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The 9 best laser engravers and laser cutters in 2019


In this article, we round up some of the best laser cutters and laser engravers on the market. We offer insights into these laser engraving and cutting machines as well as a buying guide to help you find the best laser engraver/cutter for your needs.

What’s the best laser cutter/engraver in 2019?

Laser engravers/cutters use subtractive manufacturing technology (contrary to 3D printing, a.k.a. additive manufacturing). Their laser burns or melts material away in a selective manner, following specific instructions.

With a laser cutter and engraver, you can add a personal touch to almost any item or make your own customized objects. There are tons of laser cutters and engravers on the market though, and it can be quite challenging to choose the best laser engraver/cutter for your needs.

Hence, we carried out thorough research and checked out a large number of models available on the market. We were then able to compile a genuine list of the best and highest-rated laser engraving and cutting machines.

Our roundup features entry-level home laser engravers and desktop laser cutters, as well as professional laser cutters/engravers to cater to all types of users. If you want to know more about laser engravers/cutters, you can check out our buying guide towards the end of the article.

Looking for more functionality? Check out our recent piece on all-in-one 3D printers; most of them are equipped with laser engravers and cutters!

What’s the difference between laser engravers and laser cutters?

Both terms are more or less used as synonyms, as laser cutters are often able to laser engrave. However, there is a difference between the two, which lies in the laser power.

  • Laser cutter machine: these require high-power lasers to be able to cut through many materials.
  • Laser engraver machine: the laser uses less power so that it creates light marks on the material without cutting through it completely.

If you want to be able to do both, you should choose a laser cutter/engraver with high and adjustable laser power. We’ve divided our selection into two sections so you can easily see which products can both engrave and cut, and which ones can only engrave.

The 9 best laser engravers and cutters in 2019

Laser engraving machinesLaser cutting*Engraving areaPrice**Buy
Dremel LC40-03 40W CO2 Laser Digilabx467 x 304.8 mm$5,999Buy on Amazon
Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printerx300 x 400 mm$2,495Buy on Amazon
TEN-HIGH CO2 40Wx300 x 400 mm$2,269Buy on Amazon
Orion Motor Tech 40W CO2x260 x 200 mm$420Buy on Amazon
SUNCOO 40W CO2x304.8 x 203 mm$380Buy on Amazon
Cubiio laser engraver100 x 100 mm$777Buy on Amazon
Sunwin Desktop Laser Engraver500 x 400 mm$349Buy on Amazon
BACHIN 500mw DIY kit400 x 500 mm$199Buy on Amazon
MYSWEETY Mini DIY Laser Engraving Machine80 x 80 mm$169Buy on Amazon
The above table represents our selection of the best laser engraving and cutting machines on the market.

*Laser cutting: some of the machines can do both laser engraving and laser cutting, while some can only do laser engraving.

**Price: prices may vary over time and/or from one country to another (shipping fees, import taxes, etc.).
Methodology/disclaimer: we have not tested all of the desktop laser engravers and laser cutters in this list. Our selection is based on overall feedback from specialized, trusted sources as well as crowdsourced user reviews. Read more about how we work.
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Product overview: the top desktop laser engravers/cutters

Here is a list of some of the best laser engravers/cutters available on the market today.

The best laser cutters (that can also laser engrave)

These laser cutters have enough power to do both laser cutting and laser engraving. We have listed them by decreasing price.

Dremel Digilab laser cutting and engraving machine

Dremel LC40-03 40W CO2 Laser Digilab

  • Engraving area: 467 x 304.8 mm
  • Cutting area: 508 x 304.8 mm
  • Laser power: 40 W
  • Price: $5,999

Buy on Amazon

The Dremel Digilab Laser is one of the best laser cutters on the market and is a contender for the top spot. This CO2 laser engraver and cutter machine features professional-grade hardware and easy-to-use software. Users may cut and engrave a wide range of materials, including wood, fabric, acrylic, glass, leather, paper, cardboard, and rubber.

This laser cutting machine also boasts user-friendly features, such as five safety sensors and an advanced cooling system. According to Dremel, it can run nonstop without any mishaps.


Glowforge laser cutting machine and engraver

Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer

  • Engraving area: 279 x 495 mm
  • Cutting area: 279 x 495 mm
  • Laser power: 40 W
  • Price: $2,495

Buy on Amazon

The Glowforge 3D Laser Printer (laser engraver and cutter) is one of the more premium products. It boasts a clean and elegant design and comes with user-friendly web-based software. This laser cutter/engraver is even equipped with onboard cameras so you can see what’s going on inside. You can change the laser’s focus to engrave at varying depths for more detailed results.

Three different versions are available– Basic, Plus, and Pro– with varying laser power and functionalities.


TEN-HIGH laser cutter and engraver

TEN-HIGH CO2 40W Laser Engraving Cutting Machine

  • Engraving area: 300 x 400 mm
  • Cutting area: 300 x 400 mm
  • Laser power: 40 W
  • Price: $2,269

Buy on Amazon

TEN-HIGH’s laser cutter and engraver can go through up to 2 mm of material. It weighs 64 kilograms, so it’s more of a benchtop machine than a desktop laser engraver.

You can use this machine with CorelDraw and other graphics programs. The TEN-HIGH laser engraver even boasts an LCD screen to make it easier to use and control. When it comes to the materials, the unit can provide reliable performance on leather, density boards, plywood, glass, bamboo, paper, and many other materials.


Orion home laser cutter and engraver

Orion Motor Tech 40W CO2

  • Engraving area: 260 x 200 mm
  • Cutting area: 260 x 200 mm
  • Laser power: 40 W
  • Price: $420

Buy on Amazon

This laser engraver is compatible with a wide range of organic, non-metal materials. Metal engraving is possible as long as the surface is anodized. This laser engraving machine features air compressors to dissipate heat during operation.

The Orion 40W laser engraver is a compact and easy-to-use machine that can fit perfectly on a desktop. With a maximum engraving speed of 500 mls and cutting speed of 80 mm/s, it can quickly turn any design idea into reality.


SUNCOO NURXIOVO desktop laser cutting machine for home

SUNCOO 40W CO2 Laser Engraver and Laser Cutter

  • Engraving area: 304.8 x 203 mm
  • Cutting area: 304.8 x 203 mm
  • Laser power: 40 W
  • Price: $380

Buy on Amazon

Suncoo is another excellent machine for those looking for a high quality and affordable desktop laser engraver/cutter. It operates at a maximum speed of 350 mm/s while engraving and cutting speed gets up to 35 mm/s.

With a highly precise stepping motor and upgraded speed modal, this CO2 laser cutter is impressively efficient. It also includes a ventilation fan that helps to prevent overheating. This FDA-approved machine allows users to add extensions and change its laser tube easily.


The best laser engravers (only engraving)

These machines’ lasers don’t have enough power to cut through materials, but they are great for engraving objects. We have listed them by decreasing price.

Cubiio mini laser engraver for beginner

Cubiio laser engraver

  • Engraving area: 100 x 100 mm
  • Cutting area: N/A
  • Laser power: 1 W
  • Price: $777

Buy on Amazon

Although not a laser engraver for metal, Cubiio’s unit is still a versatile and reliable portable laser engraver. It has various useful features, such as the option to control it via smartphone, and it supports both vectors and photo files. You may find yourself limited regarding the number of materials you can engrave, however, because its laser power is pretty low.

You can also use a password lock to keep unwanted people from using this cube laser engraver. The device is also equipped with an automatic shutdown function that switches off the device if it overheats. Another interesting feature is its motion detector; if the device is moved or shifts while engraving, it will automatically stop engraving.


Sunwin laser engraving machine

Sunwin Desktop Laser Engraver

  • Engraving area: 500 x 400 mm
  • Cutting area: N/A
  • Laser power: 2.5 W
  • Price: $349

Buy on Amazon

This model is basically for engraving items at home as a hobby. Sunwin’s laser engraver is made of sturdy aluminum and stainless steel, which make it fairly durable. It might not be able to run for long hours, but you can still use it on a wide range of materials, such as wood, plastic, paper, leather, etc.

The software supports only the English language, but it is easy to use. The product comes with accessories like a storage box and goggles.


BACHIN desktop laser engraving at home

BACHIN 500mw DIY laser engraving machine kit

  • Engraving area: 400 x 500 mm
  • Cutting area: N/A
  • Laser power: 0.5 W
  • Price: $199

Buy on Amazon

According to BACHIN, this DIY laser engraving machine is easy to use for beginners. You can use it for various materials, such as paper, wood, and leather. The software is simple, and connecting is also a piece of cake.

The engraver has an aluminum body, which is fairly durable for such an affordable price. It is interesting to note that you also get safety glasses with the kit. Users have commented that the manufacturer provides great customer service


MYSWEETY mini laser engraver machine

MYSWEETY 3000 mW Mini DIY Laser Engraving Machine

  • Engraving area: 80 x 80 mm
  • Cutting area: N/A
  • Laser power: 3 W
  • Price: $169

Buy on Amazon

This laser engraving machine is another DIY project. The MYSWEETY mini laser engraver is made of durable ABS plastic and can fit on any desktop or work counter. It features integrated cooling fans to help remove heat, and extend the longevity of the device.

The MYSWEETY mini laser engraving machine comes with a protective cover that make it safe and comfortable to use without safety glasses. It is ideal for engraving rubber, bamboo, leather, and wood.




Special mention

The products below don’t fit into the main selection but are worthy of mentioning.

ZMorph laser engraver and cutter and 3D printer

ZMorph VX

  • Cutting area: 250 x 235 mm
  • Laser power: 2.8 W
  • Price: $2,799

Buy on Amazon

The ZMorph VX is a powerful all-in-one desktop 3D printer made by ZMorph, a manufacturer based in Poland. Thanks to its interchangeable tool heads, the ZMorph VX enables users to rapidly switch between functionalities: CNC milling, laser engraving/cutting, 3D scanning, and paste extrusion.

More information: ZMorph VX all-in-one 3D printer


Best professional laser cutter and engraver Trotec laser

Trotec SP500

  • Engraving area: 1245 x 710 mm
  • Cutting area: 1245 x 710 mm
  • Laser power: 40 – 200 W
  • Price: upon request
Trotec is a well-known and highly-regarded industry leader when it comes to professional laser engravers and cutters. Their SP series of laser machines offer high power (up to 400 W on some models) and great accuracy.

If you need a laser cutter and engraver for your business, you should definitely look into their line of products. Trotec can also make custom builds depending on your needs.

CNC cutter Cricut Maker

Cricut Maker

  • Cutting area: 304.8 x 304.8 mm
  • Laser power: N/A
  • Price: $369

Buy on Amazon

The Cricut Maker isn’t a laser cutter, but it has a suite of blades and other tools that allows makers to do some craftwork. Its rotary blade can cut through various fabrics effortlessly, and the supported apps allow you to plan your projects on a PC or smartphone.

Cricut maker is a die-cut machine that allows you to make anything from paper and leather crafts to balsa models and sewing projects.


Laser engravers and laser cutters: what’s the difference?

Many find it confusing to make a difference between the two machines, but here we’ll teach you why laser engravers and laser cutters are not the same devices.

What is a laser engraver?

A laser engraver is a tool used to inscribe images, logos, and other designs on any object. These machines can use different methods to leave light marks on materials. The engraving process uses a low-power laser beam that burns out part of the material surface. Thanks to that, you can not only see the marking clearly but also feel them by touching the surface.

As for the depth, laser engravers are capable of engraving to variable depths, ranging from a few microns to a few millimeters. However, the maximum depth largely depends on the specifics of a particular unit.

What is a laser cutter?

Laser cutters create a hollow or deep cut when used on suitable materials. This kind of machine uses a laser beam to cut through materials by following the assigned design.

The working process is simple – the high-power laser beam passes through the material to cut it. It uses computer numerical control (CNC) and laser optics to ensure the cutting is precise and in line with the user’s desires.

The laser beam runs through the materials first and then creates burns or melts that leave a fine surface finish. Commercial-grade cutting is commonly used across various industries, for example when cutting structural materials, pipes, or flat sheets.

At the consumer level, you can use a laser cutter for your DIY projects. Laser cutting projects can include making coasters, furniture, decorations, accessories, and much more.

What can you do with a laser engraver or laser cutter?

Laser engravers or laser cutters perform a wide range of functions on different materials. This makes them useful at home or in the workplace.

Things you can do with a laser engraver

Here are some of the many things you can do with a home laser engraver.

Photo laser engraving

It’s easy to engrave photographs onto plastic, metals and other materials with even a cheap laser engraver/laser cutter. It may take some trial and error to perfect your skills, which is why you should be ready to invest a bit of time and effort into the process.

Overall, photographs with a wide range of light and dark tones are best to use for the engraving to stand out.

Gun laser engraving

Apart from creating a laser engraved photo, you can use the device to perform a vast number of functions on firearms. They include adding serial numbers to guns, creating graphic patterns, as well as alignment markings on firearm parts.

Laser ring engraving

With a jewelry laser engraver, you can use an intense laser beam to etch the surface of a ring. Use your creativity to make the preferred design on a PC, and the machine will engrave it on the jewelry. Engravings can be made on rings of soft metals like gold, or hardened metals like steel.

Note: for metal laser engraving, home laser machines usually require you to cover your 3D metal object with paint first, unless the material is already anodized.

Things you can do with a laser cutter

Here are a few examples of things you can do with a home laser cutting machine.

Laser cut artwork

With a laser cutter, you can quickly bring your art ideas to life by cutting the materials you need. You can laser cut paper, wood, felt, and more as long as the material isn’t too thick.

Laser cut home decor

You won’t be able to make Ikea-style furniture with a home laser cutter, but you can make decorations for your home. Many makers like to create their own coasters, clocks, organizers, key holders, rugs (fabric laser cutting), etc. You can even make your own ornaments and gifts for the holidays!

Laser cut accessories

On the web you can find a lot of laser cut designs for key rings, earrings, business cards, laptop stands, stamps… The possibilities are endless.

Laser cut signs

Whether you need a sign for your shop or just want cool signs for your home, a desktop laser cutter is perfect for the job. You can cut out the base for your sign or cut out the letters. After that you can also laser engrave your sign for even more originality!

Buying guide: what to look for in a laser cutter/engraver?

Before heading out to purchase a laser engraver for tasks like creating personal gifts, check out the factors you should consider during the buying process.

Laser power

This is probably the most important thing to consider when looking for the best laser cutter/engraver for you. If you have a high-power laser, chances are you’ll be able to engrave and cut through thicker materials than with a low-power laser.

Most of the time, manufacturers list their products’ laser power in W (watts) or mW (milliwatts). When the power is expressed in milliwatts it’s generally because the laser is low-power.

Budget

The price for an ideal cutter and engraver may be anywhere from $100 to $10,000 (or more for industrial models). The general rule is that the more expensive the unit is, the higher its laser power and therefore the better it can cut through materials.

However, you should always consider your needs. Even if you plant to purchase a commercial-grade cutter, it doesn’t mean you will have to splash the cash on a product. You may find a model that doesn’t cost a fortune but is still versatile enough to fulfill your expectations.

Software support

Whether you only need a hobby laser engraver or a professional unit, you want one that provides software support. Fortunately, this type of support comes with most cutters and engravers designed today.

There is no doubt that the software makes it easier to work with a laser engraving machine. Software designed by the company that made the machine is 100% compatible, but many devices also support third-party software. That includes CorelDraw, AutoCAD, and solutions designed by Adobe or other reputable developers.

Materials to work on

A desktop laser engraver can handle a wide variety of materials. The list includes paper, leather, metal, various fabrics, etc. Before buying a particular unit, you want to ensure that it can handle engraving or cutting the materials you plan to work with in the future.

Laser engraver software

Using PC software makes working with a laser cutter or engraver easy as ABC. Here are some of the best software options available for various types of engraving and cutting.

Software for raster engraving

Many programs support raster engraving, and the chances are you have at least one of them already installed on your PC. The most commonly used raster software for laser engraving list includes the following solutions:

  • Adobe Photoshop: this software has features that make it popular with both professional and amateur designers. It also has a mobile version with fewer features than the PC variant, but one that can still create high-quality images.
  • GIMP: GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. This software is available for free, but do not doubt that it is a reliable raster software solution. GIMP includes image editing tools like transformation, selection, masking tools, filter, and brushes. It works on all operating systems, and it’s easy to find your way around it.
  • LaserGRBL: this is another free software available to download on the web. It transforms your designs into GCode efficiently and is perfect for hobbyists.

Some laser cutter/engraver manufacturers have also developed their own PC software or even smartphone apps, so you may not even need to look for something else.

Software for vector engraving/cutting

Those that want to make an engraving file in vector formats like AI, DXF, or SVG, need to use software that supports them.

  • AutoCAD: it stands as one of the oldest and most popular software on the market. It allows users to save designs as vector files which can be used for laser engraving or cutting. This engraving software also includes an extensive collection of tools that fit applications in graphic design, management, architecture, etc.
  • Adobe Illustrator: you can make vector designs with this well-known tool from the Adobe suite.
  • Inkscape: this free design software for Mac, Linux, and Windows lets you make vector graphics without splurging on expensive software.

There are many options to choose from. You can try a few of them out before sticking to your favorite one.

Raster vs. vector

Raster files (a.k.a. bitmap) are made of pixels or dots. The laser follows the files instructions dot by dot, line by line. Raster engraving is the most common type of engraving.

Vector files are made up shape lines, curves, and geometries. Vector engraving (a.k.a. scoring) is slower than raster engraving.

Laser cutting services and laser engraving services

If you don't feel up to buying your own home laser engraver/cutter, you can always order designs online.

If you only have a few objects to engrave or just one small project for which you need to laser cut, it can be worth it to check out an online laser printing service. Sculpteo and Ponoko are two of the most popular laser cutting/engraving services.

Sculpteo metal laser cutting service (and more)

Sculpteo is originally known for 3D printing projects, but they also feature a laser cutting service with instant quotes and quick shipping (one to three days). You can order wood laser cuts, plastic laser cuts, and even metal laser cuts, among others.

Ponoko 3D laser service

Ponoko provides laser printing, cutting, and engraving services. You can get instant quotes from their website, same-day shipping, and low prices. They offer 85+ materials that you can order and cut, print, and engrave on.

Laser engraving and cutting FAQ

What is a CO2 laser engraver?

A CO2 laser engraver is a machine that can engrave materials by using a carbon dioxide laser beam. CO2 lasers are among the most efficient laser types available today. They can cut through a large selection of materials like wood, metal, plastic, or acrylic.

What is a fiber laser engraver?

A fiber laser engraver users fiber optic lasers for excellent precision and rapid speed. They are known as long-lasting systems that require little maintenance and can provide consistent results.

Where can I buy a laser engraver or laser cutter?

You can buy a home laser cutter at your local hardware store or retailer. However, if you want to enjoy a vast selection of units, and make sure to pick the one that perfectly fits your needs, you should head online. There’s plenty of choice on Amazon.
Laser engraver Amazon offers

What can a laser cutter cut?

A laser cutter can cut wood, leather, plastic, foam rubber, glass, and more. Stronger cutters can even handle metals, ceramics, and crystals. It depends on the unit you purchase, but laser cutters are known for their versatility.

What is a CNC router?

A CNC router is similar to a laser cutter/engraver except it has a different tool head. It carves and cuts into materials with a drilling bit instead of a laser.




 

 

 

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About this author

Ludivine Cherdo

Ludivine is Aniwaa’s Head of Content. Based in Troyes, France, she oversees the content strategy and ensures the content published meets the company’s strict editorial standards. Ludivine obtained her Bachelor’s from the ESC Troyes business school where she studied business administration with a special focus on Digital Marketing. She made the most of her gift for languages by completing part of her studies abroad, gaining valuable work experience in content production and branding along the way. She first joined Aniwaa in 2017 as an intern.