J tech Laser 2.8w or 3.8w and why

Ready to order the laser kit for my x-carve but only finding information and videos on the 2.8. I figure better to buy the 3.8 even though the 2.8 seems to do what I want to do with it so my question is what would be the major differences other than faster cutting time? can the 3.8 do everything a 2.8 could and more or will there be limits on the 3.8 that the 2.8 would do better? I am new to laser engraving and want to make sure I do not buy the 2.8 and need to upgrade later or waste more money on the 3.8 and not benefit from the extra power. Any help or info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

2.8 is kind like a bit, it can cut smaller, finer detail. But it can also do larger. It’s just a little slower. The 3.8 is limited in that it can’t do finer details

Thats kind of what I gathered from it too and I will be doing mostly engraving and possibly pictures. I don’t think I will be doing a lot of cutting with it since I have the router for that. I thought maybe it would do those faster as well. In my forum searches I did see a 6w laser was still doing pretty detailed pictures so I wouldnt think too much detail would be lost at 3.8w but again I am completely new to this scene

RyanEdwards is correct.

2.8W 445nm: 0.01″ (0.25mm)
3.8W 445nm: 0.011″ (0.28mm)

From Jtech web site

Those specs are for the kerf width when cutting. We were getting a .005" burn line width when engraving photos with the J-Tech 2.8W and with our 6W custom build it’s .007". When moving at higher feedrates, the burn line width gets narrower. We can photo engrave at twice the feedrate with the 6W then the 2.8W, but there is a slight loss in detail because of the larger beam divergence. The divergence of the 3.8W is smaller then the 6W, but larger then the 2.8W.


We have not tried one, but you should be able to laser engrave detailed photos with the 3.8W.

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So what I am getting here is that I cannot go wrong by doing the 3.8w it will work faster and still do everything the 2.8 could?

Yes, It should.

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3.8w X-carve Laser kit ordered :slight_smile:


How’s your 3.8W kit treating you? Worth it?

Install was simple and works good but havent had time to play with it much or get a handle on the software because I have been busy using the router for projects. I did find it was helpful in running a quick scetch with the laser to make sure a project size was what i needed before running the cut with the router

Here are some items made with the 3.8 watt the detail is pretty good. Still learning but getting better.


Nice job. :sunglasses:


Have you used the 2.8W laser? Is there a big difference between the 2.8W and 3.8W? I’m just trying to learn how to use it to get some cool engraves in…

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A friend of mine has the 2.8 watt and we have made many of the same types of projects for the most part the difference is the speed at witch you can run a project and the 2.8 has a little finer beam width. Cutting seems to be where time is most noticeable between the two because you will be moving slower with the 2.8 and taking more passes to get the same end result.

How long does it usually take to make something like your USMC project you showed above?
My 2.8W is on order as of today :slight_smile:

Not liking it carving?!

About a hour and a half. Could have been ran a little faster I was still playing with the settings at that time.

I would have went with the 2.8 but I had the extra cash so I went to the bigger laser. Time really is no issue to me when the machine is working I will be designing the next project witch usually takes more time than what the laser needs to do it’s current job.

Unless I would need a super fine detail cut I will use the spindle.

I use a torch I feel I gives a more organic appearance than I could do with a machine.