What is the difference between a laser engraver and a laser cutter?

Laser engravers and laser cutters are basically the same machine. Trotec laser machines, like most lasers, can engrave as well as cut. They are just called laser cutters or laser engravers based on what their main use is. If the laser is largely used for cutting, it is usually referred to as a laser cutter. If engraving is the main application, it is called a laser engraver.

Below is a detailed explanation of the laser cutting and laser engraving processes.


How does laser engraving work?

During the process of laser engraving, the laser processes a shape, graphic or picture (e.g. a JPG or PNG) on a wide range of materials. The laser moves horizontally along the individual lines of the engraving, and the material being engraved is removed point by point, line by line. This processing method is called grid engraving.

Among other things, surfaces or shapes can be engraved using this method, including photos, pictures, logos, inlays, fine to thick lettering, and stamps, to name a few.

More about the precise process of raster engraving

How does laser cutting work?

Laser cutting is a thermal separation process. During the process, predetermined geometries are traversed and cut by the laser beam. As with engraving, a wide variety of materials can be used. A vector-based file (lines and curves of a geometry) is the basis for the cutting process.

This process is used to cut shapes (such as letters, signs and tags) as well as applications that have previously been engraved.

More about the precise process of laser cutting


Can Trotec laser machines do both, engraving and cutting?

Yes. Trotec laser machines perform both processes.

We offer a wide range of laser machines that can engrave and cut different materials. The machines are well equipped with features (e.g. cutting tables, lenses) for the respective tasks.

I predominantly want to laser cut

The laser cutting and laser engraving machines are respectiviely designed and adapted to the needs of our customers. Cutting is usually done with large-area materials that are cut quickly and precisely with a clean edge. For this, higher laser power (watt) is usually required. Our large-sized laser cutters are used for large-scale cutting of acrylic, MDF, textiles, and more.

Laser Cutter - SP series

I predominantly want to laser engrave

Users who mainly engrave usually require smaller work areas and a laser system that is designed for the highest processing speed. For engraving glass, wood, plastic, leather, paper, stone, textiles and much more, Trotec offers the Speedy series.

Laser Engraver - Speedy series