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Old 09-23-2016, 07:15 PM #1
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Default Best $100 laser

Iím new here, and looking for some help on what laser to buy and where. Below are some of my criteria.
1) Around $100, willing to spend more or less, depending on how big the quality jump is for the price.
2) Must be handheld, and I donít want to build from scratch myself.
3) Not sure what color to get. Iím looking for whatever is going to impress me the most at that price (whether thatís burning or visible distance.)
a. I donít really care if itís a ďcool looking colorĒ
b. If possible I would like it to be able to burn some, and have decent visibility. As far as which is more important, Iíd just say whatever could be more impressive at that price without completely sacrificing the other.
4) I am in the United States.
5) Looking for an easy purchase (i.e. reputable website, hopefully doesnít take too long, hopefully accepts Paypal.)
6) Also to take into consideration is eye safety. I am not sure when itís necessary (Iíll do more research.) Obviously at a certain power itís not really needed, because people use them in presentations all the time without everyone in the room having goggles on. If there are certain colors that are less of a concern that would be good to consider. This point is not a huge concern for me, Iíll do what I need to in order to protect my eyes, itís just that if I must wear protection every single time I use it regardless of how Iím using it, that would be a negative to me, plus Iíd have to consider the cost of the eye protection in the budget.
7) If it takes unprotected 18650 batteries that would be a plus. This isnít that important, but I happen to have a lot of these batteries, and chargers for them, so it would be nice.

Background of my laser experience:
1) I bought several of those $10-$30 green lasers you can find all over amazon or your local electronics store. They all seem to be almost the exact same design, possibly the same manufacturer. I have been impressed with their visibility when they work well. I would be okay with one that is at least that bright, butÖ. The quality of these are horrible. They break, and the power output fluctuates when they do work. They only stay at the brightest level for a second or two, then they are less impressive.
2) I had been fascinated for a long time with Wicked Lasers website, and thought how cool it would be to be buy one of their top end lasers, but could never see shelling out that kind of money. Then I saw they offered a $100 green laser, so I bought it. Thinking this would be brighter than the cheapo ones I previously purchased. It was basically the exact same brightness, it had the same problem with not staying bright for more than a couple seconds. Paying 5x the price for this laser that had the same brightness, I actually might have been okay with if:
a. It maintained a good brightness (it didnít)
b. The body was way better quality (it wasnít, it looked to have better quality, but the threading stripped within a few days, and the two body parts had to be taped together.)
c. If it didnít break (it did, it completely quit working after about two weeks, and for no apparent reason, I didnít over-use it. The cheap ones last me longer than that pile.)
3) I basically gave up on lasers after that. I just figured I would never find something of decent quality at an affordable price. Then a friend showed me one he found, now I want one. It was a Chinese Blue Laser Model YX-B008 he got for about $80, It takes two 16340 batteries, and is really good quality (at least compared to the junk I have had.) It can burn things, (which none of mine ever could), and is probably brighter than the ones I had (didnít really get to play with it enough to tell for sure.) Iíd pay $150 for it in a heartbeat if he would just hand it over, but unfortunately he bought it while deployed, so I canít buy it the same way he did. So I found this forum and realized there should certainly be something out there for me, and you guys seem to be in the know, so any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
P.S. I did search the forum, and found some great advice. I have a few ideas based on what I have read, but I thought I would share my Wicked Laser Story, as I can tell most of you are not too fond of them, and I was hoping to get some advice a little more specialized to what I am looking for.


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Old 09-23-2016, 07:26 PM #2
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

Hey Good4you! Welcome to the forum.
"Good4you" for elaborating on what you want! We have a lot of people here who don't give any details.

I think you'll probably be wanting a 445nm laser. This color can be had at relatively high power at rather cheap prices.

For you, I'd recommend the LaserBTB PL-445. Choose "Blue 445nm 1000mW." It has excellent visibility and great burning power. Unfortunately it takes 2x16340, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

The LaserBTB hosts are great and from what I've heard are really, really solid. They also have a lot of safety features, which is good for someone who is buying his or her first high-powered laser.


Happy lasing!
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405nm "5mW" eBay pen, 50mW 'bottle' pointer, 450mW lmlaser
445nm 7W NUBM44 Revan lightsaber build
450nm 2W SF501B, 10mW pointer, 50mW lmlaser
453nm 100mW LaserBTB HL
455nm "1.6W" Arcane
457.9nm JDSU 2214-40MLA
470nm NUBM07E S4X build
473nm 100mW PL-E Pro
476.5nm JDSU 2214-40MLA
488nm JDSU 2214-40MLA
496.5nm JDSU 2214-40MLA
501.7nm JDSU 2214-40MLA
513nm 50mW in Thor host
514.5nm JDSU 2214-40MLA
515nm 200mW SF501B
520nm 1.4W S4X build
527nm primary DPSS (301)
532nm 500mW XPL-H, 2x gearbest, 9-line 301, 35mW lmlaser
537nm secondary DPSS (4x)
542nm secondary DPSS (2x)
543.5nm Gammex alignment HeNe
547nm secondary DPSS
561nm 50mW PGL-III-C
583.8nm Spartan mid-cold line
586.2nm Spartan cold line
589nm 120mW PGL-III-C, unique DL Spartan (7+ lines) 162mW!
591nm Spartan cold line
593.5nm LaserGlow Rigel-6; Spartan cold line
632.8nm 10mW JDSU HeNe, 10mW Lasos HeNe
636nm 90mW DL Spartan
638nm 600mW XPL-310
650nm 5mW pointer
660nm "100mW" (3x), 650nm "5mW" eBay pen
690nm 15mW laserlands module

Others:
LaserBee AX 3 Watt LPM
Thunder Optics Spectrometer

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Old 09-23-2016, 08:12 PM #3
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sta View Post
Hey Good4you! Welcome to the forum.
"Good4you" for elaborating on what you want! We have a lot of people here who don't give any details.

I think you'll probably be wanting a 445nm laser. This color can be had at relatively high power at rather cheap prices.

For you, I'd recommend the LaserBTB PL-445. Choose "Blue 445nm 1000mW." It has excellent visibility and great burning power. Unfortunately it takes 2x16340, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

The LaserBTB hosts are great and from what I've heard are really, really solid. They also have a lot of safety features, which is good for someone who is buying his or her first high-powered laser.


Happy lasing!
Good suggestion Sta!

OP, You'll also want safety glasses with that. However, with the safety glasses on you won't be able to see the beam. Anything that's powerful enough to burn requires safety glasses, and most colours that are powerful enough to have a visible beam (without lots of fog at least) also require safety glasses - although if you practice caution and use common sense you can operate safely in many scenarios without them.

These would be a good option: Eagle Pairģ 190-540nm Standard Laser Safety Goggles
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488nm - Spectra Physics 163 Argon 30mW
445nm - Sanwu Laser Pocket Series - 500mW (Ordered)

532nm - Gearbest 303 Pointer 90mW
~650nm - Sanwu Laser Pocket Series - 250mW
808nm - Melles Griot 532nm Lab Unit - No Crystals >10W

Last edited by diachi; 09-23-2016 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:18 PM #4
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sta View Post
Hey Good4you! Welcome to the forum.
"Good4you" for elaborating on what you want! We have a lot of people here who don't give any details.

I think you'll probably be wanting a 445nm laser. This color can be had at relatively high power at rather cheap prices.

For you, I'd recommend the LaserBTB PL-445. Choose "Blue 445nm 1000mW." It has excellent visibility and great burning power. Unfortunately it takes 2x16340, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

The LaserBTB hosts are great and from what I've heard are really, really solid. They also have a lot of safety features, which is good for someone who is buying his or her first high-powered laser.


Happy lasing!
I agree with Sta certainly a good choice. You can do the LaserBTB or get a JetLaser.org for a bit more with a flashy host both are top notch companies.

On the eyewear you will need a decent pair for 1000mw blue laser if your gonna be burning up close and using it in the house I recommend safety goggles from SurvivalLaserUSA.com called eagle pair that diachi just listed above (I seen this after posting)

If you can't justify these goggles just go for some of the cheaper pair recommended on this forum.. they have been tested not to let the light through.

I actually got some from the buy sell trade section last week from nk gamer and they are top notch for 40$ shipped.

Don't take eye protection lightly you only get one pair I'm not trying to be "that guy" because I sometimes use my 1w+ blues outdoors with no goggles.. but I focus the dot on trees very far away and I avoid pointing into sky because I'm nervous about shining a plane!

Good luck have fun be safe.
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:18 PM #5
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

I'm gonna say you should go with what Sta recommended.
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700mw 405nm Sanwu Challenger(782mw peak 730ish mw average)
Sanwu Spiker Series 3W 445nm
2W O-like 450nm(2.2W average/2.25W peak) and Ebay 450nm THOR M II laser(1600mw average/1700 mw peak)
1.4W Jetlasers PL-E Pro 462nm(average 1490mw)
5.05W 465nm build by AlienLaser and 3.5W 465nm Jetlasers PL-E pro.
50mw 515nm challenger(85mw average) and 5-30mw penlaser
1W 520nm Sanwu Spiker series with beam expander
800mw 532nm Jetlasers PL-E Pro (850mw average, 988 mw peak) and 450mw laserglow Hercules with X10DR beam expander
8mw
561nm project box build(8-9mw average 10 mw peak)
589nm Dragon Lasers Spartan 50(51mw average/70mw peak)
593.5nm 2-5mw CNI penlaser(2-3mw average)
638nm Sanwu Spiker series(860mw average) and 500mw O-like 638nm pointer
639nm Sanwu Silver Series Tribeam(1700mw average/1800mwpeak)
1W 650nm Jetlasers PL-E Pro(1038mw average 1087mw peak)
671nm 100mw Red DPSS labby from LillyElectronics
685nm box pointer with laserlands 15mw module.

Meters:
Laserbee 3.7W usb LPM


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Old 09-23-2016, 08:38 PM #6
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

If you're willing to wait for shipping, I have bought 2 of these:

High Power Laser Pointer Pen Golden Military Burn Visible Bright 450nm Beam OT8G | eBay

It has good run times, can burn, comes with a nice case and okay charger. I don't really use the star caps and the glasses are worthless but the host is about 8-9'' long and is a nice color.

Overall for a burning laser it is a good price I think. The beam is also very visible at night. I'm thinking it uses something like an A140
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470nm NUB07E 4.5W Aluminum Gadget Host

639nm MITSU G84 1.8W Aluminum ElectricPlasma Host + Copper Jewel Focus Adapter By FlaminPyro

589nm DragonLasers Spartan 97.9mW (With 583.8nm 586.2nm and 591nm cold lines)

445nm M140 2W DTR 510 Module in Double Gold and Chrome Maraxus Mech Mod Host

Incoming 532nm JetLasers 600mW Module in Brass/Aluminum Host

Multiple $5 Ebay Laser pens

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Old 09-23-2016, 08:42 PM #7
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lildutchboy7 View Post
If you're willing to wait for shipping, I have bought 2 of these:

High Power Laser Pointer Pen Golden Military Burn Visible Bright 450nm Beam OT8G | eBay

It has good run times, can burn, comes with a nice case and okay charger. I don't really use the star caps and the glasses are worthless but the host is about 8-9'' long and is a nice color.

Overall for a burning laser it is a good price I think. The beam is also very visible at night. I'm thinking it uses something like an A140
It is okay, but I would not recommend it to someone who is just starting out with lasers. It can be dangerous to have zero safety features, as that one does.
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405nm "5mW" eBay pen, 50mW 'bottle' pointer, 450mW lmlaser
445nm 7W NUBM44 Revan lightsaber build
450nm 2W SF501B, 10mW pointer, 50mW lmlaser
453nm 100mW LaserBTB HL
455nm "1.6W" Arcane
457.9nm JDSU 2214-40MLA
470nm NUBM07E S4X build
473nm 100mW PL-E Pro
476.5nm JDSU 2214-40MLA
488nm JDSU 2214-40MLA
496.5nm JDSU 2214-40MLA
501.7nm JDSU 2214-40MLA
513nm 50mW in Thor host
514.5nm JDSU 2214-40MLA
515nm 200mW SF501B
520nm 1.4W S4X build
527nm primary DPSS (301)
532nm 500mW XPL-H, 2x gearbest, 9-line 301, 35mW lmlaser
537nm secondary DPSS (4x)
542nm secondary DPSS (2x)
543.5nm Gammex alignment HeNe
547nm secondary DPSS
561nm 50mW PGL-III-C
583.8nm Spartan mid-cold line
586.2nm Spartan cold line
589nm 120mW PGL-III-C, unique DL Spartan (7+ lines) 162mW!
591nm Spartan cold line
593.5nm LaserGlow Rigel-6; Spartan cold line
632.8nm 10mW JDSU HeNe, 10mW Lasos HeNe
636nm 90mW DL Spartan
638nm 600mW XPL-310
650nm 5mW pointer
660nm "100mW" (3x), 650nm "5mW" eBay pen
690nm 15mW laserlands module

Others:
LaserBee AX 3 Watt LPM
Thunder Optics Spectrometer


Last edited by Sta; 09-23-2016 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:14 PM #8
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sta View Post
It is okay, but I would not recommend it to someone who is just starting out with lasers. It can be dangerous to have zero safety features, as that one does.
Yeah, it's very easy to accidentally turn something like that on. The worst thing is how those can actually start fires if accidentally turned on in a bag or something. For a starting high powered laser you should at least have a key switch or something.
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700mw 405nm Sanwu Challenger(782mw peak 730ish mw average)
Sanwu Spiker Series 3W 445nm
2W O-like 450nm(2.2W average/2.25W peak) and Ebay 450nm THOR M II laser(1600mw average/1700 mw peak)
1.4W Jetlasers PL-E Pro 462nm(average 1490mw)
5.05W 465nm build by AlienLaser and 3.5W 465nm Jetlasers PL-E pro.
50mw 515nm challenger(85mw average) and 5-30mw penlaser
1W 520nm Sanwu Spiker series with beam expander
800mw 532nm Jetlasers PL-E Pro (850mw average, 988 mw peak) and 450mw laserglow Hercules with X10DR beam expander
8mw
561nm project box build(8-9mw average 10 mw peak)
589nm Dragon Lasers Spartan 50(51mw average/70mw peak)
593.5nm 2-5mw CNI penlaser(2-3mw average)
638nm Sanwu Spiker series(860mw average) and 500mw O-like 638nm pointer
639nm Sanwu Silver Series Tribeam(1700mw average/1800mwpeak)
1W 650nm Jetlasers PL-E Pro(1038mw average 1087mw peak)
671nm 100mw Red DPSS labby from LillyElectronics
685nm box pointer with laserlands 15mw module.

Meters:
Laserbee 3.7W usb LPM


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Old 09-23-2016, 09:18 PM #9
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sta View Post
It is okay, but I would not recommend it to someone who is just starting out with lasers. It can be dangerous to have zero safety features, as that one does.
Yeah I forgot he was a newbie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razako View Post
Yeah, it's very easy to accidentally turn something like that on. The worst thing is how those can actually start fires if accidentally turned on in a bag or something. For a starting high powered laser you should at least have a key switch or something.
I didn't even know there was such a thing as a key switch when I started. Wish I had known so I wouldn't have burnt my dress socks
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-====ē=[]────────────────────────────────────────────────── ─────────────────✺

520nm NUGM01T 1.2W Aluminum ElectricPlasma Host

470nm NUB07E 4.5W Aluminum Gadget Host

639nm MITSU G84 1.8W Aluminum ElectricPlasma Host + Copper Jewel Focus Adapter By FlaminPyro

589nm DragonLasers Spartan 97.9mW (With 583.8nm 586.2nm and 591nm cold lines)

445nm M140 2W DTR 510 Module in Double Gold and Chrome Maraxus Mech Mod Host

Incoming 532nm JetLasers 600mW Module in Brass/Aluminum Host

Multiple $5 Ebay Laser pens

Name's Zach.
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:34 PM #10
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

I would steer you towards sanwu.org. Podo of sanwu.org is a member here and can assist you with questions you have. People who have a reputation to keep do good business.
On a side note, building a laser is very easy. You dont need a $100 soldering iron to get the job done. Usually requires 2 solder points to "build a laser". Then you can be impressed with what you made. Its really easy and doesnt require special tools. Buy a walmart solder iron then return it when your done lol.
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:50 PM #11
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by dden4012 View Post
I would steer you towards sanwu.org. Podo of sanwu.org is a member here and can assist you with questions you have. People who have a reputation to keep do good business.
On a side note, building a laser is very easy. You dont need a $100 soldering iron to get the job done. Usually requires 2 solder points to "build a laser". Then you can be impressed with what you made. Its really easy and doesnt require special tools. Buy a walmart solder iron then return it when your done lol.
It's a bit harder than that. You need ESD protective equipment and knowledge of soldering very heat/static sensitive components. It's not rocket science, but somebody with no electronics skills can easily mess it up.
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Sanwu Spiker Series 3W 445nm
2W O-like 450nm(2.2W average/2.25W peak) and Ebay 450nm THOR M II laser(1600mw average/1700 mw peak)
1.4W Jetlasers PL-E Pro 462nm(average 1490mw)
5.05W 465nm build by AlienLaser and 3.5W 465nm Jetlasers PL-E pro.
50mw 515nm challenger(85mw average) and 5-30mw penlaser
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:01 AM #12
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razako View Post
It's a bit harder than that. You need ESD protective equipment and knowledge of soldering very heat/static sensitive components. It's not rocket science, but somebody with no electronics skills can easily mess it up.
You can make do without the ESD protective equipment, but it is definitely recommended to reduce the chance of accidentally killing your diode. It's not a necessity though.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:15 AM #13
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

I havent had any....dont want to jinx myself. Buy a module with diode and driver and 2 wires hanging out. Its not that hard people lol really very very easy. A hobby shop would probably do it for free or a very small fee. If you have two hands with atleast 3 out of five fingers in good working order...you got this. I will say you must have thumbs.
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Old 09-24-2016, 08:07 AM #14
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

532nm the brightest, 445nm the burning and bright, all the good selections can be found on this site LaserPointerPenShop.com
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:04 PM #15
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

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Originally Posted by Flank Joye View Post
532nm the brightest, 445nm the burning and bright, all the good selections can be found on this site LaserPointerPenShop.com
So yesterday you were asking if that site was legit, which someone replied that you should avoid it, now you're advertising it?
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:22 PM #16
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Default Re: Best $100 laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by diachi View Post
So yesterday you were asking if that site was legit, which someone replied that you should avoid it, now you're advertising it?
It's like they think that we will buy their crap. Everyone here should know better but I guess they don't think of that.

The website will probably fail in a month or two and disappear.
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