The first LaserPecker already thrilled us: engraving wood, acrylic, leather and much more by laser beam – and almost foolproof via a smartphone app. The new version is more robust, better made and does everything else better. We have tested it extensively.
- First-class results
- High-quality built
- Easy to use
- High price
- Cutting with limitations
- Not easily with software like Lightburn
The laser (theme world) is said to have 5 watts. You can not only engrave with it but also cut it. Cardboard, leather, fabric, thin wood.
What do you need something like this for? For many things. Burning names on steaks or decorating the fruit for the children at school with figures in the bowl and putting letters on home-baked goods. Inscribe your signs for the herb garden. Cut and engrave leather to sew key rings or add new material to bicycle handles. Coasters for the parents’ milestone birthday, Christmas presents, hobby cellar.
The box is similar in size to its predecessor, but the contents are much heavier. Inside is a device that has grown up at first glance. The LaserPecker 2, the actual laser unit, is almost twice as big, about the size of two drinks cans on top of each other. In addition, there is a stand with electric height adjustment and a cover made of orange plastic with an integrated fan.
If you look at the product, it could almost come from Apple. Grey anodised aluminium, perfectly finished. There is still a little room for improvement here and there, but that is complaining at the highest level. Only the mounting of the Pecker on the z-axis seems a little shaky and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the precision, but in practice, we managed well.
The construction is well thought out. The Laserpecker is supplied with power via the round plug, and the accessories – in this case, the motorised stand and the cover with fan – are connected via the two USB ports. The USB-C port is the data connection for the computer if you want to use the LaserPecker desktop app.
The set-up is well thought out. The Laserpecker is supplied with power via the round plug, and the accessories – in this case, the motorised stand and the cover with fan – are connected via the two USB ports. The USB-C port is the data connection for the computer if you want to use the LaserPecker desktop app.
The assembly is done in minutes. Once you have fished all the components out of the exemplary packed cards, you have to screw the arm and base plate together. Allen keys and screws are neatly packed in a small zip bag, and because there is thankfully nothing else to work on, you don’t even need the instructions. The laser head is clamped on a tripod with a thumbscrew, similar to a camera. The second screw of this kind allows the laser head to be tilted – to be able to laser at about a 45-degree angle.
For the laser to work, the beam must be appropriately focused. Due to its design, it is focused when the laser module is exactly 11 centimetres above the workpiece. As with the predecessor, a simple ruler is included for this purpose, but it is even easier with a fold-out spacer on the stand or via the laser protection funnel made of orange plastic: at the touch of a button, the laser head can be raised and lowered, and as soon as the spacer or the orange plastic touches the workpiece, the position is perfect.
If you are looking for criticism, touch keys are used instead of mechanical buttons. It looks nice and tidy, but there is a lack of haptic feedback.
Suitable for those who only want to work on wood: when you enter the flat, it smells slightly of a chimney fire. If acrylic or leather comes under the jet, the smell becomes fierce. But nothing comes from nothing. The integrated fans and filters help a little against smoke and stench, but the LaserPecker 2 belongs in the hobby cellar and not in the bedroom.
What is striking in comparison to (almost) all other lasers is that there are no moving parts on the Pecker. No laser head or mirror is moving around on the workpiece; instead, small mirrors inside direct the bundled light. This looks good and is less susceptible; with other lasers, we have already had problems due to cables getting stuck, wheels slipping and so on. The disadvantage: because the light source is fixed in the centre above the workpiece, the distance and angle change with the distance from the centre. In practice, this means, for example, that cutting thicker plywood is better left to lasers that cut straight down from the top – because the cutting edges are not straight but slanted. The further away from the centre, the more crooked the edge.
Although cutting thicker materials – here 4 mm plywood – is theoretically possible, this is not the strength. Due to the design, the cutting edges turn out crooked, and the implementation in the software is also not good.
Although cutting thicker materials – here 4 mm plywood – is theoretically possible, it is not the strength. Due to the design, the cutting edges are crooked, and the software is not very good.
In any case, cutting is treated a little stepmotherly. Other lasers often rely on software like Lightburn, which can work in several layers – first engraving the image into the wood, then cutting the edges with a stronger beam. The LaserPecker can’t do that at the moment via the app or a desktop application. So if you want to cut, you have to create two images – for engraving and cutting – and run them through one after the other. This can be done, but it is too fiddly for professional use. Cutting thin materials, on the other hand, is no problem at all, but engraving in the same step just doesn’t work.
The desktop software is available for Windows and Mac. Here, professional work is better possible than with the hand-held app; for example, a millimetre grid can be used as a guide for alignment. The computer and the laser are connected via a USB cable. It’s a pity that other programmes like Lightburn can’t talk directly to the LaserPecker at the moment. As with Apple: good product, but only as it is.
Engraving takes a few minutes and a good half hour, depending on thickness, size and resolution. The maximum working area is 10 by 10 centimetres.
What’s up with the stainless steel now? You can already see it in the photo above – it works. Incredibly well. It does take a few passes, but the keyring didn’t take five minutes. As did everything else we tried – fruit, leather, plastic, plywood, cork, felt and so on. At first, it’s not easy to get the settings right – too weak, and nothing shows; too strong, and everything burns. You have to experiment and get to grips with the materials if you know what reacts and how the LaserPecker is simply ingenious. Easy to use, well made, great results.
Compared to other lasers, however, it is also considerably more expensive, although no other model we have tested so far has been able to engrave stainless steel. The resolution is high, the results are great, and the operation is simple – as long as you only want to engrave. Therefore, a clear recommendation: If you are looking for a laser and can afford the LaserPecker 2, you will get a first-class product.
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