Need a point in the right direction

Im need advice on purchasing a laser
Im looking to turn a hobby into a business
And need a suitable laser
It needs to cut ply mdf and acrylic
And etch ply acrylic and poss metal
I need it ready to go no messing with mirrors itc
Preferably from the uk
So what’s your thoughts folks
Stay safe

If you wish it for business, purchase a business type laser. These Chinese machine are low cost, but they are not commercial quality in construction and virtually no support.

Don’t know what ‘poss metal’ is… but most co2 lasers in this power category (< 200 watts) are not going to useful in directly marking metal. There are coatings that will allow you to use the laser to ‘bind’ the coating to the metal, but not cut/damage the metal directly.

Good luck


1 Like

I was looking at a glowforge unit

The two commercial units used in the US that I’m aware of are Universal and Epilog. Used in small businesses that make craft items.

If you’re looking to start a business, the absolute LAST thing you want to base it on is a SlowForge machine. Do your research, there are thousands of people complaining all over the internet about machines bursting into flames, not working, failing, etc. They are one of the worst lasers on the market, and virtually no support from the company.

1 Like

Thanks :slight_smile:
What you suggest i use ???
Be safe

It really depends on your budget, and what you want to do with it. If I personally were looking at machines today, these two would be at the top of my list. 2 completely different classes of machines, so depends on your intended use.

1 Like

If you want to not have mirrors and CO2 tubes I would look at Epilog. These units are not low cost.
I mention universal because that was the machine in use by all the woodworkers in Gatlinburg Tn while I was on vacation many years ago. Not sure if it has a CO2 tube.

Epilog laser still have mirrors and a co2 tube. Although, they are a metal/ceramic co2 tube that can be recharged. The tubes are a lot smaller in physical size than the Glass tubes that everyone is used to in the Chinese lasers. The tube is still located in the back of the machine, and uses mirrors to bounce the beam through the cabinet to the focusing lens in the head, exactly like every other co2 laser on the market.

These appear to be rf excited co2 lasers. I’ve never seen an air cooled co2 laser that isn’t rf excited. Doesn’t mean they don’t exist, just haven’t seen one. It was also the loudest unit I’ve heard.

Just the rf excited co2 module is a couple grand, depending on power. It has a long life and can lase at 1%, I’ve been told. Never been able to really afford to go that direction.

Good luck


You are correct. I’ve got an Epilog Fusion Pro 48 120 Watt machine. Yes, the fans are noisy, but no chiller to worry about, won’t freeze if it gets cold, etc. My 120 watt will fire down to about 4% or so, and can run full speed at 165 inches per second (4,200 mm/s) with incredible detail. Also able to run it at 100% power all day long without hurting the tube, unlike glass tube machines. Awesome machine, I love it.

I’d trade mine in a heartbeat for an RF… Out of my price range…

Incredible control with such a wide range. One of the guys here has one and says it works down to 1%.?

Do you have to bolt it down?

I’ve had mine up to 1650mm/s and it will move the machine if I don’t back off the acceleration. Of course on mine, it’s all academia going that fast.

Would you happen to know the response time for it? That would be the limiting factor… at least on a dc excited one it is…


They must have a lower wattage tube. Mine won’t fire down to 1% with the 120 watt. Fires lower than an equivalent glass tube machine will though for sure.

It is not bolted down. It’s on the screw down feet though, not on the wheels. Incredibly stable really. The Fusion Pro 48 has 5G acceleration, so it gets up to speed quick.

I’m not sure on the response time, Epilog doesn’t publish that. I can tell you though, I can run it at 100% speed with no degradation in the quality of the engraving. It’s just as crisp and clear as if you ran it at 20% speed. Awesome machine. I actually purchased it used from a guy that had to sell due to a divorce. Got it for a great price, and it was close enough that I went and picked it up, so no freight charges.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.