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Best Cheap Laser Engraver for Beginners under $500

Are you fascinated by the world of laser engraving and looking to start your journey into this creative field? Then you’ve come to the right place!

In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the best laser engraving machine for beginners – all under $500 in price – giving you the perfect balance between affordability, ease of use, and functionality. Get ready to bring your stunning designs to life and create incredible engravings on a wide range of materials!

This comprehensive guide will not only provide you with a list of top 8 affordable laser engravers, including the best laser engraver for beginners and the best portable engravers.

If you’re feeling ambitious and want to learn about the best laser engravers and laser cutters for all experience levels, see our guide here.

We also cover essential factors to consider when choosing your first laser engraver. From understanding the basics of laser engraving to learning tips for successful projects, we’ve got you covered. If you’re new to laser engraving and want to dive deeper, refer to our comprehensive guide to laser engraving for beginners.

Let’s dive right in and explore the fantastic world of laser engraving!

Short Summary

  • There are many great laser cutting options available for less than $500 that beginners will find very useful. We’ve narrowed it down to the eight we think are best.

  • Learn the basics of how laser engravers work, the types of machines to use & materials best suited for successful projects

  • Click the links above and throughout this article for our other comprehensive resources for beginners to learn about laser engraving

Best Laser Engraver for Beginners: Our Top Picks

Full List of Laser Engravers for Beginners

In the quest for the perfect laser engraving machine for beginners, we’ve narrowed down the list to eight exceptional machines that combine affordability, ease of use, and functionality. These laser engraving machines are:

  1. Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro

  2. Jinsoku LC-40

  3. Atomstack A5 Pro

  4. Sculpfun S30

  5. Twotrees TS2

  6. AtomStack Portable Mini Laser Engraver

  7. LaserPecker LP1 Pro

  8. Comgrow Mini Laser Engraver

Each of these machines has its unique features and capabilities, catering to different needs and preferences. Let’s take a closer look at each of them and find the ideal one for you!

Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro

Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro

If you’re searching for a user-friendly, affordable, and powerful laser-cutting machine, the Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro is a fantastic choice! This machine can complete highly precise engraving work with a spot size of 0.5×0.1mm and a maximum speed of 15,000 mm/min.

One of the best features of the Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro is its safety. The G-sensor on its motherboard acts as a safety mechanism, and it also includes laser safety glasses to protect your eyes from potential harm.

Note that it requires a connection to a computer unless you purchase an offline controller unit. Overall, this laser engraver is an excellent choice for beginners and hobbyists alike.

Click here to read our full review of the Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro.

Key Features: 

  • Materials: Paper, Corrugated Paper, Wood, Acrylic, Cloth, Denim, Leather, Base Plate, ABS-based Color Board, Rubber, Cork, Sandpaper, Food, Glass Fiber, Plastic, etc.

  • Thickness it can be cut in a single pass: 12mm wood, 10mm acrylic

  • Work area: 16″ x 16″

  • Laser type: Diode

  • Laser power: 10W

Price: $499 | View Product Page »


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 »


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 »


Sculpfun S30

Sculpfun S30 laser engraver

The Sculpfun S30 is a great laser machine for beginners; it offers more upgrades compared to the S9 with similar engraving and cutting performance. It comes standard with an automatically controlled air assist system, limit switches, improved x-axis rail, and a replaceable lens. It’s compatible with the most popular laser cutter control software options and works with Windows or Mac.

Key Features: 

  • Materials: walnut, cherry, and other high-density wood, MDF, acrylic board, cardboard, non-woven, bamboo, leather, and some plastic boards, PCB boards

  • Work area: 15″ x 15″ (upgrade kit can be purchased which expands the size to 39″ x 16″)

  • Laser type: Diode

  • Laser power: 5W

Price: $309 | View Product Page »


Twotrees TS2

Twotrees TS2 laser engraver

If affordability and ease of use are your main concerns, the Twotrees TS2 laser engraver is a perfect option. It has a compact design, easy assembly, and has a very fine engraving precision of 0.01mm.

It automatically focuses the laser spot and great protection features: inclination protection and exposure time detection, triggering an alarm function to automatically stop and stop working under certain circumstances, eliminating safety concerns in all aspects.

This machine also has the largest work area on the list, so if you want to work on larger projects, this might be the best machine for you! It also has a rotary attachment that you can purchase, as well as an extension kit to increase the already large work area.

Key Features: 

  • Materials: leather, plastic, bamboo, lacquered metal, and aluminum oxide boards, stainless steel

  • Thickness it can be cut in a single pass: 15mm wood, 3mm acrylic

  • Work area: 17.7″ x 17.7″ (can expand to 28″ x 41″ with extension kit add on)

  • Laser type: Diode

  • Laser power: 10W

Price: $319 | View Product Page »


AtomStack Portable Mini Laser Engraver

AtomStack Portable Mini Laser Engraver

For those who prioritize portability, the AtomStack Portable Mini Laser Engraver is an excellent choice. The machine’s robust all-aluminum alloy anodized structure ensures durability and precision in engraving. It comes 85% pre-assembled, allowing for a quick 5-minute setup.

The engraver is equipped with a high-performance fixed-focus laser that doesn’t require focal length adjustments. This upgraded laser ensures a concentrated energy spot, making it ideal for both precision engraving and high-energy cutting.

One of its standout features is the eye-protection flame-retardant filter panoramic glass, which filters out 97% of ultraviolet light, ensuring safety for the user’s eyes and eliminating the need for goggles. It’s also equipped with a horizontal gyroscope that halts operation if tilted.

Being portable, it has a smaller engraving area compared to most of the other machines on this list, but it works great if you just want to create smaller designs.

Key Features: 

  • Materials: wood, bamboo, cardboard, plastic, leather, MDF, slate, lacquered metal, mirror stainless steel, cardboard, non-woven fabric, veneer, acrylic, some thin plastic board, sponge, MDF, leather;

  • Work area: 8″ x 8″

  • Laser type: Diode

  • Laser power: 5.5W

Price: $170 | View Product Page »


LaserPecker LP1 Pro

LaserPecker LP1 Pro laser engraver

The LaserPecker L1 Pro is a compact and user-friendly laser engraver designed for those who value both functionality and portability. Its sleek design and ease of setup make it an attractive choice for both beginners and experienced users.

The device’s small footprint ensures that it can be easily transported and set up in various locations, making it ideal for on-the-go projects. Its unique modular design comes with a tripod that you can use to mount it anywhere that’s a flat surface.

You can also use it without the tripod, setting it on its side or just holding it in your hand for use on abnormal surfaces or positions, and it can be used without being plugged into an electrical outlet. Also, this machine is unique in that it doesn’t have any moving parts – the laser is reflected via an internal mechanism to create your design.

Key Features: 

  • Materials: acrylic, wood, bamboo, paper, cardboard, plastic, phone, PCB board, aluminum oxide, black-painted metal/ceramic

  • Work area: 4″ x 4″

  • Laser type: Diode

  • Laser power: 0.5W

Price: $319 | View Product Page »


Comgrow Mini Laser Engraver

Comgrow Mini Laser Engraver

The Comgrow Mini Laser Engraver is a versatile DIY handheld engraving tool that offers a variety of laser engraving modes to accommodate different crafting needs.

It comes with a user-friendly app that can be easily controlled through Bluetooth connectivity. It’s about the size of an 8″ cube, so it’s small enough to hold and maneuver with your hands if you want to engrave on a surface that you can’t put on your table.

Key Features:

  • Materials: many, including cardboard, paper, cloth, wood, and metal.

  • Can cut through wood: No

  • Work area: 3.8″ x 3.4″

  • Laser power: 1.5W

Price: $160 | View Product Page »


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Laser Engraver

When selecting the perfect laser engraver for beginners, several factors should be taken into consideration. These include:

  • Affordability

  • Ease of use

  • Material compatibility

  • Safety features

  • Customer support

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the best laser engraver to suit your needs and start your creative journey with confidence.

Affordability

Affordability is a crucial factor for beginners, as they may not want to invest in expensive equipment initially. A decent laser engraver for beginners can cost as little as a few hundred dollars, providing a balance between cost and functionality. If you have a larger budget, you can get a high-quality laser machine at higher price points, too; see our complete guide to laser engraver costs if you want to learn more about how much they cost.

By choosing an affordable laser engraver, beginners can start exploring the world of laser engraving without breaking the bank.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is essential for beginners to learn and master laser engraving quickly. User-friendly laser engraving allows beginners to focus on their creative projects and minimize the learning curve associated with complex machines. By choosing a laser engraver with an intuitive interface and straightforward operation, beginners can start creating stunning engravings in no time.

The right laser engraver can make a huge difference in the success of a beginner’s laser cutter experience.

Material Compatibility

Material compatibility ensures that the laser engraver can work with various materials, expanding project possibilities and allowing beginners to explore different creative avenues. Choosing a laser engraver that can work with a wide range of materials provides versatility and flexibility in your projects. Some materials that a laser engraver should be compatible with include:

  • Wood

  • Acrylic

  • Leather

  • Metal

  • Glass

  • Rubber

  • Stone

Material compatibility is a key feature to consider when selecting the best laser engraver for your needs.

Safety Features

Safety features are vital to protect users and ensure a safe working environment. When selecting a laser engraver, it’s important to look for safety features such as a safety switch, an emergency stop button, and a protective cover.

By choosing a laser engraver with these safety features, beginners can work with confidence and minimize the risk of accidents.

Customer Support and Community

Customer support and community resources can help beginners troubleshoot issues and learn from experienced users. Having access to customer support and a community of fellow laser engravers can provide invaluable guidance and assistance in mastering the art of laser engraving.

By choosing a laser engraver with strong customer support and an active community, beginners can ensure a smooth and enjoyable learning experience.

Laser Engraving Basics for Beginners

In this section, we’ll cover the basics of laser engraving for beginners, including how laser engraving works, types of laser engravers, and materials used in the process. With a solid understanding of these fundamentals, you’ll be well-equipped to start your laser engraving journey and create stunning projects on various materials.

Laser engraving works by using a focused beam of light to laser engrave a design.

How Laser Engraving Works

Laser engraving works by using a focused laser beam to vaporize material, leaving a permanent mark on the surface. The laser beam acts like a chisel, incising deep marks by exposing the material to intense heat, melting, burning, and vaporizing the material.

This process results in permanent and abrasion-resistant engravings, perfect for creating detailed designs on a variety of materials.

Types of Laser Engravers for Beginners

For beginners, diode, CO2, and fiber lasers are great options for laser engravers. Diode lasers are compact and portable, making them ideal for small-scale projects and the most affordable and suitable option for beginners. Among these options, the fiber laser is known for its precision and efficiency, making it a popular choice as well.

CO2 lasers are perfect for cutting and engraving non-metal materials, while fiber lasers are great for marking and engraving metal. By understanding the different types of laser engraving, including the CO2 laser, available, beginners can choose the most suitable option for their needs and projects.

Materials for Laser Engraving

Materials for laser engraving include:

  • Laser engraving wood

  • Acrylic

  • Leather

  • Metal

  • Glass

  • Rubber

  • Stone

These materials provide a wide range of creative possibilities for your projects. By understanding the various materials that can be used for laser engraving, beginners can explore different creative avenues and create stunning projects on a variety of surfaces.

The versatility and adaptability of laser machines, including laser engravers, laser cutters, and laser engraving machines, as well as laser cutting machines, make them an excellent choice for those looking to expand their creative horizons.

Tips for Successful Laser Engraving Projects

In this section, we’ll share some tips for successful laser engraving projects, including preparing designs, understanding machine settings, and maintaining your equipment. By following these tips, you can ensure the best possible results and create stunning engravings on a wide range of materials.

Preparing your design is the first step in any laser engraving project. Make sure to check it.

Preparing Designs

Preparing designs for laser engraving involves using vector and raster graphics to create high-quality engravings. Vector graphics are made up of lines, curves, and shapes, while raster graphics are composed of pixels. By using software such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW, you can create detailed designs that can be easily engraved by your laser engraver.

By properly preparing your designs, you can ensure high-quality results for your laser engraving projects.

Understanding Machine Settings

Understanding machine settings, such as:

  • power

  • speed

  • resolution

  • frequency

is crucial for achieving the desired engraving depth and contrast in your projects. By experimenting with different settings and testing them on various materials, you can find the optimal settings for your specific needs and projects.

This will help you create stunning engravings with the perfect depth and contrast, ensuring the best possible results for your laser engraving projects.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your laser engraver are essential to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. By keeping the optics (mirrors and lenses) clean, checking the fan blades, and ensuring the lens is properly focused, you can maintain the efficiency and accuracy of your laser engraver.

By staying on top of maintenance and cleaning, you can avoid potential issues and ensure the best possible results for your laser engraving projects.

Summary

In conclusion, laser engraving offers endless creative possibilities for beginners looking to explore this exciting field. By choosing the right laser engraver, understanding the basics of laser engraving, and following tips for successful projects, beginners can quickly master the art of laser engraving and create stunning designs on a wide range of materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cheap laser engravers worth it?

Cheap laser engraving may provide short-term savings, but it’s worth spending more for a high-quality machine. You’ll get better performance and reliability in the long run, making it a worthwhile investment.

What business can I start with a laser engraver?

You can start a laser engraving business and create custom pieces for businesses or individuals. You can offer your services to businesses to create signage, awards, and other unique products.

You can also serve individual customers with personalized items like trophies, plaques, and wedding gifts.

What materials can be engraved using a laser engraver?

A laser engraver can be used to engrave materials such as wood, acrylic, leather, metal, glass, rubber, and stone.

What is the difference between vector and raster graphics in laser engraving?

Vector graphics allow for greater precision and more complex designs compared to raster graphics, which are made up of pixels.

Laser engraving vector graphics produces sharper, more detailed images than raster graphics.

What are the primary settings to consider when using a laser engraver?

When using a laser engraver, you’ll need to adjust the power, speed, resolution, and frequency settings to achieve the desired result.

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