Creativity and customization add extra value to any crafts, jewelry or item. Nothing seems more precious and loved than a present made with extra care and effort. You go to a craftsmen exhibition or store, and the most attractive things would be those with an extra touch. This extra touch can be a DIY or hobbyist’s custom-made; laser engraved creative pieces that catch the eye. Initially crafting with laser machines wasn’t a convenient choice. Laser machines were huge and used only in certain circumstances, however today with the advancement in technology, you can easily find smaller, individual laser engravers for DIYs and hobbyists.
What to consider when buying a mini laser engraver:
If you are buying your first ever laser engraver, you need to determine the purpose that you are buying the laser engraver and for what materials. Do you want to engrave wood, glass, crystal, metal or any other material? Not all engravers are suitable for all materials, and each has different functionality. Some machines are good on two-dimensional surfaces like wood and leather, while some machines are good on leather and plastic but not on other surfaces.
You also need to know that you can’t have a machine that fits all. You may find a few that claim to do that, but they may be a jack of all trades but a master of none – in other words, they don’t provide a refined result on any specific.
Most laser machines have their own customized software to control and operate the engraver. As is usually the case, not all software is user-friendly and easy to comprehend. In case, you don’t understand the user manual, you might have to call the company support or try to figure it out through trial and error and googling.
Picking the Manufacturer
Since this may be your first laser engraver, you want a smooth experience, right? There are many competitive products in the market, and all claim to be great in their results. So, when you are making a decision, make sure you opt for one that has a strong warranty and provides technical support. You will also want to know if the company produces and provides spare parts for the engraver as well. Otherwise, looking for repair or replacement parts might be a challenge.
6 Best Mini Laser Engravers for Hobbyists
Release your artistic passion into the world of laser engraving with our professional 80 Watt CO2 laser engraving/cutting machine. Great for almost any smooth surface (except metal) and has a red dot pointer to make more precise results. Equipped with a DSP control system that supports most vector graphic formats, this laser engraver provides an intuitive user experience to make operation quick and easy.
- High power laser – offers 80W of power
- Lightburn software included that supports Windows 7, 8, 10, Mac OSX and Linux programs.
- Supports a multitude of materials
- Equipped with a Ruida LCD panel that offers quick & easy file reading
- Great for both home and business use
- Quite heavy and not-so-portable compared to other laser engravers on the list
This engraving machine can work on rubber, mobile phone case, wood, dark plastic, bamboo, acrylic, paper, and greeting card. The WAINLUX Store Laser Engraving Machine is a more precise engraving machine and it has three engraving modes: black and white, grayscale, and discrete engraving to fit your needs. Manual and freedom positions are available in this engraving machine and it is compatible with Windows 7/8/10/Vista/XP and Mac OS-10.13/14/15 operating systems.
- Engraving machine that works without limit on engraving height and size of the material
- Doesn’t heat up like other machines and makes lesser noise.
- NO need to create G code
- It can’t engrave glass or metal
- Do not support Linux and Unix OS
GORIFEI Laser Engraving Machine is can be used for engraving, cutting, and etching. It is recommended for carving wood, leather, bamboo, rubber, ceramics, cardboard, inner core, plastic, metal surface coating; cutting: veneer, non-woven, and cardboard. Aside from engraving, this machine also has the following functions: material library, photo album, text editing photography, eraser, and manual resizing.
The GORIFEI Laser Engraving Machine has a complete APP system setup and it is equipped with a Bluetooth connectivity feature. This machine offers the following engraving modes: bitmap grayscale engraving, bitmap engraving, black and white image, grayscale image, contour cutting, and stamp. This engraving machine is compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android operating systems.
- Provides precise engraving with its 1600mw original laser chip from Osram, Germany
- Equipped with safety protection mechanisms such as the added gyroscope that automatically stops engraving when it detects abnormal movement in the machine
- Portable laser engraving machine
- Some users reported crashing of App
- Cannot engrave or cut glass or metal
This laser engraving machine offers a 40W of power that allows it to cut through double-color planks, organic plastic, wood, leather, fabrics, crystal, and more quite efficiently. In addition to that, this machine also works well for seal engraving, garments, or toys. It provides an engraving area of 12 x 8 inches, making it a portable choice to use at home.
The best thing about it is its engraving speed, which is 1-300 mm per second (0.04-11.81 inches per second). Furthermore, it has a cutting speed of 1-10 mm per second or about 0.04-0.39 inches per second. Its cutting precision is 2500dpi, and it supports all the formats of CorelDraw since it comes with it.
- Equipped with a superior laser head
- Provides effective heat dissipation
- Supports all the formats of CorelDraw on Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10
- Supports engraving of wide applications
- Accurate LCD Panel
- Features wheels and handle for portability
- Durable quality
- High-quality performance
- Users complained about the machine’s heating problem after use at high power
- The instructions manual is written in poor English
If you are looking for a truly portable engraver, then you will love this one by LaserPecker. You can take it anywhere and use it wherever you like as it is powered by a power bank. The file formats it supports are JPEG, PNG, BMP, and G-code. You can control the machine wirelessly using your smartphone’s Bluetooth. Moreover, it offers greater power with faster speeds.
It is equipped with a high-quality laser head that ensures top-notch performance along with long working time. The materials that can be engraved using this machine are wood, leather, fruit, paper, felt, etc.
- It is backed by a 1-year warranty and a 30-day warranty for parts replacement.
- Password lock for more protection
- Portable and durable, lightweight design
- Easy to use and carry
- It cannot engrave on materials such as metal, stone, jewelry, reflective material, silver, white paper, etc.
- Some users said that the machine doesn’t work for long.
If you want to cut up to 3mm of paper, leather, wood, epoxy resin, marble, plastic, or more, then you are looking at the right thing. It can even work well on ceramic tiles without any problem. However, it doesn’t cut through metal, which is a bit of a letdown if you are looking for a machine that can work on metals.
It offers an engraving area of 12 x 8 inches and a cutting speed of 0-35 mm per second. This mini laser engraver is equipped with a quality fan that extracts smoke and fumes. To engrave your desired designs, you can easily connect it with your computer system via a USB port. Moreover, it is compatible with a wide range of printers and scanners.
- Can cut through a lot of materials
- Highly durable
- Equipped with high precision stepping motors
- Equipped with a fan to extract fumes and smoke
- Supports TIF international standard fonts along with BMP, .JPG, .JPEG, .WMF, .EMF, and .PLT files.
- Its software is not user friendly
These are a few of the best options available for mini laser engravers. They all are different in their software, comprehension and functionality. But they all do their job well and provide solid options. Even if you aren’t a practiced engraver, you can easily get started trying out customizing your items and giving personally crafted presents to friends and family.