Longer B1 30-Watt Laser Engraver review – “With great power comes great responsibility”

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REVIEW – There’s nothing quite like the joy and satisfaction of making stuff. It takes time, effort, and the right tools to get the job done. For laser engraving, Longer’s B1 30-Watt packs potent power for project progress, but for heaven’s sake, please be careful! It’s a beast!

What is it?

The Longer B1 is a 30+ watt laser mounted on a software controller X/Y-axis gantry positioning system used to engrave and cut various materials.

What’s in the box?

  • Longer B1 laser engraver (assembly required)
  • Assembly tools (open-end wrench and Allen keys)
  • Power supply and cable
  • Safety glasses
  • Switch keys
  • Tweezers
  • USB cable
  • Wood handle brush
  • Spare window mirror
  • Air pump with silicone tube and valve
  • Assembly manual
  • TF card and reader

Hardware specs

  • Model: Laser B1 30W
  • Laser technology: Diode Laser
  • Work area: 450x440mm (17.72×17.32inch)
  • Laser wavelength: 450 – 460 nm
  • Focal length: Fixed Focus-50mm
  • Laser spot size: 0.08×0.1mm
  • Optical output power: 33~36W
  • Z-axis – height range: up to 50mm, manually adjustable
  • Fastest working speed: 36000mm/min
  • Power supply output: DC24V 7.5A 180W
  • Power supply input: AC 110-240V, 50/60Hz
  • Software compatibility: LaserGRBL on XP/7/8/10 (Free), LightBurn (paid after trial subscription) on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux
  • Interfaces: USB / TF Card / Wi-Fi / APP
  • Engraving technique: Six diode lasers with FAC
  • Cutting parameters, single-pass: 35mm paulownia wood, 10mm black acrylic, 0.1mm stainless steel plate
  • Maximum cutting depth: 25mm wood board, 50mm black acrylic
  • Laser head lifespan: 10000+ hours
  • 32-bit motherboard
  • X- and Y-axis limit switches
  • Compatible with PCs and smartphones
  • Package Size: 742x557x124 mm (29.2×21.9×4.9 in)
  • Machine size: 727x668x244 mm (28.6×26.3x 9.7 in)
  • Weight: 9.7kg
  • Operating temperature: -20 to 50°C (-4 to 122°F)

Design and features

The Longer B1 laser engraver arrives in a large box. I was happy to see they’ve done a fabulous job keeping the contents safe. At first, the assembly looks a bit overwhelming because there are so many bits and pieces, but don’t fret…

Longer B1 30W Laser engraver 02

A TF card and USB adapter are included and contain the manuals, LightBurn and LaserGRBL software, material profiles, and some test files. LightBurn is paid software with a free 30-day trial. I have a license so I used it for testing.

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Assembling the Longer B1 laser engraver wasn’t difficult. The quick-start guide does a commendable job illustrating the process. To make it even easier, there’s a dandy assembly video on the TF card! Assembly tools are included.  I was impressed that there were only 12 bolts, two belts, two switches, and seven quick connectors for assembly. The entire process took less than an hour. When completed, everything is tight.

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Longer B1 30W Laser engraver 03

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Limit switches connect to the X and Y supports.

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The Longer B1 laser engraver sports a huge 450 x 440mm engraving area.

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The laser slides onto a rail on the X-Axis and is secured by a small diameter thumbscrew allowing the Z-Axis focal length to be adjusted. I would have liked to like to see a larger, easier-to-access mounting method. That being said, it works and I had no stability issues. Longer B1 30W Laser engraver 32

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The feet have leveling adjustments. Very nice!

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The air assist pump plugs into the side of the laser module with the air tube running along the same path as the wiring. There’s an in-line valve to decrease the flow if necessary, but there are several warnings in the literature stating not to turn it off or the pump will be damaged.

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Before continuing, I can’t stress enough that the Longer B1 laser engraver is a tool. It is not a toy and can seriously injure you, children, or pets so it should be used only with the utmost care. This is a class IV defined as “radiation is considered an acute hazard to the skin and eyes from both direct and scattered radiation.”  Stray light from the B1 has a ton of UV radiation and, on the mild side, can make your eyes feel like they have sand in them even with brief exposure. On the extreme side, permanent blindness is a very real possibility. Please, don’t take the risk. Everyone in the room should always wear eye protection.  You wouldn’t let your toddler frolic on the roof or let your kitty cavort around a lit stove, right?

To make it even more noteworthy, the Longer B1 laser engraver also packs enough punch to cause severe burns and catch stuff on fire very fast. Always use adequate ventilation, keep flammable stuff away, keep a watchful eye while in operation, and have that fire extinguisher handy. Failure to be diligent could result in a ton of woe and, at the very least, result in an embarrassing conversation with a doctor, fireman, law enforcement, or an insurance agent. Nope, I’m not exaggerating. Take it seriously. I tested the flame detector during several tests and it’s very sensitive, but I would not risk my house on it.

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For additional protection, Longer was wise to implement a keyed switch on the control module. Keep the keys in a secure location the same as you do for the ones for your lawnmower, car, and storage room with the pointy tools. Joining the switch are the power button, “run frame” button,  indicator, TF card slot, touch screen port,  USB-B socket, and power socket.

Without the optional touchscreen, the mechanisms for communicating directly with the Longer B1 laser engraver are through the MKLaserTool software or the MKSLaser app. Both were simple and well documented in the manual and can connect via WiFi. I’m not comfortable operating any device as powerful as the B1 wirelessly, so I’ll stick to the direct USB connection from LightBurn.

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 Should anything go sideways, mash that emergency stop button.

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The power supply is a laptop-style brick.

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Setting the focus is done using a small lever that pivots from the back of the laser. Having it attached is ideal to prevent loss.

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The Longer B1 laser engraver’s fast cutting in action…

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I had no trouble setting B1’s parameters in LightBurn and I was off and running in only a few minutes using 4mm basswood and the test files provided by Longer. Settings of 5000mm/min at 20% power produced deep engraving.

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I used their “cat” (pawprint) and “birds” test files using 5000mm/min with 50% and 10,000mm/minute with 20% power and the following photo shows the results. This is one powerful laser! I need to dial those settings back…

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The Aloalo in the following photo was cut at 10% power, 6000mm/min, and cut using four passes at 2500mm/min at 100% power. Very impressive!

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In general, the air assist helps to blow some of the smoke away from the work and results in less scorching. Longer’s system works well and there is a significant improvement, but I think a bit more flow could make it even better.

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So, what does 30 watts of power do? I’ve used a 10-watt laser and it was dandy for light-weight wood, acrylic, and fabric, but the Longer B1 laser engraver is on another level. The higher power translates into considerably shorter project times and the ability to cut through thick materials and etch metals easily. This plate is coated steel. The Gadgeteer logo is cut deeply into the material using 1000mm/min, 100% power, and 10 passes.

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As you can see, the laser caused the thin plate to warp. That’s not the Longer B1 laser engraver’s fault. I need to make better choices about what I’m using.

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Longer provides a PDF of recommended cutting and etching parameters that’s a great place to start, but like any machine, some tweaking and refinement are needed to dial in the optimum settings.

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What I like

  • Holy crap! That’s a powerful laser!
  • Very fast
  • Easy assembly
  • By far, the most powerful laser engraver I’ve used so far.

What I’d change

  • The thumb screw for laser height adjustment could use some improvement.
  • The air assist could use more flow.

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Final thoughts

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I’ve used laser engravers in the past, but nothing comes close to the speed and power of the Longer B1 30-Watt Diode Laser Engraver. Similar projects that would have taken hours took only a fraction of the time and I love the air assist for the reduction of scorching, but great care should always be observed when using this fabulous tool.  I have so many projects waiting to go under the beam. I love this tool! Thank you, Longer!

Price: Amazon – $1299.99, Longer – $999.00
Where to buy: Amazon, Longer
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Longer

3 thoughts on “Longer B1 30-Watt Laser Engraver review – “With great power comes great responsibility””

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. The cutting specs are crazy for a diode laser. Like if I saw that on a Chinese site I would assume it’s a lie.

  3. I have a focus adjuster that replaces the thumb screw. It does not require any modification to the unit. I’m not sure how to market it. find me on Facebook

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