Starting an engraving business begins with finding the ideal laser engraver — and among the finest engravers on the market are the Glowforge Plus, xTool D1 Pro, and the OMTech 40W. But the right machine for your business should fit your needs and budget.
Want to earn from the comfort of your own home?
Laser engraving is increasingly becoming a popular small business due to its convenience and endless creative potential.
But before anything else, you’ll need a good laser cutter to get started.
So, I compiled the seven best laser cutters for small businesses to help you find the ideal machine for you.
The 7 Best Laser Engravers for Small Businesses
Finding the right laser engraver for your small business can be confusing. After all, with so many options, which one is the best?
Fortunately, there’s a laser cutter for any engraving project you want to do.
See the best laser cutters of 2023 for small business owners below:
1. Glowforge Plus – Best Overall
What I Liked
- Powerful 40-watt laser
- Works with multiple materials
- Can be used for 3D engraving
- Compatible with most systems (PC, Mac, Android, etc.)
- Easy to use and set up
What I Didn’t Like
- Cannot engrave on most metals
- Needs to be online to work
The high-spec Glowforge Plus is arguably the best laser cutter for small businesses.
Boasting a 40-watt laser power, the Glowforge Plus can cut and engrave a wide array of materials, from solid wood to stone.
CO2 lasers like Glowforge Plus cannot cut metal but can etch on anodized aluminum.
It has special software that allows for 3D engraving and an integrated camera preview for EXTRAORDINARY precision.
The Glowforge Plus directly imports your design and engraves straight into the material. It’s quick, efficient, and easy!
With its sleek, compact design, this Glowforge laser cutter fits right in at your office desk.
One thing to note is that this engraver retails for $4,995, which might be too steep for most small business owners.
Laser Type: CO2 | Power of Laser: 40 watts | Work Surface: 11″ x 19.5″ | Dimensions: 38″ x 20.75″ x 8.25″ | Weight: 113.7 lbs. | Materials Engravable: Wood, fabric, leather, rubber, glass, stone, etc.
2. xTool D1 Pro – Best Value
What I Liked
- Large engraving area
- Open design
- High accuracy
- Easy to operate
- Reasonably priced
What I Didn’t Like
- Needs to be assembled
- Safety accessories sold separately
My personal favorite is the xTool D1 Pro, which offers some of the best cutting technology at a mid-range price.
The main advantage of this laser cutting machine is its large work surface and open design.
You can easily place this lightweight engraver on LARGER objects (e.g., doors, tables) and monitor the process.
The xTool D1 Pro comes in 10-watt and 20-watt that can cut thicker materials seamlessly with amazing precision.
With a generous engraving area, you can cut more designs at once with xTool D1. Want to expand your workspace even further? You can readily attach an extension kit.
If you want a high-performing engraver at an affordable price, the xTool D1 Pro is a versatile machine definitely worth considering!
Laser Type: Diode | Power of Laser: 10 watts and 20 watts | Work Surface: 16.93″ x 15.4″ | Dimensions: 23.6″ x 23.2″ x 5.9″ | Weight: 11 lbs. | Materials Engravable: Acrylic, metal, glass, wood, leather, food, etc.
3. Orion Motor Tech 40W – Best Budget Pick
What I Liked
- Sturdy construction
- Comes with safety features
- Comes pre-assembled
What I Didn’t Like
- Can take up considerable space
- Needs regular maintenance
With full specs at half the price of other machines, the Orion Motor Tech 40W is the best laser cutter for small businesses looking for a cost-effective machine.
The 40-watt laser can cut wood, leather, stainless steel, and various materials at an engraving speed of 100 to 255 mm per second.
It’s a versatile engraver that can cut onto objects of different shapes, not only on flat surfaces.
Combined with its design software, there’s NO limit to what you can create with this machine!
This engraving machine also comes with several features to ensure a safe and easy operation.
It includes air assist to protect laser lenses, red dot guidance for cutting precision, and tinted eye protection in the viewing cover.
This model is rather bulky, which might be limiting for some. Luckily, you can add optional wheels if you want better portability.
The OMTech 40W proves to be the best laser engraver for small businesses at a low price point.
Laser Type: CO2 | Power of Laser: 40 watts | Work Surface: 8″ x 12″ | Dimensions: 32” x 20” x 10” | Weight: 57 lbs. | Materials Engravable: Acrylic, glass, wood, plastics, cork, etc.
4. TEN-HIGH C02 Engraving Machine – Best High Output
What I Liked
- High output
- Wide workspace
- Can work offline
What I Didn’t Like
- Difficult to assemble
- Only works using 110v outlets
- Bulkier compared to other models
High-volume orders would require a high-performing engraver like the TEN-HIGH C02 Engraving Machine.
Built with a front-rear double door, it can take materials of virtually any size and weight to engrave.
It also comes with an electric automatic lifting system for enhanced efficiency and convenience when operating.
Meanwhile, you can easily monitor the laser cut with a red light positioning system for maximum accuracy and visibility.
TEN-HIGH C02 is equipped with a durable laser tube that can cut through a variety of materials.
It also has an extensive working space, so you can create stunning engravings at greater volume. It’s the best laser cutter for any professional engraver.
That said, it takes time to assemble and may be intimidating for beginners.
Laser Type: CO2 | Power of Laser: 40 watts, 50 watts, and 60 watts | Work Surface: 15.74″ x 11.8″ | Dimensions: 31.88″ x 24″ x 16.1″ | Weight: 132 lbs. | Materials Engravable: Acrylic, wood, glass, plastic, silica gel, etc.
5. Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro – Best Beginner-Friendly
What I Liked
- Easy to operate
- Easy to assemble
- Large workspace
- Good value for money
What I Didn’t Like
- The cable can get in the way
Easy to use and quick to assemble, Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro is the perfect entry-level engraver for any small business.
Due to its straightforward design, you can get it working in under an hour and customize designs immediately.
A wide 15-by-15-inch engraving area lets you create quality engravings on wood board, leather, and even jewelry for your small business.
With a 300 DPi resolution, you can add intricate details with high engraving precision on various materials.
But what I didn’t like about this diode laser is that the cable that connects the laser head to the motherboard tends to obstruct the workspace.
Nevertheless, Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro is the best laser cutter for newbies who want some extra income.
Laser Type: Diode | Power of Laser: 5 watts, 10 watts and 15 watts | Work Surface: 15.7″ x 15.7″ | Dimensions: 23.6″ x 22.4″ x 7.4″ | Weight: 10.68 lbs. | Materials Engravable: Wood, paperboard, leather, stainless steel, food, etc.
6. Snapmaker 2.0 Modular 3-in-1 3D Printer – Best Multi-purpose
What I Liked
- Various size options
- Easy to use
- Works with numerous materials
This laser cutter for small business ventures combines all the crafting tools into one machine.
Snapmaker 2.0 provides not only laser cutting and engraving, but also 3D printing and CNC carving in one powerful machine.
It is surprisingly easy to use, with a smart control panel and Wi-Fi/USB cable connectivity for a smooth workflow.
You can easily switch between three different modes using the native design software (and a few adjustments). No need to shell out money for separate 3D printers or CNC machines!
It’s a versatile machine that opens up ENDLESS possibilities for crafting for your small business.
Using the engraver, you can get excellent results with extreme accuracy and speed.
It’s the best laser cutter for a professional engraver or a hobbyist who wants to expand their market into different crafts.
Laser Type: Diode | Power of Laser: 1.6 watts to 10 watts | Work Surface: 9″ x 9.84″ x 9.25″ | Dimensions: 15.94″ x 16.69″ x 19.2″ | Weight: 61.7 lbs. | Materials Engravable: Wood, plastic, leather, fabric, non-transparent acrylic, etc.
7. Triumph 30w Fiber Laser Engraving Machine – Best High-Tech
What I Liked
- Easy to operate
- Comes with pre-installed software
- Includes safety features
Triumph 30w Fiber Laser Engraving Machine provides one of the leading-edge laser cutting and engraving technology.
It has a high-precision scanning system that provides optimum speed, precision, and stability for laser processing.
You can upgrade the high-output laser head to achieve even better results.
Triumph 30W is essentially a computer that uses an 8GB RAM SSD and a high-efficiency power supply to deliver an innovative solution for all your engraving needs.
Despite being high-tech, a beginner would have no trouble operating it.
It’s best suited for metal marking and engraving but can also work with plastic and other non-metals.
Its top-grade features mean that Triumph 30w Fiber retails pretty high at $4,999.
That said, I promise it gives a great return on investment with its high-volume output and multipurpose application.
Laser Type: Fiber | Power of Laser: 30 watts | Work Surface: 4.3″ x 4.3″ | Dimensions: 33.5″×33.9″×35.4″ | Weight: 297 lbs. | Materials Engravable: Stainless steel, jewelry, silver, brass, titanium alloy, etc.
Laser Engraver Buying Guide: Factors to Consider
As a small business owner, a laser cutter is an INVESTMENT that will form the backbone of your trade.
There are several considerations when selecting a cutter for small business ventures:
1. Material Compatibility
Perhaps the most important aspect to consider is WHAT kind of material you want to work with.
Depending on what material you’re engraving, different types of laser cutters can produce different results.
For instance, diode lasers can engrave a broad range of materials, such as:
Should you want to expand your laser cutting business in the future, a diode laser cutter can be a great investment.
But if you intend to cut more metal materials, you can go for a fiber laser cutter.
For engraving non-metal materials, a CO2 laser cutter has a high-power laser that can engrave plastic, foam, PVB and PVC glass, and more.
Compared to diode lasers, CO2 lasers are more powerful but tend to have shorter lifespans. It’s also not an ideal choice if you’re cutting metal.
Starting a small business using an engraver will cost you no matter what, but it shouldn’t break the bank.
If you are on a budget, a diode laser cutter is a viable option since most diode laser cutters come at an affordable price.
CO2 lasers usually cost upwards of $900, although you can find great models at a budget price.
The most EXPENSIVE type is a fiber laser.
Fiber lasers may be well outside the means of most amateur engravers. In fact, even an entry-level fiber laser cutter can still be pricey.
3. Laser’s Power
You need to look into the laser’s power to determine its capability. It correlates with the amount of cutting it can do per session.
To find out the cutting ability of a machine, look for the laser optical power.
On average, the different types of lasers have the following optical power:
- Diode lasers have optical power ranging from 5 to 15 watts.
- CO2 lasers range from 40 to 300 watts.
- Fiber lasers can go up to several thousand watts.
A powerful laser cutter means high precision and fast cuts, which is beneficial for high-volume orders.
If you are just starting your small business, you actually DON’T need to shell out for a more powerful laser cutter.
However, if you want to work with multiple materials, one with more power may benefit you more.
4. Size of the Workspace
WHERE you will be working is an important factor related to the size of the laser-cutting machine you purchase.
Small laser engraving machines are compact enough to fit readily on a desktop. It’s perfect for home use but gives less power.
If you have space to spare, you can opt for a larger laser cutter with more power.
A versatile laser cutter like the xTool D1 Pro comes with an extender if you want an all-around machine that can fit anywhere.
5. Safety Features
Lastly, it’s crucial to check the safety features of any laser cutter before purchasing.
Although additional features on an engraving machine can rack up the price, it actually saves you money in the long run.
You don’t need to buy air assist or cooling features separately.
More safety features guarantee less breakage and more security as you handle the laser engraver for small businesses.
What Are the Benefits of Laser Engravers for Small Businesses?
Finding the most efficient and affordable equipment is KEY to maximizing operations.
Getting a laser engraver for small business ventures can be a cost-effective solution. See what lasers can do for your small business below:
1. High Quality
A laser cutter for small business ventures can allow you to brand your products with quality engravings or markings.
Because it uses a design software, each engraving is made with extreme precision. You can create complex engravings that would be difficult to replicate.
With a laser engraver, you can also engrave small (or even micro) designs that are just as intricate.
You get a smooth, excellent finish with every engraving.
Investing in a laser-cutting machine can be one of the most valuable decisions you can make if you own a small business.
Most laser cutters can work on various materials such as wood, metal, leather, and many other items.
A laser cutter for small businesses can be configured to perform diverse engraving and cutting functions.
It’s a PRACTICAL investment for a small business because you don’t need to buy different machines to engrave materials.
Compared to conventional cutting methods, a laser cutter performs FAST and efficient engravings.
It can help save not only time but money as well. A great laser cutter for small businesses can speed up operations and boost productivity.
The quicker you produce products, the more profit your small business can make.
If you’re working on intricate designs or expensive materials, you’d want to be as accurate as possible.
A laser engraver works to provide extreme precision and incredible accuracy when engraving materials.
You won’t have to worry about engraving errors or damages to your product.
5. Competitive Edge
A laser cutting machine can add UNIQUENESS to your brand to help you stand out against competitors.
Today, custom-engraved products can be found everywhere — from water bottles to watches to wood plaques.
There are endless creative possibilities when it comes to laser-cutting machines.
Getting a laser engraver can solidify your brand and differentiate your products. Engraving your brand can also help make your products traceable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Want to know more about these machines?
Below are commonly asked questions from customers about laser cutters for small businesses:
Can I Make Money With Laser Engraving?
Yes, laser cutting has the potential to be a profitable small business.
Laser engraving can be used for various purposes. There’s virtually no limit to what you can create!
You can use it to create stunning engravings, personalized items, and artworks that you can sell on social media, e-commerce sites, or in-store.
It can be a lucrative business venture that a beginner or a hobbyist can start with a low investment.
What Are the Different Types of Laser Cutters?
There are three main types of laser cutters which all work differently:
A CO2 laser engraver uses an electrically charged gas laser.
A laser beam is produced using a gas-filled laser tube that is heated with high-voltage electricity.
The voltage reacts with the gas particles, which increases their energy and creates light.
Two mirrors on both ends of the tube direct the light into the material being cut. One mirror is reflective, while the other allows some light to pass through.
The light generated by a CO2 laser engraver is far more POWERFUL compared to normal light.
A fiber laser uses an optical fiber cable made of silica glass to produce a solid-state laser.
A pump laser diode creates pump light that travels from multiple entry points to a single exit as natural light into the main optical fiber.
The natural light is amplified to create a laser of different wavelengths.
Because fiber laser cutters can produce various wavelengths, they can be used for many applications — like cutting, engraving, drilling, etc.
Nd: YAG/Nd: YVO Lasers
Nd: YAG/Nd: YVO lasers use crystals as a medium for solid-state lasers.
In Nd: YAG lasers, light energy is produced from flash tubes or laser diodes that pass through a synthetic crystalline material mixed with neodymium (Nd).
This process activates low-energy electrons to a higher state to generate lasing action.
These machines are commonly used in manufacturing to engrave various metals and plastics.
How Long Does a Laser Last on an Engraver?
It would depend on the type of laser-cutting machine you purchase.
Fiber lasers have the longest lifespan, with an average of 100,000 hours. It will COST you, though, as a fiber laser engraver is quite expensive.
With a lifespan of around 25,000 to 50,000 hours, a diode laser is both long-lasting and affordable. This makes it perfect for small businesses.
CO2 lasers have the shortest lifespan of 5,000 to 8,000 hours. You will need to replace parts often or buy an entirely new machine.
A Recap of the Best Engravers
To summarize, below are my top picks for the best engravers for small businesses:
OMTech 40W CO2 – Best Budget Pick
OMTech 40W combines quality and accuracy in one economic machine.
With a powerful laser, sturdy build, and great features, it’s the best engraver for small businesses on a budget.
xTool D1 Pro – Best Value
No better engraver provides high-quality performance specs than the xTool D1 Pro.
Whether you’re engraving on doors or picture frames, its large engraving space and open design offer limitless potential.
This is the ideal laser cutter for small business ventures that want to get the bang for their buck.
Glowforge Plus – Best Overall
The overall winner of this roundup is Glowforge Plus.
With superior engraving speed and precision thanks to Glowforge’s technologies, this engraver ensures high-quality outputs each time.
It’s the finest laser cutter for small businesses available today.
Starting a laser-cutting business means investing in the right laser engraver to help you achieve your goals.
A laser engraver for small businesses should be efficient and high-quality to meet market demands.
I found that the best laser cutter for small business ventures is definitely the Glowforge Plus. Other great options include xTool D1 Pro and OMTech 40W CO2.
Whichever you choose, you can enjoy a lucrative business with consistent practice and wise business decisions.