Three Different Kinds Of Metal-Etching Laser Machines

Comments · 298 Views

If you're new to laser engravers and ready to start your first project, you might be wondering which type of laser engraver is best to use. There are many different types of metal laser etching machines, so we decided to focus on the most common ones we use to get the best laser engr

Ortur Laser Master 3

If you're new to laser engravers and ready to start your first project, you might be wondering which type of laser engraver is best to use. There are many different types of metal laser etching machines, so we decided to focus on the most common ones we use to get the best laser engraving and laser etching results.

In this short guide, we give an overview of how lasers work, explain the key differences between the laser systems we typically use to produce stunning laser etchings, and discuss which laser etching you should choose for your next project machine to provide our best advice.


To start explaining the different types of metal laser etchers and how they produce different results, let's start with a broad overview of lasers.

Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers are produced by using electrical energy to excite electrons in special types of gases, crystals, or certain types of glass. When electrons are stimulated, they emit light particles of the same wavelength.

A laser is very different from ordinary light -- at least because it can cut and engrave solid objects. A laser produces a tight, focused, unidirectional beam—it emanates from a source in a single direction—while a flashlight produces light that is diffuse—it emanates from the source in all directions.

There are several different types of laser etching machines to choose from. They differ in how the excitation light is emitted or the different electron sources (glass, gas or crystal) used. Below is a comparison of the different types of laser etching machines.

Metal CO2 Laser Etching Machine

Developed in 1964, the carbon dioxide laser (CO2 laser) was one of the first gas lasers. CO2 lasers are the highest power continuous wave lasers currently available, producing stable infrared light fluxes with a wavelength band centered at 10.6 microns. While the exact ratio varies by laser machine and manufacturer, CO2 lasers typically contain a gas mixture of about 10-20% carbon dioxide, 10-20% nitrogen, a small amount of hydrogen or xenon (5%), and the rest helium. This gas The mixture acts as a source of electrons, which can be excited by an electric current to generate a laser beam.

CO2 laser engravers are ideal for marking, engraving or etching a wide variety of materials. Compared to other types of laser engravers, they are relatively low power, enabling compact and space-saving designs that support a wide range of artistic and industrial applications. Although CO2 laser etchers are not as functional as other types of metal laser etchers, CO2 laser etchers have effectively replaced traditional marking and engraving techniques such as dot pin, inkjet and labels.

Gas lasers are less powerful than other types of laser etchers, so they are less suitable for laser etching metal than glass or crystal lasers. Still, CO2 lasers are suitable for etching or engraving a variety of materials, including wood, acrylic, glass, paper, plastic, leather, and stone.

Metal fiber laser etching machine

Compared to carbon dioxide-powered laser beams first invented in the 1960s, fiber lasers are a high-tech invention. Fiber lasers use glass as the primary source of electrons to generate the laser beam, but not just any glass—the fibers in fiber lasers are made of glass filaments that are slightly thicker than a human hair. Optical fibers have special properties that facilitate light transmission - they are immune to electromagnetic interference and exhibit a property called "total internal reflection", which allows photons to travel in straight lines through the fiber bundle without escaping.
The most famous brand is xTool. They are the fastest household fiber laser engraving machine. The engraving speed of xTool D1 Pro can reach 400mm/s, so it can easily meet the creative needs of most people. Of course, xTool D1 Pro can also cut at one time. 10cm thick acrylic sheet so still very useful

The fibers used in fiber lasers are also treated with rare-earth metals, which release electrons—elements that include various elements on the periodic table: erbium, ytterbium, neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium, thulium, and holmium. The advanced features of these high-tech lasers make them a significant improvement over CO2 lasers - here are just some of the advantages:

In fiber lasers, the light emitted by the electrons has been coupled to a flexible fiber that helps the photons move toward their intended target. This easy-to-transmit feature helps focus light and produce a higher-intensity laser beam, making fiber lasers more suitable for industrial applications and laser etching of metals.
Fiber lasers are designed to be more compact compared to similar power crystal or gas lasers. The light particles must travel the length of the fiber before being emitted, but the fiber can be coiled inside the machine to save space.
Fiber lasers offer superior power and beam quality compared to other types of lasers, ensuring cleaner cutting edges and faster cutting speeds than other types of laser etchers.
Fiber lasers produce a wavelength of 1064 nanometers, compared to the 10.6 micrometers provided by carbon dioxide lasers. Combined with the extremely small focal diameter, this means that fiber lasers can generate laser beams 100 times stronger than carbon dioxide lasers. All this extra power makes fiber lasers ideal for applications such as laser etching of metals.

CO2 Metal Laser Etching Machine

We've already covered gas lasers and glass lasers, so the last laser we should mention is the crystal laser. CO2 lasers use a crystal rod made of earth metal as the electron source for the laser etching process. Like fiber lasers, CO2 lasers, like fiber lasers, emit light at a wavelength of 1064 nm, making their beam intensity suitable for laser etching metals.

CO2 lasers are one of the most common high-power lasers and are used in numerous applications such as ranging, surgery, tattooing or hair removal, and even power other lasers. CO2 laser etchers offer numerous advantages, including:

High power efficiency and long laser lifetime – low total cost of use/ownership
Superior beam quality, allowing the beam to be more tightly focused to produce finer engravings or etchings.
Numerous customization options, including integration into production lines to facilitate automation
Various housing styles for any environment
Variable output power facilitates laser marking and laser engraving on a variety of surfaces

Which metal laser etcher should I use?

Whether your next laser etching product is artistic or industrial, choosing the laser etching machine that best meets your needs is the first step to success.

For laser etching metal, the Fiber Laser Etcher LaserPecker 2 is your best choice. Fiber engravers consume less power than co2 lasers, which are typically powered by lamp or diode pumped lasers. Our fiber lasers use galvo beam positioning so you can benefit from fast and accurate laser etching, allowing you to get more done in less time. Handheld fiber lasers from the LaserPecker brand are easier to use and better suited for smaller projects.

CO2 lasers are not as powerful as other types of lasers and may not be the best choice for laser engraving metal. Still, they are ideal for marking organic materials like glass and wood, and have extremely low operating costs (using zero consumables) and cost of ownership. Items commonly engraved with CO2 lasers include:

  • Gift
  • Key ring
  • Label
  • Small sign
  • Paper products
  • Rubber stamp
  • Plaques, Trophies and Awards
  • Glass/Crystal

Our laser etching services are a great way to take advantage of this technology while avoiding the purchase of expensive laser etching or engraving equipment.


Choosing the right laser engraver for metal starts with understanding the differences between the most common laser engravers. CO2 lasers are good for etching wood, acrylic, and other organics, but are often not strong enough to laser-etch metal. Fiber lasers are an excellent choice for cutting, marking and etching metal products. If you want to buy a laser engraving machine, you can go to the HTPOW online store to buy, each laser engraving machine has its own characteristics, you will definitely like it.