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The Difference Between a Traditional Engraving Machine and a Laser Engraving Machine


The engraving process holds a historic importance. This is due to its customization-friendly nature. This was in olden times used in printmaking and map making. With the span of this, the technique and equipment have advanced. Now there are 2 types of engraving machines.

Traditional and laser engraving machines are giving each other cut-throat competition due to their unique abilities. However, SMEs and corporations require the use of more efficient tools. Their industrial values and application differentiate them majorly. Their efficient working nature and precision are major factors to consider.

In this article, we are going to discuss the major differences between traditional and laser engraving machines with minute details.

The Difference Between a Traditional Engraving Machine and a Laser Engraving Machine 72

Traditional Engraving Machine Overview

In traditional engraving, the object being engraved is touched by a unique device that carves the desired design into its surface.

Operating Principle of Traditional Engraving Machine

To carve an image or design into an item of metal or another substance, traditional engraving machines employ a razor-sharp tool. This is to chip away at the top layer of the substrate. The device may be an in-hand scalpel or a fixed shaper in a piece of machinery. The size and form of the instrument, alongside velocity and pressure, determine the engraving’s depth and breadth.

Common Application Area

Traditional engraving may be employed in many fields, and it still has its admirers. Some of its more notable applications are listed below.

1. Metal Working Industry

Damaged metal components may be fixed using conventional engraving equipment. The broken section may be cut out, and another pattern or shape can be engraved in its place. These may be used to modify metal components to individual specifications. Distinctive logos, patterns, and designs may be engraved to accomplish this.

2. Customization Sector

In order to make one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry like rings, bracelets, and necklaces, jewelers employ conventional engraving equipment. These may also be used to create stunning engravings of names, monograms, dates, and more. Customized presents and prizes, such as trophies and medals, are made using these.


  • Several different mediums are suitable for engraving with them.
  • Traditional engraving machines may produce delicate engravings if operated by skilled operators with the proper equipment.
  • Despite regular usage, classic engraving devices maintain their durability and reliability.


  • For intricate patterns, using a conventional engraving machine may be a lengthy process and time-consuming.
  • An expert operator is required for the usage of these.

Laser Engraving Machine Overview

The process of utilizing a laser beam to create images, characters, or numerals into different substances is called laser engraving, and a laser engraving machine is the device that makes this possible. Automated processes allow for precision cutting and engraving by this equipment.

Working Principle of Laser Engraving Machine

The laser engraver uses the evaporation of substances to create permanent engravings. The light produced by the laser might be used as a chisel.  It makes incised marks on the surface as it moves over it. The laser’s concentrated beam may exert enormous force in certain areas. It’s a sublimation technique that combines melting and evaporation.

The laser beam’s extreme heat causes most substances to melt. When the liquid evaporates from a surface, it often leaves behind empty spaces. Forcing the melt to spread outward is the pressure created by the vapors of the melting substance. As it cools, a hardened ring of melt develops around its edge.

There are carvings made in the areas where the laser is applied. A narrower beam is produced when the laser descends deeper into the substrate. The laser’s precise beam size reduces the amount of heat that may be concentrated in one spot. This is validated by the laser’s ability to produce very brief pulses.

The surface may absorb energy instantaneously and turn solid into gas. In doing so, it completely avoids the liquid state. In this way, a laser engraving machine creates high-quality markings on a surface without any damage to it.

Common Application Areas

Despite being used in most industries, laser engraving is favored in some. Here are some of the prominent areas where it is used.

1. Tool and Equipment Labeling Industry

Adding a serial number to tools, electronics, and other items makes verification easy.

Steel and aluminum may be imprinted with barcodes for stock and administration monitoring and use. With ComMarker B4, laser engravers can achieve this effortlessly.  

ComMarker B4 – 20W/30W/50W/60W/100W fiber laser engraver&laser marking engraver machine

(11 customer reviews)
$1,999 $1,699 Save:$300

B4 fiber laser engraver 0.01mm Precision 15000mm/s Engraving speed 20W Laser power ComMarker B4 fiber laser engraver 0.01mm Precision 15000mm/s

0 rotary
D69*1 Rotary
D69+D80 Rotary
D80 Rotary

2. Personalized Decorations and Art

Laser engraving allows large production of creative artwork on stainless steel, brass, copper, leather, etc. In the POD sector, customized items are popular. Such lasers may readily engrave events, shop banners, offices, signage, and logos. Therefore, ComMarker B4 leverages EZCAD2 to effortlessly draw detailed and complicated patterns on such materials.

3. Micromachining

The intended commodities here are semiconductors and microelectronics. Medical implants can be created by this. Lasers for precise marking may micro-feature medical equipment.

Laser engraver does detail printing on micro tools.


  • On tiny, fragile items, laser engraving devices can generate accurate engravings.
  • Industrial production may benefit from laser engraving equipment’s speed.
  • These engraving devices are versatile and may be used to mark a broad range of materials, from metal to leather.
  • In spite of their regular usage, laser engraving machines are long-lasting and reliable.
  • The price of laser engraving equipment has dropped recently, making them accessible to both corporations and SMEs.


  • Not correctly utilized, lasers may be hazardous.
  • Material compatibility with laser engraving varies.
  • Environmentally damaging fumes and dirt are possible byproducts of laser engraving.

Main Differences Between the Two

Technology and Operating Methods

Laser Engravers are high-tech and utilize the latest methods to operate. These machines have software installations and distinct tools.

Traditional engraving is a manual or machine-operated process, depending on scale. The machine is simple and requires more time.

Precision and Efficiency

Laser Engravers are extremely precise. ComMarker B4 engraves with a precision of 0.01mm.

Traditional engraving is not that precise. It leaves rough and frayed edges when carved.

Material Compatibility

Laser engraves can engrave a wide variety of materials such as metals and leather. The materials fiber laser engravers cannot engrave are fabric, wood, and materials that have water content. Traditional engraving is compatible with most materials including, glass stone, metals, etc.

How to Choose the Right Laser Engraving Machine

Here are some factors that you need to consider before choosing a laser engraving machine.

1. Needs and Budget Requirements

For the laser engraver to be a viable purchase, its monetary advantages to the customer must first be highlighted. In order to be profitable, a laser engraver has to be both user-friendly and affordable.

The device’s starting price and where it lies on the price-to-quality scale. Second, the company’s total return on investment (ROI) in relation to its output must be taken into account. It’s important to include in the whole operating cost, which includes things like energy use and repairs.

The laser would be a good long-term investment if it could produce items worth twice as much as its initial cost. In this regard, ComMarker B4 excels.

2. Laser Type and Power Dependency

The initial step is to research the engravers’ workability. All laser engravers function using the same concept. However, their output and laser machine lens operation vary most. There are three main categories of laser engravers used and accessible. The lasers may be either pulsed, continuous, or ultrafast.

In this respect, a pulsed laser is superior, since it produces light in discrete bursts at a set pace (until turned off). At regular intervals, it shoots a laser pulse with a 25-second duration. These improve performance through conduction cooling. They are capable of producing peak power.

This category includes fiber optic laser engravers. Fiber-optic lasers are more powerful due to their shorter focus length and wavelength (1,060 nm). By executing customers’ concepts, Com Marker B4 optimizes engraving.

Its output power outperforms all commercial fiber laser engravers. Faster and more precise engravings may be made using its pulse laser. Metals, leather, and reflective materials all benefit from being engraved using this method.

3. Ultra-modern Software

The laser engraver’s software is an important factor to help choose one. The included software for controlling and analyzing the engraver’s operations should include a number of useful capabilities. LightBurn, included with many laser engravers, is a great piece of software to have.

These programs should have no trouble using 3D engraving. It has to make accurate inferences as it navigates the many topographical layers of the material and reads engravings of variable thicknesses.  

Using EZCAD 2 for conceptual blueprints, Com Marker B4 is LightBurn-compatible. It provides comprehensive information on the engraving procedure. Users have complete command over the engraving process and may boost the pace if necessary.

4. Size and Workspace

Small companies rely on having enough room to operate in, so they can respond quickly to consumer demands. It aids bulk manufacturing. The engraving space for ComMarker B4 is 12 x 18 inches. The product may be engraved 12″ wide by 18″ long. This is the right size for most SMEs who want to use a laser engraver to create unique designs for cups, jewelry, coasters, etc.

The Difference Between a Traditional Engraving Machine and a Laser Engraving Machine 73

ComMarker B4 – 20W/30W/50W/60W/100W fiber laser engraver&laser marking engraver machine

(11 customer reviews)
$1,999 $1,699 Save:$300

B4 fiber laser engraver 0.01mm Precision 15000mm/s Engraving speed 20W Laser power ComMarker B4 fiber laser engraver 0.01mm Precision 15000mm/s

0 rotary
D69*1 Rotary
D69+D80 Rotary
D80 Rotary

Maintenance and Safety Recommendations for Laser Engraving Machines

Common Maintenance Steps

  • Use a gentle, lint-free cloth to clean off the laser head and optics.
  • Make sure the area is clear of dust and anything that might block the laser’s path.
  • Ensure the filtration system and fan are clean.
  • Air filters should be changed as needed.
  • Make sure the working components are well lubricated.
  • Use a specific cleaning product to disinfect the laser tubes.
  • Adjust the focus of the laser.

Safety Operating Guidelines

  • The contactless method and automatic surface process assure user safety with laser engravers.
  • Wearing protective eyewear is a must for a risk-free experience.
  • A laser engraver that has been properly grounded can become shock-resistant.
  • Use a well-ventilated environment and engraving-restricted materials. This may cause flames and fumes.
  • Maintaining the engraver requires frequent inspections for damage. This protects users and boosts performance.
  • One-handed operation of the ComMarker B4 is suggested.


Engraving has been known as a worldwide concept for centuries. Traditional engraving machines are widely being replaced by laser engraving machines due to their precision and speed. Bulk manufacturing is one of their major applications. Laser engraving machines are lauded in Print-On-Demand industries, making it the preferred choice among the two.

About David Lee

Hello, I'm David Lee, I'm a passionate and creative professional commercial Laser Engraver and marking specialist with a wealth of experience and a wide range of knowledge. Overthe past 10 years, I have focused on Laser Engraver and marking solutions for various commercial projects.l am sensitive to new technologies and design trends ,constantly seeking the best Laser Engraver and marking experience

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