Slowforge vs Thunder Laser

Thunder is built better, engraves and cuts faster, is more powerful, and has better support and software.

Skip the hobbyist laser, go industrial-grade the first time.

Thunder’s build quality is that of an enterprise system at a hobbyist price. You are getting wayyyy more bang for your buck with a Thunder. Don’t try to save a few bucks and sacrifice a quality machine that will last you a long time and produce items much more efficiently.

Thunder is up to 5x faster at engraving, which means 5x profits.

Thunder’s are ridiculously fast at 1,000mm/s. The Slowforge clocks in at about a fifth of that, around 200mm/s. Get your engravings done faster and make more money!

Thunder can hold larger pieces. Cups, too!

Glowforge’s laser bed can’t move up and down. This greatly limits how large of items you can work with. Thunder is also capable of handling a rotary and even has a pass-through feature if the part is larger than the engraving area.

Below is a visual of the difference in bed size.

Thunder has more laser power.

More power means faster cuts and faster engraves. Our lasers will slice through materials like butter that the Glowforge will struggle to cut through. Our lasers prove to consistently be 2-4x faster at cutting than Glowforge.

Thunder has wicked-fast, US-based support.

When you need help, you need it fast. Like lightning fast. We typically respond in 3-5 minutes, often on weekends and holidays. Check out our reviews to see what others have had to say.

Often, you will only get one reply from Glowforge every 24 hours.

Watch out for cloud-based software, but why?

  1. Time – It takes time to upload designs to the cloud which slows down a production environment.
  2. Reliability – Their server can go down, your internet can go down, who knows… What happens if you have grandpa’s favorite wallet in the machine when the internet goes down?
  3. With cloud-based software, you often give up the right to your designs, meaning the host/server company technically owns them or at least has access to them.

No painful alignments means more laser time.

All of our machines will arrive to you perfectly aligned. No painful adjusting required. Be up and running in no time! Poorly made machines often require periodic alignments. Our machines only come out of alignment in the event of a head crash.

Don’t take our word for it, join Facebook groups and ask other users.

It’s hard to really know the differences in lasers without seeing them up close in action. We would encourage you to join different Facebook groups and ask the community about their machines. There are several for Thunders (and other brands). Our largest Facebook Group can be found here.

We have clear, consistent pricing. What you see is what you pay… always.

Our pricing is clear and upfront and includes everything you need to run a standard job. It also includes shipping. So you never have to worry if you are getting the best deal. Everyone gets the best deal possible. You will never find our sales folks to be pushy, either. We just want to find the right machine to fit your needs.

No lost sleep wondering if you negotiated the best deal.


Glowforge vs Thunder Comparison

We don’t really like specs sheets, because they can be deceiving. It’s not always apples to apples. The overall build quality of the machine will be the best determining factor in how well a laser operates. But we do understand sometimes you need to compare different brands.

So we built this for you:

Glowforge Pro Thunder Bolt Nova 24 Nova 35 Notes
Base Price $6,995 $5,495 $7,400 $9,900
Shipping Included No(Est $500) Yes Yes Yes
Working Area 19” x 11” 20” x 12” 24” x 16” 35” x 24”
Speed Not Posted (SLOW) 1000mm/s 1000mm/s 1000mm/s Thunder is 3-4x faster than Glowforge
Build Quality Hobbyist Grade Industrial Grade Industrial Grade Industrial Grade
Tube 45W Glass 30w RF 60w Glass 80w Glass 30w RF has cutting capacity of 45w Glass
Dual Stage Air No No Yes Yes Different Air Volumes for Cut vs Engrave
Heat Alarm No Yes Yes Yes Safety Feature for Fire Hazard
Red Dot No Yes Yes Yes For locating the laser beam
Passthrough No No Yes Yes
Chilling Needs N/A Air Cooled RF CW5000 Water Chiller CW5000 Water Chiller Glass tubes need chilled water to extend life
Camera Built-In Built-In Optional Optional
Rotary Capable No Yes Yes Yes
Motorized Table No Yes Yes Yes
Max Object Height 2” 4.3” 6.1” 9”
Warranty One Year Two Years Two Years Two Years
Base Price Shipping Included Working Area Speed Build Quality Tube Dual Stage Air Heat Alarm Red Dot Passthrough Chilling Needs Camera Rotary Capable Motorized Table Max Object Height Warranty
Glowforge Pro $6,995 No(Est $500) 19” x 11” Not Posted (SLOW) Hobbyist Grade 45W Glass No No No No N/A Built-In No No 2” One Year
Thunder Bolt $5,495 Yes 20” x 12” 1000mm/s Industrial Grade 30w RF No Yes Yes No Air Cooled RF Built-In Yes Yes 4.3” Two Years
Nova 24 $7,400 Yes 24” x 16” 1000mm/s Industrial Grade 60w Glass Yes Yes Yes Yes CW5000 Water Chiller Optional Yes Yes 6.1” Two Years
Nova 35 $9,900 Yes 35” x 24” 1000mm/s Industrial Grade 80w Glass Yes Yes Yes Yes CW5000 Water Chiller Optional Yes Yes 9” Two Years
Notes Thunder is 3-4x faster than Glowforge 30w RF has cutting capacity of 45w Glass Different Air Volumes for Cut vs Engrave Safety Feature for Fire Hazard For locating the laser beam Glass tubes need chilled water to extend life

1000+ Five-Star Reviews

It’s hard to be modest when your products are this good.

Our Bolt desktop laser machine combines a compact design with super high-quality parts.

Our Nova series laser cutter offers higher wattage and larger work areas.

Ready to speak to one of our Experts?

Getting started can be the most challenging part of any project. Let us do the heavy lifting so you can focus on your designs.

Open the box; pull out your machine; get to work. Engrave on wood, leather, acrylic, metal—let us know your materials of choice, and we’ll find the machine to match.

If you’re ready to upgrade your machine, take your business to the next level, or just create, we’re here to help.

Questions? Comments? Curious about our laser system technology? Schedule a call today. We actually answer our phones.