Thinking about purchasing a laser engraver?
At ATKlaser we deal with people everyday who have been duped into buying low quality faulty eBay Chinese machines. These machines are made to a budget which is constantly being slashed in order to keep the market competitive. Sellers are looking to make the maximum profit on an item whist keeping after sales support to a minimum. This forces the quality of the machine to the bare minimum, these sellers do not care if the machine breaks after the paypal buyer guarantee has expired. As far as they are concerned the sale is finished and contact can be ended.
There is 3 types of sellers of these machines.
Factory outlet – Usually in the form of a well educated pretty Chinese female, they frequent the forums and message boards posting adverts and looking for new customer.
Results from this type of seller can be hit and miss. You do not know what you are getting unless you go by recommendation or visit the factory yourself.
Re-seller – Imports the items direct from the factory for resale, this type of seller is looking to make maximum profit and rarely cares for the quality. It is advised that this type of seller should be scrutinized and if possible ensure they are based in your country and can offer you the after sales service you require. Look at their other items, are they selling odds n sods, high profit items etc.
Ask the seller if there is option to extend the warranty period and ask to see the terms and conditions of sale and their terms of returns.
Overseas Independent – Has a close relationship with the factory and can communicate directly to the engineers, has contact with all the component manufactures, and usually offers spare parts in stock. This type of seller has higher overheads than others, but quality can be guaranteed. Usually they will have a showroom you can visit to see the machinery in action and ask questions whenever in person or by telephone. This type of seller is looking to build a long term business and client base, customer satisfaction will be of high importance to them.
What machine should i buy?
This depends entirley on your budget and needs. There are a few things to consider when purchasing. They might seem obvious but try and plan for future growth, will you outgrow this machine?
Size – try and not buy a machine as close to the size of object you are planning on engraving, eg; you make a few gift cards, my machine only has to be 200 x 300mm working area. What if in the future you expand to larger items such as cake toppers or even display stands.
We always advise to buy the largest machine you can fit comfortably into your work space.
Power – Will you be doing a lot of cutting – dependent on material the higher the power the faster you can cut. Eg a 60w machine can cut 3mm acrylic at 20-30mm/s vs a 30w machine cutting at 6-12mm/s
For engraving power isn’t an issue.
Options – What objects are you engraving? Are you looking to engrave a wide range of items that come in a range of sizes? If so a motorized Z axis is a must. This will allow you to raise and lower the bed based on the height of the material.
After sales support?
Will your chosen vendor support you after your purchase, there is a few methods of vetting a supplier.
Reviews – Can anyone vouch for this seller? Do they have reviews on Facebook, google, trust pilot etc?
Knowledge – Does the seller know what they are talking about? Are they english speaking?
Tech support – Does the seller have field service engineers in the event of a machine break down? Can they offer telephone support, or are they willing to?
Spare parts – Does the seller have a range of spare parts in stock? you do not want a 4 week lead time on a stepper motor pulley as the seller has to source a replacement from China.
Replacements and repairs – In the event a problem does arrive with your machine and it is within warranty, can the seller offer free replacements on the faulty components?
A favorite with the Chinese is to class certain parts as consumables, eg the laser tube and psu is a consumable item. In the event that a power supply fails will the seller back out of replacement inside of warranty due to the item being consumable?
At ATKlaser we offer a 3 year guarantee on all our new machines, free replacement first tube. Direct to engineer customer service contact number. Show room with demonstration and training included and a fool proof maintenance scheduled to ensure your machine will perform its best.