best laser cutter for small business

The best laser cutters for small businesses can pay for themselves tenfold, letting you sell custom personalized artisanal products, start a service, and so many other business opportunities.

I recommend the xTool D1 Pro as the best budget diode laser engraver for side-hustles and small businesses. I own the 20W version, and it cuts far more powerfully than you might expect for the price.

If you have the budget for a desktop CO2 laser then I recommend the xTool P2. It has several great features to save businesses time like the batch processing Smart Fill feature, an affordable rotary, and fantastic 55W power that can cut 20mm acrylic in a single pass.

In this guide, I’ll compare the best laser cutters I’ve tested across all the key factors for a small output – like work area, ease-of-use, material compatibility and price.

Each has its own strengths and limitations, but I’ll cover everything you need to know to make a confident decision.

I’ll also touch on a few profitable ideas for your business to help you get you off to a successful start.

Top Picks

The Best Laser Engravers For Small Businesses

Best Diode Lasers For Small Business

Best CO2 Laser Cutters For Small Business

Best Fiber Lasers For Small Business

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Best Diode Lasers For Small Business (Under $1000)

You don’t even have to spend a lot to get quality laser cutters nowadays. For under $1,000, you can buy a laser engraver capable of cutting through wood and acrylic, and mark metal, and some more premium machines can mark stone, and cut through thicker leather.

xTool D1 Pro – Best Diode Laser for Small Business

  • Price: $699-$1,199 (10W or 20W) — Available at xTool here
  • Work area: 432 x 406 mm
  • Laser power: 10W (5W, 20W, and 40W also available)
xTool D1 Pro, a good diode laser for side-hustles and starting a side business


Great build quality: sturdy metal chassis and shielded belts (OLM3 belts are exposed slightly, a minor irk).

10W or 20W options: 5W is definitely not enough for a small business, and I recommend 20W, but the 10W option is cheaper.

My favorite diode laser I have reviewed hands-on.


Despite the 20W version’s strength, it’s still a diode laser, and will not perform as well as a CO2 laser in speed or cutting thicker material.

I personally think the xTool D1 Pro is one of the best lasers for the price, with mid-range professional features and accuracy in a lower-priced diode laser. What most impresses me is the sturdy metal frame, and the steel rods and wheels for smooth laser movement while also protecting the belts (the Ortur LM3 has exposed belts in comparison).

Makeblock, who make the xTool D1 range, also produce CO2 lasers, and they’ve infused the D1 Pro lasers with the same quality and feel as they do with their more industrial lasers.

For basic business projects it’s perfect: the 10W laser can cut 3mm basswood in a single pass, can cut acrylic sheets, it can engrave coated metals such as stainless steel and anodized aluminum (proof below), and with the rotary roller you can engrave best-selling goods like beakers, bottles, glasses and mugs. It even supports color metal engraving!

xTool D1 Pro 10W engraving on a metal beaker with the rotary chuck, and engraving color on metal

If you want to just engrave, consider saving your money by buying the lower-power 5W version, or if you want to cut thicker acrylic or basswood sheets, upgrade to the 20W D1 Pro, which I personally went for.

Other variations available include:

ModelWhere to buy
xTool D1 5WAvailable at xTool store here
xTool D1 20WAvailable at xTool store here

I purchased the 20W over the 10W, because I’m a power-crazed fanatic. The results are noticeable: you can cut thicker, and cut faster, which will earn you money getting through more jobs. For example, here’s a half-inch thick piece of wood I cut during my xTool D1 Pro 20W review below:

Thick wood cutting

It’s accurate and smooth when engraving (0.01mm precision, 0.08 x 0.06 mm spot size) for any detailed contrasting portraits on basswood or other similar materials. It’s also safe, with an easy-to-press emergency stop button, and safety features that automatically stop if the machine this tipped or jogged, or if it detects fire.

Get the RA2 Pro rotary add-on for easy money-making engraving metal beakers, which is made a lot easier if you also get the infrared 1064nm laser head, as it works better on coated metals.

RA2 Pro rotary attachment for the xTool for engraving beakers and flasks, which sell well online for my business
I bought the RA2 Rotary Pro so I could engrave beakers and flasks which sell well online.

The software that comes with the xTool is also really user-friendly, and better than the likes of Snapmaker Luban in my opinion, but you can also use it with LightBurn instead. There’s also the Laserbox iOS app for connecting via iPad or similar device.

In my opinion, this is the best laser engraver under $1000, and ideal for starting a laser business selling engraved signs or images, as well as cutting coasters, jewelry, or other fun projects.

Best diode pick
xTool D1 Pro 10W: Higher Accuracy Diode DIY Laser Engraving & Cutting

And if you need even more power, go for the 20W version (we did!)

xTool Store here
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Ortur Laser Master 3

Ortur Laser Master 3


Build volume: great 400x400mm working area for projects like signs.

Cheapest rotary kit: under $100 is a steal for engraving on rounded products (that sell REALLY well online). It took me a while to assemble it though.

Significant upgrade on the OLM2 Pro.


Slightly outperformed by the xTool D1 Pro in the 10W laser category, but the Ortur is cheaper – if you’re on a budget.

The Ortur Laser Master 3 builds on the Laser Master 2 and 2 Pro’s success, doubling the power to 10W and improving the chassis to a sturdily built metal frame.

Most interestingly for small business owners, the Laser Master 3 is fast, with speeds of up to 20,000mm/min possible (though it’s not as fast as the xTool D1 Pro). This drastically cuts down on time required to engrave a portrait or similar project, so you can make more engravings…and make more money.

Engraving a Polywhirl pokemon on 0.3mm basswood with the Ortur Laser Master 3
A quick Polywhirl engraving we did, because who doesn’t like Pokemon?

Another major selling point for business owners is safety. The emergency stop is easy to use and clear (the safety features are better than the xTool D1), and you can turn the Ortur LM3 off with a turnkey so that it isn’t accidentally turned on.

The RA2 rotary roller is one of the cheapest rotary attachment add-ons for a laser you can buy. It costs $99 (sometimes $79 during a sale), and takes around 45 minutes to build, allowing you to laser engrave metal beakers and flasks, glasses, mugs, and many other rounded objects that sell amazingly well on Etsy.

Ortur LM3 RA2 rotary roller accessory, ideal for small businesses who want to engrave beakers, glasses and mugs to sell
My Ortur rotary kit after I assembled it.

It is less user-friendly than the xTool RA2 rotary chuck, but it’s a third of the price, and I still found it relatively easy to use. If you’re on a budget, it’s a fantastic laser engraver for tumblers and yeti cups: and then once you’ve made lots of money with these, you might want to upgrade to a more premium machine and kit. You can also read my full Ortur Laser Master 3 review.

It’s fast, safe, and has a large 400 x 400 mm work area for even the largest cuts and engravings, so it’s an ideal laser for a small business under $1,000. I do not recommend going for the older version, the Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro, anymore. I sold mine when I got the OLM3, as it just doesn’t keep up anymore.

Ortur Laser Master 3 10W Laser Engraver

Ortur's YRR Roller add-on is under $100 for low-cost beaker or glass engraving, and the laser itself is great value for 10W power.

Ortur here Amazon here
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Snapmaker 2.0 – Laser cutter for small business that also CNC cuts and 3D prints

  • Price: $1,100-$1,700Available on Snapmaker store here / Available on Amazon here
  • Work Area: 320×350mm (A350 version)
  • Laser Power: 1.6W, with 10W high-power option
  • Materials: 10w cuts wood, MDF, dark acrylic, cardboard, paper, fabric, and leather. 1.6W version cuts thinner materials – not suitable for leather.
Our Snapmaker 2.0AT with the 10W high-power laser add-on, cutting through black acrylic and engraving coated metal


3-in-1 laser cutter with 3D printer and CNC router

Popular and extremely highly rated — it raised $8.5M on Kickstarter to become the most-funded technology project of all time

Different work area size options depending on the size your business needs

Many different material options


Louder than most

This is a laser cutter for small businesses that can do it all.

On top of 3D printing, and laser cutting and engraving, the Snapmaker 2.0 can also CNC carve wood, epoxy, and more.

There are 3 models available that cater to different budgets:

  • the A150 is $1,199
  • the A250 is $1,499
  • the A350 costs $1,799

The only differences between them are their build area sizes. You’ll need a different sized enclosure for aech, and the 4-axis rotary attachment is only available on the A250 and A350.

I own the A350 version, and bought the 10W high-power laser module which works on metal, can cut acrylic and wood, and is a useful diode laser for business projects. It is not as powerful as desktop CO2 lasers, but it offers CNC and 3D printing options that no other laser offers.

It’s easy to assemble (I built it from scratch in around an hour) and use, with Snapmaker Luban software to seamlessly switch between laser cutting, CNC and 3D printing — all in one program.

The versatility is going to open up plenty of projects for any small business as it can be switched from the 3D printer head to the laser head or the CNC router in a matter of minutes and just four screws (you’ll also need to change the work bed). You can read more in my full Snapmaker 2.0 CNC and laser review.

snapmaker 2.0 laser cutter for home business crafts to sell
A test project, laser cutting a wooden box.

As a laser cutter, the standard laser toolhead is relatively powerful, and I was able to cut through the 1.5mm-thick wood as shown in the box above. However, you can also buy Snapmaker’s new high-power 10W laser add-on for a more powerful laser cutter that works far quicker and can cut much thicker (up to 8mm) material.

I used the 4-axis rotary module add-on, which lets you angrave tumblers, beakers, mugs, flasks, and other rounded objects. As a seller, I can tell you that these are some of the best-selling and most profitable projects you can make, and I highly advise getting a rotary for your laser.

Testing the Snapmaker 4-axis rotary attachment for engraving rounded objects.
A test engraving of a lion, and the CNCSourced logo.

Overall, as a 3-in-1 machine it’s a great laser cutter to have for your small business. Not only can it cut your best designs to sell or for providing business services, but you can also use it to 3D print and CNC should you need it — and it only takes up the space of one machine.

Top 3 in 1 Pick
Snapmaker 2.0 Modular 3 in 1 3D Printer A350T/A250T
$1199 ($600 off!)

Want to 3D print, CNC cut, and laser cut and engrave all in 1? Snapmaker machines are the best 3-in-1 machines around.

Snapmaker here Our Review
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Best CO2 Laser Cutters for Small Business

xTool P2 – Best CO2 Laser Pick

xTool P2

I recommend the xTool P2 as the best CO2 laser cutter for small businesses and taking your side-hustle to the next level.

Not only is it the most powerful (55W) and fastest out of the currently available desktop CO2 lasers at 600mm/s (and much cheaper than the Glowforge Pro), but it also has two key features the others do not have that are incredible for small businesses.

The first is the Smart Fill batch processing feature. This automatically aligns your design with all the other workpieces in the processing area. I show how it works below:

This is a huge time-saver if you’re engraving or cutting a design on the same things, such as necklace dog tags, keyrings, coasters, and other sellable projects. Just line your design up once and it’ll line the rest up for you.

The second great feature I enjoyed during my hands-on tests of the xTool P2 is the uneven surface engraving.

The xTool P2 has two cameras that can create a 3D mesh cloud of the object you’re engraving, and adjust across the different heights to engrave your design perfectly even as the surface curves.

For example, this video shows how I did this on a wooden spoon:

This was just not really possible before, and has given me so many ideas for projects I can laser engrave and sell on my Etsy store.

It can laser cut thick 20mm acrylic in a single pass, and can easily work with wood, leather, and engrave on tiles, slate and metals without issue.

Laser engraved slate coasters using the xTool P2

There’s also a rotary for $279 for engraving tumblers, flasks, mugs and other round objects. I bought this, as well as the riser base for taller material engraving, as well as the automatic conveyor feeder.

These flasks and bottles are some of the most popular items that sell like hotcakes, from my experence. So the rotary and riser base is a must-have for your small business.

If you buy the xTool P2, along with the RA2, the riser base, and the conveyor feeder accessories, this still costs less than just the Glowforge Pro. That’s why I think the xTool P2 offers such great value for money.

xTool P2 accessories which help with engraving cylindrical objects
Some of the accessories I bought for the xTool P2.

Overall, I think it’s the best desktop CO2 laser for small business and side hustles, and I’m very impressed with the first projects I’ve been making with it.

Best Desktop CO2 Laser
xTool P2 CO2 Laser Cutter and Cutting Machine

Simple the best CO2 desktop laser right now. You can buy this, the rotary, riser base, and the automatic conveyor feeder, and it's still cheaper than a Glowforge Pro.

It's more powerful than competing lasers at 55W, can cut 20mm thick wood in a single pass, and the batch processing and curved surface engraving open up new possibilities for your business.

  • Large processing area
  • Powerful 55W laser cuts 20mm thick material in a single pass
  • 16MP dual cameras autofocus for easy project preparation
  • Curved surface engraving in XCS
  • Batch processing features
  • Can't use all features in Lightburn (but XCS software is really good now)
  • Mirrors/lenses may be out of focus from transport and require fixing
xTool Store here Our Review
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FSL Muse

  • Price: $3,499 — Available at Matterhackers here
  • Work Area: 305 × 508 mm
  • Laser Power: 40W to 45W
  • Materials: cuts wood, MDF, acrylic, cardboard, paper, leather, plastic, glass, foam, and rubber. Also engraves steel, coated metal, ceramics, and more.
FSL Muse Core


Customizable accessories: choose your laser’s lens, cooling system, rotary, and more to personalize your laser to your business’ specific needs.

Large work area: With a work area of 305 x 508 mm, the Muse Core laser offers a larger working area than Glowforge Plus and Pro, giving you more space to work on larger projects.


No camera or autofocus: Unlike Glowforge, the Muse Core laser does not come with a camera or autofocus feature.

Expensive rotary upgrade: The Muse Core’s rotary upgrade costs $1395, which is relatively expensive compared to other laser cutters in the market. Additionally, you’ll also have to buy the 5″ lens for $150 to accommodate its passthrough slot.

Muse Core and 3D lasers are potent competitors for the Glowforge Plus and Pro. Much more than Glowforge lasers, you can pick and choose your accessories with Muse lasers. For example, you can pay an extra $250 for a higher-power, longer-life 45W laser, and you can also choose the laser’s lens, cooling system, rotary, and more.

The basic machine costs $3499, but add on $750 to this since you’ll need the Muse Coolbox for your laser business. 

You won’t get the camera and autofocus with Muse Core as you would with Glowforge. On the other hand, Muse Core offers a rotary upgrade, which Glowforge doesn’t offer, and you get larger working area with the Muse Core. You can read more about the differences beween Muse and Glowforge in our Muse vs Glowforge comparison.

FSL Muse
Sample project using FSL Muse. Source: Reddit

However, Muse’s rotary is a bit expensive, at $1395. Also, if you’re adding the rotary to Muse 3D, you’ll have to buy the 5” lens ($150) to allow room for its passthrough slot.

For the upgraded Muse 3D laser, it’ll cost you more – $6499 with the 40W laser. But, it has a passthrough slot, a camera, and autofocus.

FSL’s in-house software RE3 (RetinaEngrave) is web-based but doesn’t require an internet connection. You can run it on Windows, macOS, and Linux. 

Another cool feature is Muse’s removable floor. You can remove its floor and place the machine on large materials, and engrave them out the machine’s bottom.

Glowforge Basic – Great for more professional small business laser cutter projects

  • Price: $2,495Available at Glowforge here
  • Work Area: 279 × 495 mm
  • Laser Power: 40W
  • Materials: cuts wood, MDF, acrylic, cardboard, paper, leather, plastic, glass, foam, and rubber. Also engraves steel, coated metal, ceramics, and more.
glowforge basic


Generous cutting area

Compatible with Glowforge’s Proofgrade materials

Intuitive and simple web app simplifies your workflow


Might be a bit pricey for some

Glowforge’s software is online only

The Glowforge Basic is Glowforge’s basic model, coming in at a lower price than Glowforge’s other two laser cutters. The main difference between this and the Glowforge Pro is the 40W laser included in the basic and the 45W of the Pro. To upgrade to Glowforge’s most powerful laser cutter, you will have to jump from $2,495 for this model, to almost $6,000. 

With the appearance of a home printer, its 8.3” x 38” x 21-inch frame fits nicely onto a countertop or in a craft space so your laser cutter for home business doesn’t have to take over the house.

It can take pieces of 304 mm x 518 mm material, making it one of the larger laser cutters for a home business. This gets you closer to being able to cut and engrave large custom signs in wood and acrylic. The cutting area measures 280 mm x 495, which is far more generous than many competing laser cutters, even those at a higher price point.

To the rear of the Glowforge, there is an exhaust vent. This connects to a duct tube which is included. Said tube will need to be pointed out of a window unless you can fork out an additional $995 for the compact filter for safe exhaustion.

Glowforge Basic
Dungeon and Dragons cover art made on Glowforge Basic. Source: Reddit

We find the Glowforge web app to be a valuable resource for setting up the laser for cutting. Getting the measurements and sizing for different projects is as simple as dragging and dropping, so it is user-friendly if this is your first laser cutter.

To help you maintain accuracy when cutting that custom bottle opener or keepsake, there is a camera under the lid. This gives a wide view of the workspace, making it easier to monitor your ongoing projects.  It’s also compatible with Glowforge’s range of Proofgrade materials. These offer a range of advantages, including an attached QR code that automatically identifies the correct laser cutter settings for the material.

The Glowforge Basic is one of the best laser cutters for any small business that wants a more reliable machine that can work faster and more accurately than the budget options.

Glowforge Basic

Glowforge are the easiest to use lasers for home business owners looking to create cool projects and sell them on Etsy or other stores and make money.

Glowforge here
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Glowforge Plus

glowforge plus


Very powerful laser

Quick setup

Hand drawing function


Not as fast as the Glowforge Pro

The Glowforge Plus is a CO2 laser cutter that boasts a 40W laser capable of cutting through 0.5 inches of hardwood, and has numerous features to write home about.

The most notable is the software. It allows you directly import your drawings for cutting or engraving onto the material. This means those craft projects are highly customizable, and you can take on just about any commission.

The Glowforge Plus scans the drawing and gets to work, engraving directly onto the material. If you are the artistic type, this will be a major plus point. This means you can turn any drawing, sketch, or handwritten note into a piece of art that will have customers coming back for more.

Glowforge Plus

The $3,995 price is a costly commitment for most small business owners, but this is a high spec machine with a wide range of applications that expands your capabilities.

It has a print area of 11 x 19.5 inches, meaning it can take on numerous projects such as engraving printed models and photo albums for personalized presents.

As a small business owner, time is money, which is why the 30-minute setup time is appealing, as is the easy application, onboard cameras for a live preview, and autofocus technology that helps make precise cuts.

The engraving speed is the only difference between Glowforge Basic and Plus. Glowforge Plus has improved mechanics over Glowforge Basic, so it can move twice as fast. This makes engraving much faster than with Glowforge Basic. Though, it’s up to you to evaluate whether this enhanced productivity for your business is worth the extra $1000.

Glowforge Plus

Glowforge are the easiest to use lasers for home business owners looking to create cool projects and sell them on Etsy or other stores and make money .

Dynamism here Glowforge here
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Glowforge Pro – Most User-Friendly

  • Price: $5,995Available at Glowforge here / Available on Dynamism here
  • Work Area: 279mm × 495 mm (one setting) / 495mm × ∞ (multiple settings)
  • Laser Power: 45W
  • Materials: cuts wood, MDF, acrylic, cardboard, paper, leather, plastic, glass, foam, and rubber. Also engraves steel, coated metal, ceramics, and more.
glowforge pro


Can cut unlimited length materials with the passthrough slot

Cuts faster than other Glowforge lasers

Very advanced high-spec features


The priciest laser cutter for small business we recommend

An elite laser cutter capable of opening up a plethora of opportunities for any small business, the Glowforge Pro can do it all.

What it boasts that other models do not is a large feeder that can take materials measuring longer than the standard 19.5 x 11 inches that you expect from cheaper Glowforge models. This means you can print on those custom door signs and make products that other businesses without a Glowforge Pro cannot.

The 19.5-inch width is still the limit, but there is a lot you can do with the length. Because it engraves the materials by burning them, the four-inch exhaust and duct hose is a vital inclusion. This means those fumes can be ventilated safely out of the window. Alternatively, you can upgrade to a $995 compact filter.

Glowforge Pro
Plant Stands made with Glowforge Pro. Source: YouTube

It shares many of the same features as the Plus model such as hand drawing capability but what sets it apart is its speed. Because of the 45W CO2 laser, it can engrave 50% faster than the Glowforge Plus, and cut 20% faster. Those extra 5 watts can make all the difference when the orders are stacking up.

It allows you to make etchings with photos to make a photo album cover stand out, and this can be done via the easy-to-use software on the app. The Glowforge website provides plenty of useful information on how to prepare photos. This is especially useful when it comes to sharpening the image on that wooden board. However, it’s expensive, and if you’re looking for a cheaper option, we have also written on the best cheap Glowforge alternatives.

Glowforge Pro

Glowforge are the easiest to use lasers for home business owners looking to create cool projects and sell them on Etsy or other stores and make money.

Glowforge here Dynamism here
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Best Fiber Lasers For Small Business

OMTech Fiber Laser

  • Price: Check latest price on Amazon here
  • Laser Power: 20W / 30W / 50W options
  • Work Area: 109 × 109mm (20W) / 175 × 175mm (30W) / 201 × 201mm (50W)
  • Materials: aluminum, steel, gold, silver, brass, zinc, and other metals
OMTech fiber laser for small shops and metal jewelry marking and engraving


Versatile for small businesses: they can engrave on various materials, including jewelry, medical equipment, parts, and appliances.

High-speed marking: OMTech fiber lasers can mark at super-fast speeds of up to 7000 mm/sec (420,000 mm/min), making them ideal for businesses that need to produce high volumes of products quickly.


Limited work area: The work area of OMTech fiber lasers gets bigger as you move to the more powerful lasers, but it’s still limiting for larger projects.

The OMTech fiber lasers are excellent for small businesses laser engraving on jewelry, and creating bar codes and logos on medical equipment, parts, and appliances — you can also engrave phones and cases with them. What’s more, they only cost around the same price as a desktop CO2 laser.

OMTech fiber lasers can mark metal at blazingly fast speeds. The machines can move up to 7000 mm/sec (420,000 mm/min). 

The work area gets bigger if you pick a more powerful option. You can also print multiple times on larger materials, since the lasers don’t have enclosures.

Engraved sample made with OMTech Fiber Laser
Source: YouTube

You can get a rotary for OMTech fiber lasers for about $400. This makes for an ideal setup for jewelers working on rings and bracelets, and anyone engraving on cups and cylindrical surfaces. Beyond just laser engraving tumblers, you can also easily engrave metal beakers and yeti cups.

These lasers come with EZCad 2, which is a good software for engraving. But, the lasers are also compatible with Lightburn.

Buying Guide – Factors to Consider When Picking a Laser for Your Small Business


You don’t want to overspend on a machine that’ll take longer to pay itself off, but also don’t cheap out and buy a $250 laser that reduces what you can make, and takes way longer to finish each project.

The laser type greatly affects the price. Diode lasers are cheaper, like the xTool D1 Pro, which starts at about $600, and are excellent for small businesses.

Another option is to go for a desktop CO2 laser, which will likely cost you upwards $3000, though you can get a K40 for about $500 with a small 300×210 work area. Fiber lasers are more expensive, but if you want to do serious metal engraving, they’re by far the best.

Laser Cutter ModelPrice Range
xTool D1 Pro$699 – $1,199
Ortur Laser Master 3$699
OMTech 40W CO2 Laser Cutter$549
FSL Muse$3,499
Glowforge Basic$2,495
Snapmaker 2.0$1,100 – $1,700
Glowforge Plus$3,995
Glowforge Pro$5,995
OMTech Fiber Laser$3,599


Small laser businesses usually work with various wood, MDF, acrylic, ceramics, and glass. But, jewelers and product markers will work with gold, silver, platinum, still, copper, brass, and other metals. 

For metals, you’ll need a fiber laser, but diode and CO2 lasers are compatible with other materials. Still, other lasers can engrave a few metals too. CO2 lasers have the widest material compatibility overall.

Check that the laser is compatible with materials for your business before purchasing.

Laser Cutter ModelCompatible Materials
xTool D1 ProPlywood, composite, paper, cardboard, cork, acrylic, leather, and more
Ortur Laser Master 3Wood board, paperboard, black acrylic, leather, food, stainless steel, powder coated metal, and more
OMTech 40W CO2 Laser CutterWood, paper, cardboard, plastics, acrylic, leather, fabric, and other non-metallic materials
FSL MuseWood, acrylic, fabric, leather, stone, glass, and more
Glowforge BasicWood, fabric, leather, paper, Plexiglas (acrylic), Delrin (acetal), mylar, rubber, Corian, foods, and more
Snapmaker 2.0Wood, leather, plastic, fabric, paper, non-transparent acrylic, and more (being tested)
Glowforge PlusWood, fabric, leather, paper, Plexiglas (acrylic), Delrin (acetal), mylar, rubber, Corian, foods, and more
Glowforge ProWood, fabric, leather, paper, Plexiglas (acrylic), Delrin (acetal), mylar, rubber, Corian, foods, and more
OMTech Fiber LaserMetals and hard plastics

Laser Power

It’s key to find the balance between price and laser power for your small business. Generally, higher power is better: you can cut thicker materials, and cut and engrave faster.

CO2 lasers are more powerful than diode lasers. Diode lasers are typically under 10W (though xTool now has a 20W and a 40W version of the D1 Pro). CO2 lasers for small businesses are about 40W, but can vary greatly still.

Laser Cutter ModelPower (Watts)
xTool D1 Pro10W (5W, 20W, or 40W also available)
Ortur Laser Master 310W
OMTech 40W 40W
FSL Muse40W to 45W
Glowforge Basic40W
Snapmaker 2.01.6W
Glowforge Plus40W
Glowforge Pro45W
OMTech Fiber Laser20W / 30W / 50W

Work Area

The work area limits the size of the materials you’ll engrave. For example, if you’re making signs with your laser, you’ll need a machine large enough for the sign material.

Some lasers, like Glowforge Pro, have a passthrough slot for processing unlimited-length materials. Others lasers, like those by Muse, have a removable floor for engraving on large material blocks.

Overall a larger work area is better, but also more expensive.

Laser Cutter ModelWork Area (mm)
xTool D1 Pro432 x 406
Ortur Laser Master 3400 x 400
OMTech 40W CO2 Laser Cutter320 x 200
FSL Muse305 x 508
Glowforge Basic279 x 495
Snapmaker 2.0320 x 350
Glowforge Plus279 x 495
Glowforge Pro279 x 495 (one setting) / 495 x ∞ (multiple settings)
OMTech Fiber Laser109 x 109 (20W) / 175 x 175 (30W) / 201 x 201 (50W)

Ease of Use

An easier-to-use laser saves you and your business time and makes you more productive and efficient. 

One accessory that helps is a laser camera and autofocus. The best laser manufacturers like Glowforge, Muse 3D, and Makeblock have their lasers come with cameras.

An LCD screen, easy manipulation of the laser head, and easy-to-use laser software also help you a lot.

Laser Cutter ModelAssembly Time
xTool D1 Pro30 minutes
Ortur Laser Master 330 minutes
OMTech 40W CO2 Laser CutterComes pre-assembled
FSL Muse30 minutes
Glowforge BasicComes pre-assembled
Snapmaker 2.090 minutes
Glowforge PlusLess than an hour
Glowforge ProLess than an hour
OMTech Fiber LaserLess than an hour


Accessories add to your laser’s capabilities. Do you need to engrave on mugs, beakers, rings, bottles, or other cylindrical objects? Then, get a laser that supports a rotary add-on (hint: no Glowforge). 

Risers can improve your laser’s Z-height. Honeycomb beds, air assist, exhaust fans, and air filters are other accessories that lasers may support which can help with your projects.

Laser Cutter ModelMain Accessories
xTool D1 ProExtension kit, Honeycomb working panel, Air assist, Safety set, rotary attachment, and a smoke purifier
Ortur Laser Master 3Enclosure, air pump, rotary attachment, smoke purifier, extension kit
OMTech 40W CO2 Laser CutterRotary attachment, fume extractor, water chiller, laser alignment
FSL MuseRotary attachment, water pump, riser, pre-filter, exhaust fan, fume extractor, water chiller, air compressor, and a coolbox
Glowforge BasicDust cover, riser, air filter, filter cartridge
Snapmaker 2.010W laser upgrade, rotary attachment, enclosure, air purifier, emergency stop button
Glowforge PlusDust cover, riser, air filter, filter cartridge
Glowforge ProDust cover, riser, air filter, filter cartridge
OMTech Fiber LaserRotary attachment, fume extractor, water chiller, laser alignment


Higher speed translates to more productivity and more customers served per hour. For diode lasers, focus on laser power, not the laser speed. But for CO2 lasers, also consider laser speed, since some are much faster.

Laser Cutter ModelMax Engraving Speed (mm/s)
xTool D1 Pro400
Ortur Laser Master 3330
OMTech 40W CO2 Laser Cutter255
FSL MuseNot listed
Glowforge Basic1x (relative to Glowforge machines)
Snapmaker 2.060
Glowforge Plus2x (relative to Glowforge machines)
Glowforge Pro3x (relative to Glowforge machines)
OMTech Fiber Laser7000

What Can I Make and Sell With a Laser Cutter?

Source: Acrylic Sign1, Acrylic Sign2, Tumblers, Yeti Cup1,Yeti Cup2, T-shirt, Jeans, Logo1, Logo2

Small business laser cutters are super versatile: they can be used to engrave stationery for promotion, keepsakes such as photo albums, and even etch glass to sell as a paperweight gift.

You can let your imagination run wild, and come up with creative things to make with your laser. But, here are some more ideas that I know sell well:

  • Wood signs and acrylic signs
  • Tumblers, beakers, yeti cups, and mugs (requires a rotary)
  • Laser-engraved t-shirts
  • Name tags
  • Bookmarks
  • Coasters
  • Engraved pens, mugs, flashlights, glasses, and more
  • Jewelry
  • Marked cutlery
  • Logo and brand-marked parts
  • Raster images
  • Your personal custom artistic designs

Is Laser Cutting Profitable?

Yes, laser cutting and engraving can be lucrative, due to the increasing demand for personalized and customized products. However, you’ll need to work hard and market your business well. Laser businesses have been around for a while, so there is competition for customers.


Can You Make Money With a Laser Cutter?

Yes, you can make money with a laser cutter, and many businesses already do. Businesses get orders to make customized products or mark brand names, logos, and part numbers on merchandise and parts. Some also sell their art. However, like any other competitive business, success depends on motivation, marketing, and some luck.

How Do I Start a Laser Cutting and Engraving Business?

First, you’ll need to pick a laser and learn its workings and limitations. Then, comprise a list of things you can make with your laser. Next, make sample products. After that, evaluate where to work. This can be a shop or even your home. Finally, market your brand. It can be on the internet, or you can even advertise using laser-cut signs you’ve personally made.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Laser Engraving Business? 

You can buy a decent laser engraver for $600, but higher-quality CO2 lasers will cost up to $6000. If you’re selling online, consider any platform fees, and any advertisement costs. For example, Etsy charges $0.20 in listing fees per item. But, if you’re opening a shop, add the rent and sign. Finally, you’ll need some materials to create samples for starting the business, though these should cost under $50.

Other laser buyer guides:

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CNCSourced is a publisher covering CNC machines and laser cutters for more than 3 years. We're a team of huge fans of desktop CNC routers, lasers, and home DIY projects, and love to write about how you can get the most out of your CNC. We've tested more than a dozen of the most popular CNC and other machines to help you pick the best router for you, and our goal is to be the most informative CNC site on the web.

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