Laser engraving is an interesting and exciting process. For some people it’s a hobby, for others it’s a source of income.
The drawing is applied to the surface to be treated contactless, using a laser beam, which easily cuts various materials. The resulting image is resistant to abrasion.
In this article, I am going to tell you about laser engravers and also include models of both household and professional classes. So, see below the 10 best laser engraver.
What Is A Laser Engraver Machine?
A laser engraver and cutter is a device for applying a relief image to any surface by burning the material with a laser beam. Unlike mechanical engraving, laser engraving machines allow you to give the image shades.
This effect is achieved by changing the surface structure of the material under the local action of the beam. Depending on the intensity of exposure, high visibility of shades is achieved, and as a result, the image is of photographic quality.
The great advantage of laser engraving is also the high accuracy of the reproduction of a given image and repeatability in mass production.
How Does A Laser Engraving Machine Work?
Laser engraving allows you to apply an indelible and very aesthetic image to the surface.
The principle of operation of the device is the removal from the surface of the smallest particles of the processed material with a change in color at the points of impact.
A gift with an engraved picture and an inscription acquires a special value. A laser cutter is a computer-controlled machine that uses a laser beam to accurately cut or engrave material.
Laser machines are highly focused, the amplified beam of light that causes a material to locally melt, vaporize or burn. The type of material a laser can cut depends on the type of laser and the power of the particular machine.
At the point when the laser bar goes through the workpiece material, it makes a cut. Laser cutting is generally extremely exact and clean. The presence of the cut edges relies upon the material.
For instance, the edges of cut wood are normally hazier brown than the first wood. Acrylic edges don’t change the tone and after laser cutting has a delightful lustrous sheen.
The opening on the laser cutter is tiny. The term kerf alludes to the width of the section made during cutting. This fluctuates from one material to another, as well as unambiguous laser settings. For some materials, the kerf goes from 0.05 mm (0.002 in.) to 0.5 mm (0.02 in.).
The laser shaft eliminates portions of the top material yet doesn’t slice through the whole material, framing an engraving or example on a superficial level.
The laser doesn’t eliminate the material, in any case, for instance, changes the shade of the material. On cutters with a CO2 laser, checking is essentially utilized while working with metals.
A checking arrangement is applied to the outer layer of the workpiece. After the checking arrangement has dried, the engraving is completed. The intensity from the laser bonds the answer for the metal, making a long-lasting imprint.
Laser engravers are widely used for highly artistic engraving. In addition to the special quality, the technology allows you to perform operations inaccessible to traditional machining.
This is an engraving on thin and fragile surfaces, leather, textiles, rubber, and miniatures.
The most demanded laser engraving equipment has become in such areas as:
• Engraving on souvenirs and gifts: mobile gadgets, pens, key chains, business card holders, lighters, diaries, and much more.
• Jewelry is made of precious metals.
• Engraving of prizes, cups, medals, and other premium products.
• Signboards, plates.
• Engraving of products from various materials: polymers (acrylic, 2-layer plastic, stone, wood, glass, paper).
• Marking on panels and cases of devices.
• Letters and signs on buttons and keys.
• Identification codes.
• Photo in glass (applying 3D engraving inside the glass).
• Used in advertising. The combination of engraving with other methods of applying images (UV printing, coloring) allows you to create real works of printable art that successfully promote products, services, and works.
Buying Guide For Laser Engraving Machine
The market offers a huge number of laser engravers, and sometimes it can be quite difficult to find the right one.
Someone focuses on the price or brand of the manufacturer, someone on the functionality, but in fact, it is important to take into account several main factors at once, namely:
Will it be large/small production or personal use? It also matters what exactly you will do with it: engraving, cutting (cutting), or both? In the first case, optical power up to 80 W is enough, but you should pay attention to the accuracy of the work.
For cutting, on the contrary, power is a priority – it must be at least 80 watts. If a “universal soldier” is needed, then a number of other factors should also be taken into account.
Type Of Material To Work With:
Gas and solid-state engravers differ in their properties. The former easily “cope” with cardboard, leather, ceramics, wood, glass, and the latter – with metal, and various alloys.
Productivity Of The Device or Speed Of Work:
This is determined based on the planned production volumes and the type of material. Engraving on cardboard, plywood, or leather is much easier and faster than on metal.
The area of the working area is also important. To create small drawings, it makes no sense to buy a large installation. But if you plan to work with large objects, then you should choose something larger and more powerful.
The higher it is, the more durable the material can be processed by the engraver. Also, power affects the speed of work and energy consumption. From 12 to 15 W is suitable for fairly soft and thin materials (no more than 5 mm thick), but at the same time speed and performance suffer.
From 25 to 30 W – the same group of materials, but with greater density and thickness (up to 10 mm). From 40 to 60 W – up to 13 mm thick.
With a power of 60-80 W, it is already possible to engrave wood, glass, plastic, up to 100 W – metal, and from 150 W and above – to carry out industrial cutting and engraving of metal.
Choose a laser with a suitable number of options and a fairly clear interface if you do not have special skills. For those who are already familiar with the technical capabilities of laser engravers and are well versed in modeling, more complex digital models can be considered.
Accuracy Of The Laser Beam
For creating complex and small drawings, this characteristic is especially important. It largely determines the quality of the pattern/inscription.
A number of attachments (cutting cutters): different tasks (cutting, grinding, engraving, etc.) will require different detachable heads.
During operation, the laser tube may overheat, and to prevent this, some devices have a protective function. With a cooling system, the laser can be operated continuously, which improves both its performance and service life. But such equipment will have a higher price than analogs without this option.
Electric Table Drive
Usually found on high-powered, industrial engravers. This option greatly simplifies the process of laser control, since the beam in such cases is focused automatically, increasing the accuracy of execution. This is mainly true for non-stop operations, with a large volume of products.
It largely depends on what materials were used for assembly, whether the laser has to overheat protection, brand, and country of origin.
The high cost does not always guarantee the durability and strength of the product, but, as a rule, better and more expensive models last longer.
However, if you follow the rules of operation and timely maintenance, the laser engraver can be used as long and efficiently as possible.
How To “Extend The Life” Of An Engraving Machine?
Any equipment requires regular inspection and maintenance. Especially as technically complex as laser engravers. To ensure that the device does not fail prematurely, it should be properly looked after. Follow these guidelines.
Clean The Machine
Every day at the end of work, clean the machine from dust and dirt – wipe the optics and remove carbon deposits from the tip. It is also advisable to check the condition of the compressor and adjust the focus.
Inspect All Electrical Parts
Once a week or two, be sure to carefully inspect all electrical parts for serviceability and lubricate mechanical parts in a timely manner. And do not forget to monitor the fluid level in the cooling system.
Do Not Violate The Care Instructions
Do not violate the care instructions indicated in the instructions. For example, do not exceed the maximum allowed continuous operation time, do not use it for its intended purpose, and forget to clean the filters and change the water.
Take Care Of Room Temperature, and Humidity
Make sure the environment meets the technical guidelines, including room temperature, humidity, and even cleanliness.
Otherwise, the exhaust fans may not be able to cope with the amount of dust and debris, and the optics may quickly become dirty, which will affect the performance of the machine.
Initial Setup Of All Systems
The quality of the laser engraver and its service life can also be affected by the initial setup of all systems. This should be given special attention, so as not only not to spoil the material being processed, but also to prevent overheating.
How To Use A Laser Machine
A laser machine utilizes a laser to cut and imprint material.
To chip away at laser cutter engraving machines, select the ideal picture, advance it for laser cutting machines, select the material, and afterward press print on the laser cutter.
It’s a speedy and simple method for imitating similar plans on various materials or making numerous duplicates of a similar article. We have prepared for you a small instruction manual for the laser machine.
Choose The Material
Laser cutters can cut and etch cardboard, froth, wood, plastic, texture, and dainty sheets of metal. Any materials containing chlorine ought not to be utilized because of the poisonous exhaust they emit. Try not to utilize printed circuit sheets, vinyl, and PVC on the laser machine.
Select an Image
It can be a photograph, computer text, or computer drawing. Begin with a straightforward picture first and attempt more mind-boggling pictures as you gain insight into the machine.
Load The Image Into The Software Compatible With Laser Machine
Check your laser cutter’s client manual to figure out which programming to utilize. Save the picture record to your PC. Open the program and snap “Import” to stack the picture into the program.
For instance, on the off chance that your material is 10 cm x 20 cm, enter 10 cm for the width and 20 cm for the level. Ensure you select the right unit of measure.
Optimize The Image For Laser Cutting
In the image settings, select “redesigned for the photo” if you’re managing a photo. If you are printing a modernized drawing or text, select an objective of something like 333 dpi (spots per inch). This will overhaul the image for laser taking care.
As you become adjusted to the laser shaper you are using, investigate various roads in regards to different effects. On the estimation influences toolbar, you can change the significance and instances of the etching.
Place The Material In The Center
This is a very smart arrangement for achieving a great result. If your material doesn’t fit, you ought to cut it so it can fit inside the machine without bending up on the sides.
Press any indispensable on the control center, this will make the laser truly check out its perspectives on the mat. Expecting the laser is outside the locale of your material, move the material so the laser doesn’t move off the edge of the material.
Clean The Lens
Dampen a piece of cotton with cleaning alcohol and gently wipe the focal point of the laser cutter. This should be possible while the focal point is still in the vehicle.
Set Lens Height
Most present-day laser cutters are outfitted with a modified point of convergence level sensor or button. At the point when your material is in the right position, press the “change point of convergence level” button.
Changing the level of the point of convergence will allow the laser to be locked in at the right level, making the laser cutting machine more useful.
Accepting that there is no point of convergence level change button, you ought to truly change the level. Examine the client manual for your laser shaper model to sort out some way to do this, as the collaboration varies by model.
Turn On The Hood
Press the switch on the hood. This is the colossal chamber arranged behind the laser shaper. The line extractor sucks all of the depletes and buildup of the material from the laser cutting machine.
Place The Material
In the material settings, pick which material you are utilizing. This will decide the laser settings. For example, expecting that you are cutting wood, the strain will be more grounded than while cutting foam.
Choose What Type Of Incisions You Are Making
Click the print menu. A settings menu will appear to demand that you select a cutting system: raster or vector. Accepting you are cutting the image, click “vector print”, and if you are etching, click “raster print”.
Press the print button and watch your picture show some major signs of life. Try not to move the material while cutting, if not, the picture parts won’t arrange.
10 Best Laser Engravers
The category includes engravers that use laser diode technology. They are suitable for applying patterns to the surface of wood, plastic, paper, cardboard, leather, glass, rubber, and aluminum using chemical etching.
However, when choosing a laser engraver, you need to understand that the quality of its work will largely depend on the level of technical
preparedness of the user.
Machines may come unassembled. Yes, and the software often has to be “filed” or completely replaced.
#1 LaserPecker 2 Laser Engraver
This laser engraver creates the most detailed pictures. Moreover, not only contour drawings are good for him, but also photos with various tonal transitions. It is intended for woodworking. Handles soft and hard rocks easily. For plywood, you need to select the settings.
The working field is relatively large – 50×65 cm. Such dimensions are sufficient for the implementation of most projects. The model works in two modes – as an engraver and as a CNC milling cutter.
After assembling the machine, you need to install programs and drivers. Equipment control and all process settings are carried out only through the software. The user can change the power and speed of the laser. The set is complete.
Of the shortcomings mentioned in the reviews, most often there are complaints about the cooling system – it is not thought out here. An additional fan installation solves this issue.
#2 ORTUR Laser Master 2 S2 LU2-2, 24V Laser Engraver Machine
The ORTUR Laser Master 2 S2 LU2-2, 24V Laser Engraver Machine has several modifications. All of them are small-sized and have a working field of up to 33×19 mm.
The equipment does not require special assembly and complex installation – everything is extremely simple here, and the necessary software is included.
With it, you can adjust the laser output power, engraving accuracy, working time, movement speed, pattern size, and other parameters. You can start working immediately after unpacking the goods. This is the main advantage of the device.
The engraving accuracy is 0.05 mm. The quality is the best for machines in this class. The focus of this laser engraver is adjustable. The laser is enough to apply images to almost all materials, including metal.
If you plan to use it as a cutter, then keep in mind that the machine is suitable for cardboard, wood, plastic, leather, and rubber. But it is not suitable for cutting metal, ceramics, or transparent materials.
#3 Laser Engraver WAINLUX K6 Pro, 3000mW Laser Engraving Machine
A very interesting version of the engraving machine is offered by WAINLUX. In fact, this lot is like a printer assembly kit – the box contains all the necessary parts and instructions. All holes match, so there are no difficulties with installation.
The upgraded control board deserves the best compliments. Compared to the previous version, it has improved damage protection and functionality. The box comes already assembled.
The stand-alone controller of the laser engraver supports operation without connecting to a computer. The focus of the laser is adjustable. The price in the review is for a model without a laser.
You can choose a complete set, then the price tag will depend on the power of the laser beam, and it can be from 1,000 to 10,000 mW.
The size of the desktop for all modifications is the same and is 300×180 with a milling depth of 40 mm. The control program is included, but you will need other software to create models for engraving and milling.
#3 Atomstack A5 pro Laser Cutter and Engraver Machine
The most powerful Atomstack is this compact laser engraver with a working field of up to 8×8 mm. The seller stated the figure – 3500 mW. The machine engraves wood, cardboard, and other materials.
The case is plastic, there are protective screens, so you can work without glasses. The assembly is of high quality, and the fitting of parts is almost perfect.
The heat dissipation system is well thought out, thanks to which the machine can work for about 40 – 60 minutes without interruption. It’s nice that the cooler doesn’t make too much noise.
The laser power adjustment function is taken over by the software, which is very convenient when working with new materials.
But keep in mind that the engraver software is only suitable for Windows version 7 or higher and XP. The focal length of the laser is adjustable.
With the accuracy of the tasks set, everything is fine – the device transfers small fonts and miniature drawings clearly. The device is useful and reliable, its only drawback is the high price.
#4 LE400 Pro Higher Accuracy Laser Engraver
LE400 Pro Higher Accuracy Laser Engraver is one of the best laser cutters. The presented entry-level model is more suitable for home creativity.
This does not mean that the quality of the engraving will be low, just the functionality of the equipment is organic. Engraving can be applied to wood, cardboard, plastic, and leather.
This model is not suitable for metal. With small tasks, the machine copes in the best way. Its power can be selected from 1500 to 3000 mW. The working field is small – 36×36 mm.
The design of the engraver is the simplest. The presence of two carriages is provided: the “X” axis moves the laser, and the “Y” axis – is the desktop. The mini-machine comes assembled. Before you begin, you need to download device drivers. The required software is included.
There are no difficulties with the development of programs. On request “laser glasses” the search engine will give hundreds of options.
#5 ATOMSTACK A5 Pro 40W Laser Engraver Master
This model, although it belongs to laser mini-engravers, in terms of functionality, it stepped over them. The device has a power of 3,000 mW and is suitable not only for hobbies but also for small business projects.
The working field is one of the largest among devices of this type – there are full 80x80mm. The accuracy of the engraver is the best, he copes with applying even the smallest type, and the drawings are well traced.
The device is designed for engraving on wood, plywood, paper, and leather. He knows how to cut sheets of cardboard. You can adjust the power and depth of the cut. And if you play with the settings and use of primers, you can even learn to engrave metal and plastic.
The manufacturer declared the possibility of 10-hour work without a break. Here, of course, he exaggerates. Every half an hour of work it is better to give him a rest. The price of the model is higher than that of competitors, but in this case, it is justified.
#6 ORTUR 24V Laser Engraver 2 Pro-S2-LF
This engraving machine is designed for professional use, but can also be useful for hobby use. The equipment provides high quality of work. It is available for processing a wide range of materials. Engraves and cuts wood, plastic, leather, ceramics, and stones.
It’s ready to go almost out of the box. This is a fast and reliable technique that fully pays for its cost. The size of the working field is 90×60 cm. The laser power is adjustable from 60 to 130 watts.
The cooling system works flawlessly. The maximum cutting thickness is 20 mm. There are no wearing parts in this model, which has a positive effect on the life of the engraver.
Maintainability is high. Such a machine is an excellent solution for business projects related to engraving.
#7 Atomstack A10 Pro Laser Cutter and Engraver Machine
One of the fastest laser engravers in its class. The model is suitable for applying a tonal pattern on various materials glass, wood, ceramics, leather, PVC, and plastic. This model cannot be used for metal work.
From the point of view of the range of work performed, this is a universal machine. It can do both surface marking and volumetric engraving. The unit is suitable for intensive use and for mass production.
The working area is medium in size – 40×40 cm. The base of the engraver is equipped with a convenient mobile mechanism, so the machine is easy to move around the workshop.
With a high quality of engraving, the machine can boast an affordable price. Plus, the seller promises technical support to buyers.
#8 NEJE 3 Plus N40630 Laser Engraver
This machine differs from inexpensive gas laser engravers by the principle of operation. It is a solid-state model with stable power. The beam intensity here is one of the highest among state employees, and it does not fall during the long-term operation of the equipment.
This laser engraver is the best for metal work. It also processes plastic and coated metal surfaces. A small engraver with convenient functionality. It is used for cutting relatively thin products (wood, cardboard, plastic).
The equipment is universal – suitable for engraving and cutting metal. It provides high accuracy and good speed. The manufacturer uses the best quality components. The assembly is reliable.
#9 LaserPecker Pro Portable Laser Engraver
LaserPecker Pro Portable Laser Engraver is one of the best laser cutter. The kit includes detailed assembly instructions. Thus, before you start using the engraver, you will have to assemble a kind of “constructor”.
Also included are drivers and software, written not on a USB flash drive, but on a disk. The unconditional positive point is that the device remarkably supports standard NC codes. This is especially attractive for beginners since ArtCam templates can be used.
But with acrylic, leather, plastic, linoleum, and wood, the model copes perfectly. The dimensions of the working area are small – only 24×30 cm.
As for power, there are 3 options: 500, 2500, or 5500 mW. If we add the low cost of the engraver, then we can safely say that for beginners this is one of the best models.
Semi-professional machine suitable for small-scale engraving and cutting. It is used in private printing houses, in small industries, or for a home workshops. The laser engraving tool has a reliable all-welded body and excellent performance.
FAQ Best Laser Engraver
Following are the most common questions on the best laser engraver.
Which Laser Engraver Should You Buy?
The most important recommendation is to choose the best product in terms of price-quality ratio.
And do not forget that technologies are constantly being updated, improved, and those models that were popular with consumers yesterday, today may no longer be able to cope with the functions assigned to them, inferior both in technical aspects and in performance.
To make it easier for you to understand the whole variety of laser engravers, we have prepared a special list dedicated to the best samples, with a detailed analysis of all the technical features.
Also, you can always seek advice from our specialists in any way convenient for you regarding the choice of suitable equipment.
How To Create A Design For Laser Cutting Or Engraving?
Most laser cutters work similarly to traditional inkjet printers. The laser shaper accompanies extraordinary drivers that convert the picture from the PC into a configuration that the laser shaper can peruse.
While working with laser cutters, it is critical to know the distinction between vector and raster pictures. The two kinds of picture documents can be handled, yet bitmap pictures must be utilized for etching, not cutting.
In a vector picture, all lines and tones are put away as numerical recipes. Raster pictures depend on pixels. This implies that the picture is comprised of many little squares.
Vector pictures can be broadened without loss of value, while bitmap pictures start to “pixelate” at a specific amplification.
What Materials Can Be Laser Cut Or Engraved?
Laser machines are fit for cutting and etching a wide assortment of materials. In any case, there are additional materials that can’t be handled.
This might be because of the way that the laser can’t slice through the material or because of the development of poisonous gases. Combustible materials should likewise not be utilized.
Contingent upon the power and different attributes of the machine utilized, the most extreme thickness of the material that can be cut will change. The force of laser cutters is estimated in watts.
Normal power levels are in the scope of 30 to 120 watts. Higher power lasers are essentially utilized exclusively in the modern area.
As you can see, laser engravers have a lot of advantages. And their scope is very wide. Of course, there are certain limitations for them.
For example, it is not recommended to use PVC as a material, because it releases toxic substances when melted.
In addition, you need to be very careful when setting the power parameters of the device, otherwise, there is a high risk of spoiling the workpiece.
If you are seriously thinking about buying a laser engraver, then check out this article, from which you will learn how these devices differ from each other and what must be taken into account when choosing a machine so as not to overpay.