Wine glass engraved with laser
Home - Garden
An Honest Review Of This Popular Home Laser Cutter & Engraver
S1 40W
The S1 40W laser cutter and engraver produced by xTool is touted as an affordable, powerful, enclosed, and safe diode laser suitable for a range of non-professionals.
It’s fast; it has built-in safety features; it can perform fine engraving on metal, plastic, and curved materials; and its optional add-ons extend its functionality even further.
The S1 can cut paper, wood, MDF, leather, felt, and acrylic, and can engrave steel, glass, wood, leather, fabric, jade, ceramic, shale, marble, cement, brick, and painted metal.
All of the basic components of the S1 are packed securely within the enclosed bed, and setting it up is extremely simple, assisted by a very user-friendly installation guide.
Finer aspects of installing the software and using the laser were not always clear, with some conflicting instructions, but consulting the newest guidebook clarified everything.
The S1’s instructions don’t provide a full list of materials it’s capable of working with, and they sometimes don't match those listed on xTool’s app or online guides.
However, the app has a "material test array" function that identifies the right settings to cut a material, and we tested it using wood and sheet acrylic to create several pieces.
The S1 cut with ease, needing just a few passes to cut through knots in the wood and only struggling slightly with the pine furring, which the S1 doesn’t support anyway.
We experimented with some wood inlays when making a phone case, and while the precision required probably exceeded the software’s capability, the S1 handled the job very well.
We engraved photos or graphics on various materials. Engraving flat surfaces was simple, but the S1's preset library is limited, so you’ll need to experiment with settings.
Rotary engraving was less easy, so the RA2 Pro rotary attachment is indispensable to engrave round items like rings, tumblers, or ornaments, and it worked perfectly for our tasks.
For a more ambitious project, we even successfully engraved a vector graphic onto a copper plumbing ring, once we figured out how to align the laser.