Full Version: Which Laser?

From: apollon [#1]
 22 Apr 2007

Hello to everyone from Greece!

I would like to ask anyone who has an opinion, which of the following machines would you suggest to buy (prices exclude our 19%VAT):

a. GCC LaserPro Mercury 25watts at EUR 13150 (~17750 USD)?
b. ULS VersaLaser VL3.50 30watts at EUR 13000 (~17550 USD)?

With the prices here I cannot afford more watts and I have to pay also for air filter etc.

The GCC is an older machine with parallel pc connection, but with a much bigger working area (25" X 18" compared to 24" X 12" of ULS) plus pass-through front and rear doors, giving much more potential to the machine.
The question is, is it a reliable machine?
My present business has to do among other things with stamps but I want to expand to engraving.
Also, do you think that the 25 watts are too few for starting a business?

Thank you all who answer, in advance!

EDITED: 22 Apr 2007 by APOLLON

From: Stunt Engraver (DGL) [#2]
 22 Apr 2007
To: apollon [#1] 22 Apr 2007

Welcome the the forum!

All the major manufacturers have supporters and detractors.

25 watts is adequate and I think the larger work area, including pass-through capability, would have the edge.

From: UncleSteve [#3]
 22 Apr 2007
To: apollon [#1] 22 Apr 2007

I do NOT have a laser but this is my gut reaction from what I have read over the past few years.

The older the machine, the more maintenance will probably be needed. Include the cost of a new/rebuilt/recharged tube in your thinking.

Find out what support there is for both machines in Greece or a nearby service facility. The older the machine, the better the odds of needing support and the less support may be available from the manufacturer.

The larger table with the feed-thru doors is a nice feature but only you can decide what products you will be most likely to make and what size table is best. 12x24 is not a small table for most items.

The rule of thumb I have always seen is buy the most power you can afford. 30w is 20% higher than the 25w unit.

You don't say whether you are buying them from a dealer or private party. A warranty of some sort is very desireable when buying used equipment!

Hope this helps a bit.


From: apollon [#4]
 22 Apr 2007
To: UncleSteve [#3] 22 Apr 2007

First of all, you guys have amazed me with the speed of your reaction! Thank you again!

Second, I am talking about NEW machines (just the model of Mercury is out there since 2000) and the prices are from the authorized dealers.
(I can imagine you thinking WHAT more you could buy with that money in your country... Yet I'm thinking of proposing them much less, I just don't have an idea how much less they would accept...)

At http://www.gccworld.com/news/news/laserpro_mercury_test_drive.pdf there is a product test by an American professional (well he refers to a 30 Watt machine though) which I found quite satisfactory.

From: UncleSteve [#5]
 22 Apr 2007
To: apollon [#4] 22 Apr 2007

Since you are buying from authorized dealers, you might want to just ask about warranteed used machines. Many people will trade up for more power or larger table (as you pointed out in your original message) and there are good deals out there for careful buyers.

From: LaZerDude (C_BURKE) [#6]
 22 Apr 2007
To: apollon [#1] 22 Apr 2007

Aloha Greece from Hawaii and welcome to the forum...

I have first hand experience with the GCC. I have had my machine for 3 years and it has been virtually trouble free. The only REAL problem I had with it was software support and training from the company I bought it from. Other than that it had served me well. So if you are comfortable with the support and training you will get with your machine you would be safe. The only thing that has failed on my machine are the gas shocks that hold the top up......

Knowing what I know NOW ( three almost four years later) if I could only choose between the two you mentioned, I would have bought the Universal instead (mostly because of training and support) and most DEFINITELY would have bought more power.....however you CAN be successfull with 25 or 30 watts, you may find as I did, that 50 or 75 watts would come in handy.....

Good luck and welcome to the forum....you will find a great group of helpful people here.....

From: Dave Jones (DAVERJ) [#7]
 22 Apr 2007
To: apollon [#4] 22 Apr 2007

You don't mention what you plan to do with the laser. That would help to determine if size or power is more important. Also, do you plan to engrave one at a time type of items for customers, or are you imagining production items being engraved hundreds or thousands at a time?

For some types of engraving (like Cermark) the extra power can make a difference on certain types of metal, and can change how long it's going to take to engrave. For other things (like anodized aluminum pet tags) it takes very little power.

From: Rodney Gold (RODNEY_GOLD) [#8]
 22 Apr 2007

If you can , Spend a little more and go for the Spirit and not the Mercury , the Mercury is a real workhorse and is a very reliable machine , but its "old" in terms of its development and introduction.
The spirit is about 1.5 -2 x faster and has some really nice improvements over the Mercury.

From: apollon [#9]
 23 Apr 2007
To: Rodney Gold (RODNEY_GOLD) [#8] 23 Apr 2007

You are so right Rodney... if only I could spare that extra cash...
[By the way what prices exactly you have in mind for both machines? It would give me a hint as to the level of bargaining...]
Thanks again, you are all so kind and helpful.

From: Rodney Gold (RODNEY_GOLD) [#10]
 23 Apr 2007
To: apollon [#9] 23 Apr 2007

I dont know the exact prices , i'm in South Africa but in aussie , the spirit 25 w is Aus$25000 and the Mercury is $20k , 26% difference.
The spirit is a lot faster and will pay the differential quickly as its way more than 25% faster
I find the Spirits the best machines we have run so far and do all the critical work on them (I also have 3 Explorers)

EDITED: 23 Apr 2007 by RODNEY_GOLD

From: laserman (MIKEMAC) [#11]
 23 Apr 2007
To: apollon [#10] 23 Apr 2007

The other thing to consider when considering "older Technology" is the computer. You can not even get a new computer with a parallel port any more although you can still get add on cards. But for how long?

The other thing to look at is the operating system XP / Vista be sure that the drivers are compatible with both there will come a time when you will not be able to get XP any longer it may be a few years but it will happen if the system is only compatible with XP and two years from now you need a new computer and can not get XP on it then what good will the laser system be?

Just something to think about.

From: John (ICTJOHN) [#12]
 23 Apr 2007
To: apollon [#9] 23 Apr 2007

My present business has to do among other things with stamps but I want to expand to engraving.

If you do a few stamps here and there with a 25 watt machine, that would not be so bad - But, if you plan on doing production day in and day out with stamps - You will be sorely disappointed with the 25 watt machine. Stamps, Corian and wood will take a lot of power - like I said if you want to do just a few of these, 25 watt would be an OK place to start, but heavy production on those types of materials will be slow.
You know your budget, but I don't know of anyone that has bought a second or 3rd machine and bought LESS power, most always want/need MORE power.

You also mentioned a "filter system" even the low odor stamp material will STINK! as will some plastics, leather...etc.



From: apollon [#13]
 25 Apr 2007

Dear people,

thank you all for your comments; you can be sure that every message posted under this thread was taken into serious consideration.

Thank God, today I managed to get a VERY GOOD PRICE for a Spirit 25W machine from the domestic representative!

So, I wish good work and profits to all of you. Yet, we all have to admit that there is NOTHING MORE VALUABLE THAN GOOD HEALTH.

Till I get the machine in about 15-25 days, have a creative time all of you.

Thanks again.

From: Peter [#14]
 25 Apr 2007
To: apollon [#13] 25 Apr 2007

Yasoo Re ! :D


From: John (ICTJOHN) [#15]
 25 Apr 2007
To: apollon [#13] 25 Apr 2007

Congratulations on the acquisition, now the 15 - 25 days will seem like an eternity. Have fun and start dreaming up items to engrave once it gets here.

Back to thread list | Login

© 2023 Project Beehive Forum