Swiitol E18 Pro 18W laser engraving machine review

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Swiitol E18 Pro 50

REVIEW – For some time, I have had this idea about my branding and creating unique designs that I would then display on media like cups and plaques, T-shirts, bags, etc. I recently reviewed the Akeydiy Heat Press and I think it will work for the cloth-type material products I want to design. However, I would also like to do some engraving, and this Swiitol E18 Pro 18W laser engraving machine would be a great asset. Let’s see how it performs.

What is it?

The Swiitol E18 Pro 18W laser engraving machine has a frame made of aluminum alloy and can be used out of the box without much assembly. The Swiitol E18Pro laser adopts the second-generation laser spot compression process, further compressing the laser spot and significantly improving cutting capabilities. The high-density laser can easily cut 15mm thick Pine Wood and 15mm thick black acrylic by multiple cuts. The new non-clogging laser has a built-in tool-free focusing module and a built-in air assist system, which can ensure long-term use without clogging or contaminating the lens, greatly extending the life of the laser.

What’s included?

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  • 1 x Laser Engraver
  • 8 x Wire anchor
  • 8 x Cable clamp
  • 1 x WIFI antenna
  • 1 x Fixed focus lens
  • 1 x Flash drive
  • 1 x H3 hexagon L-shaped wrench
  • 2 x M4 thumb screw
  • 1 x Slider
  • 1 x Switch key
  • 1 x One-to-two TYPE C cable
  • 1 x Power cable
  • 1 x Silicone hose (air hose)
  • 1 x Goggles
  • 1 x 10030 lint-free cloth 4 x (M46)
  • 1 x User manual

Tech specs

  • Model: E18 Pro
  • Engraving ruler: 365x305mm
  • Machine Electric power: 120W
  • Laser Electric power: 40W
  • Laser output optical power: 15-18W
  • Laser wave: 455 ±5 nm
  • Engraving accuracy: 0.02mm
  • Net weight of equipment: 8.5kg
  • Max Engraving Speed: 36000mm/Min
  • Data transmission type: USB connection
  • Focusing type: fixed focus laser, no focusing
  • Spot size: 0.08×0.08mm
  • Operating software: LaserGRBL, LightBurn for with Win XP/Win 7/Win 8/XP/Win 10 system
  • APP: BURNLAB compatible with iOS and Android
  • Carving materials: Basswood, pine, paulownia, plywood, yellow peach, mahogany, density board, kraft paper, non-transparent acrylic board, resin, rock board, ceramics, leaves, bamboo, cardboard, plastic, leather, PCB version, alumina, non-reflective Electroplated, and painted metal, 304-mirror stainless steel, glass, ceramics, cotton cloth, slate;
  • Cutting materials: Kraft paper, hardwood, Paulownia, basswood, pine, softwood, bamboo chips less than 3MM, low-density foam board, non-transparent acrylic board, ABS, PP, and other boards less than 3MM thick, cardboard, non-woven fabrics, wooden boards, acrylic, some thin plastic board, sponge;
  • Supported file formats: NC, BMP, JPG, PNG, DXF
  • Power supply: 100-240V AC, 50/60HZ Output: 12V 5A

Design and features

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The Swiitol E18 Pro 18W laser engraving machine has a solid aluminum frame that is sturdy and likely to subdue any vibration. It arrives almost fully assembled. The laser has a somewhat larger aluminum case that includes a fan. There are ports around the sides of the frame including USB ports, a shutoff switch, and a key lock. Here are some photos that show the design:

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The Swiitol E18 Pro 18W laser engraving machine arrives almost fully assembled. The only assembly required is to attach the laser. See the photos below.

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The Swiitol E18 Pro 18W laser engraving machine offers multiple options for engraving/cutting. There is LightBurn and LaserGRBL for computers and Burnlab for mobile devices. There is also a USB port on the device for connecting a drive. I connected a mini PC with Windows OS via the USB cable for my testing. The screenshots and photos below are an overview of the process using the LightBurn software and the LaserGRBL software. After working with both, I prefer LaserGRBL which is open-source software and way less complicated than LightBurn. Laser GRBL is also free while LightBurn offers a 30-day fully operational trial. Once the trial period is over, you have to pay.

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This first attempt was less than desired because of my lack of knowledge. I likely did not space the laser correctly. The requirement is to use the included spacer between the material and the laser to dial in the correct distance. I also likely made the wrong selections for the engraving depth and the number of lines. After this failure, I installed the Laser GRBL software to see if it was easier to work with. For me, it is.
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From this point on, I used the LaserGRBL application for the rest of the testing.

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I found the LaserGRBL software much easier to work with, and successfully tested 3 designs. This first one below was done with very aggressive settings that likely account for the few burn marks. it is a learning curve. Regardless, I like the outcome, The depth of the engraving is nice and the design is clear and well-printed.

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For this next test, I wanted a design that was a bit more complicated. I chose the logo for my church.

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For the last test, I tried the most complicated design and settled on the logo for my YouTube tech channel.

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I still need to learn more about the software and settings to achieve the perfect print. Regardless, I was very pleased with the result. I did not have any material nor a supportive base to test cutting through material. There is a need to protect the area below the material.

Since I have access to a mini PC, I was able to set up close to the Swiitol. However, if that is not convenient, the option exists to connect to the Engraver’s built-in WiFI.

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I also installed the Burnlab app and connected to the Engraver’s WiFi. I could not find the password in the manual, but I guessed it correctly. I was unable to add the Engraver to the app despite my efforts. Maybe I was doing something wrong but since connecting wirelessly is not the way I would go, I did not investigate further.

Here are some screenshots:

The following is a quick timelapse video of the printing tests shown above:

What I like about the Swiitol E18 Pro 18W laser engraving machine

  • The build quality
  • The quality of the engraving and cutting
  • The speed
  • The ease of use
  • It is almost fully assembled when it arrives
  • The software and app options for creating and printing/cutting
  • The wireless connection option (although I prefer the wired USB connection)

What needs to be improved?

  • The print in the manual is extremely small and hard to read

Final thoughts

The Swiitol E18 Pro 18W laser engraving machine is a well-built, nicely designed engraver that makes the engraving and cutting easy and will allow my creative ideas to materialize. It is very portable and does not emit a lot of smoke. However, if you need to get rid of the smoke, there is an air pump add-on option. Also, several accessories are available including devices that allow printing on cups, bottles, etc. This device gets two thumbs up and a “very well done”.

Price: $429.99
Where to buy: Swiitol website (free shipping and 5% off if you create an account on their site) and Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided for free by Swiitol. Swiitol did not have a final say on the review and did not preview this review before it was published.

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