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GUIDE: I want my first laser!

Sta

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Hello folks!

Recently, I've seen a surge in threads creating by people who are looking to take their first steps into the laser hobby.
Many people ask questions like, "What's the best laser I can get for under $50?" and "Where can I find a good burning laser?"
This thread is intended to answer those questions.

Please remember that with any powerful laser, safety goggles are a NECESSITY. They will be discussed later in this thread.

Let's start off with:

"I just want a cheap, visible beam!"

This one's not a tough one. If you're looking for a visible beam with a laser that won't break in 30 minutes, go with Sanwu's 304.
It's a nice little greenie, and at 40mW, it'll be more than enough power to have a visible beam at night.
If you'd like a little more punch to it, you can choose the 80mW version, which will make it possible to pop balloons and light black matches if properly focused.
Sanwu checks each and every one of its 304 series lasers for defects and proper power, unlike 301 lasers from eBay, which have almost zero quality control.

This laser takes a single 18650 battery - I will discuss batteries and chargers later in the thread!


Next up:

"I want a cheap laser that can burn!"

If what you want is burning power, you shall have it! The Thor M-II has got you covered.
This particular laser which I have linked is a version that has a glass lens. Unlike acrylic lenses, they will not melt with prolonged use, which is a huge plus. The extra $10 or so that you pay for this laser over acrylic-lensed competitors is well worth it.
The Thor M-II is extremely powerful, and also EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.
It has the power to light things on fire, and WILL destroy your eyesight with a single mistake.

Therefore, safety goggles are absolutely necessary, and will be discussed later in the thread, as will the 16340 batteries which this laser uses.


Next up:

"I want a high-quality laser pointer!"

If what you want is quality and not power, there is nothing better than LaserGlow's Anser.
This pointer will never fail you - it's the perfect laser for a classroom or presentation setting!
Alternatively, if you'd like a little more power behind your pointer, you may want to purchase LaserBTB's LP-532 instead.
Choose any of the "532nm pointer" options - but remember that they aren't completely eye-safe (especially the 20mW and 50mW version), meaning that a stupid mistake could potentially lead to eye damage.
As long as you don't use them around glass or mirrors, however, it's highly unlikely that they'll hurt you.

All of these lasers take common AAA batteries, which you probably already have! So there's no need to discuss them later in the thread. :)


Next!

"I want a star-pointing laser!"

This one's already been answered in the previous question! Purchase LaserBTB's LP-532, and choose "532nm pointer 50mW".
Be sure to select "IR filter installed" - it'll prevent dangerous infrared light from leaking.
I also recommend selecting "Mount with tripod" - having a tripod for your laser is quite nice for star-pointing.
This laser takes primary or rechargeable AAA batteries! :D


Next!

"I want the best burner money can buy!"


Go for the Sanwu Spiker 7W 445nm.
It's the most powerful commercially available handheld laser!
That's a mouthful -- but basically, it's the WickedLasers Arctic, except 7 times more powerful, with a nicer host, longer battery life, and faster shipping.
Please note that the divergence isn't great, which means the beam spreads out in a line shape. It's still the best burner on the market!

This laser takes two gigantic 26650 batteries, which will be discussed later in the thread. :)
Since this laser is ABSURDLY POWERFUL, high quality safety goggles are ***ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY***!!!
A single mistake without them and you WILL BE BLINDED PERMANENTLY!!!
Scroll down if you'd like to read about goggles. :)





BATTERIES AND CHARGERS


Does the laser I recommended require 16340 batteries? Try these: https://liionwholesale.com/collections/batteries/products/efest-imr-16340-700mah-7a-button-top-battery-wholesale-discount?variant=4431248580
Does the laser I recommended require 18650 batteries? Try these: https://liionwholesale.com/collections/batteries/products/panasonic-sanyo-ncr18650ga-flat-top-1?variant=12534245700
Does the laser I recommended require 26650 batteries? Try these: https://liionwholesale.com/collections/batteries/products/basen-4500mah-26650?variant=14135870212

I recommend this charger for your batteries: https://www.amazon.com/Nitecore-Intelligent-Digi-Charger-LH0027203/dp/B01L3PP5ZU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484437048&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=nitecore+d2&psc=1
I also recommend purchasing twice as many batteries as your laser needs, so that you may switch out your batteries at any time.
These are the best batteries I can find, and at the best prices. A baby sheep dies every time someone purchases an UltraFire battery. :)



SAFETY GOGGLES


If you're purchasing the Thor M-II, use these Uvex safety goggles. These are the cheapest goggles that will protect you. eBay goggles are NOT ENOUGH!
They have been shown to reduce a 2W blue laser to less than 1mW. DO NOT USE THESE FOR GREEN LASERS!

If you're purchasing the Sanwu Spiker 7W 445nm, Uvex safety goggles are NOT enough. You must purchase these Eagle Pair safety goggles from Survival Laser, and use them every single time you use the laser. Otherwise, you WILL be blinded by your laser.

If you're purchasing a green laser I recommended, like the Sanwu 304, LaserBTB LP-532, or LaserGlow Anser, you most likely won't need safety goggles. Just be careful and avoid using your laser around glass or mirrors. If you're paranoid, you can purchase the Eagle Pair safety goggles I recommended above.






I will be adding more of my recommendations later. If you've got any questions to ask, or would like a recommendation, make a comment and I'll add my response to the thread! :D
 
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diachi

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Why are you so butthurt over Sta? You sound like a kid... That'd explain it.

Sta, great guide, thanks for posting it!
 

Sta

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Why are you so butthurt over Sta? You sound like a kid... That'd explain it.

Sta, great guide, thanks for posting it!
Thanks diachi. I don't know why this person decided to attack me. It may be someone who came over from my YouTube channel and decided to cause trouble.
 

diachi

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Thanks diachi. I don't know why this person decided to attack me. It may be someone who came over from my YouTube channel and decided to cause trouble.
No problem, +rep too. :)

Yeah maybe, low effort trolling anyway. Some people must have really sad lives...
 

Sta

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Thanks for this guide Sta. I own the LP-532 50mw with IR filter and I can vouch for the fact that it's an excellent choice for star pointing.

I think you should recommend this charger rather than the i2. It's two dollars more.

https://www.amazon.com/Nitecore-Intelligent-Digi-Charger-LH0027203/dp/B01L3PP5ZU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484437048&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=nitecore+d2&psc=1
Thank you Crazlaser! I think I will recommend that charger instead - it seems to be a better choice, even though it's slightly more expensive. Checking the actual battery voltage is quite useful! :)
 

dden4012

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Great thread to send the new guys. Safe suggestions and quality products.
 

BobMc

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Wow Sta, there was a ton of work that went into this post. It's an excellent idea. :gj: I agree, think it should be a sticky. Even if 25% of the new members read it, that would be a great help to them. I remember when I first joined it took me awhile to read the sticky, but they were a world of good info.
 
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Crazlaser

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Sta, remember when wicked lasers said their laser was the most powerful laser money could buy, well Sanwu has really actually done that. :) :p
 

Sta

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Sorry I didn't get to this sooner guys. I have removed all those accounts(banned) and stickied this thread :)

-Alex
Thank you hap, those trolls were a menace. Glad this thread is stickied! :D
 




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