Laser engraving machines are available in a wide range of sizes. From small handheld devices to bulky machines, there is a massive variety out there. But portable and small laser engravers are one of the most preferred laser machines because these are compact, lightweight, and easy to carry.
Using a portable laser engraver is easy, but getting the right machine can be a bit difficult because there are so many options on the market.
In this article, we will discuss how you can choose the best portable laser engraver. We will share some important factors you need to consider and will explain everything you need to know before making a purchase. We will also share the top six portable laser engravers in 2023 to make your choice easier.
In This Article
- xTool F1: Fastest Portable Diode & IR Laser Engraver
- LaserPecker 4 Portable Laser Engraver
- Neje 3 Portable Laser Engraver
- WAINLUX Z3 Portable Laser Engraver
- Comgrow Mini Laser Engraver
- Snapmaker Original 3-in-1 Portable Laser Engraver
- What is a Portable Laser Engraver?
- Things to Consider When Buying a Portable Laser Engraver
xTool F1: Fastest Portable Diode & IR Laser Engraver
|Rated Power||455 nm diode laser (10W) + 1064 nm infrared laser (2W)|
|Product Size||179 mm * 235 mm * 334 mm|
|Product Weight||4.6 KG|
|Working Area||115mm x 115mm|
|Max. Processing Speed||4000mm/s|
If you need a portable laser engraver that can handle any material at an incredibly fast speed, then xTool F1 is the perfect choice for you. It is the fastest and most versatile portable laser engraver on the market.
You can easily take it anywhere you want, thanks to its small size of 179mm*235mm*334mm and light weight of 4.6kg. You can use it as a handheld device or place it on a flat surface. You can also control it from your mobile devices (Android, iOS, and iPad), without the need for a computer. And you don’t have to worry about power supply, as it supports an outdoor power source with 24V 5A DC output. Whether you are at home, in your workshop, or at a craft show, you can always enjoy the convenience and efficiency of xTool F1 portable laser engraver.
xTool F1 is not only portable but also powerful. It combines two laser technologies: an infrared laser and a 10W diode laser. The infrared laser can engrave almost all metals, such as aluminum, steel, iron, copper, gold, silver, platinum, and more. It can also process plastics, such as acrylic. The diode laser can engrave and cut non-metals, such as wood, plywood, MDF, acrylic, glass, paper, ceramics, stone, leather, etc. It can cut up to 8mm thick wood in one pass. With xTool F1, you can work on a wide range of materials with high precision and quality.
xTool F1 is also an incredibly fast portable laser engraver. It can engrave at a stunning speed of up to 4000 mm/s. It is 10-20 times faster than desktop laser machines and 8 times faster than similar portable machines. It uses advanced Galvo technology that makes it ultra-fast and accurate. To apply the Galvo system, the moving rails existed in common desktop laser machines are removed from it, increasing its portability.
engraved paintings on metal business cards using xTool F1
Due to its portability, xTool F1 has a standard engraving area of 115 x 115 mm, which is ideal for small objects. But you can also extend it to 400 x 115 mm by using the extension accessory. This way, you can cover large objects without any problem. Moreover, xTool F1 is compatible with RA2 Pro rotary attachment, which allows you to engrave cylindrical and spherical objects. It works as a roller, sphere, ring, and chuck rotary.
xTool F1 is smart and safe in design. It has an automatic focus function that adjusts the laser according to the material thickness. You can also switch to manual focus if you prefer. Before engraving, xTool F1 gives you a live preview of the graphics on the objects. This helps you to adjust the position and size of the graphics.
xTool F1 also has a fully-enclosed design that protects you from the laser beams of both laser modules. It has a light-filtering cover that blocks the harmful rays. It also has a built-in exhaust fan that expels the smoke and smell from the working area through the exhaust pipe. You can also connect an air purifier to clean the exhaust air. For extra safety, xTool F1 has a password lock function that prevents unauthorized use.
xTool F1 comes with its own software that runs on both mobile and desktop devices. It is also compatible with LightBurn software, which is a popular choice for laser engraving enthusiasts. You can easily create and edit your designs with these software.
In conclusion, xTool F1 is a portable laser engraver that offers unparalleled performance and versatility. It is easy to carry, easy to use, and easy to maintain. It is suitable for both hobbyists and professionals who need an efficient and reliable portable laser engraver.
LaserPecker 4 Portable Laser Engraver
|Rated Power||455 nm diode laser (10W) + 1064 nm infrared laser (2W)|
|Product Size||260.5 x 218 x 283.5 mm|
|Working Area||160 mm x 120 mm|
|Max. Processing Speed||2000mm/s|
image credit: Laserpecker
Another portable laser engraver on our list is Laserpecker 4. Like xTool F1, it’s also a portable laser engraver that has two laser sources: a 10W 450nm blue diode laser and a 2W 1064nm infrared laser. You can switch between them with a single swipe on the smart LED touch screen. With Laserpecker 4, you can work on wood, acrylic, glass, leather, ceramic, paper, stone, stainless steel, aluminum alloy, gold, silver, plastic, and more.
It has a compact size of 260.5 x 218 x 283.5 mm and a light weight of 4kg. Laserpecker 4 offers the practical convenience of portability. Its sleek design allows you to effortlessly carry it to any location and start engraving at will.
It has a standard engraving area of 160mm * 120mm, which is ideal for small objects. But if you need more space, you can use the slide extension accessory to extend it to 300mm*160mm. You can also rotate the laser head 180 degrees to engrave at different angles.
The Laserpecker 4 comes equipped with a live preview on the objects and supports double red dot focus. The engraver includes software compatible with both mobile and desktop platforms, and can also be paired with LightBurn software. Adding to its portability, you can use Bluetooth technology to link the software to the machine.
Neje 3 Portable Laser Engraver
image credit: Neje
NEJE 3 is a lightweight and compact portable diode laser engraver and cutter. Due to its simple design, it is quite easy to carry and set up wherever you want. Thus, it is suitable for on-site and quick engraving tasks.
The machine is equipped with a 5.5W diode laser, which is ideal for engraving. Its laser spot measures only 0.08 x 0.08 mm; therefore, it can engrave fine details for the graphics with perfection. The compatible materials are wood, plywood, fabric, paper, cardboard, acrylic, canvas, stainless steel, painted metals, fabric, leather, etc.
The quality of the engraving is commendable. It supports 338dpi and 2266 x 2266 pixels resolution. Its accuracy and precision of the machine can reach up to 0.01mm. The speed can reach up to 1,000 mm/s, which is a bit slow compared to similar portable laser engravers, but still faster than the desktop ones.
The machine can be controlled through mobile or desktop applications. NEJE app and software are available for free. You can also use LaserGRBL and LightBurn. The mobile applications allow you to use the machine anywhere without a computer. You can use the iOS or Android application. It makes the machine extremely portable.
There are various accessories available to upgrade the machine. You can install air assist, focusing lens, z-axis adjuster, etc. You can also use other compatible laser modules to work on more materials and get better results. If you are on a low budget, you can go with it.
WAINLUX Z3 Portable Laser Engraver
image credit: Wainlux
WAINLUX Z3 is a powerful portable laser engraver with a one-of-a-kind design and technology. The most important thing is its small size and foldable design, so it is quite easy to carry this machine and use it anywhere you like. The laser head of the machine can be folded 180 degrees, which not only makes it compact but also allows users to engrave objects with different inclinations.
The optical power of the laser machine is 5W and its speed can reach up to 600mm/s. The laser spot size measures 0.05mm to cover the tiny details and improve the contrast of the engraving. With this portable laser engraving machine, it is possible to engrave wood, leather, cardboard, acrylic, plastic, etc. But it cannot engrave transparent and reflecting materials and metals. Moreover, it is compatible with the roller rotary, so it can engrave cylindrical objects as well.
You can either use the mobile application or the desktop software. Your mobile device can be directly connected through Bluetooth connection. Before engraving, it also gives you a quick preview to understand the size and position of the image.
The machine has a built-in exhaust system. It removes the smoke and smell from the engraving area. It also has motion protection and overheat monitoring to ensure the safety of the machine and the user. It is an excellent portable laser engraver, but its engraving area is only 80 x 80mm. Therefore, it can only process small objects.
Comgrow Mini Laser Engraver
image credit: Comgrow
This is one of the lightest laser engravers on the market because it weighs only 0.9kg. It is a mini laser engraver in plastic, which is extremely portable and easy to carry. You can take it anywhere and use it without any hassle. It can be powered through two different power supplies.
The design of the laser engraver is quite different. You need to place it over the object, and you are ready to go. Its engraving area is around 98 x 88mm, which is suitable for small objects. Its native application can be operated on Windows, Android and IOS systems.
The optical power of the machine is only 1.6W and its engraving speed for a dog tag is 25mm/m, which are extremely low compared to other portable laser engravers we have discussed. But it can work on small DIY projects. It can engrave wood, paperboard, leather, acrylic, bamboo, rubber, fruit, food, cloth, painted metals, and some other materials.
This small laser engraver has tip-over and tilt safety that turns off the machine if the machine is tilted 30 degrees. It also comes along with safety goggles to protect your eyes. There is also a G-sensor inside that stops the machine if you touch it during engraving. It prevents accidents. But keep in mind that the machine is not enclosed, so you will feel the smell and smoke while engraving. It should be used in an open or well-ventilated space.
This is a mini laser engraver, which is suitable for DIY and simple tasks. You can engrave QR codes, dog tags, phone covers, wallets, food items, and other things. It is good for customizing objects. If you want to get some hands-on experience using a laser machine at a low cost, you can try it.
Snapmaker Original 3-in-1 Portable Laser Engraver
image credit: Snapmaker
Snapmaker Original is basically a 3-in-1 machine. It is a 3D printer, CNC carving machine, and laser engraver. You only need to change the module on the machine to do the desired job. It’s 0.2W laser module can process Wood, bamboo, leather, plastic, fabric, paper, non-transparent acrylic, etc.
The machine has some incredible features. First of all, there is a fan on the laser module. It blows a powerful air current that removes smoke from the working area. It improves the working of the machine and prevents discoloration of the material. Secondly, the machine has an auto-focus feature. You only need to place the material in the working area, and the module will adjust the focus on its own. It hardly takes a few seconds.
This portable laser engraving machine also contains a high-resolution camera. It gives you a complete preview of the working area through the software. Thus, you can position the graphics easily and get accurate results every time.
There is a tailor-made software for laser engraving, Luban. It makes the process easier for the users. There are also recommended parameters for commonly used materials to get exceptional results. The machine can also be upgraded through a wide range of accessories. You can get a rotary attachment, enclosure, air purifier, emergency stop button, etc. There will be more accessories and laser modules in the future.
The machine has various safety features. There is a gyroscope in the laser module, which detects the tilt or tip-over of the machine. It prevents misuse and accidents. The overheating protection system senses the temperature of the module. It stops the machine if the temperature is high. Once it cools down to the normal temperature, the job can be resumed.
What is a Portable Laser Engraver?
A portable laser engraver is a compact, lightweight, and easy-to-carry laser engraving machine. Its purpose is to engraver anywhere without any hassle.
For instance, if you want to engrave an object at your client’s house, you need a portable laser engraving machine. It is an ideal variant for on-site and outdoor laser engraving tasks. The design of these machines should be compact. It should take up less space and have less weight. Most of these machines are handheld laser engravers that you can hold in your hand during some engraving tasks. Some are also mini desktop laser machines.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Portable Laser Engraver
Size and Portability
The first thing you need to check is the size and design of the laser engraver. It gives you a better idea of portability. If the size is compact and the machine is lightweight, then the machine is easy to carry. There are other things that also define portability. For instance, the design of a handheld machine makes it more portable than other laser machines. Some machines also have a foldable design for maneuverability. Secondly, if the machine has a mobile application for the control, it is a plus point.
Type of the Laser
Portable laser engravers are usually diode or infrared lasers. If you want to engrave non-metals, such as wood, plywood, leather, fabric, ceramic, glass, and acrylic, a diode laser is the right option. For metals and plastic, an infrared laser is the best. It is better to get a dual-laser machine that contains both infrared and diode lasers. These machines can engrave a wide range of materials and can also do laser cutting. They are ideal because they increase the variety of items you can engrave.
The optical power of the portable laser engraver defines its power. It is necessary to check this power in the specifications. But the problem is that you will find other power ratings as well. Those can be machine power and laser module electric power. However, you need to look at the optical power to get an idea of the power of the laser machine.
The optical power of a portable diode laser engraver is usually around 5-10W. The more, the better. In the case of the infrared laser, the power is usually 1-2W. These optical powers are more than enough for a portable laser engraver.
Portable laser engravers can be infrared, diode, or any other type of laser. All these laser technologies are compatible with different types of materials. If you know the type of laser, it is easy to know about the compatible materials. But sometimes, manufacturers don’t specify the type of laser. Always check the compatible materials that the laser can engrave and cut. It gives a clear idea of what you can do with the laser machine.
It is good to know the compatible laser engraving software that can run the portable laser engraver. Usually, the manufacturers offer native and free software, but in most cases, it is basic software that has limited options. Thus, along with the native software, the machine should support some other applications as well, especially LightBurn. It ensures the machine can be used for almost all engraving purposes. If there is a mobile application available, it will be easier for the user to operate the machine. There is no need to carry a laptop.
Laser machines should have safety features to prevent accidents and misuse. The first safety feature should be tilt or tip-over safety. It turns the machine off if the machine is hit, tilted, or moved from its place. Secondly, the machines should have a protection shield or light-filtering glass. It prevents the escape of laser beams from the machine and protects your eyes. Undoubtedly, you should use safety goggles, but the shield offers extra protection. The machine should have a built-in exhaust system. It helps in removing the smoke and smell from the working area of the machine. You can also use the air purifier if needed.
Portable laser engravers are available in a wide variety. The price ranges from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. It depends on the features of the machine, specifications, portability, accessories, etc. Compare different portable laser engravers and check the value for money before making a decision.