Laser engraved logos
| |

The Best Laser Engravers for Small Business That Will Make You Money

In my experience, if you can dream it up, you can probably make it with a laser engraver or laser cutter, and if other people love it, you can certainly start a small business!

When I started Activated Art a number of years ago, it was kind of by accident. I was just making art that I thought was cool for our home, and when I posted about it on social media, it got such a huge response that people started asking if they could buy it, and so Activated Art was born.

There are many good laser cutters out there at every price point, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Whether you have an idea of your own, want to make money from engraver designs online, or just want to make art, it’s certainly possible to use even a modest laser cutter to make something that will bring joy to the lives of others and money to you!

In this blog post, you’ll discover the best laser engraver for small business and the essential factors to consider when choosing the best machine for your needs.

By the end, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision and embark on your journey to success with the perfect laser cutter for you.

Short Summary

  • Identify what characteristics are the most important to you, considering factors such as material compatibility, laser optical power, work area size, and ease of use.

  • Enhance your business with accessories like rotary attachments, air assist, and exhaust systems to improve the range of products & services offered.

  • Increase market demand by implementing marketing strategies & diversifying product offerings to expand customer base & revenue potential.

Our Top Pick: The Best Small Business Laser Cutter

Top 5 Laser Engravers for Small Businesses

Choosing the right laser engraver is crucial to fulfilling customer requirements and ensuring productivity and superior quality. With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to identify the best laser cutters.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 laser engravers for small businesses:

  1. OMTech 100W CO2 Laser Engraver

  2. Glowforge Plus

  3. xTool D1 Pro 20W

  4. Ortur Laser Master 3

  5. Snapmaker 2.0

These machines offer a balance of material compatibility, laser optical power, work area size, ease of use, and affordability, making them the ideal choices for small business owners.

Each of these laser engravers provides precise results, the capacity to craft intricate designs and a polished finish. However, they differ in terms of features, price, and overall performance.

In the following sections, we’ll take a closer look at each of these top laser cutters, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses to help you make the best decision for your business.

OMTech 100W CO2 Laser Engraver

OMTech 100W CO2 Laser Engraver

Overview

The OMTech 100W is by far the largest and highest-powered laser cutter 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 the other laser cutters (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.

As 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 »


Glowforge Plus

Glowforge Plus Laser Engraver

The Glowforge Plus is a user-friendly and versatile laser cutter, boasting a powerful 40W laser, quick setup, and hand-drawing function. This machine is perfect for small businesses looking for an all-in-one solution capable of engraving and cutting various materials. However, the Glowforge Plus comes with a higher price tag compared to other models on our list.

Glowforge Plus has many advantages, one of them being its large cutting area which measures 279 x 495 mm (11’’ x 19.5’’). In addition, it also has a cutting depth of 50 mm (2’’). This provides ample space for working on small to medium-sized projects.

The Glowforge Plus also has the option to upgrade to the Glowforge Pro, which features a 45W CO2 laser, a passthrough slot, and advanced high-spec features.

The Glowforge Basic is also available as an entry-level model at a lower price, but with some limitations and without the air-filter accessory.

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: $4,995 | View Product Page »


xTool D1 Pro 20W

xTool D1 Pro 20W Laser Engraver

The xTool D1 Pro is a reliable and affordable diode laser cutter and engraver, offering excellent build quality and professional features. It’s suitable for cutting various materials, such as wood, leather, and plastic, but it’s not as powerful as CO2 lasers for thicker materials. Among diode laser cutters, the xTool D1 Pro stands out for its performance and affordability.

This laser cutter is versatile and perfect for businesses offering a wide range of cutting and engraving possibilities with its easy-to-use design. It features an open design, allowing for easy access to the work area and quick adjustments when needed. Compared to other laser cutters, this machine stands out for its versatility and user-friendly operation.

With an affordable price tag, the xTool D1 Pro is an excellent choice for small business owners who want a reliable and efficient laser cutter without breaking the bank.

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

See our comprehensive review of the xTool D1 Pro here.

Price: $1,100 | View Product Page »


Ortur Laser Master 3

Ortur Laser Master 3 Laser Engraver

The Ortur Laser Master 3 is a budget-friendly and sturdy metal-framed laser cutter, offering a large working area, fast engraving speeds, and a rotary kit for engraving on rounded objects.

With a price of $699, this laser cutter is an attractive option for businesses looking for a powerful and versatile machine at a reasonable cost.

Standout features of this laser cutter include its compatibility with various software, such as Laser Explorer, LightBurn, and LaserGRBL, as well as its safety features like the safety lock-key system, active position and slope detection, and an emergency stop button.

However, it’s worth noting that this machine lacks physical control buttons and does not come with an air-assist pump. Despite these drawbacks, the Ortur Laser Master 3 remains a solid choice for small businesses.

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

Read our comprehensive review of the Ortur Laser Master 3 here.

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


Snapmaker 2.0

Snapmaker 2.0 A350T Laser Engraver

The Snapmaker 2.0 is a versatile 3-in-1 machine that combines a laser cutter, CNC router, and 3D printer, offering different work area size options, easy assembly, and compatibility with various materials.

This all-in-one laser cutter is perfect for small businesses looking for a comprehensive solution to their creative needs.

One of the standout features of the Snapmaker 2.0 is its modular design, allowing businesses to easily switch between laser cutting, CNC routing, and 3D printing functions.

This versatility enables small businesses to offer a wide range of products and services, catering to different customer needs and increasing revenue potential.

Key Features: 

  • Materials: Wood, leather, plastic, fabric, paper, non-transparent acrylic, and more being tested

  • Thickness it can cut in a single pass: 1.6mm basswood

  • Work area: 13″ x 14″

  • Laser power: 1.6W

Price: $1,399 | View Product Page »


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Laser Engraver

Selecting the right laser engraver for your small business is crucial to ensure productivity, superior quality, and customer satisfaction. When choosing a laser cutter, it’s essential to consider factors such as material compatibility, laser optical power, work area size, and the user-friendliness of the software and device. Each of these factors plays a significant role in determining the efficiency and effectiveness of your laser engraving business.

Understanding these factors will not only help you make the right choice but also enable you to maximize the potential of your laser engraving business. In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into each of these factors, providing you with valuable insights to make an informed decision.

Material Compatibility

The types of materials you plan to work with will play a significant role in determining the best laser cutter for your business. CO2 lasers have the greatest level of material compatibility, capable of cutting and engraving wood, acrylic, leather, paper, cardboard, MDF, rubber, and ceramic. However, they are not suitable for cutting metals.

On the other hand, fiber laser cutters are most suitable for metal workpieces but are not recommended for wood, plastics, and other essential materials. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that the laser cutter you choose is compatible with the materials you intend to work with before making a purchase.

Laser Optical Power

Laser power is another essential factor to consider when selecting a laser engraver. A higher-power laser enables faster cutting of thicker materials with minimal passes, thereby improving productivity and profitability. CO2 lasers typically used by small businesses have a power range of around 40W, although this can vary significantly.

Diode lasers, on the other hand, generally have a power range below 10W. Balancing price and laser power is crucial for small businesses to select a laser engraver that meets their requirements while staying within budget.

Work Area Size

laser cutter work area

Size matters when it comes to laser engravers and laser cutting. The size of the work area determines the size of the workpieces that can be cut and the number of jobs that can be accomplished in a single cutting cycle.

Most Diode laser engravers, for example, have a work area of about 16″ x 16″. You may be able to get creative by placing the laser in different positions on top of a large flat piece, but it will get complicated quickly trying to align patterns.

Fiber lasers are even smaller, with most work areas being about 4″ x 4″. Use these if you only plan to work on small projects.

CO2 lasers have the largest work areas, with reasonably priced machines having a work area of around 20″ x 12″. If you want to work on projects bigger than this, consider a CO2 machine that has a pass-through feature, allowing material of any length to stick out a door in the machine while you engrave it.

When selecting a laser engraver, it’s essential to consider the size of the workspace you’ll be using, as well as the size and type of materials you’ll be engraving, to identify the machine size that is most appropriate for your needs.

Ease of Use and Software

User-friendly laser-cutting machines are essential for efficient operation and productivity. Features such as laser cameras, autofocus, and easy-to-use software can significantly improve the performance of your laser cutting business. Additionally, the size and precision of the laser beam play a crucial role in achieving high-quality results.

Compatibility with various software programs, such as LightBurn, Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, CorelDRAW, and LaserGRBL, can provide you with greater flexibility and control over your engraving projects. By choosing a laser cutter with advanced features and user-friendly software, you can streamline your workflow and increase the overall efficiency of your laser cutting business.

Enhancing Your Laser Engraving Business with Accessories

To further improve the performance of your laser engraver and expand your capabilities, various accessories can be utilized. These include rotary attachments, air assist, and exhaust systems. By incorporating these accessories into your laser engraving business, you can increase your versatility and offer a wider range of products and services to your customers.

In the following sections, we’ll explore each of these accessories in more detail.

Rotary Attachments

Laser engraver rotary attachment

Rotary attachments enable your laser cutter to engrave on rounded objects, such as cups and cylindrical surfaces. By incorporating a rotary attachment into your laser engraving business, you can create unique and customized products that will set you apart from competitors and boost your profits.

Expanding your product offerings and catering to different customer needs is a great way to increase your business. With a rotary attachment, you can offer your customers an alternative.

Air Assist

Air assist is a crucial accessory for cleaner cuts, reduced flare-ups, and improved engraving quality. By blowing high-pressure air onto the workpiece, air assist helps to remove smoke, debris, and prevent wood charring, resulting in improved cutting quality and efficiency.

Investing in an air assist system for your laser cutter can greatly enhance your overall productivity and the quality of your finished products.

Exhaust Systems

Proper exhaust systems are essential for ensuring safe operation and maintaining a clean work environment. Laser cutters produce smoke and debris during cutting and engraving processes, which can pose a risk to the operator if not adequately vented.

Exhaust systems, such as natural ventilation or mechanical ventilation with fans and ducts, can effectively remove smoke and debris, ensuring a safe and clean work environment.

By investing in an appropriate exhaust system, you can protect yourself and your employees while maintaining a professional and clean workspace.

Profitability and Growth Potential of a Laser Engraving Business

Understanding the market demand, marketing strategies, and diversifying product offerings are crucial aspects of running a successful laser cutting and engraving business. By tapping into niche markets, employing effective marketing tactics, and expanding your product range, you can increase your revenue and grow your business.

In the following sections, we’ll explore these aspects in more detail, providing you with valuable insights to help you maximize the profitability and growth potential of your laser-cutting business.

Market Demand

Assessing the potential market for laser-engraved products and identifying niche markets to target is essential for success. The demand for laser engraving services is increasing, with the laser marking market estimated to reach a value of USD 4.1 billion by 2027 and the global laser engraving machine market projected to generate revenue of USD 6.19 billion by 2028.

By offering unique and customized products, you can tap into this growing market and boost your profitability. Targeting niche markets, such as personalized gifts, custom signage, and industrial parts marking, can help you stand out from the competition and attract a loyal customer base.

Marketing Strategies

Effective marketing strategies are essential for spreading the word about your laser engraving business and attracting customers. Establishing an online presence through a website and leveraging social media can expand your reach and improve your visibility.

Etsy is the top marketplace for small business makers to sell their crafts. There are already a lot of laser cutting and engraving products and services offered there, some of which offer actual physical products, while others will sell you the design file of a laser engraved or cut product that you can make and sell with your laser cutter.

Additionally, employing targeted advertising and utilizing laser-cut signage can create a unique and captivating image for your business, attracting attention and potential customers. By implementing these marketing strategies, you can effectively promote your laser engraving business and grow your customer base.

Diversifying Product Offerings

Expanding your laser engraving business by offering a variety of products can cater to different customer needs and increase revenue. By incorporating a laser cutting business into your existing services, you can offer products such as stationery, photo albums, etched glass, and more.

By diversifying your product offerings, you can meet a larger range of customer needs and, in turn, increase your revenue potential. This can be achieved by providing a wider range of products, which can attract more customers and boost profits.

Summary

In conclusion, investing in the right laser engraver and understanding the factors that impact its performance can significantly contribute to the success of your laser engraving business.

By selecting the best machine for your needs, implementing effective marketing strategies, and diversifying your product offerings, you can tap into the growing market demand for laser-engraved products and achieve substantial growth in your business.

So, why wait? Embark on your laser engraving journey today and unlock a world of creative possibilities and profitable opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is starting a laser engraving business a good idea?

Starting a laser engraving business is an attractive opportunity, as it requires only a small initial investment and is in a growing industry.

What is the best laser engraver on the market?

For the best laser engraving experience of 2023, it is recommended to use a CO2 laser engraver for non-metallic objects, a fiber laser engraver for metals, and a blue diode laser engraver for wood and plastics.

What laser-engraved items sell well?

Laser-engraved jewelry and fashion accessories, product engraving projects, and other creative projects are all popular choices for laser-engraving items that sell well.

Is the Glowforge or xTool better?

Overall, the xTool P2 is a more powerful and versatile option compared to the Glowforge Pro, offering a larger cutting area, fully automatic autofocus, and more software compatibility.

Similar Posts