Longer B1 40W Laser Engraver with Air Assist review – Serious engraving and cutting power isn’t a toy.

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REVIEW – I previously reviewed Longer’s 30W B1 with air assist (read it here) and have loved it since. The combination of raw power, ultra-fast cutting, and air assist made it the go-to machine for engraving and cutting. They’ve released an even more powerful version, topping at 48 watts for the fastest results. Please join me for a closer look.

What is it?

The Longer B1 40W with air assist is a computer-controlled gantry system that guides a high-power laser module for engraving and cutting various materials.

What’s in the box?

  • B1 40W gantry system (assembly required; all nuts and bolts included)
  • Laser module
  • Power supply and cord
  • Air assist pump, air valve, and tubing
  • TF card and USB card reader with manuals, software, an assembly video, and sample files
  • Limit switches
  • Safety glasses
  • USB cable
  • Safety switch keys
  • Tweezers
  • Brush
  • Allen wrenches and wrench for assembly
  • Assembly instructions
  • User manual

Hardware specs

  • Model: Longer B1 40W
  • Working Area: 450 x 440mm (17.72 x 17.32 inches
  • Power adapter input: 110-240VAC, 50/60hz
  • Power adapter output: 24 VDC, 9A
  • Power consumption: 216 Watts
  • Package size: 742 x 557 x 124mm (29.2 x 21.9 x 4.9 inches)
  • Package weight: 9.8kg (21.63 pounds)
  • Operating temperature: -20 to 50°C (-4 to 122
  • Laser module: Laser B1 40W (44 to 48 watts maximum output), four diodes with FAC (Fast-Axis Collimating) lens to prevent beam spread
  • Wavelength: 450 – 460nm
  • Lens: 50mm fixed focus
  • Dot size at optimal focus: 0.1 x 0.15mm (0.004 x 0.006 inches)
  • Laser class: FDA class IV, IEC class 4 standard
  • Materials: Plywood, basswood, acrylic, craft paper, stainless steel, aluminum alloy, ceramics, and more

Design and features

The B1 40W arrives in a strong box with excellent foam padding. There are no concerns about shipping damage.

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As a first step, digging around and finding the TF card and USB reader is a good idea. The TF card contains the manuals, software, sample files, and, most importantly, a great assembly video. Watch it. Know it. Love it.

Assembly took about an hour. I’m a big fan of Longer for including all the tools needed in the box. All of the screws fit perfectly, and the instructions are straightforward. The engraving area, motor components, limit switches, and control unit of the 40W is identical to the 30W with a few minor exceptions.

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The controller on the 40W has an additional connector on the control box and laser.

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The controls have plugs for an optional touch screen, USB, power, and a TF card slot. Inboard are a power indicator,  reset, safety key, and power switch.

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The emergency is to the right.

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The 30W laser is on the left, and the 40W is on the right

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I was delighted to see the air assist nozzle on the 40W has been improved. It’s smaller and does a better job blowing soot away from the workpiece.

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The air assist pump remains the same and plugs into the side of the control unit.

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The air-assist tubing routes with the cables and connects to the nozzle on the business end.

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Another difference is the power supply. It looks the same but can pump a vigorous nine amps of power into the 40W. The previous model was seven.

The laser module attaches to the x-axis using a rail and a small thumbscrew. I would have liked to see a different, less fiddly attachment method.

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The assembled gantry…

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It’s possible to operate the B1 40W through Wi-fi, using a file on a TF card, or using the MKSLaser app, but I prefer a USB connection. I dislike using a gadget that could burn my house down if mishandled.

Fellow Gadgeteers, before moving on, I can’t stress that safety and caution are paramount when using a laser engraver, particularly one as powerful as the B1 40W. Even brief reflections can cause permanent eye damage for humans and their quadruped, winged, creepy-crawly, or slithery housemates. Never leave the engraver unattended, always use safety goggles for everyone in the room, and for heaven’s sake, please be careful. The laser creates intense heat and will rapidly start a fire, burn exposed skin, and blast through the material faster than you can say, “Jack Robinson.”  As an additional “perk,” vaporized material will instantly fill a room with smoke, requiring plenty of ventilation.

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I’m not too proud to admit that the first time I used a laser engraver, I filled my house with smoke and almost burned “It is what it is” into my dining room table (no, the irony is not lost on me :-)). I also had an incident (with a different brand of laser engraver) where warped wood caught fire under the laser. The flame detection turned the laser off, but residual heat kept the wood burning. I’m pleased to report the B1 40W flame detection is extraordinarily sensitive and never allowed so much as a flicker of flare to form. Excellent job, Longer.

Longer includes LaserGRBL and a trial version of LightBurn. I like LightBurn enough to pay the $60 for the license, which provides for a year of updates. The 40W ‘s manual does a commendable job walking through the setup process.

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The B1 40W is shockingly fast. I engraved and cut 25 of this year’s Christmas ornaments in a casual afternoon. For comparison, last year’s took several days with a 10-watt machine.

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The additional  25% output power translates into improved speed and the ability to cut considerably thicker materials, up to an astounding 30mm of pine, 40mm of basswood,  and 50mm of acrylic. Longer includes a handy-dandy cutting chart on the TF card. I had no trouble cutting 3/8-inch pine. Each piece took about 12 minutes. Amazing!

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I’m getting into the holiday spirit!

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Behold! The Gadgeteer logo!

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What I like

  • Amazingly powerful and fast
  • Very well built
  • Fast!

What I’d change

  • A different laser attachment would be delightful
  • The cooling fan is a bit loud (but not uncomfortable) and activates whenever the B1 40W is powered up.

Final thoughts

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The Longer B1 40W is the most potent laser I’ve used, and I’m thrilled with the results. It’s mighty, cuts much thicker materials, and the machine is skillfully designed and assembles easily. Improvements in the air assist nozzle are appreciated, and the additional power cuts (pun intended) work time dramatically. Fellow Gadgeteers, use extreme caution if you plan to engage in laser engraving! Excellent job, Longer! Thank you!

Price:  $1599.00 (currently on sale for $1209.99)
Where to buy: Amazon and Longer (Save $100 off the price when you use this code: Laser40W$100)
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Longer

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