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Old 10-17-2011, 02:34 AM #1
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Default First time laser owner

A little bit about me. I'm in my mid twenties, work in IT, and live in New Zealand. I've never owned a laser, well, besides a $1 keychain one I tease my cat with.

I've spent the last couple of hours browsing over these forums and looking at online stores. I've registered because I've come to the realisation that there's a whole lot more to lasers then I first thought and I'm quite out of my depth.



What I'm hoping for is some advice for my first laser purchase. In typical noob fashion, basically I want to burn stuff. Now before you roll your eyes let me prove that I've alteast done a little bit of reading

No I don't own any safety glasses yet. Yes I do know I'll need them, this is true no matter what the wavelength. I don't own any because I haven't decided what type of laser I wish to purchase.

What I'm after is something with a visible beam. The perceived intensity of it isn't important I just want to be able to see it so I can aim/focus it. I think all wavelengths have equal burning capabilities but correct me if I'm wrong.

I think something in the 200-300mW range should provide me with a satisfactory burning power but I open to suggestions.

There seems to be a huge number of online shops. A bit of searching has revealed that tmart DX should be avoided. My local version of ebay (trademe.co.nz) has 200mW pointers going for under 5USD inc shipping which I find hard to believe.

So far I like the look of o-like. However their lasers seem to be a lot cheaper then the likes of aixiz and laserglow to name a few. How reliable are they? I've also heard bad things about o-like's safety goggles and would appreciate some more info.

Any recommendations on places to buy from, places to avoid, wavelengths, and power ratings would be greatly appreciated Keep in mind that I live in New Zealand so something like this:
$45USD 200mW red from o-like
With shipping, and currency conversion, comes to almost $100 in my local currency. Then I'd still need to get goggles on top of that.



As per Dave's sig I've made a $2 donation because regardless of any replies I may or may not get to this post, I've already found these forums very useful


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Old 10-17-2011, 02:36 AM #2
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Default Re: First time laser owner

A Guide To Buying Your First Green Laser

Also check out lazerer.com
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Last edited by blakegriffin; 10-17-2011 at 02:38 AM.
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:00 AM #3
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Default Re: First time laser owner

Thanks for the link blakegriffin. The list of shops down the bottom is particularly useful and much better then another post I'd seen Reputation of Various Laser Companies

It seems like I should avoid o-like for anything in the 200-300mW range that I'm considering.

After watching the video in that FAQ with a 150mW cutting thin plastic its helped reassure me that the stength of laser im aiming for should be suitable

lazerer.com's prices seem to be better then the rest of the sites on the "good list". I'm curious as to why their blue pointers are so much cheaper then the green pointers in a $/mW ratio.

Last edited by benjr; 10-17-2011 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:30 AM #4
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Default Re: First time laser owner

Welcome to the forums. Lots to learn about here for sure! Have fun and be safe.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:28 AM #5
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Default Re: First time laser owner

What are the laser laws like in NZ? Because Australia has the strictest in the world, so don't be tempted to use any high powered laser in public when visiting Australia.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:39 AM #6
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Default Re: First time laser owner

That's one first things I checked. I was surprised to see our laws were so different from yours. We have no restrictions on sale, distribution, possession, import etc

That said, I think I'll ease off a bit from my original post and go for something like a 50mW green (with some goggles of course). From what I've read green is highly visible.
LZMN - 532nm 50mW Focusable Green Laser Pointer

I'll leave that burning laser till later, baby steps.


blakegriffin, Thank you for recommending lazerer to me, I would like to use the affiliate link so you gain 5% commission. If you provide your link I will gladly use it

Last edited by benjr; 10-17-2011 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:32 PM #7
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Default Re: First time laser owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by magmabeam View Post
What are the laser laws like in NZ? Because Australia has the strictest in the world, so don't be tempted to use any high powered laser in public when visiting Australia.
This is true for the importation of handheld laser pointers into the country and is true in SOME states. However there are some states in Australia where the possession of lasers is not controlled in any way. Of course they must be used with care and consideration of others (if you shine it at someone or a vehicle you could get charged with assault or far more serious crimes).
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Last edited by Eye; 10-17-2011 at 01:33 PM.
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