Whether you want to create custom gifts or have your own business, laser engraving machines make the art of engraving and customization easy with any pre-made design or creation.
Laser engraving machines use a laser beam to change the surface of an object and create images on a material of your choosing. Previously only available in large dimensions and at price points too high for at-home use, laser engraving machines are now more compact, affordable and user-friendly for hobbyists. They can engrave and cut through a multitude of materials, including wood, bamboo, acrylic, cloth, leather, marble, plastic and cork.
Some of the best machines for laser engraving are listed below. Available in a variety of price points, laser engraving machines have many things in common, including the use of the latest technology to provide speed and accuracy to your designs. Several are compatible with Windows Operating Systems, can connect easily to your computers, and can cut and carve into many different types of materials.
If you’re ready to create more personalized pieces, check out our top picks for laser engraving machines.
1. Genmitsu GRBL Control Engraving Machine
Cut all types of plastics, soft aluminum, woods, acrylics, PVCs, and PCBs with the Genmitsu GRBL Control Engraving Machine. The GRBL has an integrated mainboard and custom software that comes with support for users who want to create intricate and exciting custom pieces. An ABS case and fan come together to create a rugged unit that can be used for extended periods. Taking up minimal space on a work surface, the GRBL is approximately the size of a laptop and comes with optional nano blue router bits. In addition to laser engraving, users can also do woodworking with the GRBL.
Pros: The GRBL comes with a convenient off-line controller that allows users to adjust the X, Y, Z-axis without requiring a connection to their computer.
Cons: Although the GRBL is designed to be user-friendly, those who lack experience with laser engraving machines may have difficulties assembling the unit and following directions.
2. DIY CNC Engraver Kit by Bachin
For a laser engraver that is user-friendly for amateurs but still powerful enough to take on sizeable jobs, try the DIY CNC Engraver Kit by Bachin. The desktop engraving machine works with grayscale printing, low-light positioning and freedom positioning functions. Including everything users will need to get started on their projects immediately, the Bachin works with wood, paper, bamboo, leather, photosensitive paper and sponge paper. The machine has an optional offline controller and comes with its own software (the Bachin also works with other engraving software options).
Pros: The Bachin engraver has a 40 x 50 cm work area, but users can buy longer rails from the company to create larger pieces.
Cons: If the user’s computer goes into sleep mode during printing, the machine will stop mid-job.
3. GanGou Laser Engraver
For a small laser engraver that packs an impressive punch, we recommend the GanGou Laser Engraver. Users can customize areas up to 17.5 x 15.5 cm, with the GanGou suitable for a wide variety of surfaces, including a smartphone case, wood, plastic, bamboo, kraft paper and acrylic. Users can upload their designs through a USB port or by connecting their computer to the GanGou. Grayscale printing, low-light positioning and freedom positioning functions are all available options for the smart machine.
Pros: Setting up the GanGou is relatively fast and straightforward compared to most laser engraving machines.
Cons: The GanGou’s software is difficult to work with and users may want to operate in the offline mode only.
4. LaserPecker Mini Desktop Laser Engraver
Engrave almost anything, almost anywhere with the LaserPecker Mini Desktop Laser Engraver. The engraver is small enough to fit in a user’s hand and can be used on its own or with a tripod. Bluetooth connectivity and the LaserPecker’s intuitive app make it easy for users to engrave wood, paper, felt, leather and even fruit skin! Engrave pictures, signatures, logos and other designs that have been saved as JPGs, BMPs, PNGs, G-codes or Photo/Vector art. The LaserPecker is designed with several safety features, including a working warning alert, motion-triggered stopping, overheat shutdown and a password lock. The unit also comes with eye protection.
Pros: Users can choose from four engraving modes to find the option that best suits their needs, including images, text, drawing or painting.
Cons: The LaserPecker only has a 10 x 10 cm work area.