Want to laser engrave metals but not sure which laser engraver to choose?
Laser engraving metal can be achieved by using diode lasers or fiber lasers. A CO2 laser can only be used to engrave coated metals such as anodized aluminum, painted metal, etc.
Depending on the budget and material capability, there are various metal laser engravers available on the market.
In this article, I've listed some of the best metal laser engravers for users belonging to all segments, right from DIY beginners to professional industrial users.
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Best Metal Laser Engravers
I've reviewed various laser engravers by evaluating their features right from their build quality to after-sales service and compiled a list of the five best metal laser engravers.
1. Ortur Laser Master 3 - Best Diode Laser Engraver For Metal
Ortur Laser Master 3 (OLM3) is the latest machine from the Ortur Laser Master Series.
It is a budget-friendly laser engraving machine with a modern design, ideal for beginners and hobbyists who want to explore the domain of metal laser engraving.
Footprint and Work Area
OLM3 has a footprint of around 23.1" x 25.9" x 5.9", and weighs around 14.33 lbs.
It provides a relatively large work area of around 15.75" x 15.75", suitable for working on large sheet-metal workpieces.
The chassis is made of aluminum profiles that offer rigidity, thereby ensuring stable engraving operations with no or minimal vibrations.
OLM3 is equipped with a 10W diode laser module with a tight spot size of 0.05 x 0.1 mm, allowing for high-resolution engravings.
The tight focal spot ensures high energy density, thereby facilitating it to engrave with better details.
Furthermore, it provides additional safety features that turn off the laser module automatically by detecting frame position deviation, signal transmission failure, and no movement.
OLM3 uses belt drives, powered by NEMA 17 stepper motors, to position the laser head along the X and Y axes.
It can achieve a maximum speed of 20,000 mm/min, allowing for high-speed engraving jobs.
Along the Z-axis, Ortur Laser Master 3 is not motorized and you'll have to adjust its focus manually.
OLM3 can be used to engrave plated, painted, and powder-coated metal, anodized aluminum, and stainless steel.
However, the quality of engraving can vary depending upon the finishing of the coated material (paint, powder-coat, and plating).
Furthermore, it cannot be used to engrave shiny and reflective metal surfaces like gold, silver, brass, etc., and is therefore recommended to apply paint or masking tape on their surface before engraving.
Want to see how it performed? Check the following video.
OLM3 Pro is compatible with LightBurn, LaserGRBL, and Laser Explorer software. They support files like JPG, JPEG, PNG, BMP, SVG, etc.
Laser Explorer is a basic application you can use on mobile or tablets. It is available for Android and IOS platforms.
LaserGRBL has a clutter-free UI that shows essential engraving parameters like the real-time position of the laser module and estimated job finishing time.
Although LaserGRBL is free software, it is compatible with the Windows platform only.
On the other hand, Lightburn is a paid software that provides a better user experience and is compatible with Windows, Mac, or Linux OS platforms.
It features a beginner mode that removes the advanced functions and creates a simple UI for beginners to make their first cut.
Ortur offers a Z-axis height adjuster upgrade for OLM3 laser engravers. It has a lead screw drive mechanism with a knob on top to adjust the focal length of the laser beams.
Its frame is made of aluminum, making it robust and reliable for any engraving application.
However, the aluminum construction makes it heavy, and therefore cannot be used for high-speed engraving applications.
Ortur also offers a rotary roller accessory that provides a rotational axis for engraving cylindrical metal workpieces like pens, flasks, etc.
It is an optional accessory that can be included in your kit at the time of purchase.
The rotary roller is installed in place of the Y-motor by removing the Y-motor cable and connecting it to the rotary roller.
It has an aluminum construction and uses a belt drive mechanism for rotary motion.
The rotary roller has different gear positions that let you adjust the width of the rollers according to the diameter of the workpiece.
Ortur also offers an optional enclosure for the OLM3 laser engraver. It'll be a great addition to keep the fumes away.
OLM3 comes in parts and you have to put them together.
With the help of a detailed assembly manual provided by Ortur, it takes around 45 minutes to completely assemble the engraver.
Ortur provides a 30-day return policy and a 1-year warranty period on Ortur Laser Master 3.
You can contact their technical support team via phone or email.
Although Ortur does not have an official online community forum, it is a popular laser engraving machine with a large user base and you can find community discussions on other portals like Reddit.
Additionally, they have an official Facebook page where active users discuss their issues and provide troubleshooting guidance.
For a detailed review of Ortur Laser Master 3, check Ortur Laser Master 3 Review and Tests .
When buying Laser Maser 3 from Ortur's website, use the code 80FORJAS to save an extra $80 over the sale price.
Atomstack X7 Pro is yet another budget-friendly diode laser engraver that can be used for engraving metals.
It offers a more powerful laser module than OLM-2 Pro making it ideal for applications where a comparatively faster engraving speed is desirable.
Footprint and Work Area
Atomstack X7 Pro has a footprint of around 22.44 x 23.62 x 10.63 that provides an engraving area of 16.14" x 15.75", which can be further increased to 16.14" x 33.46" with an optional extension kit accessory.
Its anodized aluminum structure provides rigidity and improves the positional accuracy of the engraver.
The X7 Pro houses a 10W diode laser module with a fixed focus configuration that operates at a wavelength of 455±5 nm.
It combines two separate 5W lasers into one, producing a powerful laser beam with a double compression spot size of around 0.002" x 0.002" for fine engraving.
The tight spot size provides engraving accuracy of around 0.003 inches and a high energy concentration that facilitates faster engraving speed.
A height adjustment knob, provided on the laser module, is used to adjust the focal length of the laser to ensure high-quality engravings.
The X7 Pro houses a gyroscopic safety sensor that detects any abnormal displacement of the laser engraver and turns off the laser module automatically.
Atomstack X7 Pro consists of a synchronous belt drive system to position the laser module along X and Y axes.
However, it can be upgraded with a 6mm GT2 belt that provides an anti-slip tooth surface for stable transmission and accurate positioning.
It consists of a single stepper motor for Y-axis, and a hollow metal shaft transfers rotary motion to the other Y-rail.
Z-axis does not have any linear motion component, but you can manually move the laser module up/down using its adjustment knob.
The high-powered diode laser of Atomstack A7 Pro can be used for engraving on coated metal surfaces, aluminum oxide, brass, stainless steel, etc.
Its tight spot size and fast engraving speed make it ideal for engraving signatures, logos, barcodes, and serial numbers on various metal surfaces.
Atomstack X7 Pro supports LaserGRBL and Lightburn software.
LaserGRBL is free, open-source software, that provides basic features with an easy-to-operate interface, making it ideal for beginners.
It is compatible with computer systems running on the Windows platform but does not support Mac or Linux platforms.
Whereas, Lightburn software provides a feature-rich interface that is compatible with Windows, Mac, or Linux platforms.
Atomstack offers a rotary roller attachment that provides the ability to engrave curved and cylindrical workpieces like cans, pens, tumblers, etc.
The kit ships with four footpads that add around 4.2 inches to the height of the engraver, thereby providing clearance to fit the rotary roller under the laser module.
The adjustable knobs at the side of the roller provide the ability to adjust the rollers and work on cylindrical workpieces of different sizes.
It is a universal rotary attachment and can be used with other laser engravers like NEJE and Ortur.
Atomstack also offers an air assist kit that enhances the performance of the laser engraver by blowing the smoke and debris away from the engraving area, thereby ensuring high engraving quality.
The air assist also prevents the focusing lens from hot debris and enhances the life of the laser engraver.
Another upgrade provided by Atomstack is the honeycomb work bed.
Laser engraving metal produces heat and smoke which can get trapped under the metal workpiece and damage its surface finish.
The honeycomb panel provides gaps for easy clearance of smoke and heat thereby preventing damage to the workpiece.
Furthermore, the honeycomb working panel has fixtures that can be used to hold the workpiece firmly in place throughout the engraving process.
Atomstack offers an optional B1 enclosure for the X7 Pro laser engraver.
Its air inlet and built-in exhaust fan provide a powerful air exchange system to dispose of the smoke and harmful gases away from the engraving area.
It has an acrylic filter window and built-in LED lights to provide a clear view of the engraving process.
The Atomstack A7 Pro ships as a semi-assembled kit with a detailed user manual to assist the assembly process.
Its modular design will take around 30 minutes to assemble. However, the assembly time can increase if you included accessories such as air assist, honeycomb bed, etc. in your kit.
Atomstack A7 pro comes with a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects and offers customer support via phone or email.
However, Atomstack does not have an official community forum, but you can join their Facebook group where active users from all over the world discuss their queries.
Apart from A7 pro, you can also consider Atomstack X7, which houses a 5W laser module, ideal for engraving coated metals.
Compressed spot size of 0.002 x 0.002 inches for detailed engravings
Rotary kit for engraving cylindrical metal workpieces
Ideal for engraving anodized aluminum, steel, brass, etc.
3. OMTech FM1212-50S - Best Metal Engraver
Footprint and Work Area
OMTech FM1212-50S has a split design that consists of two main units: a laser source unit and a laser engraving unit.
The engraving unit has a footprint of around 22" x 13.8", and the source unit will occupy around 17.75" x 8.25" of your workshop area.
It provides a workarea of around 7.9" x 7.9", ideal for working on small workpieces.
OMTech FM1212-50S houses a 50W solid-state fiber laser that can produce excellent engraving results on almost all types of metal.
This fiber laser machine operates at a wavelength of 1064 nm and provides an engraving precision of around ±0.0001 mm.
Furthermore, its powerful laser can provide a maximum engraving speed of around 275.6 ips, with an expected lifetime of 100,000 hours.
OMTech FM1212-50S is a galvo head laser engraver that uses a series of mirrors to position the laser beam around the work area.
This eliminates the need for X and Y gantry. However, it consists of a support column that provides Z-axis movement to the laser head.
The height adjustment knob on the support column moves the laser head along the Z-axis to facilitate laser focus adjustments.
OMTech FM1212-50S can be used to engrave on various types of metals like aluminum, steel, tungsten, brass, titanium, and even reflective metals like gold and silver.
However, it must be noted that laser engraving of shiny metals can result in the reflection of laser beam, which can harm the operator.
This laser can perform engravings on soft metals with a maximum depth of around 0.004", and you can engrave at deeper depths by implementing the multi-pass technique.
OMTech FM1212-50S comes with EZCAD2.0, a dedicated laser control software from OMTech.
It is a free-to-use software compatible with Windows platforms only.
Apart from laser control, it also provides basic designing and editing features such as adding geometric shapes and text to the design.
EZCAD2.0 supports design files of various formats, such as BMP, JPG, PNG, PLT, PCX, and DXF.
OMTech provides optical galvo head upgrades for their fiber lasers.
These galvo heads increase the positioning speed and accuracy of the laser and, in some cases, can also increase the work envelope of the laser.
You can also upgrade your laser with an optional OMTech rotary axis, which enables to engrave cylindrical workpieces like rods, tumblers, cans, etc.
Both these accessories come with a 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
OMTech FM1212-50S ships as a semi-assembled kit that can be easily put together, thanks to its modular design.
The engraving kit includes a user manual that provides a detailed guide for assembling the machine.
On average, it takes slightly over 2 hours to assemble and set up the laser engraver.
OMTech FM1212-50S comes with a 2-year parts warranty and a 30-day replacement period. It must be noted that the replacement period is only available for purchases made from Amazon.
OMTech has a large user base from all over the world and their dedicated community website actively shares tips and tricks for their laser machines.
Galvo laser head with a maximum engraving speed of 275.6 ips.
Optional rotary kit for engraving cylindrical metal workpieces.
Ideal for engraving aluminum, steel, titanium, silver, brass, gold, etc.
4. Epilog Fusion Pro 24 - Best Hybrid Laser Engraver For Metal
Epilog Fusion Pro 24 is an advanced laser engraver for large-scale, versatile projects.
It is a powerful laser engraving machine with top-notch features to enhance your engraving experience.
Footprint and work area
Fusion Pro 24 has a 41.52” x 32.81” x 40.54" footprint that provides an engraving area of 24” x 24” with a maximum Z-axis depth of 9 inches.
It has a vector cutting table with grids to limit the contact area of the metal surface with the panel. Hence, this arrangement provides good air circulation and produces quality engraving.
One of the best features of Fusion Pro 24 is cone-style dual laser heads for engraving. The cone maintains positive pressure towards its laser lens for fine engraving.
It comes with a dual laser head configuration consisting of a 60W CO2 laser head for non-metals and a 30W fiber laser head for metal engraving.
Hence, its dual laser source combines the ability of two laser engraving machines in one, providing the ability to engrave a wide range of materials.
For instance, if you want to laser engrave a knife that has a wooden handle and metal blade, you can use CO2 module for the handle and fiber module for the blade.
The laser heads are equipped with a 3" lens for dual-source that provides you maximum engraving resolution of 1,200 DPI.
Additionally, its beam combiner feature provides a high-quality, focused beam to further enhance the engraving quality.
Fusion Pro 24 uses a Kevlar belt drive system for X and Y axes, and the belt drive is powered by brushless DC servo motors.
Its high-speed servo motors can deliver a maximum engraving speed of 165 IPM.
The Z-axis has a manual focus gauge that lets you set the lens focus appropriately. Alternatively, you can the autofocus feature for quick and easy focusing of laser beam.
The dual laser module of Fusion Pro makes it a versatile machine with the ability to engrave different materials like wood, plastics, paper, acrylic, foam, aluminum, brass, stainless steel, tungsten, gold, silver, etc.
Epilog provides a laser software suite with Fusion Pro laser engraver. Its consists of two software parts: a dashboard and a job manager.
The job manager let you access current and past laser jobs, view engraving settings, preview your jobs, and much more.
Using the dashboard, you can view live feedback of the workbed, with the help of 2 in-built IRIS overhead cameras.
The live camera feedback helps you to virtually position, rescale, and resize your engraving designs according to the available workpiece.
Dashboard interface also provides controls for adjusting the laser parameters for the engraving job.
However, as of now, this software is only compatible with computers running on Windows platforms.
Epilog offers rim-style and 3-jaw chuck rotary attachments for Fusion Pro laser engravers.
You can use the rim-style rotary attachment to engrave most cylindrical surfaces. But, for objects with a small diameter or odd shapes, you should use the 3-jaw chuck rotary attachment.
These rotary attachments provide the ability to engrave cylindrical metal workpieces like shafts, cans, flasks, etc.
Epilog also offers a high-quality air compressor that supplies a constant air stream of 30 psi to remove heat and smoke from the engraving area.
The air assist blows the molten metal away, thereby increasing the speed for deep engravings and regulating the temperature to prevent overheating.
Although the 2" lens of Fusion 24 is capable of performing high-quality engravings, Epilog offers an optional 1.5” lens upgrade that enhances its ability to perform intricate engravings.
Epilog Fusion Pro 24 ships as a pre-assembled unit that requires you to connect a few accessories like an extraction unit, warning lights, and cover panels.
The user manual provides clear instructions to complete the assembly and set up the machine in around two hours.
Epilog provides a 2-warranty against manufacturing defects on the parts of the Fusion Pro 24 laser engraver.
Additionally, they also provide a 60-day return policy but the cost of shipping is to be bared by the customer.
Epilog also offers lifetime technical support and you can get in contact with them via phone or email.
Unfortunately, they do not have an official community forum, but there are various active forums and social media groups where users from all over the world discuss their queries.
5. Trotec SpeedMarker 1300 - Best MOPA Fiber Laser For Metal
It is an industrial-level fiber laser engraver from Trotec which provides high speed and excellent engraving quality.
Footprint and Work Area
Trotec SpeedMarker 1300 has a footprint of around 51" x 41" x 71" and provides an engraving area of 39" x 18".
It can handle workpieces with a maximum thickness of around 18". However, the maximum workable height can vary depending on the laser module selected with your kit.
SpeedMarker 1300 houses a galvanometric fiber laser that can engrave various types of metals with ease.
Trotec provides various laser module options ranging from 20W - 50W for fiber laser heads and 20W - 100W for MOPA fiber laser heads.
Depending on your requirements, you can select an appropriate laser head and include it in your kit at the time of purchase.
Apart from their standard focusing lens (F-160), Trotec offers F-100, F-254, F-330, and F-420 lenses that provide different engraving areas and spot sizes.
Overall, it is a powerful machine that offers quick processing time, making it ideal for business owners.
The galvo laser head eliminates the need for movement of the laser module while performing the engraving.
However, SpeedMarker 1300 consists of gantry systems that facilitate movements along X-axis and Z-axis to work on larger workpieces, with an optional Y-axis drive system.
Trotec SpeedMaster 1300 can be used for laser engraving and laser etching almost any laserable metal, such as steel, titanium, aluminum, brass, gold, silver, etc.
Its high laser power, combined with a galvo laser head, provides an extremely high marking speed of around 800 characters per second (cps).
SpeedMarker 1300 provides the ability to adjust its pulse duration between 4ns and 200 ns, making it possible to produce laser engraving with variable contrast and color.
The MOPA fiber laser module can produce colored engravings on metals like titanium, stainless steel, and aluminum.
Furthermore, its software-controlled axis system makes it possible to engrave curved surfaces without the need for a rotary attachment.
Trotec SpeedMarker 1300 comes with a control software known as SpeedMarker laser software.
It provides a graphical interface making it easy to use even for beginners.
The software comes with a pre-loaded database containing the optimal laser parameters for various materials, saving time by minimizing the need for test runs.
Furthermore, it provides the scope for integrating third-party equipment to automize the production process, making SpeedMarker 1300 ideal for large-scale metal engraving projects.
Trotec SpeedMarker provides various laser modules and focusing lens upgrades to enhance the work area and material capabilities of your machine.
They also provide an optional Y-axis gantry for SpeedMarker 1300 to increase its accessibility when engraving larger workpieces.
Furthermore, you can also include an optional chuck-type rotary axis that provides the ability to engrave on cylindrical workpieces.
These upgrades can either be selected at the time of purchase or individually purchased later to upgrade your laser engraver.
Trotec SpeedMarker ships as a pre-assembled unit that requires a few connections and adjustments before starting to engrave your metal workpieces.
It is a bulky machine and therefore requires two persons for unloading and unpack the machine.
The unpacking, setup, and inspection of the machine would take somewhere over 2 hours.
Trotec provides a 2-year warranty on the equipment and a 3-month warranty for the optics used in the laser engraver.
Although they do not have an official forum, they regularly provide learning material for their uses in the form of e-books, videos, FAQs, training programs, etc.
You can contact them via phone or by filling up the technical assistance form on their website.
Diode vs Fiber vs CO2 Laser- Best Laser For Metal Engraving
The ability of a laser to remove material depends upon the compatibility of the material to readily absorb the laser energy.
Metals tend to absorb energy radiations with a shorter wavelength.
As a result, fiber lasers with a wavelength of 1060 µm and diode lasers with wavelengths ranging from 450 nm to 950 nm are the best choice for laser engraving metals.
However, the low power output of diode lasers makes them suitable for engraving coated metals like anodized aluminum, laserable brass, painted metals, etc.
These lasers can also engrave other bare metals, but at a comparatively slower speed than high-powered fiber lasers.
Fiber lasers are considered the best suitable lasers for large-scale applications involving metal engraving.
On the other hand, CO2 lasers have a wavelength of 10,600 nm, which is readily absorbed by non-metals but is not suitable for metals.
Although high-powered CO2 lasers produce excellent results for laser cutting metal, they are not suitable for laser engraving metals.
Therefore, when comparing diode lasers with fiber lasers, diode lasers are ideal for small-scale hobbyist metal engraving applications, whereas fiber lasers are ideal for large-scale applications.
Similarly, comparing fiber lasers with CO2 lasers, fiber lasers produce far superior results for metal engraving applications.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between a laser cutter and a laser engraver?
You can differentiate laser cutters and engravers based on their laser power, the focal length of their lens, and their ability to cut or engrave a material. Generally, the focal length of a laser engraver is shorter compared to a laser cutter. It is because a short focal length creates a fine spot size for engraving. Usually, laser engravers have a maximum power of 80W, while laser cutters require power above 80W to perform through-cuts in various materials.
How to make money with laser engraving?
The laser engraving business is a low-competition side hustle and requires minimal investment to start a profitable venture. To start a laser engraving business, you need a laser engraver, laser software, and some laser engraving project ideas. Moreover, you can also offer chargeable laser engraving services and set the price according to the run time of the laser engraver, like $20 or $40 per hour.
Can I laser-cut metal using a CO2 laser?
Yes, you can cut metal using CO2 lasers. To achieve this, you need an industrial CO2 laser cutter that offers a laser power of over 150W. However, CO2 lasers are not recommended for engraving metal.