In the ever-evolving world of technology and craftsmanship, the laser engraving machine has established itself as a versatile and indispensable tool for artists, hobbyists, and professionals alike. As we are stepping into 2024, the market is teeming with a dazzling array of laser engraving machines, each boasting unique features and capabilities. Whether you’re an artisan looking to etch intricate designs on wood and metal items, a woodworker seeking precision cuts, or a metalworker in need of detailed engraving on your parts, there’s a perfect laser cutter or engraver designed just for you.
Black Friday is here (and our discount coupons too) and with it great deals will arise. At hobbylasercutters.com, we understand that choosing the right laser engraver can be a daunting task. On our website, we have reviewed a ton of various laser engravers and laser cutters. In this blog post we will select the best laser engravers that we tested in 2023. We will select winners in different price ranges and use purposes. All of the machines featured in this post were thoroughly tested by us in the recent year.
You will find detailed reviews for all machines mentioned in this article HERE if you would want to find more information about their functions and performance. You can also check out our last years list of best laser engravers in 2022.
So, whether you’re a novice looking to explore the world of laser engraving or a seasoned pro seeking an upgrade, you’ll find the information you need to make an informed decision.That’s why we’ve embarked on a quest to uncover the best laser engravers for every budget and purpose.
Join us as we unveil the top laser engravers of 2023 and embark on a journey to find the perfect machine to bring your creative visions to life.
*The machines are chosen by our objective and personal preferences from experience with working with all these machines and the decisions are not influenced by sponsorships or paid promotion. *The links on this website can be affiliate links. We earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. When you buy through our links you will support our website, which helps us to run this website(which cost money) and provide all these extensive reviews and information to you for free, without any paid membership.
What Materials Can Different Types of Laser Machines Engrave and Cut?
Laser Cutters vs Laser Engravers
Laser engravers and laser cutters are both versatile tools that utilize laser technology, but they serve distinct purposes in fabrication and design.
Laser engravers primarily focus on etching or marking surfaces with precision, offering detailed and intricate designs on various materials such as wood, leather, and acrylic. These machines are ideal for adding personalized patterns or text to objects. Picture this: laser engravers are the artists, masters at etching cool designs or your grandma’s secret cookie recipe on various surfaces.
On the other hand, laser cutters excel in cutting through materials with accuracy, enabling the creation of intricate shapes and patterns. They are commonly used for cutting out precise shapes out of flat material (wood and acrylic boards, leather, paper, cardboard, cloth and much more. They come in very handy in applications like prototyping, crafting, and industrial manufacturing.
While laser engravers emphasize detailed surface modification, laser cutters prioritize precision cutting, making both of them valuable tools in different creative and industrial contexts.
Can one machine be used for laser engraving and laser cutting or do I need two separate laser machines?
Many laser engraving machines come with a dual personality – they can also function as laser cutters, and vice versa. These versatile machines offer a two-in-one deal, allowing users to switch between engraving detailed designs and cutting through materials with precision. It’s like having a flexible tool that adapts to your creative needs. great example of this species are the classic diode laser engravers which we have tested here on our site in large numbers.
However, not all laser machines are jacks-of-all-trades; some are designed for a specific purpose. There are machines dedicated solely to the art of engraving, perfect for adding that personal touch to various materials. A classic example of these machines are the fiber laser marking machines.
Conversely, there are specialized laser cutters, crafted specifically for intricate cutting tasks. These are usually high power laser cutters for metals which are too expensive to be classified as hobby grade and they are out of scope for our website.
So, depending on your creative requirements, you can opt for a multitasking machine or choose one that excels in a particular skill set.
Diode Laser vs CO2 Laser vs Fiber Lasers
Diode lasers are known for their compact size and efficiency. Diode laser engravers are commonly used for marking and engraving materials like wood, leather, and certain plastics. They can also be used for some laser cutting too. Especially in this year, higher powered hexa and octa-diode laser cutting machines were developed which have output power greater than 40W. reach Diode lasers are ideal for smaller-scale projects and are often more affordable compared to other laser systems. However, they may have limitations in terms of power and material versatility as they can’t cut transparent and white plastics.
CO2 lasers are powerful and versatile, making them popular for cutting a wide range of materials, including wood, acrylic, paper, fabric, and more. CO2 laser cutters typically use a gas mixture to produce the laser beam. They are capable of handling larger-scale projects and can cut through thicker materials. These machines are widely used in industrial settings for manufacturing and prototyping due to their precision and efficiency. But they are becoming more and more affordable and they are an invaluable addition for small business owners and hobbyists too. CO2 lasers are large and heavy machines that are not easily portable, but they are great laser cutters and can also be used for engraving.
Fiber lasers are renowned for their high precision and lightning fast speed, making them ideal for marking and engraving applications. The fiber laser operates by emitting laser light at a wavelength of 1064nm in brief pulses, each with a power in the range of a few watts. These pulses are accumulated in an optical fiber, where they are combined before being released as a potent and brief beam (measuring in kilowatts) through a lens into the material being worked on. This short and powerful pulse vaporizes metals instantly.
They are commonly used for metal engraving, including stainless steel, aluminum, coated metals, brass, copper, silver, gold and much more. They are also excellent for engraving plastics, but they are not suitable for engraving on wood and other similar fibrous materials. Fiber laser marking machines offer very small beam size, allowing for intricate designs and precise markings. Combining this with galvo mirror system and you get a fiber laser engraver that can engrave 100x faster than conventional mechanical gantry machines.They are often preferred for industrial applications where high engraving speed, durability and permanence of markings are crucial.
In summary, diode laser engravers are compact and suitable for smaller projects, CO2 laser cutters are versatile and powerful for both engraving and cutting various materials, and fiber laser marking machines excel in precise and lightning fast marking on metals and plastics. The choice among these types depends on the specific needs of the project, material requirements, and desired outcomes.
Here Are the Best Laser Cutters and Laser Engravers That We Tested And Reviewed in 2023
Best CO2 Laser Cutter in 2023
The xTool P2 55W CO2 desktop laser cutter has proved itself to be the top-performing hobby to small business grade laser cutter in 2023, standing out for its exceptional cutting capabilities, especially with materials like wood and acrylic. In our comprehensive tests, it outshone its competitors by demonstrating remarkable precision and efficiency, even when dealing with very thick materials. With its 55W of laser power, the cutting performance of the xTool P2 is incredible, making it a great choice for users seeking high-quality results across various applications. It is a great professional laser cutter for a hobby enthusiasts, artists and small business owners.
One of the key features that sets the xTool P2 laser cutter apart from other desktop laser cutters is its dual-camera system, which ensures precise operations. This advanced technology not only enhances accuracy but also provides users with greater control over their cutting and engraving work. The dual-camera system allows for a comprehensive view of the working area, enabling users to monitor and adjust the job position with high precision, resulting in flawless outcomes.
Versatility is another hallmark of the xTool P2 laser cutter. With a wide range of advanced features, attachments, and accessories, this versatile laser cutter proves to be an all-in-one solution for diverse cutting and engraving needs. Whether it’s engraving extra-large boards, working on curved surfaces, handling cylinders, or dealing with very small parts, the xTool P2 performs effortlessly. Few machines in the market can match its adaptability, making it an ideal choice for users with varied project requirements.
Speed and precision are two critical factors that define the xTool P2’s performance. The machine operates at an impressive speed without compromising on accuracy, ensuring that projects are completed swiftly without sacrificing quality. This combination of speed and precision makes the xTool P2 a standout choice for professionals and hobbyists alike who demand both efficiency and excellence from their laser cutter. The machine also offers a lot of safety features, making it a safe machine for the user and the people around.
This machine is customizable because you can easily switch things up with all sorts of add-ons. You’ve got the RA2 chuck rotary attachment, a riser base, a fire extinguishing system in case things get too hot, a conveyor feeder which enables you to engrave boards that are way larger than the machine, and a smoke purifier that kicks out all the nasty stuff in the air.
In conclusion, the xTool P2 is a powerful laser cutter which has earned its title as the best laser cutter in 2023 due to its exceptional cutting performance, dual-camera precision, versatility across a range of applications, and the perfect balance between speed and accuracy. This machine stands as a testament to the evolution of laser cutting technology, providing users with a tool that not only meets but exceeds their expectations in the ever-expanding world of fabrication and design.
Best Laser for Engraving Metal in 2023
The ComMarker B4 [Official store, Amazon] stands out as the best laser for engraving metal in 2023 in its class for a multitude of reasons. It boasts a remarkable versatility, capable of engraving all types of metals with precision, like aluminum, brass, silver, gold and copper and even demonstrates excellent results on leather, stone, and plastics. It can also produce colored engravings on titanium and pitch black engravings on stainless steel thanks to 20W of laser power.
Don’t think that 20W is not enough laser power for engraving metal. Fiber lasers work differently and produce short pulses of high intensity light which vaporizes metals instantly. A machine like the ComMarker B4 with average laser power of 20W can produce pulses of light that carry almost 10kW of pulsed laser power which obliterates metals easily.
It can achieve various results on the same material with a simple tweak of settings, ranging from polished and shiny surfaces to black, brown, grey, and white engravings. The laser spot size is impressively small, ensuring high precision and incredible detail in every engraving.
Equipped with a galvo system, the ComMarker B4 not only engraves with exceptional engraving speed but also efficiently handles tasks that would take hours on conventional lasers, completing them in minutes. The inclusion of a small 110mm lens for precise engraving and a 200mm lens for larger designs adds to its flexibility.
Supporting popular software like EZCAD2 and Lightburn, it provides users with familiar and user-friendly options. The laser engraver also features a high-quality rotary chuck, a foot pedal for efficient serial production, and a bracket for handheld operation, catering to diverse user needs. With its compact size, competitive pricing, and solid build quality, the ComMarker B4 emerges as the go-to choice for those seeking top-notch metal engraving capabilities.
The Most Versatile Portable Laser Engraver in 2023
The xTool F1 has rightfully earned the title of the most versatile laser engraver in 2023, offering a unique dual laser source in a single machine. This not only makes it a more affordable option to work on almost any material, but also exceptionally convenient, with a 10W blue laser ideal for engraving and cutting wood, paper, and plastics and engraving coated metals and stone, and a 2W infrared laser perfect for engraving metal and plastics. Its versatility extends to being able to laser engrave nearly all types of materials, making it a go-to choice for various projects.
What sets it apart is its portability, allowing users to take this laser engraving powerhouse anywhere. Supported by an efficient desktop smoke purifier which eliminates all the nasty smoke and odors, making this machine safe to use in not so well ventilated spaces.
The xTool F1 goes beyond basic functionality, supporting rotary attachments and slide extension for expanded work capabilities. Its premium build speaks quality, and a host of safety systems ensures user protection. With features like automatic laser focus adjustment, compatibility with XCS and Lightburn software, and a relatively affordable price considering the dual lasers, the xTool F1 stands out as the epitome of versatility in the realm of laser engravers.
It is incredibly easy to use, has precise engraving accuracy, and supports variety of attachments, including a straightforward rotary chuck attachment for engraving cylinders ranging from bottles, tumblers and spheres all the way to small pencils, rings and much more. This makes it a standout choice for users seeking an easy to use laser engraver for working on smaller stuff with incredible engraving speed and accuracy. It could also be classified as the best beginner laser engraver in 2023, although professionals will also like this machine a lot!.
Best Diode Laser Engraver for 2000$ in 2023
The xTool S1 stands out as the best diode laser engraver in the $2000 price range, offering a remarkable combination of safety, versatility, and precision. Safety takes the spotlight with industry-leading safety systems and its fully enclosed design offers a unique advantage of not requiring safety glasses, making it accessible for users of all experience levels. The xTool S1 also wins the title of the safest laser engraver in 2023 with its many safety certificates obtained in many countries worldwide.
What truly distinguishes the xTool S1 is its exceptional versatility, featuring three laser module options that enable engraving on a wide variety of materials. It features 40W and 20W blue diode modules which are excellent for laser engraving and cutting wood, paper, cardboard, cloth, acrylic etc.. and 2W infrared laser module for engraving metals and plastics.
The machine’s adaptability is further enhanced by its compatibility with various attachments, including the RA2 chuck rotary attachment, riser base, fire extinguishing system, conveyor feeder, and a smoke purifier that efficiently filters out harmful smoke and odor.
Beyond safety and versatility, the xTool S1 excels in stability and precision, essential for intricate work, thanks to its sturdy industrial mechanics. The innovative features such as auto-focusing, twin-point positioning, and curved surface engraving redefine the laser cutting and engraving experience. This diode laser engraver seamlessly integrates into the workflows of hobbyists, home users, educational institutions, and businesses where laser safety is non-negotiable.
Whether you’re a creative hobbyist or a professional seeking top-notch results, the xTool S1, with its game-changing capabilities, proves to be the go-to solution for those in need of a versatile, safe, and high-precision laser cutting and engraving machine with large working area in the $2000 budget range.
If you want to have similar performance but without some of the high tech and safety features and without the fully enclosed design, then you should check out our review of the xTool D1 Pro 40W.
Best Laser Engraver in 2023 for 1000$ (diode lasers)
The 1000$ budget can get you a wide variety of diode engraving machines. Below you will find the winners for various intention of use:
Best laser cutter for 1000$
Sculpfun is making some of the best performing diode laser cutters on the market. The Sculpfun S30 Ultra [Official store, Geekbuying, Aliexpress, Amazon] is a 33W hexa-diode powerful laser cutter which proves itself to be the best laser cutter for $1000, particularly excelling in handling thicker materials. With its clean and efficient laser cutting performance, especially on wood and acrylic, this machine proves to be a reliable choice for diverse projects. It has larger than standard frame and offers working area of 600x600mm which is a standout feature of the Sculpfun S30 Ultra , making it ideal for crafting larger designs with precision.
Its high power output, combined with a tight focus, ensures exceptional laser cutting capabilities. The machine also comes with automatic air assist pump. The inclusion of an industrial sliding rail on the X-axis significantly contributes to the machine’s stability, further enhancing its overall performance. In summary, the Sculpfun S30 Ultra not only meets but exceeds expectations for a laser cutter in its price range, making it a top pick for those seeking reliable, high-powered, and versatile laser cutting machine capabilities at an affordable cost.
Laser engraving machine with the most accessories for 1000$
The Atomstack Maker A30 Pro [Official store, Amazon, Aliexpress] (also known as Atomstack X30 Pro or S30 Pro) is a diode laser engraver with 33W of optical laser power and stands out as the laser engraver with the most accessories within a $1000 budget, offering a comprehensive set of features to enhance user experience. Notably, it comes with a rotary roller and machine risers, providing practical support for rotary tool usage. The inclusion of a small honeycomb and a thick steel plate further showcases its versatility and consideration for user convenience.
The clever air assist design, featuring a dual nozzle system, is a standout feature, ensuring efficient smoke management during the engraving process. The inner nozzle directs air pumped by the assist pump, while the outer nozzle collects air blown by the module’s cooling fan, preventing smoke from entering the inner nozzle and keeping the lens clean. It also comes with a very nice adjustable air assist pump which is sadly not automatic. Additionally, the offline touchscreen controller, consistent with previous Atomstack versions, adds to the engraver’s accessibility and ease of use. In summary, the Atomstack Maker A30 Pro offers a well-rounded package of accessories, making it the top choice for those seeking a feature-rich laser engraver within the $1000 budget range.
Most precise laser engraving machine for 1000$
The Acmer P2 33W stands out as an excellent higher powered laser engraver for precise work within a $1000 budget, offering a combination of a very small laser spot size and 33W of optical laser power that makes it particularly effective for cutting thinner materials with precision.
Its notable feature includes a silent air assist pump, contributing to its efficiency, although it may be less effective with thicker materials. However, the option to upgrade to a stronger C4 type pump from Acmer provides the flexibility to handle thicker materials with ease.
The Acmer P2 33W excels in great engraving precision, achieving deep contrast on wood, making it a top choice for intricate designs. What sets it apart is its exceptional speed, being the fastest accelerating machine in its class, visibly outpacing others. The presence of industrial linear sliding rails on all axes adds to its stability at high speeds, ensuring reliable and precise performance for those seeking accuracy and power in laser engraving at an affordable price point.
If you don’t need so much cutting power, but you seek precision and stability, then you should also check out our review of the xTool D1 Pro 20W which also features superior mechanical stability and precision and a lot of accessories to add on.
Best laser engraver for 500$ in 2023
The Sculpfun S30 Pro Max 20W laser engraver [Official store, Banggood, Geekbuying, TomTop, Aliexpress, Amazon] stands out as the best option within a $500 budget, offering an impressive array of features that elevate its performance. The automatic air assist system ensures efficient engraving, while the replaceable lens adds to the engraver’s longevity and adaptability.
Notably, the Sculpfun S30 Pro Max boasts an expandable work area in both axes, providing users with flexibility for various project sizes. Its enhanced limit switches contribute to improved precision, and the industrial sliding rail on the X-axis ensures stability during operation.
The Sculpfun S30 range is offering three different power options for the laser module, so users can tailor the machine to suit specific materials and project requirements. The Sculpfun S30 Pro Max has 20W of optical laser power and a very small focus spot with an exceptionally good focal distance which results in incredibly thin and clean cuts, surpassing the performance of other engravers in its class. You can look it as the younger and more powerful brother of the immensely popular Sculpfun S9. The S30 Pro Max inherits and builds upon a legacy of reliability and quality, making it the top choice for those seeking an affordable yet high-performance laser engraver.
Best budget laser engraver in 2023
The Sculpfun S30 laser engraver [Official store, Geekbuying, Aliexpress, Amazon] has optical laser power of 5W and proves itself to be the best budget laser engraver, providing an exceptional combination of affordability and performance. Priced at just $250, it offers an impressive set of features, making it a standout choice in its price range. As the younger sibling of the highly popular Sculpfun S9, which held the title of the best budget laser engraver in 2022 on our website last year, the S30 inherits a legacy of reliability and quality.
In comparison to its predecessor, the Sculpfun S9, the Sculpfun S30 not only maintains similar engraving performance but also introduces several significant upgrades for a small increase in cost. Notably, it incorporates an industrial sliding rail on the X-axis, enhancing precision and mechanical stability, especially at higher speeds.
The inclusion of an automatic air assist pump, a replaceable lens for extended service life, and limit switches further elevates its value proposition. With these additional features available for just $50 to $60 more, the 5W Sculpfun S30 is an affordable laser engraver which establishes itself as the top choice for those seeking an affordable yet feature-rich solution for their engraving needs.
Best laser engraver with large working area in 2023
Many brands offer an expansion kit for their laser engravers, but the Sculpfun has made an extra step. Their lasers in the Sculpfun S30 family offer two types of expansion kits which expand their working area from the standard 410x400mm area to something larger.
With these expansion kits you can upgrade all machines in the S30 range, from 5W to 33W, but it is recommended to use higher powered laser modules which can work effectively at higher moving speeds, otherwise the engraving jobs become very long and time consuming.
If you want “the middle ground” working area then you can check out the Sculpfun S30 Ultra range, which has a working area sized at 600x600mm.
In conclusion, the laser engraving and cutting landscape in 2023 offers a diverse range of options catering to every budget, need, and method of use. From budget-friendly options to high-performance machines, the choices are vast.
As technology advances, laser engraving and cutting machines continue to evolve and become more and more affordable, providing users with unprecedented capabilities. Whether you’re a hobbyist, small business owner, professional, or somewhere in between, 2023 brings a wealth of options to unleash your creativity and meet your project requirements.
The key is to assess your specific needs, consider your budget, and choose the machine that aligns perfectly with your goals. We hope that our website full of detailed reviews of these laser machines has helped you to find the perfect tool for your type of work. The future of laser engraving and cutting is undeniably bright, promising even greater innovation and efficiency in the years to come.