Finding the Best Beginner Laser Engraver
Equal parts artistic and technical, laser engraving places incredible creative powers at your fingertips. The endless possibilities of using a thin but potent laser beam to engrave custom artwork on popular products are justifiably captivating. Laser engraving dates as far back as the computer you’re reading this on. Nowadays, lasers are fast becoming the innovative method for marking and engraving rather than traditional techniques. For laser engraving to take place, a laser beam hits the surface of a material and vaporizes the top layer of the surface while adding the intended design with a great contrast.
As simple as the process sounds, laser engraving for beginners could go all wrong without the best beginner laser cutter. In fact, the best laser engraver for beginners should be user-friendly and easy to use with a simple structure and design. As a beginner, you would find that many entry-level laser engraving machines exist in the market with varying prices and capabilities. During your search, you may also have come across the term Chinese laser, which refers to laser machines made in China. With some stigmas surrounding the name, these machines can actually be the best starter laser cutter for beginners. In this article, we’ll summarize all you need to know to choose the best beginner laser cutter and engraver.
Starting out with a K40 Desktop Laser Engraver
K40 laser engravers are generally considered the most affordable and best laser engraver for beginners who have no prior experience handling a laser machine. K40 laser engravers are consistently the best-selling laser machines for home hobbyists and small businesses. This desktop laser engraving machine is known for its ease of accessibility and versatility in addition to its portability. These three factors mentioned earlier are very important features of a laser engraving machine for beginners. Its comprehensive user manual contains all information right from the point where you assemble the parts of your machine to where you fix minor issues that might come up while running the machine. OMTech, a laser company based in Anaheim, California, offers their popular 40W desktop laser engraver that produces flawless engravings and cuts up to 1/8” thick plywood and acrylic. This is one of the best laser engravers for beginners that would be easy to use and produce great results, yet remain affordable.
What is the best laser engraver for beginners?
Although the K40 desktop model is one of the best starter laser cutters for beginners, many users have recently voiced that they would have preferred a more powerful engraving machine with a larger workspace. Specifically, many wished they would have invested in a Mid-Range laser engraver of 50W or more. For some beginners, it comes down to the FOMO on having more power and space when choosing your first laser! Many others find that the extra power and workspace would have been critical to offering professional services. The reason for these preferences cannot be far-fetched as the Mid-Range laser engraver has even more professional advantages that could speed up your job and still produce great results while making your beginner experience fun.
The Mid-Range laser engraver is known for its efficient engraving speeds and considerable cutting capabilities. For OMTech’s Mid-Range series, the power ranges from 50W to 80W, and can effectively cut through 6 mm to 9 mm (.25" to .35") thick plywood and acrylic.
Here are some of the features that makes the Mid-Range (50W+) the best laser engraver for beginners:
As a beginner in the world of laser engraving, having a larger working space means more convenience while working as you have more room to take on large workpieces. The OMTech MF1220-50 has a 11.5” x 19.5” (295 x 495mm) engraving/cutting area to tackle large-scale projects with ease. There’s enough space to see what you are doing and to place laser engraving accessories like laser rotary attachments in the workbed. These capabilities are critical to offering a wide range of professional services. So, if you have professional aspirations to start a small laser engraving business, consider a mid-range machine as the best laser engraver for beginners.
Lower-wattage laser engravers have a hard time processing thicker and more dense materials, whereas a higher-powered system can finish the task quickly and efficiently. OMTech’s Mid-Range laser engraving machine has a higher wattage laser tube with greater cutting ability and longer laser tube lifetime. With an integrated power supply that features increased response speed, performance, and cutting power - it’s beaming with possibilities! Plus, depending on which wattage you choose, you’ll be able to cut between 6 mm (1/4″) and 9 mm (⅓”) thick acrylic and softwoods.
Better Control Interface
Laser engraving for beginners can be tough to learn. That’s why it’s imperative to choose a user-friendly machine. One of the distinctive features you would find on the mid-range series is the Ruida digital controller. It is an intuitive control panel with a digital display that allows complete control of the laser head, pausing and stopping projects, adjusting laser power and speed settings. Some other features include air-assist, adjustable laser nozzle, built-in ventilation and the red dot guidance. The Ruida controller is easy to use and it’s widely trusted by laser engraving veterans and small businesses throughout the laser community. Surely, this again qualifies the mid-range as the best laser engraver for beginners and best beginner laser cutter.