Whether you're a professional or a hobbyist, using these laser engravers and cutters will elevate your work and bring it to perfection. With so many options, choosing the best model can be a bit of a challenge.
Atomstack is one of the premium and well-known brands of laser engraving machines. Their professional laser engravers are capable of processing different materials including leather, lacquered metal, bamboo, plastic, PCB boards, aluminum oxide, paper and more.
It has a large engraving area of 410x400mm, enough for most tasks. It has a laser shield to protect the eyes by blocking bright light. So you can use laser engraving without wearing any google glasses.
Best laser engraver buying guide:
Still confused about which product is the best choice for you? Don't worry, we are here to help you analyze your needs and make the right buying decision. Here is a clear guide with all the basic information about laser engravers. Read on to learn how to choose the best option.
Now, let’s take a closer look at what you need to consider when buying a laser engraver.
1. Engraving size:
The first factor to consider is the space or area in which you intend to use the router to work. Basically, the purpose of using the machine will determine the size you need to buy. For example, a professional or heavy-duty machine needs a dedicated large workspace, while a hobbyist can use tools that fit easily on a table. Also, it depends on the type of material you're dealing with.
Like 3D printers, laser engraving tools have their limitations in the size of the design or pattern to be engraved on a given surface. Since the engraving size varies from model to model, you must check the tool's engraving size before purchasing. This is a must, especially if you need to sculpt large objects.
Typically, engraving dimensions are in millimeters, with options such as 100mm X 100mm or 400mm X 400mm. Larger engraving sizes are better for heavy or large designs, but are also a bit more expensive.
Although the main function of a laser engraving machine is to use a powerful laser to engrave designs, patterns, shapes, text and images on a given surface, some models also offer other functions as well as DIY projects.
As a result, there are many laser engravers on the market that include other similar features as well. Some models offer 3D printing capabilities, while others feature CNC router-based (engraving) and laser-based engravers. This laser engraver is perfect for larger DIY projects.
Check out what else the machine offers before buying to make sure it's right for your needs, even if it's a bit pricey.
3. Material selection:
Depending on the type of material you are working with, you must choose the best performing engraving machine. Some are designed to work or print only on soft materials such as leather, fabric or glossy applications, while other models work on harder materials such as stone, wood or metal.
Therefore, it is crucial to check the types of materials it can handle before purchasing. This will give you an idea of their applicability to the material you are dealing with. Hence, it helps you choose the perfect one from a wider range of options, otherwise, you might end up with a model that is not helpful for your work.
4. Software Compatibility:
Software compatibility is another key factor to consider when purchasing a laser engraver and cutter. There are two software options for these engravers. Some models are compatible with existing design software, allowing you to create laser-cut projects in Adobe or CAD and then transfer them to a laser engraver. The second model, on the other hand, comes pre-installed with engraving machine-specific software, allowing you to do all the work with ease.
However, machines with pre-installed/included software are an affordable option but minimize your creativity and limit design. So check and choose a machine with software designed to have the specific program you wish to use on the surface of the object.
Also, check that the tool is compatible to work on a computer (Windows or Mac) or be controlled by an app via Bluetooth.
5. Connection options:
There are various methods for connecting a laser engraver or cutter to a computer. Among them, the most common connection method is to use a USB connection. Also, you can connect the machine via 2.4 GHz wireless interface or Bluetooth.
A machine with a wired connection is the most preferred option, as it is an inexpensive and easy-to-use option. Choose a machine with wireless technology to free up your workspace. In the end, the connectivity options you choose for your model should allow you to work comfortably and efficiently.
The space you allocate for your machine will determine its weight. For example, if you want to place the machine on a compact table, then you must choose a model that is lightweight and easy to carry, but not a heavier model (such as 115 pounds). If you're a professional and have a dedicated workspace for etched designs, then go for a larger model that weighs more. So, before buying routers and cutters, check their weight.
7. Easy to assemble:
Almost all of these laser engravers and laser cutters are easy to assemble. If you're good at assembling and securing nuts and bolts, then you can do the whole thing yourself. Just in case, if you're a newbie (or novice) and don't want to spend too much time assembling it, then go with the machine straight out of the package.
8. Ease of use:
The ease of use of the machine is another key factor to check when choosing a laser engraving machine. We recommend that you choose a model based on your skills and experience. If you don't have any previous experience with this engraving technique (novice), then choose a simple and easy-to-use machine from the beginner's options. Whereas complex (or somewhat complex) models with lots of sculpting options are better suited for experienced users or those who want to learn more.
Before starting to use the machine, it is a good idea to read through the user manual or tutorial to understand the machine's ease of use.
9. Safety certification:
Improper or incorrect use of lasers can be very harmful. Therefore, it is very important to make sure that you get a laser engraver that is safe to use. To get this confirmation, you must keep an eye out for security certifications. Most of these laser engravers and cutters have obtained various safety certifications such as CE, FDA, UL, FCC, IEC, RoHS, etc. It is recommended to purchase a laser engraver that includes more than one of these.
10. Customer support:
Regardless of your expertise with any device, there are going to be some difficulties. At that time, the excellent customer support team will be your best partner to solve operational problems. Therefore, we recommend you to buy a laser engraver from a reputable brand that offers good customer support to help their customers out of any technical issues.
The price of any product can vary widely based on a number of factors including brand, features, build quality, and warranty. The typical price range for these laser engravers is $150 to $10,000. There are some high-quality models at reasonable prices. Check out several options and choose a model that balances your cutting or engraving requirements and budget range.
The laser engraving machine you choose should not only be safe to use, but also reliable enough. For this, you must check the build quality and warranty offered by the manufacturer to ensure that your router is reliable, durable and built to last. Most laser engraver options come with a 1-year warranty. However, some manufacturers will not provide any warranty for their products. Therefore, it is imperative to check the warranty before purchasing these machines.