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1100mW Survival Laser 445nm


New member
Dec 5, 2010
After a fiasco with my lazy post office, I was finally able to obtain the Survival Laser which I ordered earlier this month. My primary goal in this review was to compare it to the Wicked Lasers' Arctic Spyder 3 and demonstrate why the SL is a superior choice. I only have a video for visuals because danefex's review has plenty of pictures, and frankly I don't think it's necessary to post photos of a clone that functions that exact same way. You can read his full review here: http://laserpointerforums.com/f52/r...2w-445-subassembly-parts-lots-pics-58775.html

Overall, I am very satisfied with this laser. The assembly instructions were very easy to follow, and it took me about ten minutes to assemble the device and get it working. I do recommend wrapping some teflon tape around the lens as the instructions suggest, because it does give a more snug fit and helps keep the lens at the desired position.

The following video is actually two videos I shot back-to-back and simply spliced together. I had the Spyder 3 (left) and Survival Laser (right) burning the usual items such as matches and paper.

As you can see, the Survival Laser out-performs the Spyder when it is DEFOCUSED. Yes, you read that correctly. I intentionally defocused the beam to give the Spyder the benefit of the doubt, and the Survival still beat it.
The only downside to the Survival is that it heats more quickly than the Spyder. The Spyder can, in fact, be run for an hour without overheating. However, that seems to be its only advantage.

Reasons why the Survival Laser is better than the Arctic Spyder 3:
-1100mW actual output power
-about half the length of the Spyder, which makes it easier to carry
-comes with holster
-comes with protected Li-ion batteries. The Spyder's included Sanyo batteries are unprotected and dangerous.
-$50 less than the Spyder 3. I paid $200 as an introductory price, but now they are up to $250. However, you get much more power and value at a lot less cash.
-arrives in 2-3 days via Priority Mail AND you don't have to deal with customs.

I will raise one caveat about the included laser glasses, though. I personally was disappointed with them for two reasons. 1) They don't have a good fit for my face. 2) The dot appeared as a dim blue/violet color.
Point #2 is especially damning because the early versions of the included Wicked Lasers glasses performed the same way. You need at least OD3 rated glasses to view a laser of this color and power, and proper glasses will show the dot as a faint yellow. I personally recommend buying the $29.99 Eagle Pair glasses on eBay. They are OD4 rated and cover 200-540nm, and they are what I would consider appropriate for using the Survival Laser.

TL;DR : Despite very few shortfalls, I think that this laser is a very good value.