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Best Portable Laser Engravers You Can Use Anywhere

Lightning going through hand

While I have a huge soft spot in my heart for huge and high quality laser cutters, which I use to make huge laser cutter art, I can see a lot of value and fun in having a small handheld laser engraver to use.

Handheld laser engraving has been around for a little while, initially for use primarily in manufacturing facilities to create markings on inventory.

The last few years have seen a surge in consumer laser engraving in general, and this includes portable engravers that you can take with you and use to engrave cool stuff on your stuff.

In this article, I will provide an overview of the most popular handheld engravers to make it easy for you to determine which one is the right one for you!

What’s in this article

Our Pick: The Best Two Portable Laser Engravers

What are the top Portable Laser Engravers?

Below I’ve outlined in detail seven engravers that are user-friendly on the go, each of which can be used in a variety of creative and functional applications.

xTool F1

xTool F1 laser engraver

The xTool F1 is a portable laser engraver that stands out for its high-speed engraving, reaching up to 4000mm/s. This speed is 20 times faster than many other laser engravers on the market.

It’s also unique because it features a dual laser source, including a 10W 450nm blue laser and a 2W 1064nm infrared laser, making it versatile for engraving various materials.

xTool F1 laser engraver dual lasers

The 10W blue laser can etch material like wood, acrylic, glass, paper, leather, ceramic, rock, etc. It also has enough power to cut materials, up to 8mm wood and 5mm acrylic. The 2W infrared laser is excellent for engraving all metals and plastics.

The xTool F1 has a motorized Z-axis used for focus adjustment. The focus can be adjusted manually or automatically by entering the material thickness in the software. The engraving preview function projects a rectangular frame or the outline of your shape to show the exact position of the engraving on the material surface.

Another unique aspect of this engraver is the safety features. It includes several safety mechanisms, including an emergency stop switch, a USB locking key to prevent unauthorized use, and a fully enclosed design to block powerful laser lights and unpleasant smoke.

xTool F1 laser engraver software

Software-wise, it comes with free XCS software and is compatible with Lightburn. The software supports all basic functionalities like drawing lines, vectors, and text, and all operations on these vectors, like merging, subtracting, and grouping. It also includes an AI image generator for custom designs.

As far as accessories go, there is a slide extension you can purchase that will increase the working area to 100*400mm. You can also buy the xTool RA2 Pro rotary chuck attachment for engraving larger cylinders and irregular objects.

xTool F1 laser engraver extended work area

Key Features:

  • Materials: Wood, Acrylic, Glass, Paper, Leather, Ceramic, Rock, Aluminium, Stainless Steel, Iron, Gold, Platinum, Silver, and more.

  • Can cut through wood: Yes

  • Work area: 4.5″ x 4.5″

  • Laser power: 10W Diode, 2W Infrared

Price: $1,800 | View Product Page »


LaserPecker LP1 Mini Portable Laser Engraver

LaserPecker LP1 Mini Portable Laser Engraver

The LaserPecker L1 Mini is a compact and lightweight laser engraver that offers ease of use and flexibility. It can be operated by connecting it to a power bank and can engrave at any angle. The device connects to your mobile phone via Bluetooth and runs through the LaserPecker app.

Like the other LaserPecker products, this one is a really well-designed mini portable laser engraver and can be used with a tripod-like stand or just on its own, and it can be pointed in any direction to engrave.

Key Features: 

  • Materials: Wood, Kraft paper, Leather, Fruit, Felt, etc.

  • Can cut through wood: No

  • Work area: 3.9″ x 3.9″

  • Laser power: 1.6W

Price: $240 | 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 »


LaserPecker LP2 Laser Engraver & Laser Cutter

LaserPecker LP2 Laser Engraver & Laser Cutter

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: 

  • Cutting and laser 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 comprehensive review of the LaserPecker 2 here.

Price: $850 | View Product Page »


LaserPecker LP3 Deluxe – Metal & Plastic Handheld Laser Engraver

LaserPecker LP3 Deluxe - Metal & Plastic Handheld Laser Engraver

The LaserPecker LP3 Deluxe is the next generation of the LP2 above. This one is special in that it’s a handheld laser engraver designed specifically for engraving both metal and plastic materials.

It uses a 1064nm pulsed laser, ensuring no damage to the material. With ultra-high precision and a 0.01mm spot, it can reproduce perfect pictures and visible details. This engraver offers flexibility with unlimited time, place, and angle of use.

Like the other LaserPecker products, the LP3 Deluxe is designed to ergonomically fit into your hand for use in applications where your target isn’t flat on a table.

Key Features:

  • Materials: almost all pure metals and alloys, like gold, silver, copper, aluminum, iron, titanium, and stainsteel, and plastics like AEV, PET, acrylic, PH, and PVC without pretreatment. Also: artificial leather, lacquered paper, lacquered wood, parts of stones, purple clay, etc.

  • Can cut through wood: No

  • Work area: 4″ x 3″

  • Laser power: 1W Fiber

See our comprehensive review of the LaserPecker 3 here.

Price: $1,800 | View Product Page »


NEJE 3: Portable Diode Laser Engraver & Cutter

NEJE 3: Portable Diode Laser Engraver & Cutter

The NEJE 3 Laser Engraver is a compact and versatile desktop laser engraver that can also be used as a handheld.

It is designed for both hobbyists and professionals, offering strong engraving and cutting capabilities. This machine is particularly good at engraving hardwood, glass, and rubber stamps, among other standard materials.

Built with safety in mind, the NEJE 3 features MEMS safety protection and comes with auto air assist and auto smoke extinguishing.

It comes with the NEJE app, which is compatible with Android, NEJE 3 APP for iOS / iPadOS / macOS, NEJE Win Software, LaserGRBL, and LightBurn.

Key Features:

  • Materials: engraving wood, MDF, leather, paper, cotton, and other materials. Cover spraying can engrave stainless steel, glass, transparent acrylic, and so on

  • Can cut through wood: Yes

  • Work area: 6.7″ x 6.7″

  • Laser power: 5.5W

Price: $270 | View Product Page »


Heatsign Handheld Portable Laser Engraver

Heatsign Handheld Portable Laser Engraver

The Heatsign 20W Handheld Portable Laser Engraver is a high-performance, versatile tool designed for industrial use.

For fiber lasers, this one is very high-powered at 20W, and the price tag reflects this! It’s designed specifically for more industrial and manufacturing uses.

It’s lightweight and portable, with integrated touchscreen software for ease of use. The machine is capable of marking text, logos, dates, numbers, barcodes, QR codes, and more on various materials, making it ideal for both medium and large metal parts marking.

It also has an optional battery version for when you really need to get out in the field.

Key Features:

  • Materials: all metals like stainless steel, aluminum, copper, iron, titanium, and some plastics like PVC, PE, ABS, and more

  • Can cut through wood: No

  • Work area: 4″ x 4″

  • Laser power: 20W

Price: $3,500 | View Product Page »


What is Laser Engraving, and what can you do with it?

laser, laser engraver, cutting laser

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 the Right Portable Laser Engraving Machine

When choosing a portable 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, and your budget for a machine.

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

Do you want to cut, engrave, or both?

All of the portable laser engraving 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 portable laser engraving machines can cut all the way through materials. Fiber lasers, for example, only engrave. Most Diode lasers can cut all the way through some thinner materials.

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.

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. For example, the xTool F1 above has an accessory that you can buy to make the engraving area four times bigger.

Applications of Portable Laser Engravers

Laser engraving onto food

As you can probably imagine, there are many awesome applications for how to use a portable laser engraver, including engraving onto toast. Here are a few ways depending on what hat you’re wearing:

Artists

If you’re an artist, a portable laser engraver will let you etch your imagination onto almost any surface. Think of a beautiful design on a wooden canvas or an intricate pattern on a piece of metal. It’s not just about creating art pieces; artists can also use these tools to make custom jewelry, unique glassware, and much more.

Hobbyists

If you love DIY projects, a portable laser engraver can be your best friend. Want to make a custom board game? No problem. How about adding some flair to your model railway setup? Easy-peasy. With a laser engraver, the sky’s the limit.

Educators

Educators are also finding laser engravers super useful. They’re great for teaching students about technology and design. Imagine a class project where students get to design and engrave their own keychains. It’s a fun, hands-on way to learn.

Small Business Owners

On the small business front, a portable laser engraver can be a game-changer. Businesses can use them to put their logos on promotional items or to make custom signage. In the manufacturing industry, they’re used to mark parts with serial numbers or barcodes.

Gift Giving

And let’s not forget about gift-giving. With a laser engraver, you can turn a simple item like a pen or a keychain into a personalized gift that shows you really care.

So, whether you’re an artist, a hobbyist, an educator, a professional, or just someone looking for a unique gift idea, a portable laser engraver offers endless possibilities. It’s all about getting creative and making something truly one-of-a-kind.

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

That about does it! If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading, and I hope you have a great understanding of the top portable laser engravers on the market, how you can use them, and ultimately which one is the best one for you.

FAQ

What Materials Can Be Engraved with a laser engraver?

This depends on the type of laser and the power of the machine, but most engravers can etch into a variety of materials such as Wood, Acrylic, Glass, Paper, Leather, Ceramic, and Rock.

Some engravers can also do metals such as Aluminium, Stainless Steel, Iron, Gold, Platinum, Silver, and more.

Can you make money with a cheap laser engraver?

Certainly! The only thing limiting the amount of money you can make with a laser engraver is your imagination. Even if you have a cheap laser engraver, you can still use it to engrave designs onto things like wallets, jewelry, business cards, and other items that you could sell for a profit.

What is the difference between laser etching and laser engraving?

While we (I) may use these terms interchangeably, they actually mean different things technically.

The main difference between laser etching and laser engraving is that etching melts the micro surface to create raised marks, whereas engraving removes material to create deep marks. Both processes use high heat to create permanent markings on metal surfaces.

Is CO2 laser better than fiber laser engraving?

This all depends on your application. CO2 lasers are generally great for projects where you need to cut thicker materials all the way through and also for larger projects that require a large work area.

If you want to engrave metal, you’ll want to go with a fiber laser, as many of these are designed specifically for metal.

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