Welcome to Laser Pointer Forums - discuss green laser pointers, blue laser pointers, and all types of lasers



Have CNI-style lasers gone out of style?

ixfd64

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
1,147
Points
48
I just realized I haven't been on this forum in over a year. Things have changed so much while I was gone!

Speaking of which, one thing I noticed is that people seem to be straying away from CNI-type lasers. I remember NOVAlasers, Optotronics and Laserglow being the most highly recommended companies back in the day. Because CNI was the main manufacturer, people who were willing to do their own quality control often bought lasers directly from them. However, Laserglow stopped selling portable lasers to U.S. customers several years ago while NOVAlasers seems to have gone out of business. Although Optotronics and CNI are still active, I rarely see people talk about them nowadays.

Even "consumer" laser companies seem to be affected. For example, S-KY announced two years ago that they were exiting the business. This is unfortunate because I prefer the more professional-looking designs to the lightsaber-style ones.

So I'm curious: are people no longer interested in CNI-style lasers? If so, what caused such a big change?
 



CurtisOliver

Well-known member
LPF Site Supporter
Joined
Jun 12, 2015
Messages
6,624
Points
113
Dragon lasers are also CNI products. Of which we have our 589’s. I know, that when it comes to lab lasers, CNI hosts are basically the archetype. And I personally prefer CNI labs over other companies. They are professional, high quality, and functional and you get what you pay for.
 

ixfd64

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
1,147
Points
48
Yeah, I noticed Dragon Lasers is one of the few remaining companies that still sell CNI-style lasers to consumers. I remember people used to criticize Dragon Lasers for selling under-powered lasers, but it's been a while since I've heard any complaints about them. It's probably safe to assume their quality control has improved over the years.
 

Alaskan

Well-known member
LPF Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
11,629
Points
113
I believe the main reason we don't see many posts showing a new Dragon or CNI laser is simply due to the number of higher power laser diodes available and the lower cost of using them in your own host. The quality isn't quite as good when we build them compared to what they offer, but we do have one high quality laser pointer manufacturer which isn't too expensive with few complaints (except for being slow to respond to emails) and that is JetLasers, their prices really aren't too bad at all, but still markedly more expensive than what you can put together with a diode in a cheap host. Most can't build their own DPSS laser pointer which CNI and Jetlasers make, so of course, they still have the market for those except we are putting our money into lower quality laser diode pointers most of the time instead.

Then we also have Sanwu Laser which uses fairly inexpensive laser diodes in superior milled hosts, the draw for their product is the wide choice of wavelengths they provide and the artful machining done on their pointers but from time to time I see complaints about failures, seems they push the capability of the diodes and drives a bit higher than they should and an occasional internal build quality issue, but they look nice. I've never owned a Sanwu myself, so all I can do is comment on what I've seen mentioned on the forum, not that many complaints for them except for how they are sometimes slow to answer emails when there are problems. Sanwu sells a lot of pointers, so just because we see a complaint here from time to time does not indicate their products have a lot of issues, but occasionally they do.

Overall, all of the above manufacturers have acceptable build quality, in the case of CNI and JL, often exceptional, especially JL. For high power quality DPSS 532 nm, Optotronics is the leader, but I prefer CNI and JL form factors. Most of the products from the afore mentioned manufacturers are awesome and with the inexpensive beam expander JL offers for their pointers, they are the overall winner for me, that and I rarely see anyone having a failure with those pointers.

Regarding the complaints we sometimes see from some members regarding Sanwu and JL being slow to respond to emails, I believe they are slow, but will eventually respond, if prodded enough. I've never heard of any of the above mentioned companies ever ignoring an issue which is their own fault, they will come through, eventually, just slow sometimes.
 
Last edited:

Encap

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
5,153
Points
113
Everything said above ^^^^
In addition, CNI will not sell and ship handheld lasers to USA customers, and Laserglow will not ship any handhelds over 5mW to USA, so any interest in their products has dropped off. A few resellers like Dragon Lasers still resell CNI lasers and ship to USA.

CNI News:" ■ Sep. 30th, 2015 CNI officially announced that laser pointer and portable laser series products for SLA purpose would be no longer exported to the U.S. from Oct 1st, 2015. The incoming SLA orders from American customers will be rejected. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused!" See: http://www.cnilaser.com/new release.htm

FDA made an issue with CNI about their shipping of handhelds to USA and listed CNI in Import Alert 95-4 "Detention Without Physical Examination Of Laser Pointers, Laser Gunsights, Laser Levels, Laser Light Shows, Laser Pointer Key Chains, & Similar Products That Fail To Comply With Applicable Performance Standards And Reporting Requirements." as of 2/16 2015 see: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/importalert_254.html

CNI decided not to bother with hand held lasers to USA any longer even, presumably because it was a very minor/insignificant part of their business----the real business being lab lasers and all of their other products
 
Last edited:

ixfd64

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
1,147
Points
48
I think CNI stopped shipping portables to the U.S. in 2014: https://laserpointerforums.com/threads/cni-no-longer-exporting-5mw.88382

Which is unfortunate because CNI makes the largest variety of handheld lasers. It might still be possible to get them shipped to the U.S. via a foreign freight forwarder, but this doesn't seem like a popular option. At least I haven't seen many posts about freight forwarders on this forum.
 




Top