NEW vs. Refurbished

Hello fellow owners,

here is my dilemma and wanted to see if anyone has experienced the same…

I bought a New Glowforge as a new owner… the unit arrived and after a couple of weeks, it started to not cut or work properly. The support team was great… But after many frustrating hours, it was decided to be replaced. Okay!!! But the unit sent is a refurbished unit…I bought a new unit… I am hung up on this as I feel I got cheated… paid for new not used… Now, the unit received is working okay and when i inquired about my concern all I got was the verbiage of the warranty conditions… I could understand if my unit was years or months old, but it was only a few weeks. I feel it should have been replaced with a new unit… So, I paid a new price for a used unit… Any thoughts to share? just not a happy owner right now…


I definitely see your point.

I will say that I’ve received a refurbished unit as part of warranty replacement and it has been great, no issues. They are complicated machines of course and each unit is a little different, there are people that have had bad luck with their refurbished units as well. It’s hard to say what the odds are because all we ever hear about really are the people who are unhappy here.

But in principle, I totally get where you’re coming from. I might push a little harder if I were in your shoes too.


Oh there is one theory that says that refurbished units are actually a better option, as they’ve been more extensively tested and this will have a lower defect rate. @geek2nurse clued me into the name for this concept, it’s called the bathtub curve:


The general gist is that the refurbished units have made it past the early stages of failure and are in that bottom part of the curve that should theoretically be more stable and last longer.


Something similar happened for me. My new machine had an issue and they wanted to send me another one. I didn’t focus on the fact that it was a refurbished machine at the time, but I know it was one. When it came, I couldn’t tell it was a refurb; it was like new and worked better.

(And is still going strong today!)

If it didn’t look new, I probably would have had an issue with it.


I understand your point. The company has fulfilled their obligation as stated in their warranty, and I believe they will continue to warrant the refurbished machine as required. New isn’t always best.

I hope you will become an active participant in this forum and keep us informed regarding your experience with the refurbished machine.


I had a similar issue…refurb then went wonky and they sent another…worked fine ever since…


Another way to think about it: Glowforge is a little further down the path of “having a laser cutter/engraver as a service” than most people expect.


My first machine was also replaced after failing on the second day. Years later now, and still going strong!


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