OMTech vs Glowforge vs Boss Laser Cutter: Which laser has the biggest payoff?
This blog is a side-by-side comparison of the OMTech MF1624-55, Glowforge Pro, Boss LS-1416, their model specifications, and company offerings as of August, 2021.
The CO2 Laser Cutter Showdown
Laser 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, formerly the exclusive domain of industrial manufacturers, is today a common and widely-used tool among small enterprises, product designers, makers, and hobbyists. There's a considerable probability that a laser engraver will be the most cost-effective solution for your needs in some circumstances. So, before you go for your wallet, let’s look into some of the top laser engraver brands today to see which of their machines will best fit your needs. This includes the likes of OMTech Laser, Glowforge, and Boss Laser cutter and engraving machines.
Laser Cutter Comparison Guide
Before starting OMTech in 2020, the founders had over ten years of expertise in the laser engraving sector. Today, this new stand-alone brand has swiftly established itself as a real player in the laser engraving industry. Internally, OMTech is still finding their footprint, but have came to play, and are constantly evolving to meet their customer's needs and expectations. OMTech understands your needs for pin-point precision at a reasonable price, whether you're a professional engraver or a creative DIYer. Their machines are available in a variety of configurations, ranging from Desktop K40 models to high-powered 100W+ units to even flashy Fiber Laser Makers. 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 best possible quality and testing. This process is consistently being fine tuned with their manufacturer.
Representing OMTech - MF1624-55 Mid-Range Model
OMTech also has a range of machines with different power outputs depending on the size and level of engraving you want to achieve. Even better, their power has a wider range, ranging from 50W-150W. For example, the OMTech MF 1624-55W model can cut up to 6mm thick of materials such as plywood and acrylic conveniently. It would also interest you that the laser tube has an operation life of up to 2000 hours for optimized speed, cutting, and performance.
Z-Axis Workbed Depth
The OMTech 55W 16”x24” model has a maximum engraving speed of 600mm/s and a maximum Z-depth of 10”, meaning you can engrave the top surface of materials nearly 9 inches tall. This is a great advantage if you want to work on larger DIY laser projects.
It can engrave a wide range of materials including wood, leather, acrylic, glass, marble, and stone.
This 55W engraving machine goes for $2,149.00, being incredibly accessible to household upstarts and small businesses. OMTech offers a wide range of accessories, software options, training courses, and more to go along with their machine.
It has an working area of 384 sq.in with an engraving/cutting area of 345sq.in. A working space as wide as this allows for engraving large products. Plus, it has an easy two-way pass through for oversized materials being cut or engraved. This in turn gives room for flexibility, creativity, and a lot of convenience when working on a huge variety of product sizes.
When you buy OMTech laser machine, you can rest assured that you're getting complimentary US-based customer service and technical support by your side. You also receive a free video tech support appointment to help you set up your machine. With OMTech, it's easy to get help and resolve problems that you may encounter with your laser machine.
The Glowforge laser printer is perhaps the most well-known home laser engraver, thanks to their convenient software. However, when compared to OMTech and Boss laser cutters, Glowforge laser machines have limited capabilities that may not justify the Glowforge cost. It is easy to mistake a Glowforge for a 3D printer but it still works purely as a laser engraving machine. One interesting feature of Glowforge is that you can design with just a pen and the machine engraves or cuts such a design. All thanks to the built-in camera in this machine, it picks up the design drawn on paper and sends it to the machine.
Representing Glowforge - The Glowforge Pro
The Glowforge pro has a power output of 45W. With 45W being their most powerful laser, Glowforge is relatively low-power, suited to small-scale projects. One of the downsides to purchasing a Glowforge is the absence of a flexible power range. However, when it comes to smaller designs and DIY projects, you can count on this laser machine.
Wood, leather, felt, cloth, acrylic, paper, and other materials can be used to create a limitless variety of useful, beautiful, and practical items.
Engraving speed and depth
The Glowforge Pro laser engraver has a maximum engraving speed of 250mm/s and a maximum material thickness of 2". This means that the workbed will only fit items that are 2" or less in height, which can limit the size of your laser projects. If you're someone with ambition to laser cut large signs for home decor, you may not be able to achieve it with a Glowforge laser.
The 45W Glowforge costs $5.995.00 without upgrades. While Glowforge is a well-known laser engraver manufacturer, we believe that many home laser engraver buyers will find "more laser for their money" with alternative brands.
The Glowforge Pro has an engraving area of 360sq.in and a cutting area of 214sq.in.
You have access to a live chat support team and an email to channel your concerns or questions as the case maybe. Unfortunately, Glowforge does not offer any technical support over the phone.
Boss Laser Cutters
Boss laser cutters are known for quality CO2 and fiber laser machines, as well as other engraver equipment to enthusiasts, corporations, and educational institutions. Its capacity to design, cut, and engrave a material to whatever your computer screen can display is an awe-inspiring and sought-after skill. Their most recent laser engraving machines give you the ability to quickly cut, engrave, mark, or etch an expanding range of items. The Boss laser machine is precise, dependable, and backed up by competent, friendly customer service.
Representing Boss Laser - Boss LS-1416
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, in this example, has 50W power.
Z-Axis Workbed Depth
According to the product listing on the Boss Laser website, the LS-1416 model can cut up to ⅜" wood and acrylic material. The Z-table workbed has a 7.5" adjustable range to fit a variety of DIY laser projects inside.
Boss Laser cutters can engrave a number of materials including organic materials and treated metals.
The Boss LS-1416 engraving machine starts at $4,497.00 without any upgrades. A range of upgrades are available from the laser tube power, cutting area, focal lens, circulating water pump, and more, which will add to your total cost.
It has a standard 224 sq in. cutting area but this can be modified up to 280 sq in. if you are willing to pay more.
Boss laser cutter offers a customer support team available via email and phone call.
In conclusion, all three laser engravers have their own strengths and weaknesses. Now that you understand these top laser engraving machines, it's time to weigh your options properly, understand your needs, and align your budget. These machines all have their specific selling points that may resonate with customers in different ways.
As you shop around for your machine, you'll find a number of factors to consider that you might not fully understand if you're new to laser engraving. Make sure to research these factors and ensure they meet all your needs. One thing is certain: your laser engraving and cutting capabilities will be constrained by your laser machine, so be sure that yours can accommodate the specific applications you plan to perform.
Glowforge offers a convenient laser machine in a small footprint, although the power and size range might limit your flexibility. Boss Laser Cutter is also a prominent brand with professional-size laser machines, but only OMTech offers more laser for less money. OMTech Laser is a US brand that combines functionality and affordability as detailed above, even with upgrades. By all means, the search for your next laser is no easy task. But by carefully reviewing each factor considered above, you can certainly find the best laser engraver for you.