Laser engraving is becoming highly popular and with the introduction of portable laser engravers, we now have access to it on the go.
Portable laser engravers are lightweight and compact in size which means they generally have low-power laser modules that are ideal for engraving soft materials.
These machines are a great option for DIY enthusiasts or small businesses that value portability over power.
If you are looking to get a portable laser engraver, then this guide will help you to find what you need.
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Best Portable Laser Engravers in 2023
The various features to be considered while selecting a portable laser engraver are its power, versatility, speed, laser safety, flexibility, and upgradability.
These are the best portal laser engraver available on the market in 2023:
Laserpecker L1 Laser Engraver
The Laserpecker L1 is a small laser engraver that basically comprises a laser module, a tripod stand, and a power source.
It takes portable engraving to new limits by its ease of usage and you can even operate the engraver by connecting it to a power bank that has an output rating of 5.0V 2000mA.
The ability to engrave at any angle and to be used even without the tripod stand, provided that the laser module is kept stable, gives it flexible usability.
It has a good build quality with a sleek design and the whole kit weighs slightly over 1 lbs.
The Laserpecker L1 is a galvanometer-based laser engraver, so the lack of moving rails limits it to a small work area of 3.9" x 3.9" but enhances its portability.
It has a 1.6 W diode laser with a wavelength of 450nm, which is capable of engraving various materials like paper, wood, bamboo, leather, fruit, and felt.
This engraver can produce reasonable output on soft plastics but it can not be used to engrave glass, ceramic, or metals.
The L1 does not support the autofocus feature but it has a focal length of 7.9 inches and they provide a wooden ruler of the exact length to assist in focusing the laser on the workpiece.
Adding to its portability, L1 connects to your mobile phone by Bluetooth and runs through the Laserpecker app, which is very easy to use.
You can write, draw or import any image into the app and send the command from your mobile phone to the engraver to begin the process.
The Laserpecker L1 has built-in memory, so, once the commands are transferred to the engraver, it does not need the active Bluetooth connection and can even resume the engraving in case the engraving process is stopped midway due to any unexpected event.
It comes with a safety goggle but they also offer a protective case shield for L1 as an add-on accessory that can be used to protect the eyes from the harmful laser and has an inbuilt exhaust fan to get the fumes away from the work area.
It has a type-c interface power input, a USB interface to power the Laserpecker L1, and a button to turn the power on/off.
Laserpecker L1 has some built-in safety features like password lock, a motion detection sensor that turns off the laser when the sensor detects an unwanted movement of the laser engraver, and overheat shutdown which prevents the risk of fire.
You can also explore the Laserpecker Pro and the Laserpecker 2 which offer better engraving but at a higher cost.
Laserpecker Pro offers better accuracy and higher DPI, which improves the overall quality of the output, especially when engraving a greyscale image, and has various add-on accessories that further enhance its quality of output.
Laserpecker 2 has a more powerful 5W laser that can cut well, even a 3mm thick plywood and offers some interesting add-on accessories.
Overall, Laserpecker L1 is very easy to use and the brand offers e-mail support for all their customers.
3.9 x 3.9 engravable area
1 years manufacturer's warranty
Snapmaker 2.0 Portable Laser Engraver
Snapmaker 2.0 is an interesting laser engraver that has the ability of 3 different machines in 1.
It can be used to perform laser engraving, 3D printing, and CNC carving.
If you're looking to set up a compact engraving workshop on your desk, Snapmaker 2.0 would be a great choice.
This laser engraver has a sturdy build with an aluminum alloy frame. Snapmaker offers this machine in three different sizes, A150, A250, and A250.
A150 is the most portable model. It has a footrint of 11.81" x 12.44" and a laser engraving area of 6.29" x 6.29".
Assembling this engraver should take around 40 minutes if you follow the instructions correctly.
Swapping the cutting head between the 3D printer, laser engraver or CNC should take around 10 minutes each time.
The laser module is mounted on a gantry that houses leadscrew drives to facilitate the movement of the laser module along the X-axis and the surface which holds the workpiece slides along the Y-axis.
Snapmaker 2.0 comes with a 1.6 W laser module with a wavelength of 450nm, which is capable of engraving various materials like paper, wood, bamboo, leather, plastic, and fabric.
One negative is that it can not be used to engrave metals or other hard materials.
When engraving a non-transparent acrylic sheet it yields satisfactory results.
Snapmaker 2.0 does not support the autofocus feature but the kit includes a card to assist in focusing the laser by matching the size of the laser spot to the size of the dot present on the card.
The machine has a touchscreen controller running on Android OS. You an use it to control the machine.
G-codes can be sent to the engraver either through a USB flash drive or by directly connecting to the computer through the USB interface.
Note that if you use a computer to send G-code, then the computer has to be connected to the machine throughout the engraving process.
Snapmaker 2.0 only supports the Snapmaker Luban interface, which is easy to use and supports all the popular file formats like SVG, JPEG, PNG, CDR, etc.
Snapmaker offer detailed manuals and video guides to simplify all the processes and you can also contact them by e-mail or phone, provided on their website, for any technical assistance.
Compared to the other products in this list, it is on the heavier side of both weight and budget, but offers high versatility and is worth every penny.
A detailed review of Snapmaker 2.0, can be found here- Snapmaker 2.0 Review: Tests-3DP, Laser, CNC  or you can visit our YouTube channel to watch the review video.
Neje Master 2 mini Laser Engraver
The Neje Master 2 mini is a small-size laser engraver with a footprint of around 8.5" x 10.5" x 4.3" and provides a work area of 4.3" x 4.7".
It features good build quality with aluminum gantry profiles and weighs somewhere around 4 lbs.
Powerful 42 mm stepper motors and lightweight laser module enables high traverse speed in both X and Y axes.
It ships as a pre-assembled unit and you just have to connect the cables and install the app to start engraving.
A 2.5W diode laser with a wavelength of 450nm, makes it capable of engraving various materials like MDF, wood, fabric, leather, plastic, foam, paper, etc, and can perform clean cuts on paper.
It also supports a 5W laser module which can be purchased separately and installed for improved results in cutting and engraving of a variety of wood popularly used for laser engraving projects.
The Neja Master 2 mini has a laser spot size of 0.03 x 0.03mm and the laser head has a tuning knob to adjust the focus of the laser.
It comes with limit switches that also function as homing switches to adjust the laser module to the origin point.
Neje Master 2 mini runs on Neje firmware with built-in BlueTooth that enables it to connect with smartphones for wireless operation and it also has a USB cable that can be used to connect the engraver to the computer.
It has dedicated computer software and a smartphone app to connect with the engraver where you can import any image and send the command to start the engraving process.
The computer software is easy to use and features a guest mode where you can scan the QR code by your smartphone and directly send the engraving image from your smartphone to the computer software.
Although the Neje software and app are very easy to use, it limits you from using the popular LightBurn or LaserGRBL software.
Neje Master 2 mini has a motion detection safety feature that turns off the laser if the engraver detects any motion and they also provide a safety goggle with the kit.
Its small size and the mounting holes provided on the two endplates, allow it to be mounted in an upright position for engraving on vertical surfaces.
The other similar products from Neje are the Neje Master 2S Plus and Neje Master 2S, which offer larger work areas and are compatible with both LightBurn and laserGRBL.
Neje provides free lifetime customer support and 2 years warranty on the Neje Master 2 mini.
4.3 x 4.7 engravable area
2 years manufacturer's warranty
The Comgrow Mini is a low-power, compact laser engraver which is easy to use and budget-friendly for beginners.
It has a footprint of around 7.3” x 7.2” x 6.7” with a weight of around 2 lbs and provides a work area of 3.8” x 3.4”.
The Mini engraver has two power options to run the machine, the 12V/2A adaptor connection and a 5V/2A type-c connection.
The laser module slides along the X and Y axes on lead screws driven by stepper motors.
The body of the Comgrow Mini consists of an upper plastic shell that houses the laser module and the drive system, and the lower green-acrylic feet that also act as a protective cover against the bright laser.
It ships as a semi-assembled unit and all you need to do is attach the green-acrylic feet to the upper shell and scan the QR code to install the app.
Comgrow Mini has a 1.5W laser module with a wavelength of 445nm, that provides an engraving resolution of 508 dpi which results in good engraving results and great grayscale photo printing quality.
You can even use the Comgrow Mini to engrave glass and anodized aluminum, but make sure to cover the work surface with a layer of dark-colored temporary paint.
It does not feature autofocus but the laser head has a knob that can be turned clockwise and anticlockwise to adjust the focus of the laser.
The Comgrow Mini can be connected to the computer through the USB interface and also provides Bluetooth connectivity options to connect with a smartphone.
It runs through a dedicated app called “Blue Laser” which is easy to use and just like most other engraving apps, it provides the option to write, draw and import photos to the app and start the engraving process.
The Comgrow Mini kit includes an adapter, a USB cable, safety google, some sample material pieces to test your engraver, and a locking plate.
The locking plate serves as a base plate that protects your workbench from any damage by the laser and has a square marking on it which defines the working area of the engraver.
It also has a motion sensor that turns off the laser if the engraver is tilted at an angle of 30° or more.
The Mini has 3 led indicators on the top, where red indicates that the power supply is connected, green indicates a successful Bluetooth or USB connection and blue indicates that the laser is turned on for engraving.
Overall, it is an exciting product for DIY enthusiasts who want to make miniature laser engravings on a variety of materials, and Comgrow’s customer support via email helps you to troubleshoot the engraver in case you face any problems.
You can also look at their Comgrow Z1 Laser Engraver, which provides comparatively less portability, but more laser power for cutting and engraving applications.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can a 0.2W laser be used to cut any material?
Yes, a 0.2W laser can be used to perform cuts on some materials.
Due to the low power output, it is basically considered an engraving module that can also perform reasonable cuts in thin sheets of paper and fabric. It can also be used to cut cardboard in multiple passes.
What is a Galvanometer-based laser?
A Galvanometer-based laser is one that does not require a gantry system to move the laser module from one place to another, instead, it has a fixed laser head with a mirror rotating through a galvanometer set-up, that directs the laser beam to the desired position. However, the range of motion is very limited when compared to a moving gantry system.
The use of a galvanometer-based laser system increases the marking speed of the laser because a small change in the mirror angle can cover a large travel distance of the laser.
Can we laser engrave a mirror?
Yes, you can engrave a mirror with a laser module powerful enough to engrave glass. But always cover the mirror surface with a dark-colored temporary paint or marker in order to avoid reflection of the laser beam into the laser head, which can damage the laser module.