What is xTool Laser?
xTool is a company founded in 2019 that manufactures laser engraving & cutting machines catering to both hobbyists and Industrial users. Their product lineup includes both CO2 and diode laser models such as the popular xTool D1, S1, and P2 engravers.
A core focus for xTool is democratizing professional grade Laser technology by providing quality machines with robust feature sets at budget friendly pricing compared to Competitors. Their lasers are capable of cutting and engraving hundreds of materials like wood, acrylic, leather, certain metals, glass, plastics, rubber, and more up to 0.5 inches thick.
Key capabilities of xTool laser cutters include removable/swappable diode laser modules for flexibility, twin-point precision engraving, large work areas on higher end models, and innovative assisted alignment and intelligence functions for ease of use. Their laser systems are fully enclosed with safety features such as fire prevention and suppression equipment to enable use in office and home environments.
To expand functionality, xTool offers accessories for their lasers including rotary attachments for engraving cylinders, fume extractors for smoke control, conveyor side feeds for long materials, and adjustable riser blocks to accommodate thicker items. Through their balance of power, precision, Intelligent features, safety & affordability, xTool laser aims to drive adoption of laser technology for everything from DIY crafts & customization to production workflows.
Is xTool Laser Better Than Glowforge? A Detailed Comparison
If you’re looking for a laser cutter or engraver, two excellent options to consider are xTool laser and Glowforge. But which brand offers the best devices? In this detailed comparison guide, we’ll examine how xTool laser & Glowforge models stack up across various factors to help you determine which is the Superior Laser System.
Overview of xTool Laser
First, let’s provide some background on xTool laser. Founded in 2019, xTool is a company dedicated to making professional-grade Laser Cutters accessible & easy to use for everyone. They offer a range of diode and CO2 laser engraving & cutting machines catering to both hobbyists & small businesses.
Some of xTool’s most popular laser cutter models include:
- xTool D1: A versatile desktop diode laser ideal for beginners starting at under 700. It can engrave materials like wood, leather, plastic, and some metals.
- xTool D1 Pro: An upgraded version of the D1 with higher 10W or 20W laser power options for faster cutting. It sells for around 1100.
- xTool S1: xTool’s premier desktop diode laser series available in 20W, 40W power levels to handle thicker materials. The S1 40W model can cut wood up to 18mm thick.
- xTool P2: A feature-packed 55W CO2 laser cutter with a large 26 x 14” bed size. It utilizes an autofocus Camera for Incredible precision.
A key focus for xTool laser is balancing professional cutting power and features with simplicity and safety to empower anyone to leverage laser technology for their projects. Their devices are also generally more affordable than competitors.
Now let’s see how xTool laser engravers and cutters compare to the popular Glowforge models.
Glowforge is currently one of the best-known brands in consumer laser cutters. Since launching in 2015, they have positioned themselves as the premier laser solution for hobbyists & small businesses with their Streamlined devices.
Some highlights of Glowforge laser cutters include:
- Sleek, modern design
- Enclosed units for safety
- Built-in cameras for precise engraving
- Proprietary cloud-based software
- Cutting/engraving of hundreds of materials
- Automatic laser tuning and focus
- Wireless connectivity and app control
Glowforge aims to provide an accessible “3D printer for laser cutting” with their plug-and-play devices that can create projects out of wood, leather, acrylic, paper, fabric, food, and more. Their flagship model is the Glowforge Plus 40W CO2 laser.
However, Glowforge units also come at a steep price with the Plus model starting at 2,449 and Pro model at 5,995. That’s why more affordable xTool laser options have grown as alternatives for consumers.
Now let’s break down xTool vs Glowforge across some major factors.
Laser Power and Cutting/Engraving Abilities
One of the most important aspects of any laser engraver or cutter is the power and diodes used as this determines the devices capabilities and performance.
Glowforge utilizes 40W or 45W CO2 lasers in their devices which are well-suited for cutting and engraving organics like wood, leather, paper, etc. They emit light at the 10600 nm infrared wavelength. Their 45W Pro model is their highest power laser option.
xTool offers both diode and CO2 lasers depending on the unit. Their S-series diode lasers output visible blue light around 445-455nm wavelength which can also effectively process organics while offering a few advantages that will be covered shortly. More industrial materials require the 55W CO2 laser equipped in their xTool P2 model.
So both Glowforge and xTool laser provide CO2 as well as high-powered diode laser options to meet varying needs.
When it comes to cutting power, the highest wattage Glowforge Pro at 45W can slice through:
- Wood up to 0.5”
- Acrylic up to 0.5”
- Leather, paper, fabric, food, etc.
The max thickness for the 40W Glowforge Plus is just 0.25”.
xTool lasers match or exceed Glowforge cutting capabilities thanks to compression advancements packing more strength into diode lasers. For example, the 40W xTool S1 Pro diode laser can cut:
- Wood up to 0.6”
- Acrylic up to 0.6”
- Leather up to 0.4”
- Other organics
And their 55W CO2 xTool P2 can cut over 0.7” wood and 0.8” acrylic.
So xTool diode lasers like the S1 tend to offer better cutting compared to the Glowforge units. And their P2 CO2 laser surpasses even the Glowforge Pro 45W model in terms of sliceable material thickness.
For engraving, both Glowforge and xTool lasers can mark designs, graphics, photos, text, etc. into a wide variety of mediums like wood, acrylic, anodized metal, stone, glass, leather, coated metals, rubber, and more at varying depths.
Precision is enhanced by auto-focus cameras equipped in higher-end models from both brands. This allows for incredibly crisp, defined engraving work on flat and curved objects.
So for engraving purposes specifically, xTool and Glowforge offer comparably excellent results across an extensive range of materials with their diode and CO2 laser configurations.
Advantages of xTool Diode Lasers
While CO2 laser cutters like those offered by Glowforge have remained standard for years, xTool’s high-powered diode laser engravers provide some compelling benefits:
- Lower cost – Diode lasers are more affordable to produce than CO2 models. This allows xTool to offer machines with exceptional cutting strength at just a fraction of the price of CO2 competitors. Their xTool S1 40W at 2,199 for example features specs that rival 2,000+ commercial CO2 laser cutters.
- Compact size – Diode laser machines have smaller footprints since they utilize LED diode components instead of glass CO2 laser tubes. This gives xTool engravers and cutters a much slimmer, desktop-friendly design.
- Faster speed – The diode laser configuration allows for rapid 600mm/s engraving with xTool machines compared to under 400mm/s for Glowforge. This increased speed drives productivity.
- Interchangeable laser modules – xTool diode lasers allow you to swap diode modules to best match your material needs, whether a lower power module for fine detailed engraving or higher power for thicker cuts. Glowforge lacks this interchangeability.
So while CO2 lasers have been the traditional technology used in laser cutters, xTool laser proves that new high-powered diode laser machines can match and even outclass legacy CO2 engravers. Their diode technology unlocks excellent performance at a fraction of the price.
Work Area Size Comparison
Another vital statistic for any laser engraver is the available work area for placing materials to process.
Here is how the work areas stack up:
Glowforge Work Area
- Basic model: 12” x 12”
- Plus model: 19.5” x 11”
- Pro model: 19.5” x 11”
xTool Work Area
- D1 model: 16” x 15”
- S1 model: 19.6” x 12.5”
- P2 model: 26.8” x 14.2”
The entry xTool laser D1 already provides a larger work zone compared to Glowforge’s starter unit. And their S1 matches the Glowforge Plus and Pro models.
But xTool’s 55W CO2 P2 laser cutter clearly stands out from the pack with its expansive 26 x 14” work bed – giving you ample space for even oversized materials.
So if working area size if your priority, higher-end xTool laser cutters like the P2 blow Glowforge devices out of the water. Their substantial work beds create Limitless possibilities for your engraving & cutting projects.
Innovative “Smart” Features
Aside from raw laser power, work area, and other performance metrics, attention should also be paid to special features and technology integrated into these machines for added convenience.
As a pioneer in streamlining laser engravers for hobbyists, Glowforge packs their models with innovations like:
- Cloud-connect software
- Built-in cameras
- Material sensing
- Wireless connectivity and app control
These purposeful features aim to remove all complexity from operating a laser engraver. They allow a complete beginner to start creating within minutes with a Glowforge unit thanks to their intuitive design. You can literally hit print and walk away as the machine handles alignment, settings, focus, and more automatically.
xTool Laser Intelligence
While Glowforge laser cutters excel at simplicity and ease-of-use, xTool laser engravers demonstrate tremendous innovation on the performance capabilities front with their “smart” features.
Some leading-edge highlights of xTool laser technology include:
- Auto-focus dual cameras – High resolution cameras automatically dial-in focus and calibration to perfectly execute engraving and cutting.
- 3D modeling – The cameras scan curved objects to construct a 3D model then project artwork adapted for the contours to achieve impeccable engraving, even on irregular items.
- AI assisted creation – Assisted alignment, cropping, tracing of imported images.
- Twin-point precision – Dual cameras provide real-time visualization and pinpoint accuracy of positioning.
- Interchangeable laser modules – Effortlessly swap diode laser cartridges to best match application needs.
While not as overtly plug-and-play like Glowforge, xTool unveils unprecedented innovations tailored more for limitless applications versus dead simple operation. Their remarkable smart laser engraving & cutting features dramatically expand Creative possibilities.
A vital factor that distinguishes laser engravers is the range of materials they can process. Here is how Glowforge and xTool compare:
Glowforge touts their CO2 laser cutter’s ability to engrave and cut hundreds of substances like:
- And many more
Virtually any organic material up to 0.5” thickness for the 45W Pro model can be precision laser processed with detail and consistency.
However, their CO2 configuration does impose some material limitations—metals cannot be directly engraved. An additional fiber laser accessory is required for metal marking.
The versatile range of xTool laser cutters with both diode and CO2 options supports an incredible 500+ materials including:
- Anodized aluminum
- Coated brass
- And endless more
This extensive material compatibility is thanks to xTool laser offering multiple laser technologies suited for various substances. For example, their IR diode laser equipped in models like the xTool F1 specializes in metals not supported under Glowforge CO2 lasers. And xTool’s 55W CO2 P2 can shred through thick wood, acrylics, MDF that surpass Glowforge abilities.
So when it comes to the range of processable materials, xTool laser simply provides the greatest flexibility to handle virtually any application imaginable through their multi-laser options.
xTool Laser product vs Glowforge product comparison chart
|xTool D1 Pro
|Max Cut Thickness
Software for Design and Control
To operate any CNC (computer numerical control) device like a laser engraver, you need compatible software to produce designs as well as control job execution.
Here is how the Glowforge and xTool software options compare:
- Proprietary web and mobile apps – Glowforge built their own elegant cloud-based apps tailored for their machines. This allows wireless control and management from any device. But lacks third-party software support.
- Minimal learning curve – The Glowforge software aims for extreme simplicity allowing complete beginners to import artwork or photos and instantly engrave them with no design skills needed through the step-by-step web interface.
xTool Laser Software
- xTool Creative Space + third party support – xTool offers their well-featured native “xTool Creative Space” editing and control software for PC that contiguously improves with frequent updates. Their laser systems also work with common third party laser software like LightBurn, LaserGRBL, LightSpindle, and more.
- Advanced capabilities for experienced users – While not quite as simple upfront as Glowforge, programs like LightBurn offer vastly superior design functionalities. The software Scalability empowers everything from novices to Laser experts.
In summary, Glowforge Software promotes extreme ease of use for beginners while xTool permits more advanced Functionality. Fortunately, xTool laser also makes their devices compatible with secondary programs to provide the best of both worlds – marrying simplicity for new users with next-level features for demanding applications.
Additional Factors to Consider
Beyond the core comparison points covered above surrounding laser performance, beds size, smart features, software, etc. There are a few other Variables worth noting as you evaluate xTool lasers & Glowforge.
This is arguably the most compelling advantage held by xTool laser.
- Glowforge pricing starts at $3,995 for the Basic model, $4,495 for the Plus, and $5,995 for the Pro. These staggering costs place Glowforge units well outside the budget range of most consumers. Their devices cater more to well-funded businesses and schools.
- Meanwhile, xTool laser cutters and engravers start at just 9 for a base diode machine. Their highest-spec 55W CO2 P2 retails for $4,499, nearly 3X cheaper than Glowforge’s top-of-the-line model. This makes prosuming xTool laser technology extremely accessible for personal shop owners all the way up to industrial warehouses leveraging arrays of their machines.
If price is a determining factor (as it is for most buyers), xTool decisively proves far more budget-friendly with heavy duty laser cutters costing just a fraction of comparative Glowforge models. The price-to-performance ratio strongly favors xTool.
- Glowforge established their brand in North America which could give them an edge in support response times and familiarity for US/Canada customers. Though as xTool laser expands globally, their customer service also continues to mature.
- Both companies provide warranties on their machines with Glowforge at 12 months and xTool at 24 months.
- Glowforge and xTool both offer optional accessories to expand laser abilities like rotary attachments for engraving glasses, mugs, and cylinders or fume extractors for smoke control. xTool laser tends to offer their add-ons at lower cost though.
- Unique xTool extras include riser blocks to accommodate taller objects up to 8 inches and conveyor side feeds to create continuous prints exceeding three feet long by automatically advancing materials.
No analysis of powerful laser cutting tools is complete without assessing integrated safety technology:
- Both xTool and Glowforge properly enclose their CO2 and diode laser beams for protection.
- Additional xTool safety advances include integrated fire detection and suppression systems, emergency stop buttons, warning alarms, and even Class 1 lower intensity laser options. So they edge out Glowforge regards laser safety.
So those summarize additional considerations around pricing, support, accessories, and safety as you evaluate xTool vs Glowforge laser cutter options with xTool tending to excel across the board.
In closing, while brand awareness likely still favors legacy Glowforge laser cutters among hobbyist makers, newly emerged xTool laser continues to disrupt the market with their unmatched combination of cutting power, build quality, smart features, vast material support, and sheer affordability through their premium diode and CO2 laser machines.
xTool confidently demonstrates higher specifications at just a fraction of the price point making their engravers and cutters accessible to businesses and education facilities with tight budgets. They truly democratize professional Caliber Laser technology for the masses.
While minor drawbacks exist like xTool’s steeper learning curve over Glowforge’s utmost simplicity or support systems still maturing as the company grows, their sheer dominance crushing Glowforge regarding cutting strength, work areas, and innovations for literally 3-4X cheaper is simply impossible to ignore.
For almost any realistic application from personalized custom crafts up to heavy duty production workflows, xTool laser technology handily outperforms comparable units from well-known brands like Glowforge both on paper statistically and functionally in practice—an undeniable bargain securing xTool laser engravers and cutters as a top choice for both professionals and amateurs across the globe.
Is xTool a CO2 or diode?
xTool offers both CO2 and diode lasers. The Companys website has a comparison chart that outlines the key differences between the two types of Lasers.
In general, CO2 lasers are more Powerful & can cut a Wider range of materials than diode lasers. However, diode lasers are more compact, energy-efficient, and affordable.
The best type of laser for you will depend on your specific needs and budget. If you need a laser for cutting thick materials, such as wood or acrylic, then a CO2 laser is a good option. If you need a laser for engraving or marking materials, then a diode laser may be a better choice.
Can xTool cut through metal?
CO2 laser cutters can cut thin metals, while diode laser cutters can only engrave metal surfaces. If you need to cut through thick metal, use a fiber laser cutter.
Can I use xTool with my phone?
Yes, you can use the xTool Creative Space app to control your xTool laser cutter with your phone. The app is available for both iOS & Android devices. With the app, you can:
Design and edit your projects.
Connect your laser cutter to your phone wirelessly.
Start and stop your laser cutter.
Monitor the progress of your job.
The app also has a number of features that make it easy to use your Laser cutter with your phone, such as:
A user-friendly Interface.
A Variety of design and editing tools.
A preview window so you can see what your project will look like before you cut it.
How long do xTool lasers last?
The lifespan of an xTool laser depends on the specific model and usage patterns. However, in general, xTool lasers are designed to last for thousands of hours. Some models, like the xTool D1, have a lifespan of up to 10,000 hours.
Is xTool software free?
Yes, xTool offers a free version of its software called xTool Creative Space. The free version includes all the basic features you need to design and cut your projects. If you need more advanced features, such as the ability to Import & export SVG files, you can upgrade to the paid version of the software.