In this in-depth Comparison of xTool S1 vs M1, we will look at the key specs, capabilities & Ideal use cases of each laser cutter to help you determine the best choice for your projects.
Laser engravers & cutters have become popular tools for makers, crafters & small business owners to create customized products. Two of the most popular desktop laser machines on the market are the xTool S1 and xTool M1. But what is the difference between these two models and how do you decide which one is right for your needs?
Overview of xTool S1 and M1 Laser Engravers
The xTool S1 is an enclosed 40W laser engraver and cutter with a large work area of 19.6 x 12.5 inches. It features an auto-focus camera, adjustable laser power from 2W to 40W, and high precision positioning. The S1 can engrave on metals, wood, acrylic, leather & other materials.
The xTool M1 is a more compact desktop laser engraver with a work area of 15 x 12 inches. This 2-in-1 machine Combines a 10W laser diode with a blade cutting tool for greater material Versatility. The M1 can laser engrave and cut wood, leather, acrylic, paper, and engrave on metal, glass, and more.
Below we’ll explore the key similarities and differences between these two xTool laser machines in greater detail.
xTool S1 vs M1: Size and Build
The xTool S1 has a larger machine body and work area compared to the more compact xTool M1.
- S1 dimensions – 24 x 15 x 8 inches (machine), 20 x 13 inches (work area)
- M1 dimensions – 22 x 18 x 9 inches (machine), 15 x 12 inches (work area)
The S1 weighs approximately 44 lbs while the M1 is around 21 lbs, making the M1 easier to transport and rearrange in your workspace.
xTool S1 vs M1– Both laser engravers have a similar sleek white finish with dark transparent lid. The S1 features an all-metal interior while the M1 uses high-quality and durable engineered plastics.
Overall, the xTool S1 has a more heavy-duty industrial design suited for high production engraving and cutting while the M1 is designed for home crafters with its smaller footprint and lower weight.
xTool S1 vs M1 Laser Power and Performance
One of the biggest differences between xTool S1 vs M1 is the laser power and cutting/engraving performance.
The S1 comes equipped with a 40W laser diode capable of cutting up to 1/4 inch wood, 1/8 inch acrylic, and thin metals in one pass. It has adjustable laser power from 2W up to 40W.
The xTool M1 features a 10W laser that can cut about 1/4 inch wood and 1/16 inch acrylic. In addition to the 10W laser, it also has a blade cutting tool for materials the laser may not handle as well.
Both the S1 and M1 offer precision focusing and engraving results. But the higher power 40W laser on the S1 allows deeper cutting and faster operation for production work. The M1 with its lower 10W laser is better suited for thinner materials and engraving. xTool S1 vs M1
Cutting vs Engraving
With its high power 40W laser, the S1 is built for fast, high-volume laser cutting as well as engraving. It’s a production workhorse.
The lower power M1 does engraving well but is not suited for much cutting beyond thin materials. This is why it also incorporates a blade cutting tool. xTool S1 vs M1
So the S1 is the choice if you mainly need to cut thicker materials while the M1 focuses more on precise engraving work.
The xTool S1 and M1 can engrave and cut a wide variety of materials like:
The S1 can also engrave metals like stainless steel, anodized aluminum, titanium, and more thanks to the high power laser. An optional IR laser module expands the metal engraving capabilities. xTool S1 vs M1
The M1 utilizes a blade cutting tool in addition to the laser for materials like vinyl, thin wood, and paper that may scorch or discolor when lasered. This avoids the need for extensive test pieces to find Ideal Settings.
Overall, the S1 can handle thicker and denser materials than the xTool M1 thanks to the more powerful 40W laser. But the M1’s versatility with both laser and blade cutting suits a wider range of thin, delicate materials.
Work Area Size
The work area or bed size determines the maximum size of materials you can engrave or cut in the laser machines.
- xTool S1 – 19.6 x 12.5 inches
- xTool M1 – 15 x 12 inches
The S1 offers over 25% more work area, making it advantageous for larger engraving and cutting projects, batch production, and working with bigger stock material.
xTool S1 vs M1-Both laser cutters have optional accessories to expand the work area even more:
- S1 – Auto conveyor extends up to 118 inches long
- M1 – Rotary attachment for cylinders up to 7.8 inch diameter
So while the S1 has more workspace out of the box, the xTool M1 can be upgraded to accommodate larger cylindrical items.
A 40W laser running at full power can get quite noisy. The S1 has a noise rating of around 72db during cutting operations.
xTool S1 vs M1-The M1 maxes out at around 68db since the lower power laser doesn’t need to run at the same intensity.
So if working right next to the unit for long periods, the M1 may be preferable for the quieter operation. Proper laser safety eyewear and procedures should always be used as well.
Software, Connectivity, and Control
They also support common third-party laser control programs like LightBurn.
For connectivity, the engravers can connect via USB or WiFi to your computer.
The S1 features more advanced controls like an LCD touch screen display, camera positioning, and onboard image extraction. The M1 has simpler manual controls like an emergency stop button.
Overall, the S1 software allows greater precision and automation while the M1 offers user-friendly basics for quick set up.
xTool S1 vs M1 Key Specs
|Specs||xTool S1||xTool M1|
|Work Area||19.6 x 12.5 in||15 x 12 in|
|Laser Type||445nm Diode||445nm Diode|
|Max Material Thickness||1/4 in wood, 1/8 in acrylic||1/8 in wood, 1/16 in acrylic|
|Cutting Speed||Up to 107 in/sec||Up to 63 in/sec|
|Supported Materials||Wood, acrylic, leather, paper, cardboard, some metals||Wood, acrylic, leather, paper, cardboard, thin woods with blade|
|Software||xTool Creative Space, LightBurn, LaserGRBL, LaserWeb||xTool Creative Space, LightBurn|
|Accessories||Rotary tool, air assist, exhaust, riser plate, honeycomb bed||Rotary tool, air assist, exhaust|
|Ideal For||Production jobs, thick materials, metal engraving||Home crafting, engraving, education|
|Price||Starts at $2,199||Starts at $1,099|
Safety is critical when operating powerful laser cutting machines. Both the xTool S1 and M1 are designed to meet strict safety certifications and regulations.
Key safety features include:
- Class 1 FDA safety rating
- Lid blocks laser light emission
- Emergency stop button
- Automatic power shutoff when lid opened
- Exhaust ventilation for fumes
The S1 also has advanced features like flame detection, fire suppression, and power outage response. Its fully enclosed metal body offers maximum protection. xTool S1 vs M1
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While not as heavy duty, the xTool M1 still has the necessary safety protections for home and classroom use. Proper operation and supervision is still required.
Ideal Use Cases
Based on the key differences in size, power, and features, below are the ideal scenarios for the xTool S1 and M1:
The xTool S1 40W laser engraver is best suited for:
- High production engraving and cutting
- Thicker materials up to 1/4 inch wood and 1/8 inch acrylic
- Large projects up to 20 x 13 inches
- Engraving metals like stainless steel, aluminum, etc.
- Commercial use for Etsy shops, craft fairs, etc.
The xTool M1 10W laser with blade is ideal for:
- Home crafting and personal projects
- Thinner materials like basswood, paper, leather
- Compact work area up to 15 x 12 inches
- Avoiding discoloration on delicate materials
- Classroom and educational use
xTool S1 vs M1– The M1’s lower power and dual laser/blade capabilities make it the top choice for beginners, hobbyists, and casual engraving work. The S1 with its robust 40W laser is built for production-level cutting and engraving.
xTool offers various accessories that can expand the capabilities of both units:
- Air assist for cleaner cuts
- Exhaust filtration system
- Rotary attachment for cylindrical engraving
- Riser plate for taller workpieces
- Honeycomb cutting board to protect the bed
The S1 tends to have more available accessories thanks to its heavy duty design. But popular add-ons like the rotary engraver work on both models. xTool S1 vs M1
xTool S1 vs M1: Price
As you would expect based on the size, power, and build, the xTool S1 costs considerably more than the smaller M1.
Here are the current prices:
- xTool S1 – Starts at $2,199
- xTool M1 – Starts at $1,099
The S1 is over double the investment of the M1. But the higher power laser and larger work area enable much higher output and productivity to offset the price difference.
xTool S1 vs M1– Optional accessories like rotary attachments and purifiers add to the cost for both engraver models.
Which is Better for You?
Deciding between the xTool S1 vs M1 laser cutters and engravers ultimately depends on your budget and projects.
For professional production work, medium to large projects, and working with thick materials, the S1 40W laser is the clear choice.
For smaller projects, trying out laser crafting, engraving thin stock, or classroom use, the M1 10W 2-in-1 laser and blade is likely the better option.
Use this breakdown of xTool S1 vs M1 capabilities to select the right desktop laser machine for your needs and budget. Reach new levels of customization & Creativity!
Can I engrave and cut metal on the M1?
The M1’s 10W laser does not have enough power to directly mark bare metals. You can engrave coated metals or add the optional IR laser module to the M1 to provide metal engraving capabilities.
How precise is the engraving quality and detail?
Both the S1 and M1 can achieve engraving resolution down to 500 DPI for highly detailed and precise marking results. The S1 may have a slight edge for precision thanks to camera positioning.
What materials can I cut on the M1 without the blade?
The M1 can laser cut materials up to about 1/8 inch wood and 1/16 inch acrylic in a single pass. Thinner materials like cardstock, leather, and basswood can also be cut.
What is the largest size item I can engrave on the S1?
With the rotary attachment, the S1 can engrave on cylindrical items up to 4.7 inches diameter and 17 inches long. The optional conveyor extender increases the length to over 3 feet.
How easy is it to swap out the lenses and focus on the machines?
Both the S1 and M1 incorporate auto-focus cameras and technology to simplify swapping lenses and materials. Focus and calibration can be achieved in just seconds.
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