The battery and/or charger Wicked Lasers sent was defective. This doesn't surprise me, under the circumstances. But more on that later. I ordered two other 18650 protected batteries and a charger and they arrived today. After an hour charging, I finally got to try out my laser.
GODDAMN THIS SUCKER IS FARGIN' BRIGHT!!
It successfully cut through electrical tape at close range (a few inches) no problem. It was able to get the cap of a spraypaint can smoking in under 20 seconds at about a two-foot range. I expect it would make short work of balloons, but I don't have any. That'll be for the test I put together.
We're about to get some rain and the sky is cloudy, but I went outside WITHOUT the safety goggles and shined it across the back yard. The beam is highly visible IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, and the spot it produced on the trees about 50 yards away was ridiculously bright.
Both batteries are charging now (it only takes one, but I like to have a backup). My son and I will put together a series of tests and the results will be posted here with pics and video, time and circumstances permitting.
The company, Wicked Lasers, was not easy to deal with. They list this laser as "In Stock Now" on their site (and they have for over two months) but they don't have a stockpile of them. When I ordered mine, I'm pretty sure none but a couple prototypes had been built yet. Their customer service isn't too good. I often got a response to an email within a day or two of sending it, but I got no useful information in the response. I'd call that level of service "crap". YMMV.
Due to the delays in getting the S3 Arctic G1 lasers sent out, Wicked Lasers extended an offer to send a free pair of safety shades and a lens cleaning kit. They failed to send those things along and they haven't responded to my email asking where they are or whether I'll ever get them. I can live without the freebie, but if you make an offer to a customer and they take you up on it, you should honor their request, IMO. As I said above, the battery and charger they sent with the laser were broken. I'm not sure if its the battery, charger or both. An email to WL about the issue went ignored. There was no offer to replace them or refund a portion of my money. Not even a "Gee, that sucks. Sorry, dude."
Wicked Lasers is not an easy company to deal with. But their products do seem to be pretty good. The laser itself is built like a tank. Very solid, very well machined. There was a good deal of thought put into this product, which is good. It certainly seems to be what they advertised.