Laser cutters allow you to work with a huge variety of materials. For just a couple hundred dollars you can bag a machine that can engrave plastic, acrylic, wood, cardboard, felt, leather and much more. But if you’re looking for the best laser engraver for metal, you need to be a little more picky.
This is because while virtually all laser engravers can work with softer materials, not all of them can work with metal. As metals are tougher materials than wood or plastic, much more power is needed for accurate engraving. This is particularly true for strong metals like stainless steel.
As you can probably imagine, a laser engraving machine for metal is more expensive than a standard laser cutter. For this reason, it’s important to be absolutely sure that you’re choosing the right metal laser cutter for you. So, how do you do that?
For non-metal laser cutting and engraving, we have a general best laser cutter and engraver ranking
That’s where we come in. We’ve picked out the best laser engravers for metal. For each machine, we checked out the accuracy levels, safety, compatible materials, durability and ease of use, so you can be sure to find a high-quality engraver, whether you’re looking for a budget option or a professional cutter.
You can read our full recommendations below, but if you’re in a hurry, here’s our top picks:
- Ruoclris Mini Desktop Metal Laser Engraver
- MathRose Upgraded Laser Engraver
- Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro
- NEJE Engraving Machine
- Snapmaker 2.0
- Ten-High Fiber Metal Laser Engraver
- LYXC Hybrid Metal Laser Cutter and Engraver
How Metal Laser Engraving Works & Its Applications
Metal laser engravers work by projecting highly concentrated laser beams onto metal surfaces. The laser essentially vaporizes the metal surface, leaving a permanent crevice. This requires a lot of energy – a vaporization temperature of 2,327 degrees is needed to engrave aluminum, for example – so laser engravers are powerful tools.
But in some cases, you can get by with applying a surface coat of a softer material, and then engraving that — giving the impression that you have engraved instead on the tougher metal. This is what less powerful laser engravers do for metal.
More powerful metal laser engravers can work on all sorts of different metals, from aluminum and steel to magnesium and lead.
Laser engravers are important tools for many industries as they allow for the adding of things like:
- Serial numbers
- Tracking numbers
These products can range from everything from machines, hardware, and automobile parts, to measuring tools and medical devices.
How much does a metal laser engraver cost?
Metal laser engravers are commonly used by hobbyists to personalize objects or create artworks and decorations. If this is what you’re interested in, you can pick up a laser engraver for a few hundred dollars.
However, if you’re after an industrial machine for business uses, there are much more advanced engravers available for thousands of dollars.
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The Best Laser Engravers For Metal — Ranked
1. Ruoclris Mini Desktop Laser Engraving Machine – Best Mini Laser Engraving Machine for Metal
- Price: $179 — Available on Amazon here
Kicking off our list is the Ruoclris’ Mini Desktop Laser Engraver, a very small, compact machine that’s ideal for beginners and those looking for an easily portable engraver.
The small size of this laser engraver for metal means you can easily set it on a desktop and get to work. It can engrave a wide variety of materials, including metal surface coating, wood, ceramics and leather.
This machine features a 1600mw OSRAM laser chip and efficient heat dissipation to help prevent it becoming overworked. The laser output is very stable and durable, being able to work continuously for over 10,000 hours.
You can engrave up to 2mm deep with the Ruoclris Mini Engraver. It has a sophisticated XY module for improved engraving patterns.
2. MathRose Upgraded Laser Engraver – Best Cheap Laser Engraver for Metal
- Price: $309.00 — Available on Amazon here
The MathRose Upgraded Laser Engraver is an impressive machine that can be used to work on a wide range of materials, including aluminum oxide and lacquered metal. This means you can engrave hard metals like stainless steel by painting the surface black and then wiping it clean after engraving.
This small metal laser cutter has a full-metal structure so it’s really solid and durable. The stable structure also helps to improve the engraving accuracy, anchoring the machine down and preventing any vibrations from affecting precision. The structure has been designed specifically for quick and easy assembly, so you can get up and running in 10 minutes.
There’s no need to adjust the focus of this laser engraver before you start working. It has a high-performance fixed focus laser with a focal spot that’s 50% smaller than other lasers, which provides precision engraving and high energy cutting.
We also like that the MathRose Laser Engraver has precise scale lines on the X-axis and Y-axis for quick length measurements. The working area is 410x400mm, so there’s enough room to complete a variety of different engraving projects.
One particularly cool feature is that this laser has a protective cover which filters 97% of UV light. This means you can laser engrave without having to wear goggles, saving costs and allowing you to work more comfortably.
3. Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro – Best Metal Laser Cutter for Safety Features
The latest laser engraving machine for metal from Ortur, the Laser Master 2 Pro is a newly upgraded machine that boasts some fantastic features.
Accuracy is the main priority for metal engravers, and this machine certainly delivers on that front. It’s equipped with the latest OLM-PRO-V10 motherboard, which provides highly precise engraving and a fast engraving speed, while also ensuring engraving remains smooth and delicate.
It also uses the powerful Ortur Laser 1.5 firmware. This optimizes the motion algorithm and increases motion speed up to 10,000mm/mm. It uses a second-generation FAC laser model with a focal point of just 0.08*0.15mm, which makes for powerful, smooth metal engraving.
This is a very reliable and durable machine with a long working life, thanks to the optimized mechanical structure.
You can also read our full test and review of the Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro
The Laser Master 2 Pro is also a very safe laser engraver to use, thanks to functions such as flame detection and emergency stop. It also uses an upgraded 24V voltage system with a lower current for safe working.
Another feature we like is that when this laser engraver for metal is displaced or tilted, the laser automatically stops to prevent any damage. This also happens if the machine is turned on and there’s no movement for some time, and if the machine or computer crashes.
4. NEJE Engraving Machine – Best Laser Engraving Machine for Metal with Spot Compression
- Price: $369 — Available on Amazon here
The NEJE engraving machine is a really high quality option for engraving metal and other materials like wood and plastics.
It has a 30W engraving module and 7.5W output power which offers powerful engraving at speeds as high as 60,000mm/min, so you can work through projects in shorter time. The engraving module has a smart driver that dynamically adjusts fan speed for intelligent temperature control.
This machine is compatible with several different top software solutions, including LaserGRBL, Lightburn and NEJE’s own proprietary software.
With a 460 x 810mm engraving area, there’s plenty of space to work on a wide variety of different projects. This is also a very safe and secure machine, with a protective panel that blocks over 90% of leaking light and built-in MEMs Roll protection. It also automatically stops working in the event of an accidental touch or machine shift.
It’s super easy to get started with the NEJE laser engraver for metal, as you need to just screw six screws to get it up and running. This is also a really user-friendly machine, with multi-functional keys for adjusting and frame positioning.
5. Snapmaker 2.0 Modular 3-in-1 – Laser Engraver for Metal, 3D Printer & CNC Carver
This is the most unique machine on our list, as far from being just a laser engraver, the Snapmaker 2.0 Modular 3-in-1 is also a 3D printer and CNC carving machine.
Starting with the laser engraving aspect, this machine has a fantastic auto focus feature that automatically uses the optimal laser height without you having to repeatedly test for the focal point.
It also boasts an impressive camera capture feature that means a camera automatically uploads a picture of the material to Snapmaker Luban software as a canvas. You can import and directly edit a picture on the canvas, and then engrave it with just a simple click.
In terms of 3D printing, the Snapmaker 2.0 Modular 3-in-1 boasts auto leveling, filament runout recovery and power loss recovery. The machine also has a CNC module with a ER11 collet for precise and consistent results, with a spindle speed of between 6,000 and 12,000 RPM.
This machine is very well built and durable, with a repeatability of 0.005mm, so it produces consistent results whether you’re engraving metal, 3D printing or CNC carving. The Snapmaker Luban software is suitable for all three applications, and both the machine and the software are modular, so you can customize them as you wish.
This machine has a 4.5-star rating from over 70 reviews on Amazon who have used it for everything from hobbyist laser cutter projects, to a small business owner who uses it to create Steve Wozniak-esque metal business cards.
6. Ten-High Fiber Laser Engraving Machine for Metal – Excellent CNC Metal Laser Cutter for Businesses
- Price: $4,200 — Available on Amazon here
This is a very powerful metal laser engraver that’s an excellent choice for professional metal workers.
You can use the Ten-High Fiber Laser Engraving Machine with a variety of different metals including stainless steel. It’s also suitable for working with some non-metallic materials, including aluminum oxide, electroplating material and industrial ceramics.
Thanks to the high-grade fiber laser equipped with an optical insulator, this metal laser cutter is also ideal for working with gold, silver, copper, and aluminum. You can regulate by frequency and energy for working with different metals.
This laser engraving machine for metal is extremely precise. In fact, its marking speed is 3-5 times faster than regular YAG and DP semiconductor engravers. You can also control the marking depth for improved accuracy.
The marking is noticeably clear, firm and permanent. This is due to the minimum spot diameter of up to 0.1mm, meaning it can be used for micro painting, bar codes, and trademark marketing.
The operating table and the integrated design structure makes for comfortable and convenient operation, so this machine is nice to work with. The optical path of the laser also has a new sealing system that prevents optical pollution.
7. LYXC Hybrid Metal Laser Cutter & Engraver – Best Laser Cutter for Metal for Industrial Production
- Price: $15,199 — Available on Amazon here
If you’re looking for an industrial metal laser engraver that can perform high volume production while maintaining high quality, the LYXC hybrid laser cutter is certainly worth a look.
This is a hybrid machine because it has a 180W RECI W8 head for laser cutting, as well as a 80W RECI W2 head for laser engraving, so it can be used for a wide range of tasks.
This is a very powerful laser cutter and engraver, capable of engraving stainless steel sheets up to 1.5. It’s also suitable for working with a variety of non-metal materials, including wood, plexiglas, bamboo, crystal, leather, and ceramics. It can cut these, as well as carbon steel sheets, up to 1.8mm.
You can use this machine in a wide variety of different industries. For example, it’s suitable for sheet metal processing, automobile manufacturing, manufacturing electrical equipment and electronics, advertising, lighting hardware, display equipment and even spaceflight.
This industrial laser engraver comes with free technical support, including software and video training. It’s compatible with popular software solutions like AutoCAD and CoreDraw.