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We’ve all experienced the temptation to go for the cheapest price. After all, who doesn’t want to save money, especially when investing in expensive equipment like a laser machine? You may be questioning if a quality American-made machine like Vytek is worth the investment, or if one of the cheaper Chinese imports will suffice. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for, this certainly holds true with laser engraving and cutting machines. Let’s look at how Vytek machines compare with these Chinese imports.

Better Construction

Let us start by considering the overall machine construction. Chinese imports are constructed of light sheet metal, whereas Vytek utilizes solid steel construction. In addition, Vytek uses a dual drive rack and pinion gears rather than the small rubber belts that are characteristic of Chinese imports. This means that Vytek machines are stronger, more durable, and hold up better with heavy daily use. Additionally, Vytek uses servo motors that offer higher accuracy and resolution than the stepper motors that the Chinese manufacturers offer. Chinese imports also utilize DC glass tube lasers that deteriorate rapidly and that can become unusable due to leakage within a few months if not turned on regularly. Vytek, however, uses the superior quality and rechargeable RF metal tube lasers that last for 7 to 10 years. The superior construction of Vytek laser machines means that they will produce better results and last for years, even under heavy use. When considering upkeep, Chinese imports may be cheaper at the outset, but they are more costly to own in the long run.

Higher Quality Laser Technology

Let us look more closely at how the Chinese imports compare to Vytek in laser technology. The DC glass tube lasers of the Chinese imports have a much lower peak pulse output than the RF metal tube lasers that Vytek uses. The peak output of their 100 watt laser is only 120 watts, whereas the peak pulse output of Vytek’s RF metal tube 35 watt laser is 350 watts; almost triple that of the Chinese lasers! Higher power generally translates to deeper cutting as well as faster engraving of your material. Secondly, Chinese imports can only run up to 15 inches per second for a 200dpi file and still create a round dot in stone, whereas Vytek lasers can run up to 125 inches per second while engraving a 200 dpi file and creating a round dot in stone. This is eight times the speed of the Chinese imports. Finally, Chinese imports only pulse up to 3000 dots per second, whereas Vytek lasers can pulse up to 20,000 dots per second. Getting more done at higher quality translates into savings for your company.

Superior Safety

Another important factor to consider is the safety of your machine. There is no use in having a powerful laser machine if you are endangering the welfare of yourself and your employees while operating it. Fortunately, Vytek lasers are powered with AC power supplies, which are not exposed to the supply operating the machine. In contrast, cheap Chinese imports use high power DC supplies, which are exposed and therefore endanger the operator. In addition, Chinese imports do not have wiring that meets US and UL safety codes, and do not meet US FDA import regulations, operating as Class IV laser systems without the safety interlocks and operator warnings. You can be assured, however, that all wiring in Vytek’s laser machines meet or exceed US and UL safety codes, and that they operate as Class IV laser systems that follow every one of FDA’s safety requirements, including proper safety interlocks, warning systems, and proper documentation. A machine that is unsafe is not economical in the long run – if an accident occurs, how much will that add to your bottom line? With Vytek, you can be assured that you and your team will be safe while operating your laser machine!

Easier Machine Maintenance

In terms of machine maintenance, Vytek machines are significantly easier and less costly to maintain. Vytek machines only require you to clean the optics and mirrors when needed, since none of them are directly exposed. The optics and mirrors of Chinese imports, conversely, are exposed and require daily cleaning, as well as full replacement once or twice a year. The cost of new lenses and mirrors can really add up! Additionally, Chinese imports require you to check the alignment of the laser before each job and clean exposed rollers and rails and replace them several times a year. With Vytek, you only need to wipe and grease the rails of your machine once a year. Unlike Vytek machines, the glass laser tubes of Chinese imports also require replacing and aligning at least one to two times a year, and power and speed setting need to be adjusted monthly, as the laser gradually loses power. Finally, unlike Vytek machines, a Chinese-imported machine needs the water cooling system drained four times per year, with antifreeze added in the winter months. All of this means that the annual cost of maintenance for a Chinese import is over $4,850, whereas it is only $800 for a Vytek machine; a saving of more than $4,000! After five years, the cost of maintenance for a Chinese import is $24,250, more than six times the cost for a Vytek machine. With this in mind, it is critical to consider the long-term cost of maintenance when evaluating your laser machine solution.

Greater Retention of Value

A Vytek machine retains its value over time much better than the Chinese imports. After five years, a Chinese import retains less than 10% of its purchase price. If you find that the Chinese import does not perform to your satisfaction, or that you require a more powerful machine, you will get very little of your money back if you try to resell it. Vytek’s machines, however, retain up to 65% of their value after five years because of their superior construction and reliable operation. If, after a few years, you find that you need to come back to Vytek for a more powerful machine, your old machine is guaranteed to hold its value, resulting in a larger portion of your investment returned.

Superior Value

Overall, this means that a Vytek laser system will produce beautiful results consistently year after year, with increased speed and reliability and a more economical price than the Chinese important. Additionally, the ease of use eliminates the need to hire a laser technician to operate it while also granting you time back in your day to focus on the rest of your business.

Unlike Chinese imports, Vytek offers a complete laser solution, not just a laser system. A partnership with us means you have the training and support you need, as well as someone to create high-quality artwork so that your customers will be willing to pay premium prices. When considering the construction, technology, safety, and maintenance, the value provided by a Vytek solution far surpasses that of a Chinese import.

Lysiane Burrowes June 8, 2024
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