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The Longer Ray 5 laser engraver is now available in a more powerful laser head module of 10W. In this guide, we go through the capabilities of the 10W laser head, and why we feel laser engraving enthusiasts on a budget should get the unit ASAP.
Before we continue, some word of caution.
With the safety warning out of the way, let’s start our Longer Ray 5 10W laser engraver review.
LONGER RAY5 10W Review
AVAILABLE ON LONGER
If you are a beginner looking to get started with laser engraving, you want a unit that is easy to use, yet powerful enough to carry out a wide range of laser engraving works. In the past, we have tested different laser engravers available and various price points. For beginners on a budget, the LONGER RAY5 10W laser engraver is a strong contender.
If you already have the LONGER RAY5 5.5W laser engraver, the 10W laser head would be a necessary upgrade or replacement head for your unit. On the other hand, if you don’t have a LONGER laser engraver, you can purchase the complete LONGER RAY5 10W laser engraver.
The 10W laser head is an energy saving unit that requires 3.2A power supply. From its design, the head will also work with lasers from other manufacturers, as long as they use a similar pin assignment and a 12V power supply with at least 5A.
Like is the case with the Sculpfun S10, the new Longer Ray5 10w engraver has a focal distance of 50mm. Moreover, it’s more precise and cuts deeper than its predecessor, the Longer Ray 5.5W engraver.
Converting the Ray5 5.5W to 10W
If you already have the Longer Ray5 5.5 laser head, you do not need to purchase the whole 10W laser engraving unit. Instead, simply get the 10W laser head separately and upgrade your engraver with it.
The upgrade process is simple and can be done in a few minutes. To do this, disconnect the plug on the old module, unscrew the 2 guide screws on the back and the 2 knurled screws on the front, screw the mounting plate from the old module onto the new module and then fasten everything again. After that, plug in the cable and you are done.
With the new 10W laser head in place, you will need to make some few changes on LightBurn or other laser software you may be using. The only change to reduce the performance a little or increase the speed. Apart from this, everything else stays the same.
The conversion is quick, easy and without any gimmicks.
When it comes to performance, the Longer Ray5 10 W does not disappoint. The unit is solidly built to ensure you get precise cuts and engravings on different materials. The features we love include:
i) 10W Light Power Module with 50mm Focal Length
The 10W laser head has dual beam technology enables it to cut 20mm thickness solid wood board and 30mm Acrylic. This means you can do more craftwork with this unit and create products that are ready for use.
However, you shouldn’t rely on the acrylic cover for safety. We recommend you only operate the machine while wearing suitable safety goggles for 450nm blue laser diodes. Longer has the safety googles we recommend.
ii) Precise engraving capability
The laser engraver stands out for its precise cuts. The unit has the latest, ultra-fine compression spot of 0.06×0.06mm ( 0.0036mm²), which is 2 times thinner than ordinary lasers manage. The clean and precise cuts means fewer burns during operations.
iii) Powerful Chipset
The RAY5 10W is built with an ESP32 chipset that runs at 240MHz. This modern chipset is faster and more powerful than what we find in other budget laser engravers for beginners, which usually have 8-bit chipset and attain 10000mm/min engraving speed.
iv) Anti-Shake Engraving
This engraver is well-designed and remains stable during operations. Therefore, you can engrave materials at the maximum speed without worrying about accuracy issues. The lines are smooth and clear, and produces less sawtooth.
The Longer Ray5 10W has convenient features that provide an excellent engraving experience. The features include:
The unit comes with a 3.5″ color touch screen, which makes operating it very easy. The intuitive touchscreen features easy and self-explanatory menus that anyone can understand. For example, on the touchscreen, you can transfer data via Wi-Fi, USB cable, and a large capacity TF card (Offline Use).
ii) Wide software compatibility
The budget laser engraver for beginners is compatible with various engraving software, including LaserGRBL and LightBurn. The unit works with Windows 7+ computers, MacOS, and Linux. The supported file formats include JPG, PNG, BMP, G- code, GIF, SVG, NC, GC, etc.
iii) Large engraving area
The laser engraver has a working area of 400x400mm. This size is large enough for most home DIY decoration projects.
Some of the items you can cut with the Longer Ray5 10W include:
- 10mm basswood
- 14mm pine
- 6mm (black) acrylic
- 4mm bamboo
What’s more, you can engrave up to 100+ materials, including acrylic, glass, leather, cloth, kraft paper, rubber, and so on.
iv) Air-assisted accessories
Engraving or cutting materials with a laser engraver usually leads to production of toxic fumes. The Longer Ray5 10 W has air diffusion accessories that reduce the smoke generated during the cutting or engraving process.
We safety features incorporated in the LONGER RAY5 10W laser make it ideal for both beginners and intermediates. The features include:
a) Flame Detector & Buzzer Alarm
During laser engraving, it’s common to send a job to the engraver and then leave the engraver to finish it while you do other things. However, the danger of this is that fires can sometimes occur due to different things, such as improper configuration, poor quality materials and so on.
When the Longer Ray 5 10W laser engraver detects flame, it will automatically stop and beep. This prevents any potential fire hazards from razing down your workshop.
b) Tilt Shift Protection
The engraver has a G-sensor on the motherboard that monitors its position during operations. If the sensor detects that the engraving machine has been displaced or tilted (for example, perhaps the machine has fallen down from your work table) it will automatically shutdown operations for your safety.
This eliminates the risk of the laser light coming into contact with other items it is not meant to.
c) Motionless Protection
Another safety feature available is motionless protection. If the laser module freezes for over 15 seconds, the engraver automatically turns off. This is crucial to preventing accidents in the workshop that could have occurred if the laser was on but not operational.
d) Fireproof Acrylic Cover
The Longer Ray5 10 W laser head has a protective acrylic cover that can quickly prevent burning in case of an accident.
Longer Ray5 10W Cutting Tests
The following tests were carried out a new plywood board that was also tested with the Sculpfun S10. The test parameters were 90% laser power, 1 pass, without Air Assist but on the honeycomb panel.
See the results below:
- Top row from left to right: S10 350mm/min, 400mm/min (hole not counted) Both didn’t go through, as you can see on the back
- Bottom row: Ray5 with 10W laser head: 350mm/min, 300mm/min, 325mm/min all 3 went through without any problems
As you can see, for the same material and under the same conditions, the S10 could no longer cut through the board with 350mm/min.
On the other hand, the Longer3D Ray5 10W managed to the board cleanly up to 400mm/min, at 425mm/min and 450mm/min. However, a few chips remained at the back. Still, you can easily break the chips and grind them to smoothen them out.
Here is the back of it:
As you can seee, the sectional image is not worse than that of the S10. And here are cutting tests 375 – 450mm/min front & back with the Ray5 with LC40F50 without Air Assist:
From these two tests, it is clear that the Longer 10W module has 20%+ additional power compared to the 10W module of the Sculpfun S10.
Pros and Cons
- Easy to learn and use
- The 10W laser head is very powerful
- The unit is very powerful compared to competitors in its class
- The unit has a large working area of 400x400mm
- The unit has a touchscreen through which you can control it either offline or online.
- Requires some assembly
- May be a little expensive for anyone on a very limited budget
If you want to buy the RAY5 10W engraver, there are also a few accessories you might want to include in your bundle. For example, you can get an additional laser 5.5W laser head module. The weaker laser head would come handy when you want to engrave delicate materials e.g. cutting complex paper shapes.
Another accessory you might want to get is the 77-piece engraving kit. The kit comprises of small pieces of wood blocks and metal tags. If you are a beginner, this kit is a must-have for creating your first small engravings and just to get the basic experience of the machine.
The kit also contains some larger wood boards and metal plates, which will be excellent for creating bigger, more complex engravings.
All Round Support
Finally, the after sale support offered by Longer is something to be envious about with their products. Whether you are a beginner laser engraving enthusiast, or already have some working knowledge, Longer goes above and beyond to ensure you have a great experience with its products.
For example, the company offers 7-day free return or 30-day exchange in case you receive a faulty machine. You won’t even have to pay for postage as the company bears it.
Next, support is available 24/7 through the company’s online channels, such as website, social media accounts, and email. If you have a question about your product, simply email the company through [email protected]
And finally, beginners and even advanced users will appreciate the video tutorials that the company has on its YouTube channel. For example, here is a video on the air assist accessories:
If you want to progress with your laser engraving journey, make sure you join the free LONGER Laser Engraver Facebook Group to get ideas and connect with other makers like you.
Longer Ray5 5.5W vs 10W
To be honest, I got along well with the Longer Ray 5.5W module. I most engrave 4mm plywood and the smaller module handled it to my satisfaction.
But with the 10W module, the operation is now faster. This module brings a noticeable increase in performance compared to the 5.5W module. Moreover, it is more powerful than my 10W module from Sculpfun and therefore my strongest 10W module so far.
The extra power of the 10W module is handy when it comes to cutting. Apart from this, the finer laser point of the 10W module will be interesting when engraving vector graphics.
The 10W module is available at reasonable price (check price here) and the easy upgrade procedure of the Longer3D Ray5 make it a great buy.
I still like the Ray5 a lot, as I wrote in the review back then, because of its offline controller and web interface. With the new 10W laser, I would have liked to seen an already prepared Air Assist. There is a conversion solution for Air Assist and a pump (see it here), but I haven’t tested it yet.
With the 10W module, Longer3D is definitely not only on par with the new Sculpfun S10 in terms of performance, but in my test it even surpasses the S10 by around 20%.
Overall, we love the workmanship that has been put on the Longer Ray5 10W laser engraver machine. This is one of the best budget 10W laser engravers for beginners.
While the price is modest, the unit will easily pay for itself, whether you want an engraver for hobby or small commercial engraving crafts. The support offered by Longer and the wide community of users means you can be sure of getting the most out of your unit and building your laser engraving skills and busines.
All in all, I am satisfied with the module so far and recommend it to Ray5 users who are willing to upgrade and do not have Air Assist ambitions.
You can purchase the Longer Ray5 10W laser engraver on the Official Longer website.
PRICE ON LONGER