xTool M1 Review: Laser Cutting Machine for Beginners
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When it comes to intricate details, having the right machine makes all the difference to get professional results for your DIY projects. Finding a machine to cut clean perfect lines on vinyl, paper, wood, acrylic, sticker sheets, leather, etc, is hard to come by, but the xTool M1 5W Basic Laser Cutting machine comes pretty close! Read my xTool M1 review!
I’m so excited to share my first experience with a laser engraver and cutting machine! xTool was kind enough to send me the M1 Hybrid Laser and Blade 5W Basic Cutter to review! I am completely brand new to laser cutters, as you know my blog is mainly dedicated to Cricut machines, where I create and design my own Cricut craft projects and SVG files. So this kind of machine was completely new to me, but I’m so glad to add it to my craft room! The xTool M1 Laser Hybrid Cutting Machine was very easy to operate and I can’t wait to design my own craft projects for this laser cutting machine!! View my first laser project design, Wood Floral Pumpkin Decor!
Please view my Video Review more details about the xTool M1 Laser and Blade Machine 5W Basic.
What is the xTool M1 Machine?
The xTool M1 is a hybrid laser and blade cutting machine for crafting or creating homemade gifts. This 3-in-one machine can score, engrave and cut on select materials. You can switch from cutting with a laser to a blade in one machine. Making craft projects easy by using one program to complete the whole project!
The M1 is a diode laser machine, where the laser beam vaporizes material rather quickly, making it suitable for cutting clean lines on wood. It has a fully enclosed workspace with a smoke exhaust. This compact laser machine comes in 10w or 5w power. If you want faster cutting times, I would opt for the 10w machine, which is currently on sale at the lowest price offer!
What type of material can it cut?
The xTool M1 basic can cut the following materials:
To cut acrylic with a diode laser, only select colors will cut and engrave. The xTool M1 can not cut clear or blue acrylic. If this is a deal breaker for you, consider the xTool P2 Versatile and Smart Desktop 55W CO2 Laser Cutter!
What type of material can it engrave?
The xTool M1 basic can engrave the following materials:
To engrave editable items with the xTool M1, the machine can not be mixed with any other material. Left over debris will contaminate the food.
What comes in the box of the xTool M1?
The M1 comes nicely packaged with foam and cardboard fillers, to protect the sleek design. Inside the package you will find:
- xTool M1 machine
- Power cable and adapter
- USB cable
- Replacement blades
- Material sample pack
- Smoke exhaust pipe kit
- 2 cutting mats (light grip & fabric grip)
- 10 triangular prism risers
- User Manual
Is the xTool M1 easy to setup?
I believe the xTool M1 machine is extremely easy to setup with only a few connections to complete. I had no trouble at all setting up my machine.
First this is to remove it from the packaging, then connect the smoke exhaust pipe to the back of the machine using the clamp. The 4 screws can be tighten by hand, no tools required.
Next, you plugin the 3 prong power cable to the wall outlet and the adapter to the back of the machine. Connect the USB cable to your computer and machine, that’s it!!
How do you use the xTool M1 Machine?
To operate the xTool M1 machine, you need to download their software program xTool Creative Space. The great thing about the M1 is it has a built-in camera that captures a picture of inside the machines work area. It takes a live picture every time you open and close the lid. It places that picture on canvas in the xCS software, making it easy to place your design in the correct position.
The xTool Creative Space software is easy to follow and figure out if you are use to other cutting machine programs, like Cricut Design Space. It has a place to import files(SVG files compatible), has pre-design projects and shapes. it has a type tool with custom fonts and you can design right inside the program.
Once your design is placed, select the tool, select whether you want to score, engrave or cut. Enter the material you are using and whether or not you have it raised with the triangular prism risers. Then click start. It will then wait for you to click the go button on the front of the machine. xTool gives a warning never to leave the machine unattended while in use.
Watch my xTool M1 Tutorial Video for detailed steps.
What craft projects can you make with the xTool M1?
I’m so excited about all the different craft projects I can make with the xTool laser cutting machine! You can create all the same favorite craft projects you can with your Cricut, plus so much more!
If precision is what you are looking for, for a variety of materials, then the xTool M1 will do the job without breaking the bank for the serious crafter.
Here are some fun craft projects and homemade gift ideas just to name a few:
- Layered mandalas
- Wood engraved keychains
- Engraved cutting boards
- Engraved photo frame
- Wood Christmas ornaments
- Wood kid puzzles
- Wood gift tags
- Wood cake topper
- Acrylic signs
- Acrylic engraved keychains
- Hanging decor
- Cake toppers
- Paper lanterns
- Layered mandalas
- Cake Toppers
- Custom vinyl t-shirts
- Custom vinyl cups/tumblers
- Tote bags
- Custom Pillows
- Layered decals
- Engraved dog tags
- Engraved metal keychains
- Engraved metal jewelry
- Engraved tumblers
- Engraved ornaments
- Leather earrings
- Leather keychains
- Leather hair bows
xTool M1 Cost and Accessories:
The xTool M1 5W is currently not being offered.
The xTool M1 10W is currently on sale!
The xTool M1 5W has amazing features to make your crafting journey a lot easier! it comes with a 12×15 cutting work area, that is safely enclosed. Start creating beautiful project with just one button!
In one pass this laser machine can make thick cuts in 3mm acrylic and up to 10mm plywood. For engraving it has accurate ultrafine line engraving, with 0.08×0.08mm compressed laser spot. Grab the Air Assist attachment to prevent burn marks.
It has a built-in fan to vent the smoke and dust away from your work space. With the exhaust hose you can filter out the door or window. If that isn’t possible, xTool carries a smoke purifier you can attach to the exhaust pipe to clean the air.
xTool M1 Review: For a Beginner!
Okay so now that you know all specs for the xTool M1 Hybrid Laser and bade cutter, let me tell you my thoughts. I will list out the pros and cons of this laser cutter model. Keep in mind I can’t compare the xTool M1 to another laser cutter, since this is my first laser cutting machine.
I felt the whole setup was rather easy and I was doing my first laser cut after 15 mins from opening the box. I was curious to see how it cut my Daisy layered mandala design because of it’s delicate lines, and boy was I impressed! It cut all the way through with 3mm plywood with clean lines. On the downside, it took 37 minutes to complete the 3 layers project. You may have some burn marks on your plywood from the laser beam, to reduce burn marks you can use a air assist from xTool. View my tutorial on how to install the Air Assist attachment on the M1 laser.
Next, I wanted to try out how it engraved on a metal dog tag. I used the type tool and added a flower shape to my design from their library. It only took 7 mins to create a cute dog tag for my puppy Daisy. See how I created this by watching my xTool M1 Review/Tutorial Video at the bottom of the page.
I was also impressed how fast it cut with the blade on leather material. I uploaded my standard hair bow template and it came out perfect! It never came out that clean with my Cricut Explore using the same material. The blade cutter worked great!
Here is a list of the pros and cons of use the xTool M1 laser machine, from a beginner:
- Most affordable on the market.
- Wide variety of material to cut.
- Engraving Ultrafine lines.
- Clean laser cuts.
- Easy to use and household safe.
- Can use generic materials.
- Fumes do have a odor. If you are sensitive to smells, might not be best for you.
- Software had some delay when creating design.
- Can’t cut or engrave on clear acrylic.
- Long cut time on wood. Could be I’m not used to cutting wood and I’m not familiar with how long it takes on average.
Overall, I highly recommend the xTool M1 Hybrid Laser to my serious crafters! If you are looking for an affordable option to get a combined laser and blade cutter, then this one is for you! It is so versatile, you can create so many amazing craft project and gifts with one machine! than kyou for reading my xTool M1 review!
xTool M1 Review Laser & Blade Cutter Video: