New User Laser Suggestion

Hi all,

I am looking into getting a laser cutter as a hobby and to teach my kids about engineering. I’ve done some basic preliminary research, but don’t know too much. At this point what I think I would like is to get a 50 Watt 12"x20" laser cutter with a $2000 max budget. I would like to cut acrylic and plywood at this point. My main priorities are easy of use and cost. I would also like to have everything work in Linux. I live in Sacramento, CA. Are there companies/machines that people recommend that work well out of the box? I know I’m probably dealing with a Chinese cutter at this price, but am wondering if some are at least somewhat better supported and ready for out of the box use than others. Thanks for all thoughts, I’m open to other suggestions too.


I’m thinking something like this, but would love a machine/company that is reliable, works out of the box, and is well/decently supported.

I have a 60W red/black clone and had the original tube fail out of warranty. My research showed that it was not a true 60W laser and the true 60W that replaced it is ten inches longer. Your purported 50W machine may be just that if it’s from a reputable source, but it will be limited in work piece material and thickness.

I can cut 3 mm birch laser-grade plywood and 6.6 mm MDF from the big box store. I’ve not tried to cut thicker acrylic than 3 mm but suspect I can at a slower speed.

If your requirements aren’t too severe, you should be able to slow down the travel to cut the stuff.

Since you’ve posted in this forum, it means you recognize that this is the best software on the market, and it’s only getting better every day. Look for a supported controller (Ruida) for the machine you select. The Q/A section also confirms Ruida controller.

There’s a review in the link you sent and it appears that the user has Lightburn (good for him) implying a supported controller. The review also notes that the machine is shipped from overseas, likely China. The tube appears rather small for a 50W. I’d suspect with the background information provided that it’s not going to be a true 50W output.

Additional accessories to consider is a liquid cooling system and an ammeter to ensure you don’t overdrive your tube.

Based on the information for that unit, the “works out of the box” and “well supported” portions are suspect. Places like BOSS Laser have higher prices because they have super-duper support and someone has to pay for it. Online drop-ship outfits will pass the buck if there’s a problem. It took me months to get compensated for a failed proximity sensor because the seller was simply a drop-shiphead.

Good luck.

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