Looking to buy a laser engraver? See the best laser engravers for person use, small businesses and industrial application in this guide.
With the advent of 3D modeling technology, the technical capabilities of many devices have increased significantly. Laser engraving has also been transformed by this technology.
“Engraving” refers to the process of applying an inscription or pattern to various surfaces.
Do you remember how in childhood you used to “decorated” all kinds of boards with a burner? Well, today, modern laser engravers can transfer the most complex designs to almost anything. Talk about glass, stone, concrete, wood or even metal.
With the help of the laser engravers, any object can be made 100% uniqueness. The best thing is that this process is not difficult at all. You just need to set the parameters of the future image with the help of a special program, and the engraver will do the rest.
Think it’s a joke? Check the video below of the SnapMaker A350 laser engraver in action:
What was previously available to a few professionals who knew how to handle a CNC machine or similar equipment can now be created by almost anyone.
It is not surprising that laser engravers are becoming more popular, actively competing with 3D printers in terms of the number of sales. However, the best 3D printers are noticeably more expensive. If you are a beginner, you might want to start with budget 3D printer models. These are easy to manage and work with.
Let’s get back to laser engraving.
Laser engraving can become not only a hobby but also a source of income. There demand for customized laser engraved or cut products is growing.
While you may start engraving as a hobby, do not be surprised when you start receiving orders for customized laser engraved items from your friends and acquaintances. This is inevitable as people love customized items. And if you are a little versed with 3D modeling, then you can easily start making your own customized products using laser engravers.
Application of Laser Engraving
In general, there are no restrictions on engraving. All more or less dense surfaces can be engraved. However, laser engravers of different power and technology are designed for different materials. Therefore, before choosing a laser engraver, consider your needs.
Read our laser engraver buying guide for more information.
The most common use cases of laser engravers include:
- Creation of all kinds of souvenirs: key chains, badges, accessories.
- Production of advertising brochures, branded packaging and branded stationery (e.g., business card holders, pens, organizers, etc.)
- Inscribing on mugs, glasses, glasses, plates, cutlery, etc.
- Engraving of company emblems and logos
- Decoration of all kinds of interior items (e.g., mirrors, photo frames, vases, entrance doors, paintings, etc.)
- Drawing inscriptions on medals, cups, pennants, diplomas, certificates and other prizes
- Precious metal jewelry engraving
- Creation of signs, plates, etc.
- Application of markings, codes and other identification marks
- Laser processing of leather products (e.g., belts, wallets, bags, bracelets, etc.)
- Engraving gadgets (e.g., laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc.)
- Create 3D photo inside glasses
Of course, this is not a complete list of what can be done with laser engravers. Your imagination is your only limite. If you add other ways of creating images to this (various types of coloring and printing), then you can embody any ideas. And you will get something very beautiful and absolutely unique.
With that quite long introduction. let’s look at the best laser engravers on the market. These 6 engravers are fairly affordable and are also of very high quality.
Best Laser Engravers
1. Ortur Laser Master 2 (20W)
The Ortur Master 2 Pro is a simple but powerful desktop laser engraver. The engraver can handle cardboard, various types of plastic, acrylic, leather, wood, and metal. This unit can also cut cardboard, specialty paper, plywood, leather and other materials.
- Safety. The laser engraver has a special sensor that immediately reacts to any movement of the beam outside the specified parameters. Also, if the connection with the computer or laptop is lost due to battery discharge or accidental disconnection of the USB cable, the device automatically stops to avoid a fire.
- High engraving speed. The Ortur Laser Master 2 can process up to 3000 millimeters per minute.
- You can accurately adjust the power in from 0 to 1000W. In most laser engraver, the power ranges from 0 to about 250W.
- Highly accurate images are engraved thanks to the high-quality laser module that has a constant focusing function. The laser module allows you to perform all operations even faster.
- Large working area of 400 x 430 mm.
- Modern firmware that makes the engraver is easy to use. For example, installing the machine takes no more than 20 minutes. You can also work in pulse width modulation (PWM) mode.
- Built-in free software ( Laser GRBL), which is one of the most popular software. Laser GRBK allows you to work with different image formats created using popular graphic editors.
- Durable. All parts of the device are made of durable and high quality materials; from the aluminum frame to the cables.
Ortur Laser Master 2 is equipped with a 32-bit “motherboard” with a microcontroller, which provides a high data transfer rate per unit of time.
There are also varieties of this model, but with a lower power (15W and 7w). Read our Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro review for more details of this machine.
2. Neje Master (30W)
The Neje Master is another relatively inexpensive laser engraver. This model is easy to use, even for beginners.
For its segment, the laser engraver is quite powerful thanks to its 30W power rating. This power is enough for high-quality engraving of leather, wood, cardboard, paper, bamboo and even plastic. In addition, there is a cutting mode (for some materials).
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- Compact. The device measures 15 x 16 x 19 cm.
- Durable construction. The frame of the engraver is made of stainless steel alloy with aluminum and covered with acrylic. All external and internal elements of the engraver are securely fixed.
- Works with different types of surfaces, which were mentioned above.
- Good print speed at low power
- Long service life in compliance with all operational standards and requirements.
- Can be powered by PowerBank and laptop via USB
The engraver has an update cooling system that intelligently controls the temperature sensor. This system also has a 40 mm fan with 10000 RPM. Therefore, you can be sure of using the laser engraver for multiple hours during the day without it overheating.
Of the shortcomings, it is worth noting the small working area – only 25.5 x 44 cm. However, this is quite enough to learn how to interact with the equipment.
We recommend this laser engraver for beginners.
3. ATOMSTACK A5 Laser Engraver
This is an excellent laser engraver in all respects. The machine has 15W of power and a large engraving area (1m x 1m). However, it requires certain skills and abilities to be operated.
You can use the Atomstack A5 laser engraver to create drawings on wood, cardboard, paper, plastic, leather, and even mark a metal surface using special pastes. The engraver has a working area of 410 x 400mm.
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- Adjusting the power allows you to make drawings of different shades and intensities (including background) on surfaces of different density.
- Good workmanship. All components are neatly and well assembled together. With proper care, the equipment will work effectively for a long time.
- Decent working speed and good power (20W) of the engraver determine its high productivity
- A large work area significantly expands the possibilities of your ideas
- Intuitive software with a large number of options to help you quickly understand all the intricacies of the process and set the desired operating parameters.
Unfortunately, this engraver has some significant disadvantages. For example, its cooling system is not efficient. Therefore, you cannot use the engraver for more than a few hours a day due to the risk of overheating.
Also, there is no vacuum table, which complicates work with an uneven surface.
Finally, the price. It is not the lowest on the market. However, the great functionality of the engraver fully justifies it.
4. Aufero Portable Laser Engraver
The Aufero Portable Laser engraver is made by Ortur, one of the leading manufacturers of laser engraving machines. This unit is ideal for working with small objects, primarily souvenirs and small accessories. It’s working area is 50 x 65 cm.
This is a good workhorse that comes at an affordable price. It’s maximum power is 5.5W
Read the full Aufero Laser 1 Review
- The ability to engrave various materials (e.g., paper, cardboard, wood, plywood, leather, plastic, as well as some metal surfaces when using pastes).
- Excellent print quality. With this engraver, you can reproduce many shades of gray, resulting in an output that is as similar to the original as possible.
- Functional software is included in the package. The software has an extended range of options and settings.
- Focus and power adjustment is achieved through the use of specific programs. This allows you to change the intensity of the image and the degree of rendering of details.
Of course, this is not the most technically difficult model. However, it copes with its tasks well. This machine will not be able to apply a pattern to ceramics or stone. However, if you won’t be working with ceramics and stones, we’d recommend buying.
5. Reizer Laser Engraver
Representative of the “good and inexpensive” squad, Reizer is a very easy to operate. This laser engraver is affordable and can handle a wide range of items, including wood, plastic, paper, cardboard, bamboo, rubber. among others.
The laser is quite powerful, with a maximum power rating of 20W.
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- Ease of use. You do not need to set the beam power on your it. This is calculated automatically. The only thing you need to do is to select the type of material. The other options are also easy to use and the software is fairly straightforward.
- A very affordable price. For a device with such characteristics, it is very low, which is good news.
- There is a heat dissipation system that helps to reduce the risk of overheating. Not all engravers are equipped with it, especially in this price category.
- Compactness. This unit weighs only a little more than 6kgs and its working area is 40 x 40 cm.
- Good power of 20 watts.
In general, this is a very device for the money. However, it has limitations. Firstly, the rather small processing area – only 40 x 40 cm will not allow you to turn around properly. Secondly, its speed is also not up to par, but this is to be expected with such power. Finally, you cannot use the laser engrave to engrave some solid materials (metal, stone, ceramics), as well as reflective, transparent (glass) and colorless materials.
6. OMTech Laser Engraver
Also making it on our list of the best laser engravers is the OMTech Laser Engraver. This affordable unit featured a control panel that is accessed through a digital display. It also has some nice safety features. For example, the laser sensor automatically shuts off when it detects the hood is open. This helps to prevent accidents.
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- It has a constant power and high intensity of laser radiation, which makes it easy to create high-quality inscriptions and drawings on metal and plastic.
- Performance indicators do not drop over time, which allows you to maintain high efficiency throughout the entire service life.
- Suitable for engraving a wide range of materials
- Fast and accurate processing of materials allows you to create high quality images. Due to this, this model is often used in production.
- Compatible with third-party software programs, such as LightBurn, Adobe Illustrator, AutoCAD, and CorelDRAW.
- There is a cooling system, due to which both the service life of the equipment and the duration of a single use are extended.
- Reliable assembly and high quality components guarantee long-term operation without replacement of spare parts.
This engraver has almost no drawbacks. Of course, the price could be better but it is justified for such a quality of the device.
Advantages of Laser Engravers
Using a laser to create patterns on various surfaces is one of the most effective engraving methods. It is impossible to achieve the same precision and quality of performance through other means. Even simply by changing the power of the laser beam in one direction or another, it turns out to achieve a completely different result, to give the desired relief, shade, etc.
The application technique can also be different – contour or raster. In the first version, only a contour is created, i.e., the outline of an inscription or drawing. In the second, a point reproduction of a given image on a particular surface occurs. Of course, the more complex it is, the longer the application process takes.
Why Use Laser Engravers
- Versatility. Almost any material (with rare exceptions) and even finished products are suitable for processing.
- Efficiency. Excellent workmanship allows you to easily implement the most difficult tasks.
- High efficiency. Laser engravers work accurately and quickly. Moreover, they can be used for many hours at a time.
- Low cost. The cost involved are just the cost of electricity and maintenance of the device.
- Simplicity. To use laser engravers, you need to master graphic design skills. Alternatively, you can use ready-made graphics that are freely available.
- No restrictions. You can create images of any size (from a few millimeters to half a meter and more) on any part of the product.
- The probability of error is minimized due to the complete automation of all processes.
- Affordability. There is a huge selection of laser engravers to choose from. The machines range from the simplest and cheapest to large machines used in large-scale production. The first ones are more suitable for beginners. As you acquire the skills to work with the equipment, you can select more expensive and technically complex models.
As you can see, laser engravers have a lot of advantages and the scope of their application is very wide. Of course, there are certain restrictions to keep in mind when using them. For example, it is not recommended to use PVC as a material because it emits toxic substances during melting. Also, you need to be careful when setting the power parameters of the device. Otherwise, there is a great risk of spoiling the workpiece.
If you are seriously thinking about buying a laser engraver, then check out our guide on how to choose a laser engraver. In the article, you’ll learn about the different types of laser engravers and how to select one that will be most suitable for you.