Have you ever wanted to tag on just about anything in your home? Add your logo or name to something, or some custom text? Ever wonder how hard that would be with some kind of an etching/engraving device? Wonder no further as the solution appears to be much easier than one might assume thanks to a small device called the LaserPecker Pro.
We recently got our hands on one of these not knowing that it was going to blow our mind the way it did. It is a bit pricey, but the company seems to have put a lot of effort into making the act of automated engraving user-friendly. That is a word we love to praise when possible.
The (little) LaserPecker Pro is a compact device about half the size of a soda can that sits on a tripod and engraves/etches into anything in front of it using a high-powered laser. You have the option of using it with multiple materials, including leather, wood, plastic, paper, cardboard, thin aluminum (soda cans), some fabrics, fruit, and more. It’s incredibly powerful for its size and quite effective.
It does require being plugged in via a USB-C to USB cable for power, but it does come with both the cable and the wall adapter, and it supports being plugged into a power bank (not included) if you want to go mobile with it.
Beyond that, it doesn’t require anything more than its app to get started.
They include a 200mm wooden ruler as the object being engraved has to be 200mm from the laser window for best results. This helps to speed things along since you don’t have to break out of a measuring tape. It also comes with glasses so you can look at the laser’s progressive as it burns, without burning out your irises.
There is even an upgraded kit for the Pro model that trades the tripod out for a folding base unit that automatically adjusts its height to be 200mm from the surface of whatever you are engraving. It’s a bit more expensive than this, but for those using it daily, it would be a lifesaver for fast-forwarding things along (hopefully, we will have a chance of getting our hands on that kit as well to see how well it adds to the overall experience).
It does have a limited size that it is able to engrave. This is 100mm x 100mm, so if you need anything larger than this, you will have to buy into your typical machine that has an X/Y axis and operates close to a 3D printer (in ways).
How it works
You break it out, place it on the tripod and adjust it to 200mm from the surface you are engraving on. Plug it into the wall adapter or a battery bank capable of outputting the same power as the wall adapter. Then, you pull up the app on your Android or iOS device.
The app is incredibly friendly despite there being a large number of complaints in the app market places. It appears that the company has touched on most of these complaints since we haven’t run across any of them ourselves (yet). For us, we were successfully testing it out within just a few moments of opening the app.
You are given a few basic options, including pulling an image from your gallery, taking an image with your camera, browsing a small list of sample graphics, or opening a text editor to create text that you can etch onto things. All of it (in our experience) being incredibly user-friendly and straight to the point.
Once you have chosen the graphic (preferably a solid black icon, logo, or art–although you can use a photo as well if you are ok with the results not looking too mind-blowing) or text, it leads you to a screen where you set the size that you want to print it at (up to 100mm x 100mm), the percentage intensity of the laser, the percentage of depth, and how many passes you want it to make.
It does take some practice to get a feel for what changing these values will result in. In some cases, you’ll find a single pass is more than enough, and in others, you may find yourself having to do it multiple times or repeat it again once it finishes.
We started off by etching various images, including our logo on random things, including an old beat-up smartphone case, a small notebook, a leather belt, and one of the pieces of recycled paper they provide you for testing. In all of these examples, only the smartphone case required multiple passes since we didn’t set the intensity high enough. It also looked slightly messy, but this was due to wear/damage to the plastic and not any discrepancies in the laser’s job.
Leather results are particularly amazing with this device, so if you do a lot of leatherwork (let it be for hobby or business), this could be a very powerful tool to have for your beckoning. A few of our editors here would have a field day with this since they work on leather goods all the time.
Most of these small graphics took around 5-10 minutes to accomplish (or per pass when it comes to the smartphone case). It doesn’t take much time at all for softer materials like leather.
For harder materials like wood, this changes swiftly depending on how solid the graphic or text is. If it just a bunch of outlines, it isn’t so bad. However, in our case, we took it to the max. We printed a solid black flower from the sample graphics onto the surface of a wooden stool. We brought the laser to 100% and the depth to 100% as well. We set it for just a single run. This took forever.
As you can see from the image to the left, it took 723 minutes (12 hours) to print the entire flower onto the wooden surface. That is a long time and is much closer to an intermediate print using a 3D printer. So patience is absolutely required if you plan to use it for anything other than small logos and brands on various products.
We also learned from a mistake during this test run and found a slight defect in the design of the tripod.
The tripod clearly needs rubber feet. Instead, they are plastic, which allows them to adjust too easily on slippery surfaces. So you are going to want to rubberize the feet somehow to add a layer of grip to them. That way, you don’t make it through 80% of an engraving job to find out something nudges the laser ever-so-slightly, causing the job to fail.
As you can see from the following image, that is exactly what happened to us.
We don’t know for sure what caused it since it was done outside and away from people. It was not windy outside (literally zero wind all day). So our only assumption was the feet slid slightly due to the curvature of the finished wood seat.
However, the print still looked fantastic. The depth was nice and can be felt by running your finger across the design. The solid black color was flawless (outside of what the nudge in the tripod caused). One of our colleagues had the idea of fixing it by hitting a second time, but instead, printing a small ninja shuriken (star) flying by as if it cut through the flower. Suddenly, it would look like it was done on purpose (credit goes to Thomas S.–a pure genius).
It does have a limit when it comes to harder surfaces. Things like steel or thick aluminum do not end with any results. We tried various tools like Leatherman multi-tools and wrenches, but we couldn’t get anything to engrave. This was to be expected since that kind of metal requires a little more of an industrial solution than this little guy. However, we were still able to mark our territory on so many other things.
It is highly recommended to use the provided glasses to protect your eyes. They are a cheapo pair of basic protective glasses, but they do the job just fine. You do not want to take chances with your eyes. The difference between using them or not is tremendous, so play safe when using equipment like this.
Do we love it? Yes, we do. Is it perfect? No. However, outside of continuing their efforts to maintain the app experience, the only thing we could find was the feet of the tripod that needed improvement. Beyond that, this is a fantastic device for engraving.
It is both user-friendly and quite effective. Especially (as mentioned), when working with softer goods like leather. We hope to get our hands on the full kit with the base that can auto-adjust its height at some point. I think it would be a fantastic thing to have around the office. However, the simple kit with the tripod is also an incredibly useful option to have around as well.
Your use options are endless. Especially, if you are an avid user of an editing solution like Photoshop. You can create anything to be engraved upon an object (as long as the surface is engravable without needing an industrial-strength machine).
|Available from the following retailers:|
| | |
| Our Rating|| Average Price*|
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
|General||Type: Laser engraving machine|
Laser Power: 1600mw
Laser Reaching Range: 100 * 100mm
Power By: 5V 2A
|Dimensions and Weight||Package Weight: 0.9500 kg|
Package size (L x W x H): 23.00 x 22.00 x 11.00 cm / 9.06 x 8.66 x 4.33 inches
|Package Contents||Package Contents: 1 x Host, 1 x Glasses, 1 x Adapter, 1 x Data Cable, 1 x Mini Engraving Material Package|
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
Don’t forget to subscribe for a chance to win cool prizes!