First Timer setting up new CO2 laser (60 watt delivered)

Hi all,

I am eyeing the OMTech 50 watt refurb. I was hoping to hear some feedback from owners. I know it’s a Chinese CO2 laser, but realistically, what are the drawbacks? Issues? Concerns? Necessary upgrades out of the box? Is it stable? OK water cooling? Non stable gantry? Wobbly axis? What should I look for?

Should I be looking at a different laser? They have a 40 watt for $350 and I know it’ll need upgrades, but that’s OK.

Any input is appreciated.

I need a laser that is faster, more powerful, self contained and can etch glass. I spend a full day a week making small production stuff and winter is coming John Snow! I need a unit I can use inside my apartment.

Thank you

Hi, I bought a new 80w Omtech a couple of months ago and loving it, worked straight out of the box no major adjustments and only a couple of minor ones.
As for using it inside your apartment :thinking:
I’m guessing your apartment is pretty big or the 50w machine in quite a bit smaller in size :grinning:

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Can’t say I had the same luck coming out of the box. Arrived damaged. The rails are good. If you plan to keep it a 50W it should be good. The one I have vents from the left. I cut out the vent grid. I felt it restricted air flow too much. I have a 400+cfm exaust fan. You will need something similar. Either a aquarium pump or compressor will be needed to get really good cuts. The supplied pump leaves a lot to be desired lol

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If you haven’t seen any of Russ Sadlers videos, check out his “What have I learned from 1 year of owning a Chinese Laser Engraver” it may help. He’s British, so is his humor. :slight_smile:

I don’t know what you can get for $350. Mine is an advertised China Blue from Omtech. It’s supposed to be the 2021 model.

Mine is advertised as a 50 watt model, but the tube is only 880mm long, so it’s probably 45 watts or so. I measure it at 80% at just over 40 watts.

The air pump is different, the old style mount is still present.

it also came with a honeycomb bed supported by aluminum pointed bars. Replaced them with a mild steel plate. Probably the best addition is it has an access panel on the left side. Good access to mirror 2.

Guess I need a better picture…

Ran fine out of the box. In the end, you probably get what you pay for.

If you want one to do a job, then buy one at 10K otherwise figure in some time for tinkering with it.


It’s a 1 bedroom and the 50 watt is a little smaller than our kitchen table. Until we buy a house I’ll have to make do with the 50 watt as the others are simply too large. I’m going to have to modify the vent to be on another side in order for it to fit.

Thanks for the input! I’ve heard the fan is air assist is terrible and will need an upgrade. I’ve already sourced a 1400GPH quiet aquarium pump. I know the liquid cool is just a submersible pump so that’s alos on the list for upgrades prior to setup.

Thanks for the input! I’m guessing as a refurb it’ll be last years model so that cash I save might not be worth it. Did yours come with the simple submersible for liquid cooling? Or does it have an actual chiller? The listings are kind of vague.

I know I’ll need tinkering time, and tbh I enjoy that. I won’t be able to afford a $10k laser until the 50 watt pays for itself and then some. Thank you!

I got the submersible with mine. I still use it. I have it in the tub that was supplied with the laser. I just keep an eye on temps for burns over 2 hours long. Have frozen iced tea bottles if needed. I tend to run my laser on the slow and low power side.

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Thanks for the input! Out of the box it already needs about $500 worth of pumps and an ammeter. I’ve figured that in. Shoot, maybe I just do the K40 one for $350 and upgrade then. Whats a few watts I guess.

Mine also came with small submersible pump but living in the UK I don’t have to worry much about overheating :slightly_smiling_face: and the air pump is really only good for keeping the lens clean.
Tbh, the majority of the things i’ve done on mine could have been done on a much smaller one :+1:

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Came with this water pump. Looks like a small pond pump. It does stick to the tank :slight_smile:

I built a table for it and opening large enough for a chiller. I have a 5202 that fits under it. I can wheel the whole mess around.

What you use for cooling is a lot dependent on your ambient temperatures. Some of these (lower cost) are no more than a radiator with a fan in it. This is ok if where it’s running is cool enough. I live in the SW desert. We have many days over 110 deg, so that would ‘heat’ the tube. The 5200 series are basically a refrigeration unit. I’ve run it above 105 and it keeps the tube at it’s set temperature of 25 C. It’s been too hot for me to operate and it’s working fine.

This is the meter installation

Hooking this up is a 2 minute task and the meter is less than $8. If you can’t afford this…

Cutting a hole in your new machine is a bit of a hinky feeling. I figured where it needed to be. Designed the cutout in LIghtburn, cut it out and made sure the meter fit correctly. Wanted it 15mm above the control pad, so added 15mm to the bottom.

I run the cut again with the only the drill points I wish to use. Then use it as a template. Here’s a picture.

The K40 is a good machine, but lacking in many areas, as it’s price should indicate. The most used item on my machine is the Z axis. Every job must be focused (there are exceptions.) So the distance is important. It’s easy to twist the Z axis on my machine, but that’s missing on the K40. You have to shim your material. The controllers supplied with many of these machines are usually repaced. I don’t think Lightburn supports the type in a K40. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

All things you need to check on. Hope this helps. I tossed the honeycomb bed for a mild steel one. You should watch Russ’ video on honeycomb beds.

Take care good luck. I’m sure you’ll have fun with whatever you decide fits the bill.

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Wow, thanks for the detailed info! All of this really helps cement my decision.

Nicely done. :+1:

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Do we get a clue as to your decision? :slight_smile: :smiley:

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I hope it’ll still be available by the time I’m ready to order (next 2 months) and it’ll be the 50 watt Omtech refurb (if possible), an ammeter, a high output (1400 GPH) quiet aquarium pump, a CW-3000 chiller and something to cover the whole thing with so it’ll be hidden in the living room when not in use.

I really need to be able to make a set of coasters in under 20 minutes and the benefit of being bale to custom engrave glass is a bonus. Going to keep the bed as is for now, will have to cut a new vent to vent outside as well as a few other things depending on model. I should’ve just bought a K40 right off the bat, but didn’t know about this forum. Figured diode laser would be the way to learn and that they’d be more reliable.

I appreciate all the input and pics! Going to have to build a stand and keep my eyes open for replacement parts that might wear out as the tube has a 1 year warranty (or 6 months depending on where purchased).

As Jack rightly says, the K40 is or can be a fine machine. I have read about many disappointed buyers who could not get the machine to run properly. In addition, it must be said fairly that the machine only costs approx. $ 300 or € !, and you have to work a little with the machine yourself.
The K40 is slowly becoming an old machine and all the secrets have been uncovered and in fact you may be lucky to get a machine from one of the slightly better factories in China. I was so lucky. Mechanically, I have removed the entire X and Y motion system and put it back again, to be able to work with the exhaust duct. The whole electrical installation has been at least as good as if it was produced in Eastern Europe, not the best cables or connections, but everything worked and complied even with the safety regulations in my country. People often shout that you must not use the rear sockets, that it will be life threatening !! - what a strange thing to proclaim over the whole internet. We can just as well accept that the Chinese have come after it and are undergoing rapid development and product improvement.

What I want to say is that my K40 has been 100% safe to drive with after I fitted a door switch! I have thrown out the original bed and shortened the exhaust duct - just like everyone else has done. The most important thing has of course been to change the controller, it cost me 90 $ (Mini-Gerbil) and is necessary to be able to use LightBurn. In the almost 3 years I have been driving the machine, I have changed the lens and mirrors once. As a luxury, I bought myself a CW5000, I was tired of changing ice blocks all the time. My machine with the first CO2 laser tube still runs very fine and precisely and has earned at least 20x itself.
If I did not miss a larger machine bed I will not look for another machine, I am very happy with my K40.

oops, it was not meant to write such a long post

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… my post was on the way while you have replied, so it is not current anymore.
Do yourself a favor and buy a CW5000 and not a CW3000, you just get upset when you find out that it does not cool your laser well enough for larger jobs.

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The more info the better!

This is the info I needed! The 50 watt comes with a Ruida controller and roller so I might as well just upgrade to it while I’m at it. Thank you very much, I appreciate the insights!

Jack, is your machine a 400x600 ?, it’s a little hard for me to see. I am very interested in how high the machine is without the feeders / rollers. It’s a nice table you’ve welded together!

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Can you get the OMTech 50 watt refurb. much cheaper than a “normal”?

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