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Which xTool Machine is Right for You? Updated for 2024!

New to laser cutting and engraving machines? You might be overwhelmed when reading about xTool machines and trying to determine which is right for you. Here’s my overview of the machines and my recommendations.

Which xTool machine is right for you? Here’s a rundown!

Hey all! Are you looking to invest in a laser cutting and engraving machine? I’ve been knee-deep in xTool machines recently since the lovely people at xTool gifted me machines to review. And today I am going rounding up a condensed version of my full review posts to help you decide which xTool machine is right for you.

When reviewing these, make sure to keep in mind that machines must exhaust out of a window or door. These machines create a lot of debris and fumes when working, and good ventilation is an absolute must. Even with a smoke purifier, which you can purchase separately, I recommend working in a well-ventilated space.

collage that says which xtool machine is right for you with pictures of the machines and a woman

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xTool M1 machine

The xTool M1 machine is the first laser cutting/engraving machine I used. It’s a versatile diode laser machine designed for various applications, including woodworking, signage, and custom gift making. It uses a laser beam to engrave designs onto a wide range of materials and can cut materials into precise shapes.

Unlike other laser machines, the M1 also has a blade cutting feature. This allows it to cut materials like vinyl and felt. That is a huge bonus for expanding your crafting capabilities, but it’s not why I wanted a laser machine. Here’s a look at the high-level points.

woman holding an xtool M1

Key points about the M1 machine

  1. Laser Cutting and Engraving: The xTool M1 is primarily known for its laser cutting and engraving capabilities. Its diode laser can engrave intricate designs and cut a variety of materials with high accuracy.
  2. Blade Cutting: What sets the xTool M1 apart from many other laser cutting machines? Its ability to perform blade cutting as well. This means it can cut materials like vinyl, leather, and felt with a blade, expanding its range of applications beyond laser cutting alone.
  3. Ease of Use: Setting up the xTool M1 is straightforward, and it comes almost ready to use.
  4. Working Area: The M1 offers a substantial working area of 15×12 inches. This size accommodates a wide range of materials. You can work on both small and relatively large designs.
  5. Camera for Live View: The machine comes equipped with a live view camera that offers a real-time preview of the project area. This means you can position your designs a live view of the actual material you’re working with.
  6. Materials Compatibility: The M1 can work with an extensive range of materials, including wood, paper, foam, acrylic, fabric, leather, rubber, stone, and more. It can also engrave on metal, such as stainless steel and coated metal.
  7. Air Assist: The Air Assist attachment can significantly improve cutting and engraving performance. Air Assist blows high-pressure air in the direction of the laser beam. This helps to prevent smoke and debris from interfering with the process, reducing burn marks.
  8. Price Point: The M1 is competitively priced, starting at $1,499.00. This makes it an attractive option for those looking to enter the world of laser cutting and engraving.
xTool M1 set up in my sunroom
xTool M1 set up in my sunroom
stuffed animal in a small wooden house

Projects I’ve completed on my xTool M1

I’ve completed many projects on my M1 machine. While its cutting capabilities are more limited than some other machines, I’ve found that it’s a wonderful machine for most of my cutting needs.

I’ve cut out houseplant trellises from wood and black acrylic, made some small hidey houses out of wood, made wooden fairy garden pieces, engraved on stone coasters, engraved on cork trivets, and more.

black cat plant trellis in a hoya obovata
woman holding a plant with a small trellis
wooden fairies in a plant pot
engraved cork trivet

xTool M1 Pros and Cons

Below are what I believe to be the pros and cons of this machine based on its specs and my personal experience using it.

Pros:

  • The xTool M1 offers both laser and blade cutting capabilities. It is versatile for a wide range of materials and projects.
  • The M1 is more budget-friendly compared to some competitors.
  • Setting up the machine is fast and straightforward—very beginner-friendly.
  • It can cut and engrave various materials, including wood, paper, acrylic, fabric, leather, and more. Engraving with air assist is super clean.
  • The live view camera provides a real-time preview of your project area, which is great for beginners.
  • It’s more lightweight than some other machines, which I really like because I don’t have a dedicated craft room. I can carry it around myself.

Cons:

  • Some features that I believe are essential, like air assist, are separate purchases. We also found setting up the air assist attachment to be kind of cumbersome.
  • It has a maximum power of 10W. So it may not be suitable for heavy-duty or thicker cutting tasks compared to machines with higher wattage.
  • As a diode laser machine, it cannot perform certain tasks like cutting clear acrylic.
  • The machine has a smaller working area compared to some other machines. This may limit the size of projects you can undertake.
  • The machine is designed for DIY users or heavy-duty crafters. So it might be frustrating using it to scale production to create and sell products for a business.
acrylic black cat cut on an xtool M1
pencils engraved on a laser machine

The verdict on the M1

I will try to scope this based on needs, because that’s what I ultimately think purchasing a machine comes down to. The xTool M1 machine might be the machine for you if you…

  • Are an entry-level laser machine user seeking something relatively affordable and easy to set up and use.
  • Don’t have a dedicated crafting spaces and need to store your machine when you are not using it.
  • Are interested in DIY projects, crafting, and creating custom designs on various materials for personal use or friends or run a micro or very small side business.
  • Want to consolidate machines and value having both laser and blade-cutting capabilities.
  • Are a woodworker, designer, or someone in another adjacent field looking to expand your arsenal of tools and materials to include some cutting capabilities and engraving.
  • Are an educator looking to incorporate laser cutting and engraving into STEM or art programs.

See my full xTool M1 Review post for more on this machine!

engraving a cork trivet on an xtool m1

xTool D1 Pro machine

This is the only machine I am including in this post that I have not personally used and tested. However, it is a fantastic machine from everything I’ve read. And it’s something I’d definitely consider given the bang for the buck it provides.

xTool D1 Pro is a compact version of an industrial high-power diode laser engraver. It is relatively portable and can be carried and put on a table to engrave. Of note—it is not enclosed, but you can buy a separate enclosure for it.

The lower-wattage D1 Pro machines have the lowest price of all xTool machines. So if cost is an issue for you, pay attention to the below overview 🙂

bamboo tray engraved on an xtool m1

Key points about the D1 Pro machine

  1. Multiple Power-level Laser Modules: The D1 Pro’s laser module can also changed. There are four modules available: 5W, 10W, 20W and 40W. The lower wattages are best for ultra-fine engraving, while the higher wattages are better for cutting.
  2. Ease of Use: While I cannot personally speak to the ease of use and setup process, reviews online seem to say that it is relatively easy to setup and use.
  3. Working Area: The D1’s working area is roughly 17 by 15 inches, so slightly bigger than the M1’s workspace. This provides ample space for engraving and cutting various materials.
  4. Accuracy: The accuracy reaches 0.01mm, and the laser can focus on a single spot of 0.06*0.06mm(5W), making it ideal for engraving where highly precise details are required.
  5. Materials Compatibility: This machine’s cutting and engraving capability depends on the wattage you choose. But it can handle an extremely wide variety of materials…nearly everything you’d want to work with.
  6. Price Point: The base price of the lowest wattage is $849 when not on sale, and the price increases from there.
retro camper hidey house made on a laser cutter

xTool D1 Pros and Cons

Below is a summary of the pros and cons you might want to know about before purchasing an xTool D1 Pro machine.

Pros:

  • The D1 Pro’s interchangeable laser modules allow you to have 5W, 10W, 20W and 40W laser modules, allowing for a wide range of engraving and cutting tasks.
  • The different laser modules mean that the D1 Pro can tackle an extremely wide variety of materials—almost everything you’d want in a diode laser.
  • It provides precise cutting and engraving, as well as a working speed of up to 400mm/s and a motion accuracy of 0.01mm.
  • The D1 Pro’s working area is 17 by 15 inches, which is a very nice size for a variety of projects.
  • It is one of the most affordable xTool machines, but it still provides a ton of functionality.

Cons:

  • The D1 Pro is not an enclosed laser, meaning the fumes are not as efficiently vented. You can purchase an enclosure for the machine, but that is a separate cost.
  • Because it is an open desktop laser machine you need to wear the safety goggles to protect your eyes. The included laser hood is not enough.
  • There is no live-view camera as there is with some other xTool machines like the M1 and the P2; this could be a downside for a beginner, but the method the machine uses is actually better for engraving precision.
  • Air assist does not come built in to the machine. I haven’t personally tested it on the D1 Pro, but I don’t use my M1 without the air assist.
camper birdhouse made on an xtool

The verdict on the D1 Pro

Now that we’ve covered a high-level overview, some specs, and some pros and cons, let’s talk about the verdict. The xTool D1 Pro machine might be the machine for you if you…

  • Are looking for a more affordable yet extremely high quality laser engraving and cutting machine that you can expand the power on in the future.
  • Are looking for a machine with both powerful cutting capabilities and extremely precise engraving capabilities.
  • Have a dedicated workspace; the D1 Pro is mildly portable, but toting it around isn’t ideal. A dedicated spot with proper ventilation is probably best.
  • Don’t mind working with an open desktop laser or are fine with purchasing the xTool cover separately.
  • Understand that you might need to upgrade your laser module for more power and versatility in the future—as well as potentially invest in the separate air assist.

xTool F1 portable laser machine

Next up—the xTool F1 portable laser engraving and cutting machine. This is the smallest of xTool’s machines, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it doesn’t pack a real punch. This one has really impressed me.

I love this machine for it’s portability. Not because I’m going many places with my laser engraver—though you might be! But because I can easily carry it around the house for projects, and I can put it in the closet when I’m not using it.

xtool f1

Key points about the F1 portable laser machine

  1. Laser Cutting and Engraving: The F1 machine has two types of lasers: a 10W diode laser to engrave wood, rock, cork, leather, glass, ceramics, rubber, dark acrylic, and more; it can also cut materials like basswood and dark acrylic. The 2W (1064nm) infrared laser is best for engraving plastic and metals.
  2. Wider Range of Surfaces: The F1 allows you to engrave vertical or angled surfaces by holding the machine in place.
  3. Ease of Use: Suitable for beginners; very easy to set up and use.
  4. Working Area: The F1’s working area is small, measuring at 115mm by 115mm. You can example this working area to approximately 115mm by 460mm by purchasing a separate slide extension.
  5. Live View: The machine comes equipped with a live view blue box to help you place your material. So it isn’t a live camera, but it also isn’t based on you placing the laser head or anything. It’s very simple—see below.
  6. Materials Compatibility: The F1 can cut paper, wood, leather, MDF, felt, and some dark opaque acrylic. It can engrave paper, wood, leather, stainless steel, bamboo, fabric, dark class, ceramic, jade, marble plastic, and more.
  7. Price Point:The xTool F1 base price is $1,599.
live preview on an xtool f1
xtool f1 machine engraving basswood

Projects I’ve completed on my xTool F1

The F1 is the newest laser machine in my arsenal, and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. I haven’t done a ton of cutting with it and see it as more of an engraving powerhouse for me.

Here are a few real examples of projects I’ve completed with my F1 portable laser. They include an engraved stone coaster, engraved bamboo plant stakes, some basswood projects, and some jewelry projects.

cat face engraved on a silver pendant
map engraved on a stone coaster
Ramona engraved on a necklace
ric rac cactus

xTool F1 portable laser Pros and Cons

Below is a summary of the pros and cons you might want to know about before purchasing an xTool F1 portable laser engraving machine.

Pros:

  • It’s a handheld, lightweight machine. Super convenient for users who don’t have a dedicated workspace or who value portability—perfect for engraving onsite at a craft fair.
  • Its use is straightforward and suitable for beginners.
  • The machine features two lasers, a 10W diode laser and a 2W infrared laser, allowing for versatility in engraving many materials.
  • The F1 can engrave on vertical or slanted surfaces.
  • It offers fast engraving speeds and high accuracy, making it capable of fine and detailed designs.

Cons:

  • The F1 has a smaller workspace compared to larger desktop laser machines, but you can purchase a slide extension to expand the workspace.
  • While it can cut smaller items, I see myself using this machine more for its ease of use, portability, and engraving capabilities.
  • It does not come with air assist, and you can’t purchase it separately; it is not a feature for the F1.
  • The F1 machine has a base price of $1,599, but its capabilities are on par with or better than similar machines at this price point.
xtool f1

The verdict on the F1

The xTool F1 portable laser engraving and cutting machine appeals to a wide range of people. It might be the machine for you if you…

  • Are an entry-level laser machine user seeking something relatively affordable and easy to set up and use.
  • Are primarily interested in engraving a wide variety of materials but also want a machine that has the power to cut common materials like wood and acrylic.
  • Don’t have a dedicated crafting spaces and need to store your machine when you are not using it.
  • Are a professional who needs a portable engraving device for onsite work, such as a small business owner, a boutique owner, a woodworker, an event planner, or someone who is in a related field.
  • Are an educator interested in expanding STEM or art-related capabilities are your institution but do not have a large budget or much room to store a machine.
  • Don’t need a large project workspace.

See my full xTool F1 portable laser review for more on this machine!

xTool P2 CO2 laser machine

Next we have the incomparable workhorse of a machine, the pro-level xTool P2 CO2 laser machine. This machine is the Porsche of xTool’s machines. Its power and versatility is largely unmatched by other machines.

So you might ask yourself—if it’s so good, why even consider the other machines? Well, you’ll quickly see that not everyone needs a Porsche, because a Porsche is expensive. Maybe you can’t afford a Porsche.

Maybe you don’t have a garage to store a Porsche in. Or maybe you just need a car that can get you from point A to point B, and a Porsche is excessive. Alright, alright—I’m done with the analogies. Let’s dive in to some specifics about this magnificent machine.

woman posing with an xtool P2

Key points about the P2 CO2 laser machine

  1. Laser type: It’s a CO2 laser; in a nutshell, CO2 lasers are more powerful than diode lasers. Diode lasers can perform quite well, but CO2 laser machines can cut more objects with more heat energy.
  2. Power: This is a 55W machine, which is more powerful than any of the other machines. Combined with the CO2 laser, it’s pretty unstoppable.
  3. Materials Compatibility: The P2 can work with an extensive range of materials, including clear acrylic (which diode lasers cannot handle), wood, paper, leather, rubber, felt, MDF, and cardboard. It can also engrave pretty much anything you’d ever want to engrave.
  4. Working speed: P2 has a working speed of up to 600mm/s. For comparison’s sake, the M1 10W machine has a working speed of up to 250mm/s.
  5. Curved surface engraving: The P2 can engrave on curved surfaces by automatically constructing 3D models adjust its focal length during processing.
  6. Camera for Live View: The machine comes equipped with a live view camera that offers a real-time preview of the project area. This means you can position your designs a live view of the actual material you’re working with.
  7. Working area: It has a very generous workspace of 600mm by 308mm (23.6 by 12.1 inches). You can expand this to 118 inches by 19.6 inches using the automatic conveyor feeder (purchased separately).
  8. Price Point: The base price of the xTool P2 is $4,999.
inside of an xtool p2
cutting glitter acrylic on an xtool p2

Projects I’ve completed on my xTool P2

One of the first things I wanted to take advantage of with my P2 machine was the larger work area. It really enabled me to expand the side of the houseplant trellises I was cutting.

I also wanted to test out the clear acrylic cutting capabilities, and wow. That laser cut through clear acrylic like room temperature butter!! Here are a few projects I’ve completed on my P2.

acrylic and wooden puzzles made on an xtool p2
woman holding a monstera leaf plant trellis
bird feeder made on an xool p2
acrylic and wooden puzzle made on an xtool p2
retro tv hidey house made of wood

xTool P2 CO2 laser machine Pros and Cons

Now let’s talk pros and cons. I’ve been pretty rosy about the P2 so far. But the fact is, there are some drawbacks to consider before investing in one. Because it certainly is an investment.

Pros:

  • The P2 is equipped with a powerful 55W CO2 laser, allowing it to cut through thicker materials more efficiently compared to other machines.
  • With a working speed of up to 600mm/s, the P2 outpaces many other laser cutting machines, enabling quicker project completion.
  • The P2 has a generous work area of 600mm by 308mm (23.6 by 12.1 inches) that can be expanded exponentially by purchasing a separate conveyor feeder.
  • Unlike some other machines, the P2 comes with built-in air assist, ensuring better results by efficiently removing smoke and debris.
  • The P2 can automatically construct 3D models of curved objects and adapt its focal length for engraving, making it versatile for various projects.
  • For a CO2 laser with the P2’s capabilities, the base price of the xTool P2 is competitive at $4,599.

Cons:

  • The cost is also a con, though. Depending on your circumstances, the $4,599 price tag could be way out of range. While impressive, its capabilities may just be more than you need.
  • Due to its large size and weight (approximately 100 pounds), the P2 is less portable compared to smaller laser machines.
  • Even with a smoke purifier, I found cutting acrylic for long periods of time produced some pretty nasty fumes. You’ll need to ensure proper ventilation.
  • I found the P2 to be the most labor intensive machine to set up, and it also had the steepest learning curve. This is not as much of a plug-and-play machine as others.
  • While the P2 shines with cutting, I find other machines preferable for detailed engraving, most notably on wood.
acrylic pieces cut on an xtool p2

The verdict on the P2

The xTool P2 CO2 laser is no doubt a fantastic machine. But is it the right choice for you? It might be the right choice if you…

  • Want a the power of a CO2 laser at a price point that’s reasonable when compared to competitors. The P2 stacks up nicely when compared to Glowforge’s CO2 lasers, for example.
  • Are a small business owner or a serious hobbyist who needs the ability to handle larger projects with the efficiency and speed provided by a high-wattage CO2 laser…and you can afford it!
  • Are not intimidated by the setup process and the steeper learning curve; the P2 is much less plug-and-play than the other machines.
  • Want to work with materials diode lasers cannot handle (including clear acrylic), or value the ability to engrave on curved surfaces without additional attachments.
  • Are interested in working on very large projects that would require the addition of the automatic conveyor belt.
  • Have a dedicated space for a large, heavy machine, including proper ventilation.

See my full xTool P2 CO2 laser review post for more on this machine!

fairy house made with an xtool m1

xTool S1 machine

As of writing this post, the xTool S1 machine is their newest offering. The S1 is the world’s first 40W enclosed diode laser cutting machine. xTool’s other main diode laser cutting machines include the M1, the F1, and the D1.

The S1 combines many of the pros you’ll see outlined for the other diode laser cutting machines into one machine. And it is expandable—there are various laser modules and an expansive suite of accessories you can add on.

xtool s1 40w laser
inside of an xtool s1 40w laser

Key points about the S1 machine

  • Laser Type & High Power: 40W of diode laser power, making it capable of cutting a wide range of materials, including wood, metal, acrylic, and more.
  • Expandability: You can swap out the laser modules, including a 2W 1064nm laser and a 20W laser module, allowing for flexibility in your projects.
  • Speed: The S1 has a fast cutting speed of 600mm/s.
  • Twinpoint Positioning: The twinpoint positioning system provides accurate and distortion-free placement of patterns on materials, improving precision.
  • Full-Scene Autofocus: The S1 features a full-scene autofocus system with an Intelligence Focus System for high-precision ranging and automated 3D object modeling.
  • Compatibility with Additional Tools: The machine can be expanded with accessories like an automatic conveyor feeder, rotary attachment, riser base, and honeycomb panel.
  • Software Compatibility: The S1 is compatible with Lightburn software.
  • Safety Features: Fully enclosed, fire-resistant shell design; flame sensor system and emergency stop features.
xtool s1 40w laser

Projects I’ve completed on my xTool S1

Here are the first two projects I completed on my S1 machine. The first was the Test Tube Propagation holder, and it cut beautifully. The second was an intricate tea light candle holder that involved a bunch of smaller cuts that I had to glue together.

woman holding a test tube plant propagation station made on an xtool s1
DIY laser cutting tea light candle holder

xTool S1 laser machine Pros and Cons

Now let’s talk pros and cons. Much like the other more expensive machines, the S1 machine is an investment piece. So you want to make sure you know that what you’re getting meets your needs.

Pros:

  • The S1 offers 40W of power, making it capable of cutting a wide range of materials.
  • The machine is compatible with interchangeable laser modules, including a 2W 1064nm laser and a 20W laser module, allowing for flexibility in your projects.
  • The S1 has a fast cutting speed of 600mm/s.
  • The twinpoint positioning system provides accurate and distortion-free placement of patterns on materials, improving precision.
  • The machine features a full-scene autofocus system with an Intelligence Focus System for high-precision ranging and automated 3D object modeling.
  • Its capabilities can be expanded with accessories like an automatic conveyor feeder, rotary attachment, riser base, and honeycomb panel.
  • The fully enclosed, fire-resistant shell design, flame sensor system, and emergency stop features ensure a high level of safety during operation.

Cons:

  • The S1 does not have a live view camera, which may require a bit of a learning curve for positioning and alignment; the twinpoint positioning system, while accurate, may require some time to get used to.
  • The xTool S1, being a high-power laser cutting machine, is more expensive than lower-wattage models.
  • The machine is large and pretty heavy, meaning you’ll need to have a dedicated space for it that also provides proper ventilation.
  • Some users may find the need to adjust various settings to achieve the desired results, which can be time-consuming for beginners.
  • While expandable, adding extra accessories like the automatic conveyor feeder and rotary attachment come at an extra cost.
cutting pieces of wood on an xtool s1

The verdict on the S1

This new machine is absolutely fantastic—but is it right for you? It’s not the cheapest machine, so let’s go over who I think this machine would be a good fit for! The S1 might be a good choice for you if…

  • Are an experienced crafter and maker with prior experience in laser cutting and engraving experience who want a high-power, versatile machine for a wide range of projects.
  • Are not intimidated by the lack of a live view camera and the need to learn the twinpoint positioning approach.
  • Run a small business and are looking to create many custom products, signage, and art using a wide variety of different materials.
  • Require fast cutting speeds with high precision and efficiency and value the ability to swap out laser modules to handle different cutting and engraving projects.
  • Are interested in potentially expanding capabilities in the future with additional tools and accessories like the automatic conveyor feeder and rotary attachment.
  • Want to invest in a higher-end laser cutting machine with a lot of power and capability but do not want to spring for a CO2 laser machine.
  • Have a dedicated space for a large, heavy machine, including proper ventilation.

See my full xTool S1 laser review post for more on this machine!

test tube plant propagation station made on an xtool s1

Did you find this review helpful?

I try hard to make my reviews practical, helpful, and easy to digest. I hope you found this post to be all of those things! If you’re interested in purchasing a machine from xTool, I would be sincerely grateful if you’d do so after clicking on of the links in this post (like this one!).

They are affiliate links, which means that I will earn a small percentage from your sale at no extra cost to you. If you’re not ready to buy, I get it! It’s a big decision. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll love your machine!!

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collage that says which xtool laser machine should you buy with pictures of a woman with the machines

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  1. Jean Rich says:

    which machine did you really like and does pretty much everything and it’s not going to have you open your pocket book. I’m looking for one that has everything so I don’t have to keep buying parts.I love your reviews keep on posting.

    • Brittany Goldwyn says:

      Hey Jean! I think the most well-rounded machine at the most affordable price point is the M1 10W machine. It’s base price is $1,500, but I’d wait for a sale. As I write this, for example, it’s on sale for $999. Buy the air assist set with it. Keep in mind that it can’t cut transparent or lighter acrylic colors with it because it’s a diode laser, but it cuts darker acrylic and cuts/engraves wood (and more) beautifully. While it’s slower than some of the other machines, I actually find that it’s my preferred machine for engraving. The air assist is key, though.

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