Best Laser Engraving Kits 2021 [Updated]


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Best Beginner Laser Engraving Starter Kits 2021

laser engraved map
Laser engraving is an easy hobby to dive into. All you need is a good beginner engraving kit! Solarbotics / CC BY-SA

Laser engraving is the perfect craft hobby to do at home. It is a great complement to woodworking and other do-it-yourself pastimes. Laser engraving machines can be very costly, but beginners can dive into the craft by purchasing less expensive laser engraving kits.

The kits recommended here include most of the basic equipment and materials you will need to begin creating beginner laser engraving projects. As you improve your skills, you can add more tools to your collection. These tools are described in more detail towards the end of the article.

Below, we’ve chosen a range of kits for various budgets, including basic starter kits and more ‘complete’ kits for the more serious starters, and included advice throughout the article about what each tools does, some additional considerations, and things you can make to get started.

Best Laser Engraving Kits? We Recommend:

Preview
Beginner Choice
Reizer 20W Laser Engraver, Class 4 Fixed-Focus CNC Laser Engraving Machine with 32-bit Board for Wood,...
ORTUR Laser Master 2,Laser Engraver,Laser Engraving Cutting Machine,DIY Laser Marking for Metal...
Expert Choice
Masuter 4040 CNC Router Machine, 3-Axis Engraving Milling Machine 15.75x14.96” Working Area for Carving...
Laser Electric Power
20W
7W, 15W, 20W
60W
Materials
Wood, Metal, Acrylic, Leather, Vinyl
Wood, Metal, Acrylic, Leather, Vinyl
Wood, MDF, Acrylic, Foam, Resin, Nylon, PCB, Aluminum
Power Supply
12V/5A
12V/3A
12V/5A
Support OS
Windows XP/7/8/10, Linux, Mac OS
Windows XP/7/8/10, Linux, Mac OS
Windows XP/7/8/10, Linux, Mac OS
Beginner Choice
Preview
Reizer 20W Laser Engraver, Class 4 Fixed-Focus CNC Laser Engraving Machine with 32-bit Board for Wood,...
Laser Electric Power
20W
Materials
Wood, Metal, Acrylic, Leather, Vinyl
Power Supply
12V/5A
Support OS
Windows XP/7/8/10, Linux, Mac OS
More Information
Preview
ORTUR Laser Master 2,Laser Engraver,Laser Engraving Cutting Machine,DIY Laser Marking for Metal...
Laser Electric Power
7W, 15W, 20W
Materials
Wood, Metal, Acrylic, Leather, Vinyl
Power Supply
12V/3A
Support OS
Windows XP/7/8/10, Linux, Mac OS
More Information
Expert Choice
Preview
Masuter 4040 CNC Router Machine, 3-Axis Engraving Milling Machine 15.75x14.96” Working Area for Carving...
Laser Electric Power
60W
Materials
Wood, MDF, Acrylic, Foam, Resin, Nylon, PCB, Aluminum
Power Supply
12V/5A
Support OS
Windows XP/7/8/10, Linux, Mac OS
More Information

What’s Included in Laser Engraving Kits?

The starter kits above come with most of the materials you will need to make great beginner laser engraving projects. Below are some items guaranteed to come in the beginner and intermediate kits with explanations so you know what’s what!

1) Laser Engraving Machine Parts

laser engraving machine
Although not recommended for beginners, even DIY laser kits are possible with enough know-how. Dennis van Zuijlekom / CC BY-SA

Laser engraving machines will come disassembled, and kits include all the necessary components to assemble the machine properly. These pieces include the aluminum frame, wires, timing belts, mainboard, motor, laser module, motherboard, spacers, and connectors. Screws, nuts, bolts, and appropriately sized wrenches are also included.


2) USB Cable and Power Adapter

A USB cable and power adapter are obviously necessary for operating the laser engraving machine. The USB cable allows you to run your design program and connect the machine to your computer.


3) Laser Goggles

Many kits will also include laser goggles for your protection. Protective eyewear is important when running the laser engraving machine, especially if you are observing it up close. Laser goggles can be purchased for an affordable price separately if they are not included in your specific kit.


4) Wood and Acrylic Sheets for Practice 

When getting started laser engraving, it is important to try out your designs on practice surfaces before using more costly materials. Kits usually include practice sheets made from a few different materials so you can see how the laser engraving machine performs.

Wood and acrylic are two of the more popular surfaces used in laser engraving, so it is a good idea to get familiar with how designs look on these materials.


9) Instructions  

Your kit will, of course, also include a set of instructions for proper machine assembly, set up, and operation. Make sure to follow all safety recommendations to complete your laser engraving projects safely and effectively.


Do I Need Anything Extra to Start Laser Engraving?

Lasers are powerful and can cause serious damage, so protective goggles are a must when operating the machine.

Apart from necessary safety equipment, such as protective eyewear, to start laser engraving, you will also need a computer with laser engraving design software downloaded to it. For the project described below, and likely other projects in the future, a scanner is necessary to replicate a design with the laser engraver. Most laser engraving machines can support every type of computer and most of the popular designing programs that are on the market.

Do not feel pressured to find the perfect program right away. Start with what is easy for you and change up your process as you become more comfortable with laser engraving.

If you are just starting out, watching some tutorials and reading about the basics of laser engraving software and design will be very important. Check out YouTube and creative blogs for design tips and tricks.

Besides the technical components, you will of course need materials to engrave on. Most laser engraving machines that are available in kits can be used to engrave anything from wood to steel. Beginner projects usually use plywood and other affordable woods, so stock up on these materials if you can. Otherwise, experiment on whatever materials you already have on hand. Just be sure to check the specifications of your model before operating.


What Can I Make with Beginner Laser Engraving Kits?

Laser engraved map
Laser engraved maps are perfect beginner projects that can be displayed and sold. Solarbotics / CC BY-SA

Laser engraving kits are extremely versatile. You can use your laser engraving machine to create designs on wood, metal, plastic, stone, glass, leather, and more depending on model specifications.

Popular laser engraving projects include ornaments, personalized tags, items for small businesses, toys, coasters, and other home decor items. There are few limitations in terms of design and the types of items you want to laser engrave.

Check out YouTube for common projects created using laser engraving machines and advice for recreating these projects yourself. Laser engraving has grown in popularity in recent years, and many people have started lucrative home businesses designing, engraving, and selling their work.

A great example of a professional-looking, unique laser engraved project is this historical map engraved in a piece of plywood and framed in a homemade wooden frame. This project would be ideal for someone wanting to combine laser engraving and woodworking.

 

Video Instructions:

This video gives comprehensive instructions on laser engraving wall art. Woodworking skills are good to have but not required. Begin by scanning the image you want to laser engrave. In the video, a historical map of a town is scanned.

If you want to make a frame for the finished piece, prepare your desired wood by trimming it down, running it through a planer, and cutting in notches to hold the map.

The map is engraved on a sheet of plywood. Place the wood in the laser engraving and engrave the design using a program of your choice. Watch as the map comes to life!

Once the engraving process is complete, cut the sheet of plywood down if needed to fit the frame. Sand the entire surface of the wood lightly to create a smooth finish without disturbing the engraving. Complete the project by placing the map in its frame and applying a coat of finishing product if desired.

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