Because they provide enhanced productivity, laser precision, and the ability to create beautiful patterns, CO2 laser cutters have become some of the most popular.
CO2 laser cutters represent a strong answer to cutting and engraving. They are suitable for use in various settings, including homes, offices, and the workspaces of amateurs and professionals. These cutters make quick work of mundane tasks. Still, they also enable their users to monetize their work and enjoy the benefits of having it done automatically by someone with an expert level of detail.
If you are unsure about where to begin, you should continue reading this article. In the following buying guide, we will summarize what CO2 laser cutting is, plus various things to consider to help you purchase the best laser cutter for your needs. We will also rank the best CO2 laser cutters available, including machines suitable for beginners and professionals.
What Exactly is the Function of a Laser Cutter?
Suppose you seek an exact manufacturing approach to make items such as wallets, jewelry, or visit cards. In that case, laser cutting is an intriguing option that you may want to consider. Traditional techniques of production are not particularly successful when properly part or cutting a specific region of wood.
On the other side, a laser system for cutting is quite effective and precise. Cutting using a laser is simple, accurate, and efficient; it also helps conserve material because of its accuracy. It can be used to cut a diverse range of materials, thicknesses, and pieces.
You are free to make customized items using this method of production. To make the most of the adaptability of these machines, which are compatible with a wide variety of materials, feel free to build your designs.
What is a CO2 Laser Cutter?
CO2 lasers are gas lasers that create light beams that the human eye cannot see by passing electricity through a tube filled with a gas mixture.
After that, these beams are amplified by employing mirrors to focus the beam, which results in a strong laser that can cut and engrave a range of different materials.
The gas combination, which comprises carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen, and helium, is ideal for cutting and engraving various materials, including wood, cardboard, acrylics, leather, textiles, and even food, among other things.
Although certain versions can handle strips of aluminum and other non-ferrous metals, they are not the most effective for working with strong metals or metallics.
These machines can engrave magnificent pictures, wood slats, and marble mementos and cut them into acrylics, leather, and wood to make stunning artwork, wallets, and other useful objects, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. What you are capable of doing is only limited by your imagination.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Co2 Laser Cutter:
|OMTech 40W Laser Engraver |
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|Beamo 30W Desktop Laser Cutter |
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|Snapmaker 2.0 Modular 3-in-1 |
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|Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer |
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|TEN-HIGH Upgraded Version CO2 |
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1. OMTech 40W Laser Engraver:
- Manufacturer: Orion Motor Tech
- Laser Power: 40W
- Working Size: 12″ × 8″
- Compatible System: Windows Only
Quality Laser Cutter:
The laser cutters are imported by OMTech, the American division of Orion Motor Tech, situated in China. Before selling the laser cutters in the United States, OMTech does quality assurance tests on them and provides guarantees.
If you seek an Orion Motor Tech 40 W CO2 laser cutter, you should be looking for an OMTech 40 W instead.
In the extensive lineup of CO2 laser cutters offered by OMTech, the 40 W model is a cost-effective choice. It already has a small and solid structure, and it can easily be placed on a tabletop or desk because it comes preassembled.
With a working surface of 320 x 200 mm, you won’t be able to cut and engrave acrylic slabs or wood slats soon. However, you will be able to meticulously create jewelry, leather pouches, and other small-scale projects with the expertise of a professional.
It includes a laser pointer for precise accuracy, and its cutting depth is anywhere between two and three millimeters, providing you the confidence to cut in a single pass. The 40 W, despite its size and affordability, also comes with optimum ventilation.
It sports a flexible tube and an internal fan, which assist focus smoke production away from your work area. Given its price and size, the 40 W also comes with improved ventilation.
Best Entry Level Cutter:
Nearly every list will agree that this is one of the beginner-level CO2 laser cutters that can currently be purchased online.
In addition, when you feel the need for anything more, there are common enhancements available, such as a tube laser, water pump, and improved exhaust fan, which enable you to tailor the device to your requirements.
- Professional engraver or an inspired DIYer.
- When the vented level board is removed from the roomy 8×12 inch worked, it provides an additional 2 inches of height for working with thicker materials and 0.7 square feet of space for accommodating ordinary tasks.
- Your DC tube is estimated to have a life of 2000 hours; a digital laser power supply will provide reliable and readily monitored functioning.
- Compatible with a wide variety of materials.
- Positively reviewed.
- Quality is not So good.
2. Beamo 30W Desktop Laser Cutter:
- Manufacturer: Beamo
- Laser Power: 30W
- Item Weight: 49 pounds
Entry Level Cutter:
The Flux Beamo 30 W is advertised as an entry-level laser cutter, which is exactly what it is in terms of its degree of usability. However, we suggest it more for usage in small enterprises than for private use, given its price point.
One of the best features of the Beamo is the support pipeline provided by Flux, which is comprised of its Beamo Studio software. You’ll be able to import designs from other popular tools here, such as AutoCAD and Adobe, as you work on drawing up app layouts in this section.
There are also good safety features, such as its ability to halt in the middle of the operation when activated and its flexible exhaust pipe, enabling you to move potentially hazardous smoke away from other people and the work area.
There is even an upgrade available called the BeamAir filtration unit. This equipment filters the smoke and air produced by the machine, which means that you do not need to rely on doors or windows to ventilate the room.
Other improvements include a focusing system that uses a laser. However, the manual focusing process is still streamlined and simple.
Everything about the machine, from the software to its use, is straightforward, making it ideal for first-time users who don’t want to be bogged down by a steep learning curve but want a powerful computer. This is because the machine is straightforward in every aspect.
- You’ll be able to sketch app designs, but you’ll also have the option to import them from other famous apps like AutoCAD and Adobe.
- There are also several special safety measures, such as the fact that it will halt in the middle of the work if it is opened.
- Other improvements include a focusing system that uses a laser; however, the manual focusing process is still streamlined and simple.
- Stable cutting.
- CCD camera.
- Easy to operate.
- Air assist.
- Impressively small.
- Laser power is only 30W.
- Manual focus.
- Not appropriate for intricate engraving.
3. Snapmaker 2.0 Modular 3-in-1:
- Brand Name: Snapmaker
- Assembly: Easy to Assemble
The SnapMaker received more than seven million dollars in financing from backers, making it the most successful technology project ever financed through Kickstarter.
And the reason for this enthusiasm is that this machine opens the full bespoke manufacturing process at once and offers you the opportunity to accomplish whatever you wish, whether additive printing, subtractive cutting, or CNC machining.
We are obligated to disclose that the SnapMaker 3D printer was not the primary focus of this special equipment. Despite this, the laser cutter is extremely spectacular, and it excels most of all in engraving.
The tool head may be switched out, but it is simple to assemble, and there is a comprehensive user manual and instructional videos available on YouTube.
Imagine you had access to an upgradeable and fully customizable 3D printer.
The Snapmaker system is more than a collection of individual units.
You are the type of person who would benefit from this system because it comprises powerful modules and add-ons.
You may take advantage of many brand-new features by purchasing the newest modules or kits.
- Get three items for the price of one.
- Excellent walkthroughs, as well as a sizable community.
- Pleasant 12 by 12-foot workplace.
- Stable design.
- Weak laser power.
- Not contained therein.
- Mainly concerned with 3D printing.
- No camera.
- Lack of rotary.
4. Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer:
- Brand: Glowforge
- Material: Human hair
- Color: White
- Operation Mode: Automatic
- Print media: Fabric
The Glowforge Pro is a desktop CO2 laser cutter that is nothing short of a beast. It has a strong 45w CO2 laser tube with a durable and stylish design at the same time.
Cut through Various Materials:
It contains a pass-through technology, meaning the dimension might be unlimited in terms of depth, unlike the more affordable Glowforge versions.
It can cut through materials with a thickness of up to 0.25 inches, depending on their brittleness. It comes with a lens that can focus on its own and a one-of-a-kind cloud-based software that has to be connected to the internet to function properly.
It also contains elements that have been optimized, such as water cooling and an air compressor. This ensures that it operates for a longer period, but it also ensures that it is safer and can achieve an accuracy of up to 1/1000 of an inch.
While we are focusing on the Glowforge Pro, the Glowforge Basic and Glowforge Plus are excellent CO2 laser cutters that you should consider purchasing if you are determined to purchase this brand but would rather have a less expensive model with fewer features.
In general, the Glowforge Pro has a futuristic vibe because of its sleek appearance and the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies such as the cloud and Proofgrade materials.
As a result, it is the ideal option for work that requires a high level of precision on a big scale. It is also important to note that although this is a class 4 laser, the equipment comes with all of the appropriate safety training materials already included.
- Push the button, and the strong 40-watt laser will make meaningful presents for your friends, one-of-a-kind goods for you to sell, or something customized just for you.
- Autofocus. Detection of the material.
- Choose your design, PDF, or photo, add any one of dozens of commonplace items, and click the print button.
- There is no installation required for this software so you may use it on your computer, Mac, mobile device, or tablet with no problems.
- Slot with a passthrough.
- Live preview camera.
- Detection of the material.
- Lack of rotary.
5. TEN-HIGH Upgraded Version CO2:
- Manufacturer: TEN-HIGH
- Item Weight: 220 pounds
Cuts Through Various Materials:
The Ten-High Improved Version CO2 is the greatest laser cutter that money can purchase right now, in the opinion of the vast majority of people. This incredible tool can slice through a wide range of materials, like plastic, wood, thickness board, suede, wood, dual-color plate, glass, fabric, and bamboo, to name just a few. (It is important to note that it will not cut metal.)
A suspension system quickly stops the laser anytime you open the doors, making it simpler to align your materials perfectly. Additionally, a red light positioning system makes it easier to line up your materials.
When we talk about doors, we should mention that the front and the rear double doors provide ample room for engraving materials of any length. In addition, there is a ventilation fan to expel smoke and a display that indicates the temperature of the cooling water to ensure the user’s safety.
The CorelDraw software is not included with this laser cutter; nevertheless, it is compatible with the software, and there is a USB connector that you may use to transfer your drawings to the machine.
- Compatible with engraving on a wide variety of organic and non-metallic materials.
- rotary axis interface, as well as rotary axis, switch already pre-installed.
- The cooling water temperature is always indicated, making it safe and convenient.
- A locating system using red lights.
- Power of the laser may be adjusted.
- Platform with an automatic lifting mechanism.
- Won’t cut metal.
Choosing the Right CO2 Laser Cutter for Your Needs: Buying Guide
Consider Your Usage:
Your prior work experience is the first factor to take into account. It doesn’t matter how much expertise you have as an engraver or carver; if you’re new to CNC machines, your best bet is to start with a laser cutter designed for beginners.
These will be the simplest options to use and, in many cases, the least expensive. They will also ensure that you will not lose thousands of dollars if you make a mistake while you are learning.
Your next step should be to consider why you’re utilizing the computer. If you know you will be the engraving and cutting harder materials, like hardwood, stone, marble, or titanium, you will need a higher-end machine that can handle those materials. Examples of such materials are hardwood flooring, marble countertops, and titanium.
Finally, you need to choose a budget. You want your purchase of a CO2 laser cutter to be lucrative and not a waste of money, so avoid making these common mistakes.
Before investing in a laser cutter, it is important to establish reasonable expectations for your budget and long-term monetary goals and then check that the laser cutter fits within those bounds.
Which Materials Can Be Cut Using a Laser Cutter?
It is possible to cut a wide variety of materials with a high level of accuracy with a laser, even when more conventional production processes are ineffective.
Metals like titanium and stainless steel may be cut using specific laser cutters. Acrylic, Wood, Plywood, paper, and POM are some examples of non-metal materials handled by laser cutters.
Materials for laser cutters may be obtained in several thicknesses, potentially impacting the materials’ stiffness levels and other mechanical qualities. Various applications may be found for it, depending on the type of material and its thickness.
If you want to become familiar with which materials suit better into each laser-cut application, we have developed this guide for you, which will prove to be extremely valuable if you follow its instructions.
What Are the Many Kinds of Laser Cutters That Are Available?
The majority of laser cutters fall into one of these three categories. CO2 laser cutters are primarily used for cutting, drilling, and engraving, and they are powered by CO2 that has been electrically stimulated.
This is by far the most popular laser cutter model found in the hands of makers and enthusiasts. Crystal laser cutters use nd: YVO and nd: YAG, and because of their high power, they can cut through materials with a greater thickness. Fiber Laser Cutters are machines that cut materials made of metal and materials that are not made of metal.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How thick can a material be sliced with a 60-watt CO2 laser?
A 60-watt laser can commonly cut through acrylic up to 8 millimeters thick and softwoods up to 8 millimeters thick.
How do I decide which laser cutter to buy?
The power of the laser is the most crucial factor to consider when cutting. It is important to keep in mind that the focal point of the lens, and not the strength of the laser, is what determines the maximum thickness of the material that a laser can cut. Therefore, increasing the power of the laser won’t enable you to cut through thicker material. However, you will be able to cut more quickly and accurately.
Is Glowforge a CO2 laser?
Glowforge Pro includes a proprietary CO2 laser tube that operates at 10,600 nm and has an average power output of 40W, while the Glowforge Pro has an average power output of 45W.
Finding the greatest CO2 laser cutter might take some time, especially if you aren’t sure what you’re searching for in one. If you’re in this situation, read on. In this post, we will provide you with some useful information about the finest CO2 lasers that are currently available.
You may find some of the top CO2 laser cutters available for purchase online; however, before making a purchase, you should make sure that you have read some reviews. We are confident that you will locate the finest laser cutter that caters to your specific needs.