Similar to FDM 3D printing, laser engraving technology is undergoing a renaissance as these once bulky and expensive machines are being designed for desktop use. Due in part to the influx of Chinese manufactured hardware, makers can now add a laser engraver to their toolbox without requiring a significant financial investment.
One of the most affordable desktop laser engravers on the market is the NEJE DK-8-KZ, a Chinese-made laser engraver that has become a popular budget pick on e-commerce sites like Amazon and Gearbest. Depending on where you look, this compact piece of hardware is available for $75 – $120, making it an appealing option for frugally-minded makers and novices that want a cheap introduction to laser engraving technology.
Sorting through the endless sea of desktop-sized laser engravers is a difficult task. Before investing in your own, it’s usually a good idea to check out the attributes that each laser engraver has to offer, along with what other users have to say about their own experience.
To help figure out whether or not the NEJE DK-8-KZ is worth its low price point, let’s review the features, specs, and community reception of this petite, box-shaped laser engraver.
Priced at around $100, we didn’t have extremely high expectations for the NEJE DK-8-KZ. Nonetheless, it does boast some pretty impressive features when you consider the extremely low cost.
According to the manufacturer, this laser engraver is equipped with 1000mW blue and purple laser head. It’s not the most powerful laser out there, but it is capable of engraving materials like hardwood, plastic, bamboo, rubber, leather, paper, and more. However, you won’t be able to use metal materials with the NEJE DK-8-KZ, but this is a common limitation for most desktop laser engravers.
The NEJE DK-8-KZ can almost fit in the palm of your hand, measuring out to just 19.8 x 14.5 x 16cm. It has a tiny 38 x 38mm engraving area, which means that users will be limited to smaller materials. It has a surprisingly sturdy box-shaped frame that is comprised of acrylic, aluminum, and stainless steel. Despite its compact size, this laser engraver has 108 screws, further supporting high precision engraving and overall frame stability.
Other features include weak light automatic positioning and frame positioning that makes the image alignment process much more convenient. In order to make this engraver better-suited for long-time use, NEJE has integrated its own cooling system and radiator into the hardware.
Of course, another critical aspect of laser engraving is the safety of the user. These high-powered lasers could do serious damage if the proper precautions and features aren’t included with the hardware. The NEJE DK-8-KZ offers an emergency stop button and a detachable protective enclosure to protect from eye damage. It also has a multi-functional motherboard that is located inside the engraver’s frame.
The NEJE DK-8-KZ can be operated offline by using the USB ports to upload designs. Software languages include English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and simplified Chinese. From what we can infer, the engraver’s software is only compatible with Windows operating system, so Mac and Linux users should keep that in mind.
Interested in seeing if the NEJE DK-8-KZ lived up to the manufacturer’s impressive description, we looked at a variety of user reviews to confirm the features of this laser engraver. We found that a number of users were satisfied with the accuracy and quality that this machine offers, as well as its ability to stay cool during longer projects. The NEJE DK-8-KZ also appears to be quiet during operation, which is another plus.
There was also some negative feedback circling the NEJE DK-8-KZ, particularly when it comes to engraving speed and the frame design. Although the manufacturer markets its laser engraver as a fast machine, some users claim that it takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to achieve a quality image. Others have expressed dismay about the unbalanced frame, which tends to wobble even when placed on a flat surface.
Another issue that we commonly saw from users was that the software isn’t very intuitive. Some people also had trouble setting up the laser engraver, as the documentation was lackluster. So, if you decide to opt for the NEJE DK-8-KZ, be prepared to do some tinkering to optimize your results.
All in all, the NEJE DK-8-KZ is an affordable, yet highly limited machine for those who want to experiment with laser engraving without breaking the bank. There are certainly better options on the market, but most of these will be priced above $1,000. It’s extremely small and lacks certain features, but these missing features seem trivial when you consider the unrivaled price point.
The NEJE DK-8-KZ is a compact little laser engraver, but it packs quite the punch considering the size and price point. Here are the technical specifications:
You can purchase the NEJE DK-8-KZ from some of the most popular online retailers across the internet, including Amazon, Gearbest, and Banggood.
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