View Full Version : Zing or mini

brian saban
10-24-2013, 10:16 PM
Trying to decide between the zing 16 and mini 18, would love to hear your opinions and thoughts

Nathan Shaffer
10-24-2013, 10:41 PM
I have a universal VLS 2.30, it has a 16 x 12 table. I have found that it is just a tad too short for somethings I have been asked to do, IE wine bottles. Plus if you are planning on doing a lot of cutting then you will have to precut your material to fit in your machine. Would recommend nothing smaller than a 24 bed.

rich shepard
10-24-2013, 11:52 PM
I have had a Mini 18 for 9 years now and love it. Most of what I do I can use 16 inch stock so no waste from a 48 inch sheet. Has been a good machine that is easy to work on also. Just picked up a Legend 24 and think the Mini will get more use. I find the short bed lets the exhaust fan pull the warp out of plywood better also then the longer bed. So all depends on your needs.

David Somers
10-25-2013, 10:34 AM

I am still at the point of looking at lasers as well. But I am fortunate to have an Epilog rep locally who spent considerable time with me even though he knew those puppies were probably way more than I was prepared to pay for. We spent a bunch of time looking at the Zing vs the mini and he really recommended the mini, and the mini 24 specifically. He said with the mini and above you have some upgrade paths available in terms of power and lenses that you do not get with the Zing series. So the machine can grow with you if your business or hobby expands its scope. He said the Zings were both great machines and had good resale, but you had no way to bump up their capacity if your needs grew, other than selling them and buying again. With the mini, you had a pretty good upgrade path for the lenses and the tube among other things and would be able to keep the same investment working for you with a smaller further investment in the upgrades. If I were to buy an Epilog I would follow that advise and go with the Mini, given what I envision doing, and being a believer in upgrade capabilities when possible.

Hope that helps bit. Again, pleassssse keep in mind I am not an owner of anything yet so take this all with a big grain of salt.


Dee Gallo
10-25-2013, 10:45 AM

Welcome to the Creek!

It totally depends on what you plan to use your laser for... I do not need a larger bed as the work I do is small and I rarely use the whole 18x12 bed I have. Others need more room for bigger work. I would try to buy the Mini 18 over the Zing 16 just because the Mini is a real workhorse I'm familiar with (I have two of them). But the fact is that yes, most people want more power and more bed space, even if it is not needed or rarely used. That's just how it goes with tools. You don't mention the wattage, but I can say that my 25w and 35w are both more than adequate for the work I do, both engraving and cutting of mostly wood and plastic.

You needs may be different, cheers, dee

Martin Boekers
10-25-2013, 3:45 PM
Check what can be upgraded and the cost. Typically you may be more limited on upgrading then you think or it would be too expensive. I have found to figure out the power you'll need then bump it up..... :) The most power you can afford/justify the better off you'll be.

brian saban
10-25-2013, 10:54 PM
The mini 24 is nice but over my budget as I have to get a filtration unit as well, Guess the mini 18 is the verdict (I couldn't believe how much higher universals comparable models where) . Thanks for everyone's help. Now how does anyone have any experience with the quatro SPH400 filtration unit? seems to be the quietest I can find.

Ross Moshinsky
10-26-2013, 10:24 AM
What do plan on using the laser for?

brian saban
10-26-2013, 3:01 PM
Mostly electronics engraving, and some light cutting

David Linahan
11-01-2013, 6:21 PM
I have a 50W Zing 24 which I'm fairly happy with. My biggest "gripe" I think would be its "air curtain" air assist system. Because it feeds air into the workspace along a tube that runs the width of the machine. This tube has a series of holes in it that blows air all over and not just at the point of cutting. Apart from being extremely air hungry, even at 25PSI, I find tends to move lighter materials around a bit unless its weighted down. I think the single air nozzle, located near to the cut point would also be much better for blowing residue away from the material surface istead of blowing it down onto it and ofeten creating a lot of work to clean it up.


Mike Null
11-02-2013, 8:33 AM
Sales reps extoll the virtues of "upgrading" when, in fact, it is rarely feasible due to high cost. Before you buy be sure to get the real facts about upgrading a machine. In my opinion it not likely something that you will do.

I'm in my 16th year of engraving and jobs that require more than a 12 x 24 table have been rare. With one exception the jobs have been one offs that I didn't really want anyway. The exception was a large Cermark job that I was able to hand off to a friend.

Power equates to speed so I'm all in favor of buying as much power as you can afford but I agree with Dee about the ability to do jobs with less power.

Glen Monaghan
11-02-2013, 10:44 AM
Expect upgrades to cost you at least the difference in current retail price between the higher power and lower power versions. My experience was that, before original sale, the reps tout upgradability but, post sale, they back peddle and highly recommend that you sell off the old machine and buy new. There appears to be no incentive to negotiate whatsoever.

Probably, most people won't "need" the larger bed sizes. Although several times I've wished I had one, it's never been for a job that would have justified the extra expense and space in my shop. But I whole heartedly support the notion of going with more power than the low-end 20-35W choices if at all possible.

That said, although I regret not going for more than 35W and would say 60W was easily justifiable at the time, in truth I can't really justify upgrading now, after the fact, because I don't get enough work that requires the higher power to make it worthwhile. In terms of speed, I tend to multi-task with my machine so that while it's running a job I'm standing next to it (keeping one eye on it for safety sake) while preparing the next job (such as picking the correct stock or removing items from packaging) or finishing the previous job (such as wiping off residue, re-packaging, finishing invoice). Much more often than not, the engraving gets done before I do, so overall it's "fast enough". Still, there are those jobs that leave me standing around for long periods, wishing I'd taken the risk and bought more power to begin with... And the jobs I decline because they need higher power for cutting would need more than 60W to be feasible and, again, I don't get enough of them plus going over 80W would probably compromise the quality of a lot of my engraving jobs.

brian saban
11-02-2013, 1:40 PM
****Happy to say I got really lucky and got an awesome deal on a 4 month old Mini 24 40 watt with all the extras (Rotary, battery backup,engrave lab software, etc..) and the unit came with a 2 year, 3 year instead of a 1 year, 2 year warranty. Can't be happier with my choice. now to start burning stuff :). What I was amazed at was there original receipt and quotes, there quotes and purchase price one state over were 3 thousand dollars cheaper on each model I had quoted in NY. Amazing markup these machines must have and the commission play these sales reps must have. PS. I wouldn't buy off my NY rep that's for sure!

Mike Null
11-03-2013, 7:36 AM

Congratulations on your good fortune. Let us see some of your work as you get comfortable with your new toy.

brian saban
11-03-2013, 9:51 PM
Thanks Mike, I definitely will! and thanks to all on the help making the decision.