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Sanwu Pocket Series 100mW 492nm (Cyan) Full Review with Pictures and Video Demonstration

FuzzyPancake

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
46
Points
18
Sanwu’s Pocket series is popular with laser enthusiasts for its build quality, adjustable focus, wide range of diode/power options (14 at the time of writing), small size relative to its output, and fair price. That said, I had high expectations for this device and I am reviewing it with this perspective. I will also be detailing my experience with Sanwu as a seller and with high expectations given their virtually universal praise here on LPF.

Along with satisfying my laser beam viewing addiction, I bought this with the intention of actually carrying it around in a pant or shirt pocket as an evening party trick/conversation starter. Wooing a pretty girl with a lightweight class 3B cyan laser pointer is a dream I will likely never fulfill, but will nonetheless pursue.

Cost

I purchased this laser from Sanwu’s site for $120 plus $40 for DHL/Fedex Global shipping on 5/8/2020.

Processing/Shipping Time/Customs

COVID-19 was still a serious problem in China and the US at the time I ordered, so my experience may not be typical. There were 14 total days (10 business days) between my order being placed and the box being placed on my doorstep in rural Ohio. 5 of those business days were for Sanwu to process my order, and 5 of those were for DHL/Fedex to get it to me.

It wasn’t until after I gave Sanwu my money and got an order confirmation email that I was informed of the “5-10 days” it takes Sanwu to process orders (their lasers are made to order, apparently). Since I was ordering for not just myself but also a friend that actually moved 500 miles away just before the order arrived, I was pretty annoyed by this. Sanwu should be more up-front about their processing times.

I had no issues with customs seizing anything. Problems with customs are exceedingly uncommon by my understanding, but some people new to lasers or Sanwu may be curious as I was.

Sanwu Customer Service

I had one basic question about whether or not their “304” 532nm DPSS model had an IR filter (it doesn’t but only emits about 10mw of scattered IR) and Francis replied in less than an hour. His English was fine - only some minor syntax and punctuation problems that didn’t really affect my ability to understand him (I note this because Sanwu is a Chinese company). For those with more technical questions that will require a lengthy and nuanced answer, I wouldn’t be super confident in his ability to reply totally coherently, but he may have just been in a hurry for me because my question was simple.

I also had to email customer service to receive a tracking number - and received the number over two days after my order had actually shipped. As one would imagine, I would have preferred not to have had to ask.

What’s in the Box?
  • Laser
  • Microfiber/lens cleaning cloth
No directions, no fancy carry box, no quality certificates… nothing beyond the anti-static bag and bubble wrap protecting those two items. I don’t need any extra stuff anyway, so I’m glad I didn’t pay for it. As expected, it did not come with a battery or charger, but these can be added at additional cost. Most folks here agree getting your batteries and a good charger from a different seller within your home country is ideal and this goes for all laser sellers.

Craftsmanship

It’s sleek, smooth, solid, balanced, and I absolutely adore it. Sanwu really knocked it out of the park here. When you hold it in your hand you can immediately tell that making this took top notch machining and engineering. It gives me the same feeling as holding a brand new flagship smartphone.

The threads are all smooth and tight, and after a nice thin coat of mineral oil (optional, of course) they feel heavenly - especially the focusing cap threads. It has a soft silicone o-ring midway through that makes turning it feel just… righteous, man. I am picky about threads and really notice them, and the threads on this focusing lens are possibly the best threads I have ever felt. They take just the right amount of force to turn and stay put wherever you leave them.

The rear toggle switch is metal and takes an appropriate amount of force and travel to actuate. Furthermore, it’s flush with the bottom of the device and will not activate in your pocket should you choose to be a weirdo and carry it around like me. The switch does not move around in its housing when shaken, but it will wobble a bit after the switch is pressed and the laser is on. It’s the only gripe I have with this as far as build quality, but I certainly wouldn’t call it a problem.

The battery does not wiggle around after you put it in and cap it. I can shake the laser and can’t feel anything move or wiggle whatsoever.

Beam Specs

When focused to infinity (when the focusing lens is fully closed/tightened) the “dot” from 8 feet is (when viewed with OD5 safety goggles) only just slightly elliptical. At 20 feet one can begin to see the curved lines that make up the dot, but again, only with goggles. To the naked eye the dot is exceptionally tight over distances for a direct diode laser (or at least significantly tighter than what comes out of my 1.6w 445nm and <5mw 635nm units), but it’s still at least twice as large as the dot from the 80mw 532mn DPSS that is going to my friend, but this is totally expected as DPSS lasers are well known to have less divergent beams.

As far as beam splash goes, it’s not super clean, but far from what I’d call "distractingly" dirty. See the image below and form your own opinion. I tried to make it as true to life as I could, but it's still very exaggerated. In person it's only just barely noticeable. I used a q-tip and a fork (as seen in the shadow) to block the brightest spot and avoid bloom

If you focus the beam you can easily light a match with it. Neat!

splash.jpg

Thoughts on the Exotic Color

It really is a lovely color falling between blue and green but maybe a little more towards the green side, and I think 100mw is satisfyingly bright. It’s not so intense that it’s scary to use, but not so weak that it’s boring. The beam can be seen in dim lighting, and definitely not in daylight. In the dark the beam is clearly visible and stunning for this small of a host. The image below does exaggerate the brightness and the beam appears more like an electric blue than the greenish blue that it actually is.

beam.jpg

Final thoughts:

You can get much more powerful lasers for $120 (+$40 for shipping), but the minimalist design, tiny form factor, exotic 492nm color, and bright-enough 100mw output really give this laser a wow factor that justifies the somewhat high asking price for me.

Regarding Sanwu as a seller, they answered my emails quickly and delivered my stuff in secure packaging without hassle. It was frustrating that they didn't disclose their processing times until after I had already paid, but I'm over it and would recommend them.

Video Demonstration:

 

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Snecho

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
717
Points
63
Very nice review. What lens did you get with it?
 

Shakenawake

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2013
Messages
1,916
Points
83
If you put it in your pocket with nothing protecting the lens dust can easily get on the lens and you will notice. It's not hard to clean with a q tip. I just use a tiny bit of water on the tip and then use a dry one to wipe it clean.
 
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steve001

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2007
Messages
2,455
Points
113
Sanwu’s Pocket series is popular with laser enthusiasts for its build quality, adjustable focus, wide range of diode/power options (14 at the time of writing), small size relative to its output, and fair price. That said, I had high expectations for this device and I am reviewing it with this perspective. I will also be detailing my experience with Sanwu as a seller and with high expectations given their virtually universal praise here on LPF.

Along with satisfying my laser beam viewing addiction, I bought this with the intention of actually carrying it around in a pant or shirt pocket as an evening party trick/conversation starter. Wooing a pretty girl with a lightweight class 3B cyan laser pointer is a dream I will likely never fulfill, but will nonetheless pursue.

Cost

I purchased this laser from Sanwu’s site for $120 plus $40 for DHL/Fedex Global shipping on 5/8/2020.

Processing/Shipping Time/Customs

COVID-19 was still a serious problem in China and the US at the time I ordered, so my experience may not be typical. There were 14 total days (10 business days) between my order being placed and the box being placed on my doorstep in rural Ohio. 5 of those business days were for Sanwu to process my order, and 5 of those were for DHL/Fedex to get it to me.

It wasn’t until after I gave Sanwu my money and got an order confirmation email that I was informed of the “5-10 days” it takes Sanwu to process orders (their lasers are made to order, apparently). Since I was ordering for not just myself but also a friend that actually moved 500 miles away just before the order arrived, I was pretty annoyed by this. Sanwu should be more up-front about their processing times.

I had no issues with customs seizing anything. Problems with customs are exceedingly uncommon by my understanding, but some people new to lasers or Sanwu may be curious as I was.

Sanwu Customer Service

I only had a basic question about whether or not their “304” 532nm DPSS model had an IR filter (it doesn’t but only emits about 10mw of scattered IR) and Francis replied in less than an hour. His English was fine - only some minor syntax and punctuation problems that didn’t really affect my ability to understand him. For those with more technical questions that will require a lengthy and nuanced answer, I wouldn’t be super confident in his ability to reply totally coherently, but he may have just been in a hurry for me.

Additionally, I ended up emailing them to receive a tracking number over two days after my order had actually shipped.

What’s in the Box?
  • Laser
  • Microfiber/lens cleaning cloth
No directions, no fancy carry box, no quality certificates… nothing beyond the anti-static bag and bubble wrap protecting those two items. I don’t need any extra stuff anyway, so I’m glad I didn’t pay for it. Needless to say, it did not come with a battery or charger, but they can be added at additional cost. Most folks here agree getting your batteries and a good charger from a different seller within your home country is ideal and this goes for all laser sellers.

Craftsmanship

It’s sleek, smooth, solid, balanced, and I absolutely adore it. Sanwu really knocked it out of the park here. When you hold it in your hand you can immediately tell that making this took top notch machining and engineering. It gives me the same feeling as holding a brand new flagship smartphone.

The threads are all smooth and tight, and after a nice thin coat of mineral oil (optional, of course) they feel heavenly - especially the focusing cap threads. It has a soft silicone o-ring midway through that makes turning it feel just… righteous, man. I am picky about threads and really notice them, and the threads on this focusing lens are possibly the best threads I have ever felt. They take just the right amount of force to turn and stay put wherever you leave them.

The rear toggle switch is metal and takes an appropriate amount of force and travel to actuate. Furthermore, it’s flush with the bottom of the device and will not activate in your pocket should you choose to be a weirdo and carry it around like me. The switch does not move around in its housing when shaken, but it will wobble a bit after the switch is pressed and the laser is on. It’s the only gripe I have with this as far as build quality, but I certainly wouldn’t call it a problem.

Just because it bothers me a lot when it is an issue - the battery does not wiggle around after you put it in and cap it. You can shake the piss out of it and you can’t feel anything move or wiggle whatsoever.

Beam Specs

When focused to infinity (when the focusing lens is fully closed/tightened) the “dot” from 8 feet is (when viewed with OD5 safety goggles) only just slightly elliptical. At 20 feet one can begin to see the curved lines that make up the dot, but again, only with goggles. To the naked eye the dot is exceptionally tight over distances for a direct diode laser (or at least significantly tighter than what comes out of my 1.6w 445nm and <5mw 635nm units), but it’s still at least twice as large as the dot from the 80mw 532mn DPSS that is going to my friend, but this is totally expected.

As far as beam splash goes, it’s not super clean, but far from what I’d call "distractingly" dirty. See the image below and form your own opinion. I tried to make it as true to life as I could, but it's still very exaggerated. In person it's only just barely noticeable. I used a q-tip and a fork (as seen in the shadow) to block the brightest spot and avoid bloom

If you focus the beam you can easily light a match with it. Neat!

View attachment 69179

Thoughts on the Exotic Color

It really is a lovely color falling between blue and green but maybe a little more towards the green side, and I think 100mw is satisfyingly bright. It’s not so intense that it’s scary to use, but not so weak that it’s boring. The beam can be seen in dim lighting, and definitely not in daylight. In the dark the beam is clearly visible and stunning for this small of a host. The image below does exaggerate the brightness and the beam appears more like an electric blue than the greenish blue that it actually is.

View attachment 69180

Final thoughts:

You can get much more powerful lasers for $120 (+$40 for shipping), but the minimalist design, tiny form factor, exotic 492nm color, and bright-enough 100mw output really give this laser a wow factor that justifies the somewhat high asking price for me.

Regarding Sanwu as a seller, they answered my emails quickly and delivered my stuff in secure packaging without hassle. It was frustrating that they didn't disclose their processing times until after I had already paid, but I'm over it and would recommend them.

Video Demonstration:

Find a dust cap. Check the lens to make sure it is clean.
 

FuzzyPancake

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
46
Points
18
Find a dust cap. Check the lens to make sure it is clean.
I wrap it in a little microfiber bag before I carry it to keep the lens clean. Are there actually caps that would work for this? Can you share a link to one?
 

Snecho

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
717
Points
63
I wrap it in a little microfiber bag before I carry it to keep the lens clean. Are there actually caps that would work for this? Can you share a link to one?
Question, is the Pocket about the same size as a cigarette?
 




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