Fiber Laser Cutter Sparks
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The 13 Best Laser Engravers and Cutters for Every Price Point and Project Size

Fiber Laser Cutter Sparks

Back at MIT, when I fell in love with laser cutting, there weren’t very many affordable products available for hobbyists to buy. If you wanted a laser cutter, you’d have to spend thousands of dollars for a larger machine that had a smaller work area.

However, over the past several years, companies like Glowforge, xTool, and many others have brought pretty compelling laser engravers and cutters to the market at every price point. In short, we are in a laser renaissance!

With so many laser machines to choose from, I thought it would be helpful to complete a list of the best laser engravers and cutters for every price point and project size and a few more categories that you can see below.

What’s in this article

Snapshot: Best Laser Cutters and Engravers


The Best Laser Engravers and Laser Cutters by category

Below is a deep dive into every laser cutter mentioned in the snapshot above. We’ve included the key features, benefits, pros, and cons that we believe are the primary elements to consider when choosing which machine to purchase based on your needs.

Best Overall: xTool D1 Pro 20W

xTool D1 Pro 20W Laser Engraver

Overview

The xTool D1 Pro 20W appears three times on our list below, and there’s a good reason why: this is the best overall laser cutter when we factor in the functionality and pricing altogether. It’s made of very high-quality parts, with steel rollers on all of its axes and quiet stepper motors to drive them.

It has a high cutting accuracy and has an optional rotary attachment for engraving curved objects, which I personally love to utilize. It also has nice safety features like instant stop on flame and motion detection.

Key Features: 

  • Materials: cuts and engraves wood, leather, paper, cardboard, opaque acrylic ( black, brown, red, yellow, green), stone, paint glass, paint ceramics, stainless steel, titanium, iron, and aluminum oxide

  • Thickness it can cut in a single pass

    • Wood: 10mm

    • Acrylic: 6mm

  • Work area: 16.9″ x 15.3″

  • Laser type: Diode

  • Laser power: 20W (also available in 10W)

See our comprehensive review of the xTool D1 Pro here.

Price: $1,100 | View Product Page »

Best under $300: ATOMSTACK A5 Pro Laser Engraver

ATOMSTACK A5 Pro Laser Engraver

Overview

The Atomstack A5 Pro is a high-quality diode laser cutter and engraver, especially given the price point. It’s high speed at 430 inches per minute and for its size, also high power, and it’s compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. It also comes with a touchscreen offline controller.

Key Features: 

  • Materials:

    • Engraving: wood, bamboo, cardboard, plastic, leather, MDF, slate, lacquered metal, mirror stainless steel.

    • Cutting: cardboard, non-woven fabric, veneer, acrylic, some thin plastic board, sponge, MDF, leather

  • Thickness it can cut in a single pass: Requires multiple passes to cut through wood

  • Work area: 16″ x 16″

  • Laser type: Diode

  • Laser power: 5.5W

Price: $240 | View Product Page »

Best between $300 and $500: Jinsoku LC-40

Jinsoku LC-40 Laser Engraver

Overview

The Jinsoku LC-40 is an inexpensive Diode laser cutter and engraver that features a modular design for easy assembly. It has a fixed focus laser, so you don’t have to worry about adjusting the focus, and it has a large enough workspace to handle a wide range of materials and projects.

Key Features: 

  • Materials

    • Engraving: Cardboard, plywood, non-transparent plastic, cloth, leather, stone, glass, stainless steel, and metal with oxidized spray paint.

    • Cutting: Cardboard, light wood, non-woven fabric, Acrylic material, thin plastic board.

  • Thickness it can cut in a single pass:

    • Wood: 4mm

  • Work area: 16″ x 16″

  • Laser type: Diode

  • Laser power: 5.5W

Price: $300 | View Product Page »

Best between $500 and $1,000: Ortur Laser Master 3

Ortur Laser Master 3 Laser Engraver

Overview

The Ortur Laser Master 3 came in at a close second for best overall laser cutter. It features an open frame design, high powered diode laser, and a generous work area. It supports WiFi, a Transflash card, and USB connections. It’s not super cheap, but if you have a larger budget, it’s well worth the cost.

Key Features: 

  • Materials: wood, fabric, acrylic, paper, leather, plastic, foam, anodized metal, rubber, etc.

  • Thickness it can cut in a single pass:

  • Work area: 15.74″ x 15.74″

  • Laser type: Diode

  • Laser power: 10W & 20W

See our comprehensive review of the Ortur Laser Master 3.

Price: $1,200 or $700 | View Product Page »

Best between $1,000 and $2,000: xTool D1 Pro 20W

xTool D1 Pro 20W Laser Engraver

Overview

The xTool D1 Pro 20W appears three times on our list, and there’s a good reason why: this is the best overall laser cutter when we factor in the functionality and pricing altogether. It’s made of very high-quality parts, with steel rollers on all of its axes and quiet stepper motors to drive them.

It has a high cutting accuracy and has an optional rotary attachment for engraving curved objects, which I personally love to utilize. It also has nice safety features like instant stop on flame and motion detection.

Key Features: 

  • Materials: cuts and engraves wood, leather, paper, cardboard, opaque acrylic ( black, brown, red, yellow, green), stone, paint glass, paint ceramics, stainless steel, titanium, iron, and aluminum oxide

  • Thickness it can cut in a single pass

    • Wood: 10mm

    • Acrylic: 6mm

  • Work area: 16.9″ x 15.3″

  • Laser type: Diode

  • Laser power: 20W (also available in 10W)

See our comprehensive review of the xTool D1 Pro here.

Price: $1,100 | View Product Page »

Best between $2,000 and $4,000: Gweike Cloud Pro II (50W)

Gweike Cloud Pro II (50W) Laser Engraver

Overview

The 50W Gweike Cloud Pro II is the first CO2 laser to make our list. It’s an impressive machine with a speed that is 3.4 times faster than other comparable laser cutters, which is a big reason why it topped our list for this price range.

– Desktop CO2 – the speed of Gweikecloud is 3.4 times faster than other laser cutters – Support Cutting or Engraving 400+ materials including Acrylic, Metal, Wood, Paper, Cardboard, Leather, Ceramic, Fabric, etc. – 20.08″ (510mm)*11.8″ (300mm)

Key Features: 
  • Materials: Support Cutting or Engraving 400+ materials, including Acrylic, Metal, Wood, Paper, Cardboard, Leather, Ceramic, Fabric, etc

  • Thickness it can cut in a single pass

    • Wood: 18m

    • Acrlic: 16mm

  • Work area: 20″ x 12″

  • Laser type: CO2

  • Laser power: 50W

Price: $3,150 | View Product Page »

Best Over $4,000: xTool P2 CO2 Laser

xTool P2 CO2 Laser Engraver

Overview

Taking the number one spot for our most expensive category is the xTool P2 CO2 laser. This powerful 55W laser machine has a large work area outright, and one thing we love about it is that it has passthrough capability for longer workpieces.

This means you can work on pieces of infinite length in one direction (as long as it’s not wider than 26.7″). It also has an automatic convert feeder that you can purchase separately.

Key Features: 

  • Materials:

    • Cut: wood, acrylic, leather, MDF, rubber, fabric

    • engrave glass, ceramic, slate, coated metal, anodized aluminum, and more.

  • Thickness it can cut in a single pass:

    • Wood: 18mm

    • Acrylic: 20mm

  • Work area: 26.7″ × 14.1″

  • Laser type: CO2

  • Laser power: 55W

Price: $5,000 | View Product Page »

Best with a small work area: LaserPecker 2

LaserPecker 2 Laser Engraver

Overview

The LaserPecker 2 is a high-end, well-polished machine with a smooth surface, ergonomic handlebar (did we mention this is portable?), touchscreen control panel, and it’s a mighty fast engraver!

What I love most about this, other than its sleek design, is that it’s very portable and can print on cylindrical objects with a unique rotary-style attachment.

Key Features: 

  • Materials:

  • Cutting and Engraving: metal, dark glass, colored ceramics, wood, bamboo, leather, paper, food, plastic, acrylic, stone, cement, bone, and more.

    • Engraving Only: wood, paper, acrylic, and leather

  • Thickness it can cut in a single pass:

    • Wood: 1.5mm

  • Work area: 4″ x 4″

  • Laser type: Diode

  • Laser power: 5W

See our full review of the LaserPecker 2 here

Price: $850 | View Product Page »

Best medium-sized work area: xTool D1 Pro 20W

xTool D1 Pro 20W Laser Engraver

Overview

The xTool D1 Pro 20W appears three times on our list, and there’s a good reason why: this is the best overall laser cutter when we factor in the functionality and pricing altogether. It’s made of very high-quality parts, with steel rollers on all of its axes and quiet stepper motors to drive them.

It has a high cutting accuracy and has an optional rotary attachment for engraving curved objects, which I personally love to utilize. It also has nice safety features like instant stop on flame and motion detection.

Key Features: 

  • Materials: cuts and engraves wood, leather, paper, cardboard, opaque acrylic ( black, brown, red, yellow, green), stone, paint glass, paint ceramics, stainless steel, titanium, iron, and aluminum oxide

  • Thickness it can cut in a single pass

    • Wood: 10mm

    • Acrylic: 6mm

  • Work area: 16.9″ x 15.3″

  • Laser type: Diode

  • Laser power: 20W (also available in 10W)

See our comprehensive review of the xTool D1 Pro here.

Price: $1,100 | View Product Page »

Best with a Large work area: xTool P2 CO2 Laser

xTool P2 CO2 Laser Engraver
Overview

Our pick for the best large laser cutter is the xTool P2. This powerful 55W laser machine has a large work area outright, and one thing we love about it is that it has passthrough capability for longer workpieces, meaning you can work on pieces of infinite length in one direction (as long as it’s not wider than 26.7″). It also has an automatic convert feeder that you can purchase separately.

Key Features: 

  • Materials:

    • Cut: wood, acrylic, leather, MDF, rubber, fabric

    • engrave glass, ceramic, slate, coated metal, anodized aluminum, and more.

  • Thickness it can cut in a single pass:

    • Wood: 18mm

    • Acrylic: 20mm

  • Work area: 26.7″ × 14.1″

  • Laser type: CO2

  • Laser power: 55W

Price: $5,000 | View Product Page »

Best for Small Businesses: OMTech 100W CO2 Laser Engraver

OMTech 100W CO2 Laser Engraver

Overview

The OMTech 100W is by far the largest and highest-powered laser we’ve included in this list, and it’s the best one we’ve researched for small businesses. =

It’s great for projects that require speed, large surfaces, or both. Being larger than other est (it’s not a desktop machine), you’ll need a bit of space in your shop to fit this bad boy, but it’s well worth it in my book if, like me, you love creating larger art pieces.

If you’re a small business, you’ll love this machine.

Key Features: 

  • Materials: wood, glass, leather, coated metals (anodized aluminum), and acrylic

  • Thickness it can cut in a single pass:

  • Wood: 18mm

    • Acrylic: 20mm

  • Work area: 20″ x 28″

  • Laser type: CO2

  • Laser power: 100W

Price: $3,800 | View Product Page »

Best Portable Laser Engraver: LaserPecker 2

LaserPecker 2 Laser Engraver

Overview

The LaserPecker 2 is a high-end, well-polished machine with a smooth surface, ergonomic handlebar (did we mention this is portable?), touchscreen control panel, and it’s a mighty fast engraver!

What I love most about this, other than its sleek design, is that it’s very portable and can print on cylindrical objects with a unique rotary-style attachment.

Key Features: 

  • Materials:

  • Cutting and Engraving: metal, dark glass, colored ceramics, wood, bamboo, leather, paper, food, plastic, acrylic, stone, cement, bone, and more.

    • Engraving Only: wood, paper, acrylic, and leather

  • Thickness it can cut in a single pass:

    • Wood: 1.5mm

  • Work area: 4″ x 4″

  • Laser type: Diode

  • Laser power: 5W

See our full review of the LaserPecker 2 here

Price: $850 | View Product Page »

Honorable Mentions

There are a few laser engraving machines that I wanted to include in this post as honorable mentions because they have special functionality that makes them unique.

Snapmaker 2.0 A350T

Snapmaker 2.0 A350T Laser Engraver

The Snapmaker 2.0 A350T is a great 3-in laser machine in that it can also 3D Print and do CNC machining! It comes standard with a 1.6W laser module, but you can upgrade this to a 10W laser module if you need more power or want to engrave on metals.

View Product Page »

xTool M1 Laser & Blade

xTool M1 Laser Engraver & Blade

The xTool M1 Laser & Blade is a really cool machine in that not only does it have a laser module, but it also has an actual blade that can be used to cut leather, paper, fabric, iron-ons, and felt. If you enjoy working on textiles in addition to laser projects, then this machine is a great option.

View Product Page »

ATOMSTACK S20 PRO Laser Engraver

ATOMSTACK S20 PRO Laser Engraver

The Atomstack S20 Pro is like many of the other cutters except for one thing: not only can it engrave metal, it can CUT sheet metal! This is a feature that none of the above laser cutters share.

View Product Page »

Triumph 30W Engraver

Triumph 30W Laser Engraver

The Triumph 30W Engraver is a pretty big and expensive machine, especially for Fiber lasers, but I wanted to include this one because, with its 30W laser, it can be used for rust removal. General rust removal lasers cost much more than this machine, so it could be an interesting option for someone going into that business.

View Product Page »

What are Laser Machines, and what can they do?

In case you’re not too familiar, here’s a bit about what exactly laser cutters and engravers are and what they can do.

Laser cutters and engravers are machines that use high-powered lasers to cut or engrave designs onto different materials. Imagine a printer, but instead of using ink, it uses light energy to etch or slice through stuff.

You might be asking, what kinds of things can they cut or etch? Well, it depends on the kind of laser, which we get into below, but in general, laser cutters can cut all the way through material like wood or acrylic, and laser engravers can etch materials like wood, acrylic, and even some metals, creating intricate designs that would be tough to achieve with traditional tools. Think of stunning jewelry, detailed architectural models, or personalized signage.

On the other hand, laser engravers are all about adding that personal touch. They etch detailed images or text onto surfaces. You could engrave a heartfelt message on a wooden plaque, create custom branding on leather goods, or even etch a photo-realistic image onto a piece of glass.

How to Choose a Laser Cutter or Engraver

When choosing a laser engraver, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure you select the best machine for your needs. These factors include what kinds of projects you want to create, including size, your budget for a machine, how quickly you want to be able to cut or engrave, and software compatibility.

By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision and invest in a laser engraver that will meet your specific requirements and provide the desired results.

Do you want to cut, engrave, or both?

All of the laser machines listed in this article can engrave, which means etch marks into the surface of an object. Only some can engrave onto metal, so if you want to work with metals, you will want to include that in your criteria when reviewing lasers.

Not all laser machines can cut all the way through materials. Fiber lasers, for example, only engrave. Most Diode lasers can cut all the way through some materials, but they are not very thick and not very fast. Higher-powered CO2 lasers are best known for their cutting ability and speed.

Your Project Size

As you can see above, most lasers have a limited work area, which means you can only make pieces that are smaller than that. Some machines have a passthrough feature, which allows you to work on pieces that are as long as you want in a single dimension.

When considering what laser to buy, make sure you have a good idea of how big of projects you want to work on and how that compares to the size of the work area of your laser.

Engraving Speed

Engraving speed is another critical factor to consider when selecting a laser engraver, as it affects productivity and efficiency. Faster engraving speeds allow for quicker project completion, while slower speeds may be necessary for more intricate or detailed work.

When comparing laser engravers, it’s important to consider the cutting speed and how it will impact your ability to complete projects efficiently. If your projects require intricate detail or high precision, a slower engraving speed may be necessary to achieve the desired results.

Conversely, if you’re looking to complete projects quickly and efficiently, a higher engraving speed may be more suitable.

Software Compatibility

Software compatibility is a crucial factor to consider when selecting a laser engraver, as it ensures seamless integration with design and control software, enhancing the user experience and overall functionality of the machine.

There are two main categories of software you will need in order to use a laser cutter: design software and control software. Design software can be a CAD program like Solidworks or a graphic design program like Adobe Illustrator.

Different laser engravers may be compatible with various Control software programs, so it’s important to ensure that the engraver you choose is compatible with the software you plan to use. Lightburn is a very popular one, for example.

Tips for Using and Maintaining Your Laser Cutter or Engraver

To get the most out of your laser engraver and ensure its longevity, it’s essential to follow safety precautions, perform regular maintenance, and optimize settings for the best results.

By taking the time to properly care for your laser engraver and use it safely, you can enjoy years of efficient and accurate engraving.

In the following sections, we will provide tips for using and maintaining your laser engraver, covering safety precautions, regular maintenance, and optimizing settings.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure the optimal performance and durability of your laser engraver, allowing you to create stunning projects with ease and precision.

Safety Precautions

Safety should always be a top priority when using a laser engraver. This includes wearing protective gear, such as safety goggles, to protect your eyes from potentially harmful laser wavelengths.

Additionally, take care to avoid direct contact with the laser beam during operation and never leave the laser unattended when firing.

Proper ventilation is also crucial when using a laser engraver, as the process can produce fumes and smoke that may be harmful if inhaled.

Ensure that your workspace is well-ventilated and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe operation.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the optimal performance and longevity of your laser engraver. This includes cleaning and inspecting components, lubricating moving parts, and replacing worn or damaged parts as necessary.

To clean and inspect components, use a soft cloth and a vacuum cleaner to remove any dust and debris, and inspect the components for signs of wear or damage.

Lubricate the rails and motion system every two weeks using a lubricant specifically designed for laser engraving machines. This will help to ensure smooth operation and prevent wear on moving parts.

Additionally, consult the manufacturer’s instructions for replacing worn or damaged parts and make sure to use the correct replacement parts for your machine.

Optimizing Settings

Optimizing settings for your laser engraving involves adjusting laser power, speed, focus, and other parameters to achieve the best results for each material and application. This can help to ensure that your engraving is accurate, precise, and of the highest quality.

When optimizing settings, consider the material you are working with, the desired depth and precision of the engraving, and the type of laser you are using.

Adjusting settings can be a trial-and-error process, but taking the time to find the ideal settings for each material and project will result in better overall results and performance.

Experiment with different settings and consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for recommendations on optimal settings for various materials and projects.

Popular Laser Engraving Applications

Laser engraving is a versatile and powerful technology with a wide range of applications, from personalization and customization to art and design and even industrial manufacturing.

With the ability to create intricate patterns, images, and designs on various materials, laser engraving has become an increasingly popular tool for artists, designers, and manufacturers alike.

In the following sections, we will explore the popular applications of laser engraving in greater detail, discussing personalization and customization, art and design, and industrial manufacturing.

Personalization and Customization

Laser engraving is an ideal solution for personalization and customization, allowing you to create unique, one-of-a-kind items for customers, such as engraved jewelry or custom signage.

With its high level of accuracy and precision, laser engraving can be used to create intricate designs and patterns on a variety of materials, from wood and metal to glass and acrylic.

The ability to create personalized items quickly and accurately makes laser engraving a popular choice for businesses looking to offer custom products.

Whether you’re creating custom phone cases, personalized water bottles, or engraved awards and trophies, laser cutting offers a cost-effective and reliable method for producing unique items that your customers will love.

Art and Design

Laser cutting is an incredibly versatile tool for art and design applications, allowing artists and designers to create intricate patterns, images, and designs on a wide variety of materials through the engraving process.

From delicate paper cut-outs and etched glass designs to intricate metal engravings and detailed wood carvings, lasers offer unparalleled precision and accuracy for creating stunning works of art. Additionally, laser cutting complements the engraving process by providing clean and precise cuts on various materials.

Industrial Manufacturing

In the world of industrial manufacturing, laser cutting has become an essential tool for marking and identification purposes. By providing a precise and accurate method for marking materials, laser engraving ensures product traceability and quality control, making it an invaluable asset for manufacturers in industries such as automotive, aerospace, medical, and electronics.

Laser engraving is also used for creating custom parts and prototypes, as well as for producing intricate designs and patterns on a wide range of materials.

With its high level of accuracy and precision, laser engraving is an ideal solution for manufacturers looking to improve their production processes and ensure the highest level of quality and consistency for their products.

Buyers Guide: How We Conducted Our Researched 

There’s a plethora of details to look at when it comes to determining which laser machines are great, which are good, and which aren’t worth the effort to type about. I determined which machines to include in this list using the below factors:

  • My own experience: I’ve been using laser cutters and engravers since I was a wee lad of 18 years old, and I have a good sense of what’s good and what isn’t.

  • Reviews: what are customers who have used the product saying about it after years of use?

  • Pricing: How much does the machine cost compared to its functionality?

  • Features: What were the best features of each product?

Wrapping up

Whew, what a list! I really enjoyed putting all of this information together, and I hope it’s a helpful guide for choosing the best laser for your purpose. As you can see, laser engraving offers a world of possibilities for artists, designers, businesses, and manufacturers alike.

By understanding the different types of laser engravers, factors to consider when choosing a machine, tips for using and maintaining your engraver, and popular applications, you can make an informed decision and invest in the best laser engraver that will meet your specific needs and provide years of reliable and accurate engraving.

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast, a small business owner, or a professional, the best laser engraver is out there to help you bring your creative visions to life!

Frequently Asked Questions

What accessories should I think about buying with my laser?

Great question! The two most important accessories that I would recommend are a rotary attachment and, of course, you will need the right eye protection!

How much does a decent laser engraver cost?

A decent laser engraver can cost anywhere from $240 to $7,000 and up!

What is the best laser to engrave cutting boards?

For engraving cutting boards, the best choice is a blue diode laser for wood, a CO2 laser for cutting wood and plastics, and a fiber laser for engraving metals.

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