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Looking to buy few lasers

Raistlin Majere

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So looking to buy a few lasers some for fun, some for experimentation. No real budget, I'm liking the colors green and blue (or even violet). Heard green is brightest and blue burns the hottest. Looking at that Thor 2.5W. What's the current most powerful laser? What's some good starter laser for kids?
 

Razako

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I wouldn't get kids anything beyond those little red lasers at pet stores. The rest of what you say is generally correct. The Thor is a good intro to blue burning lasers.
 

Crazlaser

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I can sell you a sanwu silver series 3 watt for $180. Heavy steel.
 

H2Oxide

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First off, welcome to the forum! :)

So looking to buy a few lasers some for fun, some for experimentation. No real budget, I'm liking the colors green and blue (or even violet).
Specifically, what are you looking for? Do you want to burn stuff, pop balloons, point out stars, learn about optics, or something else?
Heard green is brightest and blue burns the hottest. Looking at that Thor 2.5W.
Yes and no. Green is the perceived to be the brightest by our eyes, but in terms of actual intensity, a 1W blue laser beam carries the same amount of energy that a 1W green laser beam does. On a surface that absorbs all colors equally, there shouldn't be much difference in their burning ability. The Thor is pretty good for the price, but don't expect a "military/aerospace/[insert-marketing-gimmick-here] grade" laser.
What's the current most powerful laser?
The Japanese LFEx I believe (in terms of power density at least). As for handhelds, the most powerful lasers are custom built, often times by people on this forum (see: styropyro). If you don't want to commission a custom laser, you're going to have to build it yourself if you want anything >3W without spending some big $$$.
What's some good starter laser for kids?
I really wouldn't get a kid anything more powerful that a cheap cat pointer (EDIT: looks like Razako beat me to it on that one). Lasers can be incredibly dangerous if handled incorrectly.
 
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Radim

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Welcome to LPF!

First of all start to study laser safety. If you are educated enough go for your first high powered laser. But step by step, start with something like 100 mW green and get proper eye safety protection. Once you gain experience go for higher powers. The reasons are obvious - it is really easy to have an accident which might potentially blind you for life, hurt anyone else and/or get you in serious trouble. There is no reason to hurry. And if you want to have a fun with lasers, you need to get respect and experience before. Be careful with wavelengths in blue-violet region they have specific hazards and violet is not very visible. My 500 mW 405 nm looks like stronger pointer by eye, but there is enormous power in the beam, which is not as visible as with green for example.

Edit: If kids are supervised they can use something up to 5 mW. But kids or not do not lend your lasers to anyone not familiar how to use them. I noticed people unaware of them consider them just as flashlights or harmless pointers, but they are definitely not. Also experience and caution is needed as there exist many reflective objects. Once I did a terrible mistake and lend my 100 mW greenie to adult guy, as he was not aware of how easy is to get hit something reflective he shined it on traffic sign by mistake. Luckily nothing happened as it was fast and sign was not close and with some angle therefore not enough to make it hit our eyes, but from that moment I never lend them before giving that person extensive safety and use rules. No problem since then. It just illustrate how easy it is to have an accident.
 
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Accutronitis

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The muli-watt lasers are extremely dangerous, If they can do this kind damage just imagine what can happen to your eyes faster than you can blink or turn away !!!

A plastic fan blade on a dead fan...



A wooden ceiling fan blade on a dead ceiling fan....



A paper plate for 2 seconds at 15 feet away !!!

 

GSS

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All what Radim and everyone else said.. This is always a hard one as it's such a nice hobby that can be relatively safe to very dangerous:undecided:
How old are your kids and how safe do you see them being with everything in general? Would they use sound judgement as to where they might point in the sky or a another friend as a joke? Think hard on this.;)
A low level cat pointer won't be much fun but the next level at 50mw to 100mw will open the door.
A typical 532nm green pointer labeled at 5mw is over spec and average 80mw and will put a decent beam in low light conditions, pop a balloon and maby light a match. Great for nighttime sky pointing. You will need laser safety glasses now at this level and behond for any burning, 2 pair's at least as 1 for each child or friend.
A 405nm "voilet" won't have much of a beam but burn's the best of all colors.
The 2.5W 445nm Thor blue is overkill. The 445nm blue 1W Thor is "strong"!! More than anyone really needs. This will light fires and will be a safety hazzard in a house and you will need to take all precautions.
Would you trust the kids with a BB gun or a real gun?
Also these aren't anymore for a cat or any animal toy.
I would start with a couple 532nm 301 ebay pointers and go from there.:)
Let's hope we aren't being trolled?
 
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CurtisOliver

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Good advice Radim and GSS.
for you Radim, but I couldn't yet for you GSS. Still need to spread. :(
I think this thread has pretty much been covered by everyone already.
 
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Radim

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I agree with GSS - great point on gun comparsion - high powered lasers have to be treated like guns. (I do not mean legislation stuff now, but as you handle it as user.) I cannot rep you yet, as still I have to spread more.

For me it was great so see some scientific labs safety protocols how they handle certain classes. They basically keep the environment very controlled, with locked door, warning signs, light outside the lab indicating laser in operation etc. Of course eye protection is compulsory and in addition, light colored clothes, no jewelery allowed, all lasers has to be much lower level than head, beams have to be in controlled areas only (like within the optical bench), window if any with special curtains etc. They even have laser safety officers, special medical protocol for accidents, even sometimes kind of special wash basin for eyes if they are hit accidentaly. Very strict. To add there is Laser pointer safety web, where a lot of useful info might be found. Also here on LPF there is a special forum for that.

And BTW I can confirm, my Evo laser (see signature for more specs) is able to light match without any special beam adjustment (like lens), just colimated how it comes from laser. It is able to light a cigarette as well (also no beam adjustment) after a while (it is not able to do it only if the temperature is above like 25 degrees Celisus, but if lower, it goes fast). It is very visible in night and on full power you really do not want to stay with dot in one room without eye protection as it is incredibly bright. It uses two AA batts, so I use Energizer Lithiums, just to give you reference of what power source is used for such power effects.

Edit: Thanks Oliver, I still owe you too much. Spreading limit still applies for giving rep to you again, maybe I need to spend more time here to find also other posts worth reps. :D
 
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CurtisOliver

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I feel like the spreading limit has risen. :p
I haven't been able to rep GSS or others for that matter, for a long time. :thinking:
 
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hakzaw1

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OP
please add info in your profile--and
PLEASE consider NOT giving any lasers to kids..
NOT A TOY
ANY POWER even cat toy red.. can be dangerous... like the sun and a mag. glass--the power increase caused by your eye's own lens can increase MANY MANY TIMES..(hundreds or more)

also see the threads made by others in our 'welcome' section and do likewise..

best wishes --------hak
 
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CurtisOliver

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May have to check with Avery. It may just feel like it has.
 




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