Laser Engraving with a CO2 Laser


If you are looking into purchasing some laser engraving equipment, you may be wondering about the capabilities of a CO2 engraver. A CO2 laser marks organic materials. Pretty much anything except metal. If you want to engrave metal, you’ll need a fiber laser for that. CO2 lasers on the other hand have lower power and generally cost less. The wattage of the laser also plays a significant role in your purchasing decision. For fine detail graphic engraving a 30 watt laser will do well. You can achieve a somewhat deep engraving with a 30 watt machine as well. If you are using a 50 watt laser, it will engrave much deeper and also cut materials such as acrylic. The detail of the 50 watt machine will not be as fine though, and will not do a good job on glass objects.

CO2 Lasers Can Engrave the following materials

  • Wood
  • Plastics
  • Glass
  • Acrylic
  • Stone

Are There Any Drawbacks to Using a CO2 Laser?

While there are many benefits of using CO2 lasers, there are a few drawbacks. CO2 lasers use more power than fiber lasers. This could make your power bill more expensive.

Another drawback is not being able to engrave metal. You would have to purchase a fiber laser to engrave metal surfaces.

Additionally, CO2 lasers are bigger in size than fiber lasers. So you would need to make more space for a CO2 laser.

What Are the Top Benefits of a CO2 Laser?

If you don’t need to engrave into metal, you can still engrave coated metals. Coated tumblers are a great example of this. You can also buy sprays that make it look like you engraved metal.

CO2 lasers offer faster straight-line cutting and a smoother finish than fiber lasers. They also work better than fiber lasers at cutting thick materials. CO2 lasers are also great at getting fine and precise details.

With a CO2 laser you can customize just about anything in your home, including metals if you coat them beforehand.

While fiber lasers are gaining popularity, CO2 lasers are still a very popular choice due to the endless uses.