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Get Started on Your Woodcarving Journey by Picking the Right Laser Engraver

Laser Engraver for Wood

So, you’ve decided to jump headfirst into the world of woodcarving through laser engraving. Invariably, you’ll have questions firing off in your brain about what gear to buy, what material to use, how to get started, and what things you need to look at on the gear you’re about to buy. In this article, I want to answer some of the most frequently asked questions—stuff that I’ve seen online and questions that I have about lasers, the technology, and how lasers are integrated into our workflow. And laser engraver for wood tips. Keep in mind, I’m not a laser expert. I’m not some laser engineer guy that’s used a laser forever. But what I do is I go into the different groups and forums, I pay attention to the different things people say, and then sometimes I go, “Yeah, you know, that sounds true.” So what I’m going to do is I’m going to share with you some of the things that I know, some of the things I’ve tested, and some of the things that’s kind of become mainstream conversation within the world of laser engraving.

 

1: What’s the Best Wood Engraving Laser for?

Answer 1:

When thinking about the best laser for wood engraving, you want to find something that strikes a balance between power, precision, and ease of use. CO2 lasers are very popular for engraving wood because CO2 lasers are excellent in being able to cut detail into your wood. These things have a range of power from 40 watts to over 100 watts. This gives you a lot of play in how deep and how fast you’re able to engrave your design.

2: What Does a Laser Engraver for wood Cost?

Answer 2:

The cost of a laser engraver depends on a number of variables. Factors like size, capability, detail, and brand—all of those things dictate the overall price point. If you’re thinking about getting a laser engraver, the prices can range from as low as $195 (or similar) where you’re going to have a laser engraver that you’re probably going to end up modifying to make work, up to $10,000 (or similar) if you’re thinking about getting into a massive laser where you’re using it day in and day out.

3: What’s the Best Laser Engraver for a Beginner?

Answer 3:

For a beginner, when thinking about a laser engraver, what you want is you want something that’s easy to use, affordable, and something that’s got a little bit of power to it. Things similar to the GKE Laser Engraver (or similar) give you the ability to have something that’s low wattage over there but yet it comes with intuitive software, small form factor. You can pick it up, you can get started with the basics, and you don’t need a ton of experience to be able to start working with it.

4: What Kind of Wood Do You Use on a Laser Engraver?

Answer 4:

Over the years, I found one of the best woods for laser engraving is wood that has very consistent grain, has not a lot of resin in it. Something like a nice birch, a maple, and occasionally a cherry works wonders on these guys. They just give you beautiful, clean burn marks and they give you great, sharp contrast for your engraving making it a popular choice both with beginners and with professionals.

5: How Thick Wood Can Your Laser Engraver for wood Cut?

Answer 5:

How thick a laser engraver can actually cut all depends on the intensity of the laser that the thing has. For the most part, with a 40-watt laser, you’re only going to be able to cut up to about a quarter-inch of softwood. If you hopped up in the wattage a little bit to around 100 watts, now you’re going to be able to cut wood at about a half inch to three quarters of an inch thick.

Problem 6: Is It Worth Buying a Laser Engraver?

Answer 6:

Absolutely. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to go to a craft fair, you may have seen laser engraving machines in action. The ability to add customization to your products and produce things that look amazing increases the value of the products that you’re trying to sell or trying to make. Plus, when set up right, laser engraving can really streamline your business.

Problem 7: How Long Does a Laser Engraver Last?

Answer 7:

The lifespan of your laser is going to depend on how well you take care of that guy. Cleaning the machine, keeping all of the parts oiled and lubricated like they’re supposed to be, replacing parts like lenses and mirrors—as long as you go through these things and do them when you’re supposed to do them, you should be able to get several years of life out of your laser engraver.

Problem 8: Can You Make Money with a Cheap Laser Engraver?

Answer 8:

Absolutely. You can make money on a cheap laser engraver. What you have to keep in mind on one of these guys is that because of the wattage, the speed, and this and that, you might not be able to take on all of the projects that you would like to take on. In other words, you can make a good deal of money but somewhere along the line, something is going to limit you because your laser, when you pay a little bit more and you get a little bit more of the power—now you’re going to be able to take on more of those projects. This is just another one of those things that you have to consider.

Problem 9: Can You Engrave on Plywood?

Answer 9:

Absolutely. You can engrave on plywood. Engraving on plywood varies depending on the quality of the wood and the quality of the glue. If you’ve got a nice quality of plywood, it should engrave just the same as hardwood. You’re going to see the same amount of burn marks, the same amount of contrast, the same amount of depth—everything like that. Where people get in trouble is when they start to buy cheaper plywood with cheap glues and things like that. We’re not talking about 20 to 40 bucks; we’re talking about pennies in cost difference between the different kinds of plywood that you can buy. You go ahead and save yourself as many pennies as you want to save yourself but you’re also going to have to pay someplace.

Problem 10: Do You Need a Computer for a Laser Engraver?

Answer 10:

For most laser engravers, you’re going to need a computer. Some of the newer ones have touch screens and their built-in operating system, and there are a few that I believe are starting to come out now where you’re able to use your cell phone to control the thing. But without the ability to talk to them and the software to be able to put your design down and talk to the laser, you’re going to need a computer.

 

 

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If you want to get more business tips about our cnc laser engraver for wood, please feel free to contact us, we will provide you with comprehensive solutions from raw materials to engraving and cutting.

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