Laser engravers can be as expensive as $10,000 or as cheap as $200. The pricier machines are great for industrial applications but if you are looking for a simple laser engraver for making personalized gift items, or starting an engraving business in your garage, a laser engraver under $500 should suffice. After spending hours of research, I have compiled a comprehensive list of the best laser engravers under $500 below.
If you are in a hurry, I have summarized the important characteristics of the top 11 laser engravers in the table below. For more details, scroll down below the table. In case you are looking for a more professional engraver, check out this buying guide.
|Laser Engraver||Laser Power||Engraving Area||Materials to Engrave||Amazon Price|
|1.||Mophorn K40 Laser Cutter||4000MW||12× 8 inches||• bamboo piece|
• double-color planks
• organic plastic
|2||Genmitsu LE5040 CNC Laser Engraver||5500MW||19.7× 15.7 inches||• MDF|
|3.||CNC Pro DIY Logo laser engraver||3000MW||6.8X 6.1 inches||• dark plastic|
• kraft paper
• metal with paint coating
|4.||Mini Handheld Laser Etcher||1600MW||2.56 X 2.4 inches||• wood|
|5.||DIY CNC Desktop Laser Engraver||2500MW||15.7× 19.7 inches||• Bamboo|
• sponge paper
|6.||MySweety DIY CNC 3018PRO-M||5500MW||11.8 x 7.1 inches||• Bamboo|
• flammable plastic
|7.||CNC 3018pro-M DIY Mini CNC Machine||2500MW||3.9 x 5.9 inches||• Acrylic|
• PCB CCL
|8.||Uttiny Cylindrical Laser Engraving Machine||1500MW||• Wood|
• Stainless steel
|9.||KKmoon Laser Engraving Machine||1500MW||12.9 x 7.4 inches||• Stainless steel|
• Black anode
• All wood
• sponge sheet
|10.||Qiilu Laser Engraver||1500MW||1.73 x 1.73 inches||• Wood|
|11.||Mini laser engraver||3000MW||2.95x 2.95 inches||• Leather|
• dark plastic
• kraft paper
Mophorn K40 Laser Cutter (Price – under $400)
The K40 laser engraver has a 12×8 inch working area with a 40W laser power. It uses a CO2 laser tube that has a lifetime of 1300 hours. What makes this laser engraver stand out from the competition in this price range is the reinforced and thickened body which makes the machine 3-4 times more durable than any other CO2 laser engraver.
It also has a robust built-in fan that disperses heat from the machine thereby reducing the temperature of the components. The K40 laser engraver is an amalgamation of the best Japanese mainboard with a chip from Germany which results in a machine that has a combination of the best of both technological giants. It is, therefore, no wonder that it is one of the most highly reviewed machines on Amazon. The following are some of the key features of this laser engraver;
- USB Port – The USB port allows you to conveniently connect the laser engraver to your laptop for easier control
- CO2 Laser Tube – it comes with a robust laser tube that goes for up to 1300 hours of use.
- Premium Laser head – the premium laser head ensures you attain great engraving precision
- Accurate Control Board – it comes with an accurate control board that gives the user intuitive control of the laser engraving process
- Superior stepping motor – it comes with a high precision stepping motor which means you will attain precise engravings
- Heat dissipation – it has vents, a pipeline exhaust fan as well as a ventilating fan which helps to reduce the temperatures of the components thereby increasing their lifetime.
Genmitsu LE5040 CNC Laser Engraver (Price – under $400)
The Genmitsu LE5040 CNC laser engraver has a cutting area of 19.7×15.7 inches with a top cutting speed of 10,000mm per minute. The large cutting area makes it a great choice for a home-based business because you can use it to engrave a variety of items. It uses open-source software (LaserGrbl) which has an active community so you are guaranteed lots of resources on how to manipulate images for engraving.
However, this software is not the best option if you are looking to laser cut as opposed to laser engrave. For laser cutting, you are better off with other photo editing software. Additionally, if you are looking for a machine for engraving stainless steel, the Genmitsu LE5040 CNC laser engraver will be a bad choice.
The materials that are recommended for this engraver are MDF, wood, cardboard, bamboo, leather, anodized aluminum, and even fabric. The biggest pro for this machine is its ease of assembly and ease of use coupled with the speed at which you can engrave your materials.
CNC Pro DIY Logo laser engraver (Price – under $300)
This laser engraver has an accuracy of 0.02mm and an engraving range of 6.8×6.1 inches. It is ideal for engraving IC cards, cellphone cases, tablet cases, dark plastics, wood, and kraft paper. The software supports lots of file formats including JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, DIB, CUR, and ICO.
Mini Handheld Laser Etcher (Price under – $300)
The mini handheld laser etcher has an accuracy of 0.01mm with an engraving range of 10x10CM. If you are looking to make small and miniature laser engraved novelty items, the mini handled laser etcher is the perfect laser machine to purchase. Just as the name suggests, this is a portable device that can be handheld and used on the object desired but for better results and also for personal safety, it is best to use a stand. Because of its portability, you can carry it anywhere and it can also be powered by a power bank if you need to go off-grid.
Unlike the other engravers which are controlled via computer software, the handheld laser etcher is controlled from a mobile app that communicates with the laser etcher via Bluetooth. It comes with lots of safety features including a working warning alert, an overheat shutdown function, a motion-triggered stop, and a password lock.
Materials that can be engraved with the mini handheld laser etcher include wood, paper, bamboo, leather, sponge sheet, rubber, as well as plastic. This engraver will not work for metals, stone, silver, white paper, and any reflective material. It is a great choice for newbies because, in addition to the one-year warranty, you also get lifetime customer service.
DIY CNC Desktop Laser Engraver(Price – under $300)
This is a 2500MW laser engraver and it has an engraving area of 15.7×19.7 inches If you are looking for an engraver that will do a good job with grayscale patterns, this would be a great pick. You can use it to engrave on bamboo, wood, sponge paper, horns, leather, as well as phone shells. It also comes with a one-year warranty which means that if any of the components breaks within one year of the purchase date, it will be replaced for you free of charge. Because this is a 2500MW laser machine, it can also easily engrave most of the hardwood and even laser cut it if that is what you are looking to achieve.
The mySweety DIY 3018Pro comes with a 5500MW module and it has a working area of 11.8 x 7.1 x1.8 inches. As a result, it can accommodate almost any project. Materials that are best engraved with this laser machine include bamboo, wood, flammable plastic, ivory, leather, PCB, acrylic, and ceramic. However, it cannot work on iron, glass, and metal. This laser engraver would also be great for engraving letters on daily materials. Even though this engraver is controlled by computer software, it also has an offline control. This means you can manually control the X, Y, and Z axis to set the location of the engraving among other important settings.
CNC 3018pro-M DIY Mini CNC Machine (Price – under $250)
This is one of the best CNC laser machines and that is why it is loved by students who are just getting into CNC (Computer Numeric Control). You can use it to engrave text on a variety of materials. It is can also be used to engrave CNC models.
This is a newer CNC laser version that eliminates the need for an additional CNC controller as was the case in older models. All you need is a computer that has the relevant software (GRBL, which is provided by the manufacturer, is the recommended software) and you are good to go. Some of the materials that would be ideal for the CNC 3018 pro laser engraver include acrylic, wood, plastic, PCB CCL, aluminum, and copper.
Uttiny Cylindrical Laser Engraving Machine (Price- under $250)
As the name suggests, this laser engraver is designed for cylindrical objects and would be great for stainless steel, cans, wood, and paper tube plastic cylindrical items with a diameter of 15mm-100mm. You can therefore use it to engrave water bottles, flasks, and other personalized items. The adjustable head makes it pretty easy to adjust the focal length thereby giving you the perfect speed and accuracy. You can engrave different file types including dxf, jpg, jpeg, png, and g-code.
KKmoon 15W Laser Engraving Machine (Price- under $250)
KKmoon laser engraving machine is also a portable laser machine. It has an accuracy of 0.05mm with an engraving area of 330x190mm. The KKmoon supports all CAD file formats and you can use it for engraving stainless steel and black anode. This engraver might however not do very well with copper or aluminum raw materials. The plug-and-play feature greatly reduces your assembly time. It is also very easy to manipulate the depth of your engraving, the output power, the time of engraving, the speed, as well as pixel precision of the engraving. All these settings can be controlled in real-time via the software.
Qiilu Laser Engraver (Price- under $250)
The Qiilu 1500mw Laser Engraver is the machine to buy if you are looking to make deep or image engravings. The engraver has a working area of 42 x42 x 78mm which gives great flexibility on the sizes of materials to work with. It is applicable both for DIY projects at home as well as industrial applications. Unlike most of the other engravers which only connect to the computer via a USB port, this engraver can also connect to the computer via Bluetooth.
Mini laser engraver (Price- under $160)
This is arguably the cheapest laser engraver that will still get the job done. The kit is also easy to setup up and it can take you less than 5 minutes to get started. It has an accuracy of 0.02mm and an engraving range of 7.5×7.5CM. You can use it to carve an IC card, wallet, dark plastic materials, phone cases, bamboo, wood, acrylic, and kraft paper.
With the exception of glass and metal, transparent materials can also be laser engraved but you will need to cover the material in a coat of paint first. The main demerit is the size limitation on the materials that can be engraved. However, it should do just fine for small items.
So there you have it – my pick of the best laser engravers under $500. If you are not sure which one to chose, use the table at the beginning of the article to chose based on the materials it can engrave or cut through. You can also check on Amazon to see what other customers think of the laser engraver before oyu make your purchase decision.