When comparing the Glowforge Pro and the xTool P2, it's important to consider their cutting and engraving capabilities. Both machines have similar power ratings and can work with a variety of materials. However, the P2 boasts a larger processing area compared to the Glowforge Pro's. The xTool P2 also comes with some unique features not available on the Glowforge, such as a close-range camera, automatic conveyor feeder, and the ability to work with 3D models and curved objects. There are some more features worth mentioning, so lets get into it...
First, let's talk about price. The Glowforge Pro retails for $6,995, while the xTool P2 is regularly priced at $4,999, but currently available for $4,199. While the two lasers come with a few different 'bells and whistles' (which we'll discuss in a moment), the price difference between the two is fairly significant. If you're on a tight budget, the xTool P2 may be the better option for you just in this regard.
Dimensions and Work Area
The Glowforge Pro and xTool P2 have similar dimensions, with the Glowforge Pro measuring 38″ x 20.75″ x 8.25″ (965mm x 527mm x 210mm), and the xTool P2 measuring 39.4" x 25.1" x 10.6" (1000mm x 639mm x 268mm). However, the xTool P2 has a slightly larger work area, with a maximum material width of 23.6" (600mm) compared to the Glowforge Pro's 20" (515mm). Additionally, the xTool P2 has an unlimited material depth, while the Glowforge Pro's maximum material depth is 18" (455mm) for the Basic and Plus models and unlimited for the Pro.
Both the Glowforge Pro and the xTool P2 can safely print on any laser-compatible material, including wood, fabric, leather, paper, cardboard, plexiglass (acrylic), Delrin (acetal), mylar, rubber, cork, sandpaper, foods, and more. However, the Glowforge Pro is limited to engraving only on glass, marble, rubber stamps, stone, ceramic tile, anodized aluminum, titanium, corian, and other materials, while the xTool P2 can cut and engrave all of these materials. Additionally, while Glowforge recommends using their Proofgrade materials for automatic settings and perfect results, the xTool P2 has no such requirement and can work with any material.
Software & Formatting
It's worth noting that the Glowforge Pro and xTool P2 differ in their software compatibility. While the Glowforge Pro only uses its proprietary software, the xTool P2 allows for the use of their software as well as the popular third-party software, LightBurn. Both machines have user-friendly interfaces that allow you to easily import designs in various file formats like JPG, PNG, SVG, and PDF. However, the xTool P2 has an advantage with its ability to support DXF files, which the Glowforge Pro does not. The xTool P2's software also offers a wider range of settings, allowing for more precise adjustments to your designs.
Both the Glowforge Pro and the xTool P2 offer one-button printing, which automatically determines the settings for perfect cutting and engraving. However, this feature is only available when using Glowforge's Proofgrade materials with the Glowforge Pro. With the xTool P2, you can achieve the same results with any material, making it a more versatile option. Additionally, the P2 has a larger cutting area, allowing you to work on bigger projects, with a maximum material width of 23.6 inches (600 mm) and a maximum material depth of 23.6" x 12.1" (600mm x 308mm). This gives you more flexibility when working with larger pieces of material, such as furniture or large signs.
Another key difference between the Glowforge Pro and the xTool P2 is the autofocus system. While the Glowforge Pro's autofocus system is easier than most other laser focusing systems, the P2 uses a high-resolution camera and laser sensor to determine the exact height of the material and adjust the focus accordingly, making it easier and faster to get started on your projects. This is also used in it's concave engraving feature.
The xTool P2 has a unique ability to work with 3D models and curved objects that the Glowforge Pro does not offer. The P2 has a powerful camera that can take detailed scans of 3D objects, and then use software to create a digital model of the object. This model can then be imported into the laser software to be engraved or cut with precision. This opens up a world of possibilities for creating intricate, three-dimensional designs that would be difficult or impossible to achieve with traditional laser engraving methods. The P2's camera also allows it to accurately trace and cut curved objects (think engraving in bowls or large salad spoons), which is a difficult task for many laser cutters. This feature is especially useful for creating products with intricate designs, such as jewelry or artistic pieces.
When it comes to support and community, both Glowforge and xTool have active user forums and support teams, but xTool's community is known for being less organized and timely than Glowforge. Though, with both the xTool and the Glowforge you get a one-year warranty and free lifetime technical support, giving you peace of mind knowing that help is always available.
The xTool P2 also comes equipped with an automatic conveyor feeder that makes it easier to work with larger or multiple materials. This feature allows you to continuously process multiple sheets of material, rather than manually loading and unloading them one at a time. The automatic conveyor feeder is a significant time-saver for those who work with high volumes of materials, and it minimizes the chances of errors or misalignments that can occur when manually feeding materials. This feature is not available on the Glowforge Pro, making the P2 a more practical choice for businesses or individuals who prioritize efficiency and accuracy in their workflow.
Both the P2 and the Glowforge are equipped with dual cameras, but the P2's close-range camera stands out for its ability to capture highly detailed and accurate images of your materials. This makes it ideal for achieving precise alignment, even on oddly shaped or curved objects, which can be challenging to align by hand. The P2's camera is particularly useful for projects that require a high level of precision or for smaller materials. The Glowforge's camera is sufficient for most purposes, but if you were looking to get really intricate and small, you would rather have the xTool's camera system.
While the Glowforge Pro is a solid laser cutter with impressive features such as the dual camera system and the ability to use Glowforge's Proofgrade materials, the xTool P2 is a more versatile and powerful option with a larger cutting area, fully automatic autofocus, and more software compatibility. Plus, with the current promotional price of $4,199, it's also a more affordable option than the Glowforge Pro ($6,995). If you're in the market for a high-quality laser cutter, we think the xTool P2 is definitely worth considering.