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Looking for brightest handheld laser under $1500

Shakenawake

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Livinloud

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You also did see how neither of those guys are wearing safety glasses. They know nothing about lasers, obviously so they may not have focused the laser :thinking:

Like I said, you might be right, I might be right but I'm not going to say for 100% until Alex tests these. I don't believe a WORD that is said from China/HK/Singapore/Japan/anywhere other than cold hard facts from independent testing :na:
 

Dr_Evil

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I'd go with a 1W 520 if you don't care about beam quality. I'm sure something could be done to improve it though since $1.5k is more than enough.

I don't even touch my 3.5W 445 because it does that ._.

Well most metals don't necessarily incinerate as much as spark and melt, so to rephrase, incinerate any combustible material. (magnesium, titanium are some examples that will burn)
A high powered CO2 might be the best laser for trying to do something like that. You'd probably need flakes, ribbon or powder though. Many aircraft engine components use titanium or a Ti alloy. Many, if not all of the turbine blade cooling holes are "drilled" using a laser.

 
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Definitely the 1w 520. For me (this is just me) it's a no brainer. It should easily push 1.5w and you can get a very trick looking host from Ehgehmus or Sinner for less than $100. With the diode and host your probably looking at around $1100, give or take a hundred or so. Add your driver and a little cash to a reputable builder around here and you will be well below your mark. Then, once ARG has done the testing we're planning on this new diode, you may be able to send it back to your builder to up the current and make it even brighter. I would not be surprised at all if it is found to do 2.2 w. So, for less than your target you get probably the most reasonable and brightest handheld available, a very rare one, and the possibility to make it even more powerful once the test data comes in. Just talking about it makes me just want to bit the bullet and do it myself.
 
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I would hold off on buying a 1W 520nm, honestly. The price is going to come down, look at how much the PL520 cost when it was new.

Maybe go exotic and see about a 488nm build. Any kind; diode, DPSS, argon, or otherwise.
 
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Livinloud

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If you don't currently own a 488nm diode then you won't, I repeat, WONT get your hands on one. They were limited run, prototype iirc
 

Photonz

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