View Full Version : Which deal sounds better - laser engraver

Joseph Tovar
09-16-2009, 4:09 AM
Hi all,

I'm looking at 2 different used ULS VLS3.50 engravers.

The first is a 30W with the rotary attachment, cutting board, extra 1.5" lens, and a few more extras that I don't need(blower, corel, etc). It has very little use..under 10 hours and was purchased about 2 years ago. They want about $10,000 for it.

The other is a 50W with no accessories at all. The unit is about 2 years old, but the tube was replaced about a year ago for being faulty. This unit has under 40 hours of use. They want about $9500 for it.

I would like the cutting board and rotary attachment, but the 1.5" lens is not a requirement. I think you can pick up the 2 accesories new for about $1500.

So which deal sounds better? I was looking at it this way...

-Both are out of warranty, so does it matter that they are both 2-3 years old?

-One has under 40 hours of use while the other has under 10 hours. Would you consider the hours to be close enough compared to their overall life expectancy so this would be a moot consideration?

-If I purchase the 30W for $10,000 and upgraded to 50W, it would cost me about $2500-$4000, but I'd have all the accessories and extra stuff I might be abel to sell to recoup some cost(Corel Draw, blower, etc)

-If I purchase the 50W for $9500 and bought the accessories I want for $1500, then I'm at about $11,000.

Any suggestions, or is there something I might not be taking into consideration?

Thanks for any input!

Rodne Gold
09-16-2009, 4:14 AM
I would go for the extra power.....
I would also look at new vs used prices - a new machine has a tube warrantee and much better support...

Joseph Tovar
09-16-2009, 4:35 AM
Hi Rodney,

I was also leaning towards the high wattage one. I called around to see what new system prices are down to and what specials are going around. I think a new 50W is less than $12,500 and and a 30W is less than $10,500. I believe they both come with 1 year warranties.

As for support, I've personally had great support from ULS. I purchased a used VL200 back in 2004 on ebay(from Mexico), had the Power Supply blow on me during my first use and ULS took care of everything for me. Later on as their website got updated and they started offering classes for ULS owners, I was able to attend the classes for free. When I see them at the trade shows and email them with my questions. they've always been very responsive and helpful. So...I'm hoping no matter which way I go..new or used, I'll continue to get the support I received in the past.

Thanks for the input.

Dan Hintz
09-16-2009, 8:27 AM
Go for the higher power one... you will not get anywhere near what you expect for the extra equipment on the lower power unit. CorelDraw may net you $50-$60 on eBay due to license transfer problems that most don't want to deal with, and many here buy sub-$100 blowers from Harbor Freight (which you may get $20-$40 for if you sell it later). You may also find, as many here have, that the rotary is not as useful as you think it is unless you have a very specific market you're shooting for.

Scott Shepherd
09-16-2009, 8:30 AM
Higher power.

Mike Null
09-16-2009, 10:10 AM
Definitely higher power.

Mike Mackenzie
09-16-2009, 10:23 AM
Offer them 8500 for the 50 watt system see if they bite if so then you can get the accessories.

Martin Boekers
09-16-2009, 11:06 AM
One thing to consider with buying a machine that isn't used much is to have the power of the tube checked.

I don't have a ULS but 2 Epilogs.

The second one I bought could'nt be set up for a few months after it arrived. Later after consulting with Epilog they voiced concerns about the laser tube sitting for so long without being used.

I'm not the "tube pro" but there may be issues of it losing pressure and power
with long time of limited use.


Joseph Tovar
09-16-2009, 1:18 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. It looks like the higher power is the way to go. I'll throw out an offer and see what they say.

Marty, up until about 6 months ago I never knew that about the tubes. I had my ULS for about 3-4 years, untouched(because of family issues) and was bummed to find out they have about a 5 year life span. When I had it tested, it was still at 32W and has been working for me ever since...knock knock knock.

Martin Boekers
09-16-2009, 1:49 PM
Mine was fine also, but it never hurts to check. Esp on a used piece of equipment (a replacement tube for my Epilog is a little over $1800.00 with core trade in)

Just a thought, I Believe ULS is an easy swap for the tube.
You might consider offering a bit less (motivated sellers are a wonderous thing;)) for the 30 watt to cover a never replacement tube at a higher watt, then you have the 30watt one to fall back on in-case of an emergency.

Bottom line though is more power!


Zvi Grinberg
09-16-2009, 3:18 PM
Go for power. The price for power difference between 30 to 50W is substantial. Much more than the accessories.

Joseph Tovar
09-17-2009, 3:28 AM
Offer them 8500 for the 50 watt system see if they bite if so then you can get the accessories.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the suggestion. I threw it out there and he accepted. He had a few other offers a bit higher, but did not want to take them because they are located in his local area and he doesn't want the competition.

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone...