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BudgetGadgets 50mW CR2 Handheld

The Basics
When I first picked up the laser, I liked the feel of it in my hand. It is noticeably heavy and has that "well built" feeling. The on/off tailcap switch is very nice because you don't always have to hold down a switch when doing experiments and such. Brightness is typical of what you would expect out of a 50mW laser, it is very bright and it is almost too bright for star pointing because it ruins your night vision! The price is also good too, at just over $30 you can't go wrong!

Shipping/Packaging
Shipping took about two weeks from China, but it was free so I'm not complaining. This site does ship to the US unlike DX/KD. It was packaged well, as you can see it came in an interesting tin can case:


The case is padded with foam (which is black and is just asking to be engraved by the laser), and it contains a cutout for the laser and a CR2 battery. It came with a primary 3.0v CR2 so you can use it out of the box. I don't know about the quality of the battery, but I don't really care if it is good or not because you can get rechargeables for a couple bucks a piece.


Overall Appearance/Feel
The design of this laser looks nice and like I said earlier it feels good in the hand. It has a rubberized coating on the outside so you can get a good grip on it with it falling out of your hand. It has a wrist strap so you don't drop it if you're clumsy ;D


Compared to the KD50
As you may know the KD50 is a popular laser that looks almost identical to this one, but there are some differences. Besides the fact that this site ships to the US and KD doesn't, a noticeable difference is that this laser is a few mm longer than the KD50. Also, this laser seems to have a rubber like coating unlike
the KD50, I prefer the coating but others might not. The switch on the BG50 isn't as fiddly and weird as my KD50 which is a huge plus. This laser doesn't have the "driect" spelling error either. Output on the two is about the same.


Visibility
As you would expect, this laser is very bright! For up close work you will want to use goggles because the dot is so bright from up close. The beam is visible in a lit room and much more visible in the night sky. The beam is too bright for star pointing and might mess up your night vision, but I think this is a good thing. This is bright enough to impress anybody you show it to. The dot always stays in a clean TEM00 so mode hopping is never a problem. The beam diameter is larger than most other green lasers, but this gives it better divergence.
Here's a picture showing the bigger beam diameter compared to a CNI GLP-150




Burning
This laser is not a great burner because it is only a 50mW, but you can pop balloons with it pretty easily. I can smoke the black foam in the case it came in, and with a focusing lens I can light matches, but that is about it. If you want a laser that does all of the burning tricks this isn't the one for you.

IR Filter?!
This laser doesn't look like it has an IR filter, but it is nothing to piss your pants about. Because the IR stays within the main green beam, the only way to get exposed to large amounts of IR is if you point it in your eye, and then you have more to worry about then some IR exposure because your retinas are being burned by 50mW of green. If you are still worried, buy an IR filter for $1 from Optotronics and put it in this laser.

Overall this is a good laser, for $30 you can't go wrong.

Video:


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