We always encourage people to buy the biggest machine at the highest wattage their budget will allow. You rarely hear anyone say, “I wish I’d gotten a smaller laser.” And we virtually never hear someone say, “I wish my laser had less power.”
These questions help determine the best system for your needs:
- What is the maximum size piece you will work with? You need a system capable of holding the items you anticipate working with.
- What materials will you use? Selecting the correct wattage of laser depends on which materials you will use. While even low wattage (30 watts) lasers engrave and cut most materials you will use, laser wattage and speed go hand-in-hand. Materials such as acrylic, coated metals, and laserable plastic can be engraved with relatively little power at high speeds. Other materials, like wood or rubber, work with lower wattages but require higher power to run at high speeds.
- How large is your projected workload? If you devote all your time to laser engraving, you’ll need a machine that can accommodate all the activity. If you do engraving as a side or part-time business, a smaller machine will accommodate a smaller workload.
- What is your budget? Smaller, lower wattage machines are less expensive than larger, higher power machines. Depending on your needs, the least expensive piece of equipment may cost you more in the long run if you find you need to upgrade soon after purchase.