Clean cutting, accuracy, and precision! That’s what you get with laser cutting and engraving machines. These tools offer you endless possibilities to create different things. If you are a DIY enthusiast, you can create simple boxes and engrave graphics deep into the wood. If you are a business looking to build complex 3-D objects or engrave logos, then you’ll also love the magic that these tools offer.
Laser cutting and engraving machines don’t come cheap, though, and this means that you have to invest your time to research the best models for your needs before you commit your hard-earned dollars. To save you time (and, of course, money), we have stepped in and conducted that research for you, providing ten best laser cutting and engraving machines to suit your needs.
Let’s have a look:
Top 10 Laser Cutting and Engraving Machines of 2020 Reviewed
1. SUNWIN 40X50CM 12V USB Desktop Laser Engraving Machine[wt_products id=”3374″ template=”5″]
2. Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit[wt_products id=”3377″ template=”5″]
3. Snapmaker Original 3-in-1 3D Printer[wt_products id=”3380″ template=”5″]
4. BIBO 3D Printer Dual Extruder Laser Engraving Machine[wt_products id=”3382″ template=”5″]
5. Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer[wt_products id=”3384″ template=”5″]
6. Orion Motor Tech 50W CNC CO2 Laser Engraving Cutting Machine[wt_products id=”3388″ template=”5″]
7. Compact Laser Engraver, Mini Handheld Laser Etch Printer Cutter[wt_products id=”3392″ template=”5″]
8. SUNCOO 40W CO2 Laser Engraving Machine[wt_products id=”3395″ template=”5″]
9. KKmoon 20W Desktop Laser Engraver Portable Engraving Carving Machine[wt_products id=”3398″ template=”5″]
10. Laser Engraver Laser Engraving Machine[wt_products id=”3402″ template=”5″]
How to Choose the Best Laser Cutting and Engraving Machine – The Ultimate Buying Guide
Laser cutting dates way back in the early 60s where the cutting processes used laser beams for commercialized and industrialized cutting. With time, this process has continued to grow and advance. With many businesses, including startups adopting this technology, the laser cutting process has seen its way into our homes. Whether you are looking for a laser cutter/engraving machine for your business startup or home and personal use, it doesn’t become any easier. With so many choices and brands to choose from and cheap products flooding the market, it almost becomes impossible landing a genuine investment.
Let’s have a look at some of the things to keep in mind while investing in a capital laser cutting and engraving tool.
Laser Cutter Types
Perhaps before you go about making purchases and huge investments in laser cutting machines and engravers, it is imperative to understand the different types of laser cutting machines and how they work. There are three types of laser cutters, including the following:
CO2 laser printers are some of the most popular laser cutters in the market. They make the best deals for consumers, especially starters due to their high efficiency, low energy consumption, and also their accommodative price range. The laser beam used in cutting is comprised of gas mixture with the primary gas being C02. These types of laser cutters accommodate the largest spectrum of materials, making them a favorite to many.
This kind of laser cutting machine is made from neodymium-doped crystals. The laser comes with a more intense laser with a higher wavelength as well compared to its counterpart, CO2 laser cutter. The intensity of this laser beam allows the cutter to cut through more tough materials which have thicker and stronger bonds. These materials include specific metals and ceramics as well. The downside to this machine is in expedited wearing out hence the need for more frequent maintenance checks which again call for more expenditure.
This type of laser cutter is made from ‘seed laser’ which is in turn amplifier through some special glass fibers. All through this type of laser cutter comes with a similar degree of intensity to that of Neodymium, what sets this laser cutter apart is in its low maintenance thanks to its quality build. These types of cutters are mainly used for processes involving laser marking. This involves the labeling of workpieces with the required information.
Laser Cutting Techniques
Perhaps another thing to keep into consideration before you make any investments in laser cutting machines is the laser cutting techniques. Again, these come in three categories, including vector cutting, raster engraving, and vector engraving. All these techniques play a key role in determining the kind of laser cutter machine you should invest in for your needs.
The vector beam is fired persistently in vector cutting techniques which makes it perforating through the material. This type of technique is ideal for vector graphics as well as very minute lies. The repeated action of firing the beam is what makes it very efficient.
As opposed to the vector cutting technique, which cuts through the material, this process cuts the layer or top surface of the material only. This is whereby, using a different color, the image is engraved into the material. This is achieved by setting the laser cutting device to a lower power level. The machine unfolds very fine and detailed dots producing the desired design without having to perforate through the material.
Well, this machine works with different dots per inch (DPI) to produce different raster effects for the image. Usually, this setting can be applied to the machine. This kind of technique is intended for materials such as wood and leather. The raster effects don’t work well with other materials.
Vector engraving is where vector cutting and raster engraving meet halfway. This technique is also referred to as kiss cuts. The technique follows closely the vector lines meticulously cutting out the top part of the material.
Laser Cut Materials
When thinking about purchasing a laser cutting machine, it is probably wise to also consider the variety of materials that you are likely going to be working with. There are endless varieties of materials to consider, including the following!
- Forex board
When purchasing a laser cutter, you need to ask yourself, is there a support system put in place by the brand? With the influx of different brands and qualities of laser cutter machines, you can’t always expect quality from every brand. Even when you have landed on the best quality laser cutter, due to the complexity of its design and functionality, these devices tend to break down pretty fast and therefore the need for constant repair. It is inherent that the company you purchase the device from offers a great support system both for you and the machine. This is in conjunction with the warranty policy.
- For example, here are some things to ask yourself,
- How fast can you get replacement parts?
- Is there tech support in place?
- How fast can you get your raised concerns attended to?
- How is the website configured? Is it user-friendly?
- Are there video guides on how to set up, pull down, and even replace parts?
Size and Power of The Machine
There are two key issues to pay great attention to when picking the right device for use. How powerful is the laser and also how big is the bed?
The size of the material you can work on at a go will all be dependent on the size of the device bed. The bigger the bed size than the larger the material to be cut/engraved at a go. This also means that, if you have small portions to work on, with a bigger bed size, you and work on multiple-piece concurrently. Some machines also come with beds that can be adjusted to allow different sizes of objects inside. For instance, as opposed to engraved on a flat piece of leather, some machines will adjust the size of the bed to allow in a wallet, a shoe, and so forth. It is important to pay key attention to the size of the bed the machine features in relevance to your needs.
Laser power is measured in watts. The more the watt rating for a laser, the more strength and power it harbors. The rule of thumb, in this case, is, the breadth of the material being cut is entirely dependent on the focal point of the lens opposed to the laser power. A good point to start is, settle for a larger machine even if it has a weaker laser. It will be easier to upgrade your laser than having to buy a bigger machine. A bigger machine will mean bigger pieces to work on and also multiple small pieces to work on at a go.
Equipment Quality and Also Use Stability
When it comes to equipment quality, you should never settle for less, lest you end up paying heavily for something that is not worth your money. When looking for the best laser cutting machine, be used to inspect the build. What materials is the body made from? What makes the different components of the device? Look at the laser generator, the servo motor, water tank, guide rail, and so forth.
You need to probe on the manufacturing of these small components which greatly affect the efficiency of the machine. Are the parts imported? Are they made from china? Which brands offer the best quality of these small components of the device. If you already own a laser cutting machine and are looking to upgrade yours, then knowing which brands offer the highest quality will make the difference. If you are going to purchase a durable, high efficiency and accuracy laser cutting machine, paying attention to the mere build of the exterior body will not do it!
Most of the laser cutting machines come accompanied by software which can be run on your desktop computer or laptop. This software aids in operating the machine, altering the settings to suit your needs and also design the elements to be engraved or cut out. For this reason, you need to choose a machine that comes with user-friendly software. Some of these software are very complex and take a bit of time learning and understanding your way around them. Again, you need to choose a software that will be compatible with your PC. If you are running, Microsoft Windows, Linux, or MAC OS, you need to find out whether the software accompanying the machine is compatible with the version of the operating system you are running on your PC.
Aside from that, some of these devices also feature a control panel mostly made of OLED, LCD, and so forth. This control panel is used to feed in different settings and also give information on the status of ongoing processes as well as the state of the device. This forms the main mode of communication between the user and the device. Look for a user-friendly device.
Things To Avoid or Pay Attention To
- You should avoid purchasing laser cutting machines that come with a poor support system.
- Steer clear of machines that do not feature users’ guide for setting up the device and also tutorials for replacing parts. They will both come in handy during set up and also replacing broken parts
- Pay extra attention to the power of the laser and also the size of the bed. These two are the most important factors to consider when purchasing the device
Alternatives For The Product Type
If you don’t have the means of purchasing a laser cut machine and an engraver, you can always approach companies that offer these services at a premium. These companies normally have very large machines that can accommodate bulky work that smaller devices may not be able to handle. The companies also have experts who can guide you through the process.
For some selected materials like wood, glass, and cardboard, manual engraving is also an option. However, the level of accuracy is wanting, and the amount of work to be done is a little exhausting.
With this information, you can now assess your needs and buy a machine that will meet your needs. Some of the laser cutting machines are manufactured with all these functions inbuilt such that one machine can perform a variety of applications. This perhaps would be the better option. Some come with a control panel while others are controlled entirely from your personal computer. Be sure to keep in mind the most crucial factors, including the size of the bed and also the power of the lens and motor. With that, you definitely will land a great deal.