xTool S1

xTool S1 20W Review: Best Home Laser Cutter |Super Easy to Use

xTool S1 introduces

After extensive experience and thorough testing, I wholeheartedly endorse the xTool S1 enclosed laser cutter! This laser cutter has exceeded my expectations in every aspect, which is perfect for everyone as the best home laser cutter.

Firstly, its user-friendliness is remarkable, almost like using a microwave at home. Secondly, the xTool S1’s enclosed design eliminates bothersome fumes, allowing users to fully immerse themselves in their creative processes. Thirdly, the cutting capabilities are exceptional, thanks to the autofocus system, and the option to replace the laser module with a 40W version enhances its cutting prowess even further. Fourthly, the intelligent air-assist pump seamlessly adjusts airflow during cutting or engraving, maintaining material cleanliness effortlessly. Fifthly, safety is a top priority with the xTool S1, classified as a laser class-1 safety device. It has various safety features, like stopping operation if the lid is open or in case of any vibrations. The flame protection function adds an extra layer of security by detecting and responding to potential fires.

So, I want to say that the xTool S1 is an excellent laser cutter, and its excellence includes: super user-friendly, safety protections, innovative features, and good-looking! So, in this article, let us dive into this super easy-to-use laser cutter!

By the way, xTool S1 is also available in white, with the same functionality, just in a different exterior color. A version with a 10W laser module is also available at the same time, so you can choose 40W, 20W, or 10W depending on your needs.

Unboxing and Setup

Let’s unpack what comes with the xTool S1. Everything was securely wrapped, and this laser cutter was impressively user-friendly, according to my first impression. Here’s what you get: materials for engraving tests, a detailed instruction manual, a small box with necessary installation tools, an exhaust pipe, and an air pump tube, an automated air-assist pump is smart which adjusts airflow without manual intervention. You also get a power adapter and three connecting cables. Besides, you get get a 20W laser head but it is replaceable, and you can upgrade to a 40W laser head.

xTool S1 unboxing

Installing the xTool S1 is a breeze—no annoying assembly process. Just insert the corresponding wires, and don’t forget the xTool safety lock—it’s essential for proper operation.

Back of xTool S1

By the way, xTool S1 laser cutter’s notable feature is the detachable autofocus probe. It easily buckles onto the laser head, making installation incredibly easy—no difficulties at all! So, I am very impressed with xTool S1’s user-friendly because of the super easy to start up.

distance senor
distance senor and 20W laser module

After connecting with xTool Creative Space software, you can start to have fun with this home laser cutter! So let us take a closer look next.

Autofocus testing

Let’s see how the xTool S1 does autofocus, it’s really super simple. When we connect the xTool Creative Space software, there’s an autofocus button here, and when we click on it, there’s going to be a prompt that says that the distance sensor has not been reset.  Simply click the “reset it” button and the laser head will automatically move to the upper right corner for resetting. After resetting, click on the “auto measure” button and the laser head will automatically drop down, the distance is already calculated by the program when the probe touches the surface of the material, then the laser head will immediately rise up and immediately move to the upper right corner for resetting.  After completing these simple steps, the autofocus is set, and you can go ahead and engrave or cut.

Autofocus

20W cutting ability testing:  20mm pine wood in one pass

Let’s take a closer look at how powerful the xTool S1’s cutting capabilities can be! According to xTool, the S1 has an autofocus system technology that guides the laser spot below the surface of the material for better cutting results.

To verify the cutting ability of the xTool S1 20W laser cutter, I prepared pine wood of 5mm, 10mm, and 20mm in thickness. For those three pine wood cutting tests, I set the laser power to 100% and the cutting speed to 3 mm/s, and only cut one pass.

As you can see, the xtool S1 20W can very easily cut all the thicknesses of pine wood in one pass! The laser cut is also very smooth and clean! So far, I’m very happy with the xTool S1, and as far as I am concerned, the 20W of laser power to cut 20mm of pine wood is enough for most people!

xTool S1 20w cutting testing

Through the above cutting test, xTool S1 20W if used as a home laser cutter, is already perfect for us, because it can easily cut 20mm pine wood with a single pass! It really surprised me!

To explore its more powerful cutting ability, I prepared a 30mm thick pine wood to see if xTool S1 20W can cut it easily. From the result, it seems that even though I have set the laser power to 100% and the cutting speed to 1mm/s, it still can’t cut the 30mm pine wood even after 5 passes of cutting, because the material caught fire, which activated the flame protection feature of the xTool S1, preventing it from continuing to work.

Therefore, 20W is not enough to cut 30mm pine, so if you want more cutting power, the xTool S1 40W is a better choice!

30mm pine wood cutting testing
flame detected

Engraving testing:600 mm/s fast engraving

xTool S1 engraving test

The xTool S1 has a maximum engraving speed of 600mm/s. To further verify the xTool S1’s 20W engraving capability, I tested the xTool S1 by engraving on 3mm plywood. As you can see below, when you set the laser power to 100%, the maximum engraving speed of 600mm/s is still able to engrave perfectly!

By the way, you don’t need to worry too much about the parameter settings, because the xTool Creative Space software has a lot of materials for engraving parameter setting references, as long as you select the corresponding material, the software will automatically help you set the exact engraving or cutting parameters, which is very convenient!

engrave test

Pin-point positioning testing

Pin-point positioning is one of the innovative features of the xTool S1 enclosed laser cutter, which makes it significantly easier for the user to define the engraving or cutting area. Previously, when I was engraving or cutting, I had to estimate the engraving position, which was a waste of time and could easily cause deviations.

With the xTool S1’s pin-point positioning function, everything has become very simple!

Two-point positioning testing: Pinpoint the rectangle engraving or cutting area

The two-point positioning can be used to accurately determine the range of a rectangle to be engraved or cut, eliminating the need for the user to go through the trouble of making engraving position corrections.

Before engraving or cutting, we click on the “start marking” button, and then an interface will pop up, allowing us to select a positioning method, as you can see, there are four positioning methods, two-point positioning to determines the rectangular engraving range, three-point positioning to determine the circular engraving range, and multi-point positioning to determine the polygon engraving range.

Two-point positioning

We simply move the red coordinates of the laser head to the surface of the material, and then press the button in the lower right corner of the machine to define the first point, and then move the red coordinates to a second point on the surface of the material and press the button again to define the second point. 

two-ponit positioning

After finishing marking two points, click “End marking” and “Done”,the two-point positioning is done! You just need to drag the pattern into the rectangle and you can do the precise engraving or cutting range! It’s very simple, indeed!

Two-point positioning
Two-point positioning

Three-point positioning testing: Pinpoint the circular engraving or cutting area

Three-point positioning is the same as two-point positioning, but it requires you to identify three points to pinpoint a circular area. Once you have defined a circular area, you can simply drag and drop the pattern into this circular area on the software and then proceed to the next step of engraving or cutting!

Three-point positioning

Multi-point positioning testing: Pinpoint the Irregular engraving or cutting area

If you want to cut or engrave irregular shapes, multiple-point positioning can help you easily identify the cutting area, all the operations are the same, the difference is how many points you identify.

Multi-point positioning

Overall, the pin-point pointing feature is really super easy and useful! This is one of the reasons why the xTool S1 is one of the best laser engravers for home use, its user-friendly nature really can’t be matched by other brands of laser engravers.

xTool S1

Dynamic-focus engraving testing: perfect on curved surfaces

The Dynamic Focus feature for curved surface engraving made me fall in love with the xTool S1 laser cutter! The Dynamic Focus feature really changed my perception of laser cutters, I never thought there was a product that understands the needs of the user so well.

Let’s take a look at the xTool S1’s curved surface engraving feature. Select the “Curve process” in the software and click “Curve-measure” to collect the dynamic focus data and create the 3D model of the surface.

Dynamic-focus

To collect the dynamic focus data, we need to determine a rectangular area, which is the engraved area, and tell the xTool S1 to collect dynamic focus data on this curved area.

Dynamic-focus

After positioning the two points, we click “Next” to set the measurement density, and then start recording the coordinate positions to calculate the dynamic focus data. Once all the coordinates have been recorded, the software automatically generates a 3D model of the curved surface, in which you can see all the angles.

Dynamic-focus records data
recording the coordinate positions
Curved surface 3D model

It’s so simple that the engraving area of the curve surface is exactly determined, and all you have to do is drag the pattern into the area and start engraving! As you can see, the pattern engraved on the curved surface is very perfect.

drag the pattern into the curved positioning area
drag the pattern into the curved positioning area
engraving  on the curved surface
engraving on the curved surface

Super easy to batch processing

When we want to batch engraving or cutting, the batch processing function is helpful! It is really easy to proceed, all you need to do is mark the processing area many times via pinpoint positioning.

The combination of pin-point positioning and batch processing simply fulfills the potential of the xTool S1. I think only the xTool S1 can do batch processing with such ease. In the past, it was very difficult for users to batch process with other laser engravers or cutters.

Batch engraving
Batch engraving

Image engraving testing: excellent details showing

Considering that if a user purchases an xTool S1 for use at home, picture engraving may be a great need. So I’d like to see how well the xTool S1 performs for image engraving. Therefore, I’m going to engrave a 13 cm * 8 cm sized picture on plywood at home. Actually, I have said more than once that xTool S1 is really super user-friendly and beginner-friendly as a home laser engraver.

When engraving this image, I directly chose the recommended engraving parameter settings in the XCS software: 3mm plywood. The software recommended that I set the parameters to 30% laser power, 110mm/s, and 70 lines/cm. I trust the software’s recommendations because so far it has not let me down in any way.

In fact, as you can see, the image is engraved perfectly, with all the detail that should be there!

Image engraving
Image engraving

Crafts making: have fun with xTool S1

Even if you don’t specialize in the laser engraving or cutting crafts business, you can enjoy the xTool S1 from the comfort of your home as I do! For example, engrave your favorite images on wood or other objects, make useful gadgets, and more importantly, cut fun blocks for the kids in the family to enhance the parent-child bond.

I think I missed the point that the xTool S1 is an enclosed laser cutter, which means that even if you use it at home, you will not be bothered by the smoke, because the smoke has been discharged into the outdoors through the exhaust pipe. After my actual use, I really did not suffer from any smoke problem, can always immerse myself in the creation.

xTool S1 home laser cutter

Conclusion

I highly recommend xTool S1 enclosed laser cutter. I am impressed with its super easy-to-use, pinpoint positioning features, convenience for batch processing, safety, and super powerful cutting! No matter if you are a newbie to the laser cutter, the xTool S1 will be perfect for you.

You should know that before the xTool S1 was launched, users were often troubled by smoke, laser safety, difficulties in batch engraving, and so on. I applaud the xTool S1 for trying to make these problems easier for users!