Laser Marking on Wood

As wood is in constant demand across many industries, it will continue to play a major role in our everyday lives. From homes, to toys and furniture, flooring, paper, and more, manufacturers and businesses worldwide require quick and reliable methods to mark their wooden products.

What is Paper Marking?

Laser marking paper, or paper marking, is the process of using a marker to create images, logos, barcodes, or characters on paper-based surfaces.

When talking about laser marking paper surfaces, that could mean wood, cardboard, or paper. Stamping is an option for marking on paper, but laser marking machines ensure long-lasting and clear marks that stamping cannot replicate.

What Type of Laser Marks Paper?

CO2 lasers are the best type of laser for laser marking paper, wood, and cardboard. These lasers have long wavelengths of 10600 nm and generate a laser beam from CO2 gas.

Because cardboard and wood are highly flammable but also stiff and harder to cut, a CO2 laser is perfect because paper products absorb the beam well. When engraving, the CO2 laser follows computer numerical control (CNC) and traces a design onto the surface. The beam heats the target following the desired pattern to either create depth within the material or contrast colour on the surface.

Decorative Wood Marking

Using a laser engraver for personalised wooden decorations is a high-quality option. CO2 laser markers can create any design, from logos to images. What’s more, the laser markers ensure clean, fast, and permanent engraving. Laser marking is perfect for a wooden memento as it can last a lifetime.


Carton is a broad term for a lightweight box or container typically made of cardboard. A popular way to mark cartons is using ink stamps. However, ink stamps can be susceptible to environmental disintegration, which is especially harmful to expiration dates or other product information. Laser marking cardboard ensures high-quality marking with no faint or missing characters. Additionally, laser marks are permanent and not vulnerable to environmental damage.

Types of Laser Engraving on Cardboard and Wood

White Marking

White marking is achieved by using high-powered heat from a CO2 laser to burn designs, logos, barcodes, or characters onto pre-printed surfaces. The pre-printed surface has a coating that is not white. In other words, for the best visibility, white marking on a dark surface is an optimal choice.

Dark Marking

Dark marking is achieved by using high-powered heat from a CO2 laser to burn designs, logos, barcodes, or characters onto an unprinted paper surface. Unlike white marking, the unprinted surface is white, so the dark marking contrasts with the base colour.

Dark marking is a more efficient alternative to stamping. With stamping, every time a design is changed, a new stamp must be made. With a laser marker, the marker simply uses a different program.

Laser Marking Wood vs. Alternative Marking

Using a laser marking machine for wood instead of hand stamps, thermal printers, labelers, or stamp machines is a faster, cheaper, greener, and often more aesthetically pleasing choice.

Laser marking wood is a one-and-done method that takes as little as a few seconds. It doesn’t require extra consumables or tools. The marks are also clean and without burrs or distortion.

Alternatively, marking with printers, stamps, or labelers requires using consumables like ribbons, ink, and solvent. Using consumables contributes to manufacturing waste and overall production costs. Also, ink, ribbon, and solvent require frequent replacements.

Although the view marking aesthetics is a personal choice, it's worthwhile to note that using labeling and printing may not provide the clean and finished look that is desired for high-end decorative pieces.

KEYENCE’s Advantages of Laser Engraving on Cardboard and Wood

Full-Field Beam Control

Full-field beam control provides consistency and precision across the entire surface. This, in turn, ensures the highest quality results. It also allows for intricate and detailed engravings, which is ideal for complex wood and cardboard designs. These marks help enhance the aesthetics and legibility of the final product.

Ease of Use/Programming

Our laser wood engraving systems are also advantageous for cardboard as they offer a user-friendly interface and programming capabilities. As a result, the setup and operation of the laser are simplified, allowing both novice and experienced users to get their desired results quickly. This helps you save time, save money, and reduce the learning curve.

3-Axis Control

The CO2 Laser Marker ML-Z Series has 3-Axis control, meaning it has capabilities for distortion-free 3D marking. The 3-Axis control automatically adjusts the focal point of the laser depending on the target's size and shape, allowing for laser marking cardboard that is stepped, inclined, cylindrical, or conical.

Interested in a Laser Marking Machine for Wood?

If you’re tyred of running up production time and costs from stamping or printing, switch to laser marking. Laser marking wood is a one-step process that will relieve you from tools, consumables, and processing bottlenecks.

You don’t need to just take our word for it. Contact us today for a free demo to see how your wood marking will transform with a CO2 laser.

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