Unlock Membership Benefits
  • Spend $1, Earn 1 Point
  • 10% OFF on accessories
  • $10 OFF on materials
Unlock Membership Benefits
  • Spend $1, Earn 1 Point
  • 10% OFF on accessories
  • $10 OFF on materials

How to Make Money with a Laser Engraver?

by Winnie Li Updated on April 14, 2024

Finding a side hustle to earn extra money is a common concern for many people looking to supplement their income. One potential option that may not be as widely known is the business of laser engraving and cutting.

In this article, we will provide a detailed breakdown of the laser engraving and cutting business, which lets you know everything you need to start your laser business and make money with a laser engraver.

making money with a laser engraver

In This Article

  • Can I Make Money with a Laser Engraver?
  • Laser Engraving Business Ideas
  • 10 Most Profitable Laser Engraved Products to Sell
  • Where to Sell Your Laser Engraved Products?
  • How Much Do I Need to Start a Laser Engraving Business? 
  • Is a Laser Engraving Business Profitable?
  • Best Laser Engravers to Start a Business
  • Conclusion

Can You Make Money with a Laser Engraver? 

Undoubtedly, you can make money with a laser engraver. Nowadays, laser engraving is in great demand and being used for multiple purposes. It is an excellent business idea that beginners can start with low investment. 

There is a massive market for laser engraving. From marking objects to making art pieces, laser engraving is preferred. People love to have creative, unique, and customized objects; therefore, these machines are a great source of earnings.

Laser Engraving Business Ideas

Here are some ways to make money with a laser engraver:

1. Sell Laser-engraved Products

Selling laser engraved and cut products are a great way to turn your laser into a cash machine. There's a huge market for personalized and custom-made items, and a laser engraver allows you to create unique products that people will love. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Personalized gifts: This is a classic and ever-popular option. Engrave names, initials, or monograms on cutting boards, keychains, jewelry, and more. For holidays, you can create seasonal items like ornaments or engraved wine glasses.

personalized laser engraved jewelry

Home decor: Create beautiful and unique signs, coasters, wall art, and other decorative items for the home. You can offer pre-designed options or allow customers to personalize them.

laser cut home decorations

Wedding and party favors: Laser cutting and engraving can be used to create personalized wedding favors, or custom party decorations.

laser engraved wedding decorations

Business branding: Offer laser engraving services for businesses, such as creating custom logos for mugs, pens, or keychains.

laser engraved branding items

This is just a starting point, of course. The possibilities are endless! The key is to identify a niche market or product that you can create profitably.

2. Create Laser-related Content and Become an Affiliate

Another unique idea of earning with laser engraving is to create videos showcasing your laser engraving projects and then upload them to social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.

People fascinated by laser engraving will love seeing your creations. If you're a creative person, your viewers will be impressed by your ingenuity, and your channel will gain more traction. By monetizing your content, you can generate a steady stream of income. 

Moreover, after gaining experience in laser engraving and cutting, you can share your knowledge with others by creating informative guides and tutorials. 

As an expert in the field, you're well-positioned to give reviews and offer guidance on laser engraving and cutting, which will help you gain credibility and trust from your followers.

Another way to earn through laser engraving is to explore affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is an excellent opportunity to expand your income stream and increase your revenue.

You can promote laser engraving machines and tools on your website or YouTube channel and earn commissions on successful sales.

3.  Sell Digital Laser Cut Files

Selling laser cut and engrving files is also a popular and lucrative method for making money with a laser engraver. 

It involves creating digital designs that can be loaded into a laser engraving software and used to produce various items such as jewelry, home decor, and other personalized items.

To get started with this method, you will need to have some experience with graphic design software and a good understanding of the capabilities of laser cutting and engraving machines. You can create your designs using popular software such as Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, or CorelDRAW.

Once you have created your designs, you can sell them online through various marketplaces such as Etsy, Creative Market, or your own website. It is important to ensure that your designs are unique and not already available for free online.

By selling digital files of designs, you can tap into a growing market of hobbyists, artists, makers who are interested in using lasers to create their own unique products.

In summary, laser engraving and cutting provides many exciting opportunities to earn money. By exploring these options, you can turn your passion for laser engraving into a lucrative business.

10 Most Profitable Laser Engraved Products to Sell

Laser engraving can be done on a wide range of materials; consequently, the users can make many items and products, and it depends on their creativity. Let’s see some hot-selling and in-demand products a person can engrave and sell.

1. Engraved Tumblers

Engraved tumblers are quite trending these days, and many people love to carry personalized tumblers to their offices, gyms, and other places. If you're considering getting into the personalized tumbler business, you'll be glad to know that it won't take much time and effort to personalize tumblers, and the profit margin is great.

However, to achieve high-quality engraving on tumblers, you'll need the right tools and equipment. In particular, you'll require a laser engraver for tumblers. This specialized machine comes equipped with a rotary attachment that allows you to engrave designs, names, or logos onto tumblers with precision and ease.

Investing in a quality laser engraver for tumblers is essential to ensure that your personalized tumblers stand out in terms of both quality and aesthetics.

profitable laser engraved products - engraved tumblers

2. Personalized Jewelry

Laser machines can make unique, stylish, and eye-catching jewelry pieces. For instance, you can make earrings, pendants, bracelets, or anything you like. You can personalize them by engraving names, dates, and quotes. 

profitable laser engraved products - personalized jewelry

3. Engraved Photo

An engraved photo looks exceptional. It is one of the preferred gift items for anniversaries, weddings, and valentines. People love to hang such photos on their walls or place them on tables. With your laser machine, you can precisely engrave any type of photo with perfection.

profitable laser engraved products: engraved photos

4. Engraved Wine Glasses

For special occasions, people like to have personalized wine glasses. It is a good idea to amaze visitors or guests. For weddings, there can be personalized wine glasses as a memorial or souvenir. Glass can also be etched using a laser engraver. You get optimal accuracy and an amazing look.

profitable laser engraved products: personalized glasses

5. Custom Engraved Cutlery

Laser-engraved cutlery is used for parties, events, and special gatherings. Moreover, some people also like to have special and personalized cutlery sets in their homes. You can engrave wooden as well as metal cutlery.

profitable laser engraved products - engraved cutlery

6. Engraved Coasters

You can make wooden coasters using plywood. There are tons of designs available for free. Get them and cut the desired coaster. Moreover, you can also engrave marble coasters using a laser machine. You can engrave any pattern or name you like. 

These coasters are used for special occasions and events. People also buy special designs for their homes.

profitable laser engraved products - engraved marble coasters

7. Engraved Charcuterie/Cutting Boards

An engraved charcuterie board just adds more beauty to the presentation of your appetizers. Hotels have personalized boards according to their business. Similarly, there can be personalized boards for weddings, birthdays, and other occasions. 

A laser machine can engrave these boards with perfection. You can get boards from the market and engrave them as you like.

profitable laser engraved products - engraved charcuterie board

8. Dog Name Tags

Laser etching on metals is permanent; therefore, people prefer metal-engraved name tags for their pets. Pet tag blanks are easily available, and you can etch them using your laser machine. These are frequently bought items in online stores.

profitable laser engraved products - engraved dog name tags

9. Engraved Pens

Personalized pens are suitable for gifts. People give these on special events and occasions. Companies also give these pens to their visitors, employees, and customers. 

Metal pens can be etched and personalized using a laser machine. You can make a logo and write names on the pen. Moreover, you can also make personalized boxes using your laser machine.

profitable laser engraved products - engraved pens

10.  Engraved Bookmarks

For readers, a bookmark means a lot. For such people, there can be personalized and special bookmarks. You can cut and engrave wooden or metal bookmarks using a laser machine. These are quite unique and attractive.

profitable laser engraved products - engraved bookmarks

Where to Sell Your Laser Engraved Products?

There are many marketplaces and options where you can sell your laser engraving products. Here are some of the best you can try.

1. Etsy

Etsy is one of the best marketplaces where people can sell laser engraved and cut products. You can also sell your SVG, DXF, or other laser-cut designs and vector files. It should be your first choice because the audience on Etsy is perfect for a laser engraving business.

2. Amazon

Amazon is the next place to sell laser engraved products. But keep in mind that you need to sell something unique, useful, and suitable according to the audience. If you can grab customers from Amazon, it will boost your revenue in no time.

3. Facebook and Instagram

Facebook and Instagram are ideal for new business owners. The best thing is that you can boost your post and videos and get more orders, likes, and shares. With paid advertisements, there are more chances of sales. Your page audience will grow gradually, and you will get better ROI with time.

4. Website

You can also sell your laser engraving products on your own website. But creating a website and managing it is a bit difficult. It requires investment and a lot of effort. However, you can earn better using your website because you don’t need to pay hefty commissions on the products.

5. Local Store

It is better to get in contact with the local sellers in your area. People visiting the store will get exposure to the items. You can also open your own store and start selling your laser items.

6. Craft Shows

Craft shows are perfect for selling laser made items. There is a massive audience, and you can grab many customers in one day. If there is any craft show in your area, you should not miss it.

selling laser engraved products at craft shows

How Much Do I Need to Start a Laser Engraving Business? 

Beginners need a straightforward answer to how much they need to start a laser engraving business. For establishing and running such a business, you need to keep various expenses and costs in mind. Buying a laser machine is not enough; there are other expenses involved as well.

1. Laser Engraver Cost

The first thing that you need to buy is a laser engraving machine. The cost of the machine depends on the type of laser engraver. Typically, three types of laser engraving machines are commonly used for business.

  • CO2 laser engraving machines
  • Diode laser engraving machines
  • Fiber laser engraving machines

Diode laser engraving machines are the most pocket-friendly machines on the market. These can engrave as well as cut various materials. For entry-level small businesses and beginners, diode laser machines are the best. 

The initial investment for buying a diode laser machine is in the range of $700-2500, depending on the power and features.

CO2 laser engraving machines are a bit costlier than diode laser machines. But these machines are more powerful, allowing small business owners to process more materials and improve their productivity. The typical cost of a CO2 laser machine is in the range of $3000-6000.

Fiber laser engravers are quite costly. It can cost you around $6,000-15,000 or even more. But these machines are capable of cutting and engraving metals, and they last for a long time.

You can decide on a suitable laser engraving machine according to your budget.

2. Attachments

After buying laser machines, there are extra expenses involved. You need to buy certain attachments according to the requirements of the business. For instance, if you want to engrave cylindrical objects, such as tumblers and wine glasses, you need a rotary attachment for that. It will cost you $100-200.

laser engraver rotary attchment

Another thing you need is the air assist. Some laser engraving machines do not have an air assist, so you need to buy it separately. An air assist is necessary because it blows away the hot smoke and improves the efficiency of the laser machine. It will cost you about $100-150.

3. Raw Materials

You also need wood, acrylic, and other materials to make your products. So, it is better to keep this cost in mind.

laser engraving materials

4. Electricity Cost

Laser machines consume electricity. Depending on the wattage of the machine, you will have the electricity bill. Diode laser engravers have the lowest wattage compared to other types. While buying a laser machine, make sure to check the wattage of the machine to get a better idea of the electricity expense.

Is a Laser Engraving Business Profitable?

Yes. let's do the math together to see how much money you can make with a laser engraver and whether a laser engraver is worth it. 

In the example below, an xTool user got an order of 170 laser-engraved tumblers, earning him $2,635 to easily reimburse the machine cost.

Laser engraving tumblers: 170 units

  • Laser engraving software: Free (xTool Creative Space)
  • Purchase price of a tumbler: $10
  • Engraving cost: $1.5
  • Engraving duration for 1 unit: 20min
  • Labor cost($40 /hour): $13
  • Marketing cost(social media sites): Free
  • Retail price of an engraved tumbler: $40
  • Profit per unit: $15.5
  • Total profit: $2,635

With a more powerful machine, like xTool S1, the engraving speed is even faster(600mm/s), shortening the engraving duration, thus slashing your labor cost!

Additionally, you can pay over time with Affirm starting at $112 per month if you cannot afford the full price now.

Check here for more xTool user stories of making money using a laser engraver.

Best Laser Engravers to Start a Business

We have discussed how beneficial and profitable laser engravers can be for the business. Now, let’s explore the best laser engravers that can help you start your craft-selling journey.

xTool S1: Most Powerful Enclosed Diode Laser Engraver

xTool S1 is the market's most powerful enclosed diode laser engraver. The S1 series comes in three variants: a 10W, 20W and 40W. The former two target DIY enthusiasts and homeowners, while the powerful 40W targets small businesses. Its top variant can cut up to 18mm of wood in one pass and engrave at 600mm/s.

xtool s1 laser engraver

All S1 variants share the same features besides power. Its diode module can cut and engrave 300+ materials, including leather, paper, wood, cardboard, felt, and opaque acrylics. Besides the diode module, S1 also comes with a 2W IR module, designed to efficiently engrave on metals and plastics.

S1’s build is quite solid – the structure is stable even at higher power and engraving speeds. Plus, the machine’s fully enclosed, and safe for indoor and outdoor use. It’s a Class 1 Laser Product due to its multitude of safety features i.e. 5-directional flame protection, emergency stop button, laser key lock, and enclosed design.

The machine’s workspace is spacious and expandable. Its working area of 19.6"× 12.5"(498*319 mm), comparable to an A3 sheet, is sufficient for making larger crafts. There’s more: the machine expands with AutoPassthrough Technology ™, allowing you to work on sheets up to 3000mm in length. You can also lift the machine with an additional riser to work on taller objects.

While most laser machines in the market use cameras for precise positioning of designs, S1 employs a new, technologically advanced PinPoint Positioning System ™. You move the laser head across the material, mark points on it, and the software sketches the layout and profile of the material in real-time.

S1’s smart focus system makes it capable of engraving on curved surfaces. The machine intelligently creates a 3D map of the material’s profile and then dynamically adjusts focus to engrave. The results are as good as the flat one. Rotary engraving on round, cylindrical, and spherical objects is also supported, with an attachment RA2 Pro.

The xTool’s proprietary software, XCS, makes engraving a breeze for beginners. The software is available for almost all operating systems – running the laser from smartphones is also an option. Most of the parameters are preset; you just have to enter the material information and the software sets the rest. Pro users can also use Lightburn to run engraving operations.

S1’s Business Friendly Features

  • The 40W module is currently the most powerful enclosed diode pack
  • Class 1 Laser Safe Product
  • Multiple power variants to cater to different user needs
  • Large working area, 19.6"× 12.5"(498*319 mm)
  • Supports Engraving on Curved and Round surfaces
  • Dedicated 2W IR laser for plastics and metals

xTool P2: Powerful CO2 Laser Cutter for Small Businesses

xTool P2 is a powerful 55W CO2 laser cutter. Being CO2 laser, it can handle all those non-materials and thicknesses that diodes couldn’t. Moreover, since CO2 laser has high absorption efficiency on acrylic and wood, you can expect it to be 6x faster than the D1 Pro (20W). Overall, it can achieve a max. engraving speed of 600 mm/s.

Want to get a closer look at what’s going on inside? It has a dual 16MP camera setup. One is a close-range camera, which moves with the laser head and focuses on a particular object that’s being engraved. The other panoramic gives a live preview of the whole operation.

xtool p2 laser engraver preview feature

Another highlight of the machine is its batch engraving. Place objects inside, it intelligently identifies the shapes and gives you a preview of what to engrave on each. This feature is super handy if you need to engrave, for instance, multiple name tags or key chains at once.

xtool p2 laser engraver batch engraving feature

The inner processing area of the machine is 600 x 308mm. The good news is that’s extendable with the automatic conveyor feeder. The passthrough allows you to engrave materials as long as you want; there are no caps.

xtool p2 laser engraver passthrough feature

It can do that rotary engraving with xTool RA2. But what it does more is the curved surface engraving. Have an uneven surface to engrave? Place it inside P2. It creates its 3D models, adjusts focal length, and engraves. The results are as clear as on the flat surface.

Wood may get burnt marks with laser. P2 addresses this with its built-in air assist, which not only keeps the work area clean but also makes your wooden crafts free of churring. No more post-cleaning, after the use of P2.

Being enclosed, it’s extremely safe to use. No fumes escape that enclosed design, plus the laser filtering lid keeps your eyes safe without the need for safety goggles. The machine turns off automatically if your kids or pet opens it accidentally during operation. To fully secure it, get our fire safety kit, which can even put off fire automatically.

xTool P2 Business-Friendly Features:

  • Supports batch engraving to engrave multiple objects at once
  • Can engrave long wood boards with the passthrough slot
  • 6 times quicker than a diode laser
  • Supports curved surface engraving
  • Put on a small laser show with its live preview
  • Extremely safe enclosed design
  • Supports the industry standard, Lightburn

xTool F1: Fast and Portable Laser Engraver

xTool F1 is the quickest and most portable laser engraver on the list, an ideal option for small businesses. It can engrave up to 4000 mm/s, thanks to the advanced Galvo technology it uses. Its speed is comparable to those large fiber laser machines we see in the industries. Yet, it’s available in compact size.

how fast xtool f1 can engrave

Apart from speed, its accuracy is also unmatched. It can engrave with an accuracy of 0.0019 mm. It’s super light, weighing just 4.5 kg. Moreover, its handheld design lets you carry it anywhere, anytime. Be it craft fairs, pop-up events, or on-site engravings.

attending craft shows with xtool f1

Its key highlight is the diode laser but it does have a 2W IR module to precisely engrave on metals and plastics. So, it is a twin laser machine, which can engrave glass, leather, wood, acrylic, paper, rock, ceramic, plastic, aluminum, gold, silver, and platinum.

There’s more. Just like P2, it can batch engrave with much more processing speed (10x compared to others). This brings down the production time to minutes from hours. Also, it has got blue light preview. Press the preview button and you can see how the engravings would look on the surface.

The machine is fully enclosed, so you don’t have to worry about fumes. With its built-in exhaust fan and purifier, you can safely use it in any public space without polluting the environment.

xTool F1 Business-Friendly Features

  • The fastest portable diode laser available; it can engrave at 4000mm/s
  • 10 times quicker than other laser engravers
  • Can engrave plastics and plastics with the 2W IR module
  • Brings down production time with quick batch engraving
  • Can preview the results before engraving
  • Built-in air purifier and exhaust to keep the environment smoke-free
  • Compatible with Lightburn
  • Perfect match with xTool P2 for increased productivity and broader materials

Conclusion

Laser engraving is a great business. There is a wide variety of products that can be made, and we have highlighted many of them. 

Beginners can choose to start earning from their homes. We have also selected some of the best laser engraving machines. Choose a suitable machine according to your budget and start earning!

For more questions. Please join our Facebook group to get inspired!

Related Articles