The best xTool Machines in September 2023

Best xTool machines; three laser engravers and cutters on a green background
(Image credit: xTool)

The best xTool machines offer a new way to craft and can complement other digital craft machines. An xTool laser engraver can enable you to create incredible products. Whether you need a craft machine for your hobbies, general creativity or to develop a studio or side business the best xTool machines can help; these are primarily laser engravers and cutters, but also include the impressive xTool M1 that combines laser and blade technology.

While the best Cricut machines focus on using cutting blades to cut, engrave and score; and the best Glowforge machines make use of powerful lasers to do the same with speed and precision, the top xTool machines fit somewhere in between. Though that gap with Glowforge is closer now, with the launch of the xTool P2 – a 55 watt CO2 laser that is incredibly powerful and fast. I've used, reviewed and tested the majority of the machines below (my xTool P2 review is in progress but early impressions are very good).

In my guide to the best xTool machines I'll go into detail on the new xTool M1, but I'll also cover the dedicated xTool D1 laser cutter and the powerful xTool P2 machine. xTool machines are cheaper than some other laser machine brands, but you'll need the best xTool accessories to get the most put of them. But, with these extras xTool machines become very adaptable. Take a look at our guide to the best laser cutters if you need one of these specialist devices, but for now scroll down and read up on the best xTool machines.

The best xTool machines available now

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xTool M1 review; a white laser cutter, a large box, on a wooden table

(Image credit: Future)
The best xTool machine overall


Machine dimensions: 22 x 17.5 x 9 inches
Laser: 5 and 10 watt models
Weight: 9.8 kg
Work area: 15 x 12 inches
Materials: 300+, including wood, metal and fabrics

Reasons to buy

Laser and blade cutting in one
Red Dot Winner 2022
Clean and compact design

Reasons to avoid

The (beta) app is a little buggy

The xTool M1 is a unique machine in the craft space as it features both blade and laser cutter technology and is a winner of the Red Dot product design award. It can do some of what a Cricut can and also some of what a Glowforge can do; though there are some caveats.

The laser in the xTool M1, for example, is a 10 watt laser, unlike the 45 watt laser in the Glowforge Pro and 40 watt laser in the Glowforge Plus, which makes it a slower cutter. But, it's a diode laser and not a CO2 laser, which makes it cheaper and lasts a little longer though also a little limited, for example it can't cut clear acrylic. The blade is a simple cutting blade, not a rotary, so it's a little limited compared to Cricut.

Yet, the xTool M1 has both, in one machine, which means you can create complex projects that require clean cutting and engraving with one machine. If you don't already own a Cricut or Glowforge, the xTool M1 is a good hybrid option. In my xTool M1 review I found this is a very versatile craft machine that can do a little bit of everything, though you will need an Air Filter to get cleaner cuts (see my guide to the best xTool accessories).

Like those machines part of the xTool M1 appeal is its design and approachable style. Many aspects are automated, with auto-focus and easy alignment options making it simple to make projects on the xTool M1. The machine's app, xTool Creative Space, is in beta at this stage and is a little buggy, but it's easy to use and ensures you can import designs or create in-app.

It's hard not to love the xTool M1. It's not as fast or as powerful as Glowforge, but it's cheaper, and it's not as compact and adaptable as Cricut Maker 3, but it has a laser cutter; ultimately, it's a novel craft machine that does a little bit over everything.

Best xTool machines; a grey machines for laser engraving and cutting

(Image credit: xTool)

02. xTool P2

The best xTool machine for power


Machine dimensions: 39.4 × 25.1 × 10.6 inches
Laser: 55 watt CO2 laser
Weight: 45 kg
Work area: 26.8 x 14.2 inches
Materials: 300+, including wood, metal and fabrics

Reasons to buy

Powerful 55 watt CO2 laser
Fully enclosed, safe design
Accurate and easy to use

Reasons to avoid

Very large, you'll need dedicated space

The xTool P2 is the latest laser cutter and engraver from this established brand and features a striking 55 watt CO2 laser, making this the most powerful laser machine for domestic use. It also means the xTool P2 is large and heavy, so you'll need a dedicated workspace. That being the only real downside, is impressive.

As fast and powerful domestic laser cutter the xTool P2 sits just below the M1 as my recommended machine from this brand, only because the machine above is cheaper and more approachable for crafters and beginners. If you've used a laser and engraving machine before, then the P2 is your first choice.

My review is still in progress but initial impressions are excellent. It features high-end details that impress, such as a large work area with a passthrough slot for extending the size of your projects; there's a good built-in cooling system; its Lightburn compatible so you can be up and running with projects easily; the metal chassis is sturdy and offers a good sense of security; and there's a16MP dual camera for speedy scanning. For a detail explainer, read my feature 'xTool P2: everything we know'.

One of the best features is the new curved surface engraving feature, which is unique to the xTool P2 and enables you to carve into uneven surfaces. The slight downside is you'll need to spend a little extra on all of the add-ons to make the P2 really sing, such as the automatic feeder to make using the passthrough easier and more accurate, as well as the riser base to extend the size of the work area. (Visit the xTool store for bundle deals.)

The best xTool machines; a photo of the xTool D1 Pro in red

(Image credit: xTool)

03. xTool D1 Pro

The best xTool machine for small projects


Machine dimensions: 26 x 9.4 x 8 inches
Laser: 5 - 40 watt diode laser
Weight: 6.5 kg
Work area: 17 x 15.4 inches
Materials: Wood, metal, glass and fabrics

Reasons to buy

Improved 20 watt laser
Gyroscope for accuracy
Colour engraving

Reasons to avoid

Risers sold separately

If you're looking for a fast and dependable laser cutter and engraver the xTool D1 Pro is a good option. Like the D1 Pro is an older design to the newer encased M1, but it does feature a choice of lasers, from 5 to 40 watts. xTool used to have a basic model, the D1, but now only has the Pro version in a mix of configurations.

There are some neat features other than the improved laser – that can cut 10mm BaseWood and 8mm acrylic in one pass – as the xTool D1 Pro features a gyroscope to ensure you get a flat and accurate setup, and flame detector for safety. This is still an open frame design so it'll smoke and smell.

The xTool D1 Pro offers an adjustable laser height but you'll need to pay extra for the 'riser' kit to ensure you can engrave larger, higher objects. The work area is slightly smaller than stated too, as the D1 Pro features limiter switches for safety, these ensure it can't cut to the edge of the frame.

The xTool D1 Pro is a step above the standard D1, but it's not in the same league as the new xTool M1 and it's only slightly cheaper. The D1 Pro does support a number of additional features, however, such as a rotary accessory, a smoke hood and an infra-red laser module for engraving many metals – ideal for jewellery.

the best xTool machines; a small transparent green box

(Image credit: xTool)

04. xTool F1

The best xTool machine for portability


Machine dimensions: 26 x 9.4 x 8 inches
Laser: 10W blue diode laser + 2W IR 1064 laser
Weight: 4.6 kg
Work area: 115 x 115mm, expanded to 400 x 115 mm
Materials: Wood, metal, glass, rock and more

Reasons to buy

Dual laser setup for speedy engraving
Small and compact
Uses can be expanded with extras

Reasons to avoid

Only for small projects

The xTool F1 is a small laser engraver designed to be used in handheld mode or on a small desk for quick and easy small projects. Don't let the small size fool you though, as this compact laser engraver is quite cable of a mix of jobs, including flat, vertical and rotary engraving (with the add-on tool purchased separately).

The size and portability is great for newcomers or those who don't have large workshops, it can also be taken on the road and used to engrave at conventions and craft shows. The F1 has a bottom panel that protects your desk and enables airflow for cleaner cuts, which is a nice touch. The 4000 mm per second engraving speed is excellent, and the dual laser setup (a 2W 1064nm infrared and a laser with a 10W 455nm diode laser) ensures it can be used on over 300 materials.

What I like about the xTool F1 is it makes use of the same XCS app (including Lightburn) as the larger xTool laser machines, as well as using a live preview feature to set your materials correctly (the blue light is harmless). This laser machine is also a number of extras, such as a table for extending your project. I would advice you buy the xTool F1 with Desktop Smoke Purifier for a cleaner experience.

Can xTool machines cut wood?

The best xTool laser cutter machines can cut various materials, including some wood, like BaseWood. The speed and depth of the cuts will vary with each machine. With a 55w CO2 laser the xTool P2 is the most powerful, followed by the xTool M1. The xTool D1 Pro (20 watt model) is good too, the xTool D1 (5 watt model) may struggle.

What materials can xTool machines cut?

Again, this varies by machine. The two newer xTool machines, the xTool M1 and xTool P2, can cut and engrave over 300 materials, including wood, paper, card, plastics, rubber, metals, leather and fabrics. Note, these machines can cut metal but are limited to thin 0.06 inch metal sheets. With the Infrared Laser Module attached the D1 series can fine engrave gold, silver and copper.

Does xTool have its own materials?

Yes, xTool makes and supplies xTool Selected materials that are encoded for the higher-end xTool machines, the M1 and Laserbox, which means these laser cutters can read the material and automatically adjust to each material. xTool Selected materials are also tailored to laser cutting, with smooth finishes and woods are bonded evenly where needed.

Can xTool machines engrave glass?

Yes, the xTool D1 and above can be used to engrave and etch on glass but you'll need to first apply tempera paint or a cold galvanising compound spray because the diode lasers don't generate enough heat on their own. The CO2 lasers in the xTool M1 and xTool Laserbox can engrave on glass without these products. 

Which is better, xTool or Glowforge?

This depends on your needs and uses of your laser printer. Overall we'd say the Glowforge Pro is the best machine, but this is aimed at high-end users and the price shows this appeal, though the new xTool P2 is comparable. There is a closer fight between the Glowforge Plus and Basic models and the xTool M1, here we'd look towards the xTool machine. It has a weaker laser than the Glowforge Plus, but uniquely it also has a blade cutter like a Cricut. 

What are the differences between the xTool D1 and D1 Pro?

It's a little complicated and nuanced, generally the D1 laser ends at the 10 watt module while the D1 Pro goes up to the 20 watt module. The D1 laser has a spot size of 0.08 x 0.1 mm while the D1 Pro has a spot size of 0.08 x 0.06 mm, which makes for a more accurate, finer cut or engraving. If you own an xTool D1 then you can buy a 20 watt laser module as an accessory.

Is the xTool D1 worth buying?

In its class the xTool D1 is a decent laser engraver but can be found lacking as a laser cutter. Its 10 watt laser module is fast enough for a tabletop laser cutter but if you want to create larger projects, do more or need a cleaner machine, then the M1 is a better option.

Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & Design

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & Design at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.