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laser-engraving

The UK's bestLaser Engravers2022 Review

What To Look For in a Laser Engraver

The best laser engravers should be suitable for decorative engraving and carving. More powerful engraving machines like CO2 lasers should also be able to cut thin materials. These more powerful laser cutters range from 30W upwards. Diode laser cutters on the other hand range from 1-5W and are suitable for engraving designs onto soft materials – they are generally less expensive than CO2 laser cutters.

If you are planning to use your laser cutter with a 3D printer or milling machine, laser cutters that include a CNC function (Computer Numerical Control) can program the cutting head or laser to precision cut across two or three dimensions. Also, most laser engravers are computer or smartphone-controlled so it is important to check that your laser cutting software is compatible with the software on your device.

The engraving area itself is an important feature. The best laser cutters offer larger 3-dimensional engraving areas with more possibilities for engraving odd-shaped items. On the other hand, 2D engraving areas are more suitable for flatter items so you could go for a mini engraver in that instance.

All laser machines should come with eye protection functionality. Check there is a laser eye protection panel built onto the laser cutter and that it ideally comes with a pair of safety goggles too.

Whether you’re looking for a professional laser cutter for cutting and engraving, or a simple laser cutter for home use, I’ve found the best machines available right now. Let’s see what I’ve discovered…

See the best Laser Engravers below

Compare Laser Engravers Here

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Our score
  • Best For
  • Type
  • Machine Power
  • Laser Power
  • Suitable for Decorative Engraving / Carving
  • Suitable for Cutting
  • Engraving Area
  • Windows Compatible
  • Weight

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Read Our Laser Engraver Reviews

B07ZFD6SKP
0816550022917
Best CNC Router and Engraver
SainSmart 3018-PROVer CNC Router and Laser Engraver
Top Pick

Best CNC Router and Engraver

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 4.25
  • Type
    Engraver / Router
  • Machine Power
    120W
  • Laser Power
    n/a
  • Suitable for Decorative Engraving / Carving
    Yes
  • Suitable for Cutting
    Yes
  • Engraving Area
    300x180mm
  • Windows Compatible
    Yes
  • Weight
    9.7kg
  • Our Review

    The SainSmart Genmitsu 3018-PROVer is a popular choice for home CNC enthusiasts. It’s one of the best engravers that you can get for the money. Just be aware that it’s not supplied with a laser attachment, you’ll need to buy that separately.

    In terms of build quality, everything feels well-made. They haven’t skimped on essential features like limit switches and X axis probes for automatic depth finding. You can even set a home position anywhere on the engraving area. This means the laser head will return there automatically when a program is finished.

    There’s a fair amount of assembly required to get started with laser cutting, but SainSmart have labelled everything well. Included is a well-detailed guide and even the tools you need to finish what they started.

    What makes this one of the best CNC engravers is that you can run the machine without a computer. Using the GRBL offline controller, you can control all functions that you would otherwise input with your computer.

    They’ve even included a USB stick and 16 GB memory card to transfer GCODE files to your computer, that also contain all the manuals and guides for operation. It’s a nice machine that lets you mill with the spindle or engrave with the laser. It’s one of the best home CNC machines I’ve found.

    Pros

    • Safety has been taken seriously by SainSmart. The end stops are vital, as is the emergency stop feature. When dealing with a laser beam or cutting tool head, it’s best to be prepared for anything.
    • Several users have complimented SainSmart’s customer service. They have proved to answer questions and take suggestions.
    • You don’t need a computer with fancy CNC software to make something special. The GRBL offline controller gives you full capability without the need for more expensive equipment.
    • Even though there’s setting up to be done, they’ve included everything you might need.

    Cons

    • This laser engraver doesn’t come with a laser. You’ll need to source your own one.
    • There’s not a lot of room for error when it comes to laser cutting. This isn’t a “smart” laser engraver, it will do exactly what you tell it. Make sure you check your commands thoroughly.
    • This laser cutter is not ready to run straight from the box. Compared to the Sfeomi, there’s a fair amount of setting up time.
    • You’ll need to get creative to find ways to clamp odd-shaped objects to the worktable.

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B09SD5K21N
9340656176003
Best for power and size of engraving area
Atomstack A5 Pro 40 Watt Laser Engraver

Best for power and size of engraving area

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 3.75
  • Type
    Engraver / Router
  • Machine Power
    40W
  • Laser Power
    n/a
  • Suitable for Decorative Engraving / Carving
    Yes
  • Suitable for Cutting
    Yes
  • Engraving Area
    410x400mm
  • Windows Compatible
    Yes
  • Weight
    5.0kg
  • Our Review

    Laser cutter and engraving specialists Atomstack have made several powerful and capable CNC machine models in the past, but the A5 Pro is their flagship model. Sporting a mighty 40 Watt laser and enormous engraving area, this is probably the best high power laser cutter and engraver that I’ve checked out so far.

    The real star of the show here is the Class 4 laser with 5 Watts of output. It’s a seriously powerful laser that can engrave and even cut through a wide range of materials. It can cope with wood, fabrics, acrylic, stone, stainless steel, ceramic tile, and even thin leather.

    Featuring a clever protective cover that shrouds the laser unit with UV filtering plastic, it makes this engraver safer to use with other people in the room. Atomstack have included a pair of safety glasses as well though.

    This laser cutter and engraver supports the most popular software platforms including LaserGRBL and LightBurn. Compatible with Windows XP, 7, 8, 10, Mac OS and Linux, it’s supported by all the popular operating systems.

    Pros

    • Even though this laser cutting tool and engraver takes a fair bit of setting up, Atomstack have done a good job of putting the instructions together. They’ve even divided up the fittings into different steps.
    • The laser is powerful enough to cut through materials like plywood without needing lots of passes. This will speed up your laser cutting and even save a bit of electricity in the long run.
    • The auto focus feature saves time and head scratching. Rather than manually adjusting the height, the engraver will make sure the laser head is at the correct level for best results.
    • With a class 4 laser on board, you can engrave metals including stainless steel. Although it’s much more effective working on non metal materials like wood, it means this is a more versatile laser cutter.

    Cons

    • Compared with the easy setup you get with the Sfeomi or Ortur laser machines, this one takes a fair bit of time. You’ll need to set aside a couple of hours to get this one up and running.
    • Make sure you’ve got adequate ventilation in place when using this laser cutter and engraver. A class 4 laser will create a lot of smoke that you won’t want to breathe in. Otherwise, use it outside.
    • Although the protective cover is a good idea, I’m not sure I agree with Atomstack when they say you don’t need to wear safety glasses. Class 4 lasers should be treated with respect.

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B09MMDFW5D
Best engraver / router option
Ortur Laser Master 2 S2-SF 20 Watt Laser Engraving Machine
  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 3.75
  • Type
    Engraver / Router
  • Machine Power
    20W
  • Laser Power
    20W
  • Suitable for Decorative Engraving / Carving
    Yes
  • Suitable for Cutting
    Yes
  • Engraving Area
    410x390mm
  • Windows Compatible
    Yes
  • Weight
    3.2kg
  • Our Review

    One of the better-known makers of laser engraving machines, Ortur have come up with a very clever piece of kit in the Laser Master 2 S2-SF. An upgrade from the popular Laser Master 2, the S2 features a second-generation compressed focal spot laser module. It’s an uprated 20 Watt laser that is ideal for engraving wood, stone, plastics, and even food!

    This laser engraver comes partially assembled, making setup a bit easier for non-experts. The motor powers the laser along at a maximum 5,000 mm/min, which is pretty speedy and should help get your projects finished quicker. Weighing just 3.2 kg, it’s light enough to move around when not in use as well.

    What makes this one of the best laser engraving tools in my mind is the huge engraving area. Coming in at a massive 410 x 390 mm, it’s nearly the biggest on my list and means you can work on much bigger projects compared with the Sfeomi laser cutter and engraver, for example.

    It supports popular laser engraving software platforms including LaserGRBL and LightBurn, among others. This engraver is compatible with Windows XP, 7, 8, 10, Mac OS and Linux. It’s one of the best laser engravers on the market right now, if you’re serious about the craft.

    Pros

    • There are limit switches included on both the X and Y axis, meaning that even if your instructions are off, the laser can’t fall off the end of the rail. It also uses these for homing.
    • There’s a clever sensor on the machine that detects unwanted movement. If you knock the frame, the laser immediately turns off. It’s a very useful safety feature that will avoid ruining your work too!
    • If your computer crashes and the Ortur doesn’t detect any input for a while, it will turn off the laser to avoid causing a fire. It’s another clever safety feature included in the firmware.
    • Lasers are not toys and should always be treated with caution. I’m pleased that they’ve included a decent pair of safety glasses, as well as some thin plywood to practise on.

    Cons

    • For some reason the measurement markings on the rails are in inches. It’s a real shame that a precision device like this isn’t marked in millimetres. Especially for the UK market.
    • Although the 20 Watt laser is powerful enough for engraving, it’s not as strong compared with the Sfeomi’s 40 Watt laser. With this laser, it’s only really good for engraving.
    • You can cut through thin materials, but only with multiple passes. The maximum safe thickness for laser cutting is around 5 mm, any more than that and the edge quality will suffer.
    • This is an expensive engraver and laser cutter. If you’re only trying out this craft, or unless you’re incredibly keen, it’s a lot to spend. Compared with the HomdMarket engraver, at least.

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B08HLJWTBG
5769521165463
Best mini laser
LaserPecker Mini Laser Engraver Machine
  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 4.5
  • Type
    Mini Laser
  • Machine Power
    1.6W
  • Laser Power
    1.6W
  • Suitable for Decorative Engraving / Carving
    Yes
  • Suitable for Cutting
    No
  • Engraving Area
    100x100mm
  • Windows Compatible
    No
  • Weight
    0.9kg
  • Our Review

    The LaserPecker mini laser engraving machine is a cut above the competition when it comes to design and functionality. You could literally put it in your pocket and take it with you. It engraves high-quality images in a range of materials.

    From a design perspective, this engraver looks more like a slick gadget than the industrial-style engravers on my list. The fact it’s a minimalist gold cylinder just adds to the attraction. It’s an ideal tool if you don’t want to give up vital bench space. However, you must make do with a vastly reduced engraving area on the machine itself.

    Supplied with a tripod that will keep the laser engraving head at the right height, you can remove it and engrave horizontally if you want. This opens a world of possibilities, where you can engrave directly onto walls or other objects that would otherwise never fit onto even the biggest engraving area.

    Simply connect the engraver up to your phone via Bluetooth and use the app to create your designs.

    I honestly think this is one of the best laser engravers out there, but it depends on what you plan to do with it. It’s not designed for laser cutting or producing large images. However, it can do things that even the best CNC engravers can’t.

    Pros

    • You can use this laser engraver horizontally. It opens a world of possibilities compared with a standard vertical device.
    • With its small size and less than 1 kg weight, you could call this a pocket engraver!
    • I’m a big fan of the wireless Bluetooth connectivity. You don’t need to drag around lots of cables or lose half your bench space.
    • You’re able to set the laser in “trace” mode. It fires a low power laser beam to mark out your design and check you’ve set up correctly.

    Cons

    • You can only work on a limited range of materials. Don’t even think about engraving metals, stone, or reflective surfaces.
    • The 10 x 10 cm engraving area is tiny compared with the SainSmart. It’s only suitable for small jobs.
    • This is not a high power laser. The 1.6 Watt laser beam isn’t designed for cutting even thin materials. Stick to decorative engraving.
    • Like any open laser cutter or engraver, you must be extremely careful during the engraving process. LaserPecker have included a pair of safety glasses, but I recommend using an enclosure as well.
    • You can’t connect the laser engraving tool to a PC or Mac. You’re limited to using apps for designs.

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B083V2H1L7
0779207660873
Best budget laser
HomdMarket Mini Engraving Machine
  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 3.25
  • Type
    Mini Laser
  • Machine Power
    3W
  • Laser Power
    3W
  • Suitable for Decorative Engraving / Carving
    Yes
  • Suitable for Cutting
    No
  • Engraving Area
    75x75mm
  • Windows Compatible
    Yes
  • Weight
    1.3kg
  • Our Review

    Another micro laser engraver, the HomdMarket K5 is a capable little laser device. It won’t take up too much bench space or empty your wallet either. In fact, it’s one of the best budget laser engravers available right now.

    This is a device more suited to hobbyists. Or perhaps someone who wants to get involved with laser engraving but doesn’t want to have to assemble a full-size laser machine. There’s minimal setup involved before you can get creative.

    It’s a basic engraver, but you can still work on a range of softer materials with a bit of practice. It’s good for leather, plastic, wood, and paper. It shouldn’t be relied on for laser cutting unless you make several passes.

    The drawback of such a small laser engraver is the size of materials you can fit into it. You could rest the entire machine on top of a large piece of material at a pinch. But odd-shaped items must be able to fit under the legs.

    Pros

    • The transparent green screen helps to keep your eyes safe from the laser dazzle.
    • Setup couldn’t be much simpler. Plug in the power and connect the engraver to your computer via USB. The software is easy to install and use too.
    • It’s an ideal beginner’s laser engraver. In comparison with the advanced Sfeomi machine it’s a plug and play tool.
    • The entire device weighs just 1.3 kg and won’t take up a lot of space. It’s easy to stash it away between uses.

    Cons

    • Even compared to the LaserPecker, the engraving area on this device is small. Just 7.5 x 7.5 cm to play with.
    • Users have commented that this laser engraver is slow. It’s not a high performance laser engraver that can churn out hundreds of designs.
    • The laser isn’t powerful enough for cutting sheet materials. It’s for engraving only.
    • The engraver produces fumes and heat. There’s no integrated extractor system. You’ll need to always make sure there’s adequate ventilation.

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B081RC2Z76
0604220419200
Best all-in-one laser engraver
Sfeomi 40W Laser Engraver & Cutting Machine

Best all-in-one laser engraver

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 4
  • Type
    Laser
  • Machine Power
    40W
  • Laser Power
    40W
  • Suitable for Decorative Engraving / Carving
    Yes
  • Suitable for Cutting
    Yes
  • Engraving Area
    300x200mm
  • Windows Compatible
    Yes
  • Weight
    36.0kg
  • Our Review

    The Sfeomi 40W Laser Cutter and Engraving Machine is one the best 40 Watt laser cutters on the UK market because it’s so easy to set up. It’s great to use it straight from the box without any calibration.

    This is a high power laser engraver that is delivered ready to go. It’s all encased in a professional-looking industrial style blue case. All the moving parts are kept hidden away inside, so it should stay dust-free and clean when not in use.

    The large engraving area means you can tackle larger engraving projects than the competition. The powerful CO2 laser engraver is tough enough to cut a range of materials. These include stone, glass, bamboo, leather, wood, acrylic, and plastics up to 3 mm thick.

    The cutting table has a clamp for holding down odd-shaped objects as well, so you’re not just limited to engraving or cutting flat boards. I think it’s one of the best laser engraving machines if you want to get into the craft. Simply because there’s everything here to get you started.

    This laser cutter runs Shenzhouyike software as standard, but is compatible with other laser engraving programs, and runs on Windows 8, 7, 10 (64/32 bit), XP and 2000. There is no iOS compatibility.

    Pros

    • Not having to do a lot of fiddly calibration before first use is great. It’s what makes this one of the best laser cutters for beginners.
    • The K40 is an affordable, powerful, and versatile laser cutter that’s ideal for serious crafters as well as keen DIYers.
    • Clamping down different size and shape workpieces is no problem. The included double duty clamps do the job well.
    • You’re not limited by proprietary software. This laser engraver and cutter will work with a huge range of software packages.

    Cons

    • Some users have complained that the extractor fan is underpowered. It’s not difficult to upgrade it, but a larger one would be more effective.
    • You should check the laser cutter has been properly grounded before first use.
    • It’s a shame that Sfeomi haven’t included any personal protective equipment. There’s a protective panel, but I prefer a “belt and braces” approach to safety.
    • This is a big laser cutter. The footprint is 50 x 70 cm, so make sure you have plenty of bench space to spare!

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B08BZV2TTQ
0786705007758
Best for software compatibility
Neje 20W Laser Engraving Machine

Best for software compatibility

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Use
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4 3.75
  • Type
    Laser
  • Machine Power
    20W
  • Laser Power
    5.5W
  • Suitable for Decorative Engraving / Carving
    Yes
  • Suitable for Cutting
    Thin material
  • Engraving Area
    170x170mm
  • Windows Compatible
    Yes
  • Weight
    2.4kg
  • Our Review

    The good people at NEJE have a history of making the best laser engravers. Their Master 1 was a popular choice for anyone wanting to get into the craft. The NEJE Master 2 mini engraving machine is a welcome upgrade! It’s one of the most straightforward engraving machines I’ve tried out so far.

    Starting with the packaging. The Master 2 was delivered in a series of cardboard and foam boxes that kept everything secure during transport. This is incredibly important when dealing with a delicate CNC engraver that doesn’t like to be dropped or knocked.

    Assembly is relatively straightforward. The instructions are easy to follow, and it won’t take long to get the engraving machine up and running with the included tools. There’s everything you need to get started. NEJE have even thought to include safety glasses, a welcome addition to any laser engraving machine. They even threw in an aluminium dog tag to practise on!

    Seeing as the laser included is a smaller 20 Watt version, it’s more suited to decorative engraving and shouldn’t be used as a laser cutter on thick materials. You can cut through thin plastic or wood, but it takes several passes which might not be ideal if you want to cut a lot of shapes.

    You can connect the engraver up to your computer, it runs on Windows 7, 8, 10 and above, or use NEJEs app for Android or iOS.

    Pros

    • The wireless control function makes this an incredibly handy bit of kit. You don’t even need to be in the same room to send controls to this engraver.
    • There’s a brilliant gyroscopic safety feature included with this laser engraver. If the cutting head gets knocked during operation, it automatically switches itself off.
    • It takes multiple passes, but you can use this machine as a laser cutter on thin materials.
    • Setup time is quick. Most users have got this engraver set up and working in less than 20 minutes.

    Cons

    • You need to take care when using an open laser engraver like this. Ensure there’s adequate ventilation and wear the proper eye protection.
    • Larger sheet materials won’t fit underneath this engraver. You’ll need to construct an adjustable base to get the most out of the laser.
    • Compared to the Sfeomi, the 20 Watt laser in this engraver is only half as powerful. You can’t perform laser cutting on thick materials.

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How to Choose The Best Laser Engraver

Different Types of Laser

Laser, or light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, comes in a range of strengths and can be grouped into three broad types when it comes to laser engravers:

Diode lasers ranging from 1 – 5 Watts are suitable for engraving designs onto soft materials. They’re generally less expensive and can’t be used for cutting out shapes.

CO2 lasers are much more powerful machines, ranging from 30 Watts upwards. A CO2 laser engraver can engrave a much wider range of materials, and also cut out shapes as well.

Neodymium lasers are usually more powerful and used at a professional level and in industrial laser engraving. These laser cutters can be used to cut through extremely hard materials but only for short periods.

CNC

Standing for Computer Numerical Control, it’s a process that controls a laser head or probe along a path in two or three dimensions. The operator enters in coordinates and instructions that the CNC interprets and processes. It’s the procedure used by 3D printers, lathes, milling machines and drills when precision and repetition is vital.

Laser Engraving Area

Think of the laser engraving area as your workbench- when you program the laser head or probe, the size of the work you can do is governed by the area you’ve got to play with. If you’re planning on engraving large, odd-shaped items then you’ll need a laser cutter that can handle X, Y and Z coordinates. But, if you’re only tackling small and flat items, you can get away with a mini laser engraver that only works on X and Y planes.

As always, the bigger the laser cutting machine is, the more work you can do but if bench space is at a premium, you can still create interesting results with a smaller laser engraving area.

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Laser Engraver and CNC Router FAQs

Are laser engravers safe?

Working with laser cutters carries the same risks as any other tool. If you follow the necessary precautions and treat the engraving process with respect, it’s very safe. The best laser cutters are supplied with tinted acrylic shields around the laser probe as well as tinted safety goggles, but always make sure you wear them.

Something that all users of laser engravers should take seriously are the fumes produced by laser engraving. The best laser cutters come supplied with an exhaust system, but you should consider the fumes whenever your lasesr cutter is in use.

Can I use any laser cutter to cut through wood or plastic?

The strength of your laser beam depends on the type of laser cutter you have installed and its Wattage. You could use a low powered laser cutting machine to try and cut thin commonly engraved materials like wood veneer or paper, but you’d have to program in several passes to get anywhere. There’s a chance you’d set the workpiece on fire before you cut through it anyway.

More powerful CO2 laser engravers are designed for cutting out shapes as well as engraving and etching. Different materials and thicknesses will call for multiple passes to get a clean cut, so always practise on scrap materials before you move onto your prize project.

Can I laser engrave a photo?

Yes. The best laser engraving machines can be linked up to specialist engraving software like DraftSight or TurboCAD or come supplied with proprietary design software already installed. The best mini laser engraver I tried out, the excellent LaserPecker L1, comes with an app for your smartphone that means you can upload a photo, press “go” and engrave your favourite photo onto a range of surfaces.

Is laser engraving easy?

It depends how deep into laser engraving you want to go. Some of the more advanced laser engravers on my list take a fair bit of setting up and aren’t suitable for a casual user. Getting used to CAD programs is a skill and can take a long time to master. If you just want to play around with laser engraving, don’t invest in a professional level CNC milling machine, start with a mini and see how you get on.

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Laser Engravers Price Comparison

Every day DIY Garden scans thousands of products to help you find the cheapest prices. Not only do we want to help you find the best products through our in-depth testing, but we also want to help you find the best places to buy them too. We’re working hard to expand our network of retailers, and will be continually adding in new options.

The Cheapest Laser Engraver Prices Found Today

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