I've been continuously following the products brought out by xTool, and I observed a lot of innovation and versatility in the laser machines they produce.
In fact, they have been drawing the line for the latest technology in the diode side of laser machines for quite some time.
Interstingly, with their latest machine, xTool P2, they are getting into the CO2 game. Is the P2 a better CO2 machine than what's currently out there?
In this article, I do a full hands-on review of the xTool P2 CO2 laser cutter machine by subjecting it to multiple tests and exploring all its features.
|Large work area with passthrough||Autofocus can be inaccurate when working on thick workpieces|
|Built-in cooling and air assist||Provided software (XCS) has limitations|
|16MP dual camera|
|Curved surface engraving|
MellowPine is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.
6 Tests on xTool P2 CO2 Laser Cutter: Does it deliver?
Laser Cutting 18mm Oak Wood with xTool P2
I tried cutting an 18 mm thick piece of oak, the P2 was able to cut it in one pass at 2mm/s speed and 100% power.
The edge was slightly blackened, but with proper air assist pressure and multiple passes, you would be able to make a cut with a clean edge. You can also use multiple passes to cut thicker materials.
Laser Cutting Pine Wood with xTool P2
I also ran a cutting test pattern on pine wood. I got a good result at 70% power, and 5mm/s speed on a 10mm thick pine.
Cutting Acrylic with xTool P2
With xTool P2, I was able to laser cut acrylic sheets easily.
I ran a test pattern on a 2mm thick clear acrylic and got clean cuts with minimal kerf width.
The best result I got was at a speed of 10mm/s at 60% power, and the edges had an excellent flame-polished finish.
To test its performance on colored acrylic, I cut out some designs on different colored acrylic sheets and got excellent results.
To check how P2 cuts much thicker acrylic, I glued together multiple 2mm thick black sheets and made them into a 10.8mm thick piece. The P2 can even cut up to 20 mm thick acrylic pieces
xTool P2 laser machine cut through it at a speed of 3mm/s using 100% power.
I also tried cutting 8mm thick clear acrylic. The cut edges had a really good flame-polished edge finish making the cut side transparent.
This means if you were to make an edge-lit design using a clear acrylic piece cut on the P2, the light will pass through without any loss and you will have good contrast.
I ran my laser at 100% power and at a speed of 5 mm/s for this, and the P2 was able to do it in one pass.
Engraving on Clear Acrylic with xTool P2
I also engraved on clear acrylic at a speed of 300 mm/s using 20% power. It had a good white appearance.
The uneven cut edge is due to the design and not due to machine error. The offset of the image was used for creating the cut line, which caused the uneven cut line.
Scoring Glass with xTool P2
To test how xTool P2 fares at laser cutting glass, I tried scoring a 4mm thick glass with xTool P2.
The result was good but not as perfect as a glass cutter. I ran P2 at 10mm/s speed for this test using 60% power.
Engraving Mirror with xTool P2
I engraved on the back of a mirror with P2 at a speed of 200mm/s using 20% power. This removed the coating on the back.
Then I ran another pass at 200 mm/s speed at 50% power to engrave on the exposed glass surface and got a good result.
Engraving Cylindrical workpiece with xTool P2
Since I already had the xTool RA2 Pro accessory, I decided to engrave on some cylindrical workpieces.
With P2, I engraved on the anodized aluminum riser of xTool D1 Pro. I got a clear white engraving with no shift or ghost engraving.
Although CO2 laser is not suitable for engraving on metal workpieces like stainless steel, it can produce excellent results on coated metals like anodized aluminum.
xTool P2 CO2 Laser Cutter Review: Is it a worthy Investment?
|Laser Tube Lifetime||8000 hours|
|Footprint||39.4″ × 25.1″ × 10.6″|
|Bed Size||26.7” × 14.1”|
|Transmission||Belt drive (X, Y) and lead screw (Z)|
|Water Capacity||1.4L (0.37gal)|
|Air Assist adjustable range||15-150Kpa (2.175 - 21.75 psi)|
|Image Resolution||1000 DPI|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet|
|Software||xTool Creative Space, LightBurn|
|Supported Files||SVG, DXF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, BMP|
|OS||Windows, macOS, iPadOS|
xTool P2 CO2 Laser Cutter Video Review
For an in-depth look at the performance of the P2, take a look at our review video as well.
The xTool P2 laser machine came in a single box that was well-packed and sealed.
Here's what I observed when I opened the machine right out of the box:
Unlike other machines from xTool that I tested, P2 came fully assembled, but you need to fill in the water and start the cycle before turning on the machine.
xTool also sent an antifreeze agent with the machine.
This is important if you live in a cold climate as you don't have to worry about the water freezing and breaking the CO2 glass tube.
P2 has a built-in flow sensor that checks whether the coolant (water) flows to detect any malfunction early.
Also, the coolant level sensor helps you detect any coolant leaks and reminds you of a refill.
xTool P2 has a robust ABS plastic and metal-plated outer body with a see-through acrylic window on the top that blocks the laser radiation, allowing you to observe the job safely even without laser safety goggles.
Inside the plastic outer body is the all-metal powder-coated chassis that’s strong and heavy.
The X, Y, and Z limit switch terminals of xTool P2 were all connected. They come pre-assembled to make your job easier, allowing you to operate the machine accurately and safely.
Also, the tank has a water level and temperature sensor to monitor the machine's water supply. The maximum water the system can hold is 1.4L (0.37 gal).
On P2's CPU, xTool uses a large heat sink sheet with a fan. This allows the processing to run smoothly and longer without overheating.
There's also a buzzer, Wi-Fi antenna, and IR pin with wires connected. The Wi-Fi antenna is larger than the ones you see on most lasers, similar to those on Wi-Fi routers.
xTool P2 also has an exhaust fan, a water pump under the tank, a massive radiator with three fans at the back, and an air pump opposite the tank, making it a real workhorse.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can get the xTool smoke purifier to filter the fumes before releasing them.
In addition, the high voltage supply for the CO2 tube with an integrated 145CFM fan ensures optimal performance.
The air-assist system allows you to adjust the airflow between 15 - 150 Kpa (2.175 - 21.75 psi).
On P2, xTool offers an option to connect a fire safety device that pumps CO2 gas into the work area when it detects a fire.
It is a different accessory, and you'll have to purchase it separately to add this capability to P2.
If you readily monitor the job, you can use the built-in Emergency stop button to instantly stop the machine.
The CO2 tube has a rated lifetime of 8000 hours. Once it reaches its lifetime, you can buy a replacement from xTool.
Regarding safety, the xTool P2 features proximity limit switches that activate on the rear and left sides.
P2 has belt drives on the X and Y axes and a lead screw on the Z axis for transmission. It can achieve a maximum processing precision of 0.01mm and a maximum engraving speed of 600mm/s.
The rollers and rails are made of steel, offering good durability.
Since P2 has a motorized Z-axis, it can automatically focus the laser beam by scanning the workpiece distance from the cutting head.
However, the auto-focus feature can sometimes fail when working on transparent material.
xTool promises a maximum transmission speed of 600mm/s, but I couldn't achieve that while testing the machine. Maybe this has something to do with the default settings in the software.
The module cover or lid over the machine attaches using magnets, and LED lights are inside the machine, making it easy to monitor your work.
The lid's opening and closing motion is linearly backed with two pneumatic cylinders, providing a smooth and steady motion.
xTool P2 is also equipped with a laser pointer that helps get a rough idea of the work position.
The CO2 laser Cutter produces an infrared beam you can't see with the naked eye. So laser manufacturers use visible laser pointers to mimic the position of the actual laser beam.
The tube port at the back of the machine has a tube connected to it using a push connector, allowing for optimal airflow and ensuring the machine operates smoothly and efficiently.
xTool P2 has a work area of 600 x 308 mm (26.7"×14.1") and a maximum working height of 72 mm (2.7").
The work bed is made of powder-coated slats that can be moved around to support workpieces of complex shapes, offering much versatility at the cost of Z-height. You can remove it to get more Z-height.
Another way to increase the Z-height is by using xTool's riser base accessory, specifically available for xTool P2.
With the riser base accessory, you get a maximum working height of around 8.5", making it ideal if your application primarily involves using the rotary axis kit.
A convenient alternative to buying the riser base kit is to use similar-sized wooden blocks to raise the machine, as I did.
However, you cannot expect similar stability with wooden blocks as you can expect with the riser base kit that is specifically designed for your machine.
With its passthrough feature, you can cut or engrave long workpieces. Unfortunately, you'll have to feed the workpiece manually without the required support accessory.
To achieve automatic passthrough capability, you must buy an automatic conveyor feeder separately from xTool.
With the automatic conveyor feeder, you can conveniently work on workpieces as long as 118".
P2 has a footprint of 1000×639×268 mm (39.4″×25.1″×10.6″) and weighs 45kg (99.2 lbs). Have at least a 50" x 40" rigid workbench to place the machine to give it enough space.
If you plan to use the passthrough feature, consider using an extended workbench when setting up the machine.
P2 uses two 16 MP cameras. While one camera provides a panoramic view of the work area, the other is installed on the laser head and provides a focused image, allowing it to achieve a vision precision of 0.3mm.
Such precision is helpful when tracking the workpiece and cutting out materials for projects like stickers, die cuts, etc. Also, it's useful for projects where you have to engrave on curved objects.
The P2 machine is compatible with the RA2 Pro 4-in-1 rotary attachment and supports a rotary engraving diameter of 0 - 180 mm, allowing you to work on large and small projects.
xTool P2 works with xTool Creative Space (XCS) and LightBurn control software. They support file formats like SVG, DXF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, BMP, etc.
xTool Creative Space is a free software compatible with Windows, MacOS, and iPadOS. Whereas, LightBurn works on Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
One unique feature I found interesting about XCS is the Automatic Batch Fill which allows you to make multiple repeatable parts in a go.
Unfortunately, if you decide to use LightBurn, you won't be able to access the dual camera feature on xTool P2 as of now.
Note that this is not a limitation of P2. Instead, it's an issue with LighBurn as it doesn't yet support such advanced features.
In terms of connectivity, you can link P2 to your computer via Wi-Fi, USB, or Ethernet connection.
P2 is a premium machine offered by xTool. For it, they provide an original warranty for 1 year. Also, you can opt for their optional xTool Care extended warranty service to upgrade the warranty.
Xtool P2 vs Glowforge Plus vs Beambox Pro vs Gweike Cloud vs Omtech Polar
xTool P2 is a 55W CO2 laser Cutter machine priced at around $4,999. Its price range and features make it an excellent alternative to Glowforge Plus and Beambox Pro.
Initially, I considered Muse 3D for this comparison, but it costs about $1,500 more than xTool P2. So it won't be a fair comparison.
Still, I found Muse 3D subpar to P2 across various factors like the work area, output power, and passthrough.
OMTech Polar and Gweike Cloud are other machines comparable to xTool P2, with much more affordable pricing, but they have a compact work area.
|Parameter||xTool P2||Glowforge Plus||Beambox Pro||Gweike Cloud Pro||OMTech Polar|
|Work area||26.7”x 14.1” x 2.7"||18” x 20” x 2"||23.6" x 14.7" x 3.14"||20.08" x 11.8" x 2"||20.1" x 11.8" x 2"|
|Footprint||39.4″ x 25.1″ x 10.6"||38″ x 20.75″ x 8.25"||38.9" x 26.3" x 9.8"||38.2" x 22.2" x 9.2"||38.2"x 22.3” x x 9.2"|
|Transmission||Belt and lead screw||Belt||Belt||Linear guideway||Linear guideway|
|Max. Speed||600mm/s||Not public||900mm/s||600mm/s||500mm/s|
|Resolution||1000 DPI||1355 DPI||1000 DPI||1000 DPI||1000 DPI|
|Software||XCS, LightBurn||Glowforge Print||Beam Studio||LightBurn, Gweikecloud||RDWorks, LightBurn|
|Warranty||1 year||6 months to 2 years|
(varies for different countries)
|1 year||1 year||2 years|
From the table, it's clear that, for the most part, xTool P2 is superior to Glowforge, Beambox, Gweike Cloud Pro, and OMTech Polar.
Compared to Glowforge Plus, the only place where xTool P2 underperformed is at the engraving resolution.
This only matters if you plan to make extremely high-quality engravings where the additional 355 DPI can make a difference.
In the case of Beambox Pro, it supersedes xTool P2 in terms of speed. Beambox can drive the laser head 300mm/s faster than P2.
Unlike Gweike Cloud Pro, on xTool P2, the laser tube doesn't move with the gantry and sits stationary on the back of the machine. This removes much load from the gantry, allowing it to move freely.
Across all other parameters, including laser power, work area, passthrough, air assist, etc. xTool P2 offers a better return for the money you pay.
Unlike Glowforge and Beambox, xTool P2 supports LighBurn software, offering much more in terms of accessibility.
Also, since P2 runs on GRBL, you can use the basic LightBurn license, which is much more affordable. Most CO2 lasers, including Gweike Cloud Pro, require the costly DSP license of LighBurn.
*The prices mentioned were updated at the time of writing this article. They are subject to change. Refer to the manufacturer's website for exact prices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is xTool as good as Glowforge?
Yes, xTool is as good as Glowforge. But there is no one size fits all solution to which machine you should buy. A machine that works well for you will greatly depend on your needs. With the addition of xTool's recent P2 CO2 machine, xTool is definitely a worthy opponent.
Can you make money with xTool?
Yes, you can make money with xTool if you put the machine into use to do profitable projects. Some common sellable projects include personalized gifts, signage, ornaments, puzzles, home decor, etc.
How thick can xTool laser cut?
The cutting capabilities of xTool depend on the machine you're talking about. xTool has machines of various types and powers for which the cutting capabilities greatly differ. For example, their recent 40W diode laser module can cut up to 20mm thick pine, whereas the xTool P2, a 55W CO2 machine, can cut 18mm thick walnut in a single pass.