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Adam Aron
05-04-2015, 1:07 AM
Hello everyone! I'm new to the forum and to lasers. I have a specific project in mind that got me searching for the right laser machine purchase.

My research so far has resulted in the top contender for my budget being a Thunder Laser Mini60-Plus with a 50 watt laser tube. I'd like to get some advice from the experienced folks here on this question:

Do you think I can cut 1/4" alder boards with this 50 watt machine using a low speed (such as 10) and 90% power? Would this low speed when cutting wood be advisable? Or even necessary? Will it be too likely to catch on fire at such speeds? (This machine is using servo motors and the company rates the max engraving speed at 1000mm/S.)

My understanding thus far is that a 50 watt system is borderline capable of cutting 1/4" wood without forcing the tube to 100%. My hope is that, because my project is using alder wood instead of a denser hardwood, I wouldn't need to get the larger 60 watt system.

Thanks for any advise!

Adam

------------------------
No laser yet
Just basic wood working tools, a very nice Veritas Bevel-Up Jointer Plane, and a fancy computer setup

Bert Kemp
05-04-2015, 2:01 AM
Adam,
1/4 inch alder should not be a problem for a 50 watt laser, it was my understanding you wanted to cut 3/4 inch and that would be a problem. 1/4 should cut fine at about 10 speed 90%pwr without setting the house on fire. Looking at the mini 60 its 600x400 working area not engraving area, I would check and just make sure of the engraving area as I know you need 23.5 inches . I think I mentioned Rabbit, Boss and Auto Tech to check out. Don't know much about Thunder, maybe someone else does.


Hello everyone! I'm new to the forum and to lasers. I have a specific project in mind that got me searching for the right laser machine purchase.

My research so far has resulted in the top contender for my budget being a Thunder Laser Mini60-Plus with a 50 watt laser tube. I'd like to get some advice from the experienced folks here on this question:

Do you think I can cut 1/4" alder boards with this 50 watt machine using a low speed (such as 10) and 90% power? Would this low speed when cutting wood be advisable? Or even necessary? Will it be too likely to catch on fire at such speeds? (This machine is using servo motors and the company rates the max engraving speed at 1000mm/S.)

My understanding thus far is that a 50 watt system is borderline capable of cutting 1/4" wood without forcing the tube to 100%. My hope is that, because my project is using alder wood instead of a denser hardwood, I wouldn't need to get the larger 60 watt system.

Thanks for any advise!

Adam

------------------------
No laser yet
Just basic wood working tools, a very nice Veritas Bevel-Up Jointer Plane, and a fancy computer setup

Adam Aron
05-04-2015, 2:10 AM
Hey Bert!

So you think it is no problem? Ok...

My design and viewpoint changed. The part that was 23.5 inches is now 21.6, so I believe that it would fit well in this machine. The 3/4" thickness will be cut with a jigsaw and trimming router bit with a laser cut plywood template. At this point, the only thicker cut I'm wanting to make is the one described above.

Thank you again for the gracious demo of your Rabbit laser. Rabbit is still in my top choices. I'm really looking for the best deal on a laser from a company with a good reputation and Rabbit is just barely pushing the cap on my budget, as well as my requirements on machine body dimensions.

Adam

Dave Sheldrake
05-04-2015, 10:26 AM
Go with the HX Laser Adam (Rabbit) you will be more than happy you did :)

Bill George
05-04-2015, 10:38 AM
I might add, get a 60 Watt, instead of a 50 if you can afford it. A 50 watt may be the peak reading and may only be just a 40 watt tube.

Dave Sheldrake
05-04-2015, 11:21 AM
Other than Coherent made in the US there are no real 50 watt Chinese tubes (or 45's for that matter) they are usually over stressed 40's that have been tested at above average output. Some do put out 50 watts, they just don't do it for very long :)

I see all the usual sales claims.... "Gold catalytic" "50 watt base power" "new design" and pretty much all of them are just sales hype produced hoping the end reader doesn't understand laser resonators.

A good example is the "45 watt gold catalysed" tube..... PVD coating the inside of the resonator has nothing to do with power, it's a method used to reduce return to flatline time of the gas molecules in wide body tubes, on a normal narrow body tube it achieves nothing apart from liberating customers of more money !!

The way of generating a laser beam in an closed system like a DC tube hasn't changed much in the last 20 years other than better quality glass, better optics etc, the actual methodology is exactly the same. Much of the time it's a comedy of errors perpetrated by sellers who shouldn't be trusted with scissors (No, you don't go taking a 500 watt fiber to a public show and running it open bed around members of the public who would like to keep their eyesight intact, Take note Boss Lasers when you screw up it gets round the world in minutes)

Adam Aron
05-04-2015, 11:22 AM
Go with the HX Laser Adam (Rabbit) you will be more than happy you did :)

Really what I'm looking for is a desktop laser with a 600mm x 400mm engraving area. The dimensions of the Thunder Laser Mini60 are 42" x 30" x 20". The Rabbit HX4060N is 44.5" x 40.5" x 34". That is a big difference in size for what offers very similar functionality and working area.

May I ask why you are recommending Rabbit over the Mini60?

Dave Sheldrake
05-04-2015, 11:30 AM
I've owned and used a lot of different machines Adam, from mid price western made stuff ($80k or so) to the top end industrial stuff (Mitsubishi etc) right down to the god aweful cheap Chinese junk like the K40 and of all those lower priced machines the HX King Rabbit (RabbitlaserUSA's supplier) have been indestructible, easy to maintain, reliable and well made. Thunder tend to be in the "general Chinese Junker" kind of class along with the basic Weike, Redsail, Shenhui type machines. A LOT of direct imports when they arrive aren't legal to operate in an industrial environment (at least over here) but a Rabbit supplied machine will conform to US safety requirements right off the bat.

Don't get me wrong, I love Chinese lasers but have little time for the lack of aftersales provided by Chinese vendors of those machines.

I guess to sum up how I feel? Imports for hobbies and tinkering, home grown for work and reliability (home grown includes Chinese machines imported by a reseller)

Dave Sheldrake
05-04-2015, 11:31 AM
I'll probably get the usual "But I run an import for business use" etc etc and that's fine, try running 12 imports and keeping them all going with no after sales to fall back on.

Wes Mitchell
05-04-2015, 5:35 PM
If you do a search for Rabbit Laser on this forum, the answer should become apparent.

Adam Aron
05-04-2015, 11:57 PM
Thunder tend to be in the "general Chinese Junker" kind of class along with...

Dave, I can see that you have lots of experience with lasers, which is impressive. However, I'm not impressed with the style in which your experience has been expressed. Your sweeping denigration of an entire grouping of Chinese companies because you favor others for your own purposes and budget is not was I was hoping for. It seems to me that some people have been satisfied with their experiences with the Thunder staff and their machines, that is, within the context of their own requirements and expectations, including budget.

If you want to stand behind your effective denouncement of the company I was inquiring about, please provide some elaboration. I have not discovered any reports of flagrant, substantial, or even moderate blunders, carelessness, deception, or mechanical "junk" when it comes to Thunder Lasers. The closest of such things I've seen is your hinting that their claim of using a 50 watt laser is actually false, and they are actually using 40 watt.

As I said, I am new to lasers. Most of the specifics of what I am looking for are elsewhere in this discussion. If I am misunderstanding what you were trying to say, please clear it up for me with some explanation. I'm here to learn about lasers and give back in any way that I can.

Adam

Dave Sheldrake
05-05-2015, 6:56 AM
"General Chinese Junker"

Used to express run of the mill Chinese machines that are all just small variations on a theme. Junk not used as a derogatory term.


I have not discovered any reports of flagrant, substantial, or even moderate blunders, carelessness, deception, or mechanical "junk" when it comes to Thunder Lasers.

Much like any lower priced Laser there will be problems, nature of the beast, Thunder are not exempt from this and this has been demonstrated more than once both on here and by email. That's not singling out Thunder, Chinese lasers are made to a price , not a standard.

However tell ya what, buy whatever laser you want, there is very little difference between any of the far eastern machines.

Frank barry
05-05-2015, 7:17 AM
i would suggest you go for more power as you will always find it useful
I bought my laser direct from China its a fine machine the support is good but I would love if the operating manual was in better English and was clearer and it would be great to have someone you could pick up the phone and chat with
having said that Rabbit have an amazing reputation for service and quality and if they were an option for me I would have bought from them

good luck with what ever you decide Frank

Scott Shepherd
05-05-2015, 8:10 AM
Dave, I can see that you have lots of experience with lasers, which is impressive. However, I'm not impressed with the style in which your experience has been expressed. Your sweeping denigration of an entire grouping of Chinese companies because you favor others for your own purposes and budget is not was I was hoping for. It seems to me that some people have been satisfied with their experiences with the Thunder staff and their machines, that is, within the context of their own requirements and expectations, including budget.

I don't think you'll find anyone as knowledgeable and honest about Chinese machines on this forum than Dave. Most Chinese machines come from 1 of a couple of factories in China and then are rebranded many times. Dave knows the source of the machines and knows which machines are reliable, which one's use problematic parts, and which one's that are use quality parts. If you ignore his advice, you'll do it as your own expense. There's been no better advocate for Chinese lasers on this forum than Dave, and there's been no better troubleshooter for problems with Chinese machines than Dave.

My guess is that Dave fields a 100 questions a week, privately and publicly, based on problems with various machines. If he says someone's not up to par, then you should probably listen.

As a side note, there's a US based company that's importing Chinese machines and rebranding at a trade show recently and they've gotten some decent press on this forum. They were running a fiber laser, class 4, with no eye protection, with people walking by and watching. When asked about it, they told people "We were told it was okay to run". If you think running a 1064nm laser, class 4, cutting metal, with no eye protection is "Okay", then I truly question your knowledge about what you do for a living. That's the difference. Reviews online don't always reflect reality.

Dave speaks in reality.

Bill George
05-05-2015, 8:23 AM
Dave, I can see that you have lots of experience with lasers, which is impressive. However, I'm not impressed with the style in which your experience has been expressed. Your sweeping denigration of an entire grouping of Chinese companies because you favor others for your own purposes and budget is not was I was hoping for. It seems to me that some people have been satisfied with their experiences with the Thunder staff and their machines, that is, within the context of their own requirements and expectations, including budget.

If you want to stand behind your effective denouncement of the company I was inquiring about, please provide some elaboration. I have not discovered any reports of flagrant, substantial, or even moderate blunders, carelessness, deception, or mechanical "junk" when it comes to Thunder Lasers. The closest of such things I've seen is your hinting that their claim of using a 50 watt laser is actually false, and they are actually using 40 watt.

As I said, I am new to lasers. Most of the specifics of what I am looking for are elsewhere in this discussion. If I am misunderstanding what you were trying to say, please clear it up for me with some explanation. I'm here to learn about lasers and give back in any way that I can.

Adam

If you spent more time Searching and Reading you will find Dave has given good solid advice on lasers, both Chinese and Western. There are so many knowledgeable people on here to learn from but they can't always take the time to answer your specific questions. More than likely its been asked and answered numerous times before.

Bert Kemp
05-05-2015, 11:03 AM
Basically Aron its the same ol same ol you get what you pay for. We all understand budget is a major concern for a lot of us, myself included. Everyone heres know my story, I went cheap the first time. Spent a lot of time and money trying to make a cheap machine run.It had no support and went things went bad and they did a lot I had no help from the company and spent more money trying to fix it. If you read the stories here and on other forums about all the downtime and all the money spent trying to get a junker to run right you'll find that if you saved a little more to get a better machine with decent support you'll be a lot happier in the end.

Mike Null
05-05-2015, 11:19 AM
Adam

If you'll spend the time (a lot of time) reading through posts on this forum relative to Chinese made lasers you'll likely discover that Dave is like Ivory soap--99 and 44/100% pure.

Dave Sheldrake
05-05-2015, 7:09 PM
Thanks for the kind words guys but there are a LOT of people here who know as much and likely more than I do about lasers, Dan Hintz, Matty Knott, Mike (above) Scotty Shepard, Dick Harman the list is almost endless :)

Me? I've just made a lot of mistakes and learned from them :)

Scott Shepherd
05-05-2015, 7:57 PM
Dave, I can't think of too many people on here that can name the names of the people in the factories in China making these things, taking the orders, and running the companies. Much less having the private emails addresses of some of those people. I'd say your knowledge about the entire process is a long way from most people's, and we're thankful for the knowledge you share with us.

Bert Kemp
05-05-2015, 8:44 PM
Adam if you clic on Daves name and then forum post's he has about 20 or more pages of posts to the forum , might save some time.

Michael Davis4
05-08-2015, 8:54 PM
Hello Adam, Thunder Laser Mini 60 is a great choice. I how ever would order it with a 60 watt tube. I have both the Mini 60 60 watt and G Weike LG6040N 60 watt. The Thunder laser is a bit faster but both do a great job so far of every thing I have ask them to to. Both run RD Works and the Mini 60 you can also run Thunder Lasers LaserGrav software which is like RD works with a few more bells and whistles to it.

I don't know your budget but I would also add to which ever machine you buy an Extra Laser Tube, American Optics and Lens and order an extra set with the machine. Both companies if you request American Optics but from II-VI optics which is a US Company. Also it's a lot cheaper to buy these things from the manufacture and have it shipped with your unit then getting them later. Just my experience. If you have any other questions or concerns you can em me directly.

Michael Davis

Bert Kemp
05-08-2015, 9:27 PM
I disagree with buying a spare tube. If you read the forums you'll find that tubes have a shelve life. They lose gas just sitting around also the warranty on tubes start on the date of mfg. So if you buy a spare the warranty is gone before you even put it in.




Hello Adam, Thunder Laser Mini 60 is a great choice. I how ever would order it with a 60 watt tube. I have both the Mini 60 60 watt and G Weike LG6040N 60 watt. The Thunder laser is a bit faster but both do a great job so far of every thing I have ask them to to. Both run RD Works and the Mini 60 you can also run Thunder Lasers LaserGrav software which is like RD works with a few more bells and whistles to it.

I don't know your budget but I would also add to which ever machine you buy an Extra Laser Tube, American Optics and Lens and order an extra set with the machine. Both companies if you request American Optics but from II-VI optics which is a US Company. Also it's a lot cheaper to buy these things from the manufacture and have it shipped with your unit then getting them later. Just my experience. If you have any other questions or concerns you can em me directly.

Michael Davis

Adam Aron
05-08-2015, 10:13 PM
Hello Adam, Thunder Laser Mini 60 is a great choice. I how ever would order it with a 60 watt tube. I have both the Mini 60 60 watt and G Weike LG6040N 60 watt. The Thunder laser is a bit faster but both do a great job so far of every thing I have ask them to to. Both run RD Works and the Mini 60 you can also run Thunder Lasers LaserGrav software which is like RD works with a few more bells and whistles to it.

Hi Michael, Yes, I believe that I'm looking to get a 60-watt after all the helpful suggestions, more contemplation, and lots of reading (as was the admonition). One consideration I have left regarding wattage is that it's important that I get the cleanest, soot-free, jaggy-free cuts on thick paper that I can. I've already gleaned some excellent tips on this from other forum contributors, such as modifying the air assist with a pressure regulator (variable release valve) to get the minimum air pressure necessary while avoiding blowing soot down onto the paper surface. Do you think I'll be able to fine-tune the laser power on a 60-watt Chinese tube down to levels I'll need for avoiding burn marks on cardstock paper? Would there be any benefit to getting a lower wattage tube for more reliable fine tuning at a lower power level?

I like the smaller size of the Thunder Laser Mini60 and what I've seen of the LaserGrav software. One concern I still have about Thunder Laser is the servo motors. Sure, they are fast, but I will be doing hardly any engraving -- mostly vector cutting. I primarily want accurate, smooth, and reliable vectors cuts (mostly paper, wood veneer) without extra maintenance routines or costs, so I'm wondering if I should go for a micro-stepper machine instead. Do you have the newer Mini60-Plus, with the servo motors? And are you finding that you need to maintain the servos on a regular basis (e.g. cleaning encoder strips)?


I don't know your budget but I would also add to which ever machine you buy an Extra Laser Tube, American Optics and Lens and order an extra set with the machine.

I'm intentionally withholding details of my budget. Sorry if that is inconvenient, but I think you get the general budget range if I am currently researching the Thunder, Jinan King Rabbit, and Shenhui machines with up to 60-watt lasers and 600 x 400mm engraving areas. As for ordering "American Optics and Lens," I'm not sure what you mean. Aren't lenses part of the laser optics? You think I should ask to purchase American made lenses and mirrors from the Chinese manufacturers?

I'm not going to stock an extra tube, so I'm with Bert on that idea. Of course it makes sense to order more extras for no additional shipping cost. I'm with you there...

~Adam

Frank barry
05-09-2015, 2:33 AM
Hi Adam I would suggest you get some samples cut as only you know what you want and the quality you require that is the advantage of working with someone like rabbit I am sure there are others also Cheers Frank

Bill George
05-09-2015, 8:03 AM
Hi Adam I would suggest you get some samples cut as only you know what you want and the quality you require that is the advantage of working with someone like rabbit I am sure there are others also Cheers Frank

I would second that suggestion. If your needing a machine for a certain purpose and your set on a lower cost Chinese laser I would get samples cut from the US Vender. Sounds like your interested in precision cutting of fabric and paper. Servos are faster or can be faster if needed, steppers not as fast but get the job done.

Scott Shepherd
05-09-2015, 9:55 AM
You might also note that "paper" is not one thing. Paper varies a HUGE amount. Different weights, different finishes, different ingredients, etc. Just because you can cut one paper with no soot or charring doesn't transfer across the entire line of paper products. Papers are very tricky and very fickle in my opinion. It's quite easy to tell someone you can do something in paper, only to have them bring you paper that doesn't laser well. My hats off to those that deal with a lot of paper. It's a skill, an art, and a craft. Knowing which papers will react in what ways is the key and that's something that comes with years of experience.

Dave Sheldrake
05-09-2015, 10:11 AM
Hi Adam,


One consideration I have left regarding wattage is that it's important that I get the cleanest, soot-free, jaggy-free cuts on thick paper that I can

That sounds like an easy question but in reality it's not,

The bigger the tube (higher power) the smaller the final spot size will be but the higher the power density will be. The problem with paper is it's yield temperature (around 430F) the problem is a laser is able to induce heat literally hundreds of times that figure so you are always fighting the potential for fire rather than cutting.
Two ways round it, you can either reduce the power of the tube or increase the speed. That's the problem, the tube has a minimum strike power of roughly 12% once it's settled in and a peak useful speed of around 60 to 80mm per second so the minimum power can often require more than the maximum speed to keep cuts clean.
Most far eastern laser makers will tell you cutting at 1,000mm per second is possible....it's not, the head weighs too much and the motors don't have the power to make sharp direction changes due to inertial energy leading to loss of tail on corners (try cornering in a ford focus at 80 mph to get the idea)
The overall beam profile of a DC fired tube is nowhere near what an RF laser can produce so definition on fine work often comes with it's own problems.
The single biggest problem will be the actual material, Paper/card varies so much in it's makeup very often a given paper may not actually be possible to cut without staining or soot marks no matter what you do.

Jit Patel on here is the master of all things papercut and from memory uses a Trotech speedy as his foray into Chinese made machines for paper cutting didn't end well. Given Jit's extensive experience with paper and his choice of a single 40,000 machine rather than 10x 4,000 machines seems to just about cover it.

Optics

Yes lens's and mirrors made by II-VI are superior quality to Chinese generic stuff although it can be akin to fitting a set of $2,000 tires on a car that has a top speed of 50 mph. On a $10,000 machine you would see a noticeable quality benefit, on a $4,000 machine it won't really make any difference.


without extra maintenance routines or costs

I'm likely one of the most vocal supporters of Chinese made lasers you will find on here and even I accept that they come with more problems than Western made machines, they are rarely if ever problem free and always require significant user maintenance to keep them working at the peak of what you need.

My personal opinion? for medium to larger scale paper cutting the Mini 60 is the wrong machine to buy.

Frank barry
05-09-2015, 10:57 AM
Hi If i am correct there was a very detailed post on cutting paper a few month back
in my opinion if you know exactly what you want a machine to do it make it easy but it means you need samples done from a place you trust to be honest its even better if you can see them being done then you you will answer many of the questions again Adam you will find you will get much clearer answers on here it people have a clear understanding of what you need an opinion on as there are many on here who have been there and done it and are more than happy to help cheers Frank

Bert Kemp
05-09-2015, 12:44 PM
Adam
your more then welcome to bring a bunch of sheets of the paper you want to use and we can work and tweak to see what my rabbit will do. We did one piece of heavy card stock and it cut pretty clean for a one shot deal no tweaking and me just guessing at a setting to try it at.

Michael Davis4
05-09-2015, 1:19 PM
Good day Adam, If you will contact Amy at thunder Laser and submit a request as to what you want them to test on the machine she will be more then happy to test the material and send you a video of the test with the settings used. Also to answer your question. Yes you will be able to dial down the 60 watt tube to cut paper and card stock with out a problem. For 80 lb card stock I use a setting of 20% power and 60MM/Sec speed and have zero burn marks. Also I have the New Mini 60 with the servo motors and controllers. I love it. I too had a time deciding between servo and stepper motors. I have one of both. My G. Weike has stepper motors and my Mini 60 has servo motors. I have found no extra work in having ether one. Both machines are 600x400 work area.
If you don't specify American Optics and Lens you are going to get Chinese Optics and lens. As I said both buy from II-VI Optics for there american lens. The down side to not ordering them is you well just end up doing it later on anyway and spend more money. Too me it just made since. Also after going through the Import headaches once I learned a lot the first time around. If you haven't done it yet, Get a Good Customs Broker onboard now before you ever send a penny to China. I wish someone would have told me this sooner. They are worth there weight in the little bit of money they will save you. Also be sure you understand that the price you are quoted for shipping is not all you are going to end up paying. There will be additional money's required, more then just customs fee's and taxes. Usually the price you are quoted for shipping is just to get your machine from the factory in China to the first port of unloading in the US. You are then going to be charged to have you machine De-Stuffed from it's container, Re-stuffed into another container and then trucked or rail shipped to where it's going to clear customs, Storage fee's while it sits in a warehouse waiting for customs clearance and then any delivery fee's on top of that plus Customs Fee, and Broker Fee's. And I left out if you live in Florida you are then on the hook for Sales and Usage tax if you are using it for a business.

Sorry for the long response. I hope this helps a little.

Michael Davis

Bert Kemp
05-09-2015, 2:35 PM
Hey I just for the fun of it ran a test on the rabbit. I used 140# 300 gram acid free stock pretty heavy stuff as you know.
I ran it at 3 different settings 60/15---80/20-----60/25 speed and power

60/15 cut out the rectangle almost 100% was a tiny little tab I had to pull. I could see a very very light tan on the edge with 225 pwr glasses on barley noticeable ,

80/20 didn't cut thru

60/25 cut it out 100% with a slightly darker tan around the edge and seriously you can stll barley see this tan edge .

I have no doubt that with a little more tweak like maybe 60 / 22 you would have no edge color at all and Like I said the way it is you have to strain to see it anyway.

Bob A Miller
05-09-2015, 2:58 PM
Just to jump in here & not having the experience of many of these fine folks.

I have a Gwieke & have used it go cut paper & cardstock (though normally not used for this), you can get an acceptable cut on the heavier stock but when you go down to finer paper my Chenese laser will only fire at a min of 12-13% power... So it ceases to fine tune right there. Better probably on a 60 W, but there is a limitation there.

On Chinese laser... For most it certainly pays to have North American based support... Just to reiterate what Dave says most Chinese factories don't have much...it may help on some things but not others. I just helped a fellow out who got his Chinese laser ...great deal from a company I had never heard of...everything worked fine. Went to fix something, all of a sudden no one spoke good enough English.. Support is everything on these machines. We're I to do this over again I suspect I would buy elsewhere. Rabbit would be at the top of my list, simply because of the support from Ray & company. ( It takes years to earn that kind of reputation in this field....about 30 seconds with a slow internet link to loose one)

On on the other hand I since bought a Trotec, which is phenomenal with paper ... But not what you are looking for. Good luck with your choice.

bob

Patrick Smithwick
05-10-2015, 8:56 AM
I have a Rabbit 6090 laser as well and i can honestly say I would reccomend it and the service from Rabbit. I have been running it for 10 months now and couldn't be happier. My only complaint is I do wish it was faster, but it is due to being a Chinese machine vs an American or European. If I was to get busier with business I would buy another!

Keith Winter
05-10-2015, 1:25 PM
My suggestion would to be go with as much laser as you can afford unless this is just a hobby. You'll never regret having more power. You might also decide to do more items in the future that will require more power. About 75-80w is the sweet spot I think. 60 would be pretty good too 50 is borderline.

Bert Kemp
05-10-2015, 1:29 PM
Keith one of his main jobs will be paper and I think if he goes over 60 watts he's going to have a hard time getting a good edge on paper.


My suggestion would to be go with as much laser as you can afford unless this is just a hobby. You'll never regret having more power. You might also decide to do more items in the future that will require more power. About 75-80w is the sweet spot I think. 60 would be pretty good too 50 is borderline.