Laser engravers and cutters are among the most useful instruments for enthusiasts. These tools are perfect for making customizations more convenient, as they can give you the freedom to put your stamp or logo on just about everything. Engraving machines provide you the flexibility to deal with different materials. For a few hundred dollars, you will be able to get a machine that can engrave glass, wood, leather, acrylic, and more. Among these, one of the best materials to engrave on is metal.
However, if you are searching for the best laser engraver for metal, it is important to be a bit more selective. Almost all laser engravers in the market today can work on a wide range of materials. Though, not all of them can work on metal, as it is considerably harder compared to plastic or glass. If you are looking into buying an engraver machine that you can use for metal, we’re here to help you. In this post, we are going to give you a list of the available metal engravers that you can buy.
How Does Metal Engraving Work?
Metal laser engravers project intense laser beams onto metal surfaces, which essentially vaporizes the metal surface, leaving a permanent crevice. Doing this requires lots of energy. In fact, a vaporization temperature of 2,327 degrees is needed to be able to engrave aluminum. Therefore, we can say that metal engravers are very powerful tools.
But there are also other less drastic ways to mark metal using a laser, which allows for more affordable laser engravers for personal use. Laser marking and etching are two additional uses. If you want to make clear and deep engraving, you will need a more powerful CO2 or fiber laser engraving machine. However, if you only need one for light marking of metal, laser engravers that are around $400 to $700 and have been proven to work at a lower quality and power can be a good choice.
Laser engravers that are more powerful can work on all sorts of metals, from steel and aluminum to lead and magnesium. Laser engravers are essential tools for many industries as they are sued for logos, tracking numbers, serial numbers, and barcodes. The products they are used on can range from everything, including hardware, machines, parts of an automobile, medical devices, and measuring tools.
What Metals Can You Laser Engrave?
There are many different types of metals out there, but these ones are what you can use in a laser engraver:
This metal can be engraved and etched by using CO2 or fiber engraving machines. This type of metal is usually used for automobile aesthetic body parts, crankcases, crank covers, and even on customized business supplies like flasks, pens, and metal business cards.
- Stainless Steel
Stainless steel can also be laser engraved. The most common types of stainless steel metal are 316 and 306. It is a popular material for budget laser engravers. It is used for aesthetic parts, railings, suspensions, and fuel tanks. You also have the option to make color markings on stainless-steel using a color laser marking machine.
You can also laser engrave steel. However, since it is a tough kind of metal, it makes it more challenging to engrave. With this, it needs a longer engraving time to make enough surface contrast.
- Brass and Copper
By using fiber lasers, you can leave marks on brass and copper. These materials are commonly used for jewelry, musical instruments, nuts and bolts, and more. Copper is a soft metal, making it easy to engrave. Brass also has a low melting point and high thermal and electric conductivity, allowing you to etch it and create dark marks.
You can also mark, etch, and engrave titanium. It is mostly used in jewelry and other services that can engrave your name, date, fingerprint, symbol, and more onto pieces of jewelry via metal laser engraving. You can also use fiber lasers on titanium sheets to make metal signs for businesses.
- Gold and Silver
You can also laser engrave precious metals. During engraving, you lose so little of the material. Therefore, it can be done even on expensive metals like gold and silver, as the weight loss to it is not significant.
Different Types of Laser Engraver for Metal
When buying a metal laser engraver, you will be given lots of options. Among those, one of the important things that you need to decide on is the type of laser engraver that you are going to buy. To give you more ideas, here are the different types of laser engraver for metal:
- CO2 Lasers
CO2 metal laser engraving machines utilize a gaseous mix of CO2, which undergoes electrical treatment to create the laser beam. These engraving machines usually use around 10.6-micron CO2 laser beam wavelength. They can also be used to engrave on other non-metal materials, including plastics, wood, leather, and more. However, these lasers are unable to cut metals unless they are extremely powerful, like industrial machines. But they are used for engraving metals like anodized aluminum and other coated metals.
- Fiber Lasers
These are laser engraving machines that feature smaller 1.06-micron wavelengths. They are faster than CO2 lasers and have fiberoptic cables that can intensify the strength of the laser beam for more effective use of their power. The high power of the fiber laser, small wavelengths, and small focal diameters make them well-suited to metal engraving. Laser engravers that are 50W are considered high-power fiber laser marking machines. They are reliable and can last long.
- Crystal or Diode Lasers
These are quite similar to fiber lasers as they also belong to the same class of solid-state lasers. They are mostly used in affordable laser engravers. They are ideal for woods, ceramics, and plastics and can be used for metals if they are coated. These machines use diodes to engrave. They are lightweight and small in size, making them ideal for desktop engraving.
The Best Metal Engravers
Here are some of the recommendations that we can give if you are searching for a great metal engraving machine:
- Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro
If you are on a budget, this is a great choice. It is a newly upgraded machine that offers some fantastic features. It can effectively mark metal with logos and other small details. It also has safety features, such as an emergency stop and flame detection. It also has an upgraded voltage system, and it stops automatically if the laser is tampered with or touched. It also delivers accuracy. It has the latest OLM-PRO-V10 motherboard, which gives highly precise engraving and a fast engraving speed. It is a small metal engraver that is one of the best laser marking machines for metal that you can find today.
- Mactron 30W JPT Metal Laser Engraving Machine
This is a 30W desktop fiber laser engraving machine that is equipped with a 30W fiber laser source. It features a galvo head that has double red light focusing function. It is also equipped with the Siemens electrical system, which is all wired based on the CE standards. It is a tough laser engraving machine for metal which can be great for business or personal use.
- Hispeed Automatic Double Station Fiber Laser Engraving Machine
This is a full closed fiber laser engraving machine that can engrave on both metal and other non-metal materials. One of the benefits of using this machine is that it offers complete housing that can protect the user from laser damage. It also has different models and sizes to choose from, depending on your needs. It is equipped with a simple and easy-to-learn operation mode, which makes it easy for users to master the usage and improve production efficiency.
- Atomstack X7 Pro
This is one of the most affordable laser engravers for stainless steel marking. It is a premium desktop laser engraver that can cut through even 20mm-thick wood. This means that it can also mark metals well. It can be used for making light signatures or logos and for putting traceability to products like serial numbers and barcodes. It has a wide engraving area that is enough for many hobbyist metal laser engraving projects.
- Ten-High Fiber Laser Engraving Machine for Metal
This is a highly powerful metal laser engraver that is perfect for professional metalworkers. It can be used with different metals, including stainless steel. It can also be used for non-metallic materials, such as aluminum oxide and industrial ceramics. It is equipped with a high-grade fiber laser with an optical insulator. It is also a metal cutter that is perfect for working with aluminum, silver, gold, and copper.
These are some of the best metal engravers available to individuals today. We hope that this post will help you in finding the perfect metal engraver for your needs.