The new xTool P2 laser cutter is the latest digital crafting machine from one of the leading brands in this field, and promises to be one of this year's hottest gadgets for serious crafters and small businesses alike. After two years of research and design, the xTool P2, a powerful new CO2 laser cutter and engraver, will launched this month. So what is it, and why should you be hyped?
First, let's recap. xTool won a Red Dot Design Award for its xTool M1 laser cutter and engraver, and in my xTool M1 review I found this to be an incredibly approachable and useful craft machine. But it has some limitations, for example its 10 watt diode laser can't match the speed and accuracy of a CO2 laser, which is where the new xTool P2 comes in.
The new xTool P2 offers the same design sensibilities of the xTool M1, but with the power and speed of a CO2 laser cutter. xTool developed the P2 after its research discovered digital crafters are demanding more from their machines.
Below I take a deeper look at xTool P2 but first the headline features, which are impressive: the P2 has a 55W CO2 laser cutter with 26 x 14 inch bed size, making it the most powerful laser cutter on the market right now.
xTool P2 laser cutter: headline features
The new xTool P2 is an interesting machine and offers a 55 watt CO2 laser, which makes it the most powerful laser cutter for home use. But the xTool P2 features more than just this high spec laser, as it offers an automated passthrough slot, two 16MP cameras for high definition accuracy, the ability to engrave curved materials as well as rotary engraving. The xTool P2 really sounds like it's a laser cutter that can do everything.
I've detailed some of the more eye-catching new features found in the xTool P2 below.
I love the sound of this new feature – yes, you will be able to engrave onto curved materials with the xTool P2. This new laser cutter will create a 3D model of a curved object placed in the design space and automatically adjust the focal length of the laser during the engraving process. It means you can treat curved and contoured materials just like you would flat surfaces. This really is a game-changing feature for professional crafters.
One of the best features of most high-end CO2 laser cutters is a passthrough slot that enables you to cut and engrave onto large lengths of wood and acrylic.
The new xTool P2 features an automatic passthrough using a 'Roll Conveyor Feeder', unique to this machine, that will feed through extra-large lengths of material for larger projects, speeds up workflow and reduces errors in the carving process.
All models of the xTool P2 come with the passthrough slot but the Roll Conveyor Feeder will be sold separately from July-August.
The inclusion of two 16MP cameras will enable you to craft with greater accuracy. The live preview that shows up on your laptop will offer an auto-focus for ease of use and you can drag and drop illustrations and designs into the workspace and it will automatically update and focus (a similar system is in place on the current xTool M1).
The dual-camera system means one will offer a view of the whole project in the design space, while the second camera can track the position of the laser's head and take photos for more precise engraving.
xTool P2: specs, app and safety
Some of the neat ideas found in the xTool P2 that catch the eye also include tweaks to the brand's app for importing and processing designs, one of which is the option to create batch projects.
Bed size 26 × 14 inches
Max engraving speed 600 mm/s
Cutting depth 20mm acrylic, 18mm black walnut
Processing size 23.6" × 12.1" (600 x 308mm)
Max. workspace height with tray 2.5" (64mm), without tray 2.7" (71mm), with riser base 8.9" (215mm)
The xTool P2 intelligently recognises shapes in the camera and then fills more objects with the same pattern and engrave everything in one go – ideally for pro crafters. (It also offers a maximum bitmap engraving speed of 600mm/s, again this sounds great for pro makers.)
xTool has learned some lessons from the current xTool M1, too. For example this new laser cutter comes with an air assist module integrated into the laser and built in slats for better air circulation to avoid scorching. Both of these come as accessories on the xTool M1, and even on this less powerful diode laser they are needed, so it's nice to see the new xTool P2 will come with these features as standard.
Safety is in-built on the xTool P2 as well, which makes it a good home use laser cutter. For example, this new machine features an automatic lock that engages once you press the start button and remains locked until the project finishes. (To the side of the xTool P2 is an emergency stop button for a quick shutdown if needed.)
Just like the xTool M1, the new xTool P2 can be expanded and its capabilities enhanced by adding a Riser Base to heighten the machine and enable taller materials to be engraved. The xTool P2 is also compatible with the existing RA2 Pro, the 4-in-1 rotary attachment, that enables engraving on mugs, glasses and vases (up to 198mm diameter with the Riser Base attached).
Laser cutting and engraving machines are becoming more accessible than ever and xTool has made steps to ensure its machines are affordable, ensuring the current xTool M1 is one of the best Cricut alternatives, for example.
The official price of the xTool P2 is $4,999 / £4,999, which places it below the similarly specced Glowforge Pro – though the xTool P2 has a more powerful laser, and can be expanded with the belt-driven passthrough for large projects and used with a rotary engraver, so on paper the xTool P2 impresses.
Pre-orders are currently open for the new xTool P2 at the official xTool website. There are currently deals on the xTool P2, for example you can get $800 / £800 off the retail price of you pre-order. There are also bundle deals, for example you can get the xTool P2 bundle for
$6,256 $5,198 / £6,256 £5,198 – this comes with the RA2 rotary engraver, Riser Base and Automatic Conveyor Feeder.