Chinese Laser HandPiece - A Case Study

Posted on the 11 October 2010 at 11:31

A while ago, with the deregulation of the use of Class 3B/4 Lasers and IPLs in cosmetic practices looming, Lynton wanted to investigate the possible dangers faced by those clinic or salon operators who might consider purchasing one of the many low cost laser or IPL products that were becoming readily available from Chinese manufacturers.

After trying to select one of the better suppliers, based, as best we could, on alleged certification status, this is what we found – concentrating on just a laser handpiece as an example.

A laser handpiece consists of the following main elements:

  1. handpiece casing,
  2. internal metalwork,
  3. laser rod,
  4. flashlamp,
  5. reflector to concentrate the flashlamp light into the rod,
  6. high voltage and earth cabling,
  7. sealing means (the flashlamp and rod need to be water-cooled) and
  8. passive Q-switch crystal (a Q-switched handpiece is needed for, e.g. tattoo removal).

 

We took delivery of such a handpiece and compared it against the performance of handpieces produced by more well-known manufacturers (including Lynton’s own handpiece).

First of all, the Chinese handpiece had a lower specification than was claimed in the accompanying “User Manual” (if a few pieces of paper can be so described). In an attempt to reach the quoted specification, and then match the performance more typical of handpieces produced by the well-known established manufacturers, the following characteristics of the Chinese handpiece were confirmed :

Handpiece Casing:

Ugly, cheap-looking, ergonomically poor, not comfortable to use.

Internal Metalwork:

Low quality, some of it quickly went rusty (e.g. fasteners) indicating a reluctance to used quality materials like stainless.

Laser Rod:

Actually, this was reasonably okay.

Flashlamp

Easily the worst item. Very low quality indeed. Very low lifetime when you tried to get a reasonable output. Described by our own UK flashlamp supplier as “1970’s technology”.

Reflector:

Diffuse powder reflector sprayed onto aluminium and then in contact with the cooling water flow. The reflector burnt the instant we tried to get a reasonable output specification. Cooling water was then contaminated. Good systems use a ceramic reflector.

High Voltage Cabling:

Clearly below specification for safety. Insufficient insulation.

Sealing Means:

An unreliable (and messy) silicone sealant with a high risk of allowing leaks. Good systems use O-ring seals.

Passive Q-Switch Crystal:

Reasonably okay, but European crystals perform better.

 

Add to all this the fact that there was no way the design was going to be EMC-compliant (no shielding at all) or comply with safety standards (a conductive path all the way to the patient) and it became clear that anybody who invested in such a piece of equipment would be putting themselves (and their clients) at significant risk, but could at least comfort themselves with the knowledge that they wouldn’t be doing so for too long before the equipment quickly degraded and became effectively unusable.

And then there is the question of product training, the provision and fitting of consumable and spare parts, and general service & customer support. How do you get this with a system bought off the internet, or from a UK-based “distributor” who seems strangely reluctant to admit to an address, or even a landline telephone number, on their website?

Add Comment

To leave a comment you need to be logged in as a Cosmetic Community Member or a Clinic.

Please Click Here to login / register with the Cosmetic Community.

If you are a Clinic Click Here to login to the partners area of Consulting Room.

Blog Comment(s) [5]

To be fair to the Chinese manufacturers, I feel that the writer of this article is not in the position to write independently as the Director of Lynton Lasers Ltd. It would be interesting to see such an article from a totally independent and inbiased source.

Freida Jones

In response to Freida's comment, I have used ADL and Lynton lasers in the past. Unfortunately we had our last laser stolen, and we decided to buy a cheaper laser which is manufactured in China, but distributed by a UK company specialising in lasers. I am absolutely amazed with the product for £1550! its easy to use, and the results, well to be fair are slightly better with the cheaper laser. I have used 800,000 shots on the laser and its firing away like new. www.garraspasolutions.co.uk have some good units for sale, with full parts backup, service centre, and customer service department.

Dean Buckley

I was reccomended Ultrapulse lasers by lots of people. I know they originate in China but the lasers are excellent and I am having great results at full removals using the Titan 2 laser.

Thumbs up for the economical priced lasers that work!!

Ryan Rollinsom

Lynton lasers are made in china. They don't have a factory.

karren

Official Response from Lynton Lasers:

"To clarify we have a selection of products in our portfolio that are British manufactured. Our manufacturing offices are located in Holmes Chapel and we have been producing British manufactured equipment for over 20 years. We also distribute a number of systems from other suppliers such as Quanta laser systems, an Italian manufacturer. We always advise customers of where products are manufactured. In our current product portfolio, Lynton does not sell any devices that are manufactured in China."

Lorna Jackson | http://www.consultingroom.com