Laser engravers for tumblers and ramblers are very hard to find. Engraving on a flat surface is comparably easier than working in round-shaped stainless steel material. It is true that a rotary can assist in stabilizing the tumbler while engraving but, the laser quality, precision, and other technical factors make the job challenging.
In this article, we will focus on technical and qualitative aspects of tumbler laser engraving and will suggest the top 5 laser engravers suitable for stainless steel Yeti Mugs & other tumblers.
It’s a long article, but you can jump onto the review of Best Tumbler Engraver>>>
Challenges in tumbler laser engraving
Laser engraving in wood, steel, and acrylic is easy with any C02 engravers but, engraving a tumbler would require a rotary attachment to keep the cup properly aligned. Furthermore, A tumbler or a Yeti mug is made of stainless steel which reflects the laser beam and disrupts the engraving works.
If your tumbler has a coat outside then it is ready to put into the engravers but, if it is plain stainless steel then you need to paint or coat the cup with tempera paint or laser marking spray before engraving.
You can always remove the temporary paint after the job is done.
Steps of Tumbler Engraving
These are steps you need to follow while engraving a stainless steel tumbler. We will make it short but easier to understand.
Step 1 – Clean it
The first thing you need to do is to clean the tumbler properly so that there is no dust or other particles. Check if the tumbler has any plastic or other coated paint. Otherwise, you need to color to spray it with temporary laser-protecting paint. However, you can remove that after the engraving is done.
Step 2 – Measure
Measuring the tumbler perfectly is critically important as the engraving cannot be restored if you measure it incorrectly. Make sure to count all the corners and sides and instruct the cutter accordingly.
Step 3 – Adjust Settings
Then you need to adjust the engraver’s settings as per the design that you have made. The laser power and the speed is always variable depending on the thickness and the complexities of the design. However, you can prefer to choose the default settings always.
Step 4 – Place On Rotary
Place the tumbler on the rotary roller and adjust the height of the laser engraver accordingly. You should also adjust the focus lever so that the precision stays at maximum level. then click start.
Step 5 – Wait & Post Process
After the laser engraving is completed, you should wait a while and take the tumbler back. If there is temporary paint, you can now remove that. Bingo!
These are the best budget laser engravers for tumbler
We have primarily selected 17 different types of laser engravers and performed a multi-layer assessment for 37 hours. Our technical evaluation team has scored each and every engraver independently regardless of what others say.
We focused on the engraving quality, efficiency of the rotary, types of laser, power of the laser, sturdiness of the machine, ability to work on different materials, engraving speed, upgradeability, brand value, and a lot more other qualitative issues.
We have experienced that Xtool D1 pro is a suitable option for budget-friendly users who prefer both economy and the accuracy of the works. We liked the compatibility of LaserPecker 2 and its faster speed along with great precision. OMTech is our top choice due to its engraving quality and build quality.
These are the best laser engravers for the tumblers, ramblers or, Yeti Mugs
- Xtool D1 Pro – 20W & 40W (Best Overall)
- Gweike Cloud Pro (2022’s fastest laser cutter)
- LaserPecker 2 & 4- 60W (It’s Compact but, Diode)
- OMTech 50W (Expensive but awesome)
- Attomstack X20 Pro (A good alternative to Xtool D1)
- Xtool M1 10W (Suitable for multi-use)
Xtool D1 Pro is a professional laser engraver with the ability to work with tough materials. Regardless of the engraving speed and other qualitative issues, we found the superior tumbler engraving quality and this is why the engraver is the top choice. Besides, Laserpecker is comparable to a smaller engraver but excellent ability to engraver tumblers. The laser picker is compact, and budget-friendly but not as premium as the Glowforge.
Gweike Cloud Pro is a pure Glowforge killer which comes at a high of price of what Glowforge is asking for its Pro model. Gweike features 3 linear rail along with an industrial-grade laser tube & internal cooling chamber. It offers to pass through along with a slightly larger work area than the Glowforge Pro. In our opinion, Gewike is the fastest laser cutter of 2022 having a cutting speed of 600 mm/s (15% higher than the Gllowforge Pro).
OMTech is comparably a large engraving machine that works on all types of material. The engraving quality was amazing except for the manual lifting feature. Atomstack can be considered the most suitable alternative to the Xtool which will surely blow your mind.
For the multi-users, Xtool M1 is what we recommend for its extra safety features along with batch processing ability. It even works great on stone and jewellery besides stainless steel.
For the best laser engravers for leather, check this out.
Xtool D1 Pro
Xtool D1 Pro is the upgraded version of D1 with almost 100% higher laser power (20W). It comes with a rotary attachment with an engraving speed of up to 24000mm per minute. It can work both as a laser cutter and a laser engraver with proven efficiency to work on different material types such as wood, steel, denim, board, and others. The Xtool D1 pro needs to be assembled which takes roughly 35 minutes for an experienced person.
Check Price from Xtool Official Store
What Makes Xtool D1 Pro Special Among the other laser engravers?
These are the key highlighting point that helped Xtool D1 Pro to stand out.
- Printing speed is roughly 24000mm per minute which is 200% higher than Glowforge
- 20W laser at the price below $1500 took the crafters’ attention
- Xtool User community is very rich than Omtech which helps any customer to sort out any issues without official tech support
- The collection of colors, templates, and fonts is 115% higher than Fluxx engravers
- Return on Investment (ROI) is shorter, usually less than a year
- Easier focus and flame detection also make it special
Laser Engraving Works done by Xtool D1 Pro
One thing you should keep in mind is that this is a DIY laser cutter which means that you need to assemble this after it arrives. The assembly instructions are straightforward and easier to follow. We took only 30 minutes to set the engraver completely but for the other customers without prior experience, it may take another 15 minutes extra. Surely the DIY is cheaper but a bit more complex than the others that come already assembled.
Read more on Xtool D1 Pro Vs Ortur Laser Masster 3 here.
Here are a few glimpses from unboxing to laser engraving:
We have found this laser engraver so wonderfully worked with the tumblers. Here’s a picture of what we experienced:
Here are some other cutting and engraving works from Xtool D1 pro at our experience lab:
Positive Sides of Xtool D1 Pro
- It’s cheaper than the others
- Xtool’s operating software is easy to operate
- 0.01 mm motion precision ensures better engraving accuracy
- Rotary attachment makes tumbler engraving easier
- The system automatically detects flame which is safeguard
- Focusing is much easier than in the earlier versions
- Higher speed ensures faster ROI and better customer support
- Wifi connectivity adds more value
- The diversity of colors, elements, and fonts gives you greater working scope
- You have the freedom to raise the engraver by additional 16 inches which allows for working with bigger material
- Also efficient in working with Pinewood
- Includes limit switches that ensure better safety and working flexibility (Limit switches were not available in their earlier version D1)
- Becomes less smoky
- Can cut three-quarter inch or 19 mm thickness of wood
- Supports offline operation with SD card
Negative Sides of Xtool D1 Pro
- It’s a DIY machine that requires prior experience
- Does not come with an Enclosure
- Engraving without an enclosure can make the work area dirty
- New software Creative space is a bit cranky and you might need to buy Lightburn for better programability
- Rotary roller attachment can be challenging for new users
How D1 Pro Differs from Earlier version (D1)
- D1 Pro includes limit switches that were not available in D1
- The flame detector was not available in D1 but in D1 pro
- Engraving Speed is 200% faster than the D1
- D1 Pro’s laser head includes an easy thickness controller which was not available in regular D1
- D1 Pro is less smoky than the D1
- D1 pro works in Creative Space software but the D1 is operated in Laser Box
2023 Update: Xtool brought a 40W version of its D1 pro
The Xtool D1 Pro 40W laser engraver is a powerful and efficient tool for engraving and cutting a wide range of materials, including wood, plastic, leather, and metal. With a high power output of 40W, it is capable of producing deep and precise cuts and engravings at a faster rate than lower-powered models.
One of the key features of the Xtool D1 Pro 40W is its large engraving area, which measures 400 x 430mm. This provides ample space for engraving and cutting larger items, making it ideal for both professional and personal use. Additionally, it features a red dot positioning system, which ensures accuracy and precision in your work.
Compare Latest Official Price from xTool
The Xtool D1 Pro 40W also comes with a user-friendly software interface that allows you to easily design and edit your projects. It is compatible with a wide range of file formats, including BMP, JPG, PNG, and SVG, making it easy to import and work with your existing designs.
Compared to the Xtool D1 Pro 20W, the main difference is the power output. While the 20W model is still capable of producing high-quality engravings and cuts, the 40W model offers faster and more efficient results, particularly when working with thicker or harder materials. Additionally, the larger engraving area of the 40W model provides more flexibility in the types of projects that can be tackled.
Overall, the Xtool D1 Pro 40W laser engraver is a powerful and versatile tool that offers high-quality results and a range of useful features. It is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a reliable and efficient engraving and cutting machine.
Here’s a video on Tumbler Laser Engraving with D1 Pro & D1
Gweike Cloud Pro 50w Co2
Gweike Cloud Pro is a 50W CO2 laser cutter & engraver, that became available in the year 2022. The laser cutter has successfully created market hype to gather the necessary attention of laser enthusiasts and crafters. Experts are even comparing the Gweike Cloud Pro with the Glowforge Pro as the best budget alternative.
- Gweike Cloud Pro is 50-watt CO2 laser cutter which means that the user can cut and engrave almost every material except aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, and copper.
- This laser engraver is 3.4 times faster than Xtool D1 Pro.
- Offers a precession rate of up to 0.0001 inches which concludes the power of tiny spot marking ability.
- So far, Gweike Cloud Pro is the fastest laser engraver of 2022 compared to Glowforge. The engraving speed is 600 mm/second which seems to be an industrial-grade performance.
- It also features 3 axes linear guide rail for better maneuvering of the laser head.
- Supports more than 400 materials and also recognizes them like what Glowforge used to do.
- This is a desktop laser cutter and is accessible through USB & Wifi; however, no smartphone app is there to control it.
- Gweike Cloud Pro can be controlled through Lightburn which was a big limitation for Glowforge users.
- There is a 5-megapixel HD camera to oversee the laser engraving performance but, the Glowforge had one extra camera for spot marking.
- The in-built camera can directly read the handmade design and convert it into an engravable file without any manual edits. This was missing when we tested OMTech laser cutters earlier.
- Gweike laser engraver can print at a resolution of Upto 1000 DPI at full power. This is great when someone is in need of high-contrast engraving output. However, there might be edge burns to soft materials.
- The Pro model comes with double rotary attachments which enables the laser head to work on uneven materials such as tumblers & Yeti mugs.
- There would be 18 months of warranty along with 30 days no reason refund facility which takes the laser cutter into the biggest appealing position in the market.
- The noise would be as max as 70 decibels. (20% lower than the OMTech laser cutters)
- Gweike is FDA certified and hereby comes with HEPA filter & duct fan. This laser engraver is fully enclosed so the risk of toxic fumes is lesser than the open version of Xtool D1 Pro & AtomStack S20 Pro.
- There is a built-in cooler that helps the laser beam reduce heat substantially without air assistance.
- Gweike also allows pass-through which helps the user to feed extra material for larger engraving.
- The work area of Gweike Cloud Pro is 20.08 inches by 11.8 inches which is slightly smaller than the Glowforge but the pass-through removes the bed limitation by a smaller extent.
- Lastly, the bottom drawer helps to clean the cutting & engraving dust quite easily which was missing in the Glowforge.
- Doesn’t have any mobile app
- There has been limited information on whether their desktop applications run smoothly on Mac / Linux.
- Smaller customer forum
- Doesn’t allow any batch processing
- Doesn’t have a smartphone application to control or oversee the laser engraving activities.
Gweike Cloud Pro Vs Glowforge here
Gweike Vs OMTech Polar
If compared, the Polar and Gweike cloud pro stays in a tie position with a win-win result. However, Gweike lacks consumer market experience compared to OMTech which has been selling small laser engravers for a long period of time.
It seems that OMTEch Polar is heavier than the Gweike Cloud Pro with the exactly same dimension of 38.2″ x 22.2″ x 9.2″. Both the laser engravers feature a 5 MP in-built camera with auto-calibration. The camera focuses and the ability to detect hand-made drawings are pretty similar and effective at both laser engravers.
Polar Vs Gweike
|OMTech Polar||Gweike Cloud Pro|
|Size||38.2"*22.3"*9.2"||38.2″ x 22.2″ x 9.2″|
|Weight||104 lb.||25 kg (55 lbs)|
|Work Bed||20.1" *11.8"||20.08” by 11.8”|
|Camera||5 MP||one (in-built)|
|Pull-out Drawer||Not Available||Available|
|Laser Power||50 W CO2||50 W CO2|
|Speed||500 mm/s||600 mm/s|
|Precision||0.001 inch||0.001 inch|
|Price||OMTech Official Store||Gweike Amazon Store|
Another difference is noticed which is the availability of the Pullout drawer. It’s true that the pull-out drawer is very effective in pulling out the dust created by the laser engraver. However, for the Polar, the honeycomb bed is still removable and the need for a pullout drawer is a pretty minor issue unless you are not cleaning the dust for a longer time.
On the other side, Gweike offers slightly higher engraving speed, which helps it stay ahead of OMTech Polar. However, the Polar is still very competitive if compared with the laser engravers at the price range of $2000 to $2800.
Get the Detailed Comparison Here.
LaserPecker 2 – The best budget option
LaserPecker 2 is another amazing budget friendly laser engraver suitable for tumblers. It has a rotary module with the ability to work in wood, alloy, and leather. with a precision rate of 0.05 mm, this engraver can work at a speed of 36000 mm per minute.
What’s Different in LaserPecker 2
These are the key differentiating factor that made LaserPecker 2 to be of our top 5 laser engravers for tumblers.
- It offers a 60W laser at an even lower price than the Xtool D1 Pro. Also, a 60W laser makes the engravings more lively
- The printing speed is higher than the other similar engraver at the same price range. It engraves up to 36ooo mm per minute
- Laserpecker also features a dual-galvanometer to make the engraving process faster. A dual galvanometer allows the beam to work continuously without any pause
- Easily convertible to Slab Mode & Trolly Mode that helps in extending the engraving length
- No installation is needed. Suitable for owners who love plug and play
- Lastly, it delivers a resolution of up to 2K in laser engraving
These are some works on LaserPecker 2
Other Positive Sides of LaserPecker 2
- It’s small and comes within budget for the occasional users
- A plastic hood protects laser beams and other dangers that serve as an enclosure
- LaserPecker’s software is easy to use
- LaserPecker 2 is so compact and works with a variety of materials such as bamboo, glass, allow, leather, wood, and plastic.
- Also works on a battery that can run the machine up to 200 minutes but, you need to pay extra for the battery
- Can handle difficult shapes with its auxiliary extender
- Supports Bluetooth connectivity
- It’s a diode laser so the efficiency level would not be equal to the CO2 lasers. Learn more about diode laser here.
- Not sturdy as the Xtool D1 Pro
- Not suitable for professional users/business owners who handle plenty of delivery
- The work area is smaller than Xtool D1 Pro which limits the engraving of larger materials
- No flame detector or any air filter attached
- No camera attached for edge detection
- The work area is not suitable for large tumblers, but it works great with smaller alloy mugs.
What does Laser Enthusiast say about LaserPecker 2?
We have conducted a survey to understand how the users feel after using LaserPecker 2! The survey outcome was so positive except for a few negative issues that we already identified in the earlier section.
One of the users from Brownsville (USA) has mentioned that this laser engraver works really well in tumblers and other mugs. But, the software lags sometimes. We have enquired about the issue to LaserPecker and they affirmed with the latest update that the issue has been solved already.
How LaserPecker 2 differs from other LaserPecker laser engravers
LaserPecker 2 is an upgrade to LaserPecker 1. The Laserpecker 1 was so simple with no protective plastic outside. The earlier version had a precession of 0.15 mm which is lower than what the LaserPecker 2 offers.
Moreover, there are two premium add-ons to LaserPecker 2 which add more value but at a higher cost. For instance:
- At a higher price, you can add a magnet protective shield to Version 2.
- The manufacturer also offers a storage box as an add-on optional item at a premium price.
So far, LaserPecker’s laser engraving portfolio is not as big as others but its recent performance makes us hopeful about LaserPecker’s future growth.
Update (2023): Laserpecker 4 is already available
The LaserPecker 4 is the latest model of the LaserPecker family of laser engravers. It is a powerful, portable, and affordable engraving machine that allows users to create detailed designs on a variety of materials. The LaserPecker 4 was recently released on Kickstarter, and it has already garnered significant attention from the maker community.
The LaserPecker 4 is a significant upgrade from its predecessors. It comes with a larger engraving area (up to 12“x8“), a faster engraving speed (up to 500mm/s), and more precise engraving accuracy (up to 0.1mm). It also supports a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, leather, glass, rubber, and metal. Additionally, the LaserPecker 4 has an intuitive user interface, making it easy to use for both beginners and experienced makers.
With its powerful hardware and intuitive software, the LaserPecker 4 is a great choice for anyone looking to create detailed designs quickly and easily. It is an ideal engraving machine for both hobbyists and professionals alike.
learn more on Laserpecker 4 Vs Laserpecker 3.
Laserpecker 4 Vs Laserpecker 2
Here’s a short comparison between Laserpecker 4 and Laserpecker 2:
- Both devices have a simple and elegant design. Laserpecker 4 is more ergonomic and has a sleek, modern look, while Laserpecker 2 has a more traditional design.
- Laserpecker 4 is slightly larger than Laserpecker 2, measuring 10x4.5x4.5 inches, compared to Laserpecker 2’s 8x4.5x4.5 inches.
- Laserpecker 4 has a larger engraving area of 12x8 inches, compared to Laserpecker 2’s 8x8 inches.
- Laserpecker 4 is faster, with a maximum engraving speed of 500mm/second, compared to Laserpecker 2’s 300mm/second.
- Laserpecker 4 has more functionality, with the ability to engrave on various materials, including leather, wood, plastic, and metal. Laserpecker 2 is limited to engraving on wood and plastic.
OMTech 50W Laser Engraver
OMTech is a 50W CO2 laser engraver with a rotary axis. It’s a long, compact, and sturdy laser cutting machine with the flexibility to engrave any Yeti mugs, cylinder-shaped allow materials. This laser machine is suitable for continuous usage and small engraving businesses.
What’s amazing in OMTech?
These are the factors that make OMTech most superior among the others
- Arrives pre-built, No assembly required
- Noise level is low
- The engraving table is more stable than the others
- Precision accuracy is 0.01 mm which is great and even better than the Xtool
- There would be a manual lift to adjust machine height while working with taller elements
- The powerful exhaust passes the air away
- Air filter is attached but the cartridges are quite expensive
- Working material pass through both ways, this is amazing, especially for longer boards
- Warranty is often provided for 2 years (check before you purchase)
- Comes with LIGHTBURN which is a great software for laser engraving and works with large amounts of styling, fonts, and colors.
- 12 x 20 inches of the large working bed allows ultimate freedom of working with anything
- Rotary axis included for engraving cylinder-shaped materials
- The cutting speed is 600 mm per second which means that you can cut 23 inches of nonmetallic materials in a second
- Engraving quality is superior (see the picture below)
- It won’t work with k40 whisperer and Inkscape
- Bed lifting is manual but it’s not a big issue
- CO2 engraving isn’t good for metal engraving, in that case, you need to look for a fiber laser which is a bit expensive
- You may need to buy a more powerful smoke extractor for better performance
- Does not come with 4 wheel rotary axis but with a barrel roll rotary
Differences with other OMTech Laser Engravers
OMTech is a professional laser cutter manufacturer. Their product lineup includes plenty of different laser engravers. Here’s how this 50W engraver differs from other OMTech products:
- There are also 60W, 80W, and 100W CO2 laser engravers. The work area gets bigger with the incremental power of the machine. For example, the 100W machine would offer you 20×28 inches of work bed which is almost doubled that of this one.
- The 80W laser engravers have auto lifts which help you automatically level the machine for height adjustment.
- Not all machine includes Lightburn software, better check carefully before making a purchase
Atomstack X20 Pro
Atomstack X20 pro is another amazing laser engraver able to work on metal Yeti mugs. It produces a 20W laser with its 130W semiconductor laser technology. It supports roughly 40 types of material and can engrave o.o5 mm thick stainless steel board.
- 20W laser module gives the opportunity for different laser engraving practices
- The air assist kit allows better cooling and faster work
- Solid build quality
- Works great in Lightburn
- Also support mobile apps for further assistance
- Limit switches help to work more smoothly
- The focus bracket is very good for setting laser focus for better accuracy
- Works both as engraver laser cutter
- a better alternative to Xtool D1
- Not enclosed
- Fewer safety options
- It’s a diode laser which is less efficient than CO2
- Image resolution was not as good as the MTech
- You need to order rotary attachment separately
The difference with Other Attomstack Engravers
Only X20 Pro comes with Air Assist technology. Also, X20 pro offers higher laser power. The X7 pro had a laser dot of 0.06x.06 mm, which was significantly lighter than the X20 Pro’s laser dot of 0.08×0.1 mm.
Another popular laser engraver from Attomstack is – X7 pro.
Both are excellent models that feature a compact design and intuitive user interface that make them easy to use. However, there are some key differences between the two models. The Attomstack s20 Pro has a larger print area than the s7 Pro, allowing it to engrave larger objects. It also has a higher engraving speed, allowing it to finish jobs faster. The s20 Pro also has a more powerful laser, which can engrave deeper and provide higher-quality results.
The Attomstack s7 Pro is smaller and more lightweight than the s20 Pro, making it easier to transport and store. It also has a longer warranty, providing more protection for your investment. Additionally, the s7 Pro is more affordable than the s20 Pro, making it a great option for those on a budget.
Xtool M1 with Rotary
M1 is a diode laser and a combination of both laser cutter and cutting plotter which means you can not only engrave a tumbler but also engrave jewelry and cut vinyl papers. It is designed with a good sense of security & efficiency of laser engraving.
Positive sides of Xtool M1
- A combination of both laser cutter & cutting plotter
- Very effecient in cutting edges
- Comes with a rotary attachment which is essential for engraving a tumbler
- Allows badge processing but, you cannot open the lid unless the full batch is done with laser engraving
- Detects flame and error
- Comes with a camera attached
- Engrave thickness is up to 8 mm
- Operates in Creative Space software which is very easy to operate
- Can capture image directly from any hand drawing and engrave accordingly
- It is not a CO2 laser which means the speed will be lower than OMTech
- the work area is smaller than OMTech
- There’s in only a single cutting blade which limits your cutting flexibility
How does Xtool M1 differ from Xtool D1 Pro?
- Xtool D1 pro is a CO2 laser but the M1 is a diode
- M1 is slower than the D1 pro
- D1 does not have any cutting flexibility but the M1 has
- M1 is fully enclosed but the D1 pro comes without an enclosure
- There’s no camera in D1 pro
- D1 pro does not offer batch processing but the M1 does
Read also the Comparison of Xtool, Snapmaker & Glowforge here.
Can you color engrave tumblers & Ramblers?
Fiber lasers are a type of laser that are used for a variety of applications, including engraving. Fiber lasers are beneficial for creating color engravings on tumblers because they can generate different colored beams.
This means they can be used to create multi-colored engravings on the tumblers. The fiber laser can precisely etch and engrave different shapes and designs onto the tumbler surface. The color of the engraving can then be matched to the customer’s exact specifications. Fiber lasers are also highly energy efficient and are able to create detailed and intricate designs in a short amount of time. This makes them ideal for creating custom designs and engravings on tumblers.
These are top-color laser engraving machines.
Why CO2 lasers cannot engrave in color?
CO2 laser engravers are designed to work with a single laser wavelength of 10.6 microns, which is in the infrared spectrum. This means that they cannot generate the wavelengths of light needed to produce color engravings.
For instance, green light has a wavelength of around 500 nanometers, while red light has a wavelength of around 700 nanometers. Since the CO2 laser engraver only emits infrared light, it cannot create any color engravings.
Fiber lasers are advantageous over CO2 lasers because they require less maintenance, are more efficient, and have higher beam quality. Fiber lasers require less maintenance because they do not require mirrors, gas supply, and water cooling, like a CO2 laser.
They are more efficient because they convert electrical energy into light more efficiently, resulting in higher power output. Additionally, fiber lasers produce a narrower beam, which gives them a higher beam quality than CO2 lasers. This higher beam quality allows them to cut faster, more accurately, and with less heat-affected zone.
Learn more on CO2 laser vs fiber lasers here & explore why MOPA lasers are the best for color engravings.
Common Mistakes during tumbler laser engraving with rotary
These are common mistakes people often do while engraving tumblers with a laser engraver
- Not cleaning the tumbler before engraving: Tumblers should be cleaned of any dirt or debris, as this can cause the laser not properly to etch the design into the tumbler. For example, an article by Printful mentions how they had a customer engraving a tumbler with dirt and dust on it, resulting in a distorted image.
- Not centering the tumbler correctly: The tumbler should be centered correctly on the rotary attachment so that the design is centered on the tumbler and the design is not distorted. If the tumbler is not centered properly, it can cause the design to be off–center or distorted.
- Not using the correct settings: Depending on the material of the tumbler, different settings need to be used for the laser engraver in order to get the best results. For example, a blog post by Printful mentions that customers use the same settings for all materials, resulting in poor-quality engraving.
- Not using the correct file format: The file format for the design should be in a vector format such as .svg or .eps. This ensures that the design is crisp and clear when it is engraved. If a raster file format such as .jpg or .png is used, it can cause the design to be distorted or pixelated.
Laser Cutting Safety
Working with a laser can be extremely dangerous. Follow these best practices determined by the University of Washington.
- Never leave the laser cutter un-attended
- Never place any flammable objects near the laser cutters
- Have fire extinguishers nearby
- Never modify or disable any safety system of the laser cutter
- Try to operate with an enclosure. If your laser cutter does not have an enclosure then buy one for it
- Always wear a safety glasses while operating
- Never look directly into the laser beam
- Never remove the material unless it is cooled
- Always use approved materials and buy them from an authorized store
- Keep the exhaust system working while working with a laser cutter
- Use HEPA air filter to reduce any risk of VOCs
Laser Engraver Buying Guide
Below is a list of vital points you should notice before buying a laser engraver. We made the list based on the experience & experts’ knowledge. Some features may not be relevant to your need but most features are vital.
Power Source & Consumption
Laser engravers do require power either from direct electricity or from batteries. Usually, batteries can support small diode laser engravers but the CO2 and Fiber lasers require a good amount of electricity to operate.
From our experience, we can say that a large laser engraver normally consumes approximately 50 kWh per month.
Type of Laser
Normally, there are three types of laser engravers specialized for different works. Fiber lasers are heavier and can cut heavy metal and obviously, those are the most expensive.
The CO2 lasers are heavily efficient for laser engraving in any material except stainless steel because the stainless steel refelts the laser beam in the opposite direction. This is why a temporary paint coating is used to engrave stainless steel tumblers while working with a CO2 laser.
The diode lasers are the smallest laser engravers and most small users take the help of these for engraving on vinyl, ply, and wood.
You should not just blindly buy a laser engraver without assessing its need. Due to the variety and working type, different materials may require different types of a laser engravers.
To be on the safe side, you can go for a CO2 laser engraver like Glowforge and have the freedom to engrave just anything except heavy metal.
We always suggest you check the material compatibility for each option you have.
Another important thing you should notice is the ability of a laser engraver to recognize the material. For instance, If you use a Glowforge laser engraver and buy glowforge material to engrave on, the engraver quickly recognizes the type of material by scanning its Barcode and adjusting the settings automatically. Such features reduce the risk of material wastage and enhance the engraving quality to an additional level.
However, an engraver cannot recognize the material without any Barcode, which makes you dependent on materials from a particular company, which might cost you higher.
So, what should you do?
If you are a professional and able to modify the settings of the engraver from your experience then the materials from anywhere would serve the purpose. Otherwise, you have to go with a brand that offers a lot more variety of material with recognition features.
Air Assist Kit
An air assist kit helps in clearing the debris, smoke and other heat white laser engraving is in progress. Normally, good CO2 laser engravers come with an air assist kit but the budget-friendly engravers do not accompany any.
The air assist kit is very helpful for clean engraving work and you buy one if this is not with the engraver by default.
A rotary kit helps to make the round or oval-shaped material steady. Without a rotary kit, you cannot engrave over a tumbler or other round-shaped material. If you intend to engrave over different kinds of material for business purposes, a rotary kit is a must.
You should always look for the upgradability options of a laser engraver. For instance, if you own an Xtool M1 and think about upgrading with a Rotary Kit, then this is not possible at all. Because the Xtool M1 is a closed-loop engraver mainly suitable for small material and batch processing.
However, Engravers like Xtool D1 & Snapmaker are always free to work with a rotary kit.
If you need both laser cutting & laser engraving then you need two machines. One as a cutting plotter and the other for engraving. However, an engraver offers a combination of a CNC cutter and a laser engraver. We have already written about the Snapmaker in our earlier publications but here’s why you should not buy a convertible engraver.
- This is time-consuming.
- Reduce the machine life for numerous kit-changing numbers.
- Not sure if it works as the professional CNC cutter does.
Not all laser engravers come pre-assembled. For some, you need to go for a small assembly process which might be challenging for new users. Follow these steps if you are going to assemble a laser engraver:
- Read the manual carefully
- Do not force any module rather try for the best fit
- Always wear hand gloves
- Do not connect to the power before it is fully assembled
- Avoid having kids or Pet nearby while you are setting up a new laser engraver
Batch Processing Ability
Laser Engravers like Xtool M1 can allow batch processing, which means that you can set commands for multiple jobs and wait until the whole process is not done. Normally, small businesses and crafters need a batch-processing feature that helps them with quick delivery.
There is a disadvantage if you choose to go with batch processing. For an extra level of security, laser engravers with batch processing won’t allow you to open the lid till the entire job is finished. So, it is always better to recheck the patterns and wait till it is done.
Camera & Image Capturing
This is one of the crucial points of buying a good laser engraver. What would you do if a customer gives you a handmade design and asks you to engrave over the material?
For the normal laser engravers, you may need to capture the image and import it to the software and make a design for that. However, premium engravers such as Glowforge ease the entire process.
Glowforge Plus allows you to place the drawing in front of the camera, it takes 30 seconds to capture and import the image automatically. Their artificial recognition system automatically drops the background of the drawing and does the engraving exactly the same as the handmade picture.
If you buy a laser engraver from an established well-reputed brand, it might cost you extra but the community it has is huge.
During the laser engraving process, you will encounter a lot of small technical issues and you cannot afford to wait for an answer from the support team.
Community helps to interact with each other and one solves others’ problems. Also, you will get to have access to different inventions and designs which ultimately helps in better customer satisfaction.
For instance, if you look at this video from Kim & Garett, the need for a larger community is highly emphasized. They mentioned that the official customer support team usually gets back after 3 days but they found their solution within a day from other users.
What are the common problems of laser engravers?
These are the commonly faced problems of a laser engraver so far. Check out our last article on laser cutter troubleshooting issues.
The problems are so common but some of them are very tricky to troubleshoot. The top most commonly faced the problem of laser engravers is that the laser often does not emit light. Sometimes the laser lining is not aligned with the design which creates a mess while work is in progress. Overall, the laser heat deviation & lighting issues are concerned with the laser light & focal length which need expert hands to solve.
Another common problem is the font and the engraving depth do not go according to design. Such an issue becomes serious if you work on sensitive material & tough to replace. Similarly, automatic reset, carving error, and focal length deviation have always been panic for laser cutter users which we have described with constructive loss of troubleshooting guide.
What are the differences between a laser cutter & a plasma cutter?
A laser cutter uses optic light to cut the material at a given shape and depth. Whereas, a plasma cutter is an older version of a laser cutter that used a plasma torch to cut different materials. The plasma torch or the flame melts the metal to cut in between.
These are the differences between a laser cutter & a plasma cutter:
- Laser cutters are more expensive than plasma cutters
- Plasma cutters cannot engrave at a sharper depth
- Plasma can cut the materials that conduct electricity but a laser cutter can work over metal, wood, vinyl papers, and a lot more variety
- Plasma is highly efficient for cutting copper, whether a laser cutter cannot cut copper
- Plasma cannot offer a precise cutting like the laser which is as minimum as .002 inches
For more, read the detailed comparison here.
How many types of laser cutting do we have?
Currently, there are three main types of laser cutting we are primarily familiar with. These are:
- Crystal/diode laser
- CO2 Laser
- Fiber Laser
However, there are more different types of cutting mechanism people often practices. These are:
- Vapourization cutting – It is a type of cutting technology that uses a high–powered laser to vaporize materials quickly and efficiently. The laser beam is directed onto the material, which is then vaporized by its heat. This method of cutting is often used in industrial applications, such as metalworking and machining.
- Melting & blowing – It is a type of engraving that combines the use of a laser or other cutting tool with a blow torch or other heat source to create a unique finish on a variety of materials. This process can be used to engrave a variety of materials, including metal, wood, and plastic. The heat source melts the material to create a unique design that can be used for a variety of projects.
- Cracking with thermal stress – Cracking with thermal stress is a type of failure that can occur in materials due to the combination of thermal stresses and mechanical loads. Thermal stresses can be caused by rapid heating or cooling, as well as by sustained variations in temperature. The resulting thermal stresses can cause brittle materials like metals and ceramics to crack or fracture, reducing their strength and leading to failure.
- Stealth dicing – It’s a type of dice-rolling technique used for role–playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. It involves rolling the dice behind a screen, so that other players cannot see the result of the roll. This technique is often used to prevent players from knowing the outcome of a die roll, thereby creating an element of suspense and surprise in the game.
- Reactive cutting – Reactive cutting is an advanced cutting technique that uses a laser beam and an optical feedback system to accurately and quickly adjust the laser power to the thickness of the material being cut. The optical feedback system monitors the material during the cutting process and adjusts the laser power accordingly. This ensures that the laser power is always at the optimal level for the material being cut, resulting in faster cutting speeds and improved cut quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of frequently asked questions you may find useful.
What designs can be laser engraved on a tumbler/rambler?
Almost any design can be laser engraved onto a tumbler/rambler, including logos, text, images, and patterns. The precision and accuracy of laser engraving make it ideal for creating intricate designs and fine details.
What types of tumblers/ramblers can be laser engraved?
Stainless steel tumblers/ramblers are ideal for laser engraving, as they provide a durable and long-lasting surface for the engraving. Other types of materials, such as plastic or glass, may not be suitable for laser engraving.
Is tumbler/rambler laser engraving permanent?
Yes, tumbler/rambler laser engraving is permanent and will not fade or wear off over time. The engraving is etched directly into the surface of the stainless steel, creating a lasting and durable mark.
Is tumbler/rambler laser engraving dishwasher safe?
Yes, tumbler/rambler laser engraving is dishwasher safe, as the engraving is etched into the surface of the stainless steel and will not be affected by the heat or water in the dishwasher.
How do I care for my laser-engraved tumbler/rambler?
To care for your laser-engraved tumbler/rambler, simply wash it with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Avoid using abrasive sponges or harsh cleaning agents that could scratch the surface of the engraving.
Can I customize my tumbler/rambler with laser engraving?
Yes, laser engraving allows for a high level of customization and personalization, making it ideal for creating unique and one-of-a-kind tumblers/ramblers. You can choose from a variety of designs, text, and patterns to create a tumbler/rambler that is truly your own.
We believe the top picks of laser engravers are useful for you and the other details. You should always focus on buying the most suitable laser engraver regardless of what others offer. Lasser engraving on a tumbler is super easy, but consider buying a multi-function laser engraver to escalate your business one step ahead with innovative ideas.
1 thought on “6 Best Budget Laser Engravers for Tumblers | Ramblers | Yeti Mugs”
Thank you so much for the great article, it was fluent and to the point. Cheers.