ATOMSTACK A5 Pro Laser Engraver
The first laser engraver I bought was the ATOMSTACK A5 Pro Laser Engraver. The reviews were good and the price was right, so I jumped right in. I couldn’t wait to complete my first project, so when it arrived I went straight for assembly and hoped I’d be making some cool things an hour later. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Let’s take a look at the features of the ATOMSTACK A5 Pro Laser Engraver and why it ended up not being the one for me, but could work out for you.
ATOMSTACK A5 Pro Laser Engraver
Unboxing and Assembly
The box for the A5 Pro was sturdy, but was re-taped, so I think the unit I received may have been a return that was possibly refurbished and sent to me. I can’t be certain of that, but it fits with what I received.
Assembly was straight forward, and the instructions were adequate, but could have been a little bit more clear in a few places. I had to backtrack a couple of times and re-do some of the assembly work, but all in all, it wasn’t too difficult.
After that, it was time to get it hooked up to the computer and the software installed.
There are 2 main software options, LaserGRBL (free), and LightBurn (Paid). I highly recommend LightBurn, but LaserGRBL is also quite capable.
After some frustration and google searching, I was able to find how to install the correct driver and get the laser to communicate with LightBurn, but in the end I was successful.
First Engraving Attempt
Being new to laser engraving, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. So, rather than trying to so anything fancy, I just entered the word TEST in a basic font in LightBurn, calibrated the laser to the best of my inexperienced ability, and pressed go. Nothing happened!
Back to the drawing board! I spent a few hours on YouTube and Google looking for answers and tried again. By that point, I couldn’t get the laser to do anything. This leads me to believe I had a faulty unit.
That being said, I’m not going to shy away from recommending this laser at all because I think it can be a solid unit for a beginner that is willing to tackle the learning curve.
However, I did learn that the ATOMSTACK A5 Pro Laser Engraver is very much an entry level, basic kit. There are several other things needed to properly use this engraver and produce a quality product.
What was missing?
It makes sense that engraving with a laser would make some smoke and odor, right? Well, it does. It’s my fault that I didn’t learn how much smoke we were talking about ahead of time, but I did learn, and its a good thing.
In order to engrave properly, you will need some kind of enclosure and ventilation for your laser engraver, something that the ATOMSTACK A5 Pro Laser Engraver does not include. This enclosure is a great option. It is a little bit large and clunky to assemble, but once you have it together, its every easy to use, and the film filters the light enough to negate the need for goggles, and you can watch the laser work. You will want to add a ventilation hose (dryer duct will work) and vent to the outside air or through a powered filter.
In addition to the enclosure, if you plan on doing any wood cutting or larger engravings, you will need an air assist pump. This component adds an air stream near the tip of the laser that helps clear the air in the immediate engraving area, helping to keep the laser clean as well as maintaining the quality of your work.
The last absolute necessity is a honeycomb working table. This protects the surface the laser is sitting on by raising your work, and the laser, out of the focus range that could harm your table.
So now that you have all the basic tools necessary to engrave and cut wood, leather, and a ton of other materials, you realize that everything has to be flat. What if you want to engrave something round like a mug or tumbler?
You need yet another tool, called simply a rotary tool. This tool will rotate your round object as the laser works, allowing for an even quality product. Add this to the cost of the rest of the tools and accessories, and you’ve spent more than the cost of the laser itself. That’s not necessarily a critique, but a fact you need to know if you want to get in to laser engraving.
If you’d like to see the laser engraver I ended up with, check our my review of the Roly LaserMATIC10 Laser Engraver. It is more expensive, but comes as a complete kit and I’ve been extremely happy with it.
The ATOMSTACK A5 Pro Laser Engraver is a great option if you are looking to dabble in laser engraving, or if you’d like to slowly build your kit over time. Aside from the one setback I had on mine, I’ve seen enough evidence to believe it is a quality product. Keep in mind, you will need to do all of the learning yourself as the instructions are limited.
That being said, if you don’t mind putting in the work and doing all the searching to find all the necessary information, this is a great kit to save a little money on and start making some really cool items. While I didn’t end up sticking with the ATOMSTACK A5 Pro Laser engraver, I’d be happy to share some of the amazing laser engraved cutting boards and other items I’ve made here.
If you would like to experience any of our amazing creations, many of which are made with items reviewed on this site, check out our shop at thesillygooselife.com!
Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. If you use these links to make purchases, I may earn a commission, however my opinions are my own, and there is no additional cost to you.