9 Budget-Friendly Laser Engravers and Cutters For Wood Crafting (Expert Picks)

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Recently, laser cutters and engravers have skyrocketed in popularity among woodworking enthusiasts and small business owners. Unfortunately, this surge in interest often comes hand-in-hand with a shared dilemma: the struggle to find that sweet spot where affordability meets professional craftsmanship.

This is where our comprehensive guide steps in to bridge the gap. We understand that while the desire to innovate and create remains limitless, the budgets for hobbyists and startups are not. That’s why we’ve poured our expertise into testing and curating a list of laser cutters and engravers that are both cost-effective and high-performing.

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the insights necessary to choose a machine that not only fits your budget but also amplifies your creative potential.

Related: Is a Laser Engraver Necessary For Woodworking? (A Beginners Guide)

How We Tested and Compiled This List of Best Laser Engravers & Cutters

In our quest to curate a list of the best budget-friendly laser engravers and cutters, we’ve rolled up our sleeves and delved into the kind of hands-on testing that mirrors your practical needs. We didn’t just glance at spec sheets; we spent days using these machines across various materials, engraving and cutting intricate designs.

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Our aim was to eliminate any guesswork for you, ensuring that the manufacturer’s promises weren’t just slick marketing but a reality you too can experience.

Price was, of course, a major consideration. We know that the best machine for you has to align with your financial goals, so we honed in on options mostly below the $1000 mark, striking a balance between cost and quality.

The engraving area was another factor we scrutinized. Whether your ambition is to create small, personalized objects or larger, elaborate pieces, having the right amount of space is crucial. We included machines with a variety of engraving areas to suit diverse project sizes.

Power and speed directly influence the efficiency of your workflow. Our choices encompass machines that boast a fair speed without sacrificing the finesse of the engraving – after all, time is of the essence, more so for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

In our list, you will predominantly find diode lasers. They offer a sweet spot for wood material applications, not just in terms of acquisition cost but also in operating efficiency and ease of maintenance.

Because we understand that the right accessories can unlock further potential, our selection criteria included machines that offer a range of accessories and upgrades, giving you room to grow as your experience and requirements evolve.

Emphasizing wood as a primary material, we made sure that the laser machines we selected excelled in handling them.

See our article on selecting the best wood for laser engraving and cutting

Safety features can’t be overstated, especially when working with powerful lasers. We ensured that the chosen machines come with robust safety mechanisms, such as emergency stops, protective eyewear, and clear instructions to keep you safe while operating these tools.

Lastly, brand reputation mattered. We leaned towards companies with a proven track record of consistent customer satisfaction and reliable post-purchase support.

Our Top Picks for Affordable Laser Engravers and Cutters

Image Machine Power Remark Base Price Purchase Link
xTool D1 Pro Desktop Laser Engraving Machine xTool D1 Pro Laser Engraver 10W & 20W Best overall ≈ $600 Buy Now
xTool M1 Laser Engraver and Vinyl Cutter xTool M1 Laser Engraver and Vinyl Cutter 5W & 10W  Most versatile ≈ $1000 Buy Now
Glowforge Aura Glowforge Aura 6W Best for beginners ≈ $1200 Buy Now
Ortur LM3 Laser Engraving & Cutting Machine Ortur LM3 Laser Engraver & Cutter  10W & 20W Best value ≈ $700 Buy Now
ATEZR L2 24W LASER ENGRAVER ATEZR L2 24W LASER ENGRAVER 24W  Power on a budget ≈ $850 Buy Now
SCULPFUN S30 Pro Max Laser Engraver Machine 20W SCULPFUN S30 Pro Max 20W Laser Engraver  20W Most precise ≈ $650 Buy Now
LaserPecker LP2 Portable and Handleable Laser Engraver LaserPecker LP2 Portable Laser Engraver  6W Most portable ≈ $850 Buy Now
Snapmaker Ray Laser Engraver & Cutter Snapmaker Ray Laser Engraver & Cutter 20W & 40W  Safest ≈ $1100 Buy Now
Falcon2 22W Laser Engraver & Cutter Falcon2 22W Laser Engraver & Cutter 22W  Most compact ≈ $700 Buy Now

1. xTool D1 Pro Desktop Laser Engraving Machine

xTool D1 Pro Desktop Laser Engraving Machine
Features & Specifications
Type of LaserDiode
WattageAvailable in 10W, and 20W versions
Working Area 430 x 390 mm
Supported MaterialsPrimarily wood and metal, but also capable of engraving on acrylic and leather.
Purchase LinkAvailable on the xTool Website

What we like

  • Excellent precision and accuracy for detailed work.
  • Versatile enough to handle various material types.
  • Durable construction with an all-aluminum frame.
  • Compatible with powerful laser modules (up to 20W) for enhanced cutting capabilities.
  • User-friendly software that supports beginners and advanced users.

What we don’t like

  • Higher-wattage models can be relatively expensive compared to the base model.
  • The open design means that additional safety precautions, like an enclosure, may be necessary to contain laser reflections and fumes.

Link to our full review: xTool D1 Pro Review: Unleash Your Creativity with This Laser Engraver

Price & Supply Regions

The price of the xTool D1 Pro starts at around $600 for the lower-wattage version and goes up depending on the power of the laser module included. xTool products are globally distributed, making them a great choice for international customers.

Purchase Link: Available on the xTool Website

2. xTool M1 Laser Engraver and Vinyl Cutter

xTool M1 Laser Engraver and Vinyl Cutter
Features & Specifications
Type of LaserDiode
WattageComes with in 5W & 10W laser module
Working AreaSpacious enough for various projects with dimensions of 385 x 300 mm.
Supported MaterialsExcelling with wood, also elegantly handles paper, leather, fabric, vinyl, and more.
Purchase LinkAvailable on the xTool Website

What we like

  • Its dual-feature design allows for both quality laser engraving and vinyl cutting.
  • Easily interchangeable heads between laser and vinyl cutter expand its versatility.
  • The relatively compact footprint for the number of features it offers.
  • The machine supports wireless connectivity, adding convenience to the user experience.
  • It’s backed by xTool Creative Space, a dynamic software ecosystem that aids in design and execution.

What we don’t like

  • The dual functionality means you have to compromise on specialized features dedicated standalone machines offer.
  • The xTool M1 is only compatible with the xTool Creative Space software

Link to our full review: The xTool M1 Laser Engraver and Cutting Machine (An In-depth Review)

Price & Supply Regions

Priced at around $1000, the xTool M1 Laser Engraver and Vinyl Cutter falls within a mid-range price bracket. This pricing positions it well for those requiring a machine with multiple capabilities but not wanting to invest in high-end, specialized equipment. Makeblock’s xTool line is distributed internationally, so availability is broad.

Purchase Link: Available on the xTool Website

3. Glowforge Aura

Glowforge Aura
Features & Specifications
Type of LaserSolid-state diode laser
Wattage6W
Working AreaMeasuring 30.4 x 30.4 cm (approximately 12 x 12 inches)
Supported MaterialsCapable of cutting wood, leather, acrylic, and a variety of other materials.
Purchase LinkAvailable on the Glowforge Website

What we like

  • Integrated cameras for material scanning and real-time project visualization.
  • Autofocus mechanism that adapts to material thickness for consistent cuts.
  • Broad material support with the added advantage of proof-grade options provided by Glowforge.
  • A fully enclosed system offering a safe and clean working environment.
  • It comes with a straightforward user interface, making project setup a breeze.

What we don’t like

  • Despite being on the affordable end of Glowforge’s offerings, the Aura is still a significant investment compared to some of the other inexpensive options.
  • The device’s web-based software requires a steady connection, which might not be preferred by all users.

See our full review of the Glowforge Aura machine here

Price & Supply Regions

The price point for the Glowforge Aura is higher than many ‘budget’ category devices but offers a substantial value given its features and ease of use. Pricing generally starts slightly above the $1,000 mark. Glowforge products are available in several countries, including the United States, with expanding distribution channels.

Purchase Link: Available on the Glowforge Website

4. Ortur LM3 Laser Engraving & Cutting Machine

Ortur LM3 Laser Engraving & Cutting Machine
Features & Specifications
Types of LaserThe LM3 uses a diode laser
WattageAvailable in 10W, and 20W versions
Working AreaThe machine offers a 400 x 400 mm area
Supported MaterialsThe Ortur LM3 efficiently processes wood, acrylic, leather, and more
Purchase LinkAvailable on the Ortur Website

What we like

  • An excellent price-to-performance ratio, offering professional-level features at a hobbyist-friendly price.
  • A sizable working area that accommodates a wide range of project sizes.
  • Easy assembly and setup process, which is especially appealing for beginners.
  • Robust community support and extensive online resources to help users make the most of the machine.
  • Upgradeable firmware and available accessories expand its capabilities further.

What we don’t like

  • While the laser is powerful, cutting through thicker material can be slow and might require multiple passes.
  • The machine’s open-frame design necessitates the need for proper safety measures, such as goggles and a well-ventilated workspace.

Price & Supply Regions

The Ortur LM3 10W is often priced around $700, making it an attractive option for those looking to maximize value for money. Ortur has a well-established supply chain, with the product available in all continents.

Purchase Link: Available on the Ortur Website

5. ATEZR L2 24W LASER ENGRAVER

ATEZR L2 24W LASER ENGRAVER
Features & Specifications
Type of Laser4 x 6W diode modules coupled together
Wattage24W
Working AreaIt features a sizeable work area of 410 x 410 mm
Supported MaterialsThe machine is adept at handling wood, glass, plastic, leather, rubber, paper, and more
Purchase LinkAvailable on the Atezr Website

What we like

  • The 24W laser module provides excellent cutting and engraving power for a range of materials, excelling in wood.
  • It offers a large working area, suitable for expansive projects or batch productions.
  • The build quality is robust, ensuring durability and longevity of the machine.
  • It operates with commendable precision for detailed and intricate designs.
  • The engraver comes with a fairly straightforward setup process.

What we don’t like

  • The 24W laser, while powerful, can’t compete with CO2 lasers when it comes to cutting speed and efficiency with thicker materials.
  • It doesn’t come with an enclosure, so additional safety measures may be necessary to safeguard against laser exposure.

Price & Supply Regions

Pricing for the ATEZR L2 24W starts at $850, which is a competitive rate for a laser of this wattage and capability. ATEZR shipping regions are limited to North America, Europe, and Australia.

Purchase Link: Available on the Atezr Website

6. SCULPFUN S30 Pro Max Laser Engraver Machine 20W

SCULPFUN S30 Pro Max Laser Engraver Machine 20W
Features & Specifications
Type of LaserDiode laser
WattageBoasting a 20W laser module
Working AreaThe unit offers an expansive 370 x 363 mm work area
Supported Materials: The machine specializes in wood but can also handle materials like acrylic, leather, and some metals with ease.
Purchase LinkAvailable on the Sculpfun Website

What we like

  • High power output lends itself to efficient cutting and detailed engraving tasks.
  • Large working area enhances its versatility for diverse project sizes.
  • Improved laser focusing technology offers precision and cleaner cuts.
  • The sturdy frame construction ensures stability and durability during operations.
  • The machine is highly upgradable, featuring attachments like air assist and limit switches for enhanced performance.

What we don’t like

  • Despite being excellent value, the initial setup might be slightly complex for absolute beginners.
  • Requires additional safety measures due to the high-power laser, such as a well-ventilated workspace or an enclosure.

Price & Supply Regions

With a pricing point around the $650 mark, the SCULPFUN S30 Pro Max is affordable for small businesses and serious hobbyists. It strikes a valuable balance between cost and high-end features. SCULPFUN has a considerable reach regarding supply, with availability in regions like North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Purchase Link: Available on the Sculpfun Website

7. LaserPecker LP2 Portable and Handleable Laser Engraver

LaserPecker LP2 Portable and Handleable Laser Engraver
Features & Specifications
Type of Laser450nm NICHIA diode laser
Wattage5W
Working Area100mm x 100mm engraving area
Supported MaterialsIt can handle materials like wood, leather, paper, and certain plastics effectively
Purchase Link Available on the Laserpecker Website

What we like

  • Its extremely portable design makes it perfect for small home workshops or taking to craft shows.
  • Very user-friendly, with a simple setup and operation that’s ideal for beginners.
  • Connects to a smartphone app that allows for real-time editing and control.
  • Comes with safety features such as a protective shield and automatic shutoff.
  • The potential discounts on the LP2 make it a compelling budget option.

What we don’t like

  • Lower power means that it takes longer to engrave and cannot handle larger or more robust projects.
  • As a portable unit, its engraving area is quite limited compared to stationary engravers.

Price & Supply Regions

The LP2 falls into the mid-tier category, often priced around $850. LaserPecker products have a global reach and can be shipped to any country.

Purchase Link: Available on the Laserpecker Website

8. Snapmaker Ray Laser Engraver & Cutter

Snapmaker Ray Laser Engraver & Cutter
Features & Specifications
Type of Laserdiode
WattageAvailable in 20W & 40W versions
Working Area400mm x 600mm
Supported MaterialThe ray can handle a wide range of materials including wood, acrylic, leather, and more
Purchase LinkAvailable on the Snapmaker Website

What we like

  • The integrated enclosure is a significant safety feature, also containing noise and debris.
  • Its high power allows for clean cuts and engravings on a variety of materials.
  • Snapmaker offers a cohesive software experience that synergizes with the hardware flawlessly.
  • The machine’s design is sleek and has a small footprint, making it suitable for limited spaces.

What we don’t like

  • The enclosed design restricts the size of materials you can work with, making it less ideal for larger projects.
  • The price point is higher in comparison to some other budget options on our list.

Price & Supply Regions

The Snapmaker Ray sits in the higher range of what we consider budget-friendly, with prices over $1000, yet it offers significant value for that price with its high wattage and enclosed design. Snapmaker products are widely available, catering to customers in most countries and regions around the world.

Purchase Link: Available on the Snapmaker Website

9. Creality Falcon2 22W Laser Engraver & Cutter

Falcon2 22W Laser Engraver & Cutter
Features & Specifications
Type of Laser4 x 6W diode modules coupled together
Wattage22W
Working Area400mm*415mm
Supported MaterialsThe Falcon2 shines with wood but can also process materials such as acrylic, leather, and soft metals
Purchase LinkAvailable on the Creality Store

What we like

  • Higher wattage at 22W permits efficient cutting and deeper engravings, particularly on wood.
  • It offers a solid working area that can accommodate a wide variety of projects.
  • Despite its power, it maintains user-friendly features attractive for beginners.
  • The robust build quality gives it a durable feel and stability during use.
  • It’s relatively simple to set up, so you can get started on projects quickly.

What we don’t like

  • While the wattage is high for a diode laser, it might still fall short for those expecting the performance of a CO2 laser class.
  • The laser does not come with an enclosure, which would enhance safety and contain fumes.

Price & Supply Regions

With a price tag hovering around the $700-$800, the Creality Falcon2 is competitively priced for the features it offers. Unfortunately, as of the time of writing this article, the Creality Store only ships to regions within the US.

Purchase Link: Available on the Creality Store

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

Laser engravers are designed to etch or mark the surface of materials, creating intricate designs, text, or images without cutting all the way through. In contrast, laser cutters use a more powerful beam to actually cut through materials, shaping them into specific designs or pieces.

Can a Laser Cutting Machine Be Used as a Laser Engraver?

Yes, a laser cutting machine can often be used as a laser engraver, especially if it comes with the appropriate settings for adjusting the laser’s power and speed. The versatility of these machines allows them to perform precise and light-touch engraving as well as deeper, full-material cuts.

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What power should I expect from a laser under $1000?

For lasers priced under $1000, you can expect a power range typically from 5W to 20W for diode lasers. However, the actual engraving and cutting capabilities will depend not just on wattage but also on the machine’s overall design and features. More expensive lasers will generally offer higher wattage and therefore, greater power and speed.

Are CO2 lasers suitable for beginners?

Yes, CO2 lasers can be suitable for beginners, especially those who choose a user-friendly model with safety features.

Can a cheap laser engraver be used for business?

Absolutely, a cheap laser engraver can be a viable option for a business, particularly for small startups or those focusing on light production runs or custom one-off pieces.

Final Verdict

As we conclude our journey through the world of affordable laser cutting and engraving, it’s evident that a diverse range of options is available to cater to everyone from the crafty hobbyist to the small business entrepreneur. Our curated list of budget-friendly laser engravers and cutters opens up a world of possibilities, highlighting that achieving quality and functionality doesn’t have to come at a high cost.

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DIY Wooden Plans - Editorial Team
DIY Wooden Plans - Editorial Team

We’re a small team of skilled woodworkers and engineers with a combined experience of over 15 years using power tools for woodworking. We have been creating power tool tutorials since 2020. Our aim is to become the largest free woodworking power tool resource website in the industry.

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