Need opinions on laser for Xcarve

I know that a lot has been posted on “which laser” to buy. I’ve read through a lot of post on the subject. I’m wanting to put one on my xcarve. I want to make sure I get one that I won’t wish I’d of got a different one or more powerful one later. The stand alone ones are out of my price range.

  • j tech or opt laser?
  • what power? 2.8 3.x 4 6 7

I want to be able to do some fairly detail stuff but want to maximize speed. I’ve seen conflicting info on ability to focus the larger power laser as finely as the lower power ones.

I’ve seen Phil’s page and read it a couple of times.

If you were to buy a non- CO2 laser that combines the best of focus, speed and cutting which would you buy.

Thanks for your time.

I’ve been thinking about graduating to a laser also.
been doing some reading and i think I’m leaning toward the OPT laser.
A bit more money, but I also think its a better design.
(with my very limited knowledge)

There is nothing on the market that meets your requirements. None of the diode based lasers will cut much of anything and the few things they will cut take forever to cut even thin materials.

The best you could do with cutting in mind is the CO2 lasers that you have ruled out. You can get a Chinese CO2 laser (40 - 60 watts) that will cut thin materials that cost around $400 USD, but will require some repairs/modification to work well.

The diode lasers work well for engraving and raster images. It’s true that the Jtech 2.8 watt laser will burn a somewhat sharper image than the Jtech 3.8, but the difference is not huge.

Any laser that is rated above 6 watts will not deliver that power continuously. There are laser diodes that are advertised up to 15 watts but that is only attainable for a few mill-seconds with a long cooling period before you can pulse it again.

Jtech versus Opt is a matter of esthetics. The Opt laser is fairly well self contained where as the Jtech is more or less an open frame product. Comparing the 3.8 Jtech against the Opt the Jtech wins on price and the OPT wins on a compact integrated solution.


Excellent info. Putting less emphasis on cutting, you’re saying stay away from the 4, 6 and 7 watt diode lasers?

Yes, it all really depends on what you would like to do with the laser as to what the best fit would be.

The OPT ~3 watt and the OPT ~6 watt versions should be ok.
The Jtech 2.8 and 3.8 should be ok as well.

As you approach the 6 watt level there are some software issues that come up that you would want to take into account.

If it were me and I wasn’t going into the laser engraving/image business. I would go with the Jtech 2.8. I believe that if you buy the 2.8 watt unit and later decide that you would really rather have the 3.8 watt, you could just buy the 3.8 watt LED to use with the components that you have with the 2.8 watt kit.

From posts that I have read I believe that Jtech has better customer service and is in the USA (only makes a difference if you are in the USA). That’s not to say that OPT customer service is bad, it’s just that the company is in Poland and their customer service is not quite as good as the customer service at Jtech.

All, I recently added the OptLaser (X-Carve Full Kit with PLH3D-6W-XF) to my 1000mm xcarve. And run LightBurn to control everything on a newer X-Carve with XController. The 6W laser takes about 10 passes to cut 1/8" cherry/poplar plywood from (1/8 Plywood from a hobby store would not cut, it just burned).

I’ve used the laser to engrave metal tools, and cut paper. Trying to cut anything else larger than 1/8" is very time consuming. My cut time for a 5" 4 sided candle holder was in excess of 5 hours. Love the detail however and the resolution cant be matched with a bit. The above kit is also magnetically attached so for me this was the best option to use for a laser/router solution.

If you want to go thicker, you will need to go CO2. I don’t think any LED laser would perform much better that the 6W, at least not enough in my opinion to justify the step cost increase.

Just my $.02

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Do you move the Z axis down a bit with each pass of the laser?

Yes, I move it down .2mm each pass. And with 3mm plywood that seems to punch thru.