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Best laser on the market

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dr_pressure

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Hey guys..

I'm was just wondering -- what is the best handheld laser currently available? I've tried to research it myself, but there's only so much you can tell -- I figured it'd be better to ask people who have had first hand experience.

Things that I'm looking for in a laser:

- safety!
- green
- IR filter
- company has good reputation for quality
- long life
- long distance + high power
- constant beam (i.e. can stay on permanently if i want)

So far I've looked at the Spyder II by Wicked, the Hercules-400 by LaserGlow, the RPL-350 by Optotronics, NOVA350 by Nova.

So far what I've noticed is that the Hercules-400 seems to be significantly more powerful than any of the others. It also costs significantly more.

What do you guys recommend?

Thanks,
Pressure
 

Things

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well i don't know about the best one, but i can say for sure, stay away from wicked! have a little read around, then you will know why! and i'm sure you will find lots of info as to the best companies!
 
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dr_pressure

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Really? I thought Wicked was one of the most reputable ones.

Their customers seem to be very happy... at least according to the testimonials I've seen.

Is there any particular reason why I should stay away from them?
 

Dave

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If you need the truth, you'll have to look here, there, and everywhere. If you're looking for opinions delivered to you, then just sit right here and wait.

While you're waiting, read thing's reply to your original post, it's good advice.
 
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dr_pressure

Guest
DAMN!

I've been reading around, and this is insane. Underpowered products, bad business practices... can it be true?

If so, they've done a really good job at hiding it. I had absolutely no idea.


Also the more I read about it, the more I'm like the Hercules. That thing is HUGE.
 

Dave

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Fortunately, most vendors have a 7 day money back guarantee, minus shipping. Psyche yourself to take advantage of it...not always an easy thing to do if you've never had a green laser before!
 
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dr_pressure

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Yes I certainly will be trying it out for a week before I decide to keep it.

I first need to get ~ $US 3000... damn.

Also, anyone know if the Hercules can take rechargeable batteries?
 

styropyro

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If you want a laser that can stay on for as long as you want go with the Herc. The optrotronics will be a lot smaller and moe portable, but it has a duty cycle of 5 minutes on, 2 minutes off. Nova, Optotronics, and Laserglow are all great companies in my opinion, but W@icked's Spyder is known to have a bunch of problems.
 
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dr_pressure

Guest
Well I've decided that if I'm getting anything, I'll go for a Herc-400 (green).

Safety is the thing though. Maybe you guys could clear up a few things for me:

1) Can you incur damage by looking at the beam without goggles? (Assuming you're shining it into the open night... no reflections... can anybody who happens to be looking at it get eye damage)

2) Does the Herc have an IR filter (surely it must). If so, then does it effectively remove ALL IR from the beam... or is there still a risk

3) Just how effective are the goggles? Is it *possible* to still incur damage even when using high end goggles.
(Obviously a direct hit to the goggles is something to avoid at all costs... but if it *did* happen, what would be the outcome)

Thanks
Pressure
 

Aseras

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I just got a Herc 400 and I'm pleased with it. The new ones are supposedly TEC cooled and have the removable battery tube. I've run mine for over an hour and I've yet to see it drop below 500mw. I've seen it peak off into the 800's, and it'll stay in the 600's for a while. It'll cut electrical tape out past 20 feet and it'll smoke it at 50. ( which is about as wide of a room as I have )

My only bad mark against it is that it has a large beam diameter ~2mm and it's divergance looks to be at the upper range, ~1.2mrad maybe more. I haven't measured that, it's an educated guess.

The herc 300 I had, had awesome divergance, while it had the larger beam diameter, it never increased much at all, I shot it several miles away and it was still very small. This herc in contrast is much larger, maybe 10x as big at that distance.

I'm getting ready to leave town so I won't be able to do a complete review until I return.

 

Morepower

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1) No you can't receive eye damage from observing the beam, but the beam ONLY.

2) Yes the Hercs do have IR filters which filters out the majority of the IR. No DPSS laser is completely IR free, though it seems wicked would have you think so.

3) From memory I heard that good goggles could protect you from a direct hit for up to 10 seconds, I don't remember where I heard this or at what power or what the OD of the goggles where........mmm better just forget that statement. Goggles will protect your eyes from accidents :)

And yes you can use NIMH's in the Hercs, I use some Powertech D cells in mine when max power is not required. The Hercules is an AWEOME bit of kit and I have never regretted buying one.

And welcome to the Forum.
 

Freyth

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Morepower said:
3) From memory I heard that good goggles could protect you from a direct hit for up to 10 seconds, I don't remember where I heard this or at what power or what the OD of the goggles where........mmm better just forget that statement. Goggles will protect your eyes from accidents :)
I can already imagine some guy trying that 10 seconds thing out... if you didn't put the last bit in. ;D
 
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dr_pressure

Guest
Hey guys, thanks for all the info..

So far, I'm just thinking of getting the goggles that are sold with the Herc...

O.D. 6+ @532nm. Protect your vision from accidental exposure to the beam. Made in USA - CE Certified.

What do you guys think -- are these what I should get, or can I get something else that will be safer? Morepower, will these goggles protect me from any remaining IR?


Also I'm thinking that my policy will be to *NEVER* use it without goggles, and only use it outdoors, away from anything reflective. I will also never use it at close range. Every accident I've read about so far would have been avoided if this policy had been followed. I know it's a bit extreme, but I get freaked out just by *reading* about the accidents people have had.... lol.

Aseras, the diameter looks fine in the photos on the LaserGlow site... but maybe that's because of the huge distances involved. Either way I look forward to your review... have fun with your new toy :)
 

darklandz

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if i wer lucky enough to have that budget on a laser i wouldnt think twice about deciding - rpl 350 without a shadow of a doubt.
its also more than half the size of the hercules
 

Morepower

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I've got two pair of OD 5 goggles and have received a hit in the eye from a direct reflection(500+mW of 532nm) off a first surface mirror. I saw ALOT of green but no damage at all, not even flash blind. So OD 6 will be no problem and plenty safe enough to protect from accidents. Even though there is still some residual IR in DPSS lasers all the top shelf units, like the Hercules etc., only have very insignificant amounts. Not enough to be concerned about.
 




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