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Dragonlasers 90mW 635nm [Review]

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Ordered January 15 2015, received by the 20th. Arrived well-packaged in a small thick box with plenty of bubblewrap. Laser also sealed in an antistatic bag, which is a great seeing how these products aren't cheap and it shows DL respects the quality they put out.

Upon removing the laser, first thing noticed is the weight. It's heavy and has a nice aroma of oil/rubber/metal. I spent a minute sniffing it and still do whenever I use it. :shhh: The host is awesome and feels like great quality. I really like the small aperture cap. Threads on that and the tail cap are smooth. There's a battery polarity indicator drawn on the laser (tail-positive) which is great. Fits a protected 18650 snugly. When screwing on & off the tail cap, press inward gently to relieve tension on the threads.

I asked Adam to choose a laser with a beam in-line with the host. Whether he did or didn't I don't know. But this beam is almost perfectly straight. Good- I HATE angled beams. I've never seen a 100% totally straight beam anyway but this is practically that. I had a LAZERER CYBER 100mW 532nm with a horribly angled beam…fantastic laser in every other way, honest 100mW, thin beam, good burner...awesome host, great battery life. But the huge crooked-beam angle RUINED it.

Tested with my MM this laser draws about 240mA. An 18650 lasts forever. I've used it sporadically for over 2 months and the battery is at nearly 4V. It's now $90 instead of $100, and well worth the money. This laser will probably beat the divergence of nearly all other portable corporate lasers you'll come across. The output is nearly round, slightly oblong starting at long distances (20-30 feet).

90mW is enough to burn if you can focus. However this laser is not focusable, and you don't buy this for burning. I've smoked a few things and put a few little holes in a black T shirt though. But you buy it to appreciate laser technology and own a standard of high quality. It's real bright too, still lights up most of a dark small room and the beam is slightly visible in the dark from nearly all angles. In a bright room it's still a bit visible when looking straight down the host. Some dark things may smoke a little from very close up. But again, not a burning laser. You get your enjoyment from the long (5 minute) duty cycle and low divergence.

It's a supercharged version of a "classic" red laser. Brighter wavelength, high power, good collimation, great rechargeable battery life, and awesome host. The host and low divergence really sets this apart. This thing is awesome. This is also a nice reference to the past, the foundation where we all started: a basic junky keychain 650.

The laser dot has some splash around it, but only noticeable in the dark. I don't know if it's from the outside of the lens or inside the laser. The front lens is small and recessed, plus you need to unscrew the aperture "ring" to get to it. This requires getting a rubber grip pad or pliers wrapped in a towel to break the adhesive. I definitely don't feel like doing that. But with no splash this laser would be perfection.

EDIT 4/8/2015: I unscrewed it and it took little effort, was barely glued on. Thought I wanted to give a try cleaning the lens...bought proper optics cleaner and microfiber swabs. Upon taking the aperture ring off I noticed the lens is too small deep, and the little splash could easily be coming from inside the assembly. So screw it, not going to risk making it worse or damaging it.

I highly recommend BatteryJunction.com. American company shipping from Connecticut, great selection, brands, prices. Also recommend the Nitecore charger. Smart-charges any battery and works great.



THE GOOD
Fantastic host. Good weight, knurling, aperture cover, polarity indicator
Very low divergence

THE "BAD"
Slight dot-splash, cleaning lens likely impossible (although you shouldn't have to)

Overall great laser, I'd rate 9/10. I'm now really interested in 635 and 650.
 

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Hap

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Re: Dragonlasers 90mW 635nm Review.

Awesome review! It truly is amazing how far lasers have come indeed :)

I also get my batteries from BatteryJunction and I agree with you, their prices and shipping times are hard to beat!

-Alex
 
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More Beamshots

More beamshots. The camera exposure makes it seem brighter than it really is. The beam isn't crazy bright but definitely noticeable. In total darkness it's cool. But don't expect it to be crazy bright like a green or high power blue. I'd say it's about as bright as a 10-15mW 532.
 

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Smeerworst

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Nice review of this unit that i also purchased from a forum member...

I'm pritty sure it does more then 90mW ;)
 

gozert

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Nice review of this unit that i also purchased from a forum member...

I'm pritty sure it does more then 90mW ;)
Definitely a nice laser. I'll be building my own 635nm in a while. Still enjoying the laser?
 

Smeerworst

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Definitely a nice laser. I'll be building my own 635nm in a while. Still enjoying the laser?
Hey i love it on display, on or off :)

I like all lasers ;) 100+ and counting :crackup:

I didn't even try my DL beam expander on it yet ... it would be bright and good at range compared to 650 visual wise, so i love it!
 
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Pi R Squared

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Laser also sealed in an antistatic bag, which is a great seeing how these products aren't cheap and it shows DL respects the quality they put out.

I asked Adam to choose a laser with a beam in-line with the host. Angled beams are the death of me, I hate them. Whether he did or didn't I don't know. But this beam is almost perfectly straight. Very slightly angled, only noticeable if you look straight down the host and you're trying to see it. No problem, I've never seen a totally straight beam anyway. I had a LAZERER CYBER 100mW 532nm with a horribly angled beam…fantastic laser in every other way, honest 100mW, thin beam, good burner...awesome host, great battery life. But the huge crooked-beam angle RUINED it. I sold it. What do you think of when you think laser? STRAIGHT LINES. Better yet, STRAIGHT LINES THAT EXIT THE BODY IN-LINE WITH THE HOST. Crooked beams are horrible. :banghead: The CYBER host has a big long front-cap with a big distance between the diode output and lens. That could be it. I have a LAZERER 445nm MINI host with a near-perfect straight beam. Anyway...
I have never seen a laser with an angled beam, but then 5 of my 8 lasers I assembled myself and the other 3 are pens. I have seen a few people here before that said they had an angled beam, to me an angled beam indicates poor quality control, parts not precision machined or parts assembled too quickly and not carefully, but we all know the Chinese have little understanding of quality control. Even so, that does look like a good laser you have. For those who haven't seen a 635nm, they are a visibly different color than 650nm, a little toward orange red and they are brighter than a 650nm, mine is a pen and is only 4.9-5mW but is much brighter than my other two reds so I highly recommend 635/638 if you want a red laser, you won't regret it. +rep for your review.

Alan
 

GR3EN

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I like 635nm. Think you would of been disappointed with the divergence if you went with a high powered one not sure if you have seen the set of wings on those diodes or not haha.

Anyway good review and nice looking laser. I like the Spartan host.
 

Pman

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Congrats and +REP.
I'm with Smeer... I like all lasers (insert outrageous # here) on and off;).
Where in N.Y.?
 
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nice laser 635 sure looks interesting.
Definitely a nice laser. I'll be building my own 635nm in a while. Still enjoying the laser?
Oh yeah, I love 635...the color and how it appears brighter for a given power. It's also making me appreciate 650 more too. I can now appreciate its true deep red.



I have never seen a laser with an angled beam, but then 5 of my 8 lasers I assembled myself and the other 3 are pens. I have seen a few people here before that said they had an angled beam, to me an angled beam indicates poor quality control, parts not precision machined or parts assembled too quickly and not carefully, but we all know the Chinese have little understanding of quality control. Even so, that does look like a good laser you have. For those who haven't seen a 635nm, they are a visibly different color than 650nm, a little toward orange red and they are brighter than a 650nm, mine is a pen and is only 4.9-5mW but is much brighter than my other two reds so I highly recommend 635/638 if you want a red laser, you won't regret it. +rep for your review.

Alan
Yeah all the pens I've owned didn't have an angled beam. I agree, a badly angled beam (a little is understandable but I still hate it) is just horrible. You have this awesome piece of technology and it just ruins it. I wish I had photos and a review of my LAZERER CYBER 532 100mW...the angle was awful. What a BUMMER first time I turned it on.



I like 635nm. Think you would of been disappointed with the divergence if you went with a high powered one not sure if you have seen the set of wings on those diodes or not haha.

Anyway good review and nice looking laser. I like the Spartan host.
My Sci-Fi 445 1.5W has pretty bad wings. I've read that's a result of the multimode "bar" diodes...it was that way from the start, and cleaning the lens had no effect. It really bothers me a lot but oh well. So the high-power 635nm are also multimode bar & wings? That would change my mind about buying one, even from Sci-Fi or Blord...



Congrats and +REP.
I'm with Smeer... I like all lasers (insert outrageous # here) on and off;).
Where in N.Y.?
Thanks man, I'm about an hour from Manhattan (close) :)


Thanks everyone for the replies & reps :beer:
 




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