This is a side-by-side comparison of the OMTech Laser MF1624-55, Boss LS-1416 (50W), and Glowforge PRO (45W). The model specifications listed reflect their official company offerings as of October, 2021.
Best Laser Engraver for Small Business: Fastest ROILaser engraving is now easier and more economical than ever before, and you can do it from the comfort of your own home or workplace. Laser engraving was formerly the exclusive domain of industrial manufacturers, but today it’s a common tool among small enterprises, product designers, makers, and hobbyists. If you’re looking to buy the best laser cutter for small business, or even just considering one, you might find that sorting out the specifications, capabilities, and costs is a tall task.
So, before you go for your wallet, let’s look into some of the best laser engravers for small business today to see which will best fit your needs. We looked at specifications, brochures, and laser cutter reviews to find the pros and cons of laser machines throughout the industry. Through careful research, we narrowed our list down to the three best laser cutters for small businesses, but only one will give you the fastest return on investment (ROI). Our top three comparison includes the likes of OMTech Laser, Glowforge, and Boss Laser cutter machines.
Best Laser Cutter Comparison Guide
OMTECH LASER CUTTER
Before starting OMTech in 2020, the founders had over ten years of expertise in the laser engraving sector. Today, this new laser engraver brand has swiftly established itself as a reliable name in this industry. Their machines are available in various configurations, ranging from Desktop K40 models to high-powered 150W units to even flashy Fiber Laser Markers. Each OMTech laser engraver is designed to combine straightforward operation with powerful functionality, allowing you to create spectacular impressions at an affordable price. In addition, their machines go through a Quality Assurance (QA) process to assure the consistent performance.
REPRESENTING OMTECH - MF1624-55 MID-RANGE MODEL
OMTech also has a range of laser cutter machines with different power outputs depending on the size and level of engraving you want to achieve. We’re looking at the OMTech MF1624-55 today, which packs 55W of power — the most powerful of all three lasers. This extra wattage means you can cut thicker materials and engrave deeper. But the biggest benefit — you’ll be able to achieve the same laser effects at lower power settings, meaning your laser tube should laser longer! It’s optimized for cutting and engraving, and the laser tube has an operating life of up to 2000 hours.
ENGRAVING SPEED AND CUTTING DEPTH
The OMTech 55W 16” x 24” model has a maximum engraving speed of 600mm/s and can cut through ¼” (6 mm) plywood and acrylic. Fast laser speeds are important if you plan to deliver laser engraved products in high quantities. Also be certain that your chosen machine has the laser power to cut and engrave the various materials you want to work with.
It can engrave a wide range of materials, including wood, leather, acrylic, glass, marble, and stone. Those are only a few of the compatible materials, but you can visit their website listing and scroll to the bottom for a more complete list.
This 55W engraving machine goes for $2,299.99, being incredibly accessible to households and small businesses. The good price definitely makes this one of the best laser cutters for small business to make a quick ROI. OMTech offers a wide range of affordable accessories, software options, training courses, and more to go along with their machines. In fact, that’s all part of their mission statement: to make laser engraving machines accessible to all.
LASER CUTTING & ENGRAVING AREA
OMTech’s engraver has the largest engraving area of all three laser machines — 384 sq.in with a cutting area of 345 sq.in. The wide working space is complemented by an easy two-way pass-through for large material being cut or engraved. This means you can insert objects that are even larger than the workbed! When it comes to the size of the workspace, OMTech offers the most room for flexibility, creativity, and convenience.
When you buy OMTech, you’re getting a complimentary US-Based Customer and Technical Support Team by your side. Aside from this, you also get access to a free Virtual Tech Support appointment (video calling like zoom or facetime) to help you set up your new laser cutter. Plus, they provide a strong 2-year warranty.
At the touch of a button, the Glowforge laser printer produces good results. It is easy to mistake Glowforge for a 3D printer, but they differ; it still works purely as a laser engraving machine. One interesting feature of Glowforge is that you can even design with just a pen, and the machine engraves or cuts such a design. All thanks to this machine’s built-in camera, it picks up the design drawn on paper and sends it into the machine.
REPRESENTING GLOWFORGE - THE GLOWFORGE PRO
LASER MACHINE POWER
It has a power output of 45W. One of the downsides to purchasing a Glowforge is the absence of a flexible power range. However, when it comes to small-scale designs and DIY projects, you can count on this laser engraving machine. If you don't need a high-wattage laser with a substantial laser cutting range, this laser machine could be for you. However, the best laser cutter for small business should accommodate laser cutting on a professional scale.
Wood, leather, felt, cloth, acrylic, paper, and other materials can be used to create a variety of beautiful items.
The 45W Glowforge goes for $5.995.00 with limited upgrades. Once we considered the Glowforge Pro’s overall capabilities and compared it to OMTech and Boss, we wondered why the Glowforge is so expensive. The high price of Glowforge is hard to justify.
LASER ENGRAVING AREA
It has an engraving area of 360 sq. in. and a cutting area of 214 sq. in. Keep in mind there is a significant difference between the engraving and cutting areas, so if you do need to make sizable cuts, Glowforge may not be the best laser cutter for small business.
With Glowforge, you’ll have access to live text chat support from 9 AM to 2 PM M–F, an email address that replies within 48 hours, and an online forum. They don’t offer any technical support over the phone, but a sales representative informed me that they do plan to add call-in tech support in the future.
BOSS LASER CUTTER
Boss laser cutters include CO2 laser engravers, fiber laser machines, and other engraving equipment designed to serve established laser engraving businesses, corporations, and educational institutions. These laser machines have sufficient capacity to design, cut, mark, and engrave an expanding range of items. Boss laser cutters are precise, but they might be out of reach for some startups and hobbyists because of their price tag.
REPRESENTING BOSS LASER CUTTER - BOSS LS-1416
LASER MACHINE POWER
Boss laser cutters have a range of power options depending on the level of engraving you are trying to achieve and the budget you have in mind. They have machines with power ranging from 50W-150W. The Boss LS-1416 model has 50W power, which is considered just a step above a K40 laser. While you may not require a high-powered laser for engraving, the best laser cutter for small business should be versatile enough to cut fairly thick materials.
ENGRAVING SPEED AND DEPTH
Boss does not list a maximum engraving speed, but the LS-1416 does have variable speeds depending on the material you’re engraving. According to the Boss Laser cutter website, this model can cut 1/4" of most laser-friendly materials.
Boss laser cutters can engrave a number of materials, including organic materials and treated metals. There’s not much difference between all three machines when it comes to the range of compatible materials, however, Boss’s control system offers one style of digital controller for the LS series. One difference we found here is that OMTech actually provides 3 different controller options which can make getting your project started much less complicated.
The Boss LS-1416 engraving machine goes for $3,997.00 without any upgrades to that price. Boss also provides some upgrade options like the laser tube, cutting area, focal lens, circulating water pump, etc. While this is not an outrageously-priced machine, we have found a better deal on one of the best laser cutters.
LASER CUTTING AREA
It has a standard 224 sq in. cutting area, which is quite small when compared to the OMTech machine. You do have the option to upgrade to a 280 square inch engraving area, but Boss will charge you a hefty fee for this luxury. OMTech provides over 60 more square inches, and it all comes standard.
A customer support team is available by email, phone call, and facetime. The best laser cutter for small business should also come with solid tech support. This is something that your laser engraving business should not compromise on, unless you have a laser technician in-house!
What is the best laser cutter for small business?
Now that you’ve seen all three laser engravers side by side, you can make your own determination. You need to weigh your options properly, understand your needs, and align your budget.
But it’s obvious to us that OMTech Laser is the best laser cutter for small business, based on achieving a quick ROI. Glowforge boasts of its compact and user-friendly machine, although the power and workspace are limited, thereby restricting your flexibility. Boss is no doubt a prominent US laser brand, but it is pretty pricey. While each laser machine has specific selling points that may resonate with customers differently, most people want to buy the highest-rated laser with the widest capability for the least amount of money. That’s why so many people in the laser engraving community are choosing OMTech. Most laser cutter machines will deliver your job—some quicker than others. But only OMTech offers more, for less.