The use of fiber laser marking machines has considerably grown in popularity in the past one or two decades. They are now much more accessible devices that anyone can buy because these machines have gone through a great price cut. Of course, there are still some machines that cost tens of thousands of dollars, but if your only purpose is for personal use or for a small business, there really is no need to invest such a huge amount of money. There are a lot of affordable options out there.
However, investing in cheaper technology is always a bit problematic because you do not know which products are good and reliable and which ones are not. Nowadays, the market for fiber laser marking is oversaturated with hundreds of different brands that offer thousands of models. How can you know which one you should get?
Well, it is not as complicated as you probably think and if you stick with reliable and trustworthy brands, I am sure that you will make the right investment. Do not worry, to assist you with this decision, I am going to provide you with a few tips for buying this kind of device.
1. Figure out what you are going to use it for
One of the first things you will have to do before buying any kind of fiber lazing marking machine is to figure out what you are going to use it for. Yes, believe it or not, but there are lasers that have different purposes.
For example, one machine is made to engrave into certain metals while another is made for engraving and much softer material such as plastic, fabric, leather, glass, or even acrylic. There are a lot of different types of products on this market. This is why it is so important to figure out which is the perfect one for your needs.
Otherwise, if you get the wrong one, all of the items you try to engrave will be ruined. Or, the marking will not be as prominent.
So, if you plan on working on metals, make sure you get a fiber laser that is strong enough to leave a mark. If you plan on working with nonmetal materials, you will need something weaker.
2. Settle for a budget
This article is specifically directed at affordable laser marking devices, but that is still a huge spectrum. In this market, some would see the thousand dollar models to be affordable.
This is why I recommend figuring out what your budget is going to look like. This is going to help you narrow down to only a few models and making a decision will be so much easier.
However, to figure out your budget, you will also need to know what you are going to use it for, as I mentioned previously. Naturally, if the entire purpose of the machine is for home and personal use, I recommend sticking around the $500 range. Yes, it is not a lot of money and the products in that price range may not be of high-quality or very impressive, but they will be more than enough to satisfy your needs.
For something more serious or for running a business, you should be looking at the ones that are priced anywhere between $2000 or $3500. This is the price range where you can find fiber laser marking machines that are made out of high-quality materials as suggested by hispeedlaser.com. Considering the pricing of some other high-end flagship models that cost $30,000 or more, this is a quite affordable option.
3. Check out online customer reviews
Previously, I mentioned that the market is oversaturated with so many new products which is why it is so difficult to buy one. It is impossible to figure out which brands you should trust and which you should avoid.
Fortunately, that can be easily resolved just by checking out online customer reviews. Keep in mind, you should entrust the reviews that are on the official product page. To get an honest review, it is probably best to use websites such as Amazon or eBay. Google is also a great website to find reviews, but Google usually does not provide ratings for products. Although, I am sure there are tons of other websites that provide legitimate reviews and customer ratings of laser marking devices.
Always look for a generally positive experience from users. But, you should not just focus on the ratings in the numbers. It would be a good idea to take some time and deep dive into those comments or reviews and see what people think about the product. The 1-5 star ratings are not going to tell you a whole lot. Reading the user’s entire comment will give you a much deeper insight into their experience.
4. Laser marking speed
One of the more important specifications or factors that you will need to consider when buying this kind of machine is its speed. Yes, different machines operate at different speeds. Obviously, the cheaper devices come with a much weaker laser that cannot operate accurately at higher speeds.
Do not get me wrong, a slower operating speed is not necessarily a bad thing. If you are buying one just for personal use or if you have a small clientele in your business, that may not be important to you. However, you may need a quicker machine if you plan to develop your business further and get more clients.
Otherwise, with a slow laser, you will not be able to keep up with the demand.
5. Size of the work area
The last factor, but definitely not the least is the size of the work area. Some products come with a much smaller work area and others with larger. To figure out how big of a work area need, you should determine the type of items you will be working on.
As you can see, there are a lot of things in factors you will have to consider, but by following these tips I provided in this article, I hope that you will be able to make the right decision.