So if you’re looking to find a high-power laser pointer, you will undoubtedly have seen there are large numbers of powers and colors to choose from. But what about different laser pointer features? What is overkill and what is sensible? Am I a candidate for a specific feature or not? Let’s look at the most common various laser safety and usage features, what they do, and why or why not you should be looking for them.
“To Focus or Not to Focus, That is the Question”
Most laser pointers will either come in a fixed focus or focusable output. If the laser is the fixed focus that means that you cannot change the width (either wider or thinner) to the beam itself. It is standardized from the aperture at usually between 1.5mm – 3.0mm, but will always remain at that specific width. A focusable laser (as you can imagine), allows you to widen or thin the beam out. So, what is the benefit of using a focusable as opposed to a non-focusable laser you might ask? Simple. More beam control.
When you can actually control the beam’s desired width you are able to target things at great and shorter distances with more accuracy. As a beam aiming a few miles will get wider as it moves outward, being able to thin that beam out will allow you to keep a tighter beam over greater distances. This is great for many different applications as you reduce the divergence. This is especially important when it comes to burning lasers. Now, burning lasers at 500mW or more will be able to “burn” no matter how they are focused at short range, but if you’re trying to pop a balloon from 50 feet away, you’ll want to make sure the beam is focused to as thin as possible to increase the intensity of the burning heat. This is where utilizing a focusable unit will make a big difference.
“Keyswitch Locking Mechanisms, Overkill or Essential?”
Various different lasers will have keyswitch locking mechanism which will not allow the laser to be turned on (even with charged batteries) unless the key is engaged and has turned active. Now, you can remove the key after the fact so you don’t have to use the laser with the key dangling off of it, and this is a great safety feature for anyone who doesn’t want small children or any unauthorized individuals using their lasers. To someone untrained or with no experience, they may very well use the laser in a hazardous or incorrect fashion. It could be anything from as simple as looking down the aperture when turning it on (dangerous to the eyes), aiming at a friend, or something worse like aiming at an aircraft or motor vehicle (highly dangerous and illegal). In this case, where the laser cannot be supervised at all times and you have concerns, you can squash those concerns entirely by simply going with a laser pointer that uses a keyswitch safety mechanism. So, depending on your circumstance, classroom, home, office, or lab; a key switch may be essential but for most everyday users it may be overkill.
“Tail-cap Button Switch or Hand Held Body Button?”
This will depend on what the laser is planning to be used for. If you’re going to use a laser pen style for pointing out things on a classroom board or projector, a simple pen-style AAA-powered laser may be the best bet. You can use it simply and intermittently with the button on the body. You do need to hold the button down, but for this sort of short-term use on and off, that is probably your best bet. If you plan on keeping the laser on for longer at a time, let’s say 20 seconds or more, or will be using it outdoors and in the field, a tail cap button will be better. The appeal behind a tail-cap button is that you can turn on the laser and it will stay on. You don’t have to continue holding the button to keep the laser on. That means you can turn it on and work with the beam at a closer range, or move to another area why the laser stays engaged. This is a great option and the typical one that users choose. You will notice that the higher power burning lasers almost all use a tail cap button switch as well.
If you’re in the market to Buy A Laser Pointer, you’ll have lots of different options to choose from. Just remember that you cannot get support and have no regulation as to legitimate power readings on the Chinese companies you see online. They do not offer true power readings, which is where the issues start and then compound from there. Biglasers.com has been in the market since 2005, we are laser lovers, developers, and engineers ourselves. Call today to discuss the best laser for your specific application and use the discount code: biglasers10 to get 10% off your entire order. 877-256-6513