First of all I’m going to start by saying these are solely my opinions. But I think they are pretty valid observations. In the last month or so the original founder of Ortur laser, Mr. Justin Tan dropped a letter saying that he and his Board couldn’t resolve their differences so he resigned.
Anyone following Ortur laser, especially on their Official Facebook group knows that the face of the company is a gentleman named Gil Araújo. He is their Support Lead and quite frankly he’s developed a reputation for providing exceptional customer service. If you’ve spent more than a few days on their group you know who he is and you know that most of their customers recognize him as a professional who is going to get them through whatever support issue they have. Gil just dropped a post announcing his resignation as well.
If you are trying to buy a laser engraver for the first time, the entry level price can be a bit daunting. Entry level prices can exceed $600 for a “budget” laser. I personally am always on the lookout for bargain basement priced lasers. Today, I think I have found the Mother Of All Deals. Let’s chronicle my never ending search for a cheap laser engraver.
Cheap Laser Engravers
I’ve written on this subject before. Finding a bargain in this hobby is worth writing about. My previous favorite budget machines that I reviewed were the TwoTrees TT-25 and the Ortur Aufero AL2. I found the TwoTrees machine (actually a rebrand) on Aliexpress for about $122. The Ortur Aufero 2 ended up costing around $170. Both of those are bargains although the TwoTrees machine was a 2.5 watt laser. I typically prefer at least 5 watt machines.
In late February I posted an article regarding quality issues I was having with my new Ortur Laser Master 3 LE. After opening a support ticket, Ortur agreed to send me some parts to repair my problem. After nearly 3 weeks I finally received an email me from them that said “Sorry For The Delay”. A shipping link was provided. Ortur Updates are never good news.
Now 4 days later the parcel is still kicking around inside China.
I recently purchased an Ortur Laser Master 3 LE . It worked fine for about a month and then began clicking when homing in the X axis. After initiating a support ticket it turns out the problem was simply poor Quality Control. I also had Quality Control issues with my Ortur Laser Master 3 that I purchased as well.
One of the claims to fame of the Laser Master 3 LE is that the X rail is preassembled. This simplifies, and speeds up assembly time. And herein lies the problem. It was preassembled POORLY.
Some years back I owned an Ortur Laser Master 2 and coupled it with the Ortur Rotary YRR 2.0. It seemed like setting it up was a dark art back then. I’ve since sold both of them and upgraded to an Ortur Laser Master 3 and now have added the Ortur Rotary YRR 3.0.
Just like the Ortur Rotary Chuck YRC 1.0 the damned thing does NOT directly hook up to their own lasers. The Laser Master 3, which is their flagship laser, comes with an adapter cable that you must use. This makes no sense to me that the either rotary device that Ortur offers doesn’t contain the cabling you need to connect it. That’s insane.
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.
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.
I’ve been doing desktop diode lasers since they became mainstream in about 2019. Prior to that they were mostly DIY. Ortur was pretty much first to the game with the Laser Master 1 and subsequently the Laser Master 2. I owned 2 of those. I’ve since picked up a Laser Master 3, an Aufero 2 and now it is time to do an Ortur Laser Master 3 LE Review.
I wasn’t really a fan of the Ortur Laser Master 3 and I wrote at length about that here. My LM3 works fine but I generally think the design has some issues. It sits so low as to be almost unusable for anything over 400mm in width unless you raise the machine. Also there are support issues regarding the lens protective glass that just aren’t right.
Unboxing And Assembly Video
HA! I don’t do that here. Ortur lists what’s in the box on the product webpage and they have a great assembly video. Why people think showing what’s in the box is useful in a video when those components are listed in a chart, I’ll never know.
I’m a little late to the show on this one and the Ortur Laser Master 3 has been reviewed to death on the internet. It was released around mid-July 2022 so it took me around 5 months before I got my hands on one.
I previously owned two Ortur Laser Master 2’s and I considered the LM2 to be the first real viable, non-DIY desktop laser out there. I sold one of them about a month ago, and the other just a few days ago and took the proceeds from those sales and picked me up a Black Friday priced special.
Now I currently own an OMTech 50 watt CO2 laser and an xTool D1 Pro so the Ortur Laser Master 3 has some stiff competition. This blog will be strictly my first impressions and not an overall review of the machine.
First of all, while it was in the mail I watched all the assembly videos and read all the blogs and tried to get up to speed as much as possible. The Ortur Laser Master 3 has perhaps the easiest build of any desktop laser I’ve ever owned. However, there was one catch and that catch left me FUMING.