Crisis of Basic vs Pro

The day is here, I have received my email stating my Basic + Plus Air Filter is ready to ship, well the Glow Forge Basic is ready. After following all the threads I am having a crisis at this point. I am trying to determine if it is best to upgrade by Basic unit to a Pro or simply get the Basic.

As I see it the Pro has the following benefits:
6 more months of warranty
Class 4 laser = faster cutting (longer life???)
Pass through for longer cuts
Class 4 laser safety info/training

Am I missing anything?

Has anyone played with both units and can speak to the difference?

Is there anything a Pro can do that a Basic can’t beyond the length?

I get speed is a difference, but looking at Dan’s comments some additional items are coming for the Pro, additional speed being one of them, is there anything else?

Is the upgrade really worth the money?

Is there any difference in the laser tube replacement costs between the pro and the basic?

Just trying to weigh the options one last time before I answer the email even though I am jumping up and down and want my system today, I don’t want to regret in 6 months not upgrading when I could.

Thanks for any replies.



Cooling, cooling, cooling. Don’t know the planned operating temp but you will run into cool down issues on the basic at some point. Less so, or not at all with the Pro.


It’s such a hard choice! I think, “worth it” is probably relative.

For me, I decided the better cooling was the only feature I really wanted (the pass through is cool, probably, but I know I’m not going to want to pull the thing away from the window so stuff can pass through the back) and I figured a portable or window a.c. unit was a much cheaper cooling system than the upgrade if my house a.c. ends up not being cold enough. Or maybe it won’t work at all. Who really knows; it’s all basically theoretical right now anyway.

But for other people, the pass through is what sold them on it, and that feature is completely worth the additional cost. I think, if you think about what you’ll be making, you can decide which features are really important.

Like, maybe time will be a huge factor for you. If you’ll be mass cutting the same thing over and over, maybe the increased speed could save you a ton of time, and make you way more efficient. On the other hand, if you’ll be making things one at a time, designing as you go, then maybe the slightly faster cutting won’t amount to very much for you.

There’s also the fact that the upgrade means you have to wait again. Some people are mature, rational adults, and can wait patiently for a little longer, and some of us (cough, me) are not.

Yup, this didn’t help you make a choice at all. I ultimately decided that I could upgrade or I could spend the extra money buying proofgrade materials, and that made my decision a lot easier :blush: I want the fancier machine, but I want lots and lots of wood more.


If your circumstances permit, going with the Pro might not be a bad idea. You can run the Pro for longer without it pausing on you to cool off because of the active cooling built in. (Mentioned by @rpegg very eloquently!)

Obviously not an issue if you plan to run the Basic inside the required temperature range.

(I live in a warm climate, so I upgraded.)

But the Pro units are not being shipped out in bulk yet, so upgrading would mean a little more delay right now. You’ll still be at the front of the line when they do a batch of Pro units, but if they are manufacturing Basics, they aren’t doing Pros yet.

Those are a couple of other things to think about when you decide. :grinning:

Good luck and Congratulations! :boom::tada::balloon::confetti_ball::fireworks:


This all depends on the environment that you plan on having your GF in. I have had zero heat issues with mine, but it lives in our basement that rarely gets of 72.

Currently it is 71 down here and the GF has been running non stop for the past 4 hrs with no heat warnings. I was able to run about 11 jobs flawlessly.

So if you live in the north and have a cool room you can run it in then might be fine.


What are all the ramifications of having a class 4 and using in the public? Being able to take the Basic anywhere and do a demo is a big plus for me. I could use the extra juice for some of the thicker wood I have, but not really that big of a deal.


Very personal thing that you will have to answer. I upgraded for the power and optics but after getting a PRU I am seeing all kinds of use cases for that pass through slot!


I wonder about this too, and someone mentioned wondering about homeowner’s insurance but I didn’t catch the followup. I would love the passthrough but if I need it in the future I figure I can sell my basic and get an upgrade.

Would also like to know

obviously we haven’t seen the pro training they mentioned a while back but hopefully it mentions something somewhere about never sticking body parts into the laser just to cover such an eventuality, lol.


Haven’t gotten my pro yet, but I’m glad I ordered one. I’m not one who likes to wait on things, and it sounds like a lot of people are spending a lot of time waiting around for their forges to cool off.


This was for one permutation of the firmware, things are much better now. Still, hot room long cut might pay to have a pro.


Yeah I live in SC, where humidity hits 100% commonly and it’s 100+ outside, and I’m venting out the window.

Definitely need a pro haha. I don’t want to wait at all =P


See how well the regulations work?:wink:


Why yes… (cough cough) The regulations that enforce the rules that breathing under water (without external air source) is hazardous to a persons health…:roll_eyes:


I’m in TN, so our weather is similar. The :glowforge: hasn’t complained about the heat nearly as much since the update. Still kinda wish I’d ordered a Pro, though.

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Yep. Just spent a few hours on it myself and no issues. But it is cooler in the basement now - 75F. I’ll have to keep an eye on it as the temps rise again next week to see, but no alerts or stops since the new firmware came down.


I think all the key points are covered above. If you do decide to upgrade, it is easy and you keep your place in line based on when you first pre-ordered. You just need to go back to and click “Sign In” on the main navigation. Once you sign in, you can click on “upgrades” in the top right corner to upgrade your Glowforge from Basic to Pro, add an Air Filter, and anything else you might want to change.

Also, please remember the forum guidelines - speculation and opinions about safety matters are only allowed in the “Beyond the Manual” category. Safety posts anywhere else will be flagged and deleted.

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When me and my husband saw the 30 day promotion video, we knew we wanted to invest in the best one. Pro with Filter.
Workhorse - Pass through - 45 Watts

We saw the videos and watched the GF making it’s rounds at the fairs, working non stop at making wonderful creations for people and we KNEW we had to get the Pro.
It’s a small investment that will pay itself off in the short term future.