Looking to add a personal touch to gifts, but don’t know how to go about doing it?
Maybe you want to add personalization to your business?
Technology has reached a point where everyday individuals can purchase an entry-level laser cutter for an affordable price.
If you’re a business and want to take it to the next level, there are upgrade options as well.
However, if you’re new to the idea of laser cutting and engraving you may not know what to look for.
That’s where we come in.
We have a list of the very best laser cutter and engraving machines on the market today, for all possible price points. So whether you want to spend a few hundred bucks or several thousand, we’re here for you.
These are our favorite laser cutter and engraving machines.
Even if you work in the printing and manufacturing industry, laser cutting and engraving is an entirely different beast. Here you’re often working with everything from hard metals to extremely soft material that might break if not engraved correctly.
With so many new unknowns you may have no real clue what to go with, how much to spend, and what is right for your business.
Regardless of if you want an engraving machine for your personal or professional use, here is what you need to consider.
Yes, above everything else, know how much you can pay (and afford). The laser cutters and engraving machines we’re covering here range from just under $200 to nearly $10,000. So as you can see, there is a substantial price difference.
Now, even if you’re looking for professional equipment doesn’t mean you need to drop 10 grand. In fact, you may find the best option for your company’s needs costs just a few hundred. In general, it’s a good idea to at least have a general idea with what you’re comfortable spending.
2. Software Compatibility
With a laser cutter and engraver, you’ll have one of two options. The first is to force all of your work into software that comes specifically with the engraver. The second option is an engraver that will work with your software. This way, if you create something in CAD or an Adobe property you can transfer it over to the engraver.
Typically, the included software is going to cost less but it may reduce your ability to fully realize your creative side, as you’ll be forced to stay within certain fonts and designs.
3. Material Options
What kind of materials do you want to personalize? Some of these laser cutters and engraving machines will only work on softer materials, such as leather or glossy applications you can place on mugs. Others will work with metal. This will play a very big role in what the right engraving machine is for you. If you want to engrave on metal there are very specific machines you need to consider. If you want to print only on leather or software materials there are other options out there.
This is where you need to know exactly what your plans are ahead of time, otherwise, you might end up with a laser cutter and engraving machine that doesn’t do what you need.
4. Connection Options
How does the engraving machine connect to your computer? This may not be as important for some while for others it is extremely important. With most, you’ll find there is a USB connection. However, others might connect via Bluetooth or a 2.4GHz wireless interface. If you don’t mind a wired connection you shouldn’t have a problem. Other times, if you want to free up your workspace, you should consider a device that uses wireless technology.
How much space do you have to work with? Do you need something that will fit on your desk, or are you alright with a stand-alone device that is about the size of a desk on its own? As you increase the price point and boost the features you’ll also find many of these devices are substantially larger (and heavier) than what you find on the less expensive side of the spectrum.
The size of the engraving machine isn’t always obvious by the pictures, so make sure to look into the product specs. You don’t need to have UPS at your door, only to find the package is as big as the actual front door. Always know the specs prior to ordering.
|BobsCNC E3 CNC Router||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|Cricut Explore Air 2||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|SUNCOO 40W CO2||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|BobsCNC E4 Router||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|TEN-HIGH CO2||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|Ten-HIGH 3020 40W Version||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|Orion Motor Tech 60W CO2||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|Mophorn Laser Engraving Machine 130W||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|Dremel LC40-01||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|Reaying 50W Raycus||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
There’s no shortage to engraving and cutting options. And with such an expansive price point it’s tricky to pick one over others. After all, you can get some impressive devices at the top of the price point. But not everyone is willing (or able) to drop around $10,000 for a top-of-the-line device.
That’s why we decided to go with the BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit. In terms of cost, it’s near the bottom of the list. It also only really works on wood. However, the wood engraving and cutting with the BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit is truly remarkable. For the price, you can’t beat the definition of the engraving. The fact that it can alter the depth of its cuts is one of the main reasons why it’s our choice.
Some of the other features on the BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit we like include:
Whether you love crafts at home, run an Etsy shop or have been wanting to add some customization features to your small business, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is a great entry into the world of engraving.
This sleek design is an affordable option that works with over a hundred materials. Now, it is not something that will work with metal, but it will work with softer materials like leather, cardstock, adhesive foil, poster board, and others.
If you want to make custom applications for mugs, glassware and other similar items, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is the way to go.
With the Cricut Explore Air 2, you can connect directly to not only a computer but also your Android and iOS devices as well. Plus, with the USB and Bluetooth connection option, it is easy to pair up your equipment.
The Cricut Explore Air 2 does come with three color options. There is the mint, which is a sleek and modern design, a persimmon, which looks like a salmon color, and cherry blossom, which is pink.
There is also a bundle option that you can use with the Cricut Explore Air 2 as well. This way, you have a solid entry pack with a number of materials to print with. This is a great way to experiment with varying materials and see which one you like the best.
Some of the other features on the Cricut Explore Air 2 to consider include:
The SUNOCO 40W CO2 Laser Engraving Machine Desktop Engraver takes a step up from the last entry into our list (of course at about twice the price, you’d hope so).
While the SUNCOO 40W CO2 Laser Engraving Machine Desktop Engraver is not able to engrave into metal just yet, it can be used on plywoods, leather, glass, plastic, rubber and a number of other materials. So if you’re interested in personalized engraving but don’t want to work with only soft materials you should consider this as an option.
The engraving machine works work CorelDraw. In fact, the hardware comes with it, so if you don’t have any graphics software on hand this is an excellent perk.
The SUNCOO 40W CO2 Laser Engraving Machine Desktop Engraver is able to function on an engraving area of 12 inches by 8 inches at an engraving speed of 350mm per second. If you want to cut the cutting speed is 35mm per second.
The laser tube life on the engraver is between 1,000 and 1,300 hours, so it should last you a good length of time, although if you’re a power user you may want to have a backup tube on hand so you don’t have to wait around for shipping.
When engraving on plastics, rubbers, or anything else that produces fumes, it is highly recommended to do so in a well-ventilated area. This holds true not only for this engraving machine but for any other device on this list.
Some of the features on the SUNCOO 40W CO2 Laser Engraving Machine Desktop Engraver you’ll want to keep in mind include:
When you want to get serious with your cutting and engraving, the BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit is what you need to look toward. This is not your desktop engraving setup.
Instead, this uses a full rail system and belt driver that works on both the X and Y axis.
With this engraving setup, the BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit works with a Java-based application. This way, you not only can use it with Windows, macOS, and Linux, but you can connect a Raspberry Pi system directly to the engraving machine. This way, you don’t even need to have a full computer on hand.
If you’re interested in engraving into thicker wood or harder materials the BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit is an excellent option. It will take up a full table, so you’ll need extra space with it. However, in terms of cutting full images from wood (including varying depths and not just an outline), this is the least expensive option on this list that can do it.
If you want to work on vinyl or for stickers that you apply on mugs you’ll want to go with one of the other engraving machines. This laser cutter is better served for a woodworking garage.
The BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit’s hardware configuration does have a slight learning curve as you work your way by connecting the system to your computer. You should have some spare wood on hand to test out the features until you feel comfortable with what you’re doing.
Some of the features on the BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit to consider include:
The BobsCNC E4 Router Engraver Kit is the upgraded version of the previous E3 design. It shares many of the same features including the X and Y axis belt drive.
The main difference is the device is a bit more structurally sound. It includes more metal within the frame, which is beneficial if you are a power user and you live in an area where the wood may warp easier due to moisture in the workshop.
Some features of the BobsCNC E4 Router Engraver Kit to consider include:
The previous Bobs laser cutters are designed almost specifically for wood cutting. If you’re not looking for a wood cutter and want something capable of engraving an assortment of other materials the TEN-HIGH CO2 Engrave Machine is one option to consider.
With the purchase of the TEN-HIGH CO2 Engrave Machine, you do receiver a specially designed software called LaserDraw. It is also compatible with CorelDraw, although CorelDraw is not included with the product.
The TEN-HIGH CO2 Engrave Machine software is compatible with all Windows operating systems, although it will not work with macOS computers.
The TEN-HIGH CO2 Engrave Machine will connect to a computer via a USB interface. It is not wireless, so you will need to have a nearby system.
Some of the features on the TEN-HIGH CO2 Engrave Machine to consider include:
The Ten-HIGH 3020 is the upgraded variation of the previous covered Ten-High engraver. It gives you far more workspace, so if you need to work on a larger scale you can. With this engraver, you can work on a 12 inch by 8-inch surface area.
To help prevent the build-up of vapors given off while engraving plastics and other materials, there are double exhaust fans built into the Ten-HIGH 3020. It also connects to your Windows computer system via a USB interface.
As is the case with the other Ten-HIGH release, the Ten-HIGH 3020 is compatible with CorelDraw (not included), yet can only be used on a Windows computer.
Some features on the Ten-HIGH 3020 to consider include:
When looking at the Orion Motor Tech 60W Laser Engraving Machine you’d think you were looking at a combination toolbox and generator. The red and black design does give it this kind of a look. However, it is a strong engraving machine that can work with a number of materials.
Beyond what the other engraving machines can function on, the Orion Motor Tech 60W Laser Engraving Machine is also able to engrave into the crystal, marble, mylar, ceramics, plus the previously mentioned materials like plastic, vinyl, rubber, and leather.
One of the main benefits of the Orion Motor Tech 60W Laser Engraving Machine is its large work area. In fact, up until this point, it has the largest work area available of 20 inches by 28 inches.
Like other brands, the Orion Motor Tech 60W Laser Engraving Machine comes with its own design software. However, unlike some of the other titles, this engraving machine is able to work with a wider range of software titles you may already have, including CAD.
When working with materials that produce toxins and vapors when engraved in you’ll want a continual movement of air. With the Orion Motor Tech 60W Laser Engraving Machine, there is a built-in air compressor that directs a continuous stream of air to remove all heat and combustible gases. This is an added safety feature that’s extremely beneficial.
The Orion Motor Tech 60W Laser Engraving Machine is designed for an industrial site, or at the very least, somewhere you can safely house it. This is because the device is 500 pounds in weight, so it’s not something you can toss onto the computer desk.
Some of the features you’ll find on the Orion Motor Tech 60W Laser Engraving Machine include:
The Orion Motor Tech 60W CO2 Laser Engraver Cutter is a solid workstation and one that directly competes with the previous Orion laser cutter. That is because outside of the color, the two share most of the same specs (this design is yellow, the other option is red).
The Orion Motor Tech 60W CO2 Laser Engraver Cutter features the same 500-pound weight and works with the same operating systems and computer programs.
However, the one main difference, outside of the color, are some added materials you can engrave with this yellow version over the red. There are some metals you can now engrave with this laser engraver. This includes anodized aluminum. You can even engrave into jade, veneer, and cork.
Some of the features on the Orion Motor Tech 60W CO2 Laser Engraver Cutter to consider include:
When you want a laser cutter and engraver that will look right at home with your home office or place of business and doesn’t have the industrial feel as nearly all the other options on this list, the Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer is perfect for you. In fact, it looks like an oversized large format printer.
The beauty of the Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer is that not only is it an engraver but it is technically a printer as well.
While it doesn’t use the plastic mold design as other 3D printers, the laser design allows you to cut a complete 3D object. This way, you not only can engrave an object but you can completely build it from scratch.
The Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer works with most computer operating systems, including not only Windows and macOS but also iOS and Android. You can even control the printer/laser engraver using the provided Glowforge App
The Mophorn Laser Engraving Machine is a powerful engraving machine that takes advantage of an air-assisted engraving feature. It also works with programs like CorelDraw and AutoCAD.
With the Mophorn Laser Engraving Machine, you still can’t engrave into metal. However, you can engrave into just about any other material out there, including bamboo, plexiglass, crystal, wood, and other options.
The Mophorn Laser Engraving Machine is heavy. There’s no other way to say it. It weighs in at 793 pounds
The Mophorn Laser Engraving Machine will connect to your computer system using a wired USB 2.0 cable connection.
Some of the features on the Mophorn Laser Engraving Machine to consider include:
The Dremel LC40-01 is a beautifully designed device that will feel right at home with any other printer you have.
You can engrave and cut through just about any material (besides metal).
When using the Dremel LC40-01 you’ll find it has almost more of a scanner or copier feel than anything else.
On the side, there is an LCD touchscreen and LED lighting along the sides of the printer so it’s easy to open up and see what you’re doing.
Some of the features on the Dremel LC40-01 include:
The great feature regarding the Reaying 50W Raycus Metal Fiber Laser is that it comes with its own workstation. You won’t need to lug other products around town. Instead, with this, you’ll have a standard, stationary, communication setup.
The engraving area of the Reaying 50W Raycus Metal Fiber Laser is 150 mm by 150 mm
This is also the only engraving machine on the list that has the ability to cut into certain metals and rock. This way, you can cut into soft metals and soft silver.
Some of the features on the Reaying 50W Raycus Metal Fiber Laser you should consider include:
There’s no limit to the kind of laser cutters and engraving machines out there. You can pick up an entry-level option for under $200 if you’re interested in basic engraving on leather and vinyl stickers, or you can move your way up into the world of wood and metal.
Realistically there is no one right or wrong engraving machine on the list. You may need something with serious cutting power while others might want something as a hobby device, or to help their up and coming Etsy store.
We decided to give our Editor’s Pick to the BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit. We were extremely impressed by the overall quality of the wood engraving. The fact that it altered the engraving depth was exceptional, especially for the price tag. It may not be much to look at, but there is a reason why it’s an Amazon’s Choice recipient.
While we love the wood engraving machine, what’s your favorite? If you were to pick something out, which one would you go with, or is there another laser cutter and engraving machine on the market you’d go with instead?
Let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.