What is a Laser Guide?
A laser guide is a device used to aid in the cutting of wood or other materials with lasers. A laser guide is usually attached to a saw blade which helps the user cut through material faster and easier. There are various types of laser guides available.
The most common types of laser guides are:
Miter Saw Laser Guides:
These are laser guides that are attached to the blade of a miter saw. The laser is attached on the inside corner of the saw blade and spins with it.
This type of laser guide is used to assist the user when making straight cuts. The laser is projected on the material that you are cutting. The laser will help to show exactly where the material will be cut.
Portable Laser Guides:
These are laser guides that usually come with a carrying case. They have various uses. They can be attached to a circular saw blade and used as a guide when making straight cuts or used as a cross cut guide.
These can also be used on a drill. A laser is attached to the drill and can be used to bore holes. The laser will emit a straight line which can be used to make precision cuts or holes.
These are just two of the most common types of laser guides. There are many different types of laser guides available for a variety of jobs. Laser guides are especially useful for people who work with their hands. They can make cutting straight lines and curves much easier.
What Are The Different Features Of Laser Guides?
Laser guides are available in a variety of different price ranges and feature sets. Laser guides also have a number of different models. The features and price of a laser guide are usually determined by the manufacturer. Some manufacturers offer better quality products for a higher price.
Other manufacturers cut costs in order to offer a lower priced product with fewer features.
The most common feature that laser guides have is the ability to project a straight line at various widths. There are guides that can project lines from .5″ to 4″. Other guides only project lines from 1″ to 2″.
The wider the line that is projected, the more expensive the laser guide.
Some laser guides also offer special features. Some of these features include wall mounts, cases, and magnetic feet. A wall mount allows the laser guide to be mounted on a wall. This makes it easier to store and allows for quicker access.
A case allows the laser to be protected when not in use. The case also allows for easier carrying and makes it harder to lose parts. Magnetic feet are just that. There are small magnets on the bottom of the laser guide. This allows the laser guide to be placed on metal surfaces for use.
Other laser guides are available with Bluetooth connectivity or other syncing abilities. These laser guides can connect to a number of other tools and be controlled by a smart phone or other device.
There are also laser guides that can be used underwater. These are usually more expensive. They are great for people who work underwater with their hands.
How Do I Choose The Right Laser Guide For Me?
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the right laser guide. The first and most important factor to consider is price. How much are you willing to spend on a laser guide? Laser guides can range in price from $100 to over $1,000. The most expensive laser guides are usually more advanced and come with more features.
These laser guides are usually the most versatile.
The next factor to consider is what you will be using the laser guide for. Some laser guides are better for certain jobs than others. For example, a laser guide that can project a very fine line would not be well suited for cutting wood. It would do a very poor job.
The third and final factor to consider is brand. Different brands offer different features at different price points. However, not all brands are made equally. Some are known to be of better quality than others.
Do your research before buying a laser guide.
Who Are The Major Players In The Laser Guid eIndustry?
While most laser guides are made by smaller companies, there are three major players in the laser guide industry. These three companies manufacture most of the laser guides on the market.
The first of these companies is Ryobi. Ryobi manufactures a wide variety of power tools. They are primarily an American company. They have manufacturing plants in a number of other countries, however.
Their laser guides line is relatively new. It mainly consists of laser tools for hobbyists.
Ryobi’s main competitor is Black and Decker. B&D, as it is usually called, manufactures a wide variety of power tools. They are a well-known American company. They have manufacturing plants in over a dozen countries.
Their laser guides line is very extensive. It has models to fit every need. It also includes a larger variety of features.
B&D’s main competitor is a company called Makita. Makita manufactures a wide variety of power tools. They are a well-known Japanese company. They have manufacturing plants in nearly twenty countries.
Their laser guides line is very expensive. It has models that professional carpenters and electricians use. It offers the most features and the highest quality.
These three companies also have competitors. However, these competitors aren’t as big or well-known. These competitors include various small companies and even individuals who manufacture and sell laser guides on sites like Amazon.
Are Laser Guides Safe?
Laser guides are very safe when used properly. However, it is very important to follow the included safety instructions. Safety should always come before anything else.
It is important to keep your laser guide out of the reach of children and pets. It is very important to never look directly into the beam or use the laser when there are people in the path of the beam. It is important that you use a laser safe lens to direct the beam if needed. It is also important to never use the laser if there is any chance that nature may cause water to enter the laser.
Never use your laser to point at any person or animal. It is important that you never take your laser outside, even for a second. You must unplug your laser when not in use. It is also very important to keep your laser guide away from the reach of pets and children.
You should also keep the ventilation holes clear. Clogging the ventilation holes can increase the chance of fire or even an explosion.
It is important to remember never to look into the laser beam. Even a very thin laser beam can cause blindness. The beam is even thin enough to go through windows. Never point your laser at any person that is not within your line of sight.
The laser beam can travel great distances, even thinning out in the upper atmosphere. You could potentially blind an airplane pilot many miles away. It is illegal to point your laser at any vehicle, person, or airplane not within your line of sight. Therefore, it is important to never point your laser into the sky. The beam can also travel down a long corridor, even if the laser light cannot. Never allow children to use the laser if there is any chance they may go down a corridor or run outside.
The laser beam can also burn things. You should never use your laser to burn anything or anyone. You should always use caution when using the laser near flammable objects. You should also avoid using the laser on reflective surfaces.
Never use the laser to try and cut through objects, such as a window. The laser can and will cause windows to crack and even shatter.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Miter adjustment assembly for a saw (JD Hetcher, MD Willer, DJ Cerney, WA Elger… – US Patent …, 2010 – Google Patents)
- Drill Sergeant: Supporting physical construction projects through an ecosystem of augmented tools (E Schoop, M Nguyen, D Lim, V Savage… – Proceedings of the …, 2016 – dl.acm.org)
- Laser alignment system for saw (MJ Lawlor, S Srinivas, MD Cox, Z Rui… – US Patent …, 2019 – Google Patents)