Hello this is Geordie and I wrote the "10 Tips and Tricks for Laser Cutting and Engraving" instructable. For close to 2 years I ran the laser cutter/engraver at my local maker space, ADX Portland and I continue to use their laser to make my own artwork and designs.
One of the most common questions I've received since posting the "Tips and Tricks" instructable, is people asking me for advice on buying their own laser. So I've decided to write a quick instructable about that.
I’ve only ever used one machine and that is the Epilog Helix laser at ADX Portland. So that is the only machine I can talk about directly. So rather than reviewing specific companies and machines this article is going to be more about what to look for and think about when buying a laser.
There are a lot of cheap imports, mostly from China, on the market. But lasers are complicated machines and they do break and need to be repaired. Make sure the company you buy from is reliable and offers good support for you and their machine after you buy it.
Here are some questions to think about:
How hard or easy is it to get replacement parts?
Do they have tech support?
How easy is it to get a question answered?
Do they have a good website?
Are there tutorials on how to use and/or fix the machine?
Can it be upgraded?