How To Choose the Best Wood for Your Laser Engraving Project

Do you plan on using wood as your primary substance for laser engraving? Determining which wood species to use can be tricky if you’re not familiar with how various types of wood react to engraving. Let’s explore how to choose the best wood for your laser engraving project.

Look at the Resin Content

Wood will burn darker or lighter depending on the sap or resin content. Elevated resin content woods, such as alder or cherry wood, will burn darker. Lesser resin content will leave a marginal burn.

An easy way to check the resin content on a piece of wood is to engrave your logo onto an area that won’t affect the project. Now you know the resin level, and you’ve branded your project.

Choose Minimally Streaked Wood

Streaks look fantastic on certain pieces, like furniture. However, too many lines can take away from the engraving detail you worked hard on. Look for wood pieces with consistent and smooth grains with minimal streaking, whether you’re working on a laser cutting, marking, or engraving project.

Pick the Best Wood Species

There are plenty of wood species to pick from that work well with engraving projects. Some are more appropriate than others to choose. Work with one of these species if you’re just getting started.


Maple has light streaking, mostly burns dark, and is a light color. It’s an excellent choice for engraving images onto wood.


Blonde cherry wood is typically light colored and has a high resin content. It’s great for laser etching projects due to its high levels of streaking.


Alder wood is a type that passes all the tests. It has a flexible texture, is light in color, and has slight streaking. It’s a top choice for many when picking a wood to use for engraving projects.

Choose Lighter Wood Species

You can’t change the base color of a laser engraved wooden project. At the end of the project, the wood color always follows the base color, making it vital to consider the wood’s natural color.

Refrain from working with darker wood. It makes engravings challenging to see because the darker wood muddles the engraved markings.

When engraved, a lighter wood creates a deeper, darker burn, providing well-defined marks for optimal visibility.

Understanding how to choose the best wood for your laser engraving project will help make the decision process more straightforward. No more hemming and hawing!

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