A compact laser engraver can be very useful for a number of tasks. It can allow you to start your own business and eventually earn a stable income, but it’s also useful for general household tasks like decorating personal items and gifts for friends.
Finding a good laser engraver for home use is different from buying a professional one, and you need to have some idea of how you intend to use it before you start your search.Top 5 Picks for Best Portable Laser Engravers:
We’ve taken the time to collect a list of some of the best portable laser engravers on the market right now. Other options are available too, but this list should still be a good starting point in your research.
As long as you have a good understanding of your requirements and intentions, finding the ideal solution should be as easy as ticking items off a list.
Top 5 Best Portable Laser Engraver Reviews
If you’re looking for the best, top-rated portable laser for your needs, read on. Depending on what exactly you’re looking for, you will probably find a good solution in the list below.
Keeping in mind that the answer to the question “What is the best compact laser engraver?” varies a lot from one person to another. This is especially true with regard to the difference between personal and commercial use.
1 – xTool M1 Compact Laser Engraver & Cutting Machine
- Very powerful for cutting
- Supports a great variety of materials
- Easy to use
- Not the cheapest model on the market
The xTool M1 by Makeblock is a well-known model packed full of features. This compact laser engraver both engraving and cutting, and features a blade for blade cutting. This is a feature that’s not found in every model on the market, and immediately makes the xTool M1 stand out, making it the best portable laser engraver in its class.
The machine supports advanced AI-driven focusing for extra precision. It can work with a variety of attachments, including purifiers and extractor fans. You can use a rotary attachment as well, if any of your projects call for it.
The 385 x 300 mm working area should be plentiful for most projects. This includes some larger designs as well, so it doesn’t matter if you need to do something more complex with the xTool M1 – it will likely be fit for the job.
You can engrave on a wide range of materials with this model. This includes common materials like wood, metal, leather, glass, and vinyl, as well as less common ones like stone and heat transfer film.
The engraving and cutting precision is unmatched in this price class, regardless of your choice of material. If you need a portable laser engraver for metal, this should be one of your top choices.
The model comes in two different variants, one with a 5W laser and the other with a 10W model. Both should work fine for most of your needs, though if you need additional engraving power for more difficult materials, you should probably pick the M1-10W.
Other than the power grade of the laser, other features are pretty much identical between the two.
The xTool M1 is a bit more expensive than other laser engravers and cutters, but it justifies its price tag very well. This is a powerful laser engraver for small business users that’s pretty much unmatched in terms of features and power in this price category, so if you can afford it, this is the best choice you can make in this class.
2 – LaserPecker 2 Handheld Laser Engraver Machine
- Works faster than most other models on the market
- Good safety features make it suitable for beginners
- Compatible with many file formats without additional conversion
- Engraving leather sometimes produces slightly inaccurate results
A compact model that packs some serious power for its size, the LaserPecker 2 is one of the best portable laser engravers for hobbyists you can get if you’re looking to make a long-term investment into a quality machine. It’s also very easy to use, and is one of the safest models on the market in the hands of beginners without much experience.
The device supports designs up to 100 x 2000 mm. This powerful handheld laser engraver supports resolutions of up to 2K and can transmit wirelessly over Bluetooth 5.0. This allows it to operate fast enough for most people’s needs.
Combined with the fast operation of the engraving hardware itself, this is a model designed for speed users who want to mass-produce their work.
Another good benefit of the LaserPecker 2 portable laser engraver is that it supports a wide range of file formats. You can import your images not just in vector formats, but also in JPG, PNG, BMP, and other raster formats. This means that you don’t have to go through the trouble of converting each image to a supported format, further saving time.
If you don’t want to use a wireless connection, you can also connect the engraver directly to your computer through the provided USB-C port.
The included shield allows you to operate the engraver in close proximity without worrying about eye damage or strain. This is a useful feature not just for beginners, but also professionals working in enclosed spaces.
At this price, the LaserPecker 2 is an unbeatable offer. The compact design of the engraver, combined with its fast operation, makes it perfect for beginners and professionals looking to work as fast as possible alike. This is a premium model with a very high price tag though, so it might not be suitable for someone just starting out and working with a limited budget.
3 – LaserPecker 1 Pro Mini Laser Engraving Machine
- Very compact design
- No moving parts, requiring less maintenance
- Good for inexperienced users
- Not very advanced compared to some more expensive models
A nice portable laser engraver for beginners with various features, the LaserPecker 1 Pro offers a bit of everything in one complete package. The engraving area is a bit small at just 100 x 100 mm, but once you get used to it, it should be more than enough for most of your projects.
This is perhaps the best mini laser engraving machine for buyers without too many special preferences looking for something that just gets the job done. It’s a popular model on the market right now, used by many professionals and beginners. It’s also a reliable laser engraver for leather, something that immediately sets it apart from some of its competitors in this article.
Leather is often difficult to work with in this field, so it’s good to see a model specifically designed with this material in mind. It’s odd that this feature was not built on further in the LaserPecker 2, but the successor makes up for that with other features.
The company behind the LaserPecker 1 Pro is known for its reliable customer service. This makes it the best handheld laser engraver for users who want minimal fuss during their work. Considering that some other companies tend to have serious issues with their customer support, this immediately makes the LaserPecker 1 stand out.
If you’re a beginner looking for a good starting point, the LaserPecker 1 should definitely be on top of your list. It might not have as many features as some other models, but it’s well worth its price and can provide you with great reliability over a long period of time.
4 – Aufero Portable Laser Engraver
- Several layers of protection to keep you safe
- High compatibility with different applications
- Ready to go right after unpacking
- Customer support occasionally responds a bit slowly
With a good range of supported applications and multiple protective features, the Aufero portable laser engraver is a reliable, relatively cheap option that can work well for people with different requirements. It’s one of the most affordable laser engraver models on the market right now, and its features make it a great model for both hobbyist work as well as professional crafts.
The engraving area is almost twice as large as that of the LaserPecker 1, offering 180 x 180 mm of space for your designs. Considering that even the LaserPecker 1 can work well even for complex projects once you’ve taken the time to adjust to its peculiarities, the Aufero should be more than enough for most hobby and commercial projects.
Despite the larger engraving area, this is still a mini portable laser engraver at its core, and it won’t take up too much space on your desk. You can configure the laser in three different modes, including one designed for work involving very fine details, as well as a high-power mode for heavy-duty engraving.
According to experts, this model features the most feature-rich motherboard in Ortur’s lineup, making it ideal for experts looking to maximize their performance.
You can use this engraver to work with most materials you can think of. This includes wood, glass, metal, stone, paper, and leather. You can also work on ceramic tiles and even soft materials like some types of food.
It also comes practically pre-built, so you don’t need to do any additional assembly. Just take it out of the box, plug it in, and you’re good to go.
If you’re looking for a small laser engraver for crafters at an affordable price, look no further. The Aufero portable laser engraver is significantly cheaper than many competing offers and comes with a long lifespan, requiring minimal maintenance along the way.
5 – NEJE 3 N30820 Portable Laser Engraver and Cutter Machine
- Best low-cost engraver model
- Large-sized engraving area compared to the engraver’s overall size
- Only supports NEJE’s own software
The NEJE 3 N30820 is perhaps the top portable laser engraving machine under $300. Don’t let the price tag fool you – this device offers quite a lot under the hood, and it also has a small, compact profile that can easily fit in a variety of environments.
The model supports resolutions of up to 2266 x 2266 pixels, and sports a large engraving area at 170 x 170 mm. Installation and initial setup are minimal, requiring just a few screws to be tightened before the device is good to go. And with its high-precision engraving capabilities, this small-size laser engraver can produce some impressive results, especially at that price level.
One of the best things about this NEJE laser engraving machine is its format support. You can use many different formats with it, including most vector formats as well as BMP, JPG, PNG, and even GIF, among some of the raster ones. If you’re looking for a compact laser engraver that requires minimal extra effort before you can start using it, that’s a great choice.
One major downside of this laser engraver is that you’re required to use NEJE’s proprietary software as it doesn’t support other programs.
Users can also benefit from the integrated temperature feedback and additional protective measures like an advanced anti-static design. Fans and other components can work for a long time without any maintenance, further adding to the cost efficiency of this model.
At a price this low, you can’t go wrong with the NEJE 3 N30820 laser engraver. The device leaves little to be desired, except maybe for software support, and is a good choice for both beginners and experienced users.
Who Should Buy a Portable Laser Engraver?
A portable laser engraver cutting machine has various applications. While some people assume that these machines are only used commercially, they are also owned and operated by a number of private users. Laser engravers can be useful, for example, for decorating personal belongings and marking them in a shared household.
You can also craft gifts for friends and family with the help of a compact laser engraver. And if you want to go commercial, you have tons of options available. For example, you can use your engraver to add an extra layer of customization to existing products, or even to enhance your own product line.
Portable models are particularly useful if you don’t have a lot of space to work with. They can easily fit in a smaller area and don’t require as much maintenance as larger devices. With something like the LaserPecker 1, for example, you can easily fit the engraver in your living room or another part of your home without having to invest in dedicated business premises.
Smaller models also tend to consume less power (though this can vary), and their maintenance is simpler compared to larger models. If something breaks down, the corresponding parts should be easily accessible without advanced technical skills. That’s not always the case with large laser engravers.
How to Choose the Best Portable Laser Engraver?
What is a good mini laser engraver? The answer to that question will vary heavily across the board. You need to understand your individual requirements on a good enough level to make an informed decision about your purchase. The best portable laser engraver for a commercial user will be different from one bought for personal use.
You might need to work with specific materials. In this case, you should focus your search on a small laser engraver for metal or whatever else you want to operate on. Not all laser engravers are equal in this regard, and some support a much broader range of materials.
If portability is your primary goal, you might even want to look at a handheld laser engraving machine. This might require making a small sacrifice in terms of performance and speed, but in some situations, that’s still the better option.
You should also consider how easy each model is to use. Some models are more user-friendly than others and are aimed at beginners with no experience in the field. Others require more technical knowledge, including in their initial setup.
Software support is another factor that varies heavily on the market. Some models can only work with specific operating systems and even specific software suites. If you’re not careful, you might end up with a model that’s incompatible with what you have. This will require you to either return the engraver (which can cost time and money), or spend additional money on hardware or software compatible with the model you’ve picked.
Finally, don’t forget customer support. Even if you buy the best laser engraver on the market, you’re still not guaranteed that it will be free of defects. You might also encounter issues that you don’t know how to resolve. In this case, it’s good to know that you can rely on quality customer support to get you through those problems as quickly as possible.
LaserPecker models are a good example of devices backed by a reliable, responsive company. If you’re concerned about being able to resolve issues as quickly as possible, it’s recommended to go with a model from a reputed manufacturer. Even if it costs more, the extra price is usually justified by the added security.
Portable Laser Engravers FAQ
How strong of a laser engraver do I need?
A good laser engraver should operate at 20 to 80 watts for optimal results. More powerful models are usually overkill for most applications, unless you need to cut some very specialized materials that specifically require a lot of energy. On the other hand, you’ll want to make sure that your engraver has a minimum power level capable of handling the most basic materials you’ll be using in your work.
Can a 20W laser be used to cut any material?
20W laser engravers are not very powerful, but they can still operate on a variety of materials without issues. This includes wood, leather, and glass. Considering that most hobby and even commercial projects will utilize some of these materials, you may not need to go any higher with the laser’s power.
How much power does a laser engraver need for working on metal?
If you want to operate on metal, it’s recommended to go for a model with at least 50W of power. This will allow you to work with most types of metals without problems, though you might still need a stronger laser if you’re planning to work with particularly strong metals.
Which Portable Laser Engraver to Buy?
Now that you know what some of the best portable laser engravers on the market are, all that’s left is to go through the list and make your pick. Remember, try not to follow the opinions of other users, even if they’re using their engravers for the exact same purposes you intend to.
There is a lot of variety on this market, and sometimes the best model for your needs will be completely different from the one preferred by another user with similar specifications.
Don’t underestimate portability either. Some of the most compact laser engravers can pack a lot of power for their size, and they can easily rival some larger, more expensive models. It’s all about using the laser engraver correctly and taking full advantage of its feature set. And this can only happen after you’ve spent enough time familiarizing yourself with its features and getting comfortable with using it.