Laser cutters and engravers like the XTool P2 vs Glowforge allow makers, crafters, artists and businesses to precisely cut, engrave, and etch designs into materials like wood, acrylic, leather, fabric and more using a high-power laser.
Choosing between the XTool P2 and Glowforge depends on your budget, cutting and engraving needs, and desired features. This in depth Comparison will help you decide which of these popular laser Cutter options best fits your needs & workspace.
Overview of the XTool P2 vs Glowforge
The XTool P2 is a feature-packed 55W CO2 laser cutter and engraver with a large 26.8” x 14.2” bed size. It comes with dual 16MP cameras for automatic 3D mapping and curved surface engraving, along with an open-source software for design and control.
The P2 can cut materials up to 18mm thick in a single pass. Optional accessories include a conveyor system for long materials and a riser for engraving extra tall objects up to 8.4”.
- Laser power: 55W
- Work area: 26.8” x 14.2”
- Max material thickness: 18mm cut, 27mm engrave
- Dual 16MP cameras for 3D modeling
- 600mm/s max engraving speed
Glowforge offers three CO2 laser cutter models – the Basic, Plus, and Pro. The Plus and Pro models compete more closely with the P2.
These enclosed laser cutters feature onboard cameras, sensors, and software for computer-controlled cutting and engraving. They use a cloud-based interface accessible via web browser or mobile app.
The Plus model offers 40W laser power and a work area of 19.5” x 11”. The Pro steps up to 45W of laser power, unlimited pass-through capability, and enhanced cooling for continuous use.
- Laser power: 45W (Pro), 40W (Plus)
- Work area: 19.5” x 11”
- Max material thickness: 12.5mm (Pro), 9.5mm (Plus)
- Onboard camera for engraving previews
- Proprietary web and mobile software
Cutting and Engraving Ability
The cutting and engraving performance of a laser system comes down to its laser wattage, motion control system, and airflow. Higher laser power can cut thicker materials in fewer passes. Precision motion components result in crisp, clean cuts and details. Effective fume extraction prevents scorching.
The XTool P2 contains a 55W CO2 laser, which is more powerful than the 45W laser in the Glowforge Pro or the 40W laser in the Plus.
That extra laser wattage gives the P2 a serious cutting advantage. It can slice through 18mm thick black walnut or 20mm acrylic in a single pass. The Glowforge maxes out at around 12mm cutting thickness with multiple passes.
For engraving, the additional laser power provides faster speeds and more precise details for the P2. Light marking and etching can be achieved on both machines.
|Machine||Laser Power||Machine||Laser Power|
|XTool P2||55W||Glowforge Basic||40W|
|Glowforge Plus||40W||Glowforge Pro||45W|
Thanks to its rigid metal chassis and high-torque stepper motors, the XTool P2 can engrave at speeds up to 600mm/s. That’s around 2-3 times faster than the max engraving speeds quoted for the Glowforge models.
Faster travel while engraving results in cleaner edges and finer details in less time.
Certainly! Here’s the cutting speed comparison table between the XTool P2 and Glowforge machines:
|Machine||Max Engraving Speed|
|Glowforge Basic||Not specified|
|Glowforge Plus||Not specified|
|Glowforge Pro||Not specified|
The 55W laser in the P2 can cut and engrave a wide range of materials:
- Natural materials like wood, leather, paper, cardstock, fabric
- Plastics including acrylic, ABS, PET, styrene, PVC
- Painted and coated metals
- Glass, stone, ceramic
- Rubber stamps, mats
- Anodized aluminum
- Food like chocolate, fruit, and more
Glowforge models also work with those same materials, though the P2’s higher power broadens the range of viable plastics and thicknesses.
Both machines require using the appropriate settings like speed, power, and focus to optimize results for different materials.
|Plastics (acrylic, ABS, PET, etc)||✅||✅|
|Food (chocolate, fruit, etc)||✅||✅|
The XTool P2 produces very clean cuts with sharp edges and details. Its rigid metal frame minimizes vibration for improved laser focus and precision.
Glowforge models yield good cut and engrave quality on thinner materials, but may show more noticeable drag and scorching when working near the max thickness.
For paper, leather, acrylic under 5mm, and other thinner materials, you can achieve great results on both the P2 and Glowforge.
Hardware Design and Features
The hardware design of a laser cutter impacts its functionality, ease of use, and workspace footprint.
The XTool P2 has an all-metal chassis for maximum durability and precision. The rigid frame prevents shaking and vibration that could throw off alignment. It has a compact, cube-shaped footprint.
Glowforge models have an acrylic enclosure. The Pro has an aluminum top surface for improved heat dissipation. They have a larger overall footprint than the P2.
The P2 has a spacious 26.8” x 14.2” work area, around 50% larger than the 19.5” x 11” bed on the Glowforge models.
The extra work space makes it possible to process larger pieces on the P2. Its open layout also accommodates extra-long materials using the optional conveyor attachment.
A standout feature of the XTool P2 is the inclusion of dual high-resolution cameras. It has a 16MP overhead camera for print previews and focus mapping.
The second 16MP close-up camera enables automatic 3D modeling of objects for curved surface engraving. It scans and maps the contours before engraving to compensate for curves and irregularities.
Glowforge models have a single onboard camera used for print previews, but lack any curved surface engraving capabilities.
|XTool P2||Dual 16MP cameras|
|Glowforge Basic||720p onboard camera|
|Glowforge Plus||720p onboard camera|
|Glowforge Pro||720p onboard camera|
The Glowforge Pro model offers a unique pass-through slot that allows prints of unlimited length. You can slide material through continuously while the laser head moves back and forth over it.
While the P2 lacks an integrated pass-through, you can achieve the same extended prints using the optional conveyor system to automatically feed long materials.
Max Material Height
The XTool P2 accommodates material up to 2.7” (72mm) tall within its work area.
Using the optional riser base increases the max height to 8.4” for engraving extra large, tall objects.
Glowforge models are limited to around 2” of clearance.
|Machine||Max Material Height|
|XTool P2||72mm (275mm with riser)|
Both the XTool P2 and Glowforge models include onboard fume extraction and filtration to trap the smoke and debris produced during laser cutting and engraving.
The P2 uses a 145 CFM fan and exhaust hose, or you can add the optional smoke purifier filter for enhanced indoor air cleaning. Depending on the model, Glowforge filters range from 120 to 150 CFM power..
The safety of the operator and the avoidance of residue building inside the laser depend on proper ventilation.
Software and Connectivity
The XTool P2 runs on XCS, their own user-friendly open-source laser software compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
It connects via USB, Ethernet, or WiFi.
Glowforge units are accessed via proprietary cloud-based software and use WiFi connectivity. There are web and mobile apps for remote control and monitoring.
Both options allow designing from scratch or importing artwork to laser. XCS may offer more flexibility for software customization since it is open-source.
Here’s a table comparing the software for each machine:
|XTool P2||XCS (open-source)|
|Glowforge Basic||Glowforge (cloud-based)|
|Glowforge Plus||Glowforge (cloud-based)|
|Glowforge Pro||Glowforge (cloud-based)|
The XTool P2 operates at around 60dB while cutting and engraving. This noise level is similar to an everyday conversation.
Glowforge models have a louder 75-80dB operating noise. That’s more comparable to the sound of a vacuum cleaner running.
For any laser cutter, using it in a ventilated workshop or garage helps isolate the noise. The P2 runs more quietly for indoor home or office use.
Ease of Use
Ease of setup, use, and maintenance helps make an efficient and enjoyable laser cutting and engraving experience. Both the XTool P2 and Glowforge aim to provide an accessible user experience.
The XTool P2 comes mostly preassembled in the box, requiring just some minor assembly like attaching the exhaust pipe. It can be up and running in under 30 minutes out of the box.
Glowforge models are also designed for quick setup in under 30 minutes. They are factory assembled and calibrated.
While an operator should always understand laser safety basics, the XTool P2 and Glowforge are both designed to be approachable for beginners.
Intuitive software, automatic laser calibration, and camera previews make the workflow straightforward. Glowforge may have a slight advantage for first-time users thanks to its robust onboarding resources and tutorials.
A CO2 laser tube has a lifetime around 2,000-5,000 hours depending on use. Other maintenance is minimal – mostly just cleaning debris from the work area and optics as needed.
The P2’s open design provides easy access for cleaning and tube replacement when eventually needed. Glowforge models require some disassembly to access components.
The XTool P2 performs automatic laser calibration and spot-checking before each job. This ensures consistently optimized focus and alignment.
Glowforge models also conduct automatic laser tuning and calibration during operation for consistent results.
Accessories and Extras
Optional add-ons can expand the capabilities of both the XTool P2 and Glowforge laser platforms.
XTool P2 Accessories
- Conveyor system – Allows long and continuous prints by automatically feeding material up to 118 inches long through the P2 work area.
- Riser base – Raises the P2 by 5.5” for engraving and cutting taller objects up to 8.4 inches high.
- fume purifier – Filters exhaust air for cleaner indoor operation; 99.7% filtration efficiency.
- Laser rotary attachment – Allows engraving on cylindrical items like glasses, mugs, and wine bottles.
- Fire prevention system – Automatically detects and suppresses fires for added safety.
- Glowforge Air Filter – Additional inline filter for enhanced smoke filtering.
- Proofgrade Materials – Presheeted material packs designed for optimal results.
- Glowforge App – Enables monitoring and control from iOS and Android mobile devices.
While more limited than the P2, Glowforge accessories focus on materials, filtration, and software.
Pricing and Value
The XTool P2 retails for $4,499 including the laser cutter and one year of warranty.
Glowforge pricing starts at $2,499 for the Basic model, $3,995 for Plus, and ranges up to $6,995 for the Pro model. Each comes with a one year warranty.
For a full-featured laser with large work area, robust 55W power, and smart camera capabilities, the P2 offers excellent value compared to Glowforge and competitors. The Pro model comes closest in power and features but costs over $2,000 more.
Optional accessories like the conveyor and rotary further increase the versatility of the P2 at reasonable prices.
XTool P2 vs Glowforge Comparison Chart
|Specs||XTool P2||Glowforge Basic||Glowforge Plus||Glowforge Pro|
|Work Area||26.8” x 14.2”||9” x 19.5”||11” x 19.5”||11” x 19.5”|
|Max Material Thickness||18mm cut, 27mm engrave||1/4” cut, 1” engrave||1/2” cut, 2” engrave||1/2” cut, 2” engrave|
|Max Engraving Speed||600mm/s||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Cameras||Dual 16MP||720p onboard||720p onboard||720p onboard|
|Software||XCS (open-source)||Glowforge (cloud)||Glowforge (cloud)||Glowforge (cloud)|
|Pass-through Slot||With conveyor accessory||No||No||Yes|
|Max Object Height||72mm (8.4” with riser)||2”||2”||2”|
|Connectivity||USB, Ethernet, WiFi||WiFi||WiFi||WiFi|
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For most makers and small businesses, the XTool P2 represents an excellent balance of power, cutting/engraving performance, smart features, and value.
It can tackle thick materials, offers unique capabilities like its dual cameras and curved surface engraving, runs quietly, and has an open-design ideal for customization.
The large 26” x 14” workspace provides ample room for processing bigger pieces. And expandable add-ons like the conveyor and rotary attachment allow the flexibility to take on virtually any project.
The Glowforge models compete on ease of use and slick software, but start to get pricey when you need the power and workspace of the Pro model. They lack the same extensibility and robustness of the P2.
For advanced makers seeking high cutting power, exceptional precision, large work area, and versatile options like conveyor and rotary engraving, the XTool P2 is an exceptional and economical option that outperforms in its class.
What is better xTool or Glowforge?
xTool P2 is a better value than Glowforge Pro, with more laser power, larger cutting area, and lower price.
What is the difference between xTool and Glowforge?
xTool is more affordable, has more laser power, and larger cutting area than Glowforge.
What laser cutter is better than Glowforge?
The xTool P2, Thunder Laser, and OMTech are all better laser cutters than Glowforge. They are more affordable, have more laser power, and larger cutting area than Glowforge. They also come with more features and accessories, and have a more user-friendly interface.
In a nutshell, these laser cutters are better than Glowforge because they offer more value for your money.
Is the xTool P2 worth the money?
The xTool P2 is a powerful and affordable laser cutter with a large cutting area. It is a good value for your money if you are looking for a machine that can do both engraving and cutting.
Is xTool a Chinese company?
xTool is a Chinese company that designs, manufactures, and sells laser cutters and engravers. The company was founded in 2018 in Shenzhen, China, and its products are sold in over 100 countries around the world. xTool products are known for being affordable, powerful, and easy to use, making them a popular choice for both hobbyists and professionals.
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