If you want to get fast cutting times, you need a machine that’s more expensive than SM by order of magnitude or two. These machines have a very low power laser. It can be pressed into service for cutting; it is not ideal for cutting.
“Wood” is insufficiently specified for laser cutting. Plywood and solid wood have different cutting properties, a topic that’s been discussed on this forum at length.
@eh9 plywood is different from plywood as well. The bonding agents used vary widely and it’s always a trial and error thing with plywood.
As for the cost of a more dependable, powerful, and faster laser, for those reading this I recommend not getting the same type of laser (diode) but the other types are more expensive and you should be prepared to swallow any sticker shock.
I’m not experienced in laser but have seen multiple mentions from various types of people that you should get a CO2 or Fiber laser, but I think Fiber lasers output at an angle and is not suitable for reflective surfaces (ie gold) without sending laser bouncing every which direction, but I’m not sure about this it’s just something I’ve seen people mention so take it with a grain of salt.
Diode lasers are ok at cutting thin wood. But the 1.6W one that comes with the SM2 is on the small side. There are claims that the 10+W multi diode lasers can cut up to 18mm thick wood and mark steel. Co2 lasers are a good choice for cutting thick wood faster but you loose engraving detail. They are much more expensive. And they are less energy efficient and more work to maintain (cleaning all those darn mirrors). Fiber lasers are a great choice only if you plan to cut exclusively non organic materials, fiber laser + wood = fire.