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Old 12-12-2014, 03:52 AM #1
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Question 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

As you can all see, this is, in fact, my first post on the forum! As such, I'm partially new to this field of interest, but I do know my basics about lasers, their specifications, and light in a mathematical sense. But what I lack is a realistic outlook on laser pointer powers. I'm also highly aware of the necessity of safety goggles when dealing with stronger lasers (I don't use any for my 5mW green pointer, which I use only to shine around my room at night because it's pretty) as well as the legal and physical dangers involved! Basically, I'm not styoobid...

ANYWAY, I'd like to buy a laser pointer that has some kick to it, but not too much. You know what I mean, right? I'd like to be able to burn or cut through little objects just for fun, but I do NOT want to endanger myself or anyone around me. Here's my question: is 100mW too strong?

I've seen videos of the capabilities of differently powered laser light, so I know that 100mW is enough to light a match after a few seconds. That's about all the power I want to have; any more and I wouldn't trust myself with it. But is even 100mW too unsafe outside of a locked room? Conversely, could I go even more powerful without much risk? I want to make sure I know what I'm doing before making a purchase!

Once I know what wattage to go with, I also have several different products in mind that I might need help choosing between! Thanks for your help!


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Old 12-12-2014, 08:31 AM #2
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

Howdy chybat and Welcome to the Forum

I would suggest you buy this laser here> fs kryton grove pl520

Since you like green lasers your really going to like this one's emerald green as it will make the 513nm green one you have now look like a yellow green.

This one is approx 80mW of 520nm which is really bright and it is in a custom host so you will have better than the averaged laser to be sure.

If you really want a burner then you really need to think 500mW or more of any nano meter and you'll have it, don't forget the safety glasses.

Good luck and have fun
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:40 AM #3
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

100mW is definitely enough to cause damage, but so if pretty much anything over 5mW, you can't have power and 100% safety all at once.

It's all about responsible use. To be as safe as possible have everyone that could potentially be exposed wear safety glasses, never point it towards anyone or anything belonging to anyone else, get a pointer with a push button so that it turns off if you drop it from your hand and preferably a key switch so that only you can operate it, etc.

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Old 12-12-2014, 12:28 PM #4
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

Keep in mind that if it can cut tape or burn, you need safety glasses.
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:22 PM #5
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

Like Grix said, anything >5mW has potential to be dangerous.That being said, you sound like you have a clue about safety (an unfortunately rare thing for newcomers). My personal preference for handhelds is in the 75-150mW range, depending on wavelength, because visibility and brightness are great, without incinerating avrything it touches.
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:32 PM #6
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

That's great advice, thanks! Actually, I'm looking for a color besides green to distinguish it from my simple pointer, but thanks for the suggestion, Pyro (and where on earth did you get "chybat"?!). Actually, it's worth mentioning that I happen to be one of those most rare of cases: a happy customer of WL! It's the Core that I'm talking about, and shockingly, it works wonderfully! You know that song that goes, "I don't wanna wait / for our lives to be over"? Well, you might have to if you're ordering from wickedlasers.com!

I looked on O-Like, Rayfoss, Optotronics, Laserglow, and Dragon. Optotronics only sells green pens, but apparently they are great quality (all tested and certified) and with decent prices. Dragon and Laserglow were too expensive for me, and O-Like was too... sketchy. I'm leaning towards this one from Rayfoss:
www.rayfoss.com
It's a 405nm 120mW for $75, and that looks like a killer deal to me! But again, is 120mW too risky if I'm just going to be using it in, let's say, "non-laboratory" circumstances? Will I be in danger just from shining it at a white wall and looking at the dot with the naked eye? And for glasses, do you get them in the color complimentary to that of the light?
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Old 12-12-2014, 03:16 PM #7
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

Don't buy from rayfoss. I would go with laserBTB if I were you- link. Have you thought about building your own?
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:52 PM #8
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

That one you sent me looks real fine! It's even got the key, which I thought was pretty much reserved for higher powers! Please correct me if I'm wrong, but is that item made by the company SkyLasers, and just sold on laserbtb.com? And if that's the case, can't I just use skylasers' official website?
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:20 PM #9
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

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Originally Posted by Aichybatoal View Post
That one you sent me looks real fine! It's even got the key, which I thought was pretty much reserved for higher powers! Please correct me if I'm wrong, but is that item made by the company SkyLasers, and just sold on laserbtb.com? And if that's the case, can't I just use skylasers' official website?
You could buy direct from skylasers, but LaserBTB will have better support, will be easier to purchase from, as well as the fact that many people have bought from them without problems (I have only seen 2 or 3 people have problems, which were eventually resolved).
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:35 PM #10
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

I second Crazyspaz in recommending LaserBTB. It's a great and very trustworthy website.
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Old 12-13-2014, 12:53 AM #11
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

Optotronics offers VERY good lasers... they are pricey but well worth the money if you take good care of your lasers. I haven't heard of an Opto pen that was NOT overspec recently.

My recommendation would be around 75mW, preferably a thin beam (looks cooler and brighter beam). Usually the green lasers have thinner beams, and honestly 75mW of green is plenty of power to give you the +coolness points if you really want to go exotic, drop some power and get a cyan or yellow laser
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:08 PM #12
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

OOH, I'd love a yellow or cyan one, but I don't think Optotronics makes them in pointers... I think I've narrowed this down to two different choices, both from SKY, and both 405 violet: their 80mW "pen," and their 100mW "handheld." The price difference is pretty small, and so it's basically just a choice between the two powers and the two models. I believe the handheld is focusable, which might be nice, but the pen is simpler and lighter. What do you think?
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:39 PM #13
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aichybatoal View Post
OOH, I'd love a yellow or cyan one, but I don't think Optotronics makes them in pointers... I think I've narrowed this down to two different choices, both from SKY, and both 405 violet: their 80mW "pen," and their 100mW "handheld." The price difference is pretty small, and so it's basically just a choice between the two powers and the two models. I believe the handheld is focusable, which might be nice, but the pen is simpler and lighter. What do you think?
The handheld takes rechargeable batteries, I believe. That's certainly a huge advantage (do you want to waste money on buying more AA batteries?). If you do choose the handheld, you had better go out and buy some good 16340 batteries (Don't buy ****Fire brands.)
The handheld is also less likely to break. In general, I prefer handhelds to pens.
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:54 PM #14
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aichybatoal View Post
OOH, I'd love a yellow or cyan one, but I don't think Optotronics makes them in pointers... I think I've narrowed this down to two different choices, both from SKY, and both 405 violet: their 80mW "pen," and their 100mW "handheld." The price difference is pretty small, and so it's basically just a choice between the two powers and the two models. I believe the handheld is focusable, which might be nice, but the pen is simpler and lighter. What do you think?
Keep in mind with a 405nm it is very difficult to see a beam -- being at the edge of visual range. 100mw of 405 is not much---will be nothing visually compared to a 100mW 532nm green.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:39 PM #15
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

If you buy a 445 nm 500mW blue laser, the beam will be much more visible than that of a violet laser of similar power. But it is all up to you. Also, the plastic hosts for the LP models on laserbtb can be flimsy and lower in quality at times. Even though the other models are bigger, I would recommend the HL, PL and LFP hosts as they have much better heat sinks, much better aluminum hosts and higher quality key switches and parts.

The HL and LFP hosts are actually small enough to fit in your pocket (with the key switch off) and carry around comfortably.

Though the pen (LP) lasers are nice and cheap, they are the lowest quality lasers that Laserbtb sells. So I personally would recommend a HL or LFP laser with 5x the quality. The heavy metal is a nice feel in your hand too.
You can find tons of reviews on them on the forums if you search "Laserbtb"

Hope this helps!
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:52 PM #16
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Default Re: 100mW: Too Strong for a Simple Enthusiast?

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Originally Posted by SilverFire View Post
Even though the other models are bigger, I would recommend the HL, PL and LFP hosts as they have much better heat sinks, much better aluminum hosts and higher quality key switches and parts.
Sorry, I'm brand new on the forum and stuff... What's HL, PL, and LFP? And actually, yeah, I'd rather a 445nm, but those are too much more expensive, and the beam visibility doesn't really make that much of a difference to me. I still want to be able to afford a tripod and safety glasses, of course!
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