This post may contain links to affiliate websites, such as Amazon as well as others. Through those links, at no additional cost to you we may receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you using these links. We appreciate your support!

Sharing is caring!

The Glowforge Aura vs. the Glowforge Pro – how do you choose the best one for your needs?

When you’re spending this kind of money, of course, you want to make sure you are making the best possible decision! 

woman looking at the glowforge aura

You want a laser machine that will make it possible to work with the materials you want and create the projects you want without any tech gremlins ruining your creative flow! 

Luckily for you, I’ve used both machines. So I am making a detailed comparison of the all-new Glowforge Aura against the classic Glowforge Pro. 

I hope this will help you choose the best machine for your crafting needs! 

Comparison Chart – Glowforge Aura vs. Glowforge Pro

I’ve created this chart to give you a handy, side-by-side comparison.

But I will also review the features and specs in more detail below! 

Glowforge AuraGlowforge Pro
PriceCheck Price HereCheck Price Here
Product Dimensions22W x 20.5D x 5H38W x 20.75D x 8.25H
Work AreaMaximum Depth: 12″
Maximum Width: 12″
Maximum Height: 2″
Maximum Depth: 18”
Maximum Width: 20”
Maximum Height: 2”
CutsYes – Up To ¼”Yes
EngravesYes – Up ToYes
Air AssistYesYes
Material Cutting CapabilityOpaque Colored Acrylic, Iron-On, Paper, Leather, Peel and Stick, WoodWood, Paper, Delrin, Cork, Fabric, Cardboard, Mylar, Sandpaper, Leather, Plexiglass, Rubber, Foods, and more.
Material Engraving CapabilityOpaque Colored Acrylic, Iron-On, Paper, Leather, Peel and Stick, WoodGlass, Marble, Stone, Rubber Stamps, Ceramic Tile, Titanium, Corian, Anodized Aluminum, and more.
SoftwareBrowser-Based Application (supports PNG, JPEG, SVG, PDF, and more.)Browser-Based Application (supports PNG, JPEG, SVG, PDF, and more.)
CameraAura Vision 8 MP CameraWide Angle Camera and Macro Camera
Auto FocusYesYes
Manual FocusYesYes
Air Filter UpgradeYesYes
lady in an orange dress loading wood through the  pass through of the glowforge pro

What Are The Key Differences Between The Glowforge Auro and Pro?

With each machine at two completely different price points, it’s safe to assume there are some key differences. 

But what are they actually, and how will they impact your experience? 

Here are some of the critical differences that will have the most significant impact on your decision. 

Difference #1 – The Size & Weight

There’s no doubt about it; the Glowforge Pro is significantly bigger and heavier than the Glowforge Aura. 

However, this does also mean you can use bigger materials. 

While using larger materials might be a positive for some crafters, the additional size and weight may be a disadvantage for other crafters. 

Consider how and where you plan to use this machine when weighing the importance of this difference for yourself. 

For example, if you need to work with larger materials, you’ll need to go for the Pro machine. 

On the other hand, if portability or a smaller form factor is more important, you’ll need to go for the Aura machine. 

Difference #2 – The Laser

Both machines come with a powerful CO2 laser. 

And while both machines’ lasers are powerful, the laser found in the Glowforge Pro is more powerful. 

Basically, that’s part of what makes it possible to work with more materials with the Glowforge Pro. 

With that said, the laser that comes in the Glowforge Aura is still mighty and works very well with the approved materials list! 

Difference #3 – Approved Materials

For most crafters, myself included, this will be one of the most important differences! 

After all, I want to be able to use specific materials. 

So, what is the difference in materials that can be used with each machine? Here is a breakdown. 

With the Glowforge Aura, you can use: 

  • Opaque Colored Acrylic (laser safe or laser ready) 
  • Iron-On, Paper (laser safe or laser ready) 
  • Leather (laser safe or laser ready) 
  • Peel and Stick (laser safe or laser ready) 
  • Wood products like hardwoods, plywood, and cork
  • Natural fabrics including cotton, denim, silk, and wool
  • Polyester and nylon
  • Natural leather
  • Vegan leather made from apple, mushroom, polyurethane, and pineapple
  • Paper products like copy paper, cardstock, and cardboard
  • Anodized aluminum, titanium, and some stainless steel
  • Acrylic, silicone, and delrin
  • Stone products like slate, ceramic, brick, tile, and marble
  • Natural products including shell, bone, bamboo, and leaves
  • Natural rubber
  • Foam made from polyester, polyethylene, and polyurethane
  • Food products like chocolate, tortillas, cookies, and steak

Comparatively, with the Glowforge Pro, you can use: 

  • Everything the Aura can do plus:
  • Clear Acrylic
  • Glass
  • White Acrylic
  • and engrave materials up to 2 inches thick.

As you can see, the materials list for the Glowforge Pro is much more comprehensive, which is essential for some crafters and business owners. 

The key is to consider what materials you want to use and factor that into your decision. 

And remember, the cost difference between these two machines is a significant factor. You need to decide if the extra cost is worth the additional capability to work with those different materials. 

Difference #4 – Cost

Lastly is the cost. And speaking of cost, this is a hard difference to ignore.

At the time of writing this blog post, the Glowforge Aura is retailing for $1200. (Check the current price here!)

Whereas, when writing this blog post, the Glowforge Pro retails for $7000. (Check the current price here!)

That’s a massive difference! 

Make sure you consider your budget when looking into these different machines. 

glowforge aura sitting on a back table

Is The Glowforge Pro Worth The Extra Money?

The answer to this – it depends!

I know I know… that run-of-the-mill answer is annoying. But I say it because it’s true. 

So here’s the deal: who does the Glowforge Pro make sense for?

  • Small business owners who will be using their machines all the time. 
  • Advanced hobbyists who want a machine with all the bells and whistles. 

Honestly, you likely already know deep down if the Glowforge Pro is worth it for you! Be honest with yourself when asking yourself this question. 

Is The Glowforge Aura Too Basic?

Absolutely not!

Even though this laser machine is more affordable than its counterparts, it still packs a great punch! 

That is partly due to the great features that Glowforge still managed to build into this machine, like the built-in camera for precision work, optional air filter add-on, and built-in AI to make your work easier. 

Overall, the Glowforge Aura packs an impressive punch, making it an excellent machine for beginner, intermediate, and advanced users. 

If you want to read my full review and first impressions after using this laser machine, go here! 

stock image of the glowforge pro with teal circle in the background

Which Machine Is Better – Glowforge Aura vs Pro?

If we are talking purely about the capabilities between the machines, the Glowforge Pro will be the better machine. 

However, if we are talking purely about the price difference between the machines, then the Glowforge Aura will be the better machine. 

If you still need to decide which will be best for you, refer to my comparison chart (from the beginning of this blog post) by clicking here! 

Final Thoughts – Glowforge Pro vs. Glowforge Aura

These laser machines are unquestionably powerful for crafters and small business owners, but they. are also a lot of fun. 

They make it possible to work with materials we can’t use with a Cricut or Silhouette machine and make it possible to engrave and score!

Your creative heart and mind will love this! 

I hope this blog post and the helpful comparison chart made choosing between the Glowforge Pro and Glowforge Aura easier!

And I’d love to hear which machine you chose! Let me know in the comments below, and we can all see what laser machines each other are using! 

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *