What machine can engrave stone? 

Experts recommend engraving on stone on a laser machine. So let us study out what criteria should be taken into account when choosing the equipment and how to create high quality items. 

laser cnc machine for stone

Advantages of laser machines for stone engraving.

Stone engraving is mostly used for souvenir production and manufacturing of signs and decorative elements for monuments and tombstones.

Laser engraving in the ritual sphere is performed with either impact marking machines or laser machines. According to experts, the second method has a number of significant advantages.

  • The image made on a laser machine is of higher quality and more detailed. Due to the smaller diameter of the laser beam, the DPA value is 2500.  In contrast, for the impact marking machine, it is 128 DPA.
  • When engraving with a laser machine, the structure of the stone is preserved. The laser beam forms a pattern by evaporating the top layer of material. While an impact marking machine does it damaging stone and chipping pieces away.  
  • A laser machine is much faster than an impact marking machine.
  • Laser machines consumables have a longer service life.

Let us consider in more detail what happens to the stone when using an impact marking machine and laser equipment. 

Impact on material structure

engraving stone process

In an impact marking machine, the work tool touches the workpiece with force. As a result, the material is destroyed in the impact zone. A crater is formed, which is called a puncture hole. The size of the hole is determined by the amount of energy and the duration of the impact of the tool on the stone. In order to obtain a crater, the workpiece should be punctured several times. In this case, a microscopic chip is formed as a result of each impact. And it is impossible to avoid this when processing stone with an impact marking machine.

When laser engraving is performed, particles of material are evaporated by the high temperature of a laser beam. A deepening is formed, but at the same time, the stone structure is not damaged.

Differences in the effects on the stone produced by impact marking and laser engraving become evident if we compare the holes on stone obtained by such methods.

Engraving speed

laser engraving stone

The laser forms an image on stone much faster than an impact marking machine. To create a drawing with an area of 30×40 cm, it takes no more than 20 minutes.

In addition, there is an ability to machine several workpieces at once, which significantly speeds up the work. 

The impact marking machine is much slower. To make the same image, it takes several hours.

Thus, for mass production of souvenirs and monuments, it is worth choosing laser machines, and for single-item production, an impact marking machine is quite enough.

Another advantage of purchasing laser equipment is the possibility to engrave on most organic materials, including plywood, wood, glass, fabric, leather, etc.

Consumables service life

As a rule, laser equipment does not need many consumables. To process stone, a 60-80 W laser tube is quite good. Its power is enough for engraving, and it gives a small spot, which ensures creating the finest lines. Moreover, if the laser tube is used at 10-12% power instead of full power, it will last much longer. However, some kinds of stone require higher laser power.

On the other hand, an impact marking machine needs periodic change of the main consumable – the needle. Because of multiple impacts with the material, it quickly dulls or even breaks.

Design features of a laser engraver

The main design elements of a laser machine are a rigid durable frame, a movable gantry, and a working area. The rigidity and high weight of the equipment is a prerequisite to prevent the machine from breaking under the weight of the stone.

An important feature of a laser machine is the electrically driven change of the working table height. It is essential when machining heavy stone workpieces.

There are portable versions that include a gantry only. This type of equipment is used for engraving on large workpieces, for example on the whole tombstone. In this case, the machine is placed directly on the workpiece. When working with stone materials, this option helps to perform complex tasks.

What laser equipment is suitable for engraving on monuments?

stone engraving portrait

The Wattsan LT (6090, 1290, 1610) laser engravers are used in many workshops engaged in the manufacture of tombstones. The equipment comes with a chain mechanism for table lifting that can withstand up to 80 kg. According to experts, the most versatile model is the Wattsan 1290 LT. The working area of 1200×900 mm allows engraving on both small items and stone slabs of the appropriate size. The machine is controlled by the Ruida control system that comes with the RDWorks software.

Important! When processing white and black marble on a laser machine, it is necessary to use special grinding so that the image is clearly visible and bright. While granite engraving is usually bold and nice even without grinding.

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What machine to choose for engraving souvenirs?

The laser machine is an excellent choice for applying images to souvenirs. According to the stone structure, an engraving mode is chosen. The quality increases when you choose unidirectional engraving.

What determines the quality of engraving on stone?

Several factors affect the quality of the resulting image

  • Material structure;
  • Homogeneity of stone structure;
  • Geometry of gaps in the drawing;
  • Image sharpness;
  • Ratio of sizes of the picture to its structural details.

A laser machine is able to obtain the highest results for each of these parameters.  This makes laser equipment the preferred choice for machining stone. In the USA and Europe, laser machines are successfully used both in the ritual sphere and in the manufacture of souvenirs. 

Top machines for laser engraving on stone

In addition to machining stone, these machines are perfect for engraving and cutting:

plywood and wood;
glass and much more.

Wattsan 0203 micro

Work area 200 x 300 mm
Tube power 40 W
Max engraving speed 700 mm
Dimensions 810x500x265 mm
laser cutting engraving machine for wood

A compact model with a working area of 200×300 mm is designed for engraving on small items. The laser tube power is 40 W, the service life – 1500 hours. 2-phase stepper motors. The model is recommended for hobby and small-scale production. The machine’s dimensions (810×500×260 mm) allow placing it on a usual table. 

Wattsan 0503

Work area 500 x 300 mm
Tube power 60 W
Max engraving speed 700 mm
Dimensions 1040x650x575 mm

The machine with a 50 W laser tube and a working area of 500×300 mm guarantees high quality of processing stone at a speed of up to 500 mm/s. Due to a through table, it can machine materials of any length. The frame structure eliminates vibrations and increases service life of the machine. The model is suitable for processing wood, plywood, paper, plastics, plexiglas, rubber, leather, fur, fabric, cardboard, and even soft metals if using a special thermal paste.

Wattsan 6090 LT

Work area 900 x 600 mm
Tube power 80-90 W
Max engraving speed 700 mm
Dimensions 1490x1030x670 mm + 315 mm (if on its wheels)
laser cutter engraver wattsan

The machine comes with an 80-90 W laser tube with service life of 6000 hours. Positioning accuracy is 0.03 mm. The model is equipped with 3-phase steppers and ¼ belt gearboxes that provides smooth operation and improves engraving quality.  

Wattsan 1290 LT

Work area 1200 x 900 mm
Tube power 100-120 W
Max engraving speed 700 mm
Dimensions 1790x1410x670 mm + 315 mm (if on its wheels)
laser engraving machine

The powerful laser tube (100-120 W) in combination with the 1200×900 mm working area allows processing large workpieces and increases production speed. The through laser cutting option is also available, which allows machining materials of any length.  


Summarizing the mentioned above, a laser machine apparently provides higher quality of engraving, operation speed, and longer service life of consumables. At the same time, impact marking equipment is cheaper.

Common to both options is the complexity of developing a layout for engraving:  the image parameters are to be selected by trial and error. The Wattsan managers are always ready to help with this task. During the first month of operation, our specialists prepare layouts for stone engraving themselves.

An Lee
We are happy to advice you from the very beginning
Contact us now.
Make a request
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