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Laser Cutters and Engravers Compilation

Best Budget Laser Cutters and Engravers 2024


After testing and reviewing various laser cutters and engravers over the years, we are compiling a detailed guide on the best budget laser machines in this category. In response to DIY market demands, these sophisticated tools are continually improving. Let’s take a look at what’s on the market, highlighting budget-friendly products, and discussing some innovative features and desirable attributes in this field. As usual, we will keep adding more such devices for comparison and feature the newest solutions, aiming to meet the needs of both hobbyists and professionals in this exciting area.


Disclaimer: Laser cutting and engraving may be hazardous if improperly operated. Please make sure to follow the safety guidelines such as wearing eye-protective goggles and using the machine enclosure while operating.

This Guide Covers

Emergence of Laser Cutters & Engravers as DIY Tool

If, according to Wikipedia, laser cutting technology originated in 1965 and hit the industrial mainstream in the 1970s, there is nowadays a surge of interest in this technology among DIY communities. This sophisticated tool has found various applications in numerous projects. Several popular manufacturing brands in 3D printing, for instance, have expanded their product ranges to include laser cutting and engraving products as well. This expansion is generally feasible, as the component parts and software modifications required are not significantly different.

What to Consider When Buying a Laser Cutter and Engraver

– Safety Features. We cannot stress enough how important safety features are, which often come as optional add-ons. These high-powered tools can be very destructive. For instance, a laser with 200 mW power may be safe to use with protective goggles only, but when using a 40W power laser, a special enclosure is also required.
– Power and Speed. The importance varies for different materials and project types. If you have a special project in mind, it is probably important that laser cutting, for example, is done in one pass, as it greatly reduces the time and results in a cleaner cut.

– Size and Work Area. Budget desktop laser cutters used for DIY projects don’t have a large work area and therefore can be positioned on regular tables.

– Special Room (Workshop) and Ventilation. Exhaust system is required. Laser engraving and especially laser cutting produce a lot of fumes. Such smoke is not just toxic to breathe, but it may also leave residue on various surfaces.

Cutting 3mm plywood with 10W laser. Due to excessive smoke, the use of an air purifier and a ventilation outlet is highly recommended.
MP4: Max Funkner

– Software Skills. To get started with custom projects, certain skills may be required. The good news is that there are many sophisticated and beginner-friendly software options available, along with plenty of guides and manufacturers’ tutorials that would assist in starting quickly.


The Best Laser Cutters and Engravers

In due time, we will keep updating this list by adding new products that we have tested or spotted at trade shows.

Creality Falcon and Falcon2

Price: $159-$1,524
Products Links:
Creality Falcon 2

Amazon
AliExpress
Official Website
Creality Certified Store

Creality, a popular brand in 3D printing, also launched the Falcon series of laser cutting and engraving machines. Optionally, these machines can be purchased with enclosures and rotary modules. Check their full list of products here.

They offer a wide variety of laser powers to choose from, namely 5W, 10W, 12W, 22W, and 40W lasers.

Falcon2 Unboxed
Falcon2 unboxed – what’s in the box
©3DWithUs – Photo: Will Zoobkoff

In the recent Creality Falcon2 review, Will Zoobkoff tested laser cutting and engraving on a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and curved glass, with the assistance of an additional rotary tool attachment.

Color Laser Engraving
Color Laser Engraving on Stainless Steel
©3DWithUs – Photo: Will Zoobkoff

Finding the ideal settings for each color can take some time, but once you find the right range, you can create some amazing pieces with the Falcon 2. Experimenting with different settings can also help you achieve unique and interesting effects on the metal surface.

Read more:
Creality Falcon2 Review by Will Zoobkoff


xTool S1 NEW

Price: $799 – $2,549
Product Links:
xTool S1 and Add-ons

Amazon
AliExpress
Official Website

The xTool S1 is the latest fully enclosed laser engraver, offering four options for the laser module. With swappable modules, you can quickly switch between four different options – diod 10W, 20W, 40W, and 2W IR laser modules – to meet any task’s needs. This versatility, along with a large work area, a rotating attachment, and a riser and base with a conveyor system, makes the S1 one of the most complete engraving and cutting systems available.

xTool S1 and Completed Laser Projects
xTool S1 and Completed Laser Projects
©3DWithUs – Laser Job & Photo: Will Zoobkoff

During our testing, the S1 performed brilliantly on various tasks. The engraving of black-coated stainless steel tumblers demonstrated the 40W module’s capacity to create detailed and crisp graphics. When we switched to the 2W 1064 IR module, we got excellent results on challenge coins and metal tags, demonstrating the module’s metal engraving precision. The engraved and cut jigsaw puzzle was another success, with clean cuts and a clear image, demonstrating the S1’s ability to handle complicated tasks. The wood engraving and glass jar tests demonstrated the machine’s versatility, delivering high-quality results on a variety of materials.

Read more:
Creality Falcon2 Review by Will Zoobkoff


Snapmaker Ray

Price: $1,199 – $1,699
Product Links:
Snapmaker Ray and Air Assist
Amazon
Official Website

Last year, Snapmaker launched the laser cutter and engraver-only product, Snapmaker Ray. The same module can be successfully equipped on their Snapmaker Artisan, for example. One of the biggest advantages of the Ray system is its custom enclosure, which is more efficient in terms of volume and build-wise. For instance, it’s better for collecting and exhausting smoke fumes.

40W Laser Module Equipped on Snapmaker Ray
40W Laser Module Equipped on Snapmaker Ray
Photo: Max Funkner

Regarding laser modules, the 40W module, as promised, cuts 20mm wood in a single pass. Read about the 40W module in our recent review.

Snapmaker 2 Series and Snapmaker Artisan

Price: $1,000 – $2,799
Product Links:
Official Website

These are 3-in-1 machines that can quickly switch between three disciplines: 3D printing, CNC, and Laser Cutting and Engraving. They are ideal for those who haven’t decided which discipline to master to perfection and want to start their DIY journey with a blast.

Snapmaker A350 Enclosure, Artisan, and Artisan Enclosure
Snapmaker A350, and Artisan Enclosures for Comparison
Photo: Max Funkner

Here are some basic stats:
Snapmaker Artisan:
Laser Power 10W, (20W and 40W Optional)
Laser Work Area 400 × 400 mm (Enclosure Footprint: 849mm × 995mm × 705mm)
Snapmaker 2.0 A350T:
Laser Power 1600mW, (10W, 20W and 40W Optional)
Laser Work Area 320 × 350 mm (Enclosure Footprint: 626mm × 820mm × 603mm)

When the Original Snapmaker 3-in-1 first launched on Kickstarter, one of its biggest selling points was the quick change feature between 3D printing, laser engraving, and CNC modules, as well as the build plates. On the Snapmaker 2.0, swapping between disciplines takes approximately 20 minutes. Now, with the Snapmaker Artisan Quick Swap screwless system, this process take only 60 seconds.

200mW - 1600mW - 10W and 40W Snapmaker Laser Modules
Evolution of Snapmaker Laser Modules: From 200mW to 1600mW, 10W, and 40W with Air Assist Compressor
©3DWithUs – Photo: Max Funkner

Read more:
Snapmaker Artisan vs Snapmaker 2 A350T Comparison by Max Funkner

Snapmaker 10W Laser Module

Price: $299-459
Product links:
Snapmaker W10 Laser Module
Snapmaker 10W High Power Laser Module
Amazon
Official Website

Default laser module for the Snapmaker Artisan and an optional module for the Snapmaker 2 series machines.

Snapmaker 10W Laser Module and Test Models
Snapmaker 10W Laser Module and Test Models
©3DWithUs – Photo: Max Funkner

The powerful Snapmaker 10W laser module, together with the new features in Luban software, makes the laser engraving and cutting experience better, faster, and safer. The camera capture option allows for precise and safe alignment of small objects. Read the full review here.

Snapmaker 40W Laser Module

Price: $799-999
Product links:
Snapmaker 40W Module with Air Assist
Amazon
Official Website

We had the chance to test and review the Snapmaker 40W laser module, and it was impressive to see that the laser managed to cut such a thick piece of material in a single pass. Additionally, due to the high-power nature of the laser, cutting job times were drastically reduced.

Random Laser Cut Shapes
Random Laser Cut Shapes from Luban Library
20mm Thick Wood
©3DWithUs – Photo: Max Funkner
Full Sheet Clean Cut
Full Sheet Clean Cut
3mm Plywood
©3DWithUs – Photo: Max Funkner

Speed, is mind-blowing. With the Luban default settings, I cut the main object, Heart-shaped Box parts by VectorPortArt, in just 25 minutes. In comparison, a similar box with the 10W module took me 56 minutes, and with the original 1600mW laser module I received with the machine, it took 8 hours and multiple passes.

Read more:
Snapmaker 40W Laser Module Review by Max Funkner


LaserPecker LP2

Price: Price: $850 – $999
Product Links:

LaserPecker LP2

Amazon
AliExpress
Official Website

The LaserPecker LP2 is a compact laser engraver with a variety of interesting features. Equipped with a 5W laser, the LP2 has impressive engraving capabilities. Notably, the additional roller arrangement changes the game by permitting engraving on cylindrical objects like bottles and cups. But the versatility doesn’t stop there; it also functions as a slab conveyor and a helpful cart for moving the laser along the engravable object. Whether used as a handheld engraver or in one of its many modes, the LaserPecker LP2 can be a top choice for designers.

LaserPecker LP2 and Engraved Objects
LaserPecker LP2 and Engraved Objects
©3DWithUs – Laser Job & Photo: Will Zoobkoff

In this detailed review, we will test laser cutting and engraving on materials such as wood, acrylic, glass, metal, and leather, featuring settings and tips. In conclusion, we will list the Pros and Cons.

Read more:
LaserPecker LP2 Review by Will Zoobkoff


xTool P2

Price: $4,329.00 – 6,955.00
Product Links:
xTool P2 with Conveyor System, Riser, and Rotary Attachment

xTool P2 with Conveyor System, Riser and Rotary Attachment 3DWithUs Editor's Picks Award

Amazon
AliExpress
Official Website

It is impossible not to mention the xTool brand, which is dedicated to laser cutting and engraving. These guys are true pioneers in this discipline. Apart from offering different types of lasers, they also provide various systems to accommodate project needs.

xTool has a diverse range of laser systems to cover all needs. Here is a very helpful comparison page where it is possible to compare products and laser types.

While reviewing the xTool P2 Versatile Bundle, Will Zoobkoff highly praised the laser engraving capabilities of the machine. To demonstrate, he managed to engrave on a tiny object such as a grain of rice, as well as on a large and uneven object like a pumpkin.

xTool P2 and Created Objects Compilation
xTool P2 and Created Objects Compilation
©3DWithUs – Laser Job & Photo: Will Zoobkoff

Remarkably, its revolutionary pass-through conveyor feeding mechanism allows for large-scale cuts and engravings of up to 2 feet by 9 feet, significantly optimizing batch operations and effortlessly accommodating massive projects. Additionally, the P2 comes equipped with a variety of attachments, the most notable being the riser base. This feature facilitates the engraving of larger items, such as luggage and guitars, for example, or large panels through the conveyor system.

The xTool Creative Space software ensures smooth operations by providing users with capabilities such as 3D curved engraving and precise measurements. The effectiveness of xTool’s presets has been confirmed through our testing, guaranteeing efficient engraving and cutting operations. While the default profiles allow for detailed customization, they consistently yield successful results, as demonstrated in various projects, including a remarkable pumpkin engraving during Halloween. For those in search of a laser engraving system capable of handling larger projects, the xTool P2 stands as an ideal choice.

Read more:
xTool P2 Review by Will Zoobkoff


Elegoo Phecda

Price: $385 – $599
Product Links:
Elegoo Phecda

Amazon
Official Website

Another popular brand in 3D printing, Elegoo, recently stunned their community with affordable yet quality products. In the laser cutting and engraving discipline, they offer the Phecda series with 10W and 20W diode lasers. Furthermore, as accessories, they offer an enclosure, air assist, rotary tool attachment, and even composite filters for the enclosure. This product was launched via Kickstarter, which may be the reason for its budget-friendly pricing.

Review coming soon …

Beaverlab Davcarve L1

Price: $599+
Product Links:

Beaverlab Davcarve L1 and Tool Heads

While Beaverlab has yet to fulfill Kickstarter pledges and deliver the products to backers, it is interesting to see what the pricing will be on platforms like Amazon, for example.

The Davcarve L1 is versatile and compatible with six modules: a 10W laser module, a 20W laser module, a 2W infrared laser module, a CNC module, a fine-point blade cutting module, and a hand-drawn artwork module, catering to a range of user requirements.

At 3DWithUs, we haven’t reviewed this product just yet, but we keep monitoring their successful campaign on Kickstarter. Take a quick look at the Davcarve L1.


Innovations and Other Features

Raiser and Conveyor Systems

Remarkable large object engraving and conveyor solutions offered by xTool. When purchasing their P2 Versatile Bundle, it includes raiser and conveyor feeder systems.

xTool P2 with Conveyor System, Riser and Rotary Attachment
xTool P2 with Conveyor System, Riser, and Rotary Attachment

Official Website

– Raiser System. The xTool P2 comes with a variety of attachments, the most notable being the riser base. This feature facilitates the engraving of larger items, such as luggage and guitars, for example, or large panels through the conveyor system.

Laser Engraving on a Pumpkin
Halloween Themed Laser Engraving on a Pumpkin
©3DWithUs – Photo: Will Zoobkoff

– Conveyor System. The pass-through conveyor feeding mechanism allows for large-scale cuts and engravings of up to 2 feet by 9 feet, significantly optimizing batch operations and effortlessly accommodating massive projects.

It is possible to install the necessary number of rails to accommodate the material being used, following the clear and user-friendly instructions provided by xTool for conveyor system installation. The conveyor system demands a lot of room. When working with the full 9-foot length, leave a clear 9-foot space in front and behind the P2 to allow for unrestricted material movement. Adequate rail support, such as a long folding table, for example, is required for steady operation and can be simply folded when not in use.

xTool P2 Conveyor System
xTool P2 Conveyor System
©3DWithUs – Photo: Will Zoobkoff

Before beginning engraving and cutting, consult the user manual’s pressure chart to establish the right amount of pressure needed to securely grip the material and ensure smooth feeding. A small gauge in the middle of the conveyor’s front indicates the amount of pressure exerted on the material, which aids in achieving optimal results. Read the full xTool P2 review here.


Handheld Engraver – Portability

The Laser Engraver LaserPecker LP2 can work as a portable machine. Thanks to the optional portable battery pack, it can be used for quick remote projects. Whether used as a handheld engraver or in one of its many modes, the LP2 is an excellent solution for designers looking for versatility and performance.

Air Purifier

A special note about Air Purifiers: Even though these devices are not as crucially important as enclosures, we appreciate brands that take an extra step by providing portable air purifier systems as well. For designers who mostly use laser cutting for prototyping and don’t do a lot of laser cutting in general, and therefore don’t have a dedicated workshop with a sophisticated exhaust system, these devices can be a godsend.

Snapmaker Air Assist and Air Purifier
Snapmaker Air Assist and Air Purifier
©3DWithUs – Photo: Max Funkner

Even if not all air is getting purified and the smell of smoke can still be detected, these purifiers are sufficient for quickly testing new designs or cutting extra decorations for an upcoming event. We would love to see more innovations in this direction.

Desktop Laser Cutters and Engravers at Formnext
Desktop Laser Cutters and Engravers at Formnext
Clockwise: Elegoo Phecda, Creality Falcon2 Pro, xTool S1, Snapmaker Ray
©3DWithUs – Photo: Max Funkner

Trade shows like Formnext or TCT3Sixty offer a great opportunity to sneak a peek at the latest technology that is already on the market or about to be launched. Visitors who are into laser cutting and engraving could witness a lot of related products, along with featured tests or even art projects.

Conclusion

Similar to the trends in 3D printing, we are witnessing an increase in new product launches in the laser cutting and engraving discipline as well. As the DIY market continues to grow, these sophisticated tools are being improved each year. In line with these developments, we will regularly update this guide to ensure it includes the latest products that we have tested or encountered at trade shows. We are dedicated to keeping up with the latest in laser cutting and engraving, aiming to meet the needs of both hobbyists and professionals in this exciting area.

Disclaimer: Laser cutting and engraving may be hazardous if improperly operated. Please make sure to follow the safety guidelines such as wearing eye-protective goggles and using the machine enclosure while operating.


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