The Best Wood Laser Engravers of 2023

The Best Wood Laser Engravers of 2023

Buying a laser engraver for your woodworking project can be overwhelming. This is especially true when there are so many machines to choose from.

First, there are different types of laser engravers, each of which will produce different results. Even more worrying is that not all of them are suitable for carving wood. So you might end up with the wrong machine.

In this article, I've listed eight of the best wood laser engravers available to you right now. Each engraver is vetted in more detail so that you can make an informed buying decision.

Browse the list and I am sure you will find a laser engraver of your choice.

Can a laser engraver engrave wood?
Yes, laser machines can easily engrave wood. Of all the options available like chisels, Dremels, and Cricut Makers, laser engravers arguably produce the best results at a faster rate.

But in the end, the results will depend on the type of laser engraving machine and the wood you use. There are three main types of laser engravers to choose from. all these are:

carbon dioxide laser
CO2 lasers, also known as gas lasers, use carbon dioxide gas to generate a laser beam. When an electric current is passed through the gas, it emits laser light with a wavelength of 10,000 nanometers.

This wavelength is best suited for treating non-metallic surfaces such as leather, wood and plastic.

Related: Best 3D Printers Under $500 – 6 Models Worth Considering in 2023

fiber-optic laser
Fiber lasers are the most powerful lasers, producing a wavelength of 1064 nanometers. These machines have a minimum focus and are 100 times more intense than CO2 lasers.

While fiber laser machines are popular, they are not the best for wood engraving. They are designed for engraving objects on harder surfaces such as metal.

UV laser
As the name suggests, UV lasers emit ultraviolet light from 10 nanometers to 400 nanometers. The wavelengths are much shorter and don't generate as much heat. Therefore, UV laser processing is also called cold processing.

These lasers are just as good as CO2 lasers for engraving materials like wood and are best for marking, even micro marking.

So if you ask "what laser can engrave wood?" the answer is all lasers, but a CO2 laser engraver is the best choice.

In addition to the above several, another type of laser engraving machine is becoming more and more popular. This is a diode laser. These sizes are smaller and less expensive. For this reason, many home laser engravers use diode lasers.

The next factor to consider is the type of wood. While you can laser engrave on almost any wood species, the results won't be the same. To choose the best wood block for your project, check the following:

Streaks - Streaks are dark stains with varying mineral content on wood surfaces. While stripes look good on wood, they are not suitable for engraving. Therefore, you want to choose wood with the fewest streaks.

Resin/Sap Content - Ideally, wood should have a high resin or sap content. Logs with a higher resin content will produce a deeper burn, while logs with a lower resin content will produce a shallower cut.

Shade - Logs should have a lighter shade as they will produce darker burn marks. It is much more difficult to etch a design on dark wood and achieve similar results.

Some wood species that meet these criteria include alder, cherry, basswood, hard maple, and balsa. I've always preferred these woods for carving over other woods.

How much does a woodworking engraving machine cost?
A wood router can cost anywhere from $150 to $1,000. It depends on the laser type, optical power, portability and popularity, etc. But $300 to $400 is ideal for a home wood router.

Best Beginner Wood Router
Laser Type - Ultraviolet
Optical Power – 4.5-5W
Wavelength – 445 ± 5nm
Working area – 410 x 400mm
Warranty - 1 year
The A5 is the entry-level product from ATOMSTACK, a well-known company that produces laser engravers for DIY enthusiasts. It has all the necessary features at a low price, making it a great wood router.

The 20-watt laser engraver has an optical power output of 4.5 watts, which isn't threatening but powerful enough to etch wood cleanly.

One of my favorite things about the Atomstack A5 Pro is the fixed focus capability. This means you no longer need to spend time adjusting focus before engraving. The machine automatically adapts to the surface. Another beginner-friendly feature is the precise tick axis. Tick marks on both the X and Y axes take the guesswork out. This means more accurate designs.

In terms of precision, the A5's focal spot is 50% smaller than typical laser engravers.

The A5 Pro is 90% assembled and set up. There will be no more than 10 minutes remaining. It has an eye shield that blocks radiation. This allows you to see and supervise the engraving process without hurting your eyes.

There are also other powerful models to choose from, such as the A5 Pro+ and A5 M50. But the A5 Pro is a great place to start.

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