inches | Weight: 10.03 lbs | Engraving Area: 4″ x 196″ (Max) | Materials Engravable: Paper, cardboard, wood, leather, acrylic, anodized/painted aluminum, stainless steel, etc. | Cuts wood, paper, leather | Software: Compatible with Android & iOS; Mac and Windows Operating Systems

8. ORTUR Laser Master 2 Pro-S2-LU2-10A Laser Engraver – Best for Home Workshops

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ORTUR Laser Master 2 Pro S2, 10W Laser Engraver and Cutter, Emergency...
  • True 10W Laser Head - Speed up to 15000mm/min and...
  • 5 Safety protections - 1. When the engraving...

This one from ORTUR is one of the best laser engravers and cutters for me in output and structure. You can tell it was meticulously designed, and the hardware reflects that.

It doesn’t have the fastest speed, but it’s an upgrade from the standard laser cutter and engraver machines on the market.

But the best standout feature of the Laser Master 2 PRO is the laser cutter. It’s POWERFUL and PRECISE, which not all laser machines can produce.

This laser cutter and engraver are strong enough for more significant home workshop projects. You can also start a small business and take on a few orders with this machine!

Type of Laser: Dual-compression diode laser engraver | Power of Laser: 10W laser head output | Engraving Speed: 15000 mm/min | Dimensions: 26.69 x 11.42 x 5.2 inches | Weight: 11.13 lbs | Engraving Area: 400 mm x 400 mm | Materials Engravable: Paper, cardboard, wood, leather, acrylic, stainless steel, etc. | Cuts 20 mm thick wood and 30 mm acrylic | Software: LaserGRBL (free; Windows XP/7/8/10/11), LightBurn (paid; Mac OS and Windows) | File formats: JPG, PNG, BMP, JPEG, SVG, ETC, etc.

9. Glowforge Laser Cutter Plus 3D Laser Printer – Best Value

Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer โ€“ The Fast, Easy, and Powerful Tool...
  • YOUR IDEA, IN YOUR HANDS, IN MINUTES โ€“ Push the...
  • SIMPLY AUTOMATICโ€“ Autofocus. Material detection....

This Glowforge laser cutter and engraver takes the cake regarding quality and precision โ€“ particularly if you have $4k to spare.

The price may be a turn-off for some. I know it was for me, but trying a friend’s machine made me understand the higher price point.

The output is phenomenal, even with metal materials. It doesn’t ruin the quality with tacky laser marking as it carves with precision.

The order also comes COMPLETE; it has a laser tube hose for ventilation, a sample set of proof-grade materials, and other inclusions.

I appreciated that Glowforge has “Proof-grade Materials,” which are engraved materials that they have tested, ensuring optimal safety.

You can also use engraving materials that are non-proof grade but with EXTRA-CAUTION.

Buying proof-grade materials can increase expenses, but it’s great for users who aren’t familiar with engraving machines yet. It creates a chance for trial and error until mastered.

Although the laser engraver and cutter are user-friendly, I would suggest getting this if you’re more familiar with the field and have gained more expertise because of the price.

It’s a great laser engraver cutter, but it’s more worth it if you can use it with ease and knowledge.

Type of Laser: Gas laser | Power of Laser: 40 W CO2 laser tube | Engraving Speed: N/A | Dimensions: 47 x 28 x 19 inches | Weight: 113.7 lbs | Engraving Area: 38โ€ x 20.75โ€ x 8.25โ€; 2โ€ (0.5โ€ with tray) | Materials Engravable: Metals, anodized aluminum, stainless steel, wood, leather, paper, fabric, acrylic, glass, metal, cardboard, chocolate | Software: Compatible with PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator, and high-end CAD software

10. US Stock 50W JPT Fiber Laser Engraver Machine – Best Fiber Laser and Professional Laser Engraver

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US Stock 50W JPT Fiber Laser Engraver Machine Fiber Laser Marking...
  • 50W Fiber Laser Marking Machine Equipped JPT Laser...
  • Laser Source: JPT LP+ Series; Repetition Rate...

When I say quality, I mean QUALITY. This high-end laser engraver works well on most, if not all, materials. You can expect exceptional results from polymer to hard steel.

The price justifies the smooth user experience from purchasing this laser cutting and engraving machine to the after-sale care.

The instructions are clear, the parts are easy to set up (most complicated steps are already done), and the shipping is a breeze.

The whole thing runs smoothly during the cutting and engraving process and produces high-quality outputs quickly.

This is it if you’re looking for a WORTHWHILE laser engraver and cutter. It’s an investment for your business, and you’ll see results in no time.

I personally prefer this over the Triumph Fiber Laser (my honorable mention for the best fiber laser) because of its advanced features and positive reviews.

Type of Laser: Fiber laser (LP E-20W/30W/50W laser source) | Power of Laser: 50W (power consumption: 1000W); 1-600kHZ repetition rate frequency | Engraving Speed: 7m/s | Dimensions: 31.1 x 20.08 x 31.89 inches | Weight: 131.7 lbs | Engraving Area: 175 x 175 mm | Materials Engravable: All metals such as aluminum, stainless steel, brass, copper, etc., and some non-metals such as nylon, light button, ABS, PVC, PES, etc. | Software: EZCAD 2; compatible with Lightburn, Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10

Best Laser Engraving Machines Comparison Table

Product Type of Laser Power of Laser Engraving Speed Dimensions Weight Engraving Area Materials Engravable Software
xTool D1 Pro Upgraded Laser Engraver โ€“ Best Overall Diode laser 2oW laser module; 120W machine power Up to 24000mm/min | 40 mm/s 31.3 x 14.5 x 5.3 inches 19.58 lbs. 16.9 x 15.7 inches Wood, acrylic, glass, leather, thin metal xTool Creative Space; compatible with LightBurn (but sold separately); connect via Wi-Fi, USB cable, TF card
SCULPFUN S30 Pro Max Laser Engraver โ€“ Best Laser Engraver for Metal Diode laser 2oW laser module; 60W machine power N/A 22.44 x 23.23 x 10.63 inches 17.21 lbs. 410 x 400mm (standard version); expandable to 935 x 900mm Wood, MDF, zigzag, cardboard, plastic, leather, circuit board, aluminum oxide, 304 stainless steel, ceramics, dark stone, black acrylic sheets, cardboard, non-woven fabric, bamboo sheets, leather, certain plastic sheets, circuit boards LightBurn, LaserGRBL, Benbox, GrblController, LiteFire | Supports Windows and MAC system | Supports NC, BMP, JPG, PNG, DXF, and other image formats.
OMTech 40W CO2 Laser Engraver, K40 Laser Etcher & Engraver Machine โ€“ Best Laser Engraver for Wood Gas laser (K40 CO2 laser tube) 40W laser module 100-255 mm/s 31.5 x 19.69 x 9.84 inches 57 lbs. 8ร—12 inch workbed; 0.7 square feet; 2โ€ณ height for thickness Wood, bamboo, acrylic, fabric, glass, ceramic, Delrin, cloth, leather, marble, matte board, melamine, paper, mylar, pressboard, rubber, fiberglass, anodized aluminum, tile, plastic, cork, and more non-metal materials Compatible with CorelLaser & CorelDraw; compatible with most printers and scanning machines | Compatible formats: TIF, BMP, JPG, JPEG, WMF, EMF, PLT
ORTUR Laser Master 3 โ€“ Best for Intermediate Engravers Diode laser 10W laser module 20000 mm/min 24 x 7 x 8 inches 13.82 lbs. 400 x 400 mm Wood, acrylic sheets, glass, steel, stone, etc. LaserGRBL, LightBurn, Laser Explorer APP | Compatible with TF Card/USB/Wi-Fi/APP
ORTUR 24V Laser Engraver 2 Pro-S2-SF โ€“ Best Budget Pick Diode laser 5.5W laser module 10000 mm/min 26.1 x 10.1 x 4.9 inches 10.43 lbs. 400 x 400 mm Stainless steel, paper, wood, acrylic, cloth, denim, leather, base plate, ABS-based color board, rubber, cork, sandpaper, food, glass fiber, plastic, etc. LaserGRBL (free), LightBurn (paid software)
LaserPecker 1 Laser Etcher โ€“ Best for Beginners Diode laser 1.6W laser head N/A 2.6 x 2.4 x 2 inches 1.96 lbs. 3.9″ x 3.9″ Wood, kraft paper, leather, fruit, felt, etc. SmartAPP
LaserPecker 2 Pro Laser Engraver โ€“ Best for Leather, Wood, and Alloy Diode laser 60W laser power, 5W laser output power, 15W laser output machine 36,000 mm/min 5.91 x 5.91 x 8.66 inches 10.03 lbs. 4″ x 196″ (Max) Paper, cardboard, wood, leather, acrylic, anodized/painted aluminum, stainless steel, etc. | Cuts wood, paper, leather Compatible with Android & iOS; Mac and Windows Operating Systems
ORTUR Laser Master 2 Pro-S2-LU2-10A Laser Engraver โ€“ Best for Home Workshops Dual-compression diode laser engraver 10W laser head output 15000 mm/min 26.69 x 11.42 x 5.2 inches 11.13 lbs 400 mm x 400 mm Paper, cardboard, wood, leather, acrylic, stainless steel, etc. | Cuts 20 mm thick wood and 30 mm acrylic LaserGRBL (free; Windows XP/7/8/10/11), LightBurn (paid; Mac OS and Windows) | File formats: JPG, PNG, BMP, JPEG, SVG, ETC, etc.
Glowforge Laser Cutter Plus 3D Laser Printer โ€“ Best Value Gas laser 40 W CO2 laser tube N/A 47 x 28 x 19 inches 113.7 lbs 38โ€ x 20.75โ€ x 8.25โ€; 2โ€ (0.5โ€ with tray) Metals, anodized aluminum, stainless steel, wood, leather, paper, fabric, acrylic, glass, metal, cardboard, chocolate Compatible with PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator, and high-end CAD software
US Stock 50W JPT Fiber Laser Engraver Machine โ€“ Best Fiber Laser and Professional Laser Engraver Fiber laser (LP E-20W/30W/50W laser source) 50W (power consumption: 1000W); 1-600kHZ repetition rate frequency 7m/s 31.1 x 20.08 x 31.89 inches 131.7 lbs 175 x 175 mm All metals such as aluminum, stainless steel, brass, copper, etc., and some non-metals such as nylon, light button, ABS, PVC, PES, etc. EZCAD 2; compatible with Lightburn, Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10

What to Consider Before Buying the Best Laser Engraving Machines

Hand adjusting laser engraver

Image Source

The laser engravers listed above can be intimidating, yes? It should be easier once you consider certain factors.

Always remember that the best laser cutter and engraver suits your needs. To make it easier, let’s call it the 5Ps: projects, purpose, price, place, and pace.

Projects

First, think about the projects you’re working on. You can do many things with a laser engraver cutter, but each machine can only handle so much.

You won’t need the big and best laser cutter machine if your projects consist of smaller items, such as pens and coasters. Wooden materials also don’t demand intensive engraving machines.

However, the engraving process is MORE TEDIOUS if you work on metals and other hard materials. You’ll need a specific laser engraver to work nicely on metal.

There’s also a matter of engraving, cutting, or both. Some laser engravers can’t laser cut. A laser cutter requires more advanced settings than mere engraving.

The type of project plays a crucial role in choosing a suitable machine. The best one on other people’s lists won’t necessarily work well for you, and vice versa.

Purpose

Your intent in getting a laser cutting and engraving machine also matters. You won’t need the most expensive device if you’re purchasing it as a hobby and working on personal projects.

Of course, if you have the budget, you can get high-end laser engravers. A good laser cutter is great for personalizing gifts or when you need to DIY souvenirs.

If your purpose is to run a business, you’ll need a more powerful laser cutter and engraver that can handle high volume and intensive labor in a shorter time.

I’ve seen many people purchase expensive laser cutters that are too complicated to use. Some of the best laser cutters are advanced, making it difficult for beginners.

While it’s not wrong, the machine is sometimes discarded because of user difficulties.

Failing to MAXIMIZE the laser engraver is a waste for such a high price.

In the same way, some people who need the best laser cutter for business skimp on cost and opt for cheaper laser engravers.

The business operation then struggles, costing more in the long run. If it’s an INVESTMENT, don’t hesitate to splurge a little. You’ll see high returns more quickly!

In all situations, it’s crucial to do your research before purchasing your laser cutting and engraving machine. Ask for tech and customer support if needed.

Price

The price of the machine is a priority. The best laser engravers and cutters are EXPENSIVE. Even the “cheapest” ones can dent your bank account โ€“ especially the good ones.

The good news is that there are always laser cutters and engravers that will fit your budget.

I’m pretty impressed that manufacturers now produce HIGH-QUALITY units for LOWER COSTS.

Your budget goes hand in hand with your purpose. Don’t go broke for a laser cutter and engraver! There are still other expenses, such as materials, accessories, etc.

To guide you better, you can gauge the usual prices of the best laser cutter and engraver to know if it’s a worthy purchase.

Place

Where will you work? Amid your hunt for the best laser-cutting machines, you might forget to consider your workshop space.

These machines come in different sizes; you must note the unit’s dimensions before purchasing one. There’s nothing worse than a potentially great machine that, unfortunately, doesn’t fit your place.

The space should also be big enough to ensure safety precautions. You can’t get too close to the machine, and proper distance must be observed.

Another vital consideration is ventilation. To laser cut and engrave, there’s burning involved; expect smoke and fumes.

The lack of ventilation can be HAZARDOUS to your health and the place.

Pace

Last but not least, consider the pace or speed that you want. In other words, EFFICIENCY. This goes back to the 1st and 2nd considerations above projects and purpose.

If you’re running a business, you’d probably want a more fast-paced machine to finish outputs in a shorter time and translate to MORE SALES.

Less labor-intensive equipment might suffice if it’s a laser-cutting hobby at home. You’ll enjoy the process without a deadline to beat!

What Is a Laser Engraving Machine?

The name says it all. Laser engravers use lasers to engrave on surfaces permanently and precisely. The laser vaporizes the area to etch the image.

The same goes for a laser cutter. But a laser cut is DEEPER and requires more power. Most affordable machines can’t cut through thick and hard materials.

Where Can I Use a Laser Engraver Machine Safely?

The best place to use a laser engraver is in a well-ventilated area. This means open windows or even the outdoors. Most machines come with an air assist feature in helping with this.

It would also help to have a fan or vacuum ready to help with the smoke, fumes, and debris.

WARNING

I strongly advise against using a laser machine in an enclosed space โ€“ it’s unsafe.

How Do Laser Cutters Work?

Laser cutters use a laser beam, which is hot and powerful, to vaporize or melt a surface. When it’s malleable enough, the cutting process begins.

The same goes for engraving. The difference is that engraving doesn’t require a deep cut since you only carve out the surface.

I won’t confuse you with the technicalities here. If interested, you can read more about how the engraving process works.

The Different Types of Laser Engravers

Laser engraving wood

Lasers are not as simple as they seem, too! There are a few types fit for every need. This is also a consideration worth noting.

Fiber Lasers

The PROFESSIONAL and EXPENSIVE machines are usually fiber lasers, like the US Stock 50W JPT Fiber Laser Engraver Machine listed above.

These machines use optical fiber cable that ensures top-notch precision and engraving accuracy. Fiber laser is the best option for a smooth job if you work with reflective materials.

Most of these are initially expensive but become worthwhile in the long run. Businesses can count this as a CAPITAL INVESTMENT and see returns. They’re also built to last.

Needless to say, some of the best laser cutter and engraver machines I’ve seen are fiber lasers.

BEST FOR: businesses, mass-production, professional use

Semi-Conductor Lasers

Most of the engraving machines you’ve seen are most likely semi-conductor. These are not so expensive or high-quality but does the job well.

The typical laser power of these machines is 1 to 10W, sometimes even 20W. The diode laser types you’ve seen fall under this category.

These machines are also smaller and can fit in rooms or workshops with limited spaces.

BEST FOR: hobbies, workshops, home activities, small businesses

Gas Lasers

If you see the machine labeled as “CO2,” then it belongs to the gas lasers category. Some of the best laser cutter machines are gas because they emit MORE HEAT and POWER.

Gas lasers cut through wood, paper, plastics, and acrylics like a champ. However, the maintenance is more tedious and might require accessories for optimal performance.

These machines can also sometimes be cheaper, but they’re not the safest option. I’d suggest asking for expert advice before using CO2 equipment intensively to avoid hazards.

BEST FOR: low-cost but powerful cutting

What Materials Can You Laser Engrave?

First, you must always follow the manufacturers’ instructions. They know what’s best for the machine they designed, and you should follow them accordingly.

Generally, these are the safe materials for engraving:

  • Wood
  • Leather
  • Rubber
  • Plastic
  • Textile
  • (Thin) Metal
  • Acrylic
  • Fabric
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Marble/Granite

TAKE NOTE

Engraving and cutting are different. Most machines can engrave materials of different types but have limitations on what they can cut through.

What Materials Should You NOT Laser Engrave?

Lasers are hazardous when used irresponsibly. As fun as it is to engrave and cut materials, you should be mindful of what your laser comes in contact with.

There are compositions that you shouldn’t laser. Some of them are the following:

  • Artificial leather with chromium
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Polyvinyl butyral (PVB)
  • Teflon
  • Carbon
  • Halogens (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine)
  • Epoxy or resins

For optimal safety, refer to your manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines before proceeding. Some brands like Glowforge offer safe-grade materials that are guaranteed safe.

Laser Engraving Machines vs. Laser Cutting Machines: Is There a Difference?

Although most machines offer both engraving and cutting in one, there are some differences that you may want to know.

Laser Engravers:

  • Lower laser power
  • Shorter focal length
  • Finer spot size (for more precision)
  • High-quality images
  • More suitable for thinner materials

Laser Cutters:

  • Higher laser power
  • Longer focal length
  • More flexible with height variations
  • Best for thicker materials

The laser and settings are more or less SIMILAR. The difference lies in how the machine functions: engraving only etches the surface, whereas cutting penetrates through the material.

Luckily, many modern machines make switching from one to another EASIER in just a few clicks. Most of those listed above function similarly, so you’re welcome!

Laser Engraving Safety Tips & Precautions

This isn’t to scare you, but to remind you to stay safe while completing your projects. Although most smaller machines are less hazardous, it doesn’t hurt to mitigate risks.

1. – Use Safety Gear

Some prescribed PROTECTIVE GEAR can be used depending on your machine’s intensity. Most likely, you’ll be advised to wear goggles for eye protection.

Many of these machines come with the necessary equipment. If not, check their accessories selection to see helpful additions.

My best advice is to protect your eyes from the laser beams and avoid staring into them without the gear. The light can be intense.

2. – Keep Flammable Materials Away

Lasers are a fire hazard. Before starting a project, make sure that the surroundings are safe. Remove the flammable materials that can get caught up in the process.

Machines nowadays have safety settings that automatically stop the operation once a hazard is detected. But it’s NOT always accurate, so do your part in ensuring safety.

3. – Ensure Proper Ventilation

As mentioned above, the smoke and fumes from laser engravers and cutters can be intense. It’s NOT ADVISABLE to do it in a closed room where you can inhale everything.

Do it outside or have a big window and fan to ventilate the space. You can also wear protective masks.

4. – Use Safe Materials

We’ve learned that there are safe and unsafe laser engraving and cutting materials. If you’re a beginner, don’t risk experimenting with hazardous materials you’re unsure about.

There are manufacturer-approved materials that you can use. Some brands also offer free samples to get you started. Always trust them first before taking risks!

You can also ask customer support if there are unsure matters. That’s why responsive customer service is also a vital consideration.

5. – Ensure Proper Machine Setup Before Using

Before you officially start, check if the assembly is done well. Ensure that the interlocks, parts, screws, and switches are in place.

Again, these modern machines have the technology to detect incorrect settings, so you don’t have to worry much. But it doesn’t harm anyone to double-check for yourself.

6. – Read Through ALL Instructions Before Proceeding

We all have this sickness of skipping through the fine print, be it contracts or instruction manuals. I understand, and I’m also guilty of this. But please read through everything!

These manuals are created for a reason: to inform you of the SAFETY PRECAUTIONS so you can operate the machine without harming yourself.

There are also instructional videos online that you can view. And again, tech support that you can approach for inquiries. Researching before doing anything crucial is always a must.

Is It Worth Getting a Laser Engraver?

Yes! Laser engravers and cutters can do wonders if used properly. The possibilities are endless, and creative people will have the time of their lives with these machines.

Looking around, you’ll notice that most of our items are engraved or cut โ€“ logos, intricate designs, and artwork. These are only possible through equipment like this.

Investing in laser engraving machines is one of my best decisions. I find that it’s most worthwhile for people to START A BUSINESS that requires laser power as a business operation.

It may be expensive and intimidating initially, but the returns will be worth it. I promise!

Additionally, it’s also an excellent choice for hobbyists who want to explore more of their creativity, whether or not for profit.

For practicality, however, I don’t advise going all in on high-end machines if your goal is for crafts. There are many good quality ones on the list for less than a thousand bucks.

Closed-up view of laser engraving metal

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we’ve gone through all the best laser engravers out there and everything about them, let me address some common questions you might still have in mind:

What Is the Best Laser Engraver for Beginners?

The best laser engraver for beginners is the LaserPecker 1 Laser Etcher. It’s a simple and small toy that engraves well without added complications.

Of course, I’m talking about actual beginners โ€“ those who are only starting to explore the world of laser engraving.

If you’re more advanced than that, the ORTUR Laser Master 3 is a good upgrade. It’s close to a professional machine for a reasonable price.

How Much Does a Good Laser Engraver Cost?

The genuinely good laser engravers will cost around $1k or at least $500. This is reasonable, considering that most real professional machines range from $5k and above.

As a reference, you can check the items listed above. These are the machines with superb quality without going overboard with the average pricing.

Can You Make Money With Laser Engraving?

Yes, you can! Laser engraving businesses are a hit because you can do much with them, from personalizing small items like pens and mugs to building an entire artwork through cutting.

What Is the Lifespan of a Laser Engraver?

Generally, a good laser engraver lasts 8 years to a decade. The cheaper machines will most likely have a shorter lifespan. For some faulty ones, it may only last for months.

Keep in mind that the longevity of a laser engraver depends on subjective factors such as brand, maintenance, and labor. How you take care of and use the machine also matters!

What Size Laser Engraver Should I Buy?

A good size for you should FIT YOUR SPACE. If you look at the list above, there are listed dimensions. You can choose from big, durable ones to handy and portable options.

Do Laser Engravers Use a Lot of Electricity?

Unfortunately, yes. Laser engravers and cutters require high power, which you should probably include in your budget plan.

For reference, it requires power similar to heaters and air conditioning units.

Is Laser Engraving Permanent?

Yes, laser engraving is permanent. Once a pattern is etched on the surface with a laser beam, it’s bound to last for good.

Conclusion

Laser engraving is an excellent way to create intricate and detailed designs on various materials. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced user, a laser engraver can significantly improve your work by offering high-precision marking, cutting, and engraving capabilities. After thorough research, we have compiled expert recommendations for the top five laser engravers available on the market.

The xTool D1 Pro Upgraded Laser Engraver is an ideal option for those who prioritize precise laser cutting power, exceptional laser modules, and easy focus adjustment. Although it has a steep learning curve, its performance is suitable for professionals looking to enhance their business operations.

If you’re looking for the best laser engraver for metal, the Sculpfun S30 Pro Max Laser Engraver is a good option. With impressive hardware, easy assembly, and the ability to cut up to 0.05 mm thick metal, this machine offers great value for its price.

For users requiring a versatile and robust engraving process for non-metal materials, the OMTech 40W CO2 Laser Engraver is the right choice. Although it requires prior knowledge and some tweaks for a better experience, its laser-cut precision and durable machine hardware are noteworthy.

The ORTUR Laser Master 3 is an excellent choice for intermediate engravers, featuring user-friendly and affordable operations, multiple engraving settings, and a reliable customer support system. However, it may not be suitable for beginners due to its complicated assembly and unresponsive customer support outside the U.S.

Lastly, if you’re on a budget, the ORTUR 24V Laser Engraver 2 Pro-S2-SF offers a surprisingly high-quality engraving experience at an affordable price. While its cutting capabilities may not be the best, it produces crisp and detailed images on various materials.

Out of these 10 best laser engravers, these five expert recommendations cater to different user needs and budgets, ensuring that you can find the perfect laser engraver for your unique requirements.

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