Basic vs Pro it safe in a home?

I put my backing in today for a basic with air filter model because I was scared of what I don’t know about lasers. One listing said the Pro model required extra safety precautions but I didn’t see what that entails? Would the pro version be safe in my house hanging out in my office ? Or should this be in a special industrial setting of some kind?

I want to spend more to get more but want to know it is ok in my house! Another article I read said the pro was a class IV laser (vs class 1 for basic) so I read about that but still not a lot of information about putting one in your home :slight_smile: I have little kids, they certainly won’t touch it but what can of damage can it do? One video just said you needed goggles to be around. Is that all? What if someone is 5 feet or 10 feet away from it etc… would love the safely details!

Also maybe someone knows when you cut paper does it leave burn marks on the sides?

Hope that makes sense, super excited about the possibilities here!

Thank you!

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Hey Marie,
I’m in the same position as you - looking to put a GlowForge in our home with little ones. Since I can’t count on the kids (or pets!) wearing goggles reliably, I opted for the Basic model.

My understanding was that the Class IV rating for Pro was simply because there’s a pass-through door that COULD be opened while the laser was in operation (because that’s how you would pass material through.) Simply having the doors there with no shutoff interlock automatically makes it a Class IV device, not any additional danger of the laser. You would want to wear goggles in case a random reflection manages to make it outside of the case.

I went with the Basic because I don’t need the features of the Pro, but as long as the passthrough doors are shut it shouldn’t be any more dangerous than the Basic. And you shouldn’t be leaving your kids unsupervised around a laser cutter anyway :smile:

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Then who will teach me to use it?!!? >:)

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Our friendly neighborhood lawyer has advised that we not tell people what the safety precautions required for a Class IV laser are. They depend on where you are (home/workplace), where you’re located, etc.

The passthrough has a silcone shield hanging down but it would be possible for a little one to stick their hand in. If kids would have access to it, as a Dad, I’d recommend the Basic.



lol right? My 8 year old is telling me how to ‘code’ in two computer languages and is teaching me his Chinese from school! Thought I was a techie until I had him! :smile:

Thanks for all the replies! I will stick with the basic and see if my needs increase after that for the higher end model in the future! Hope so!



I tried to google information for my city all I discovered was vets use class IV lasers for Therapeutic things, and foot doctors zap away fungus with them lol

Safe to say I will stick with my Basic model until I understand them more :slight_smile:

Can you elaborate a bit more on the silicone shield? Does it create an effective seal when the passthrough is not in use and no one’s messing with it? Are there any pictures you could point us at?

Is there any video posted on the pro being used with a material going through the pass through? This feature has me on the fence between the basic and the pro and i haven’t seen it demo’d. I would love to see how the pass through doors function in terms of how the cut pauses and realigns to push material through!

I’m also concerned if there are any fume leaking - since there would be an open door in the unit with longer material.

Unfortunately we don’t have any demo videos - all our attention’s been on the basic unit so far as far as images and video go.

We do have separate software control over the intake and outflow fans. We haven’t had problems, but could decrease the inflow and increase the outflow when the passthrough was being used.

I am considering upgrading to the pro model, but I also would like to see some kind of demo before committing so much money. I am primarily interested in cutting long pieces of foam for shadowing toolboxes. I am currently paying Snap-On for this service, but would like to do in house.


I would be less worried about the pass through slot (easy enough to mount a shield) than the filtering ability of the Pro in a home setting. From what I gathered from the reps at Maker Faire the filter is only two-stage (HEPA + carbon). For in-home use I wouldn’t be comfortable with less than 3 stages of filtration and if you don’t keep those filters clean (though to do if you cut plywood or MDF) then they will block your airflow and then the fumes will just build up in the cabinet and release when you open the door. Always better to vent outside when possible.

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I do not have any children at home, and have pre-ordered the pro model for it’s passthrough capabilities, and especially the air filter. My question is will that air filter really be effective enough to run indoors? I know people with other laser systems that have purchased HEPA filters, and returned them because they were not nearly effective enough for even their garage. I plan to put the machine in the basement and won’t mind some odor/fumes escaping, but I don’t want fumes all through the house. Venting outside 100% is not an option as we are a corner house with no yard and close neighbors. I have heard putting a laser to leather smells understandably like burning flesh…

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Any chance on just a little elaboration for the Pro model? Forget kids or other people. If I’m just using the Pro model at home, by myself, do I need additional safety equipment / eyewear, or are the glass and silicone safety shields be enough for normal use (no one around to horseplay with it).

This is very worrisome for me; correct safety eyewear for laser devices must be matched to the specific laser in use. Since this is custom hardware, we CANNOT complete this on our end without more information from you guys.

The pro model is considered a class 4 laser so you definitely should wear safety glasses while the laser is running.

It’s a standard CO2 beam with a wavelength of 10.6 µm. Plenty of off-the-shelf glasses matched to that wavelength. Or just duct tape a sheet of 3/8" polycarbonate to your face and you’ll be fine.

Here is a link to the OSHA information and requirements for usage of a laser -

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anyone else still considering upgrading at the last minute? Been thinking about it all week! I have heavy use in mind for my machine and think the added features of the pro would better suit that. grrrr decisions! :slight_smile:

Do it!!! My wife and I debated for while. Bottom line - going to be hard to get a deal like this anywhere from any company in the near future. This is our chance. We like the pass through,
And the continuous use. That’s what did it for us. The higher wattage is great, but was not a real factor. I have a habit of being a little on the conservative side and then regretting it… Not doing that this time. Bottom line - you are going to have a great product either way. What do you thiink you will be using it for? Tinkering? Something specific?