The TS2 is a premium 10W diode laser engraver from TwoTrees.
With its relatively high price among diode lasers, it can make you wonder if it's worth the price.
We test that and a lot of other things in this hands-on review.
This article reviews the TwoTrees TS2 laser engraver in detail by testing it to see how it performs and compares it with other laser machines.
If you decide to buy the TwoTrees TS2, use our exclusive discount code "ML100" to get a $100 discount on your purchase.
Here are some quick pros and cons of the TS2 laser engraver.
|Frequent fire alarm trigger|
(can be fixed)
|Large work area|
|20W laser upgrade available|
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Testing TwoTrees TS2 10W Laser on Different Materials: Results
I tried cutting and engraving on a bunch of materials to check how the TwoTrees TS2 performs.
Detailed tests are given below. Here are the settings I used.
|Material||Job Type||Speed||Power||Passes||Air assist|
|10mm Pine||Cutting||100 mm/min||100%||1||40 psi|
|10mm Pine||Cutting||300 mm/min||100%||5||40 psi air|
|10mm Pine||Cutting||250 mm/min||100%||4||40 psi|
|3mm Ply||Cutting||600 mm/min||100%||1||30 psi|
|2mm Black Acrylic||Cutting||300 mm/min||100%||2||30 psi|
|Leather||Cutting||900 mm/min||100%||1||30 psi|
|Stainless Steel||Engraving||1,500 mm/min||100%||1||No|
|1mm Cardboard||Cutting||1,500 mm/min||100%||1||No|
Cutting 10mm Pine on TS2
I tried cutting 10 mm thick pine on the TS2, the first attempt was at 100% power, 100 mm/min speed, and 40 psi air assist.
The laser can cut through 10 mm thick pine in one pass if there are no hard grains. The piece I used had some hard grains on it so it took two passes.
If you go at 300 mm/min it will take around 4-5 passes with a 40 psi air assist to get a clean edge finish.
The ideal speed for me was around 250 mm/min and 4 passes with a 40 psi air assist to get clean edge and reliable cut.
Cutting 3mm Ply on TS2
I cut some 3mm ply on the TS2 at 600 mm/min, 100% power, and with a 30 psi air assist, and it took one pass.
The cut was clean, and the edges had very few burn marks. The kerf width was also at par with other lasers.
Cutting 2mm Black Acrylic on TS2
The TS2 was able to cut a 2mm sheet of black acrylic at 300 mm/min in 2 passes with a 30 psi air assist. The cut piece had a flame-polished edge, and the kerf width was also minimal.
Cutting and Engraving Leather on TS2
I engraved and cut some synthetic leather on the TS2. For engraving, I used 100% power at 6,000 mm/min speed and had a low-pressure air assist.
Once the design was engraved, I cut out the patch using 100% power at 900 mm/min speed.
Usually, you don't use an air assist for engraving, but when engraving synthetic leather, the fumes produced can damage the lens and the module.
A low-pressure air assist helps keep the fume away from the module and lens.
The result I got was pretty good. Even though the lettering was small, the engraving turned out well-detailed.
Engraving Stainless Steel on TS2
I engraved a stainless steel dog tag, and the results were good. I used 1,500 mm/min speed at 100% power, and the engraving had good contrast.
Furthermore, the engraving looks sharp and dark.
Engraving Wooden Coaster on TS2
I engraved a raster image onto a wooden coaster at 9,000 mm/min and 90% power. The engraving I got had a bit of depth, and since the wood I used was dry, I didn't get a dark engraving.
Engraving Metal Business Card on TS2
I used 5,000 mm/min speed and 100% power to engrave on a painted aluminum business card.
The laser removes the paint coat to reveal the metal underneath. After wiping it off with a clean cloth, the engraving had a good and shiny finish.
Engraving Wooden Key Chain on TS2
I did a vector line engraving on a wooden keychain blank. I ran the laser at 6,000 mm/min at 65% power.
The lines came out sharp and had good visibility.
Cutting 1mm Thick Cardboard on TS2
The TwoTrees TS2 cut 1mm thick cardboard at 1,500 mm/min speed and 100 % power.
I used the TS2 to cut a design on cardboard and formed a tube with it to make a candle shade that throws patterns onto walls.
TwoTrees TS2 Review (10W) - Worth the high price?
Here are some quick specs of the TS2.
|Parameter||TwoTrees TS2 Laser|
|Work Area||17.7" x 17.7"|
|Footprint||28.85" x 28.3"|
|Laser Output Power||10W|
|Laser Spot Size||0.08 x 0.08 mm|
|Compatible Materials||wood, acrylic, paper, plastic, stainless steel, etc.|
|Linear Drive||Belt drives (X, Y); Lead screw drive (Z)|
|Stepper Motor||NEMA 17|
|Transmission Support||Linear rails and rollers (X, Y); Two aluminum rods (Z)|
|Maximum Speed||10,000 mm/min|
|Connectivity||USB, WiFi, TF card|
|Memory Card||Yes Provided|
|Software||LightBurn, LaserGRBL, App|
|Accessories||Safety glass, some testing materials, tools, drag chains, etc.|
|Assembly||~ 45 minutes|
|Color Options||No options (Red-Black-Silver design)|
|Upgrades||20W laser module|
Air assist kit
Enclosure with smoke extractor
TwoTrees (Save $100 using the code "ML100")
Size and Build of TS2 - Unique Design?
The design and large work area of TwoTrees TS2 give it a unique spot among laser engravers.
It has a working area of 17.7" x 17.7" (450 x 450 mm) with a footprint of 28.85" x 28.3" x 6.7" (733 x 721 x 172 mm).
You can easily place it on a standard 48" x 36" workbench. But a 60" x 50" workbench will give you extra space to place the air assist pump, enclosure, etc.
Apart from the large work area, the TwoTrees TS2 also has more clearance on the Z-axis when compared to other similar diode lasers.
If you have seen the Ortur Laser Master 3 you'll know how a low-profile laser with a sleek design looks. Well, the TS2 is the opposite of it and it's because of the large work area it provides.
An interesting aspect of its design is the acrylic window on the front side of the machine. If you have kids around this is a good thing to have, it blocks out the laser beam from the head.
So if your little one decides to take a peek over the table, the window will keep them safe from the laser.
The frames of the machine have scale marks. It helps take rough measurements of the workpiece, allowing you to resize the design on the laser software properly.
Comgrow COMGO Z1, ATOMSTACK S10 Pro, and SCULPFUN S10 are other popular diode laser machines having a scale mark on the frame.
The autofocus capability, drag chain, and laser safety options are some additional features that make TwoTrees TS2 stand out from other diode laser machines.
Laser Module of TS2 - What's new?
TwoTrees TS2 features a 10W diode laser operating at a wavelength of 445±5nm.
Inside the laser module, the laser beam from two different 5W diode lasers is combined to provide a 10W laser output. It can achieve a sintering temperature of 2192°F (1,200°C).
The laser beam, when focussed correctly, will have a spot size of 0.08 x 0.08 mm, providing high power concentration.
Its laser module has a cooling fan integrated into it, allowing for long operations.
TS2 also features an auto-focusing mechanism. It's quite unique compared to other laser machines.
It uses an integrated mechanical touch probe to detect the workpiece height and adjust the laser module automatically.
This autofocus feature comes in handy if you use LightBurn software and want to cut materials.
TwoTrees provides videos on how to set up macros in LightBurn for using the autofocus feature.
When cutting thick materials you can use the autofocus feature to set the focus at the middle of the workpiece accurately rather than setting it manually.
The autofocus feature really sets the TwoTress TS2 laser apart from other diode lasers.
Material Capability of TS2 - What Can it Cut?
The 10W laser onboard TS2 is powerful enough to engrave on wood, acrylic, paper, plastic, stainless steel, etc.
It can also cut soft materials like wood, having an average thickness of about 5 mm, but it's not the best at cutting jobs. It's best suited for engraving.
When cutting, you'll have to run the machine at slow speeds, and it may take multiple passes to complete a cut.
If you plan to cut smoke-producing materials like wood, leather, acrylic, etc., then you'll have to use an air assist and honeycomb work table.
TwoTrees TS2 has an air assist (pipes, nozzle, and regulator) integrated into the machine. But you'll have to supply it with an air pump to make it operational.
Working with materials like paper and wood frequently triggers the fire alarm, causing the machine to stop.
You can eliminate this issue by using an air assist. It will prevent flare-ups when cutting. However, an air assist is not recommended for engraving, so if there are flare-ups while engraving you'll have to lower the power.
If the issue still exists, you'll have to open up the sensor housing on the laser module to manually reduce its sensitivity, or you can use a piece of masking tape over the sensor as I do sometimes.
Also, don't reduce the cutting speed to cut through thicker materials. Try cutting them at a higher speed with more passes.
This reduces heat buildup in the material and prevents it from burning and triggering the fire alarm.
If your jobs are more towards cutting materials, consider the 20W laser upgrade for TwoTrees TS2.
Transmission/Linear Drive of TS2
The X, Y, and Z axes of the TwoTrees TS2 laser engraver are driven by separate stepper motors.
Unlike most other diode laser engravers, the Z-axis of TS2 is motorized to provide auto-focus capability.
Along the Z-axis, it uses a lead screw drive. You can also use the valve-like knob on top of the Z-axis motor to manually turn the lead screw drive to adjust the laser focus.
The X and Y axes are driven using belt drives. It delivers the machine an engraving accuracy of 0.01mm.
Most diode lasers use an adjustable pulley for tightening the belt. Adjusting the pulleys changes the length of the Y-axis, which tightens the belt.
TwoTrees uses a different method to adjust the tension on the Y-axis belts.
TS2 has a tensioning mechanism that pulls on the belt, which shortens the effective length of the belt to tighten it.
On the X-axis, the TS2 has a knob to adjust the pulley for tensioning the belt.
TwoTrees TS2 can achieve a maximum transmission speed of 10,000 mm/min along the X and Y axes.
Controller and Electronics of TS2
The X and Y axes of the TwoTrees TS2 laser are powered by NEMA 17 stepper motors, the standard motor used on most laser engravers.
The Z-axis needs to be moved only while focusing and does not need a large motor hence a smaller stepper motor is used for the Z-axis.
The motor on the Y-axis is connected to the two belt drives on either side of the machine using a timing shaft, which keeps both ends of the X-axis gantry in sync when moving and prevents racking.
TwoTrees TS2 features limit switches on the X and Y axes, allowing you to automatically home the machine.
The limit switches allow the machine to keep track of its workable area, preventing the gantry from slamming into the frame during the operation and causing jitters.
TwoTrees TS2 has a drag chain along the X and Y axes for simplified wire management. All wires, including the air assist tube, run through these drag chains.
This feature is very rare on diode laser machines, and the only other machine I can recall having a drag chain is Ortur Laser Master 2. That, too, is only available as an upgrade.
The inclusion of a drag chain certainly gives the machine a neat look while making sure that all the cables stay out of the work area without interfering with the machine's operation.
I have had my share of hiccups due to the cables getting in the way of the job when working with other diode lasers.
In general, only CO2 laser machines and CNC routers have such a feature.
TwoTrees equipped the TS2 laser engraver with a 32-bit motherboard having an ESP32-DOWD-V3 chip at its core.
It supports offline control, allowing you to run engravings without a PC. I recommend you use the Genmitsu GRBL offline controller for this machine.
The controller is housed inside an electric enclosure fixed to the front frame of the machine, providing easy accessibility.
Connectivity of TS2
TwoTrees TS2 features WiFi, TF card, and USB connectivity options. You'll have to use a smartphone, tablet, or computer with the required software programs to connect with the machine.
Software Compatibility of TS2
TwoTrees TS2 works with LightBurn and LaserGRBL software programs.
LightBurn is a paid software that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.
LaserGRBL is free software for Windows OS, but it can also be worked on Mac OS using emulators.
I recommend you use LightBurn software as it's compatible with CAD, CAM, and control. Hence you can perform all tasks from a single software.
TwoTrees also has a smartphone app available for Android and IOS devices.
Laser Safety Features of TS2 - Safe Enough?
In terms of safety, TS2 has multiple features that cater to your safety.
The laser module itself is blocked around all four sides using an acrylic shield that blocks the laser beam.
Also, a large acrylic shield is fixed to the front frame to block any stray beams or reflections from the workpiece. Still, it can only block beams at an eye level of a child.
You and anyone near the laser must wear proper safety goggles when working with laser machines, as the laser beam is harmful to your eyes.
Luckily with TS2, TwoTrees provides a pair of standard laser safety goggles.
If you want a professional laser safety glass that blocks the 455nm laser beam of TS2, I recommend you use FreeMascot Professional.
In addition, like any other laser engraver, TwoTrees TS2 also is equipped with a gyroscope.
It turns off the laser when the laser module tilts at an angle of more than 15 degrees, preventing the laser from shooting off in random directions.
TwoTrees TS2 also has a flame-detecting sensor near the laser nozzle that detects and alerts for accidental fires.
It also has a smart auto-power-off feature that automatically turns off the laser after a period of inactivity.
Also, the machine's electric enclosure has an E-stop switch to shut off the laser quickly in emergencies.
Interestingly, the emergency stop switch is the only switch on the laser to control its power on and off. TwoTrees could have included a regular switch for turning the laser on and off during regular operation.
Assembly of TS2 - Easy to build?
TwoTrees TS2 laser comes as a DIY kit with parts in three separate boxes. The parts are packed using polyethylene foams, preventing damage during transit.
Inside the boxes, you'll find the machine parts as modules, and you have to assemble them.
The assembly manual is not very well detailed but there are several videos on YouTube to help you out.
The assembly in itself is not difficult and you can put together the machine in about 45 minutes.
Accessories Provided with TS2
Along with the laser machine, TwoTrees also provides a safety glass, some testing materials, tools, drag chains, etc.
TwoTrees offers the following upgrade options for the TS2 laser engraver.
- 20W laser module
- Air assist kit
- Honeycomb worktable
- Enclosure with smoke extractor
- Rotary attachment
From their website, you can get the TwoTrees TS2 machine together with the required upgrades.
The 20W diode laser modules are new to the market, and only a few manufacturers produce them. xTool D1 Pro is very popular for its 20W module.
If you want to cut materials or run the machine for a long time, consider getting the air assist, honeycomb worktable, and enclosure.
For the TS2 laser engraver, TwoTrees provides a 1-year warranty. For support, you can reach them through email, phone, WhatsApp, or through the online form on their website.
They also have an active Facebook group.
Final Thoughts - How it compares to other lasers?
TwoTrees TS2 is comparable to high-end 10W diode laser machines like xTool D1, Ortur Laser Master 3, and SCULPFUN S10.
They all have a similar price range of $600 - $750. The prices will vary based on the sale offers, delivery location, etc.
But compared to the other machines, TwoTrees TS2 provides additional features like a larger work area, integrated drag chain, and auto-focus capability.
With the TS2 you can work on projects as large as 17.7" x 17.7".
On most other lasers, you'll have to split large designs into two to do big projects like signboards, wall decors, full-length skateboards, etc.
Overall TwoTrees TS2 is a very good laser engraver that will give you everything you expect from a diode laser engraver.
When buying TS2 from the TwoTrees website, use the code "ML100" to get an extra $100 discount over the sale price.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which cost more? A CO2 or diode laser?
Comparatively, a CO2 laser costs more than a diode laser because of its complex optics and laser source setup. Generally, a hobby CO2 laser will cost between $500 - $4,000, while a hobby diode laser will cost between $200 - $1,500.
What are some of the best hobby laser engravers?
Some of the best hobby laser engravers include xTool D1 Pro, Ortur Laser Master, Flux Beamo, Atomstack A5 Pro, Comgrow COMGO Z1, Glowforge, etc.
What type of table is best for a laser engraver?
Generally, a honeycomb work table is the best option for a laser engraver. Other tables include ferromagnetic, vacuum, acrylic slat, aluminum slat, and cutting grid tables.
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