How Much Does a Laser Engraver/Cutter Cost?

How Much Does a Laser Engraver/Cutter Cost?

How Much Does a Laser Engraver/Cutter Cost?

The price of a laser cutter or engraver depends upon the precision, speed, and features you need from the machine.

Laser cutters and engravers can be classified broadly based on laser type (diode, CO2, fiber), level/stage (entry-level, hobby, industrial, robot-assisted, etc), and operation (engraving, marking, cutting).

These are available in a wide range of prices, from affordable entry-level laser engravers to industrial 6-axis robot-assisted laser machines.

While entry-level machines can be as cheap as $150, industrial laser machines can cost more than a million dollars.

In this article, I discuss the prices of different types of laser cutters/engravers and the factors that affect their price.

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Category-wise Price of Laser Cutters and Engravers

Laser Cutter/Engraver MachinesBrandsPower
(Watt)
Price
(USD)
Entry-level diode laser engraversComgrow, Ortur, NEJE1W - 5W$150 - $500
Entry-level diode laser cuttersAtomStack, Makeblock, befon5W - 10W$350 - $900
Hobby diode laser machinesXTool, Endurance, Snapmaker5W - 20W$400 - $2k
Entry-level CO2 laser machinesBoss Laser, FLUX, Glowforge 50W$400 - $5.5k
Hobby CO2 lasersOMTech, MCWlaser, LightObject40W - 100W$2.7k - $10k
Industrial CO2 lasersTrotec, Coherent, Boss Laser60W - 8kW$9k - $60k
Fiber laser marking machinesTriumph, FSL, OMTech20W - 50W$4k - $11k
Fiber metal cutting machinesLaguna, Amada, Blue Elephant0.8kW - 36kW$50k - $300k
Large-format laser cutting machinesEagle, Trotec, Triumph30W - 500W$15k - $150k
Robot-assisted laser cuttersLaser Photonics, TCI Cutting, Golden LaserAny power$45k - $500k

An overview of different types of laser machines, brands, power, and their price range.

Entry-level Diode Laser Engravers ($150 - $500)

NEJE Master 2S Plus
NEJE Master 2S Plus (Source: NEJE)

Diode lasers are the best option for anyone getting into laser engraving.

Their low power and cheap price are ideal for beginners who want to explore laser engraving on a budget.

Certain CNC routers, such as Comgrow ROBO, provide an optional laser and rotary axis upgrade, making them ideal machines for hobbyists wanting to own a CNC router and a laser.

These entry-level machines generally have a laser output power of 1.6W, 2.5W, or 5W.

Such lasers can engrave on plastic, wood, painted tile, leather, black anodized aluminum, and other painted metals. They are also capable of cutting on softer materials like paper and cardboard.

Some brands that manufacture good entry-level diode laser engravers are NEJE, Laser Pecker, Ortur, Comgrow, and Zeus Lasers.

Entry-level diode laser engravers can cost anywhere between $150 - $500.

Entry-level Diode Laser Cutters ($350 - $900)

Befon laser engraver
Befon laser engraver

Diode laser cutters have a higher output power than the above-discussed diode laser engravers.

Such lasers generally operate at an optical power ranging between 5W - 10W and can cost anywhere from $350 to $900.

They can cut dark acrylics, leather, wooden boards, thin fabrics, foam, and other soft materials.

Some active brands making entry-level diode laser cutters are AtomStack, Makeblock, befon, and Comgrow.

Hobby Diode Laser Machines ($450 - $2k)

Atomstack X7 Pro (Source: Atomstack)
Atomstack X7 Pro (Source: Atomstack)

Hobby diode laser machines can be 2-axis or 3-axis laser machines. In 3-axis machines, you will get the auto-focus feature that automatically moves the laser module along the Z-axis.

These hobby machines mostly have an air assist system and an exhaust pump attached to them.

They generally operate at an optical power range of 5W - 20W and can cost between $450 to $2k.

Some good-quality hobby diode lasers are Atomstack X7, Snapmaker 2.0, Endurance Lasers, etc.

Such laser machines can engrave and cut a wide range of materials like paper, wood, bamboo, leather, fruit peel, plastic, cork, bamboo, opacity acrylic, felt, black anodized aluminum, and other painted metals.

However, these machines require multiple passes to cut thick and dense materials.

Entry-level CO2 Laser Machines ($400 - $5.5k)

Flux beamo
Flux beamo (Source: flux3dp)

Entry-level CO2 laser machines are generally low-powered CO2 lasers with a small work area of less than 20" x 14".

Laser machines up to 50W can be considered entry-level CO2 machines. For safety reasons, they mostly have an enclosed setup.

These machines can work on wood, acrylic, cardboard, fabric, rubber, anodized metals, glass, cement, stones, etc.

Some active manufacturers in entry-level CO2 machines are Boss Laser, OMTechFLUXFSL, and Glowforge.

They generally cost anywhere between $400 - $5,500. Depending on build quality and added features, some machines can even cross this price range.

For example, an entry-level CO2 laser from Boss Laser can cost up to $7,600.

Hobby CO2 lasers ($2.7k - $10k)

Glowforge Plus
Glowforge Plus

Hobby CO2 lasers operate at a power range of 40W - 100W, a buffer between entry-level and industrial CO2 lasers.

These machines can work (cut or engrave) on wood, rubber, plastic, glass, leather, ceramics, tile, fabric, fiberglass, cork, acrylic, veneer, matte board, coated metals, anodized aluminum, and other non-metal materials.

Some popular brands for hobby CO2 lasers are OMTech, Vevor, MCWlaser, and LightObject. These machines can cost anywhere between $2.7k - $10k.

Industrial CO2 lasers ($9k - $60k)

Trotec Sp3000 machine and a leaf design cut using it
Trotec Sp3000 machine and a leaf design cut using it (Source: Trotec Materials)

Industrial CO2 laser machines are made to work in 24x7 production environments. They can work effortlessly on most metal and non-metal materials.

Generally, their power can range anywhere between 60W - 8kW, depending on the type and thickness of material to be cut.

Their high laser power allows them to be used for performing deep laser engravings, ideal for producing 3D engraving.

These laser machines offer various added features like a large work area, autofocus, dedicated exhaust system, air assist, advanced transmission system, dedicated technical support from manufacturers, and more.

Boss Laser makes hybrid machines like LSR-HYBRID. It uses a CO2 laser and spindle to perform different operations on almost any material.

Some active manufacturers of industrial-grade CO2 lasers are Trotec Laser, Boss Laser, Coherent, and Epilog Laser.

These machines are priced anywhere between $9k - $60k depending on their features.

Fiber Laser Marking/Engraving Machines ($4k - $11k)

OMTech FM1212-50S fiber laser
OMTech FM1212-50S fiber laser

Fiber lasers are generally considered safer than CO2 lasers. They are widely used for laser marking and engraving applications.

With the addition of a galvo head, they can engrave at a very high speed. Galvo heads are widely used in portable laser engravers for moving the laser beam without an XY axis movement.

These marking or engraving machines generally have a limited work-bed size with a laser power ranging from 20W to 50W.

The best fiber laser engraver manufacturers are Triumph, OMTech, FSL, Boss Laser, and MCWlaser.

Fiber laser marking/engraving machines generally have a price ranging from $4k to $11k.

Fiber Metal Cutting Machines ($70k - $300k)

Laguna fiber laser cutter
Laguna fiber laser cutter (Source: LagunaTools)

Fiber lasers operate at a shorter wavelength ranging between 780 nm - 2200 nm, giving a much higher absorption rate.

Materials like metals that usually reflect laser beams will absorb fiber laser energy at a much higher rate than CO2 lasers. It makes fiber lasers the best option to process metals like aluminum, steel, brass, etc.

These machines are mainly accessible to large industries as they are priced high. They are generally priced between $70k - $300k.

The laser power of these machines can range from 1kW to 36kW.

Some laser manufacturers that make fiber metal cutting machines are Senfeng, LagunaTools, Amada, Piranha, Blue Elephant, etc.

Large-Format Laser Cutting Machines ($15k - $150k)

Eagle large format laser cutting machines
Eagle large format laser cutting machines (Source: Eagle Advanced Automation)

Large-format laser cutting machines can be either CO2 or fiber-based. These machines generally have a large work area and are best suited for industrial settings.

Such machines generally have a flexible power output. Most pre-built machines have a power output ranging anywhere between 30W - 500W and can be priced around $15k - $150k.

Some popular brands with their range of large-format laser cutting machines are Eagle, Trotec, Triumph, HGTECH, Golden Laser, Hans Laser, etc.

These machines are generally used for processing large workpieces of wood, plastics, fabrics, leather, bamboo, rubber, cardboard, paper, acrylic, coated metals, etc.

Since large format laser cutting machines are mainly ordered via B2B deals, they are customized and bought as per specific industrial needs.

Robot-Assisted Laser Cutters ($45k - $500k)

Robot-assisted laser cutting
Robot-assisted laser cutting (Source: TCI Cutting)

Robot-assisted laser cutters generally have a robotic arm that assists in complex operations. This setup is primarily used in 5-axis and 6-axis industrial laser cutters.

These assist robots help hold the workpiece, clean the lens, and eliminate the need for human assistance for the machine's continuous operations.

Such robotized machines let you process complex cuts as they can hold the workpiece at any angle.

These are the most expensive laser cutters out there, and depending on the features like build, axis support, level of automation, etc., these machines can cost around $45k - $500k or even higher.

Popular robot-assisted laser cutter manufacturers are TCI Cutting, Style CNC, Golden Laser, Laser Photonics, etc.

Other Costs (or Hidden costs) of Laser Cutters or Engravers

The cost of additional components you need to operate a laser cutter can be considered hidden costs.

These can be hardware (like spare lenses, fume extractors, etc) or software (CAD, CAM, control) components.

Periodic maintenance, inspection equipment, computer setup, repair, upgrades, etc can also be considered as hidden costs.

Add-on fees like tax, customs, courier service, etc., that get charged on your purchase will depend on which part of the world you live in. These fees also add to the price of the machine.

So make sure to consider these hidden charges when preparing the budget for purchasing your next laser cutter or engraver.

Cost of Used Laser Cutters or Engravers

When I say "used laser cutters or engravers", I mean professional or industrial-level laser machines that cost more than ten grand ($10K).

Sometimes fraudsters can put you in a loop by delivering faulty used machines. Be extra vigilant when making such a purchase, as in most cases, you will not even be getting a money-back guarantee.

Do proper inspections on such machines, and make sure everything is working. Also, check its alarm history and maintenance logs to get an overview of the machine's past.

The operating hours of a laser can have an impact on the lifetime of the machine. It is always better to buy a sparsely used laser machine than a worn-out laser.

Such second-hand laser cutters are sold on websites like SurplexRevelation MachinerySurplus RecordMachine Seeker, etc.

Factors Affecting the Price of a Laser Cutter or Engraver

Laser Type

The most commonly used laser types in laser engravers and cutters are diodes (810 and 940 nm), CO2 (9300 nm and 10,600 nm), and fiber lasers (780 nm - 2200 nm).

Fiber lasers are the most costly option among these.

Though it is priced high, it has reduced power usage, a longer lifetime of about ~100,000 hours, eliminates complex optics, and lets you work on metals like aluminum, steel, brass, etc.

Laser Type
(Source)
Lifetime
(Hours)
Estimated Price Range
(USD)
Diode10,000 - 50,000$50 - $3k
CO21,000 – 10,000$2k - $60k
Fiber~100,000$4k - $300k

The estimated price range chart of diode, CO2, and fiber lasers

Laser Power

Laser power is one of the significant factors that influence the price of a laser cutter or engraver.

As the laser output power increases, the machine's cost also increases. With laser machines having a higher power/wattage, you can cut thicker and denser materials.

CO2 Laser Tube Powers
(Wattage)
Estimated Price Range
(USD)
30W - 90W$200 - $900
100W - 120W$500 - $2.2k
150W - 250W$900 - $10k
260W - 500W$1k - $15k

Different CO2 laser tube powers and their price range

Continous-wave and Pulsed Lasers

Continous-wave (left) and pulsed laser (right) power comparison (Source: Newport)
Continous-wave (left) and pulsed laser (right) power comparison (Source: Newport)

Continuous/constant-wave (CW) lasers operate by continuously supplying laser beams onto the surface of work material. Their laser output power is generally low because of their continuous operation.

Pulsed lasers do not function as a CW. Instead, they produce short bursts of high-energy laser output at a very high frequency.

The technology behind pulsed lasers, which allows them to pulse at an equal interval of time, makes them costlier than CW lasers.

Optics Used in the Laser Cutter/Engraver

A set of highly reflective copper mirrors used in laser cutters and engravers
A set of highly reflective copper mirrors used in laser cutters and engravers

The optical components (lenses and mirrors) in a laser cutter or engraver helps refract, reflect, and guide the laser beam to the work surface.

High-quality optics are generally priced higher. It can withstand powerful laser beams and also delivers extended service life.

Costly optics also comes with added coatings to minimize the cleaning routine and maximize the operational duration.

Number of Axes

5-axis laser machining (Source: electro-discharge)
5-axis laser machining (Source: electro-discharge)

Laser cutters and engravers are available in 2-axis, 3-axis, 4-axis, 5-axis, and 6-axis.

As the number of axes increases, the ability to perform complex operations also increases, thereby increasing the machine's price.

Even on 2-axis laser machines, you can convert an axis (X or Y) into a rotary axis (A-axis) with an optional rotary upgrade. It also adds to the machine's cost.

There are two operational axes in two-axis laser cutters and engravers ( X and Y-axis). It is the most used and affordable option for laser cutters and engravers.

With the addition of a Z-axis, you will get a three-axis laser cutter with an auto-focus feature as it can independently move the laser module up and down along the Z-axis.

4-axis5-axis, and 6-axis machines are costly and are only used for industrial-level laser cutting and engraving applications.

Transmission System

A5-Pro Linear motion
Linear motion in A5 Pro (Source: AtomStack)

The transmission systems like belt drive, ball screw drive, gear-rack, etc., are used in laser machines to move the laser module along the axes.

These driving mechanisms, along with the rigidity of the machine frame, stepper motors, and the controller, determine the positional accuracy of the machine.

The belt drive provides a faster speed with minimal noise and does not need lubrication, so it is easy to maintain and the cheapest option.

Its major downfall is its minimal driving force, rigidity, and susceptibility to wear and tear.

All these driving mechanisms have their place in laser machines. You can choose them depending on the application, load, accuracy/repeatability, affordability, and flexibility.

Controller and Electronics

Online and offline controllers from BuildYouCNC DIY Kit
Online and offline controllers from BuildYouCNC DIY Kit (Source: BuildYouCNC)

The controller and electronics are the brain and heart of a laser cutter or engraver. They are essential for the operation of a laser machine.

Controllers with additional features like extra axis support, offline control, WiFi/Bluetooth, air assist, coolant, and exhaust controls generally cost more.

Size and Build

Comgrow ROBO Size
Comgrow ROBO Size

Depending on the workpiece sizes you need to process, you can choose a laser cutter or engraver with the required work area.

As the work area gets larger, the laser machine's cost increases. It is due to the advanced drive systems, controls, and rigid frame/build required.

Brand

Trotec speedy 100
Trotec speedy 100

Brands are a good identifier for finding good-quality laser cutters or engravers. Manufacturers maintain a constant quality in their build.

Some brands provide good-quality builds with extreme safety precautions. It requires high-end sensors, circuits, frames, enclosures, key locks, and more for safe operation.

Brands maintaining such a build quality will be costly. On the other side, some brands provide cheap laser cutters or engravers, compromising on their built quality and other features for providing an affordable laser machine.

After-Sales Service

The services like technical support, replacement period, warranty, and upgrades that different manufacturers give will influence the price of their machines.

Cheap laser cutters or engravers may come with or without a valid warranty. Even if you get a warranty for such a machine, there can be many roadblocks when it comes to contacting the manufacturer and sorting things out.

When you purchase from a brand that provides good after-sales services, you can enjoy hassle-free operation with on-time customer support.

Final Thoughts

The price of a laser cutter is directly affected by various factors such as power, speed, material capability, safety, run time, laser source, etc.

You can choose your machine by comparing it against the size, complexity, speed, and versatility requirements you need for your application.

Generally, a laser cutter with advanced features and larger work area will cost significantly more than its counterpart.

Therefore, identify your requirements and limit your search to features and size fit for your application.

Most manufacturers let you request a quotation, allowing you to place custom orders and bid as per your requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the price range of fiber laser cutters?

The price range of fiber laser cutters can be anywhere between $10k - $300k depending on the choice of features like laser power, pulse/continuous wave, pulse duration, level of automation, repetition rate, single-mode or multimode, focal diameter, etc.

What is the price range of CO2 laser cutters?

The price range of CO2 laser cutters can be anywhere between $4k - $200k depending on the laser power, machine build, work area, load, number of axes supported, level of automation, material capability, etc.

What are the additional costs that I can incur while purchasing a laser cutter or engraver?

Some of the additional costs you may incur while purchasing a laser cutter or engraver are tax, customs duties, courier service fee, additional hardware, software, maintenance, etc.

About John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNCs and Power Tools at Mellowpine. I'm a CNC hobbyist who has been making CNCs and writing about CNCs for a while. I currently also work as a consultant for business owners and hobbyists setting up their own CNCs. If you have any questions related to CNC, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at john@mellowpine.com

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John

Hey I'm John. I talk about CNCs and Power Tools at Mellowpine. I'm a CNC hobbyist who has been making CNCs and writing about CNCs for a while. I currently also work as a consultant for business owners and hobbyists setting up their own CNCs. If you have any questions related to CNC, I'd be happy to answer them. Reach me at john@mellowpine.com

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