What do you do when you need a laser engraver but you're on a budget?
The good news is that there are several cheap laser engravers that let you do good work reliably.
In this guide, I list the best affordable laser engravers that you can buy in 2023.
Every machine in this list has a price under $500.
Each laser machine is discussed in detail to help you make an informed choice.
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I have considered various features for each product like power, laser module, speed, work area, footprint, support, upgradeability, and more.
Best Cheap Laser Engravers under $300
ORTUR Laser Master 2 is a benchtop, open-frame laser engraving machine suitable for hobbyists.
This machine has three variations available. They are LU2-2, LU2-4-LF, and LU2-4-SF.
|Focal spot||0.07 x 0.06 mm||0.17 x 0.25 mm||0.12 x 0.15 mm|
|Max Luminous Power||1600mW||5500mW||5500mW|
|Max input of laser module||24V||24V||24v|
|Max engraving speed||~393 ipm||~393 ipm||~118 ipm|
Different variants of ORTUR Laser Master 2
With an engraving area of 16.1" x 15.3" (410x390mm), it can be considered as the best budget laser engraver for large-size workpieces.
The major difference is in their laser module configuration.
For the laser module, two diode laser variants are available.
One with an optical power of 1.6W operating at a wavelength of 150±15nm and the other 5.5W laser operating at 450± 5nm.
Note that you may need to replace the laser after one year of usage, but it depends on the usage and power at which you operate.
It has a footprint of 21.2" x 19.6" and weighs around 7.93 lbs.
ORTUR Laser Master 2 is belt-driven using NEMA 17 motors with a holding torque of 59.49 oz-in. V-wheels support the smooth linear motion across the rail.
LU2-2 model can do high-precision engraving on aluminum, wood, and plastics but is not recommended for cutting.
LU2-4-LF model is ideal for engraving on soft materials. It can even cut dark acrylics, leather, and wooden boards.
LU2-4-SF model can engrave on harder materials like aluminum, stone, glass, ceramics and perform decent cuts on softer materials like paper and cardboard.
A 0.15" thick plywood plate can be engraved at a speed of ~78.7 ipm in LU2-2, ~393 ipm in LU2-4-LF, or LU2-4-SF models.
ORTUR Laser Master 2 uses a 32-bit microcontroller flashed with GRBL firmware.
With this machine, you can use any CAD/CAM software of your choice. Make sure the one you are using can export files in NC, BMP, JPG, PNG, or DXF formats.
For controlling the machine movement, you can use LaserGRBL or LightBurn control software.
LaserGRBL is free-to-use and is available for Windows OS. Whereas LightBurn is a paid software that supports Windows, Mac, and Linux OS.
ORTUR provides a one-year warranty for Laser Master 2. You can contact them through e-mail, and their website also has a support section from which you can avail help.
Recently they released their latest machine under the Laser Maser series, Ortur Laser Master 3.
A detailed review of Ortur Laser Master 2 can be found here - Ortur Laser Master 2 Review
NEJE Master 3 is a mini engraving machine with two versions available.
It is available in engraving areas of 170mm x 170mm (6.6" x 6.6"), and 255mm x 420mm (10" x 16.5").
Using NEJE Master 3, you can work on plywood, solid wood, veneer, bamboo, MDF, black acrylic, stamp rubber, painted tile, leather, plastic, black anodized aluminum, and other painted metals.
The laser module is available in 5.5W output power and operates at a wavelength of 450nm.
It has a lifetime of around 20,000 hours but several customers have reported replacing the laser module after two years of usage.
The XY axes are driven using a NEMA 17 stepper motor with a holding torque of 6.35 oz-in.
NEJE Master 3 uses a 32-bit microcontroller flashed with GRBL firmware.
The machine can be controlled using NEJE software. You can import images and engrave them by using the software package provided with the kit.
The software supports Windows 7/10, android, iPad, and Mac OS.
In addition, NEJE Master 3 is compatible with LigthBurn and LaserGRBL software.
If your application requires a larger work area, you can consider Neje Master 2S Plus, which offers a work area of 16.53" x 10.03".
You will get a two-year warranty for the whole machine, and for any inquiries, you can contact NEJE through email.
LaserPecker Mini Desktop is a small tripod-like laser engraver and is one of the best portable laser engravers. It is a good choice for leatherworkers, designers, handcrafters, and hobbyists. Several bakers use it for engraving on food.
It is so portable that it can even be powered using a power bank with an output rating of 5.0V 2A.
LaserPecker Mini Desktop laser engraver does not have any linear guides, and it uses a galvanometer-based laser head to engrave. This limits your engraving area to 3.9" x 3.9" (10cm x 10cm).
The output power of the diode laser used is 1.6W with a wavelength of 450nm.
The recommended distance from the laser mirror plane to the surface of the workpiece (focal length) is 7.9 inches. In addition, they provide a wooden ruler of the exact length to assist in focusing the laser quickly on the workpiece.
Many customers have reported that they have been using LaserPecker Mini Desktop engraver without any replacements for about 2-3 years. It has a lifetime of 10,000 hours.
LaserPecker Mini Desktop can engrave paper, wood, bamboo, leather, fruit peel, plastic, cork, bamboo, opacity acrylic, and felt.
White, blue, and other light-colored or transparent materials need to be painted black to absorb the laser energy and be engraved.
LaserPecker provides a 30-day replacement for damaged parts and a one-year warranty for the laser engraver.
Comgrow Mini laser engraver is a desktop laser engraver. It uses a 1.6W laser module that generates a 445nm blue beam.
It can engrave on most soft materials like woodblock, colored paper, bamboo board, flannel, leather, PLA, alumina pet tag, and other materials with a flat surface.
It cannot engrave on metals without a paint coating, flame-retardant materials, transparent plastics, objects with a mirror finish, and other highly reflective objects.
The machine comes with laser safety glass, a locking plate, and a starter work materials kit.
It gives you an engraving area of 3.8" x 3.4" with an engraving resolution of 508 DPI.
The XY-axis laser module movement is lead screw driven, and it is supported by two linear rods.
Comgrow Mini laser engraver has a gyroscope, it automatically stops the engraving operation when the machine slants over a 30-degree angle.
The machine is controlled using the Mini Laser Engraving Machine software. It is compatible with Windows, iOS, and Android OS.
It supports image input from the library and camera. Also, the users can edit, type in font, and do many other creative designs all from the app.
The laser has a 10,000 hours lifespan, and it can last for 2-3 years depending on the usage. Comgrow sells the replacement module on Amazon and their website.
Comgrow provides a one-year warranty for the mini engraver and gives excellent after-sales service to their customers through Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, and their website.
1.6W laser module with lead-screw drives
Ideal for engraving pet tags and keychains
Best Cheap Laser Engravers Under $500
ATOMSTACK A5 Pro is an open-frame fixed-focus laser engraver.
It uses a diode laser with an optical power of 5.5W. It works at a wavelength of 445±5nm and has an engraving accuracy of 0.01mm.
The laser module has a 10,000 hours lifespan. It can last for 2-3 years, and you can get a replacement module directly from ATOMSTACK.
A5 Pro has a 23.6" x 22.5" footprint with an engraving area of 16.14" x 15.7".
It can work on wood, leather, cotton, rubber, paper, brass, stainless steel, cotton foam, and acrylic with such power. It is also one of the best wood laser engravers that you can find.
For example, basswood and other similar hardwoods can be engraved at a speed of ~118 ipm with an S-Max of 800.
With the rotary and Y-axis extension kit upgrade that ATOMSTACK has, you can bring much more flexibility to your work.
A5 PRO supports LaserGRBL and LightBurn software. The manual provided by ATOMSTACK with the machine has all the details of setting up the machine and software.
ATOMSTACK provides a one-year warranty for the A5 Pro laser engraver. You can contact them through the email available on their website.
You can also consider their Atomstack X7 laser engraver which provides a laser power of 5W.
A detailed review of Atomstack X7 can be found here- Atomstack X7 Laser Review or you can visit our YouTube channel to watch the review video of Atomstack X7.
Genmitsu Jinsoku LC-60A is a benchtop, open-frame fixed-focus laser engraving machine with an engraving area of 600mm x 600mm (23.6" x 23.6").
The machine is belt-driven across the XY axes. Y-axis is driven by two stepper motors, with the V-wheels giving a smooth machine movement.
This configuration gives Jinsoku LC-60A a maximum moving speed of 393.7 ipm.
The output power of the diode laser used is 5.5W with a wavelength of 450nm. The focus length of the laser is 20mm.
The laser module has a lifetime of anywhere between 1000 hours to 10,000 hours. You can get a replacement module by contacting Genmitsu's support staff.
It can engrave on leather, wood, acrylic, MDF, fabric, cardboard, anodized aluminum, painted metals, and more.
Jinsoku LC-60A supports LaserGRBL (WIN) and LightBurn (WIN / Mac OS / Linux) software which can import and use file formats like NC, BMP, JPG, PNG, DXF, etc.
The machine has a rotary roller, height extension leg, fume extractor, and offline controller upgrades available.
An air assist system is coms as part of the standard accessory with the machine at no extra cost.
Genmitsu provides a 30-day return policy with a standard one-year warranty for Jinsoku LC-60A laser engraver.
You can contact them directly through their website. The website also has many resources you can refer to.
Fast movement speed of 393 ipm.
Air assist system included with the kit.
OMTech K40 is a 40W CO2 desktop laser engraver and cutter.
K40 has an enclosed setup with a 12" x 8" work area and a footprint of 32" x 20". It can engrave and cut with a precision of 0.01".
The 40W CO2 laser module has an estimated lifetime of 1000 - 1300 hours. You can get replacements parts directly from OMtech's website.
It has a wavelength and frequency of 10640nm and 20 - 100kHz, respectively.
The machine is belt-driven across the XY axes and uses a sturdy wheel-on-rails configuration for smooth movements.
OMTech K40 can work on wood, acrylic, glass, anodized aluminum, plastic, fiber, ceramic, textile, leather, paper, melamine, rubber, and other non-metal materials.
With a depth of cut ranging between 0.008" and 0.12", it can engrave at a maximum speed of ~822 ipm.
K40 can engrave on 1/4" thick alder wood and wood laminates at ~65 ipm and cut it at a speed of ~10 ipm.
Its smoke outlet, water cooling system, ground wiring, and E-stop switch provide a safe working environment.
K40 laser engraver supports K40 Whisperer, LaserDRW, and Inkscape software.
OMTech provides a two-year parts warranty for the K40 laser machine and a six-month warranty for its laser tubes and power supplies.
They give good after-sales support. You can contact them through phone, email, and the contact form on their website.
A detailed article about these budget-friendly K40 laser cutters can be found here– K40 Laser Cutter: Complete Guide
Can cut through 1/4'' alder wood at a speed of 10 ipm.
Two-year parts warranty and six months warranty for the laser head.
befon PRO+ laser engraver is an open-frame fixed-focus laser engraver.
The machine is belt-driven on the XY axes and uses V-wheels to slide smoothly across the linear rails.
It uses a diode laser of 5W-6W with a compressed laser point of 0.16mm x 0.19mm. It operates at a wavelength of 445 ± 5nm.
The laser module has a 10,000 hours lifespan. It can last for anywhere between 2-3 years depending on your use, after that you can replace it.
befon PRO+ has a 16.14"x15.74" engraving area. It can engrave on wood, bamboo, paper, plastic, leather, ceramics, PCB board, aluminum oxide, non-reflective plating, and lacquered metal.
The laser is powerful enough to cut 0.2" thick wood and black acrylic at a low speed.
befon PRO+ supports LaserGRBL and LightBurn software. In addition, it allows you to import and use file formats like NC, BMP, JPG, PNG, DXF, etc.
They are not open about the warranty details of the product and do not have an official community forum.
The befon customers have productive interactions going on Amazon. You can also find answers to your questions and connect with other befon engraver users through Amazon.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I make money with a laser engraver?
Yes, you can make money with laser engravers by engraving and selling demanding projects. Lasers engravers can easily pay off their price by making and selling creative projects as they are great value-adders.
Is it safe to look at a laser beam from a laser engraver?
No, it is not safe to look at a laser beam from a laser engraver. Laser light can damage your eye if you are not using a laser safety glass. Most laser engravers use powerful lasers that can even engrave on metals. When working with lasers, wearing laser safety glasses is essential. Laser light can cause severe eye damage, including blindness and serious skin burns.
On what materials can I engrave with a laser?
With a laser engraver, you can engrave on materials like wood, stone, mirror, paper, food, leather, fabric, glass ceramics, cardboard, cork, foam, polyurethane, polystyrene, polyester, rubber, acrylic, polycarbonate, polyimide, aluminum, chromium, stainless steel, brass, copper, and many other painted metals. As the material density increases, you may need to use more powerful lasers for engraving.