The 20-year-old broke the 90-point barrier in five of his six dives to hold off China’s former Olympic and world champion He Chong.
Laugher had won four bronze and two silver medals in last year’s World Series but was yet to break through to the top of the podium.
And he had to bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on a medal in Thursday’s 3m synchro when he finished fourth with Chris Mears.
Laugher made no mistake on Friday, leading from the start with an opening jump of 91.80 and saving his best until last with a 97.20 to secure gold.
Chong finished 32.50 points behind Laugher in second place with Chong’s compatriot Cao Yuan taking bronze.