xTool F1 vs. Fiber Laser Machines: Which is Right for You

xTool F1 vs. Fiber Laser Machines: Which is Right for You

Perhaps you're debating whether the xTool F1 or a fiber laser would better complement your existing laser setup. Need a machine capable of handling both metal and wood engraving? Crazy about various models and technologies? If so, you are in the right place.

This post provides a detailed comparison between the xTool F1 laser and fiber laser machines through hands-on testings. Hopefully it will help you decide which laser to get for your engraving needs.

Xtool F1 Versus Fiber Laser Machine

Technical Features

When comparing the engraving capabilities of xTool F1 and fiber laser engravers, understanding their tech specifications is crucial.

Let’s compare some of the primary tech specs:

xTool F1 Fiber Laser Machines
Laser Type diode and infrared lasers 1064 nm fiber laser
Laser Power 10W and 2W Usually 20W to 100W+
Laser Wavelength 455 nm blue light laser and 1064 nm infrared laser 1064 nm fiber laser
Engraving Accuracy Movement accuracy: 0.00199mm
Repeat positioning accuracy: 0.000248mm
0.001mm (take EM-Smart One 20W fiber laser as an example)
Working Area 115*115mm 110*110mm
Max Processing Speed 4000mm/s 10000mm/s
Software XCS / LightBurn  EZCAD / LightBurn

Note: F1's parameters are referenced from xTool's official data. You may find how it really behaves in our following testings.

The answer to the question “Is the xTool F1 a fiber laser” is obvious:
No, it is not a fiber laser.

xTool F1 is a dual laser engraver, integrating 10W diode laser and 2W infrared laser. This machine fires with a diode or infrared laser at one time. You can transfer the laser using their proprietary software XCS.

Diode lasers, infrared lasers, and fiber lasers each excel at engraving different materials. Generally speaking, diode laser is best for engraving on wood, acrylic, leather, plastic, and some types of metal-coated surfaces. Infrared laser is effective on materials like plastics, glass, ceramics, and some coated metals. And for fiber laser, it is ideal for engraving on metals (such as steel, aluminum, brass, and copper), as well as some plastics and ceramics.

So you’d think that it would difficult to declare one to be better than the other?

To provide a clear and practical understanding of the differences between the xTool F1 and a fiber laser machine, we conducted tests on different materials, evaluating the marking quality and efficiency of each machine under specific parameters.

Trust me. It isn’t difficult to determine which one is better when we go for real testing.

xTool F1 vs. Fiber Laser: Metal Engraving Test

“Can the xTool F1 engrave metal?”
This is a common question among potential buyers. Current F1 users also share similar concerns, such as, “It says it can engrave any metal, but the settings don’t include gold-plated surfaces” (this is quoted from Amazon review).

To help you draw your own conclusion, we conducted a metal engraving test on brass. For comparison, we used a 20W fiber laser engraver.

Test Parameters

Material: Brass
Testing criteria: Marking quality, speed, and overall performance

Machines and Settings

Parameters xTool F1 (2W infrared) EM-Smart 20W Fiber Laser
Power 100% 80%
Speed 300 mm/s 300 mm/s
Infill density 200 0.05
Marking quality Average Excellent
Time for one pass 2’20’’ 49″
Result  Visible but shallow and uneven Deep, clear, and consistent

 

Below are the visual results of the engraving tests.

xTool F1 Metal Engraving Test

Conclusion

Based on the test results, the EM-Smart 20W fiber laser outperformed the xTool F1 (both 2W infrared and 10W diode laser) in terms of marking quality and efficiency on brass.

If your primary need is high-quality metal engraving, the fiber laser machine must be a more suitable choice due to its superior performance and faster processing time.

See the video about how a 20W fiber laser engraving machine performs on metal jewelry:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ6B654bolM

xTool F1 vs. Fiber Laser: Metal Cutting Test

Now, move on to metal cutting test on a 0.3 mm metal business card.
The picture speaks for itself.

xTool F1 Metal Cutting Test

Machines and Settings

Parameter xTool F1 (2W Infrared) xTool F1 (10W Blue Light) EM-Smart 20W Fiber Laser
Power 100% 100% 100%
Speed 20 mm/s 16 mm/s 500 mm/s
Cutting Quality Unable to cut Unable to cut Excellent
Time N/A N/A  33 seconds
Performance Unable to cut metal Unable to cut metal Yes, clean, and precise cut

It is evident that the xTool F1 is not capable of cutting metal. Both the 2W infrared and 10W blue diode fail.

In contrast, EM-Smart 20W fiber laser successfully cut a 50 * 50 mm circle from the metal business card in just 33 seconds. It performed the cut with excellent quality and efficiency, showing the fiber laser's superior capability for metal cutting.

“If you want to laser engrave metal or laser cut metal, CHOOSE ANOTHER MACHINE!” (quoted from reddit)

Yes, that’s exactly what he means.

xTool F1 is definitely not a good choice in terms of metal engraving, deep engraving and even metal cutting. Go for a fiber laser engraver.

xTool F1 vs. Fiber Laser: Photo Engraving Test

To give you a clear understanding of how the xTool F1 and EM-Smart One 20W fiber laser machine perform when engraving photos on metal business cards, we conducted a direct comparison test.

Test Parameters

Material: metal business card
Image size: 60mm x 90mm

Parameters xTool F1 (2W Infrared) xTool F1 (10W diode) EM-Smart 20W fiber laser
Power 100% / 100%
Speed 1000 mm/s / 1000 mm/s
Time 17 mins 49s / 1 min 39s
Performance Light, not very clear engraving Not supported  High-quality detailed engraving

 

Below is a video documenting the entire engraving process for both machines, showing obvious differences in both speed and quality:

 

It is evident that the EM-Smart One 20W fiber laser not only completes the task much faster but also produces significantly higher quality engravings compared to the xTool F1. This makes the fiber laser a superior choice for tasks requiring detailed photo engravings on metal surfaces.

xTool VS Fiber Laser Photo Engraving

xTool F1 vs. Fiber Laser: Stainless Steel Engraving Test

To illustrate the capabilities of the xTool F1 versus a fiber laser machine in engraving stainless steel, we conducted a detailed test.

Machines and Settings

Parameters xTool F1 (2W Infrared) xTool F1 (10W diode) EM-Smart 20W fiber laser
Power 50% / 30%
Speed 500 mm/s / 1500 mm/s
Infill density 200  / 0.05
Time 12 seconds / /
Engraving quality Light, shallow light Unable to engrave High-quality engraving

 

xTool VS Fiber Laser Stainless Steel Engraving

Conclusion

The stainless steel engraving test reveals distinct performance differences between the xTool F1 and the EM-Smart 20W fiber laser.

xTool F1 (2W infrared laser) manages to produce average-quality engravings, which is visible but lacks depth and sharpness, while the 10W diode laser is ineffective on this material.

The fiber laser, namely EM-Smart One, delivers excellent engraving results, with high contrast and precision for professional use.

Thus, for applications requiring precise and detailed engraving on stainless steel, the fiber laser machine is the preferable choice. For less demanding tasks or for those primarily working with non-metal materials, xTool F1 could still be a considerable option.

xTool F1 vs. Fiber Laser: Rock Tile Marking & Deep Engraving Test

We also run test on ceramic tiles using the two laser machines to compare their marking and deep engraving performances.

Machines and Settings:

xTool F1 (2W infrared): power 90%; DPI 450; dot duration 150
EM-Smart One: speed 1000mm, power 90%-100%, DPI 300

Test Results:

Both machines can perform surface marking on ceramic tiles, but the final results show significant differences in quality.
xTool VS Fiber Laser Rock Tile Engraving

 

xTtool F1 completed the marking process in about 11 minutes, showing visible marks but lacking depth and sharpness.


In contrast, the 20W fiber lase engraver excelled, producing excellent and detailed engravings on the ceramic tile, within only 2 minutes. It is also capable of deep engraving while xTool F1 doesn’t support.

xTool F1 vs. Fiber Laser: Leather Engraving Test

When it comes to engraving on leather, the capabilities of the xTool F1 and a fiber laser machine also yield different results.

Machines and Settings

Parameters Xtool F1 (10W diode laser) EM-Smart 20W Fiber Laser
Power 100% 10%
Speed 700 mm/s 2000 mm/s
Infill Density 100  0.06

Test Results

The xTool F1 provided bright, high-quality engravings (the left one), making it an excellent choice for leather projects requiring clear and vibrant marks. The fiber laser machine, while faster, produced sightly darker and less impressive engravings (the right one)

 

xTool VS Fiber Laser Leather Engraving

 

If your laser business and project involves detailed and visually appealing leather engravings, the xTool F1 stands out as the better option.

However, if speed is a critical factor, the EM-Smart fiber laser could still be suitable. This comparison should guide you in selecting the laser engraver that best fits your specific leather engraving needs.

More Tests: Speed, Precision, Rotary Marking, & Color Marking

In addition to testing engraving and cutting on various materials, it's crucial to evaluate other performance aspects such as maximum marking speed, precision, rotational marking capabilities, and color marking potential between the 2 machines.

Here's a comprehensive comparison between the xTool F1 and the EM-Smart 20W fiber laser in these areas.

Marking Speed Test

For the maximum marking speed test, we evaluated the performance of each laser by marking a square outline (110*110, 100*100, and 50*50 mm) at a uniform speed of 4000 mm/s with identical power settings.
xTool F1 completed the task in 2 seconds, while EM-Smart, significantly faster, finished in just 0.3 seconds.

Marking Precision Test

The xTool F1 claims a precision of 0.00199 mm and a repeatability of 0.000248 mm. But our tests showed an actual minimum marking diameter of 1 mm. In contrast, the EM-Smart 20W fiber laser achieved a precision of 0.001 mm.

Rotary Marking

EM-Smart One’s rotary attachment significantly enhances its versatility, enabling precise marking and engraving on complex, curved surfaces. Whether you need to engrave intricate designs on rings, bracelets, or other rounded surfaces, this attachment ensures consistent and high-quality results.

Below is a video demonstrating the process of using the EM-Smart One to engrave a cup, showcasing its capabilities with the rotary attachment.

 

And some other test results:

Test parameters xTool F1 EM-Smart One Fiber Laser
Maximum Marking Height 120mm 90mm
Maximum Marking Range 115*115mm 117*117mm
Color Marking Not supported  Yes

Conclusion

From the extensive tests conducted, it is clear that both the Xtool F1 and the fiber laser engraver, have their distinct strengths and applications.

Here’s a summary of where each machine excels, which will help you decide which one suits your needs best.

Performance Summary

Feature xTool F1 EM-Smart 20W Fiber Laser
Metal Engraving Capable of marking but with less precision compared to fiber lasers. Superior precision and quality, ideal for detailed work.
Metal Cutting Unable to cut metal effectively. Efficient and precise, able to cut through thin metals.
Stainless Steel Engraving Achieves basic marking but lacks the depth and quality than a fiber laser does. Excellent quality, capable of deep and detailed engravings.
Stone/Tile Engraving Adequate for surface marking, but not suitable for deep engraving. High-quality results, suitable for both surface and deep engravings.
Leather Engraving Excellent results with bright, clear engravings. Good results but slightly darker than xTool F1.
Marking Speed Slower compared to fiber lasers. Significantly faster than xTool F1.
Precision Good for basic tasks but not for highly detailed work with metal materials. Exceptional, suitable for highly detailed and precise work with metal.
Marking Range and Height Supports larger objects due to a higher marking height. Adequate marking height, with greater precision.
Rotary Marking Not supported. Supports engraving on rings, bracelets, or other rounded surfaces
Color Marking Not supported.  Supports color marking, adding versatility for various projects.

xTool F1 vs. Fiber Laser, Which to Choose

By understanding your specific needs and financial constraints, you can select the laser engraver that will best support your projects and business goals.

1. Material-Specific Needs
If your primary materials are leather, plastics, or wood, the xTool F1, currently sells at $1,599 at its official website, is a reliable and cost-effective choice, providing high-quality engravings and sufficient flexibility.

If you primarily work with metals—such as stainless steel, brass, aluminum, or titanium—or are in the laser business focusing on metal materials, the answer is clear: choose a fiber laser machine instead of the xTool F1. The EM-Smart One fiber laser engraving machine is the superior option due to its advanced capabilities and higher performance with metals.

2. Budget Considerations
When deciding between the xTool F1 and a fiber laser machine, budget is also a crucial factor to consider. The average price of buying a fiber laser machine on the market ranges from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the power and features. Fiber lasers are generally more expensive than other types of lasers, such as CO2 or diode lasers, due to their superior precision, efficiency, and versatility. They can cut through metals and other hard materials with ease, offering long-term durability and higher quality results.

To make a smart investment, keep an eye out for fiber laser engravers for sale, including used fiber laser engravers. These options can help you find a high-performance machine at a more affordable price.

If you are in the market for a fiber laser engraver, consider taking advantage of this special offer on the EM-Smart One.

Here's an additional comparative video test between the xTool F1 and a fiber laser engraver, offering a deeper understanding of the two machines.

Hope this comparison helps you make an informed decision between xTool F1 and fiber laser machines. Happy engraving!