Author Options:

what the type of laser can i use Answered

what the type of laser can i use
300 mw laser , 500mw laser or  1000mw ........
like this in ebay 
or this
i want to make my diy laser engraver
i want to know if the laser removes the powder coated paint from the surface of the Zippo Lighter to reveal the bare brass metal underneath.
like this video on youtube



4 years ago

CO2 laser with above 20W should work fine.

Diode lasers can work too but the standard for engraving is a gas laser due to the beam properties and energy reaching the surface to work on.


Reply 4 years ago

It depends on the wavelenght (color) and what you want to do.

For example a simple diode laser has no focus options, which means your smalles "dot" will be the size of the focussed laser.

A gas laser can be focussed over the optics and / or mirrors offering the option of engraving a larger area faster and still being able to create very fine details.

If it is for basic text and graphics on wood or paper it will not make a big difference but when doing serious stuff like on your pic you will soon reach the limits of small diode lasers.

Next issue is the cooling.

The Axis housings are good for a laser pointer but IMHO quite useless for a laser of high power and long on times.

So if diode you should use a more professional unit that has a proper cooling, big housing with cooling fins and a fan.

And for me the biggest downsinde of cheap diode lasers in the color.

For most projects you are limited to black surfaces as otherwise the laser might not be strong enough for proper results.

I played around with a 300mW red laser, popping ballons, burning tape and all the other useless stuff we do to test new toys.

But when I tired to use it for simple engraving on wood it already reached the limit as only crawling speeds were possible.

For simple projects on a budget I would not use a diode laser of less than 1W, if possible with a trigger input so the power can be controlled by a PWM signal (laser moves quite slow, so the breaks from the PWM signal won't be visible).


Reply 4 years ago


thanks man for your information

actually , i have a zippo lighter shop ,

and i want to engrave on zippo surface with it painted

in the video , i see that the use laser 20 w

and in 3 min they did 10 times from down to up

5 times from right to left

5 times from down right to up left i find in ebay mini laser engraver 200mw , 300mw , 500mw and 1000mw

i am confused

must i buy 20 w laser

or i can do it with 300, 500 , mw

what you think


Reply 4 years ago

Only testing or feedback from one of the authors of laser instructables can help.

I experimented with up to 1W and I would not try serious engraving with that little power, at least not on metal surfaces.

Depending on the coating you get away with little power but for anything that should last....

IMHO it is not worth starting with engraving under 20W as it is quite hard and time consuming.

If you consider a 3min run with a 20W laser you can expect everything from 30min to over an hour with a small diode laser.


Reply 4 years ago

I think he might be talking about a diode laser, as in these projects: