Reviewed and Tested: xTool F1 Ultra – A True Jack Of All Trades, But a Master of SOME!

Today we going to test the xTool F1 Ultra, a world’s first dual-source laser engraver that features camera autofocusing, a 20W blue diode laser module and 20W infrared true fiber laser source, all in one small package. This means that it can engrave almost all types of materials ranging from wood, leather, acrylic, stainless steel, stone, aluminum, brass, copper, plastics, tumblers, it can even remove rust and much more. Thanks to its powerful laser sources it is also capable of cutting thick wood, leather, acrylic and even thin metal sheets!

xTool F1 Ultra Review And Test

In this article, I will test and review the xTool F1 Ultra laser engraver on a lot of different materials to show you what this machine can really do with its powerful dual laser source which support engraving on a wide variety of materials. it is a successor of the popular xTool F1 engraver which we have reviewed a while ago.

I will also give you some tips and tricks for using this amazing laser engraver. In this article, you will also find all the source files for the projects featured in this review.

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Unboxing and Features of The xTool F1 Ultra

The xTool F1 Ultra comes with a very nice-looking touchscreen controller user interface, which is used for focusing the machine and for offline engraving setup. You can also purchase a finger button switch and a foot switch, which are used to trigger the start of the engraving job when engraving the same design on a larger number of items. The switch has metal enclosure and feels very high quality.

A fume extraction hose is recommended to be connected to the xTool smoke purifier which makes this laser much safer to use in less ventilated spaces. Otherwise, you need to vent the exhaust outside through a window.  You also get the slat bed for laser cutting and a bunch of sample materials.

On the side of the machine, you find the connectors for interfacing the computer and accessories like xTool RA2 rotary attachment and conveyor feeder. It also has a port for USB thumb drive for providing files for offline engraving. The slat bed is great as it lets the smoke escape from underneath the material when laser cutting.

The xTool F1 Ultra has an enormous lens underneath its galvo system, and it also has a camera for positioning and autofocus and a laser pointer which is used for focusing as we will see later.

On the back side, there are the connectors for the remote touchscreen controller, foot pedal, air purifier and fire extinguisher add-on. As with previous models, this machine also features the USB lock key, which disables the laser when not inserted, preventing children or not authorized people from using the machine.

xTool F1 Ultra supports manual focus and autofocus

The remote controller has a nice-looking display which shows the status of the engraving and is mainly used for offline engraving purposes. The buttons on the side are used for manual focusing. The machine head can be adjusted up or down until the red and blue dots are aligned on the surface that you want to engrave.

xTool XCS 2.0 Software

The xTool F1 Ultra works with the new version of the XCS software (currently in 2.0 beta). There you will find a lot of premade projects that you can do with the F1 Ultra right away. With just a few clicks you can import the project and adjust the design, or change the engraving parameters, or engrave it as it is.

The software offers all the needed functionalities, and we can see that it was designed with ease of use in mind. Truly anyone can start engraving in minutes. It also contains a wide collection of basic shapes and vector designs that you can use to speed up your design process. By pressing the autofocus button, the machine automatically adjusts to the correct height. Thanks to the galvo system, this machine has no moving parts and can engrave at very high speeds. With the 20-watt blue laser module it also cuts plywood like butter! The result looks good and the cut is nice and clean, without charring.

The XCS software also has an AI image generator specifically designed for laser engraving, since it can output laser friendly images or even vector images. With just a few clicks you can import the image into the software and engrave it right away.

The software can also generate barcodes and QR codes. I went to engrave it on a dark slate stone. Since the engravings on stone produce lighter colors, I had to convert the image to vector format and invert it by drawing another rectangle around it.

Selecting the correct engraving parameters is very easy, as a lot of settings were already prepared by the xTool team. It is just a matter of clicking on the preferred engraving effect on the photo and the settings are applied. The engraving came out perfect and I am inviting you to scan this code if you are curious to see where it will lead you.

Engraving anodized aluminum dog tags

The infrared fiber laser works very well on all metals and anodized aluminum dog tags like this one. It engraves with lightning speed, and you could even use the xTool F1 Ultra for on-the-spot engraving in your store or on the street where you can be selling custom dog tags or keychains. Engravings come out picture perfect and thanks to the small laser spot of the fiber laser, the details are incredible.

Testing the xTool F1 Ultra's camera positioning accuracy on metal business card

Next, I tested the camera positioning accuracy. I have engraved a metal business card with this design which has a lot of very intricate details. After the design was engraved, I refreshed the camera preview, and saw that the design is perfectly aligned with the actual engraving. This is incredible and I am very impressed with the fact that we can use the camera for very precise positioning. The engraving is also very detailed and looks great! It looks the same quality as it would be printed on the card.

The second photo shows the alignment of the finished engraving to the original placement using a camera in the software. On the third photo, I manually moved the design in software to show you how well it was really aligned.

Engraving on stainless steel in COLORS

One of the coolest features of the xTool F1 Ultra is its ability to produce many different types of engravings on stainless steel, which I will now demonstrate. The left design will be engraved with blue laser module, the second one with fiber laser using high power, and the third one with fiber laser with lower power.

We can see that the result is completely different for each case. Blue laser module appears to produce some colors, and the infrared module can either make a deep etch or it can produce a polishing effect.

If you vary the speed and power of both laser sources, you can produce a lot of different engraving effects and colors.

I liked the color engraving with blue diode laser, and I went to engrave a hip flask from (use coupon “” for 10% off!) using this method (plus I engraved the inner part with IR fiber laser) and produced a very beautiful engraving which makes up for a great gift.

Copper engraving

I also tested the F1 Ultra on copper and it has engraved it with great results using the fiber laser source.

Rust removal is impeccable with fiber laser source

Fiber laser is also great for removing rust from intricate parts. Using 20% power at 600 mm/s, it can remove even a very stubborn and thick rust in two passes, without damaging the surface of the material. on the photo below, only the “xTool Ultra” rectangle was made with this machine.

Focus distance test

Next, I was interested in the depth of the F1 Ultras focus range. I used the blue laser module to engrave a piece of wood that was on a steep angle, and I was amazed at the usable engraving depth range. This means that curved objects will not cause issues when engraving. I did the same test with the fiber laser and its focus range is much shallower, as expected, but still plenty deep.

Cutting 10mm (0.4") plywood with the xTool F1 Ultra

I went to put this to the test, and tried to cut a 10mm (0.4″) thick Poplar plywood with the blue module at full power and at 10mm/s.

The downside of galvo laser is that if the item is not placed directly underneath the lens, it will be cutting at an angle like here.  It was able to cut through in only 4 passes which rivals the traditional 20W gantry style diode laser cutters that we reviewed previously.

Black acrylic - xTool F1 Ultra works like MAGIC!

Black acrylic is where you can really take advantage of the dual laser source. Fiber laser leaves a white mark which looks amazing. Then, you can use blue laser to cut the acrylic and make a badge out of it. The result looks amazing, the engraving is very durable, and the cutout is very clean.

Now I will show you my favorite feature of the xTool F1 Ultra laser engraver. The infrared laser has a very small laser spot size and can engrave photos on black acrylic with incredible detail. The photo needs to be inverted, because as we have seen previously, the fiber laser produces white markings on black acrylic.

I used the default settings from the material library, both for the photo engraving and the cutout. The result blew me away as this looks like a real photo! This is my favorite feature of the F1 Ultra. It is a very easy way to make a memorable gift.

Engraving plastics

Another great thing about fiber lasers is that they can mark a wide range of plastics with high contrast. For example, common plastic like remote controllers, power banks and phone chargers can be engraved with great results. But you should always be careful since some plastic can produce harmful gases and the xTool smoke purifier is highly recommended when working with such materials.  Fiber laser leaves a durable gray finish that looks factory made.

Engraving and cutting leather with the xTool F1 Ultra

Then I used an AI generator to make a design that I will try to engrave on leather, to make a leather keychain. The first attempt was not good, as I used too slow cutout speed, and the edge became dark and charred. .

For the second attempt, I used a much faster cutout speed and I have connected the button switch to manually start each cutting pass, so the material will have time to cool down in between. I ran a couple of passes, and this time, the result was much better.

Engraving Scratch paper!

I got some scratch paper from (use coupon “” for 10% off!), which sells a lot of various materials for laser engravers, which nicely supplements the vast offering of the xTool materials.  I used the AI generator to generate an image of two astronauts riding an elephant. I ran two passes with fiber laser for maximum effect. The whole engraving is very large, and it took just under 7 minutes to complete two passes which is incredibly fast. With some tweaking of parameters it could be done in a single pass, cutting the time down even more.

Scratch paper comes in a variety of colors, and it makes a great decoration if framed in a photo frame.

xTool automatic batch engraving feature

Then I wanted to test the automatic bulk engraving feature, which can be further streamlined with the optional conveyor feeder.

First, I cut out some arrows out of plywood. For cleaner cuts, I have enabled the evade smoke feature, which causes the machine to adjust the cutting order in a way, that the smoke minimally interferes with the laser beam. Laser cutting produces a lot of smoke, and the xTool smoke purifier protects your health and makes the engraving process so much easier.

I placed the parts randomly on the laser bed and positioned the engraving on one of them. Then I ran the batch fill command, which automatically detects the parts, and places the engraving accordingly.

Positioning accuracy is not the best, some manual corrections are still necessary, but it can still save you a lot of time. I expect this feature to improve in the future as the software is still in beta mode. I tried the same with a bit simpler shape, but the result was similar. I suspect the problem is in the dark edges around the parts, as the camera is looking from the side. Maybe I could get better results with a black background.

Can xTool F1 engrave jewelry?

I also wanted to see how well the xTool F1 Ultra engraves jewelry. I got a necklace from the xTool material store and used a camera for positioning the engraving. For very small parts I would still recommend double checking the position with the framing function, especially for aligning things parallel to the edges. The xTool F1 Ultra can engrave jewelry very fast and produces a great level of detail.

xTool F1 Ultra is the BEST machine for engraving TUMBLERS

Then I went to engrave a tumbler using the xTool RA2 Pro rotary attachment (click for checking our review of it). I clamped the tumbler, leveled it, and positioned it under the machine by looking at the markings on the side of the machine. The focused dot needs to fall on the highest spot of the cylinder. This is the point to which you need to position the rotational axis in the rotary engraving mode.

I have engraved the tumbler in two passes. The first pass was done by a blue laser, which removes the tumblers coating. The second pass was made with the infrared fiber laser, which will polish the metal surface. The design needs to be placed underneath the rotational axis. We can see that the blue laser effectively removes the coating but leaves a dark mark full of debris and burn stains. The second pass with the fiber laser cleans and polishes this surface to a perfect finish.

Engravings like these can’t be done without the chuck style rotary like the xTool RA2 Pro as roller style rotaries have too much slip and the two passes will never be aligned. The tumbler came out perfect and no cleanup is needed. The engraving looks perfect, and all the fine details are preserved. This is the best result I ever got with tumblers, and I have tested all types of lasers on tumblers in one of my previous videos.

Embossing mode - creating deep 3D engravings!

The last feature I will be testing with the Ultra is the embossing mode. With this mode, you can convert depth map grayscale images into 3D engravings by running a different number of passes for each shade of gray. The darker the color, the more passes will be made.

Deep 3D engravings like this one, which has 256 passes, take a long time to do. So I decided to do it in the offline mode. I sent the file to the machine and the last job is automatically saved in the controller. I brought the machine outside so I will not need to run the smoke purifier and positioned the engraving with the framing function. Then I let the machine work by itself for 3.5 hours

When it finished, I was amazed with the result. The engraving is deep and smooth. The 3D effect looks very cool. This is a great way to make memorable gifts for anniversaries or achievements.

Download xTool F1 Projects

As promised, HERE you can download the project files that I used in the video and this article.

You can also subscribe to our newsletter to download the laser test patterns we used on all other lasers and stay up to date with new reviews posted on this site.

xTool F1 Ultra is one of the most versatile laser engravers on the market!

xTool F1 Ultra - a Swiss Army Knife of Laser Engravers!

In conclusion, the xTool F1 Ultra is one of the most versatile laser engravers on the market today. Thanks to its dual laser source it can engrave almost all materials. It is fast and powerful, and it is a great tool for any hobbyist or small business owner looking to expand his capabilities using a convenient, powerful, safe, and easy to use laser engraver.

xTool has stores all over the world. You can visit their US, EU, DE, UK or FR store!

You can use my discount code "xToolJT" for additional discount as a thank you for reading this article 🙂

Get the xTool F1 Ultra here!Or get the old xTool F1

Be sure to also check out my reviews of newer laser engravers HERE!

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