Laser Cutter & Laser Engraver For Wood

Can lasers engrave and cut wood?

Wood is one of the most common materials used in laser applications, including the use of a CO2 laser engraver for wood. Compared to traditional woodworking machines, laser machines can be applied to almost all laser wood projects through laser cutting and engraving, replacing tools such as saws, planers, mills, drills, and chisels. 


Laser tech offers convenience, greatly enhances processing efficiency and quality, and easily laser cut various wood shapes.

In addition, a laser engraver for wood this means a CO2 CNC laser machine that can achieve laser engraving and cutting for wood. You can call it a laser etching machine for wood or laser carving machine for wood or a laser wood-cutting machine, they are the same type of laser machine. 

Types of wood for laser

There are hundreds of wood materials available on the market, and they are all suitable for laser engraving with a laser engraver for wood. However, for laser machines, all these materials must be processed by adjusting corresponding parameters based on the properties of different types of wood.

Common materials used in laser processing include plywood, solid wood boards, veneer panels, and medium-density fiberboard (MDF).

laser engraving on wood1


Plywood, also known as multi-layer board or laminated board, is a multi-layered material made by gluing together veneers that are sliced from wood segments or thin wood that is planed from timber. Plywood is a type of wood commonly used in a wood laser engraver and Usually 3 layers.

Compared to solid wood boards of the same thickness, plywood has the advantages of high strength, and resistance to breaking, shrinking, and warping. It has a yellow-white color and light texture. laser wood engraving on poplar plywood will result in clear and attractive wood patterns. The wood is soft, with moderate hardness, and performs well in laser machining. laser wood cutting can create extremely fine shapes, and the cuts are smoother, making it convenient for polishing and assembly.
Read Less Read More
Veneer Panel
Veneer Panels laser

Veneer Panels

Here, veneer panels refer to decorative single-layer veneer laminated boards, also known as wood veneer panels. These are panels made from high-quality natural wood. Veneer panels combine the durability of plywood with the natural beauty of solid wood. They can be easily laser-cut into various shapes and intricately laser-engraved using a laser engraver for wood to create elaborate decorative patterns. Laser Veneer panels are high in aesthetic value and practicality.
Solid Wood
laser solid wood engraving

Solid Wood

Solid wood boards are made from complete wood pieces (logs). They are such as walnut boards, cherry boards, maple boards, ash boards, pine boards, bamboo boards, etc.


Solid wood boards are very sturdy. High strength and hardness are advantages for their application, but they make wood carving and cutting a challenge. But for a laser engraver for wood, carving and cutting are very easy. As a sharp tool, a laser engraver for wood can handle various levels of hardness, cutting through even the toughest wood materials with sufficient energy.

laser cut MDF


MDF is a Medium-Density Fiberboard. Also known as fiberboard, is made from wood fibers or other plant fibers mixed with synthetic resins and pressed into boards. In addition to MDF, the Density Fiberboard also includes low-density fiberboard (LDF), and high-density fiberboard (HDF). Due to MDF’s uniform structure, stable performance, and ease of processing, It is more suitable than LDF and HDF for laser processing in laser engraver for wood.

Applications of laser cutting and engraving on wood

THUNDER LASER equipment can process a wide range of wood materials and have versatile applications. From decorative structures to everyday goods, we help businesses achieve premium woodwork products with streamlined efficiency. Discover the different items you can make with Thunder Laser. Look at how clear, clean and fast our laser engraver for wood processes wood: Laser Cut Wood Art

How to choose wood for laser engraving?

The principle of laser engraving on wood using a laser engraver for wood is that laser energy chars the wood surface, creating a contrast with the original wood color to form patterns.
Woods with higher resin content will create deeper engraving marks. Woods with high resin content, light color, and smooth texture are suitable for various fine vector patterns and even photo engraving.

1. Maple wood is a better choice because it has a lighter color, and the engraving result usually starts light and gradually darkens over time.

2. Cherry wood is another good option due to its beautiful grain patterns and color, resulting in deeper and more uniform engravings.

However, dark woods like Walnut can still be creatively used for deep vector engraving and 3D relief.

As long as the surface is smooth, any wood can be laser-engraved using a laser engraver for wood. With additional steps such as polishing, coloring, and painting, beautiful wood carvings can be created.

How to engrave wood?

These laser wood art are beautiful, and a high-end laser engraver for wood is perfectly suitable for this. But if you use a low-end laser carving machine, it’s not easy.


You first need to laser cut wood to various shapes in the laser wood cutting machine.


Using the tools to wipe out the uneven edges and the surface contaminated by oil. Before you are done, you will need to buy a variety of dyes to paint the wood in different colors.


You will have to do the stacking and adhesion.

The hardest thing is, you have to hang your mind out of each piece. You not only have to think about a design program, a drawing breakdown program, but also about a stacking program, and, uh, a cleanup program. This means you’re going to spend extra money on buying these little parts. if you think these aren’t a problem, you can do it.

But if you choose laser wood as a business, or if you are a high-quality laser enthusiast, a high-quality CO2 CNC laser machine will be your best choice. It not only saves more than half of your time, but also reduces cleaning and makes it easier for you to make wood carvings that can be sold.

wooden engraved gifts
wooden engraving gifts

Look at these fantastic wood engraving designs made by a high-end laser engraver for wood. You only need to design drawings on Lightburn software and send them to the machine to start carving. After carving, you only need a piece of cloth to clean it, and then they are work for sale


They are carved so finely that the shadow thread can be seen, realistic, these works are far from a low-end laser engraver for wood.


With high-speed engraving and cutting in the high-end wood laser engraver up to 2000mm/s, it takes only tens of minutes. The low-to-half price of the high-end Thunder laser engraving machine allows you to easily become a master of the art.

Advantages of Thunder Laser machines

Easy To Use

1. Lightburn, Rdworks

2. Automatic focusing

3. Touchscreen interface

Green & Safety

1. Smart sensors control

2. The exhaust system

3. Minimizes noise

4. CE Level 1 


1000mm/s to 2000mm/s speed

Upgrade Creation

1. 3D engraving

2. High-precision carving

3. Accurate modeling

Thunder Laser parameter

Maximum thickness of wood for cutting

Solid wood     
Veneer panel     

Common parameters for cutting wood

The following parameters of basswood plywood on Thunder Laser Nova 35 are provided for reference. It’s advisable to conduct small-scale tests and adjust parameters accordingly for your specific needs. 

Layer Name



Unidirectional or bidirectional


Blowing Type

Blowing Value

Shallow Carving(image)



Horizontal Double



below 0.1

The shallow Carving(text)



Horizontal Double



below 0.1

Shallow Carving(label)



Horizontal Double



below 0.1

Running a line


5(Corner power5)



below 0.1







Tips for wood working with a laser engraver for wood

When cutting thicker wood using a laser engraver for wood, the desired results can be attained through various settings:

1. Increase power:

Higher power allows the laser to cut through thicker wood.

2. Slow down speed:

Slower speeds provide more laser energy to the wood per unit of time, enabling cuts through thicker material. When using high power and slow speed for cutting thicker wood, use maximum air assist to prevent overheating.

3. Multiple passes:

For exceptionally thick wood, if increasing power and slowing speed still don’t achieve the desired result, try multiple passes. Be cautious not to move the material between passes to ensure overlapping paths.

4. Use a longer focal lens:

Consider using a 4.0” or 2.5” lens for cutting thick wood. Adjust the laser focus from the surface to the interior of the wood to create smoother edges.

5. Avoid knots:

Knots in wood are usually harder to cut through. Pay attention to avoiding them during cutting.

Air assist in laser machines serves several purposes:
1. Reduces the temperature of the cutting seam, preventing it from catching fire due to high temperatures.
2. Blows away smoke and debris, preventing contamination of the lens.
3. Removes molten material to keep the cutting surface smooth.

During laser cutting a laser engraver for wood, may create burn marks on the backside of the material. To minimize this effect, the following tip:
1. Optimizing cutting parameters.
2. Increase the speed (which can result in multiple passes)
3. Lower the power
4. Enhanced air assist to lower the temperature and avoid excessive burning.

You may need to sand the surface of the wood after engraving. Grinding should be done lightly and do not use pressure down. The surface after the first grinding is slightly rough, but after the next grinding it becomes smooth, and the last grinding will remove the remaining rough traces.

First, using 3/0 sandpaper

Use rough sandpaper when grinding – for most wood, you want to use 3/0 sandpaper,

Second, using 4/0 sandpaper

For some very soft wood, such as pinewood or yellow wood, use 4/0 sandpaper.

Finally, using 5/0 or 6/0 sand paper

Gradually replace with 5/0 sandpapers, and finally use 6/0 sandpapers.
Although theoretically, the sandpaper is more thin, the surface of the grinding wood is smoother, but using too thin sandpaper will not only block the thin holes but also affect the effect of the paint. So, you may need to use different sand according to your need.

Wood video you may like

Wood blog you may want

Thrive with THUNDER LASER Now

Benefits from Our Social Media: