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xTool F1 Ultra Review: best Portable Laser Engraver in 2024?

The xTool F1 Ultra is a groundbreaking dual laser engraver, combining a 20W fiber and 20W diode laser for unparalleled versatility. It boasts a large 220x220mm working area, 10000mm/s speed, and intelligent features like auto-focus and streamlined production. Capable of engraving and cutting various materials, including metals, wood, and acrylics, it’s ideal for both hobbyists & professionals. While pricier than single-laser machines, its power, precision, and efficiency make it a worthy investment for serious creators and small businesses.

xTool F1 Ultra: quick view

  • Dual Laser System: 20W fiber laser + 20W diode laser
  • Working Area: 220 x 220mm (expandable to 220 x 500mm with conveyor)
  • Max Speed: 10,000mm/s
  • Resolution: 0.03 x 0.03mm (fiber), 0.08 x 0.1mm (diode)
  • Built-in Camera: Yes, 16MP for autofocus and positioning
  • Compatible Materials: Metals, wood, acrylic, leather, glass, and more
  • Key Features: Auto Streamline Production, 3D Curve Engraving, AI-assisted design
  • Price: Starting at $3,999 (as of review date)

Key Features:

Dual Laser System:

At the heart of the F1 Ultra’s innovation is its groundbreaking dual laser system. This world-first configuration combines a 20W fiber laser and a 20W diode laser, significantly expanding the machine’s material compatibility compared to single-laser devices. The fiber laser excels at working with metals and some plastics, while the diode laser is optimized for materials like wood, acrylic, and leather.

xTool F1 Ultra Review best Portable Laser Engraver in 2024
xTool F1 Ultra Review best Portable Laser Engraver in 2024

Large Working Area:

The xTool F1 Ultra boasts a generous 220mm x 220mm working area, which is expandable to 220mm x 500mm with the optional conveyor attachment. This size advantage sets it apart from many other desktop galvo lasers, allowing users to work on larger projects or increase batch production efficiency.

Intelligent Camera System:

One of the standout features of the xTool F1 Ultra is its smart camera system. This 16MP camera offers autofocus capabilities and precise positioning, making project setup a breeze. The camera can automatically identify material shapes and adjust engraving patterns accordingly, streamlining the production process.

xTool F1 Ultra Review best Portable Laser Engraver in 2024
xTool F1 Ultra Review best Portable Laser Engraver in 2024

High-Speed Performance:

With a maximum working speed of 10,000mm/s, the xTool F1 Ultra is designed for quick turnaround times. This speed, combined with intelligent path planning algorithms, allows for efficient production, especially when working on batch projects.

User-Friendly Interface:

The F1 Ultra comes with a touchscreen controller and intuitive software, making it accessible even for those new to laser engraving. The xTool Creative Space software offers a range of design tools and pre-set material settings to help users get started quickly.

xTool F1 Ultra Review best Portable Laser Engraver in 2024
xTool F1 Ultra Review best Portable Laser Engraver in 2024

Safety Features:

Safety is a priority with the xTool F1 Ultra. It includes features such as a fume extractor port, USB lock key, emergency stop buttons, and an enclosed design that helps contain harmful laser light and smoke.

Versatile Material Compatibility:

Thanks to its dual laser system, the F1 Ultra can work with an impressive array of materials, including stainless steel, aluminum, brass, wood, acrylic, leather, glass, slate, and more.

xTool F1 Ultra Review best Portable Laser Engraver in 2024
xTool F1 Ultra Review best Portable Laser Engraver in 2024

3D Curve Engraving:

The xTool F1 Ultra supports engraving on curved surfaces up to 45°, expanding the range of objects that can be personalized or marked.

Capabilities and Performance:

In real-world testing, the xTool F1 Ultra demonstrates impressive versatility and power across a range of applications:

Metal Engraving and Cutting:

The 20W fiber laser shows its strength when working with metals. In tests, the F1 Ultra effortlessly cut through metal business cards, demonstrating its ability to handle thin metal sheets. Deep engraving on metals is also possible, allowing for the creation of detailed wax seal stamps and intricate tool markings.

xTool F1 Ultra Review best Portable Laser Engraver in 2024

Wood and Acrylic Processing:

The 20W diode laser proves its worth when working with materials like wood and acrylic. The xTool F1 Ultra easily handles 1/4 inch MDF and birch plywood, offering clean cuts and detailed engravings. The machine’s large Z-height comes in handy for projects involving thicker materials or pre-assembled items that need additional engraving.

Detailed Work on Various Materials:

Testing on materials like slate coasters and wooden keyrings showcases the F1 Ultra’s ability to produce fine details and clean lines. The machine’s precision is evident in tasks ranging from text engraving to intricate pattern work.

Color Engraving:

Both the fiber and diode lasers in the xTool F1 Ultra can perform color engraving on metals, offering faster processing times compared to previous models.

Target Audience:

The xTool F1 Ultra caters to a diverse range of users, making it a versatile choice for various applications. Its primary target audience includes:

  1. Serious Hobbyists: For those who have outgrown entry-level laser engravers and are looking to take their projects to the next level, the xTool F1 Ultra offers professional-grade capabilities in a compact form factor.
  2. Professional Crafters: Artists and craftspeople will appreciate the F1 Ultra’s ability to work with a wide range of materials, allowing them to expand their product offerings and explore new creative avenues.
  3. Small Business Owners: The machine’s speed, precision & versatility make it an excellent choice for small businesses looking to offer customization services or produce unique products in-house.
  4. Jewelry Makers: With its ability to engrave and cut metals, the xTool F1 Ultra is particularly well-suited for creating custom jewelry pieces and personalized accessories.
  5. Makers and Inventors: Those who frequently prototype or create custom parts will find the F1 Ultra’s dual laser system invaluable for working with various materials.

The xTool F1 Ultra excels at tasks such as deep engraving on metals, creating intricate wooden designs, personalizing everyday objects, and even cutting thin metal sheets. Its versatility makes it an attractive option for those looking to expand their creative capabilities or streamline their production processes.

User Experience:

Setting up and using the xTool F1 Ultra is designed to be as straightforward as possible, even for those new to laser engraving:

Unboxing and Setup:

The xTool F1 Ultra arrives well-packaged, with components carefully cushioned to prevent damage during shipping. The unboxing experience is impressive, with accessories neatly stored in foam drawers within the machine. Setup is minimal, requiring only the connection of the power supply, USB cable, and touchscreen controller.

Software and Interface:

The xTool Creative Space software offers a user-friendly interface for designing and executing projects. It includes features like AI-assisted design generation and a material settings library, which can help reduce the learning curve for beginners. The touchscreen controller provides easy access to machine functions and settings.

xTool F1 Ultra Review best Portable Laser Engraver in 2024

Alternative Software Options

While the xTool Creative Space software offers a user-friendly interface with AI-assisted design features, the xTool F1 Ultra is also compatible with other popular laser engraving software options. LightBurn is a powerful alternative that many experienced users prefer for its advanced features and compatibility with a wide range of laser machines.

For those who prefer open-source options, K40 Whisperer can be configured to work with the xTool F1 Ultra, though it may require some technical know-how to set up. Additionally, the F1 Ultra can work with standard vector graphics software like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape for design creation, with the designs then imported into the machine’s control software.

The flexibility to use various software options allows users to choose the workflow that best suits their experience level and project needs, from beginners to advanced users looking for more control over their engraving processes.

Learning Curve:

While the xTool F1 Ultra is designed to be user-friendly, there is still a learning curve, particularly for those new to laser engraving or working with advanced features. Users should expect to spend some time experimenting with different materials and settings to achieve optimal results.

Maintenance and Calibration:

Regular maintenance, such as lens cleaning and calibration, is necessary to ensure the best performance. The machine’s enclosed design helps protect sensitive components, but users should still follow recommended maintenance procedures.

Target Audience Revisited:

Considering its capabilities, price point, and potential learning curve, the xTool F1 Ultra is best suited for:

  1. Serious hobbyists looking to elevate their craft and explore professional-grade capabilities
  2. Small business owners aiming to offer a wide range of customization services
  3. Professional crafters and artists seeking to expand their product offerings
  4. Makers and inventors who require versatility in prototyping and small-scale production
  5. Jewelry makers and metal workers who need precision engraving and cutting capabilities

The xTool F1 Ultra may be less suitable for:

  1. Casual hobbyists who only occasionally engage in laser engraving projects
  2. Users on a tight budget who don’t require the full range of features offered by the xTool F1 Ultra
  3. Those who prioritize portability and need to frequently transport their laser engraver

Additional Considerations:

Accessories and Expandability:

The F1 Ultra’s capabilities can be further enhanced with various accessories:

  1. Conveyor Belt: Expands the working area to 220mm x 500mm, ideal for batch processing
  2. RA2 Pro Rotary Attachment: Allows for engraving on cylindrical and spherical objects
  3. Smoke Purifier: Enhances air filtration for safer indoor use
  4. Pedal Switch: Enables hands-free operation for increased efficiency
xTool F1 Ultra Review best Portable Laser Engraver in 2024

Software and Design Tools:

The xTool Creative Space software includes features like:

  1. AI-assisted design generation
  2. Material EasySet™ Library for quick parameter setup
  3. 3D embossing design tools
  4. Compatibility with popular design file formats (SVG, DXF, JPG, PNG, etc.)

Community and Support:

xTool boasts a vibrant user community of over 20,000 members, providing a platform for sharing ideas, troubleshooting, and showcasing projects. The company also offers customer support and resources to help users get the most out of their machines.

Pricing and Purchasing Options:

As of the time of writing, xTool offers several purchasing options for the xTool F1 Ultra:

  1. Standalone Machine: Starting at $3,999 (regular price $4,799.99)
  2. F1 Ultra + Conveyor: $4,399 (regular price $5,399.98)
  3. F1 Ultra Deluxe Bundle: $5,199 (regular price $6,695.80), including the conveyor, RA2 Pro rotary attachment, and smoke purifier

xTool also offers a trade-in program where users can save $200 on the xTool F1 Ultra by trading in an old laser machine or vinyl cutter. Financing options are available starting at $194/month with 0% APR through Affirm.

Comparison with xTool F1:

The xTool F1 Ultra represents a significant upgrade from its predecessor, the xTool F1. Key improvements include:

  1. Increased Power: The jump from a 2W fiber laser to a 20W fiber laser allows for deeper engraving and even thin metal cutting, greatly expanding the range of possible projects.
  2. Larger Working Area: The F1 Ultra’s 220mm x 220mm workspace is a substantial increase from the F1’s 110mm x 110mm area.
  3. Improved Speed: With a maximum speed of 10,000mm/s, the xTool F1 Ultra is significantly faster than the F1’s 4,000mm/s.
  4. Enhanced Camera System: The xTool F1 Ultra introduces an intelligent camera system for easier project setup and positioning, a feature not present in the original F1.

comparison chart xTool F1 vs xTool F1 Ultra

FeaturexTool F1 UltraxTool F1
Exclusive TechAuto Streamline Production
3D Curve Engraving
Pixel Algorithm for HD Photo Printing
Pixel Algorithm
Working Area220220mm (8.6 inches8.6 inches)
220500mm (with conveyor) (8.6 inches19.6 inches)
110*110mm
Laser Power and Source20W Fiber Laser
+ 20W Diode Laser
2W Infrared Laser
+ 10W Diode Laser
Focus AdjustmentAuto Focus with Camera
Manual Focus (Two dots Alignment)
Manual Focus (Two dots Alignment)
Max. Working Speed10000mm/s4000mm/s
Laser Spot Size0.080.1mm (20W Diode Laser)
0.03
0.03mm (20W Fiber Laser)
0.080.06mm (10W Diode Laser)
0.03
0.03mm (2W Infrared Laser)
PreviewCamera Preview
High-speed Light Live Preview
High-speed Light Live Preview
Preview SpeedRect: 24000mm/s
Outline: 16000mm/s
Rect: 12000mm/s
Outline: 8000mm/s
SoftwarexTool Creative Space / LightburnxTool Creative Space / Lightburn
Pre-assembledYesYes
Built-in CameraYesNo
Product Size273373492mm, 14.7kg179235334mm, 4.6kg
ConnectionWiFi & USBWiFi & USB
Support FileSVG / DXF / JPG / JPEG / PNG / BMP, etc.SVG / DXF / JPG / JPEG / PNG / BMP, etc.
Support SystemsAndroid / iOS / iPad / Windows / macOSAndroid / iOS / iPad / Windows / macOS
Input24V 5A24V 5A

Conclusion:

The xTool F1 Ultra significantly advances desktop laser engraving & cutting technology. Its innovative dual laser system, combined with a large working area & intelligent features, makes it a versatile and powerful tool suitable for a wide range of creative & commercial applications.

The machine’s ability to work with a wide variety of materials, from metals to wood & beyond, opens up new possibilities for both hobbyists & professionals. Its high speed performance & batch processing capabilities make it an attractive option for small businesses looking to streamline their production processes.

xTool F1 Ultra Review best Portable Laser Engraver in 2024

While the xTool F1 Ultra comes with a premium price tag, its capabilities & performance make it a worthwhile investment for those serious about laser engraving & cutting. The machine’s expandability through various accessories ensures that it can grow with your needs and adapt to different project requirements.

However, potential buyers should consider their specific needs and budget. For those who don’t require the full range of features or the power offered by the xTool F1 Ultra, simpler and more affordable options might be more appropriate.

In summary, the xTool F1 Ultra is a powerful, versatile and user friendly machine that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with desktop laser engraving & cutting. It offers a compelling package for hobbyists looking to expand their capabilities, small business owners aiming to increase productivity & professionals seeking a reliable & versatile tool for their creative endeavors.

As with any significant investment in equipment, potential buyers are encouraged to thoroughly research their specific needs, compare available options and if possible, see the machine in action before making a purchase decision. With its impressive feature set and performance capabilities, the xTool F1 Ultra is poised to become a game changer in the world of desktop laser engraving & cutting.

FAQs:

What type of laser does the xTool F1 Ultra use?

The xTool F1 Ultra features a groundbreaking dual laser system, combining a 20W fiber laser and a 20W galvo blue diode laser. This is a true fiber laser setup, using an IR (infrared) laser source with a fiber as the gain medium.

How does the xTool F1 Ultra perform on metal, and can it actually cut metal?

The F1 Ultra’s performance on metal is particularly impressive. It can not only deeply engrave and emboss metal surfaces but also cut thin metal sheets. In testing, it successfully cut through 0.4mm brass, 0.3mm stainless steel, and 0.2mm aluminum sheet, opening up possibilities for intricate metal work and jewelry making.

What level of control does the xTool F1 Ultra offer over laser output?

The xTool F1 Ultra offers fine-tuned control over the laser output, with the ability to adjust frequency from 30 to 60kHz. This level of control allows users to optimize settings for different materials and project requirements. Whether you’re working with delicate materials or need maximum power, you can adjust the F1 Ultra to meet your needs.

Is the xTool F1 Ultra compatible with F1 accessories?

While the xTool F1 Ultra represents a significant upgrade, it maintains some compatibility with F1 accessories. For instance, it’s compatible with the RA2 Pro rotary attachment, allowing users to engrave cylindrical objects. However, for smoke purification, it’s recommended to use the xTool smoke purifier designed for the F1 Ultra, which offers larger filters and a longer purification lifespan.

What kind of resolution can users expect from the xTool F1 Ultra?

The xTool F1 Ultra boasts ultra HD resolution, pushing the boundaries of detail in laser engraving. Its fiber laser achieves a 0.030.03mm compression spot, while the diode galvo laser offers a 0.080.1mm compression spot. But what does this mean for your projects? This precision allows for incredibly fine details in engravings across various materials, from intricate text on metal to complex patterns on wood.

What safety features does the xTool F1 Ultra have?

The xTool F1 Ultra incorporates a range of safety features, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced users. Its fully enclosed design contains harmful laser light and helps manage fumes, while a built-in air assist system manages smoke and debris during operation. For added security, the machine includes an emergency stop button for immediate shutdown and a USB lock key to prevent unauthorized use.

Further enhancing safety, the F1 Ultra features a smart lid that automatically reduces laser power to safe levels if opened during operation. A fume extractor port allows for connection to external air filtration systems, ensuring a safer working environment. While these comprehensive safety features provide peace of mind, it’s important to note that proper training and adherence to safety guidelines remain crucial when operating any laser engraving machine.


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