Old 11-06-2013, 05:13 AM #1
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Thumbs up My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

So, I bought a Wicked Lasers Spyder III Arctic 2000mW+ at the beginning of October. I'd like to detail some of the pros and cons of it, as I see them. A lot of this will probably be old news to some of you, but I haven't found a single review of the 2000mW+ version of this laser anywhere, so I'm writing one.

Pros:

1: This laser does live up to the specifications that Wicked Lasers advertises. I've had it independently tested for power output, and at the low power setting, it clocks at 1.4W, at high power it clocks at 2.375W, and, it peaks at 2.435W.

This is at least 375mW more power than I paid for, and I am happy with this.

2: Wicked Lasers delivered it to me within three weeks of ordering it. They told me it would likely be longer, on the order of one and one half months. Maybe they said that to cover their hides in case it DID take longer than the site said it should, but it took less time than was advertised.

3: The case feels sturdy and I rather like the phosphor coating on the inside of the full-power lens that comes standard with the Arctic. I like the construction, though it is a little bottom-heavy and therefore a bit unwieldy to use as a handheld laser, though from how the aluminium body gets warm (but not hot), I can only assume that this is necessary to ensure proper heat dissipation.

4: The battery is excellent; I can run this laser on full power for 45 minutes, non-stop before I have to switch to medium-power mode. I haven't seen the battery run out of enough juice for medium power mode yet.

5: The beam is sort of rectangular, which some people might find to be a nuisance, but when trying to cut a straight line through something, it actually works out to be useful, and with the focusing lens, it doesn't matter anyways.

Cons:

1: It's DAMNED expensive, probably way more expensive than it needs to be, at 700 dollars for it, Laser Shades and the lens kit.

2: The pin thingy at the back is pretty flimsy; I tried to remove it with a screwdriver as the included user manual instructed me to do, and I managed to remove a rubberized coating on the pin instead of the pin itself. I now have a pin which is completely functional, but does not look very polished at all.

3: While I understand the need for a smart switch, I wish I could change the code on it, as a cursory internet search will quickly reveal the sequence of button presses that enables the laser's operation.

4: Momentary mode should be available for Low, Medium and High power settings; this should not have been overlooked.

This is the first "real" laser I've ever bought, and I'm very happy with its performance and the rayleigh scattering the beam causes. I don't know if I'll buy another Wicked Lasers product, but I probably will in the future. The Evo looks nice, but I think I'd rather build my own lasers than buy them at a crazy markup.

Overall, I would recommend this laser if only because it's cool. I don't think it was a deal, but I also don't feel ripped off. I also want to say that Wicked Lasers has dealt with many of the problems I have read about from ~2010, and dealing with their staff was pleasant and efficient. I have no complaints about the people I spoke to when buying my laser.

I'll take pictures of it if people want, but I don't really have a camera that will properly do the thing justice.

EDIT: I am aware that this laser costs more than it is worth. My grandfather bought it for me as an early 22nd birthday gift. He believes more expensive = higher quality, and is from a time when that was true. I didn't want to say no to him. Either way, I like the thing.


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Last edited by lunasigma; 11-06-2013 at 05:28 AM. Reason: To avoid being told I got ripped off by smart-alecks.
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:38 PM #2
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

I'm glad youre happy with it. How about some pictures?
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:25 PM #3
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

Thanks for the review

I wonder what diode they use in this laser. Maybe an M-140 or even a 9mm..

Thanks for sharing some pics would be great
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:11 PM #4
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

Profile View:


View of the Arctic Logo & Power Indicator


Full Power mode, with Rayleigh scattering visible. Ambient light is very high.


View of the front end, with 100% power lens attached.


Size Reference Shot, with a regular sized Bic Lighter as a reference for comparison.



More images later, when it gets dark and I can take better pictures of the beam itself, and later, some images taken through the orange/amber filter so it's easier to see what the full power beam does to objects. Also, if popular demand is high enough, I might upload video of me using it, but it will be all in one take, and the video device will be a camera phone, so don't expect professional quality video.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:42 PM #5
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

Don't use Wicked Lasers safety glasses!! They're cheapy and useless. Buy them from another site. Keep that in mind.
Enjoy your laser btw.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:50 PM #6
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benur View Post
Don't use Wicked Lasers safety glasses!! They're cheapy and useless. Buy them from another site. Keep that in mind.
Enjoy your laser btw.
I can only assume that the wicked lasers safety glasses are still better than no safety glasses. I wouldn't consider them as "useless".

And I'm fairly certain they've improved the quality of their safety goggles. Considering that my eyes are fine after prolonged exposure to the laser whilst wearing said safety goggles, I doubt they're as useless as you think. Are you talking about the ones that came with the 2010 model of the Spyder III?
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:41 PM #7
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

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Originally Posted by lunasigma View Post
I can only assume that the wicked lasers safety glasses are still better than no safety glasses. I wouldn't consider them as "useless".

And I'm fairly certain they've improved the quality of their safety goggles. Considering that my eyes are fine after prolonged exposure to the laser whilst wearing said safety goggles, I doubt they're as useless as you think. Are you talking about the ones that came with the 2010 model of the Spyder III?
I don't own any Wicked Lasers product, but I've seen a lot of people warning about them.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:44 PM #8
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

I think it was 10mW passing straight through the goggles with the <1W version when they were new... still good for burning. Still a good idea to get better goggles.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:11 PM #9
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

I appreciate your warning me about the potential hazard of these particular safety goggles, is the 10mW that makes it through measured by aiming the laser at the goggles and measuring how much passes directly through? Because I don't think that same measurement applies to indirect exposure to the light from the beam, though I don't have a device for measuring the intensity of the light passing through the filter.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:13 PM #10
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

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I think it was 10mW passing straight through the goggles with the <1W version when they were new... still good for burning. Still a good idea to get better goggles.
Well, we are talking about <2W.
So about 20mW directly into the eye...
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:15 PM #11
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

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Well, we are talking about <2W.
So about 20mW directly into the eye...
That would be directly into the eye if I pointed the beam at my eye while wearing the goggles, which I wouldn't do even if they filtered it down to 0.5mW or less. It sounds to me as though the danger exists for those who don't follow basic safety protocols...
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:55 PM #12
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

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That would be directly into the eye if I pointed the beam at my eye while wearing the goggles, which I wouldn't do even if they filtered it down to 0.5mW or less. It sounds to me as though the danger exists for those who don't follow basic safety protocols...
Yeah, sure.
But what about reflections or accidents like you drop the laser and it hit your eye?
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:01 PM #13
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

Being responsible with lasers, same as with firearms, means you don't let accidents happen. If you're relying on safety gear to prevent an injury caused by negligence or carelessness, you probably shouldn't own something that can cause such an injury. I treat my laser as though it's a loaded gun, your argument is like saying "You should wear a bullet proof vest if you're going to fire a gun downrange, because you could drop it or it might ricochet!"

It won't, if you don't screw around with it. Reliance on safety gear alone is negligent.

I don't mean to be rude, but what you're saying implies that you believe safety goggles will protect you even if you are negligent. They won't stop a laser from burning your skin, or injuring someone else if there's an "accident", which could only happen if you weren't being safe with it in the first place. I hope you misrepresented your point, but if not, please re-review basic laser safety guidelines.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:44 PM #14
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

But what if you trip, the goggles fly off the laser flips our of your hand, you fall on your back, and the lasers aperture lands directly on your eyeball. What then?

Just exercise common sense. If you drive a car and your not wearing a four point harness I think you would just drive more carefully
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:48 PM #15
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

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Originally Posted by Tmack View Post
But what if you trip, the goggles fly off the laser flips our of your hand, you fall on your back, and the lasers aperture lands directly on your eyeball. What then?

Just exercise common sense. If you drive a car and your not wearing a four point harness I think you would just drive more carefully
Exactly. Safety begins with being careful, and being aware of your environment. The goggles are simply an added precaution, otherwise it would be suggested that you wear a full body suit of heat + radiation resistant armor while using a laser device. Relying on safety gear alone is going to lead to a serious injury for sure, if you don't use common sense and caution as well.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:16 PM #16
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Default Re: My Review of the Spyder 3 Arctic

Sorry for the double post, but I did promise beam pics later, and it's later, now.

Picture along beam line from the laser, pointing forward.


Picture of the full-power beam burning cardboard.


Medium Power, with flash. The laser's battery dropped below the threshold for high power mode while I was taking pictures. I have pictures of it in total darkness, but the reflection of the light on all my walls makes it nearly impossible to see the beam. When I have a proper beamstop that prevents such reflections, or when I can go outside (It's POURING rain tonight) I will take some low-light images of it being pointed up (but I'll check to make sure there are no aircraft in the airspace where the laser will be shone before doing so.)
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