Best Laser Engraver Under 500: The 8 Best Affordable Laser Engravers

Laser engraving has been more popular recently, not just for industrial use but also for home and private workshops. These desktop laser engraver machines are perfect for hobby engravers and small businesses, and they come in different varieties to suit your every need!

Laser engraving can be expensive, but with the best laser engravers under 500, that hobby can be realized!

Here is a list of some of the best cheap engravers you can find in the market! I’m sure you can find plenty of options that can suit your needs!

The 8 Best Cheap Laser Engravers

Let’s look at them one by one!

1. Ortur Laser Master 2: Best Overall

ORTUR Laser Engraver, Laser Master 2 S2 LF, 5500mW Laser Engraving...
  • ✅5500mW Laser Engraver with Ultra-Fine...
  • ✅Safety protection: Laser Engraver newly...

The Ortur Laser master 2 is usable and compatible with almost every engraving area!

Equipped with Ultra-Fine Compression, it will deliver consistent quality. It even has different laser module options to fit every engraving need.

This, along with its ability to handle a heavy workload, makes the Ortur laser master ideal for small businesses.

If you want some hobby laser cutters, consider something more affordable. You don’t need a heavy-duty laser engraver for some work now and then.

It also has Safety Protection to prevent fires and turns off automatically when not in use. Perfect for saving your electric bill and cutting business costs! That’s not all.

This laser engraver also offers eye protection, filtering up to 97% UV light to avoid damage.

I could work on laser engraving without the hassle of wearing laser safety glasses and avoid discomfort and blurry vision while working on my laser engraving!

Now, let’s look at the cons. First, the Ortur laser master 2 requires quite some time to master.

It can be challenging for beginners to learn how to operate it to get their desired drawings and designs on the engraving area, so you will have to dedicate some time and effort to master it.

However, from my experience, it’s a breeze to use once you get the hang of it!

So stick to user-friendly ones if you’re buying a laser engraver to make a rush order or project.

Type of Laser: Diode laser | Power of Laser: 36W | Dimensions: 24.5 x 8.5 x 6.25 inches | Weight: 7.93 pounds | Materials Engravable: paper, bamboo, wood, leather PCB board, aluminum oxide, metal, glass, and more!

2. Atomstack A5 Pro 40W – Best Laser Engraving Machine For Value

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The Atomstack has a laser module that boasts of having more of a fixed-focus laser. It has more focused energy that produces a good quality engraver.

Its focal length is also 50mm for an enhanced cutting experience.

The Laser Master also comes with an eye protection cover to shield your eyes from damage by harmful UV light.

Aside from that, this excellent laser engraver doesn’t have additional features, but it covers all the basics you want an entry-level, best laser cutter to have.

It is also fast and easy to assemble, and fool-proof! It doesn’t end there. It’s also compatible with almost ANY software there is! Definitely one of my favorite engravers on the list!

Type of Laser: Diode laser | Power of Laser: 36W | Dimensions: 24.5 x 8.5 x 6.25 inches | Weight: 7.93 pounds | Materials Engravable: paper, bamboo, wood, leather PCB board, aluminum oxide, metal, glass, and more!

3. Vevor CNC 3018-Pro – Best Budget Laser Engraver

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VEVOR CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit GRBL Control 3 Axis Plastic Acrylic PCB...
  • CNC 3018 Router Machine: CNC 3018 PRO is an...
  • Large Working Area: The effective engraving area...

Being a mini laser engraver, the VEVOR CNC 3018-PRO is only suitable for small projects, as the engraving area will be small.

This is a good choice if you’re planning to get a laser engraver for a hobby.

It’s a cheap laser cutter, so you don’t have to worry about making money off it to get a return on your investment.

The VEVOR CNC 3018-PRO also features a 3-step motor system, providing good quality laser engravings! My engravings looked better with this tool!

It also does an excellent job engraving small things, which can be fun to try out if you’re starting. Using this laser engraver, you will learn to use CNC and 3D carving!

However, the small size can be limiting for those who will use it for business.

Also, it can sometimes be quite a hassle to set up on your computer software, and the engraver sometimes takes a while to connect.

Type of Laser: Diode laser | Power of Laser: 36W | Dimensions: 24.5 x 8.5 x 6.25 inches | Weight: 7.93 pounds | Materials Engravable: paper, bamboo, wood, leather PCB board, aluminum oxide, metal, glass, and more!

4. Laserpecker 1 Pro – Best Portable Laser Engraving Machine

LaserPecker 1 Pro (Suit) Laser Engraving Machine, Laser Engraver Mini...
  • 🎁 Simple Focusing: The LaserPecker 1 Pro(Suit)...
  • 🎁 Portable and Lightweight: The mini engraving...

The LaserPecker Pro 1 differs from other laser engraving machines that can handle heavy usage.

Instead, it’s for those who want to explore the art of laser engraving and see if it leads to something more serious.

This laser engraver is tiny and only occupies a little space in your workroom, so it’s ideal if you can commit to having large equipment in your area later.

Additionally, this cheap laser cutter is not dedicated to a specific engraving software, nor is it dependent on a piece of separate equipment for you to be able to maximize its use.

It also comes with an app that will walk you through how to use it step by step, so you’ll know EVERYTHING you need in as fast as 20 minutes.

In short, it’s a small, easy-to-setup and use, independently working budget laser cutter that delivers good quality laser engraving work.

What more can you ask for from an entry-level laser cutter?

And did I mention that it’s portable? If you want a more extensive list of the best laser engravers you can bring everywhere, here is a comprehensive list.

Type of Laser: Diode laser | Power of Laser: 36W | Dimensions: 24.5 x 8.5 x 6.25 inches | Weight: 7.93 pounds | Materials Engravable: paper, bamboo, wood, leather PCB board, aluminum oxide, metal, glass, and more!

5. Comgrow Z1 Laser Engraver – Biggest Z-Axis Space

ORTUR Laser Engraver, Laser Master 2 S2 LF, 5500mW Laser Engraving...
  • ✅5500mW Laser Engraver with Ultra-Fine...
  • ✅Safety protection: Laser Engraver newly...

The Comgrow Z1 Laser engraver is the most affordable laser engraver at 10W, and it even comes with free software!

It also features a DUAL Y-AXIS MOTOR, which makes it run smoothly, improving both ability and speed.

The Comgrow Z1 Laser engraver on the Z axis will give you up to 155M of travel.

It’s a manual setup that you have to adjust yourself, but you get a wide range of space without having to block the laser beam while using it.

And, of course, the almost 4-inch space means you can do laser engraving on larger cylindrical objects, like drinking glasses and tumblers!

The Comgrow laser engraving machine also features switches! 

These will help give the laser cutting process a consistent homing, which will be very helpful when doing intricate designs or redoing a previous project.

This budget laser engraver also features a safety tilt feature, where the laser cutting will automatically be stopped if the machine detects a tilt of at least 20 degrees.

Another safety measure it has in place is the laser protective cover. It’s an acrylic shroud over the head of the laser engraver, which keeps the laser beam contained to the project itself.

The best part? The Comgrow budget laser cutter works right out of the box! 

There’s no need to go exploring and spend the first few hours agonizing about making it work as you want it to.

Just set it up and start engraving!

Type of Laser: Diode laser | Power of Laser: 36W | Dimensions: 24.5 x 8.5 x 6.25 inches | Weight: 7.93 pounds | Materials Engravable: paper, bamboo, wood, leather PCB board, aluminum oxide, metal, glass, and more!

6. Omtech 40W CO2 Laser Engraver, K40 – Best Carbon Dioxide Desktop Laser Engraver

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The OMTech K40 is an excellent entry-level CO2 desktop laser engraver.

If you’re used to diode, which can hardly cut through material except for the really thin ones, you’ll be surprised at what a carbon dioxide laser can cut through, not just engrave.

With CO2 lasers, everything from wood, acrylic, glass, leather, and even power-coated metal can be engraved on, while you can cut through leather, thick wood, acrylic, and more.

Another significant difference it has with diode-type lasers is the speed.

CO2 lasers have a speed of around 200 to 400 millimeters per second, which is a plus if you’re using it for business and have a ton of orders!

Meanwhile, laser cutting can take up to 25 millimeters per second if you’re only working on simple shapes.

The OMTech K40 has an 8 x 12 work bed, so you’ll be limited to working on smaller stuff.

It is also equipped with a red laser pointer, which is very helpful for lining up exactly where you want to engrave or cut something on your material.

The software included will also let you trace around the area you will be working on for improved accuracy.

Type of Laser: Diode laser | Power of Laser: 36W | Dimensions: 24.5 x 8.5 x 6.25 inches | Weight: 7.93 pounds | Materials Engravable: paper, bamboo, wood, leather PCB board, aluminum oxide, metal, glass, and more!

7. xTool D1 Pro Upgraded Laser Engraver – Best Laser for Precise Engraving

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Upgraded from the previous model, the xTool D1 Pro can accommodate limit switches and is made of aluminum alloy.

It now has a 20W laser diode module, the most powerful diode available in the market right now, by combining four pieces of 5W lasers and combining them into a single module!

That much power will allow you to laser cut through thicker and harder materials.

It also features focal adjustment, which allows you to set the focus of the module to the surface of whatever material you’re working on.

This dramatically improves the quality of laser cutting and engraving while reducing the time to laser engrave and complete the job.

Like the xTool D1, the xTool D1 Pro also has all steel rails and roller wheels for both the x and y-axis rails.

The rotary tool has also been upgraded and has a three-jaw type of attachment. It also has different connections and fittings, which lets you hold ANYTHING on it to engrave on.

Yes, anything, even wine glasses, and billiard balls! It even has a little outrigger stand to support items that are partially straight or are too long to fit in the rotary tool.

It also comes in the 5W and 10W versions if you only need that much power in a laser cut.

Assembly is also SUPER EASY, and they even included an extensive picture book of step-by-step instructions and an online video guide.

Did I mention that you can also buy the laser module separately?

It’s perfect if you have already found your best cheap laser engraver but want the 20W power that the xTool D1 Pro offers!

Type of Laser: Diode laser | Power of Laser: 36W | Dimensions: 24.5 x 8.5 x 6.25 inches | Weight: 7.93 pounds | Materials Engravable: paper, bamboo, wood, leather PCB board, aluminum oxide, metal, glass, and more!

8. SCULPFUN S9 Laser Engraver – Best for First-Time Laser Engravers

SCULPFUN S9 Laser Engraver, 90W Effect High Precision CNC Laser...
  • High Energy Cutting & Ultra-Fine Laser Beam - S9...
  • Safety Protection Design - Laser filter cover can...

If you’re a first-timer in laser engraving, the Sculpfun S9 is your best bet.

It’s not only super cheap (even for budget best laser engravers standards), but it’s so easy to use and operate even the first time you try it, from assembling it to creating your first project!

It comes with two software recommendations, the free GRBL Laser and paid Lightburn. I recommend you start with Lightburn since not only is it free, but it is also simplified and very user-friendly.

The manual will run you through everything, from setting up the laser focus to setting up the Laser GRBL software.

They also include the recommended optimal settings depending on the material you will be engraving or cutting.

However, you will need some fiddling depending on the image and material you use, especially if the image is intricate.

Type of Laser: Diode laser | Power of Laser: 36W | Dimensions: 24.5 x 8.5 x 6.25 inches | Weight: 7.93 pounds | Materials Engravable: paper, bamboo, wood, leather PCB board, aluminum oxide, metal, glass, and more!

Why Should You Get a Laser Engraving Machine?

Multiple atomstack a5 pro laser engraver on a table

A laser engraver is the only tool you can use to get accurate, consistent, and precise engraving.

Other existing engraving tools can wear out and thus dull and wear out with time. On the other hand, laser engravers use a laser beam that will not wear out.

Laser engravers are also computer-controlled, so you can rest assured about their quality and consistency.

And because a laser engraver is computer-controlled, it can draw intricate designs that human hands can not. A laser engraver can also finish a big batch of engraving in no time, and it’s always quick and efficient!

This is especially helpful if you’re planning to engrave the same pattern on multiple items, such as corporate or event giveaways. No more human error to worry about!

Lastly, if you need you’re planning to transfer a pattern on an engraving surface that is not flat, only a laser engraver can do the job!

A laser engraver can draw patterns on almost all kinds of surfaces. The shape and surface thickness of the material doesn’t matter.

A laser engraver can draw on rounded, 3D-printed, uneven, and thin glass!

If you’re planning on expanding your laser engraving options, click here to see the best laser engraver options!

Things to Consider When Buying a Laser Engraver

How do you choose the best laser engraver for you? Here are the factors you should look out for:

Power

How strongly do you need your cheap laser engraver to be? The power of a laser engraver is measured in watts, with most laser cutters ranging from 5 to more than 100 watts.

How much power you need for your laser engravers will depend on the work you want to do and the materials you want to engrave on.

Work Area

Some laser engraving machines boast of taking up little space in your office or workshop, but those also come with a smaller work area.

Small laser engravers usually offer about 12 x 6 inches of the work area, and the bigger laser cutters can be up to 4 feet by 5 feet.

Cheap laser engravers are usually on the smaller side, and mini laser engravers under 500 can have smaller work beds.

The kind of laser cutter also matters. For instance, diode laser engravers are typically smaller than CO2 budget laser engravers.

Additional Features

One of the primary considerations when buying a cheap laser engraver is the features it offers.

Most of the best budget laser engravers are equipped with safety measures.

Since laser beams are likely to cause flare-ups, most laser engravers will automatically shut off when the machine tilts at a certain angle or when you bump into it.

Aside from those, consider the additional features.

Do you want the best of the best laser engraver with an internal camera so you can see what’s happening in your work bed?

What about autofocus for your lenses? Free software? Exhaust systems? Whether you want only the basic features or one packed full of extras, there is the best cheap laser engraver!

Price

Of course, you’re here reading this article because you’re looking for your best laser engraver under 500.

But if you’re curious about other prices beyond your price range, here’s a price guide from the best budget laser engraver machines to a professional engraver.

Laser Kind

There are three types of laser cutters: Diode Lasers, CO2 lasers, and Fiber laser engraving systems.

Let’s go through diode and CO2 since those are the ones that will fall in the laser engraver under 500 category:

Diode Laser Engraver

Portable diode laser engraver with working tools

Diode lasers have wattages that range from 5 watts to 20 watts, and their work area is around 15 to 16 square inches.

The actual laser cutter machine size isn’t much more significant than their work bed size, making them small and compact.

Since Diode lasers are small and not bulky, they are also portable and lightweight. They’re easy to move around in your workshop if you have limited space or even take with you on the road.

Diode laser cutters are also more on the lower end, which is why many cheap laser engravers fall under the diode laser cutter.

Of course, being on the cheap laser engraver side also means fewer of the fancy features that the more expensive ones have.

You still get the basics, and most cheap laser cutters still have free software, but only the most expensive models have sweet features like air assist and exhaust.

CO2 Cheap Laser Engravers

Next, I have cheap laser cutters in the CO2 category. CO2 lasers are expensive because they offer very high precision but still have budget versions.

Under this category, you can expect 40 to 100 watts of power and about 20 to 27 square inches of the work area.

A CO2 laser engraver is also larger, heavier, and bulkier than your typical diode laser cutter, even if it is a cheap laser engraver version.

CO2 laser cutters also work differently.

A diode laser cutter has a standalone laser module, while a CO2 laser engraver generates the laser beam from a CO2 glass tube at the back of the machine.

Then, a set of mirrors bounces the laser beam around until it comes through the lens. This process gives the laser cutter a more focused beam than a laser module can provide.

The resulting laser bean will give you a more accurate engraving than a laser rod.

And because it goes through all that complicated process, instead of sticking with a single laser module, you need a giant laser cutter to house all of that and pay more.

However, not being stuck with a laser module also means you have a more extensive z-axis depth.

A cheap laser engraver usually has work beds that drop down further, giving you more space to work with.

It will also allow you to do laser cutting on thicker materials with the same quality of engraving accuracy as on softer materials.

With a diode cutter, your limit thickness is a couple of inches.

And because of how a CO2 quality laser engraver works, it also comes with an air assist and a built-in exhaust system.

Closed up view of a laser engraver working

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you have more questions about laser engravers? I’ve got all the answers right here!

How Much Is a Good Laser Engraver?

A laser cutter can range from $100 to more than $10,000. But as you can see from our list of cheap laser engravers, you can find excellent ones below $500.

Like any other gadget, this particular machine loosely follows the rule that the more you pay for it, the higher the quality.

However, you can get the highest-priced machine to get the best laser cutter. The best laser cutter for you is the one that will perfectly fit your needs.

If it fulfills every one of your needs in a laser cutter, you don’t have to spend extra for additional features if you’re not going to be as valuable to your work.

Here’s a guide on the best budget laser engravers.

Do Affordable Laser Engravers Work?

Yes!

As our list of the best cheap laser engraver machines proves, you can get a good quality machine that performs excellently at a very affordable price.

How Long Do Laser Engraving Machines Last?

A low-cost laser engraver has about 35,000 hours of laser life on average. However, this number can vary depending on the material you engrave on.

Hard and thick materials will wear down your low-cost laser engraver faster. For instance, wood, jewelry, and anodized aluminum will degrade more quickly than paper and soft leather.

To focus on engraving hard materials, purchase a laser woodcutter or a fiber laser engraving system for jewelry.

Best Budget Laser Cutter Recap

You still haven’t made your purchase decision? Here’s what I recommend:

Best Budget – VEVOR CNC 3018-PRO

Small, affordable, and sturdy enough to use for years, the VEVOR CNC 3018 Pro is an excellent choice for hobby laser engravers.

It’s easy to use, cheap enough that you don’t have to worry about getting your ROI, and it will last you for years!

The only downside is that it’s tiny, so if you want to go beyond the coaster and Christmas balls, this is different from the laser engraver.

Best Value – ATOMSTACK A5 PRO 40W

The Atomstack is famous for a reason. It takes only 20 minutes to assemble and includes everything you need to get it working. They even have some sample materials to try out!

It has a bigger workspace than the VEVOR and can engrave in a wider variety of materials, including PVC, oxidized or painted metals, and even bamboo!

It can also be cut through the plywood and other light wood, paper, fabric, leather, tinted acrylic, and plastic.

It’s excellent for hobby engravers and those who want to try out laser engraving as a business.

Best Overall – Ortur Laser Master 2

The Ortur Laser master 2 is known as the king of laser engravers. It’s one of the most popular high-performance laser engravers that still come at a reasonable price.

It features more features that other laser machines don’t have and can move faster. You can also use it with an offline controller without a computer!

The Ortur Master 2 has the necessary safety features, like the fire alarm and the emergency stop. It’s also very well-built and will last you for years.

Conclusion

And that’s all I have for the best lasers under 500!

Remember, a great laser engraver doesn’t have to be expensive to give you the best results.

There are plenty of quality laser engravers in the market and different varieties to meet your specific needs.

I hope my list has been helpful!

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