xtool P2 co2 laser cutter

xTool P2 55W CO2 Review: The King of Desktop Laser Cutter

Introduction

xTool P2 is a powerful 55W CO2 desktop laser cutter suitable for professional cutting and hobby craft making. Its most advanced feature is the AI HD camera, which can auto-thickness measure, auto laser focus, accurate positioning, and also make curved surface engraving a breeze! So, with its 55W powerful laser power and the large working area of 600mm x 305mm, xTool P2 can meet users’ multiple engraving or cutting needs, such as woodworkers, jewelry designers, event planners, sign makers, and real estate agents.

That’s not all there is to the xTool P2. There are many accessories to exploit the great potential of the xTool P2, such as a riser base for larger workpieces, conveyor feeder extensions for extra-large engraving and cutting areas, as well as a smoke purifier, a rotary extension, and more! In this article, I will show you the xTool P2 white. If you encounter this article, this will be a good chance to understand xTool P2 laser cutter. Anyway, xTool P2 definitely becomes the king of a desktop laser cutter; let’s jump right in!

xtool p2

Preparation before using xTool P2: fill the water tank with antifreeze or water

After unboxing the xTool P2, it is important to fill the water tank with antifreeze or water before powering on the machine. There will be a 1000ml bottle of antifreeze in the xTool P2 package, you can use the antifreeze based on the annual lowest temperature in your region. For example, suppose the annual lowest temperature in your region is lower than zero degree temperature. In that case, it is necessary to make a mixture of antifreeze and purified water in a certain percentage to be added to the water tank according to the temperature range.

There are important things you should know, ensure that you use the purifier water and fill the water tank twice, a total of 1400 ml mixture of antifreeze water. However, the guiding steps will be shown in the manual book and the antifreeze bottle body.

 antifreeze for xtool p2
 antifreeze composition

In my region, the annual lowest temperature is higher than zero, so I am not necessary to fill the xTool P2 water tank with antifreeze, just purified water is okay. Unscrew the screws on the back cover, and open it, you will see the water tank. As for me, I need to fill 1100 ml of purified water the first time, then turn on the xTool P2 wait 30 seconds for the water level to descend in the water tank, and then pour 300 ml of purified water in the water tank. After closing the cap of the water tank and the back cover of xTool P2, you can use this amazing laser cutter.

fill the water tank with antifreeze or water

The all-in-one AI camera: auto thickness measurement, focus, positioning

I think the AI camera on xTool P2 is an overwhelming feature that is super convenient for me to deal with the material’s thickness measure, laser focus, and positioning. The dual HD camera can precisely capture the real object in the xTool P2 desktop laser cutter so that I can drag the pattern or design in the position where I want. It is a supper useful method for us to position the laser engraving and cutting positioning without the manual operation! The 16MP camera boasts the highest resolution among all smart cutting machines currently on the market, with its competitors like OMTECH/THUNDER typically equipped with only 5MP cameras. The pixel count of the camera is crucial, as it determines the precision of user positioning and the accuracy during actual engraving. A 16MP camera equates to 16 million pixels, whereas 5MP corresponds to 5 million pixels.

Before xTool P2, I need to measure the materials’ thickness and adjust the laser focal length manually when using other laser cutters. But today, with the xTool P2 CO2 laser cutter, those complex preparation steps are no longer needed! Thanks to the AI camera in xTool P2, when you click the material thickness measurement button on the XCS software, the camera will capture the real situation and intelligently fill the thickness in the software. According to the thickness, the software will tell to xTool P2 how to adjust the laser focal length to ensure good engraving or cutting results. All engraving and cutting preparations are finished on the XCS software! I never need to adjust the laser focus and measure the material thickness now.

all preparation  on XCS when use xTool P2
all preparation on XCS
xTool P2 accurately works on the real object
accurately works on the real object

Above is the AI camera testing, with the AI camera, I can focus on what I want to create instead of involving the annoying manual adjustment working. So, just import a design on the software, and let the AI camera help you finish all the preparation automatically and there will be accurate laser engraving and cutting on the real object you want to position.

Accommodating all sizes: up to 600x305mm working area

xTool P2 CO2 desktop laser cutter

I like xTool P2’s larger size design, up to 600 mm x 305 mm working area, which can meet my larger size working demand. This large working size is typically suitable for professional crafts or customization producers, for example, if you are a woodworker, event planner, sign maker, or real estate agent, etc. xTool P2 55W CO2 laser cutter will be a great helper to start your business. If you are a small crafts maker, such as a jewelry designer, the 600mm x 305 mm working area is very suitable for small object batching marking and cutting to improve production efficiency.

If you are a DIY hobbyist like me, it is a good thing that you can use xTool P2 desktop laser cutter to do larger crafting at home without the smoke worry. As I said before, xTool P2 makes me enjoy what I want to create instead of doing nonsense preparation before laser engraving and cutting. AI camera helps me finish all the preparation automatically and many interesting project ideas are shared on the xTool website, I simply download it and start my creation.

large area cutting

In this large-size project, I use four pieces of 600mm x 300mm x 3mm plywood to cut this dinosaur puzzle. As you can see the pictures captured by the HD camera almost filled the screen on the software. When I selected the material as 3mm plywood, the XCS software automatically set the cutting parameter as 100% laser power, 20mm/s cutting speed, and cutting one pass. I have to say that whether the xTool P2 or the XCS software, they all let me fully enjoy the creation of what I want rather than trapping in the annoying preparation process. In terms of user experience, xTool really deserves high marks.

Using xTool P2 to cut this dinosaur puzzle project only took me 25 minutes. 55w CO2 laser power is so efficient in cutting wood!

large size woking with xTool P2
large size woking with xTool P2
large size woking with xTool P2

From wood to acrylic: unleash xTool P2 CO2 laser cutter potential

xTool P2 has 55W CO2 laser power, because of the CO2 laser’s features, it has many benefits over other laser-type machines, such as diode lasers. For example, xTool P2 can cut all colors of acrylic which is very helpful for acrylic crafts makers. However, every coin has two sides, xTool P2 is unable to engrave metals directly like the 1064nm infrared laser engraver, but if you paint a coating on metals, it is also highly efficient in engraving them.

Before engraving metal, my general practice is to coat the metal surface first, through the coating to absorb the CO2 laser energy, and then high-temperature etching of the metal surface, the same can be done for engraving metal. But if the metal is coated metals, just engraving them is no need for pre-processing.

xTool P2
xTool P2 engrave coated metal
coated metal engraving
xTool P2 engrave coated metal
coated metal engraving

If you are a wood crafts maker, it will be a dependable desktop laser cutter to meet your multiple needs. I used a 10mm pine to test xTool P2 cutting abilities on wood. I set the laser power of 100%, a cutting speed of 5mm/s, undoubtedly, it cut 10 mm pine wood in a single pass. This is not the greatest potential for cutting wood, the 55W laser power can cut up to 30mm of wood in one pass, but cutting pine wood up to 10mm is enough for most of my creative scenarios.

cutting 10mm pine wood in one pass
xtool p2 cutting clear acrylic
clear acrylic engraving and cutting

The capability of cutting all color acrylic is xTool P2 CO2 laser cutter’s one of the most advanced features. For this project, I used it to engrave and cut a 6mm sheet of clear acrylic with 15% laser power at 500mm/s engraving speed and 100% laser power at 20mm/s cutting speed. The quality of the engraving is very good and the cut edges of the clear acrylic are very smooth, there is no consequence of excessive burning due to the transparent material.

To be clear, cutting 6mm clear acrylic is not the limit of the xTool P2, it is possible to cut 20mm thick acrylic in one pass, which really suits the groups that do acrylic work.

Jewelry maker’s dream: precise positioning for tiny objects

When I saw the xTool P2 desktop laser cutter’s large size and large work area design, I always thought it was tailored for those with large cutting and engraving needs. Now that I’ve gotten the xTool P2 and am using it, I was wrong about it. In fact, it’s not only a great tool for large-area laser engraving and cutting but also for working with tiny objects! All thanks to its built-in AI HD camera.

When I want to engrave small objects, such as jewelry, I can have the AI camera do a close shot in order to position it accurately on the software. As you can see in the picture below, the software screen gives a very clear view of the small jewelry. Then I can drag and drop the pattern I want to engrave on the jewelry directly onto the jewelry. This kind of precise positioning of tiny objects is really useful, and the large working area can be used for batch production of jewelry at one time, which I think is the ideal helper for every group of custom jewelry makers.

tiny jewelry engraving

Since the xTool P2 can’t engrave metal directly, in order to increase the efficiency of the xTool P2 on metal, you should apply a coating to the metal jewelry beforehand like I did, for example with a water-based pen, and then wipe it off after engraving. In this case of small jewelry engraving, I can appreciate the compatibility of xTool P2, it’s really good that it can automatically position such a tiny object accurately!

jewelry engraved by xTool p2
jewelry engraved by xTool p2

Pushing the limits: high-resolution image laser engraving

xTool P2 has an engraving accuracy of 0.01, which makes it excellent in color image engraving. Together with the intelligent analysis and processing of color images by XCS software, xTool P2 can achieve a high degree of reproduction for color images.

xtool P2 image engraving

I imported a color image into the XCS software to engrave the image on 3mm plywood. It is very simple, the software automatically recommended engraving parameters of 10% laser power, 300mm/s engraving speed, and 200 lines per cm. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with the results of the xTool P2, which is by far the best laser engraver I’ve ever seen for reproducing detail in color images. As you can see in the picture below, the engraved work is very detailed, with almost 90% of the original details reproduced!

xtool p2 image mode engraving
xTool p2 image engraving

To more visually convince you of the xTool P2’s excellent color image engraving capabilities, I found the same image that I had previously engraved with other laser engravers and compared them together. Another brand of laser engraver engraved the picture engraving of #1 and was very disappointing, reproducing about 30% of the details of the picture.

The engraving of #2 was engraved with an xTool S1 20W laser, and the picture detail is very well reproduced, about 80% of the picture detail, but as you can observe, it has a roughness on the surface, not fine enough.

Both images #3 and #4 were engraved with the xTool P2 CO2 laser engraver, except that the engraving parameters for #3 were 10% laser power, 300mm/s engraving speed, 100 lines per cm, while the engraving parameters for #4 were 10% laser power, 300mm/s engraving speed, 200 lines per cm. As you can see, the images from xTool P2 Engraving #3 and #4 turned out very well, with fine, clear image detail, and at least 90% detail restoration of the original images.

The engraving effect of different laser engraver images is compared with that of xTool P2
Picture engraving comparison

I tried the xTool P2 on clear acrylic for image engraving, and the engraving parameters followed the software’s auto-recommended settings for everything. The amazing thing about engraving clear acrylic is that when you move the acrylic away from the light source, you can’t see the details of the image clearly. Once you move the acrylic closer to the light source, the details of the picture are immediately visible! It’s fun! So all in all, the xTool P2 CO2 laser Engraver is excellent for color images, and the image engraving details are clear and highly reproducible.

xtool P2 picture engraving on acrylic
Transparent acrylic picture laser engraving
xtool P2 picture engraving on acrylic
Near the light source

Curved surface engraving for unique designs

Next, it’s time to show off the xTool P2’s more advanced feature: curved surface engraving! The principle of xTool P2 surface engraving is very easy to understand. First, you need to plan the area that needs to be engraved, and then use the AI camera to collect the height of each point of the surface in the designated area, and then intelligently generate a 3D model of the surface by combining the collected data, and at the same time tell the machine that when the laser passes over the area, it should automatically adjust the corresponding focal length.

The principle is similar to that of the xTool S1’s curved surface engraving, but the xTool S1 takes a lower-cost approach by eliminating the AI camera and using a distance probe instead.

set engraving area on curve surface
1. set the engraving area on a curved surface
2. AI camera measures surface distance
XCS software generates preview 3D models
3. XCS software generates preview 3D models
Drag the pattern into the pre-selected area
4. XCS software generates preview 3D models

So for xTool P2, surface engraving becomes much easier. It can engrave curved surfaces up to 45°angle, which can be used on more curved objects, such as the dinner plate below.

Batch engraving: effortless personalization

So based on the above collection of xTool P2 features such as large working area, autofocus, precise positioning, curved surface engraving, and more. I think it’s perfect for professional craft customizers with production needs, as it allows for easy batch engraving.

If one wants to do mass production with the xTool P2 CO2 desktop laser cutter’s large 600x305mm working area, it’s quite easy to just make a batch copy of the pattern and drag and drop it on the object directly on the software. I am sure that xTool will optimize the XCS software in the near future to allow the software to automatically position the pattern on the object’s surface to increase the efficiency of accurate positioning for mass production.

use xTool P2 to batch engraving

Pros and Cons

Advantages of must-buy:

  1. xTool P2 is overall very smart and automated, the AI camera can directly help you save a lot of time, for example, it automatically measures the material thickness, autofocus, dynamic focusing for curved surface engraving, etc.
  2. The photo engraving is very high quality, the XCS software’s analysis of color photos, and the xTool P2’s own laser engraving precision together, can be very good for restoring the details of the photos.
  3. Curved surface engraving is a cutting-edge feature that can meet more engraving needs.
  4. CO2 laser has good material compatibility, it can cut any color of acrylic including clear acrylic, which is very friendly to acrylic production studios.
  5. Large working areas and 55W laser power basically meet the needs of the vast majority of users.

Things you might be hesitant

  1. Relatively expensive.
  2. The machine is relatively heavy and not easy to move.

Conclusion

The xTool P2 is really worth the investment, especially if you have laser engraving as a job or business. I also agree that the xTool P2 CO2 laser cutter is the champion of all desktop laser engravers. In fact, it belongs to the professional class of laser equipment, perfectly suited for professional producers and hobbyists. In addition to the advanced features of the xTool P2 itself, the intelligence of the xTool Creation Space software also plays a very important role. The combination of the two gives me a very good experience. I have to admit that xTool is far ahead of its competitors in terms of technology and user experience.