The xTool S1 has been long awaited and now it is here. Here are some reasons why we think it stands out in the competitive world of laser cutters. This review dives into a few of the features, quirks, and performance of the xTool S1, providing insights for both seasoned laser users and those just stepping into the crafting realm.
NOTE: right now xTool is offering $300 off the S1 40W and $400 off the 20w through Black Friday 2023.
Design and Setup:
The S1 (40W Diode) boasts a design focused on simplicity and functionality. The setup process is notably straightforward, even surpassing the D1 Pro 40W upgrade in ease. However, users opting for the riser base should be aware of potential smoke issues due to a lack of full seal. Extra ventilation, especially when using the rotary or conveyor, is advisable.
Initial impressions indicate a tighter performance compared to the D1 Pro 40W. The S1 seems to produce cuts and engravings with less char kerf, achieving deeper engravings at similar settings. While it outpaces the D1 Pro in raster engraves, it's crucial to note that, being a diode laser, it doesn't compete with CO2 lasers in terms of speed.
Auto-positioning and Software:
The auto-positioning feature, though straightforward, might leave users questioning its practicality. The manual adjustment option in the D1 Pro seemingly accomplishes the same with fewer steps. Notably, we like XCS, but lean towards LightBurn with our typical processes. We'd love to hear other people's take on the LightBurn/XCS debate in the comments.
Unique Features and Accessories:
The xTool S1 introduces a modified USB setup, signaling a move towards a closed ecosystem. This innovation opens up intriguing possibilities for future modifications. The inclusion of a Smart Air Assist aims to streamline the cutting and engraving process, potentially eliminating the need for separate passes. Additionally, the review touches on the inclusion of a clear plastic circle for yet-to-be-explored functionalities.
The S1 showcases its versatility by handling a range of materials. From 1/2" MDF scrap to cheap plywood, vinyl, and even construction paper, the machine demonstrates a commendable performance spectrum. However, users are advised to provide support for light materials when using the conveyor to prevent sagging.
NOTE II: this machine comes with the xTool 12 month warranty, free shipping, and an extra 2% of your "order back" rebate. Just to sweeten the pot a bit.
In the evolving landscape of laser cutters, the xTool S1 emerges as a compelling contender, addressing some of the shortcomings of its predecessor. Its tight performance, user-friendly design, and intriguing features set it apart. For those looking to delve into the xTool S1 experience, check it out here. Elevate your crafting journey with the xTool S1 and unlock a world of possibilities.