Best 33W Laser Engraver Comparison Review
Sculpfun S30 Ultra [Official store, Store 1, Store 2] Atomstack Maker A30 X30 S30 Pro [Official store, Store 2], Longer Laser B1 [Official Store, Store 2] and Acmer P2 [Official store] feature 6-core laser modules (hexa-diode) and are advertised to output 33W of optical power. They are considered one of the best laser engravers on the market today.
We will measure their true optical output power and we are going to put them through a range of practical tests to see, which one performs the best at laser engraving and cutting plywood of various thicknesses, we are going to test their mechanical stability and precision and we will also going to measure their laser spot size. We will also test how well they perform at engraving and cutting acrylic, marking stainless steel and see how well they retain their focus at different distances, and we will also test how well they can laser cut through very thick pieces of wood.
Stay tuned and you will see which one is the best for your next project!
But first, let’s take a closer look at each of them and see the similarities and differences between their features and ease of use.
Don’t forget to check out this review in video format on our YouTube channel!
Sculpfun S30 Ultra 33W Laser Engraver Review
The 33W Sculpfun S30 Ultra [Official store, Store 1, Store 2] can be bought in three different power configurations – the 11W, 22W and 33W of optical power. Here I have tested the most powerful version.
The 33W Sculpfun S30 Ultra has the largest frame of all of them, having a working area of 60cm on each axis. Here is how its size compares to its little brother, the Sculpfun S30 Pro Max. It is a big machine, filling the size gap between standard size and buying the extension kit.
Interestingly, its laser module is smaller than the one from the 20W S30 Pro Max. Smaller and lighter, versatile laser cutter head is great for high-speed engraving, but because of the smaller size, the cooling fan is louder. It features a robust looking air assist nozzle with a narrow opening which is great for cutting performance!
For the purpose of these tests, I have removed the safety protection shield, so you can easily see what is being cut. On the top of the module is the upgraded high-power connector which feeds this very powerful laser cutter module. Focusing the module is quick, using the included focusing spacer and screws at the back.
The 33W Sculpfun S30 Ultra laser engraver also features an automatic air assist pump which can be enabled automatically when needed using the software. The air hose is also upgraded as it is no longer prone to deforming.
It has a high quality control panel with wireless connectivity and a quality emergency stop switch. It also has a locking key, which is a great safety feature for preventing kids and unauthorized people from using the machine. It has standard limit switches and has an industrial sliding rail on the X-axis for greater engraving precision.
In the package you also get two steel plates for protecting the working surface and you also get a generous piece of plywood so you can start the engraving process right away.
You also get all the necessary tools for maintenance and cleaning. And you get a spare replacement protective lens which is a very desirable feature, as the replaceable protective lens will keep the machine working in top condition for much longer!
You also get solid metal posts, and you can use them as a simple honeycomb alternative, because if the material is raised above surface, it allows the smoke to escape below. This is essential for good laser cutting performance when using air assist. You can also buy a proper honeycomb if you want.
Sculpfun offers a variety of different sized honeycombs to choose from. They also sell a lot of different accessories like rotary rollers, enclosures, expansion kits for increasing the engraving area, and much more! We have already tested the Sculpfun rotary roller and two of their expanison kits (half and full kit).
Atomstack Maker A30 X30 S30 Pro Review
What is the difference between Atomstack Maker A30, X30 and S30 Pro?
You are prpobably wondering what is the difference between the Atomstack X30 Pro, Atomstack A30 Pro and Atomstack S30 Pro laser engravers?
First let’s clarify that there is no difference between the Atomstack Maker A30, X30 and S30. They are all the same laser engraving machine with the same pro laser engraver module and accessories, just the color of the frame is different. Atomstack is a bit weird and uses different names for machines sold by different vendors and they also have two official sites which is a bit strange. But more about this some other time. In this review article we have tested the Atomstack Maker X30 Pro.
Atomstack Maker X30 Pro Review
With the Atomstack Maker A30 X30 S30 Pro [Official store, Store 2] you will get a bit more accessories in the package. You also get a rotary roller and simple machine risers which come in handy when using the rotary tool. You also get a spare lens which is great! The machine also comes with a small honeycomb, and a reasonably thick steel plate for protecting your workbench.
With the machine you also get a rotary roller and machine riser blocks. It also comes with a support for engraving on longer objects like bottles. And it also comes with two support rollers for using the rotary system as a feed through roller for long boards, but I think using it like this will be very difficult.
The honeycomb has holding clips which are useful for straightening warped boards for engraving. But a big downside for this system is that you need to be careful that the laser head does not hit them after the engraving is completed and the laser head returns to the home position. You also get a few whiteboard magnets for fixing the material, but they are very weak. I normally use strong neodymium magnets I bought online which do a much better job and there is no danger of laser head hitting them.
The laser module is relatively big and has a removable light shield which is nice.
The laser module is focused by a simple spacer. It can be used with or without a light shield attached to the module. Thanks to the easily reachable tightening screw, the focusing is done quick and easy.
The Atomstack Maker X30 Pro has a very nice-looking air assist pump with a speed controller which comes very useful. But the air assist pump does not offer automatic software control like on all other machines in this test.
The air assist tube is nice and flexible and is not prone to blocking when bent. The laser module has an integrated air assist pass through for a cleaner look.
The module has a clever air assist design with a dual nozzle system. The inner nozzle is blowing out the air pumped by the air assist pump, and the outer nozzle collects the air which is blown by the modules cooling fan and concentrates it around the inner nozzle. This prevents the smoke from entering the inner nozzle and making the lens dirty when not using the air assist system (while engraving). This laser also comes with a replaceable lens which is great.
Like all the previous versions of the Atomstack, this one also features the same offline touchscreen controller. You can export the g-code from Lightburn or LaserGRBL and run it from the SD card, without the use of computer. Using the controller, you can perform basic tasks like framing and positioning and adjusting the engraving parameters in real time. It comes in handy if you are engraving the same designs frequently.
Longer Laser B1 Review
The Longer Laser B1 [Official Store, Store 2] laser engraver has a bit different mechanical construction compared to the Sculpfun and Atomstack. They took an independent design route which is nice to see. It still features rollers on all axis, but the metal parts have a different construction design. It has a sturdy metal frame and we will see if this type of frame will be more stable later, when I will show you the performance test results.
The machine was quick to assemble, and it looks good! The control panel consists of an emergency switch, a power button, keylock, a wireless antenna at the back and a red LED. It also has a USB connector, SD card slot and a telephone type connector which I currently don’t know what it is used for. If you happen to know what this is used for, leave a comment below!
The machine also has good limit switches, and inside the frame, there is a simple fire sensor and tilt sensor, which detects in case the machine is tilted and immediately turns off the laser beam for protecting the user.
It comes with an automatic air assist pump which plugs in the control panel and can be turned on via the control software. The included tube is nice and flexible and hard to get blocked. The air assist outlet on the pump is very small, we will see if it affects performance. Air assist also comes with this butterfly valve which is great for regulating the airflow. It is good to reduce the airflow for better engraving results.
The laser head is quite large and comes with a removable light protection shield which is great. The light shield offers great visibility. The air assist opening is relatively large compared to the air hose. Later we will see if this affects the performance.
At the back, there is a swiveling focusing arm which is easily extended for quick focus adjustment. The downside is that the laser module height adjustment screw is very small and placed close to the bridge and it is not very convenient to reach. The laser module has a replaceable lens and also comes with a spare one.
One interesting thing I have noticed is that this machine has a very slow homing speed, but on the other hand, the free travel speed is very fast. This can be changed in the machine controller settings.
Acmer P2 Review
Acmer is trying very hard to become the best laser engraving brand and the Acmer P2 [Official store] is their newest machine. The Acmer P2 laser engraver has industrial linear bearings on all axis, which is something I wished to see on a laser engraver for a quite long time! It is a much more advanced, reliable and precise mechanism which puts it ahead of other machines.
But when I was assembling the frame, I noticed that it is quite difficult to correctly align the frame for everything to be nice and square (it can still be done, it just takes some more care). Unlike the other machines, there is nothing that would tighten the frame to the correct alignment. This is vital for achieving great precision and repeatability of the parts you make with it.
Another downside I noticed was the belt tensioning roller. The tightening mechanism is not well designed and if you want to correctly tighten the belts, the copper washer starts pressing on the bearing and a lot of friction is created and the Y-axis then becomes hard to move. I was informed that the production units will come preassembled, so you should not experience these issues.
The limit switches look good and at the back you have a conveniently placed connector and selector switch for connecting the rotary attachment. The machine also has a flame sensor and wireless connectivity.
The Acmer P2 also comes with a basic rotary attachment and good metallic machine risers. The rotary tool is similar to the Atomstacks, although the rotary system seems to be easier to adjust, but it lacks the adjustment range compared to the one from Sculpfun.
The laser module is quite small (which is great) and has an integrated light shield which offers good visibility. It uses the same high-current connector as the Sculpfun which is nice. The air assist nozzle is nice and small.
The Acmer P2 features an automatic air assist pump which can be controlled via software. The pump is much lighter and smaller than others, but it specifies almost the same air flow as others. . You can also order their more powerful C4 pump for better cutting performance. The air hose is very stiff, and I don’t like it very much. It is hard to get blocked while bending, which is a good thing, but it is also not very convenient to use, because due to its stiffness, it doesn’t really want to stay in place. But it still works and in worst case you can still replace it.
The module is focused by extending the swiveling arm and by releasing the very convenient and easy to use module tightening lever. The focusing system is good and it is almost the same as on the xTool D1 Pro 40W which I have tested previously.
The module has a replaceable lens and comes with two spare lenses which is awesome!
Sculpfun S30 Ultra vs. Atomstack Maker x30 Pro vs. Longer Laser B1 vs. Acmer P2 (Hands-On Performance Tests)
Now it’s time to start with the actual performance tests and compare how each machine performs laser engraving and cutting various materials and we will also measure their true optical output power, evaluate their mechanical stability at different speeds and measure their laser spot size and shape. You can download all these test files HERE if you want to test your laser engraving machine.
Measuring The True Optical Output Laser Power
The first test on the list is measuring the true optical laser output power. All four machines claim to output 33W of optical laser power. The results were the following:
- The Sculpfun S30 Ultra reached almost 34W
- Atomstack maker A30 X30 S30 Pro had the power output of 29W
- Longer Laser B1 has outputted 29W
- Acmer P2 has put out 31W.
Sculpfun and Acmer have an optical power output greater than 30W while the other two did not perform as well.
Plywood Laser Engraving Test Pattern
Next, I performed my plywood engraving test with all four machines. I have used the test pattern I have previously used for the 40W octa-core xTool D1, to see how these hexa-core laser machines compare to the more powerful octa-diode laser module when engraving plywood. Make sure to read our full reviews of the xTool D1 40W! You can read more about the xTool D1 40W HERE and more about the 20W version HERE.
The power scale test shows us how the machine performs when engraving at different speeds and power levels. The interval test in horizontal in vertical direction shows us how fill density affects the engraving quality. The photo engraving shows how good is the machine at engraving bitmap photos at different power levels.
You can download all these test files HERE if you want to test your new laser engraving machine.
Looking at the results, we can see that the Sculpfun S30 Ultra and Atomstack Maker X30 Pro performed very similarly in all categories. The engravings made with Acmer P2 were much darker at higher laser power levels which is great, but at the same time, they were also looking lighter at lower power levels.
One important thing I noticed is that the Atomstack doesn’t really reach high speeds. Acmer appears to move significantly faster. You need to take this into consideration when looking at the results. Look at our YouTube video at 12:30 minute mark to see the difference in speed! The reason the Acmer engravings were lighter at lower power is due to the Acmer being able to move significantly faster!
The performance of the Longer B1 was the weakest amongst all of them as it performed a bit worse, both at low and at high power levels, but its engravings were very consistent.
But as expected, all these lasers performed worse, compared to the xTool D1 40W octa-diode laser module which has a lot more power. But the xTool D1 is in a much higher price class, and you can’t compare them directly. You can read more about the xTool D1 40W HERE and more about the 20W version HERE.
Anodized Aluminum Test Pattern - Measuring Laser Spot Size And Mechanical Stability
Next, I performed my standard anodized aluminum (aluminum oxide) engraving test. The engravings on anodized aluminum become very crisp and clear and they can be used for measuring the laser spot size and evaluate the mechanical stability of the machine at different engraving speeds.
The pattern consists of small text engravings which will show us how precisely you can engrave small and delicate designs. The three squares are engraved at different speeds ranging from 100 to 10000mm/min to see how stable the laser machine is when engraving at higher speed. And the main feature of the test is the interval test in horizontal and vertical direction in which simple shapes are filled with lines which get progressively spaced apart in 0.05mm intervals. This is a simple way of measuring the laser spot size and shape.
We will need a microscope to evaluate the results. We are using the Andonstar AD407 digital microscope.
Small text precision engraving
In the small text engraving test, the clear winner is the Acmer P2 as it appears to have the smallest laser spot and because of that it is better at precise engraving than Sculpfun S30 Ultra, Atomstack A30 X30 S30 Pro and the Longer Laser B1. Later we will see if this will translate to a better cutting performance too.
Comparing the mechanical precision at different enrgaving speeds
At low-speed engraving, the Acmer P2 seems to be the most precise. After all, it is the only machine that has industrial linear rail on all axis.
Sculpfun S30 Ultra and Atomstack X30 Pro performed similarly, but you need to take into the account that the Sculpfun has much larger frame compared to others, and this definitely affects its precision negatively. Being able to be as precise as smaller machines is a testimony to its industrial linear rail on X-axis.
At medium speed, they all performed similarly as the Acmer started to develop some micro oscillations. And at high speed, the Longer B1 appears to be the most stable and the Acme P2 looks like its running low on power, but in reality, it is the fastest accelerating of the four and this is why the engravings look lighter.
Look at our YouTube video at 12:30 minute mark to see the difference in speed!
If we compare Sculpfun and Atomstack, the Sculpfun did a very good job, considering that its working area is more than twice the surface area of the other three, and the bigger the machine the less precise it will be.
Measuring the focus spot size and shape
The interval test showed us that both the Sculpfun S30 Ultra and Atomstack Maker A30 Pro have the same laser beam size. Longer B1 appears to have the largest, and Acmer P2 has the smallest focus spot size. We will see how this affects their cutting ability, but first we need to test how well these lasers retain their focus at greater distance.
Focus Distance Test
I have set up my standard focus distance test which tests how well the machine retains focused laser beam at greater distances. To test this, I focus the machine optimally and engrave the first square with 0mm which represents the optimal focus distance. Then, I keep removing 3mm thick acrylic plates from underneath the material one by one, without readjusting the focus.
This way we can see how the laser spot will look inside thick materials when they are being cut. The bigger the laser spot, the worse the machine will perform at cutting thick materials.
Sculpfun and Atomstack are in the lead here, since their focus spot retains its focus much better than Longer or Acmer. Despite Acmer having the smallest focus spot at optimal focus, its laser beam also diverges more rapidly. This should suggest that it will not be as good at cutting thick materials as other machines.
Plywood Cutting Test pattern
To test this assumption, I have performed my standard plywood cutting test which tests these laser cutters performance at cutting plywood at different speeds and numbers of passes. I have tested all four laser engravers with 3mm and 6mm thick Poplar plywood.
3mm thick plywood cutting test results
Looking at the cutting results with the thin 3mm thick Poplar plywood boards, we can see that Acmer performed the best, which is not surprising as it has the smallest focus spot. Sculpfun and Longer were closely behind it. I have also noticed that the Longer B1 leaves more smoke stains on the surface which is probably due to the air assist having a very narrow tube and large nozzle. But this issue is supposed to be fixed with the production models. The Atomstack performed almost the same as Sculpfun.
6mm thick plywood cutting test results
With thicker 6mm thick Poplar Plywood board, the results are quite different. The Acmer P2 lost the lead because its focus spot diverges quickly, and it performed the same as Longer B1. Acmer P2 focuses primarily on top perfromance for cutting thinner materials which is what you will be cutting most of the time.
With this thicker plywood, the Sculpfun S30 Ultra and Atomstack Maker X30 Pro are leading. This proves our prediction we made when looking at the focus distance test results. Sculpfun and Atomstack also produce the least amount of smoke stains which means they have good air management.
10mm thick plywood cutting test results
Then I went to cut 10mm thick Poplar plywood at two different speeds with all four laser cutters.
At 300 millimeters per minute, all of them were able to cut through in one pass, although Acmer just barely did it.
At 600 millimeters per minute, Sculpfun S30 Ultra and Atomstack Maker A30 Pro needed two passes, Longer Laser B1 needed 3 and Acmer P2 took 4 passes to cut through.
When cutting material this thick, a less diverging beam will cut significantly better, which is why Acmer performed worse, although it was the best at cutting 3mm thick plywood. Acmer is focusing mostly on top performance for cutting thin boards with high precision. Also, its air assist pump is slightly weaker, but it is much quieter. If you want more performance with thick wood, you can always upgrade the pump with their C4 air assist pump that they offer as an upgrade. This should improve its cutting performance significantly.
Looking at the results, the cuts look very similar with lower speed, but when cutting with higher speed, the cuts made with Sculpfun and Atomstack look much cleaner as they needed less passes.
3mm and 10mm Thick Acrylic Cutting Test
Now let’s see how these machines can cut black acrylic sheets. First, I tested them with 3mm thick acrylic. Sculpfun S30 Ultra was first. Looking at the result, it took approximately 1.5 passes as the first pass has already cut two thirds through the material.
The Atomstack Maker x30 Pro needed exactly 2 passes to cut through. One thing to notice with the Atomstack is that its cutting ability varies a lot if we compare vertical and horizontal cutting direction which was not the case with Sculpfun.
Longer B1 and Acmer P2 also took 2 passes. The results show us that they are both equally good for cutting 3mm thick colored acrylic. All four laser engravers were good at cutting thin plastic board.
Then I went to cut a much thicker 10-millimeter acrylic. Sculpfun needed 7 passes, Atomstack and Longer needed 8, and Acmer needed 14 passes. Acmer struggled a bit cutting in one direction and the result is not as good looking. This is due to the air assist pump being weaker. Stronger air asssit pump like the C4 pump would cool down the acrylic more effectively and the result would be much better looking. The other three machines have left a decent edge.
If you want to see the cutting results from all lasers, check out our YouTube video, where whe have showed all results from this test.
It is worth noting that blue diode lasers can’t cut transparent or white acrylic. They can only cut colored plastics. No matter their power or setting, they will not be able to cut transparent or white plastics. If you want to cut transparent, you will need a CO2 laser like the xTool P2 which we have reviewed recently and can be classified almost as a professional laser cutter.
Laser Cutting 18mm Thick Soft Spruce Wood
Now let’s try to cut some thick stuff! First, I will try to cut through an18-millimeter-thick Spruce wood with a speed of 600mm/min. For this purpose, I lowered each laser head as low as possible and set the air assist to full speed to maximize the cutting performance.
Here are the results:
- Sculpfun S30 Ultra: 6 passes
- Atomstack Maker A30 X30 S30 Pro: 8 passes
- Longer Laser B1: 9 passes
- Acmer P2: 10 passes
Looking at the results we can see that the Sculpfun has produced the cleanest cut, the Atomstack was second, Longer and the Acmer have produced similar results and have produced a bit more charring than others. Acmer has a bit weaker air assist pump which comes in the effect here. But the pump is still reliable and very quiet.
I have also cut out some big letters where we will be able to see the results in a practical way. Letter “S” was made with Sculpfun, letter ”A” with Atomstack, letter “L” with Longer and letter “C” with Acmer. They came out great. Sculpfun and Atomstack are in slightly in the lead in this test and are the best laser cutters for thick materials of the four tested here.
Trying to Cut 38mm Thick Wood With 33W Diode Laser Engravers
Then I pushed them through their limits by cutting 36mm thick spruce plank to see how these 33W laser engravers perform at cutting thicker materials.
The Sculpfun S30 Ultra laser cutter was able to cut through in approximately 12 passes, but a small part in the middle, where the growth rings are, was not cut through cleanly. Atomstack, Longer and Acmer were unable to cut through. I have let them try cutting for 50 passes and no progress was made beyond that point.
For comparison, the octa-core 40W xTool D1 laser engraver was able to cleanly cut through in 7 passes.
Stainless Steel Engraving Test
The last test on the list was the stainless steel engraving test. Each laser engraved its name at a very slow speed of 200mm/min and the line below was engraved with 1000mm/min to see if the speed affects the engraving performance. Looking at the results, we can see that they all did a great job, maybe the Atomstack and Longer produced slightly darker engravings at higher engraving speed.
|Sculpfun S30 Ultra||Atomstack Maker A30/X30/S30 Pro||Longer B1||Acmer P2|
|Wood engraving performance||Great||Great||Average||Great (high contrast)|
|Laser spot size (engraving precision)||0.18*0.2||0.2*0.2||0.2*0.25||0.15*0.15|
|Cutting performance for thin materials (3mm)||Great||Good||Great||Excellent|
|Cutting performance for thick materials (6mm+)||Excellent||Excellent||Good||Good|
|Cutting VERY thick stuff||Good||Average||Average||Average|
|Mechanical stability||Great considering it is much larger||Great||Great||Excellent, except the belt tensioners|
|Features||Key lock, USB, Wi-Fi, replaceable lens, A lot of accessories available (expansion kit, rotary, honeycomb, enclosures…)||SD card, offline touchscreen controller, replaceable lens||Key lock, replaceable lens, Flame and tilt sensor||Keylock, USB, Wi-Fi, SD card, replaceable lens, Flame and tilt sensor, quick focus, rotary switch, emergency stop, air pump, rotary, honeycomb, camera, enclosures available…|
|Worth mentioning||Available with 11W, 22W in 33W module.||Comes with a bit more accessories out of the box||Premium looking||Easy to focus, industrial sliding rails on all axes are very good, smallest laser spot, high acceleration, available with 10W, 20W, 33W.|
|Things I don’t like||Loud fan||No automatic air assist||Big laser spot size, not so good air assist performance (supposed to be fixed on production machines?)||Non removable light shield, weak air assist (stronger upgrade available if you want to cut thicker), not as good belt tensioning system|
Sculpfun S30 Ultra vs. Atomstack Maker A30 X30 S30 Pro vs. Longer Laser B1 vs. Acmer P2
Sculpfun S30 Ultra [Official store, Store 1, Store 2] is the best laser cutter for thicker materials. It cuts cleanly and it has good cutting performance. It has a large frame, and it is perfect for making larger designs. It has the highest power output, and it cuts very well. The industrial sliding rail on X-axis helps a lot with stability. Overall, it is a very well performing machine. One downside is that the fan is very loud.
Atomstack Maker A30 X30 S30 Pro [Official store, Store 2] comes with a lot of accessories out of the box. It comes with a good air assist pump which is sadly not automatic. It is a slow machine, and it does not reach high speeds like other machines. It sadly doesn’t have industrial sliding rails and the power output is average.
Longer Laser B1 [Official Store, Store 2] doesn’t shine at engraving or cutting, it has the largest laser spot size and an average output power. This machine could benefit a lot with a better air assist nozzle which is supposed to be fixed in the production units which should have better cutting and engraving performance. But the frame itself is very stable considering that it does not have linear sliding rails.
Acmer P2 [Official store] has the smallest laser spot size and pretty high power output which makes it the best cutter for thinner materials. It has a weaker, but silent air assist pump, this is why it did not perform as good with thicker stuff. But Acmer offers a stronger C4 type pump which should make it good at cutting thicker stuff too. It is also very good at laser engraving as it can achieve deepest contrast when engraving on wood. It is also the fastest accelerating machine of all of them. It is visibly faster than others. It has industrial linear sliding rails on all axis which make it very stable at high speed. The pre-production unit I was testing had some mechanical issues, but the production units should have come pre-assembled and shouldn’t have the problems I have experienced.
Each laser cutter in this review has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, with different features and designs that may attract or discourage users. I hope that this comprehensive review has helped you in determining the laser cutter that best aligns with your specific needs and requirements.
If you want to thank us for providing this comprehensive and objective review, and you plan to buy yourself a machine, we would be very happy if you buy through our links:
- Sculpfun S30 Ultra [Official store, Store 1, Store 2]
- Atomstack Maker A30 X30 S30 Pro [Official store, Store 2]
- Longer Laser B1 [Official Store, Store 2]
- Acmer P2 [Official store]
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