xTool Alternatives Best Laser Cutters

When you’re shopping for a new laser cutter, you might get overwhelmed with all the options. On our site we talk about xTool products a lot (because they’re great), but they’re not the only options on the market. 

In this guide, we’ll review some of the most popular xTool alternatives. We’ll review seven different laser cutters for home use that can boost your side hustle and make every DIY project easier.

But before we give you xTool alternative options that do specific tasks better, let’s first explain what xTool lasers do well.

What the xTool D1 Pro Does Well

The D1 Pro comes in three power configurations: 5W, 10W, and 20W. All three use the same chassis and their features are identical, except for the power and cutting depth (and a slight downgrade on the 20W version’s cutting area due to the larger laser head).

It’s a consumer-grade diode laser cutter, and one of the most popular lasers on the market. Truthfully, it’s our favorite diode cutter right now.

The D1 Pro is exceptionally good at engraving quickly – ideal for finishing projects fast. It also features the best build quality that we’ve seen at its price point: the D1 Pro uses all-steel wheels and shafts, solid metal framework, interlocking frame pieces that boost the rigidity, and a closed synchronous belt.

What does this mean for DIYers, hobbyists, and laser-cutting side hustlers? Fewer breakdowns, more reliability, and avoiding mechanical issues.

Factors We Considered When Choosing Alternatives

  • Machine Type: In this guide, we’ll look at diode lasers, CO2 lasers, and physical blade cutters. All of these machine types have their own pros and cons.
  • Power: A more powerful laser can cut deeper and handle thicker wood, acrylic, and potentially even metal. For instance, a 5W laser offers one-quarter the cutting power of a 20W laser.
  • Price: If you want to save money, you typically have to sacrifice another quality. Some lasers can look identical but at far lower prices (for example, having the same work area), but build quality and power can differ greatly.
  • Speed: If the machine can engrave faster, then your projects will finish quicker — especially key if you’re looking for a laser cutter to start a small business with.
  • Cutting Depth: Each laser head can only cut a certain depth, depending on the material. If your projects call for thicker parts, then cutting depth really matters.
  • Cutting Area: The cutting area refers to the largest section that you can engrave or cut. This is the engraving limit of your machine.
  • Build Quality. The build quality is a result of the engineering efforts, material selections, and quality of parts used in the assembly. Again, you’ll notice a big divide in this category. Typically, higher-quality assemblies will cost more.

xTool D1 Pro 10W vs OLM3

xTool D1 Pro 10W vs Ortur Laser Master 3

The Ortur Laser Master 3 is another popular diode laser cutter on the market. Both lasers offer 10W of cutting power, but the OLM3 cuts much deeper — up to 8mm on a basswood plywood sheet versus the 6mm that the D1 Pro 10W can handle. The OLM3 is also the same price as the xTool at $700. 

Their cutting speed varies a bit. The xTool can engrave 24,000 mm/min while the OLM3 can only manage 20,000 mm/min. The matchup is very close, and it’s ultimately a matter of preference.

We own both, and have tested them on our site, and covered the comparison in far more depth in a separate article, comparing the xTool D1 Pro vs the OLM3 over every major factor, so we won’t repeat ourselves here.

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.

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xTool D1 Pro 5W vs Sculpfun S9

xTool D1 Pro 5W vs Sculpfun S9

The Sculpfun S9 is another popular laser cutter, and a cheaper alternative to xTool – even when compared vs the cheapest xTool D1 Pro 5W version. These are both consumer-grade diode laser cutters and engravers.

Immediately, you’ll notice a few differences: the Sculpfun S9 is a lot more affordable, significantly slower, and cuts much deeper.

The S9 is a 5.5W laser, compared to this D1 Pro’s 5W laser configuration. The Sculpfun goes for $430, meanwhile the D1 Pro 5W costs $600. Why is there such a massive price difference? It largely has to do with the build quality and engraving speed.

The xTool is well-built. It uses impressive materials, plenty of engineering, and this all leads to high reliability. The team at Sculpfun decided to favor affordability over build quality, which is perfectly fine. The result is a laser cutter that costs very little, but can run into some mechanical and performance issues in the future.

What about the speed? The xTool offer four times the speed of the S9. Four. That means that a project that the S9 can do in 60 minutes will finish in 15 minutes on the D1 Pro 5W. 

The engraving area for both of these machines is pretty comparable, but the cutting depth isn’t. The cutting area for the D1 Pro is 400 x 430mm, but it upgrades to 936 x 430mm. The S9’s cutting area is 420 x 410 mm, upgradable to 950 x 410mm.

CATEGORYxTool D1 Pro 5WSculpfun S9
SPEED24,000 mm/min6,000 mm/min
CUTTING DEPTH4mm basswood plywood10mm basswood plywood
CUTTING AREA400 x 430mm, upgradable to 936 x 430mm420 x 410 mm, upgradable to 950 x 410mm
Sculpfun S9 vs xTool D1 Pro 5W specs compared.

The S9 can cut plywood boards that are more than twice as thick as the D1 Pro can handle. The D1 Pro can manage a 4mm basswood plywood sheet, but the Sculpfun S9 can work on 10mm basswood plywood.

The verdict? We personally think the xTool is the better option here for DIYers and people who run their own side hustle. The incredible speed and quality advantage of the xTool sets it apart. You can finish projects quicker with fewer mechanical issues. 

However, pick up the Sculpfun S9 if you want a lower-priced cutter that can handle thicker boards of material.

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03/31/2023 05:26 am GMT

xTool D1 Pro 5W vs LaserPecker 2

xTool D1 Pro 5W vs LaserPecker 2

The LaserPecker 2 (LP2) is a very unique diode laser engraver. It’s a smaller, portable machine that has a handle on the top. You can hold the handle and use the machine as a handheld laser engraver — you can hold it against your wooden wall and engrave your design on the wall.

The other selling point of the LaserPecker 2 is how quick it is. We always mention how fast the D1 Pro is, but the LP2 is even faster!

A D1 Pro 5W can engrave up to 24,000 mm/min, while the LP2 can hit 36,000 mm/min — that’s 50% faster completion for every project.

CATEGORY xTool D1 Pro 5WLaserPecker 2
SPEED24,000 mm/min36,000 mm/min
CUTTING DEPTH4mm basswood plywood5mm basswood plywood
CUTTING AREA400 x 430mm, upgradable to 936 x 430mm100 x 100 mm
LaserPecker 2 vs xTool D1 Pro 5W specs compared.

The big downside of the LaserPecker 2 is its cutting area. It’s horrible. You can only cut or engrave an area of 100 x 100mm, which is 4” x 4”. That’s barely the size of two credit cards next to each other.

As far as cutting depth, both lasers are pretty close: for basswood plywood, the D1 Pro 5W can handle 4mm, and the LP2 can handle 5mm.

What about the price? These two laser engravers share an identical price: $600 each.

For us, the verdict isn’t as clear. If you’re someone who wants to make a ton of tiny engravings on material (like metal), then the LaserPecker 2 is the right option. If you ever need to do portable work, then it’s the only option. But if you want to work on larger pieces, then you’ll need the xTool D1 Pro 5W. 

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03/31/2023 05:51 am GMT

xTool D1 Pro 10W vs OMTech K40

xTool D1 Pro 10W vs OMTech K40

The first CO2 laser on our list is the OMTech K40. CO2 lasers are great at engraving and cutting non-metal pieces. They offer much stronger lasers, but are typically a lot more expensive. 

Most CO2 lasers can handle a wider variety of materials than diode lasers can. Some diode lasers will struggle with white surfaces, glossy or smooth materials, or coated materials — CO2 lasers can easily engrave these. 

That’s the case for the OMTech K40. It can tackle a wider variety of materials with fewer problems than the D1 Pro 10W.

The K40 is an enclosed laser engraver with a lid that flips open, so you’re getting an enclosure included in the purchase price.

Even though the K40 offers 40W of cutting power, we think it’s best to compare it to the 10W option of the D1 Pro, not the more powerful 20W. It’s all because of the price and capabilities. 40W on a CO2 laser is very different than 40W on a diode cutter.

With the D1 Pro 10W, you get about 6mm of cutting power on basswood plywood in a machine that costs $700. Looking at the K40, you can cut the same 6mm of plywood, but only pay $480 for the machine.

Again, this is an unbelievably low price for a CO2 laser cutter. That’s probably why the OMTech K40 is the most popular budget CO2 option on the market.

CATEGORYxTool D1 Pro 10WOMTech K40
MACHINE TYPEDiode laser cutter/engraverCO2 laser cutter/engraver
SPEED24,000 mm/min15,300 mm/min
CUTTING DEPTH6mm basswood plywood6mm basswood plywood
CUTTING AREA400 x 430mm, upgradable to 936 x 430mm305 x 203 mm
OMTech K40 vs xTool D1 Pro 10W specs compared.

There’s definitely a speed difference between the two. The D1 Pro can engrave at rates up to 24,000 mm/min, and the K40 tackles the same project at 15,300 mm/min (about 57% slower).

Another difference between these two machines is the cutting area. The D1 Pro 10W’s cutting area starts at 400 x 430mm, and goes up to 936 x 430mm when you buy the extender. The K40 can only handle 305 x 203mm, and there’s no extending it.

When you’re looking at these two tools, we think the D1 Pro 10W is the better option. Even though it costs an extra $220, you get a faster speed and much larger cutting area. If you want to finish projects faster and handle larger material, it’s a no-brainer. However, you should pick the OMTech K40 if you need to work on a wider range of materials, or you want to save some money. The fact that it comes with an enclosure also makes it an attractive option.

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03/30/2023 06:11 pm GMT

xTool D1 Pro 20W vs Glowforge Basic

xTool D1 Pro 20W vs Glowforge Basic

Another CO2 laser to consider is the Glowforge Basic. How does it match up to the xTool? Well, these two tools are in different leagues, in a lot of ways.

For one, the Glowforge Basic starts at $3,995. Compared to the $1,200 of the xTool D1 Pro 20W, that’s a huge difference.

The Glowforge has a live camera and can cut, engrave, and score on pieces up to 495 x 280mm Comparatively, the D1 Pro can handle pieces up to 390 x 430mm or 936 x 430mm if you opt for the extension.

The Glowforge Basic is great at engraving, makes design simple, is highly reliable, and makes laser cutting easy. The D1 Pro can do the same, but not as well. This makes sense, since the xTool costs $2,800 less. Take a look at our complete comparison here.

xTool D1 Pro | 20W

Upgraded laser engraver, 20W Laser Cutter, 120W higher accuracy laser engraving machine for engraving 340+ colors on metal steel

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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.

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xTool D1 Pro 5W vs NEJE 3 Pro

xTool D1 Pro 5W vs NEJE 3 Pro

NEJE is a less popular brand, and their big focus is making lasers that cut fast, can handle huge areas, and cost very little. The NEJE 3 Pro is a great example of this.

The NEJE 3 Pro is a 5.5W laser cutter, and the D1 Pro is a 5W. Even so, the D1 Pro can handle cutting 4mm basswood plywood boards while the 3 Pro can only handle 3mm. 

As far as cutting areas, the square mm area is comparable: the D1 Pro offers 400 x 430mm, upgradable to 936 x 430mm, and the NEJE 3 Pro can cut up to 410 x 400mm, upgradable to 1030 x 400mm (a difference of 7% and 2% total area).

The speed gap is pretty huge. From 24,000 mm/min on the D1 Pro up to 60,000 mm/min on the NEJE 3 Pro. The D1 Pro is already one of the faster options on the market, so it’s hard to believe that the NEJE 3 Pro can go that fast.

SPEED24,000 mm/min60,000 mm/min
CUTTING DEPTH4mm basswood plywood3mm basswood plywood
CUTTING AREA400 x 430mm, upgradable to 936 x 430mm410 x 400mm, upgradable to 1030 x 400mm
NEJE 3 Pro vs xTool D1 Pro 5W specs compared.

With this speed difference, a 60-minute project on the D1 Pro only takes 24 minutes on the NEJE 3 Pro. However, it’s not like you can cut thick wood in single passes at this kind of speed – it’s for very light engraving at best.

But, what about the build quality? There is a big divide between these two cutters. The NEJE 3 Pro uses low-quality material and the assembly isn’t that sturdy. You’ll run into reliability issues and you’ll have to do mechanical troubleshooting more often. With the D1 Pro 5W, this happens much less often.

So, the NEJE 3 Pro might engrave faster, but you’ll have more downtime in the future.

This comparison is a lot closer. We think the NEJE 3 Pro is the better cutter on paper, but the reliability issue leaves such a mark on this cutter. It’s also really tough to get support from NEJE whenever you run into issues. Is it worth saving $240? Maybe. We are still tempted to take the D1 Pro in this case, simply due to the better reliability and the its proven track record.

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03/31/2023 06:20 am GMT

xTool M1 5W vs Cricut Maker 3

xTool M1 5W vs Cricut Maker 3

Another option on xTool’s catalog is the M1. This is a 3-in-1 machine that features a laser cutter and engraver, and a physical blade for making cuts. It means that you can do more from a single machine.

Compared to the D1 Pro, the M1 can handle paper and make intricate cuts out of thin, delicate material. Trying to cut glossy paper on a D1 Pro will be a mess, but it’s easy on the M1.

If you want to cut fabric, paper, and matboard, you can also consider the Cricut Maker 3. Unlike xTool’s option, the Cricut is strictly a physical cutter (there is no added laser cutter or engraver).

Since the M1 is so unique, it’s tough to find a truly comparable machine.

The Cricut Maker 3 is very good at cutting fabric, paper, leather, and delicate material. It has a series of different physical blades you can install in the machine to enhance the results of your project. But that’s where it ends.

The M1 5W Basic does all of this and more. It can handle the same material with its physical cutter, plus a whole host of materials with its laser engraver.

CATEGORYxTool M1 5W BasicCricut Maker 3
MACHINE TYPEDiode laser engraver and blade cutterSmart blade cutter
MATERIAL OPTIONSFabric, paper, leather, metal, wood, ceramic, glass, etc.Fabric, paper, leather, etc.
WORKING AREA385 x 300mm152 x 22800mm w/ roll holder
Cricut Maker 3 vs xTool M1 5W specs compared.

As far as the working area, the Cricut Maker 3 is a lot better. It has a smart roll holder that will feed a roll of material right into the cutter. The width dimension is only 152mm, but the length dimension can go up to 22.8m The M1 5W Basic can only handle material up to 385 x 300mm.

Of course, there’s a price difference here. The xTool M1 5W Basic starts at $810 while the Cricut Maker 3 goes for $380. Is the extra money worth it? We really think so.

If you are strictly looking for a physical blade cutter, the Cricut Maker 3 is probably the better option. You get great functionality at an affordable price. If you want to expand the usability of your machine, then you need the xTool M1. It is a 3-in-1 machine that does so much.

xTool M1 5w
$1,098.99 $999.00
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03/30/2023 05:37 pm GMT
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03/30/2023 05:56 pm GMT

What to Do Next

Now that you understand how the xTool matches up to other options on the market, you’re ready to pick up your own laser engraver. If you choose xTool, you can learn a lot more about the usefulness of the tool and some great accessories to consider.

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We're 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 many of the most popular (and the most niche!) 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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