The best laser cutter used to be the sort of thing that only big businesses could afford. But nowadays prices have come down a lot. So while they're still quite expensive, if you want to do laser-powered cutting or engraving on a range of materials (including metal in some cases), they're a tempting buy.
Here we've listed the best laser cutters available in 2021. Choosing between them will come down to a number of considerations.
If you want to create products you can actually sell, you're going to need an accurate and reliable machine that won't cost a fortune to run. You'll also need to think about the price of replacement parts. And if you're planning on getting a production line up and running, you'll want a machine that can cut at speed.
Also, it's worth checking you actually have room in your home for a laser cutter. Not only do you need to make space for it, you'll also have to think about ventilation. Plus, depending on what you want to make with it, you'll also have to pay attention to the size of the cutting plate. You don't want to end up with something that's too small to work with.
- Jump straight to the best laser cutters in the UK
Best laser cutters in the US
The High-Ten Upgraded Version CO2 is the best laser cutter you can buy right now. This capable machine will cut everything from acrylic and plywood to leather, glass and cloth. It's compatible with CorelDraw, and there's a handy USB port you can use to get your designs onto the machine.
There's a red light positioning system to make it easier to accurately line up your materials, plus a suspension system that immediately halts the laser whenever you open the doors. Speaking of doors, the front and rear double doors allow you the space to engrave materials of any length. Note, though, this machine won't work with metal.
If you don't mind splashing a bit of cash, then get the 130W Reci W4 C02 laser tube engraver cutter machine, which has an engraving area of 1300 x 900mm. It's speedy and precise and can cope with a range of non-metal materials, including glass, paper, bamboo and rubber.
Its compatibility is also decent, as it supports AutoCAD, CorelDRAW, as well as a range of file formats. Just be mindful of its size; with dimensions of approximately 72 x 56 x 41 inches, this is a beast of a machine, so make sure you have the space to accommodate it.
The Triumph Fiber Laser Cutting Machine is made for cutting metal, making it ideal for engraving. You can cut aluminium, stainless steel, copper, gold and silver without shadowing thanks to a high-speed galvanometer.
This isn't cheap but as a result you get a very capable system able to cut on a work area up to 200 x 200mm and at a rate of 9,000mm/s. The interface is relatively simple to use with a touch screen and support for .CAD, .JPG, .PLT and plenty more. And best of all, it comes with software pre-installed so you can get right to work.
The LaserPecker L1 Desktop Laser Engraver is a miniature laser cutter you can keep right on your computer desk. It's also portable enough to bring with you should you want to do some creative work away from home.
Just connect the engraver to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth and you can transfer your designs to wood, felt, and corrugated paper, among other light materials. You can even engrave fruit, if that's your sort of thing. A pair of safety goggles are included too.
Best laser cutters in the UK
The Ten-High Upgraded Version CO2 is a really capable laser cutter. Thanks to a handy USB port, it's easy to get projects onto this machine that can cut at a rate of 3600mm per minute on its 400 x 600mm cutting plate.
On that platform you can cut all sorts: acrylic, plywood, density board, leather, wood, double colour plate, glass, cloth, bamboo, paper to name a few. A red light positioning system makes cutting easy to line up while a cooling system keeps it safe. Note, though, that it won't cut metal.
The Orion Motor Tech 40W is a versatile laser cutter for hobbyists, and like most of the models in our list it will work with a wide range of materials, but not metal. There's a decent-sized 300x200mm surface, with clamps to keep your cutting material in place and a level board to enable you to work with bulkier objects. A red dot pointer indicates the engraving point and path, to help you ensure you get the right position and scale for your object.
There are four detachable wheels you can use to move this laser cutter around easily. Finally, while this machine does come with software, reviews say it's not worth bothering with, and recommend downloading k40 whisperer and Inkscape instead.
The Orion Motor Tech 30W fiber laser engraver is a versatile machine that can handle metal, rubber, leather, and much more. It's equipped with a super-precise Raycus laser that's guaranteed for up to 100,000 hours of use. Attach a rotary axis (not included) to engrave wine glasses, cups, bowls, and other circular objects. If you're itching to open up an Etsy shop featuring a wide range of engraved gifts, this machine will be well worth the business investment.