Which Glowforge Do I Need? An In-Depth Comparison (2021)

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Are you in the market for a Glowforge 3D printer? Congratulation! If you are wondering, “Which annealing forge should I buy?” You are in the right place! This post provides an in-depth comparison of the Basic, Plus, and Pro to help you decide which Glowforge model is right for you!

Incandescent forge model comparison

Glowforge model comparison

You saved the money.

You’ve cleared a spot in your craft room.

You started thinking about all of the amazing projects that you are going to do.

And now it’s finally time to order your glow forge. Believe me, I understand the excitement (and nerve) that comes with making this decision.

The decision to buy a glow forge is a big one – it takes money to buy, time to learn, and space to store.

Once you’ve made the first big decision to buy a glow forge, the next big decision is to decide which glow forge is right for you.

There is no one right answer for everyone, and it is important to make the decision that is right for your goals and budget.

In this post you will learn more about the different Glowforge models, who they are best for and what to consider before buying. Hopefully this will help you make the right decision!

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Questions to ask

glowforge coupon code

What’s my budget

This should be your first question – which Glowforge model can you afford? Although they provide funding, I recommend buying the Glowforge which is the easiest for you to afford and which can justify the expense.

If you really want to give it your all, take the time to save as much as possible for it.

What will I use my glow forge for?

Think about what you will use your Glowforge for. If it’s used occasionally and you don’t have a large project volume, Basic might be a good option for you. The plus has a few extra features that may lead you to get it. However, with a price tag of $ 1000, you have to wonder if they are worth it (or $ 750 more with our coupon code).

If you have a business or are planning to start a business that Glowforge is the star of, you might want to invest in the Pro. While you can run a Glowforge-based business on a Basic or Plus (and you could always upgrade later), getting a Pro would be a reasonable expense (although I honestly think it’s really down to the Pro for me or the basic arrives). However, many believe that the basic is definitely best for your back. So be sure to take a look at the features and decide what you want to do.

How much space do i have?

This shouldn’t really influence your decision, as all machines have the same dimensions! Regardless, you need to have a sufficiently large and stable space for the machine because it is BIG!

Will you be satisfied with the features of the machine you are looking at?

There’s nothing worse than buying a new crafting machine and realizing a few days, weeks, or months later that you really need the capabilities of a bigger machine. While I believe strongly in not over-spending what you need, I also believe in “buying it right, buying it once”.

If you are feeling on the fence and you think that at some point you will need the characteristics of a more luxurious glow forge, this is something you should consider. It might mean saving a little longer, but it’s important to think long-term.

On the other hand, look at all of the features available for the more expensive machines and ask yourself, “Do I really need these?” Many people find the differences between the Plus and the Pro negligible, and they choose the Plus and are very happy with it.

Glowforge coupon code

The Glowforge is an expensive buy – so we know every penny counts. We are pleased to be able to offer you all a special discount on the Plus or Pro models:

Get $ 250 off a Glowforge Plus or $ 500 of a Glowforge Pro

You must shop through our link to take advantage of these special prices.

Different models of annealing forge

basic plus professional
laser 40 watts 40 watts 45 watts
Laser class 1 1 4th
Speed* Standard speed 2x faster top speed 3x faster top speed
Passthrough * No No Yes
Cooling* 65-75 F. 65-75 F. 65-81 F.
warranty 6 months 1 year 1 year
price $ 2,995 $ 3,995 $ 5,995
shipping Shipping about 2 weeks slower Tends to ship faster Tends to ship faster

A couple of notes:

Speed ​​- This only applies to the engraving speed. The Pro cuts at 120% the speed at which the Basic and Plus cut. It’s nice to have something that cuts faster. If you are cutting and engraving LOTS of projects for clients, this may be a feature that will lead you to the top of the line Glowforge. If not, slower speeds might not be that much of a problem for you.

Passthrough – Materials need to be 1/4 “or thinner to use the pro-passthrough feature. There are people who showed a passthrough hack for Plus or Basic so you can have a look at this if you want.

Cooling – This refers to the operating temperature to run the machine. So if you live in a warmer area with no air conditioning, the Pro can operate at slightly higher temperatures. Some people say just to buy a portable air conditioner for a few hundred dollars and call it good.

What all three machines have in common

All three machines have a lot in common, including:


All three machines measure at 38 “x 20.75” x 8.25 “


The only difference in the working area is the Pro and its maximum material depth – due to the through slot, it is around 18 inches.

It’s the same for everything else. The maximum width is 20 “, the cutting area is 11” deep and 19.5 “wide, and the maximum height is 2”.


All three machines are powered by the Glowforge app, which is compatible with a wide variety of different file types.

Laser system

They all use a custom CO2 glass laser tube. The Pro works with 45 W, while the Basic and the Plus work with 40 W. As far as I know, it’s not a HUGE difference.


They all cut and engrave the same materials!

Now let’s talk about these machines in a little more detail.


glowforge basic

The basic Glowforge model comes with a 40 watt CO2 laser and is suitable for most craftsmen and developers – including consumers and those looking to start a business. The base model comes with a six month warranty and is classified as a Class 1 laser product.

The Glowforge Pro comes priced at $ 2,995 with monthly rate options. In all fairness this is a great machine that a lot of people are very happy with. It’s the most affordable. So if you’re not sure if it’s right for you, definitely decide whether the Plus or Pro’s additional features, as well as the extended warranty, are worth the upgrade.

Glow forge plus

Incandescent forge more

The Glowforge Plus model is equipped with a 45 watt CO2 laser. The maximum engraving speed is up to twice as high as with the Basic model and is perfect for craftsmen and developers who have many projects to work on.

It has improved parts for better performance and faster work. The Pro model has a 1 year warranty and is classified as a Class 1 laser product.

The Glowforge Pro comes priced at $ 3995 with monthly rate options.

In all fairness I would say this is the “meh” option. If you don’t need the Glowforge Pro’s pass-through slot, the main difference between the Basic and the Plus is that the engraving is engraved twice faster and the warranty is six months longer. Is that worth the extra $ 1,000 to you? The decision is yours!

Glow forge professional

glowforge pro

The Glowforge Pro model is equipped with a 45 watt CO2 laser and cuts 20% faster. The engraving speed is up to three times faster than the Basic model and is ideal for craftsmen, developers and business owners. It has improved parts for better performance and faster work.

The Pro model features improved cooling components so you can cut all day and has a through slot to cut materials indefinitely. This feature is very useful for projects like creating long wooden names, signs, or any other large format project.

I would say that the pass-through feature is by far the Pro’s most enticing feature. The faster cut and engrave speeds would also be very helpful if you have a large number of customer projects that you are working on.

The Pro model comes with a warranty and is classified as a Class 4 laser product. The class 4 laser designation only applies because the laser is not contained in the device housing.

The Glowforge Pro comes priced at $ 5,995 with monthly rate options.

Do i need a filter?

After choosing the glow forge you want to get, a lot of people ask, “should I get the filter?”

This is a very nuanced question, and after spending a lot of time on Facebook groups, many people find that in most situations they are not worth it. If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot vent through a window, the filter is likely to do the best. Otherwise, I think it’s one of those things to put on your “maybe” list to see if it makes sense for you to buy it later.

Overall, most people seem to get along well without them. In fact, I find that a lot of people have more complaints about it than they don’t. So unless you’re venting a window and can’t find any other alternative filtering solution, I’d say the air filter isn’t worth it.

So which one should I get?

Still unsure? I make it easy for you – if you want to cut and engrave frequently and on a large scale and / or carry out infinitely long projects with ease – then I think the Pro is for you.

The Plus has a few nice features over the Basic, but as I mentioned earlier, you need to decide if it’s worth the extra $ 1000 ($ 750 if you use our coupon code which makes it more attractive!) . For some they are, for others not so much.

The Basic is a great machine that many people have had success with. I’ve been on many Glowforge groups and when it comes down to it, there are many happy and successful Glowforge Basic owners.

Don’t forget to use our referral link no matter what you choose. Get $ 250 off a Glowforge Plus and $ 500 off a Glowforge Pro!

glowforge coupon code

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