A laser engraver is one of those tools people use to express their creativity and design one-of-a-kind creations. Hobbyists, artisans, and small businesses use laser engravers to create items ranging from wooden signs to powder-coated mugs. Given a laser engraver allows you to mix materials and elements from wood and acrylic to leather, it's no wonder why it's such a popular tool.
Because you can engrave anything into a wide range of materials, a laser engraver gives you many opportunities to express your creative spirit and imagination. Much like 3D printers, they became highly popular for their practicality, and consequently, very affordable. You can find a laser engraver with a super low price tag and enjoy your favorite hobby.
Not all laser engravers are the same, though. Some are built with precision and durability in mind, while others turn out to be short-term toys. Buying cheap laser engravers isn't always a good choice. Read on to find out more about the balance between the price and value of laser engraving machines.
The Market for Cheap Laser Engravers
Laser engravers have become more affordable in the last couple of years, but they still require an investment. Those on a limited budget may get tempted to buy cheap laser engravers on Amazon or eBay. While this may seem like a cost-efficient option, it often turns out even pricier. How is this possible?
Low-priced tools usually have weak lasers that frequently malfunction, not to mention the premature failure of second-grade materials on fiber coupling. Generally, Chinese lasers are produced at a scale, which means they are often of lower quality due to inexpensive production costs. Therefore, you shouldn't be surprised if one of these tools malfunctions or requires maintenance straight from the box.
Many real user reviews from cheap laser engravers on Amazon mention they had to do significant troubleshooting before the laser worked correctly. Many reviewers say their package did not come with any user manual to help them set it up, or that the instructions were poorly written and next to useless. Most of these second or third-rate machines come with knock-off design software, so you may have trouble loading your designs. Even worse, these companies don’t have anyone to help you fix the problems their machines create — they don’t offer a technical support team or even a phone number you can call.
Once you do your share of startup troubleshooting, you’ll find that the laser doesn’t perform very well. Spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a laser engraving machine to see it doesn't work is a nuisance, to say the least. Moreover, there's a chance you'll even get poorer quality cuts. Weak lasers in cheap laser engravers will leave you with uneven, ragged marks instead of the crisp, clear ones you desire.
In case of all these issues, from malfunctions to setups, you can't count on customer support to help you out. Most of the tools found on Amazon and eBay don't offer any customer support or warranty.
Is a Laser Engraver Really Worth It?
A cheap laser engraver usually isn't worth the money. You'll end up spending a lot of cash on something that is never going to perform up to your expectations. Although there are always a couple of lucky users who end up satisfied with their low-budget machines, we wouldn't risk it. The chances of malfunctions are much higher in these.
On the other hand, a high-quality laser engraving machine will give you years of service. Laser engravers are precision machines, so the quality of the components is essential. Buying a high-quality, affordable machine will be worth the extra expense in the long run. It will also give you the top performance you need.
Name-Brand, Affordable Laser Engravers are the Best Choice
When it comes to laser engravers, you don't have to spend a fortune to get good quality. OMTech offers high-quality machines at a reasonable price, standing out from other high-end products that would cost you an arm and a leg. With OMTech, you don't need to sacrifice professional performance when on a limited budget.
OMTech Laser is the Affordable Alternative
OMTech offers a wide range of affordable laser engravers perfect for all your needs. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned professional, one of these will help you tackle all your innovative projects. Compatible with all industry-standard software, OMTech machines offer top-notch customer service and training to help you out every step of the way.
Moreover, all the OMTech products are designed, directed, and supervised by a U.S.-based research and development team. Although parts and supplies come from all over the world, the company's machines are certified and inspected in the U.S. Plus, OMTech is constantly integrating technical improvements and innovation into the design processes to meet customers' needs.
In a head-to-head comparison, OMTech performed equally well and even better than competitors. Because the company combines excellent service, quality products, and reasonable costs, it ranks at the top of the class. When you choose OMTech laser engravers, you are going for an industry-leading brand that offers:
Quality Control and Strong Warranty
One should never make a significant investment like buying a laser engraver without a warranty to back it up. If the company you purchase from isn't willing to stand behind their product, does it deserve your trust? At OMTech, you can rest assured that you're getting an engraver backed by meticulous quality control and a strong 2-year warranty. OMTech machines are built so well that even their refurbished laser engravers have proven successful with excellent reviews.
Widely-Trusted Control System
Laser engravers are complex and delicate machines that have many unique components. One of them is a small but significant control system, a minicomputer that stands as an interface between you and your laser tool. A laser controller allows you to adjust the head position and the power dimensions of your laser. It also helps you interact with the software for actualizing your ideas.
The quality of a laser engraver controller depends on five key areas:
- Software integration
- Brand dependability
OMTech laser engravers use Ruida laser controllers, a proven control system known for precision and quality. Ruida performs flawlessly in all five categories. While there are other, cheap laser engraver controllers on the market, none offer performance as Ruida. OMTech engravers use this class of controllers to deliver power, dependability, and precision that hobbyists and professionals can count on when tackling their projects.
Compatibility with Laser Engraver Software
There are many laser engraver software programs on the market you can use with your machine. The software design program communicates your designs to your laser engraver, matching your concepts to end products. Therefore, choosing a laser engraver with high-performing software is essential.
While cheap laser engravers come with integrated generic software, high-end machines offer top-notch programs. OMTech’s CO2 cabinet lasers are compatible with RDWorks and LightBurn, the industry-leading software programs meant to bring precision and joy to your laser engraving projects. With them, you can be as creative as possible and produce original designs that wow.
The heart of every company is its customer service. Things are no different with laser engravers. When something goes wrong with your laser machine, and you can't fix it yourself, customer service is your best friend.
OMTech understands the need for customer support and offers full-time assistance in whatever questions or issues you may have. Whether you need aid in setting up or fixing your machine, customer support will be available through phone or email.
Technical Support Staff
Of course, customer support is useless if you can't get anyone qualified to help you. OMTech's technical support team counts skilled professionals who know everything there is to know about laser engravers, and they can even provide tech support in Spanish! Experts are available in real-time to solve your problems and get you back on track. If you have a big problem that requires extra help, OMTech even offers Virtual Tech Support for a small fee — a video call with a laser specialist who can see your machine and provide “hands-on” support.
Educational & Instructional Resources
Buying your first laser engraver can be an overwhelming experience. Although laser engraving is a great hobby and can be a successful business, it does require a lot of artistic and technical skills. If you are a learner, OMTech has a vast library of resources available to help you hone your craft and learn new skills.
Whether you're looking for education or inspiration, OMTech's resource hub has something for you. The available materials will walk you through every aspect of owning and using a laser machine. By breaking information down into digestible chunks, OMTech makes it easy for everyone to develop pro-level skills quickly and easily.
If you enjoy watching videos more than reading, OMTech's video hub has you covered. Professional-quality videos provide expert-led training, project walkthroughs, and customer testimonials.
Social Media & Forum Support
One of the great bonuses of owning an OMTech laser is the real sense of community the users enjoy. OMTech has a robust online community in Facebook groups and a company forum that helps engravers communicate about everything from project ideas, inspiration, tips, free design files, and even providing direct tech support to other friendly laser owners. The OMTech forum is a great place to have your technical questions answered by a laser specialist.
How much does an affordable laser engraver cost?
There's an OMTech laser engraver for every need and budget. Small desktop models for hobbyists just getting started are priced as low as $499, while high-powered machines for manufacturers who need to mark and cut thousands of products begin at $3999. The best laser engraver for you will depend on what materials you'll use and how often.
If you're an early starter and planning to use an engraver occasionally, maybe a lower-priced machine would be best for you. OMTech offers an affordable desktop model that is of excellent quality. It also has a small footprint and is easy to operate.
On the other hand, if you're ready to level up and need a high-capacity machine, one of OMTech's high-powered engravers might be what you need. These machines can engrave at deeper levels, and they include features such as autofocus and water chiller.
For artists who want a middle-range option from a reputable source, OMTech offers refurbished engravers. These pre-owned models have been repaired and certified by OMTech specialists. Every machine undergoes quality testing and inspection before earning the OMTech certified badge.
OMTech wants to make affordable laser engravers accessible to everyone, so all users have a financing opportunity for laser engraving machines. By partnering with ClickLease to provide low monthly payments, OMTech ensures you never have to sacrifice quality to afford the best laser engraver.