Best Glowforge Laser Cutter

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Glowforge Laser Cutter

If you’re in the business of creating things, buying a laser cutter machine could drastically expand your opportunities and productivity. Etching, engraving, cutting out parts from a variety of materials with high precision, creating personalized products, and much more are all options with the best laser cutting machines on the market. Read on for our guide to finding the best laser cutter for your small business needs.

Best Glowforge Laser Cutter
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1 Epilog Fusion Pro
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Epilog Fusion Pro

This industrial-grade laser cutting machine is well-suited for laser marking on the types of metal that other machines—even the others on our best laser cutter for small business list—can’t do. Titanium, brass, precious metals, hardened metals, and more are all appropriate materials for this high-end laser cutting machine that allows small businesses the maximum flexibility and versatility to create one-of-a-kind merchandise.
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You may have noticed that many laser cutters aren’t intended for use on metal. Some models are meant only for non-metal cutting and engraving. Others, like Glowforge, have limited uses for working with limited types of metals.

That’s because many of the top-performing laser cutters out there use CO2 lasers, which aren’t strong enough to cut through most metals. If you aim to do a lot of metal cutting and engraving in your business, you would be better off springing for a more expensive fiber laser cutter instead of a CO2 one.

We recommend the Epilog Fusion Pro, which combines the technology of a fiber laser and a CO2 laser into one powerful, high-end engraving machine capable of cutting dozens of metals along with a variety of non-metal materials.

The Technical Specs

As the name suggests, the Epilog Fusion Pro fuses together both CO2 and fiber laser technologies. Capable of operating at 50, 60, 80, or 120 watts of CO2 laser power or 30 or 50 watts of fiber laser power, this machine can cut through materials that are both sturdy—like metal and marble—and delicate, like fabric and paper.

The Epilog Fusion Pro features an industry-leading 165 IPS engraving speed, a built-in touch screen for easy control, an integrated air compressor, and much more.

2 Dremel Digilab LC40
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Dremel Digilab LC40

This laser engraver employs five sensors, which provide real-time diagnostic updates on the performance of the machine’s cooling system, ventilation system, air-assist system, and proper lid closure. These sensors represent Dremel’s commitment to safety, which led to the company receiving recognition as “the first UL Safety approved Print Library.”
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If safety is a concern—and not just about the possible effects of a laser on your eyes and skin—then the best laser for your needs may well be the Dremel Digilab LC40.

Dremel’s LC40 laser cutter is a powerful machine that produces results up there with the best laser cutters on the market, but what really blew us away is the system of safety features that’s sure to calm even the most nervous newcomer to laser marking.

The Technical Specs

The Dremel Digilab LC40 features a 40W sealed CO2 laser tube that’s 6.5 mm in diameter. The powerful laser cuts, engraves, and scores materials like wood, paper, plastic, rubber, vinyl, leather, and glass.

The desktop laser engraving machine makes the most of its 32-inch by 20-inch by 8.25-inch dimensions with a 20-inch by 12-inch cutting area and an 18.4-inch by 12-inch engraving area.

Listed on Amazon for $6,799, the Dremel Digilab LC40  is a powerful machine. To support its heavy-duty use, the Dremel Digilab LC40 laser cutter comes complete with the Hex Box, the company’s proprietary water-cooling technology. You can also upgrade to a package that includes a booster fan or a BOFA filtration system.

3 BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Engraver Kit
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BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Engraver Kit

A CNC router works differently than a laser cutting machine. Instead of burning through the material with a concentrated beam of heat, CNC routers use friction to cut into (or through) material like wood. The way it works is like a very precise drill that can be controlled via computer software and can cut material both side-to-side and in-and-out.
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Laser technology is cool, no doubt, but it has some downsides. If you want to accomplish everything you can do with a laser cutter without the actual laser beam component, consider a CNC cutter instead. Our favorite is the BobsCNC Evolution 3 CNC Router Engraver Kit.

The Technical Specs

The 600-watt BobCNC Evolution 3 Router brings a lot to the table at its price point under $1,000.

With its dimensions of 27 inches by 32 inches by 21 inches, the BobsCNC Evolution 3 is a reasonable desktop size. The machine gives you plenty of working area, with a spillboard bed size of 18 inches by 16 inches. It can also accommodate materials of greater depth than you find in a laser printer like Glowforge, with a maximum depth of 3.3 inches.

The BobsCNC Evolution 3 kit includes all components of the router machine itself—the frame, the router, the rail system, the belts, the switches, and more—with assembly required. The kit also includes a couple of introductory bits used for cutting and engraving.

4 Orion Motor Tech 40W CO2 Laser Engraver Cutter
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Orion Motor Tech 40W CO2 Laser Engraver Cutter

If you’re looking for a laser cutter that’s a little more high-end than this entry-level Orion but still keeps the price tag within budget, consider checking out the TEN-HIGH CO2 Engrave Machine. This entry-level offering from TEN-HIGH has a larger work area, at around 15.7 inches by 11.8 inches. It also boasts features like a water-cooling pump and safety water valve and an integrated exhaust fan.
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If you’re working on a budget of under $1,000 or taking your first foray into laser cutting, you’ll get more bang for your limited buck with the Orion Motor Tech 40W CO2 Laser Engraver Cutter than you will from any other laser engraving machine.

Who wants to engrave, cut out, and create only flat objects? We like the versatility of the Orion Motor Tech engraving machine. The dual engraving platform lets you fit materials of a variety of shapes and sizes in the laser cutter’s 12-inch by 8-inch engraving area.

The included stability clamp allows for CO2 laser engraving of irregularly shaped objects and non-flat surfaces—think cups, trophies, and more—without having to rig the machine like a game of Mouse Trap. There’s also a leveling board to help keep materials in position and laser cuts precise.

Although it comes with its own design software—Shenzhouyike Software—the laser machine is also compatible with widely used software like CorelLaser, CorelDraw, Inkscape, and K40 Whisperer (not included with the product). You can also use it to create from a variety of other file types, including JPG, JPEG, and BMP.

5 Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer
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Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer

The onboard cameras scan your design and provide a live preview. The machine automatically detects the type of material you insert for printing—with hundreds of possible options—and adjusts the print settings for you. Included autofocus technology helps ensure precise cuts. All in all, it’s this ease of use—combined with the high-precision laser that achieves beautiful, professional-quality results—that led us to rank Glowforge the #1 best laser cutter on the market for small businesses.
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If we had to pick just one machine as the very best laser cutter for small business, it’s got to be the Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer. This CO2 laser cutter and engraving machine impressed us with its ease of use and versatility.

The unit looks like an elegant desktop printer, able to do its job without getting in the way. The machine is equally aesthetically pleasing whether you’re using it in a home office or studio or at an off-site commercial business property.

At its $3,995 price point, the Glowforge Plus is a moderately priced model that really wows, especially for the small business that prioritizes variety of applications over volume of use.

The Technical Specs

The Glowforge Plus model operates a 40-watt laser tube as tiny as a single human hair, capable of cutting more than 1,300 lines per inch.

The machine itself is a perfect desktop size, at just over 3 feet long and a little under 2 feet wide, but it gives you plenty of room to work. The bed fits materials as large as 12 inches by 20.4 inches and can print an area up to 11 inches by 19.5 inches. Print on materials up to 2 inches thick by taking out the removable tray.

For safety, you need to vent the Glowforge machine. The included dryer connect allows you to operate the machine anywhere within 8 feet of a window for venting. You can also invest in the optional air filter that allows you to use the machine without worrying about venting it, but this add-on will run you almost $1,000 more.

Best Glowforge Laser Cutter 2021 Year

Buyer's Guide, Comparison and Advices

Conclusion

Small businesses can’t go wrong with any of these fine laser engraving machines, but as you can see, there are plenty of differences from one laser cutter to the next. What makes a laser cutting machine best for your business is how well it fits your needs.

To find the best laser cutter for your small business, ask yourself questions like:

  • What type of materials do you expect to work with?
  • What amount of laser power do you need? 
  • How much space do you have in your office or studio to dedicate to a laser cutter?
  • How much money can you realistically afford to invest?

Some companies might try out etching and engraving with a budget laser cutter, while others may find it worthwhile to commit to a pricey but powerful machine right from the get-go. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to integrating a laser cutter into your small business—only the answer that makes the most sense for your unique business at this particular time in its operations.

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