xTool F1 Ultra Laser Engraver- Is it worthy?

The xTool F1 Ultra is a 20W galvo fiber laser with 10,000 mm/s engraving speed. The F1 ultra is an upgraded version of the F1, which appeared with a powerful 20W fiber laser (infrared spectrum) along with another 20W blue diode laser.

The F1 Ultra features higher speed, a larger work area, and a deeper engraving facility. It is available at a base price of USD 3,994 and in addition, it offers a lot more upgradable options such as a conveyor, rotary, and pedal switch for higher prices.

In our opinion, the F1 Ultra is worthy for small laser engraving businesses that continue to need engraving different types of materials.

Key Takeaways of F1 Ultra

  • The xTool F1 ultra is larger than the F1, offering a 100% larger work bed (220*220mm or, 220*500mm with conveyor).
  • Offers deeper laser engraving as a fact of using high power (20 W IR) fiber laser.
  • Uses Galvanometer technology (mirror-based laser power) that does not require laser gantry movement.
  • It’s a true fiber laser that can actually deep engrave metal, and even allow white engraving and 3D engraving.
  • The F1 Ultra offers camera-based positioning that brings higher efficiency compared to the older version.
  • Supports curved engraving & automatically adjusts the Z-axis height of the laser beam for better precision.

So, what made the F1 Ultra a superior version?

In this part, we will focus on the advancements that the xTool brought in their F1 Ultra version. We will simultaneously compare the features with its older version (F1) to make it easily understandable.

In a nutshell, the F1 Ultra is a complete solution for those who want all types of engraving features including metal, fabric, and acrylic. The F1 (the older version was just a portable laser that could slightly etch metal and engrave other materials but it was not a true fiber laser.

Here are a few engravings done on metal workpieces using the F1 Ultra:

Metal engraving with xTool F1 Ultra

The coins you see in the above picture are 1.2 mm deep for which we need to perform the process for two passes. Moreover, we used 100% IR laser power and 280 mm/s engraving speed.

Let’s see, what made the Ultra a greater version of all time.

The Ultra is larger than F1

The F1 Ultra offers a 100% larger workbed than the F1. The working bed of Ultra is measured at 220*220mm which can be 220*500mm with a conveyor.

In comparison, the F1 had a 110*110mm workbed which was suitable for smaller workpieces only.

Such a larger work area not only offers to place larger materials, it also helps in maneuvering complex materials. For example, think about engraving a 3d printed helmet that needs to be fitted on the laser machine’s work bed so that its 16 MP camera can easily diagnose the dimensions and place the laser designs accordingly.

xTool F1 and F1 Ultra size comparison

F1 Ultra offers a deeper engraving capacity

The xTool F1 Ultra comes with two 20W lasers, one being the 20W fiber laser (IR laser) and the other being a blue diode laser.

In comparison, the older F1 only had a 2W IR laser and a 10W diode laser module.

So, what’s the significance of having powerful lasers?

Well, a 20 watt fiber laser (infrared spectrum) effectively replaces the need for standalone fiber lasers. For instance, using the F1 Ultra’s 20W IR laser module, you can deep engrave a metal coin or, perform white engraving on a dark metal which was almost impossible using the F1’s 2W IR laser module.

Just for a reminder, the older F1 could only slightly etch on metal and it’s laser power was not sufficient to perform 3d laser engraving.

In addition, F1 Ultra’s 20W blue diode laser effectively engraves non-metallic materials at a high precision within the shortest possible time.

For example, it only took 4 seconds to completely engrave a 25mm wood piece using 100% power.

How does the F1 Ultra engrave so fast?

The F1 Ultra’s maximum laser engraving speed is 10,000 mm per second which is 150% higher than the older F1. It engraves at an insanely fast speed due to having galvanometer technology that uses mirrors to direct laser beams into the workpiece.

Think about the older standalone desktop laser machines such as xTool D1 pro, or the xTool’s S1 where the laser diode used to move towards the laser direction using the gantry. That was the main reason why the DIY lasers were very slow compared to the modern lasers such as F1 Ultra.

Since the galvanometer technology does not want the laser head to move around the gantry, it saves time and directs the laser beam using the glass reflections.

Earlier, we saw that the xTool used this same technology on their CO2 laser (xTool P2) where the CO2 laser tube was placed on the back of the machine and the laser beam was directed using the mirrors.

A complete fiber laser (not just a marketing punchline)

The F1 Ultra is truly a fiber laser even if it uses the laser beam from the infrared spectrum.

Think about what a 50W standalone fiber laser does. The F1 Ultra exactly does the same with its 20W IR laser module.

We saw that the previous F1 and other similar lasers such as LaserPecker 4 were also named as a fiber laser but actually, they weren’t.

That was just a marketing punchline instead.

However, using the F1 Ultra’s fiber laser, you can white engrave any dark metal wallet or even deep etch bare metal coin and bring a 3d engraving shape in just a little effort.

Faster batch processing

With F1 Ultra’s automatic roller conveyor, crafters can now engrave multiple items in a single click.

Well does that happen?

The F1 Ultra first detects the shape of all materials placed under the laser and automatically puts designs according to original instructions. Soon it starts engraving with its max speed, the machine itself controls the speed of the roller conveyor without any manual intervention.

So, the Ultra can offer you industrial-level performance even if the machine is smaller than the standalone laser markers.

Better positioning accuracy

We saw that the F1 (the older version) did not have any camera-based positioning system which is now addressed in the F1 Ultra.

We saw that the preview speed and the positioning accuracy are 100% along with the automatic focal adjustment.

So, using the F1 Ultra, you can still ensure 0.03*0.03mm of laser focus accuracy without thinking about Z axis height or the design placements. You just need to locate the design using your xTool Creative space and start engraving.

However, we saw that sometimes galvo lasers lose its focal accuracy. In such a moment, you just need to ‘reset’ the ‘Z homing option’ from your XCS dashboard.

Learn more on galvo laser marking technology here.

Movable touch screen – A great addition

The big part is that the F1 Ultra gives a portable touchscreen panel that requires a single connection. Surprisingly, the touch screen is not fully attached somewhere and you can see engraving progress, flame detection, and other performance parameters on this.

We loved this upgrade as it is often difficult to oversee engraving progress from the outside shield.

Like the other versions, the ultra supports USB drive so that you can import image files without the need of any computer.

The interesting part is – that the files are easily accessible on the LCD panel which is so handy (like a mini tablet).

Pro tip: if you need to double the pass, or want the process to start over again, just press the large green button on the LCD monitor.

The negative sides

We did not see any manual focus adjustment on the xTool F1 Ultra which is essential when crafters intentionally want some defocusing appearance.

There is no automated loop & pass control and you need to manually copy and paste the design layers.

The F1 Ultra cannot be used as a professional laser cutter as it is primarily designed for professional engraving and laser marking works.

Material compatibility

The ultra can engrave almost any material currently available. However, you need to switch the laser module from XCS otherwise different laser settings will be applied and the desired result will not be there.

For your help, we have prepared a list that categorizes materials by the laser power applicable.

IR laser compatible materials Diode laser compatible materials
Stainless steel Wood (including hardwood, plywood, and MDF)
Titanium Acrylic
Coated metal Leather
Aluminum Glass
Carbides Coated metals (with special marking solution)
Polycarbonate Stone (like marble and slate)
Certain other plastics (e.g., ABS, polyamide) Rubber
Organometallic compounds Ceramic

Specifications & Comparison with F1

Here’s a quick comparison of the key specifications of F1 Ultra and F1.

F1 Ultra F1
Added feature Curved Engraving & HD photo engraving through pixel algorithm
Work area 220*220mm & 220*500mm (with conveyor) 110*110mm
Laser Power & Type 20W Fiber Laser & 20W Diode Laser 20W Fiber Laser & 20W Diode Laser
Focus type 20W Fiber Laser & 20W Diode Laser 20W Fiber Laser & 20W Diode Laser
Max engraving speed 10000mm/s 4000mm/s
Laser Spot 0.08*0.1mm(20W Diode Laser) & 0.03*0.03mm(20W Fiber Laser) 0.08*0.06mm(10W Diode Laser) & 0.03*0.03mm(2W Infrared Laser)
Software compatibility xTool Creative Space / Lightburn xTool Creative Space / Lightburn
Camera Built-in Not available
Material Compatibility All metal and not-metallic items All metal and not-metallic items
Weight & dimension 273*373*492mm, 14.7kg 179*235*334mm, 4.6kg

The comparison summary shows that the F1 Ultra is ultimately a bigger and better version of the F1 with added creativity such as curved engraving and deeper 3d engraving. Moreover, the engraving speed appears to be significantly higher in F1 Ultra than that of F1.

In a nutshell, the F1 ultra is not a bigger version of the F1 but it offers many more added capabilities for laser enthusiasts.

What’s the main difference between xTool F1 and F1 Ultra?

The main differences are laser power, work bed size, machine size, engraving speed, and engraving ability. The F1 ultra offers 150% higher engraving speed and a 100% larger work bed than the F1. It also supports curved and deeper engraving.

Does F1 Ultra cut metal?

The F1 Ultra can cut metal (0.4mm brass, 0.3mm stainless steel, and 0.2mm aluminum sheet). However, this is not a professional laser cutter. The F1 Ultra only focuses on heavy laser marking and the portability of the machine.

Is xTool F1 Ultra a fiber laser?

Yes, the xTool F1 ultra is a true fiber laser. It uses 20W fiber laser module that generates a laser beam within an infrared (IR) spectrum.

The Bottom Line

Undoubtedly the F1 ultra is a game-changer and worth the money. We recommend that you may consider investing on this machine if you are looking for an all-rounder laser engraver suitable for all types of materials. However, the F1 Ultra should not be treated as a professional laser cutter, nor as a desktop fiber machine as the F1 Ultra’s cutting ability is limited.

Ethan Robert
Ethan Robert

Hi, I'm Ethan.

After graduating from the University of North Dakota, I started knowing the CNC and that becomes my passion.

Earlier, I had fascination of 3d printers, Laser cutters and other CNC machines. Later on, I started analyzing those machine and started blogging on my known things by a different way.

I aim to assist you with the insights of 3d printer, laser engravers and computer printers with the help that you save your money and take the right decision before you purchase any machine.

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