Tool F1 Review And Thoughts
xTool F1 Review
I’ll be completely 100% honest here. When xTool first previewed the xTool F1 last year I had my doubts about it. Not about the machine, but whether it was a good fit for me. Yes, it looked cool. But it also looked very SPECIFIC. In my mind I could only visualize using it as a vendor at a Craft Fair or Flea Market. I had decided that I probably wouldn’t be getting the F1 Laser.
Boy was I wrong.
Now that I have one, courtesy of xTool, I can see just how wrong my initial assessment of the F1 laser was. xTool provided me an F1 and a Slide Extension, however at no time have they attempted to influence my reviews. When someone provides you gear to review and they don’t try to influence you, that means THEY TRUST THEMSELVES.
I did an initial review here, and man was I impressed. That should teach me to not form an opinion until I actually test the equipment. My initial belief that a 115 x 115 mm working area just was only good for small items produced rapidly at a vendor table. Now that I have one of these, it is apparent to me that most of the things that I do with a laser FIT ON THE F1! And I can do them way faster on the galvo laser.
xTool F1 Slide Extension
xTool F1 Slide Extension
Recently, the laser company xTool began shipping their F1 machine. I was fortunate enough to receive one from them and did an initial impressions review here. They are now providing a great accessory, the xTool F1 Slide Extension ($199) and it is available now for purchase.
The F1 is a galvo laser, which is fast, but galvo lasers generally have a very small working area. Because galvo lasers have a mirror system which directs the laser beam and the lens is fixed focal length, the further the beam gets from the lens, the more out of focus it becomes. So that keeps the working area fairly small.
The Engineers at xTool have designed a BRILLIANT method of expanding the engraving length along the X axis (right to left) by UP TO 4X’s.
This creates ample room to engrave longer items, make signage, and to create templates to engrave more than one item at a time.
I’ve said this before, but xTool is the most innovative laser manufacturer out there. They are providing engineering solutions to overcome machine limitations in ways that I have not seen before.
Algolaser Alpha Review
Introducing the new Algolaser Alpha.$799. John’s Tech Blog was provided with what appears to be a 1st batch production machine for review by the folks at Algolaser. No pressure was applied for a positive review. The provided link above is an affiliate link which helps support my page.
SPOILER ALERT: This is a cool machine!
Desktop diode lasers have been available commercially since about 2019. At that time desktop lasers were typically low powered devices and their mainboards were only smart enough to control movement along an X and Y axis.
A lot has changed since then with the advent of 32 bit motherboards capable of precision movements. The Algolaser Alpha provides advanced electronics to include gyroscopes and heat/flame detection. Additionally, there is laser over exposure protection which stops the machine if flame if probable. User safety and precision seem to be paramount with the release of the Algolaser Alpha. Also, these much more powerful motherboards contain Internet of Things chips (IoT) which have ESP32 S2 chipsets which allow for multiple connection methods such as USB, Bluetooth, and WiFi.
xTool F1 Review – First Impressions
My friends at xTool have provided me with one of their latest offerings to review, the xTool F1. The F1 is a highly portable laser engraver which contains 2 separate lasers in one housing. One laser is a 10 watt, 455 nanometer (nm) wavelength laser and the second is a 2 watt IR, 1064 nm laser for marking metals.
The laser is a galvo system and an explanation of that type of laser can be found here. I’m told the author of that article is pretty awesome!
Because the galvo laser uses a mirror system instead of mechanical movements across an X and Y axis, it typically is a LOT faster than a conventional desktop diode laser.
Conversely, the tradeoff here is that the range of the mirroring system results in a considerably smaller useable area. Also if cutting an item, the edges may have a slight bevel to them. This is due of the angle of the laser cutting beam.
Where the F1 really shines brightly is its ability to mark small items quickly. Items such as jewelry, coasters, leather patches, and tumblers (with optional rotary) can be rapidly produced. Because of the portability of the F1 it is ideal for Craft Show and Flea Market sales. Customers may walk away if you tell them their tumbler will be ready for pickup in 30 minutes. However, if you tell them you can produce it in a minute or two right in front of their eyes, they are more inclined to stick around. Time is money, as they say.
Ooni Pizza Oven Update
Just over a month ago I bought an Ooni Pizza Oven, the Karu 12 Multi-Fuel. It was an impulse buy. But suffice to say I’ve eaten more than a few pizzas and calzones in the last month or so. I’ve been having so much fun with this thing but I want to share a few things I have learned along the way to any potential buyer of the Ooni. If you are a fence sitter and thinking about buying one I’d absolutely encourage you to do that. But there is a learning curve.
Buying an expensive stove, oven, stand mixer or any other kitchen porn won’t make you a good cook. Using your equipment a lot with study and experimentation will. There is so much to learn regarding a brick pizza oven like the Ooni. There are hundreds of posts on the Facebook forum alone regarding dough hydration.
Justway Manufacturing Services Review
I’m a MAKER. They used to call us nerds, and then geeks. I personally own a CNC machine, four 3D printers, 5 lasers, a vinyl sign machine and some of the best tools money can buy. Before I go to the store or head to the internet to buy something I stop and ask myself, “Can I make this myself”. A lot of times I can. Even sometimes when I can it isn’t practical for me to do so or I find that I can’t make it out of a preferred material. Or I have reached the limits of my machines. This is where Justway comes in.
Justway is a manufacturing service that can make ALMOST ANYTHING. They specialize in:
- CNC Machining and Milling
- Sheet Metal Fabrication
- 3D Printing
- Injection Molding
- Urethane Casting
Their services are ideal for almost anyone. And their services really excel in a few different areas. If you dreamed up a great idea and you needed to build a prototype but have no manufacturing ability then Justway is a perfect choice for you.
Fish gotta swim, scammers gotta scam. You are minding your own business, surfing the web, and then this pops up. What do you do? These are internet scammers at work here. Be careful.
This actually is NOTHING. What you do next matters though.
The folks at NIIMBOT have made yet another great label maker. I have previously reviewed their B21 Label Maker, and their B3S Label Maker. Both are stylish and fun and very efficient. And while both are portable the NIIMBOT Label Maker D110 really excels at portability.
It checks in at 4.2″ tall, 2.9″ long, and 1.2″ wide. And it is so light you’d never feel it after you slipped it into your backpack, purse, or toolbox. And after posting a picture of it after I received it, my brother messaged back and said he owns this very label maker and the portability is what he loves best about it.
The design is sleek and simple with one control button, one release mechanism for changing label rolls, and one USB-C charging port. And it is of course, a thermal printer that never needs ink.
I thought I had upgraded my SSL certificate on John’s Tech Blog but it expired on Jun 30th. I was able to install the new certificate on the morning of 1 July.
Don’t be alarmed if you have to accept a new certificate when visiting the site. Nothing fishy going on. Just me installing the new certificate incorrectly before the other one expired.
Ooni Karu 12 Review
Ooni Karu 12
For a number of years I have fancied myself a bit of a good pizza chef. Mind you, I only made pizzas for myself and family and friends but I’m getting pretty good at it. My craft has evolved over the years. But I have really stepped up my game with the addition of an Ooni Karu 12 Multi Fuel Pizza Oven.
I want a giant kitchen with a real brick oven but at 60 years of age I’m probably in my last home. Over the last couple of years I’ve been eyeballing outdoor pizza ovens. The other day I was in a local Dick’s Sporting Goods store and I saw one in a store for the first time. They have always been sold out.
An employee came by and asked me if I was interested and I replied, “Maybe”. His response was “We can’t keep them in the store”. Okay, John, it appears the time to get an Ooni is now or never. I got just the oven and I sprung for one of their pizza peels as well. I have no beef with the pizza peel but I’m a woodworker and subsequently made my own wooden pizza peel. Probably should have just done that from the start.