The main thing that differentiates laser engraving machines is the type of laser they use. It’s crucial to make sure the laser you have in your machine is the right one for the right job.
CO2 lasers are gas lasers based on a carbon dioxide gas mixture which is then electrically stimulated. Effective on non-metallic materials and on most plastics. CO2 Lasers have a great beam quality and are the most widely used type of laser when engraving.
Fiber lasers generate a beam using the ‘seed laser’ and amplify it in specially designed glass fibers which are supplied with energy via pump diodes. Highly suited for metal engraving and for high-contrast plastic markings. Maintenance-free and an average operating lifetime of 25,000 hours make fiber lasers great for industrial use.
Crystal lasers have the same wavelength as fiber lasers so are used for marking metals and plastics. Crystal lasers, however have expensive pump diodes which wear out after around 12,000 hours.