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BudgetGadgets 200mW Focusable Red Laser

The Basics
This laser is basically BudgetGadget's version of the new style dilda. It is a great improvement over the original dilda and the cost is almost the same. This is a great pocket burner that you couldn't DIY for the same price.

Shipping/Packaging
Shipping took about ten days from China, but they ship their stuff for free so I couldn't really expect any faster. This company does ship to the US unlike DX/KD, which makes this laser a great alternative to those sites. It came in a small padded envelope in a black padded box:


The case is padded with black foam which is oh so tempting to scorch with the laser. The box has a cutout for the laser and two CR2 batteries. It came with two different primary CR2s, one rated at 600mAh and the other at 1000mAh, which worked fine in the laser. For the review I used rechargeables because of the power boost we get with the rechargeables over the primaries. I'm not sure how good the batteries that came with the laser are, but they are free and anybody who buys a laser like this would also buy rechargeables.


Overall Appearance/Feel
The overall appearance of this laser looks good, it actually looks like a high powered laser unlike the dilda.


The focusing mechanism on this laser is solid because the whole head turns, not just the lens ring. To focus it just rotate the knurled part of the laser and the whole head will turn. A big pro about this laser is that the lens will not get knocked out of focus very easily, so when doing long distance burning tricks a small bump to the laser won't ruin the trick being preformed. Here is a close-up of the focusing head:


Innards
This laser is not as easy to completely disassemble as the first version of this laser, but some parts are still easy to get to.

This laser's lens looks to be an acrylic lens coated for 650nm. I couldn't get a good picture of the whole lens nut but you can still see the coating in this picture:


When the lens cap is removed the diode inside is easily visible. It is the LCC that you see in a lot of lasers like this.


Visibility/Output
Visibility is what you would expect for a 200mW, almost painfully bright without goggles. Goggles are necessary for doing burning tricks or for just looking at the dot from somewhat up close, your seeing balls will appreciate it if you wear goggles.

Here is an aperture shot of the laser while running:


One negative of this laser is that it emits a halo of red light, this is only noticeable when the laser is close to the object it is pointing at. My guess is that this has something to do with an internal reflection from inside the lens cap. Here is a pic of the halo from up close, sorry for the bad picture:


The beam on a dry night is definitely visible, but it isn't very bright. A little bit of humidity can really bring out the beam though. Here are some shots I took of the laser on a humid evening with higher exposure times to get good beam shots:






Burning
The whole reason why 99% of people buy this laser is for burning, and this laser is perfect for that. Being 200mW this laser can do any of the classic burning tricks, plus a little more. It can light matches and pop balloons with ease, the max I have tried so far is 10ft for matches and 25ft for balloons, I'm sure I could get even further with patience and careful focusing. Dark plastics are just asking to be engraved with my name on it. Very fine steel wool is also possible to ignite with a little bit of time and luck. To see the burning capabilities of this laser watch the video that I made of this laser (it will be posted in a couple of days).

Compared to the DX Dilda
I know I have been comparing this laser to the DX dilda throughout the whole review, but I still figured I needed a section for comparisons.

Here is a picture of this laser next to the DX dilda, sorry for the bad picture:


The key differences in construction are that this laser is a little shorter than the dilda, the tailcap is a little shorter on this laser, and the focusing head is way different on this laser. Most people would agree that this design is better than the old style, this laser is a huge improvement over the old style. The extra couple of bucks is easily worth it for the better focusing mechanism.

Overall: Good Laser at good price. Definitely recommended.

Video Overview:

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