The best laser cutters are more affordable than you might think. Laser cutters or engravers were once reserved for big businesses that could afford them, but they have now come down in price. That means you can take advantage of the laser level accuracy of engraving machines that can cut into all sorts of materials from leather and wood to glass, plastic and even metal.
Whether you're a hobbyist who wants to engrave beautiful typography onto jewellery or a small business imprinting a logo, there is a lot to think about before you buy a laser cutter. What do you need to consider? First, there's budget. If you're using the laser cutter to create products to sell then it makes sense to get the to get the best end product in the fastest time, and with the lowest usage costs. It's vital to consider the cost of replacement parts – you don't want to find yourself unable to keep the machine running. Another is speed – especially if your aim is to mass produce a product to sell within a limited time. Accuracy is also important so you may want to focus on that when narrowing down your perfect laser cutter options.
Size, weight and power usage are further considerations, make sure you've actually got space to house your laser cutter. You will also need to check the cutting plate size to make sure it's big enough to suit whatever it is that you're cutting. Also consider the environmental impact of your new machine. Companies such as Trotec are favoured, as its manufacturing process avoids harmful materials like lead, PVC and zinc.
With all that in mind, here are some of the best laser cutters out there right now for you to buy.
The High-Ten Upgraded Version CO2 is a really capable laser cutter for those on a budget. 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 600 mm cutting plate. On that platform you can cut all sorts, apart from metal, meaning 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 too.
If you don't mind splashing a bit of cash, then get this 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.
The Mertex 1500mW laser cutter is a super affordable way to try this art at home, making it ideal for hobbyists. The 42 x 42 x 78 mm cutting area might not be the biggest but this works with lots of different materials, including thick wood, and has wireless support as well as a back-up battery in case of power cuts. Parts replacement is simple in this open design build making it a future-proof option.
The Triumph Fiber Laser Cutting Machine is made for cutting metal, making it ideal for engraving. 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 200 mm and at a rate of 9,000 mm. The interface is relatively simple to use with a touch screen and support for .CAD, .JPG, .PLT and plenty more. You can cut aluminium, stainless steel, copper, gold and silver without shadowing thanks to a high-speed galvanometer.
The Vevor 40W laser engraver, CO2 laser cutter machine is towards the cheaper end of the laser cutters on this list. And for the money, it has a fair amount to offer. Theres a decent engraving area of 300 x 200mm, 40W of power and excellent accuracy. The only thing is the instructions to set it up are tricky to follow, but brace yourself for a shaky start (we recommend looking at YouTube videos for setup) and you'll be away.