Ortur Aufero Laser 2 Review
Is This The Best Budget Laser Ever?
I own two of the very best laser engravers that money can buy. The xTool D1 Pro (20 watt and 10 watt). But they cost a buck or two. In fact, an entry level laser from just about anywhere is in the $500 and up range. What if you just want to get your feet wet in the laser world as cheaply as possible? Or maybe you want an inexpensive back up machine. The Ortur Aufero Laser 2 might just be what you are looking for.
And right away I need to make it clear that I’m not saying that this is the best laser engraver by a long shot. It is my choice for the best BUDGET laser engraver.
To get the optimum bang for your buck you need to leave the country and head to AliExpress to find the best budget laser engraver. You simply are not going go get a similar deal from the US based sales or places such as Amazon. Of course you can always check the classifieds for a used laser but you don’t really know what you are getting there.
If you search for “laser engraver”, you’ll find some good ones that hover around the $200 price point. However, beware potential shipping costs and make sure you are getting a laser with about a 5 watt optical output. Most anything else is a toy. Also check for coupon availability.
There are several no name lasers on there that price out at some ridiculous prices around $120 but once you click on them you’ll find that price is actually an extension kit or just the laser head. Clicking on the box for the full laser that is 5 watts or so pushes you up around $200 again.
Read on to see what I determined the best deal was.
Ortur Rotary Chuck Y-Axis Review
I purchased an Ortur Rotary Chuck (YRC-1.0) the day they released them. I’ll be shaking this thing down to see if it is good enough for production work. The rotary was released subsequent to the xTool RA2 Rotary Pro which is an amazing rotary device. The Ortur device is listed at $229 and the xTool comes in at $287.
The xTool is a rotary chuck AND roller device. The Ortur YRC-1.0 is a rotary chuck only. You will still need to buy the YRR Rotary 2.0 roller which will cost another $79.99.
One of the first things I noticed was that it WILL NOT CONNECT TO THE ORTUR FLAGSHIP LASER (LASER MASTER 3) WITH THE PARTS INCLUDED IN THE BOX.
What in the actual hell?
WHAT IS THE CHEAPEST LASER ENGRAVER YOU CAN BUY?
I’m a lover of laser engravers and on a quest to find the very best one. I have some ideas on what would make the best laser engraver. But for the moment I’m on a quest to find the cheapest laser engraver that you can buy. And I want that laser engraver to actually be viable. Did I find it? Let’s find out.
HOW THIS STARTED
I try to read everything I can about laser engravers in the hopes to be some kind of expert. I once stumbled across a video on YouTube entitled ” The Cheapest Laser Engraver on Amazon“. The author had found a laser for $99 and he put it through its paces. Sadly, by the time I saw the video the $99 laser was no longer available. So I set out to find something equally inexpensive and to see if it worked.
The price point for budget lasers now seems to be about $200. I did find a great laser for about $169 and I blogged about that here. It took me a month or two to find anything cheaper than that. Finally, I stumbled across a complete laser that cost cost $122.04 shipped. Typically, to find the really inexpensive stuff you need to search the Chinese website, Aliexpress. And that is just what I did.
Laser Side Hustle
So you are starting the laser side hustle game?. Here are a few things to think about from a business aspect.
I just got a laser from a different manufacturer which means I joined a new Facebook group. I’ve seen this happen so many times from every manufacturers Facebook or Webpage Forum. A group member will write:
“HELP! My machine stopped working and I have orders that I have to fulfill. I am frantic, HELP!”
Please know that I’m not knocking anyone here and I don’t think I’m smarter than anyone else by a long shot. I just want to point out some observations I have made over the last few years of operating a laser.
If you have bought a laser to run a small business and:
- Don’t know how to troubleshoot your machine.
- Don’t have lots of experience with the machine.
- Don’t have spare parts.
- Don’t have a backup machine
- Don’t have a fellow hobbyist who can help with your orders during your downtime.
Then what are your chances for immediate laser side hustle success?
xTool RA2 Pro Rotary Review
FULL DISCLOSURE – I was provided an xTool D1 Pro with an RA2 Rotary Pro at no cost to review. xTool has in no way attempted to influence my review.
I’ve been given the great opportunity to review the xTool D1 Pro and included in the kit was an xTool RA2 Pro Rotary device.
There are a lot of videos online that show the xTool RA2 Pro but most of the ones I have seen are familiarization, and unboxing videos.
I appreciate all these reviews and learned a lot from all of them but when I get my mitts on a piece of gear I want to fill in the gaps that others may not touch on and I will discuss Lightburn settings quite a bit in this blog.
Regarding unboxing though……….my kit was missing the small bubble level. Obviously that doesn’t affect assembly or use of the machine so it won’t affect anything discussed here. Actually I have a couple of those mini bubble levels around here somewhere so no harm, no foul.
xTool D1 Pro Review – Updated
NOTE: xTool provided me a D1 Pro + RA2 Rotary kit for review. All other accessories mentioned were purchased by me. xTool has never attempted to influence my review.
First of all let me expand on my note above. Had I not been impressed with the xTool experience I would not have purchased any accessories. So far I have bought an IR module, a Honeycomb kit , an Extension Kit with 1 additional Honeycomb panel, 8 risers, and a Laser Parts Kit. And now I’m eyeing the Air Assist kit because a friend of mine has one and it is SUPER quiet.
Also it pulls about 17 watts and the current LOUD air assist pump i use now pulls about 40 watts. If I run a job and I have any concern that a power loss would ruin the working piece……..I use a portable power supply such as a Jackery.
Desktop Laser Engraver History
This is uniquely frustrating and equally interesting, and also a cry for help. I’m currently researching laser history. There is considerable reference material out there. But none of it has anything to do with the timeline of the desktop laser engraver.
There simply isn’t much documentation of the development of consumer grade desktop lasers. Forum discussions from the early 2000’s now point to a bunch of dead links. It would take considerable effort to rebuild that knowledge.
xTool Infrared Laser Focusing
I purchased one of the xTool Infrared Laser modules and while it is super cool there does seem to be some internet chatter that the manual focusing mechanism is not 100% accurate.
There is a flip down bar that positions the laser 20mm from the work surface however the optimum focal range is 1mm or less. That means even a tiny positioning error can greatly reduce the effectiveness of the engraving operation.
There are a few strategies for manual focusing the module however the best of the bunch in my opinion is to use a USB microscope to visually dial the beam down to the finest possible size.
xTool 1064nm Infrared Laser Review
I was provided an xTool D1 Pro + RA2 Rotary kit to review for xTool. I purchased the xTool Infrared Laser with my own funds.
So I have been using lasers for a few years now however the ability to engrave metals has eluded me. One of these days I’ll probably pick up a proper fiber laser but I haven’t done it yet. Since I have an xTool D1 Pro 20 watt I decided to grab the xTool 1064nm Infrared Laser.
And as usual this blog will take you through the things that I have discovered while using it and not the typical unboxing video or walking you through the specifications.. The first thing that I discovered was that the box contained the xTool laser module and a power brick, however the power brick didn’t contain the cable that goes from the outlet to the brick.
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xTool D1 Pro Review
Full Disclosure – xTool provided me an xTool D1 Pro at no cost to review. They in no way whatsoever influenced this xTool D1 PRO review.
NOTE: Almost all my testing is done with Lightburn using the configuration file xTool provides here.
It doesn’t take me long to tell whether something is great, good, or problematic. In the case of the xTool D1 Pro review my conclusion is landing somewhere in GreatLand™.
I’d be remiss in not mentioning that I have considerable desktop and CO2 laser usage and I know just what to do to reveal problems right away.
While waiting for my D1 Pro to show up I began asking people questions and joining forums and groups. The first thing that hopped off the page for me were people asking “How do you keep things straight?”