First, what exactly are you looking to accomplish with your portable handheld laser pointer? Does the beam need to output over any set distance? What color frequency are you looking for and how much output power does your application require? These are all simple questions that you may want to answer before you start looking to shop for a portable pointer. Lasers are high-tech gadgets that can come with a hefty price tag, be sure that you are ready to do a little bit of research into any hand held module before you order one from a retailer. All portable lasers are not created equal! A little bit of knowledge about any particular handheld unit can not hurt your situation, in fact the more you know about the diode, casing, expected life time, etc., the better off we will be when we are looking to buy lasers.
There is a lot we can do to ensure that our purchasing experience does not leave us shocked or embarrassed in any way. You may have heard horror stories about hobbyists who would turn to eBay to buy their laser pointers, looking to save a few dollars here and there. The problem with this was that the units being sold on eBay turned out to be the lowest quality laser diodes available anywhere. There have been reports of people receiving completely broken pointers, or even worse, not receiving anything at all. When you look to save a few pennies, be sure that you are not buying something from a teenager in their basement with an eBay seller account, you will get burned! Your best bet whenever looking for any variety of handheld portables, or even industrial laser modules for that matter, is to work with a reputable retailer who specializes in the specific type that you are looking for.
More often than not, you will find that the cheapest laser pointer available is not going to be the best deal. These consistently burn out far quicker than the company had advertised, and usually a little rain or a drop of water will ruin the product for eternity. This is why its so important to know where your purchase is coming from, do a little research on the provider you are looking to work with. Are they visible anywhere on the search engines, like Google? How does their pricing compare to that of competing laser companies? Do they provide any support, in other words, can you get questions that you have answered?
High power portable lasers are investments, be sure that you are securing your investment with laser warranties and a high quality laser retailer with search engine recognition and various methods of customer service. Do not be afraid to ask the laser company a question or two, if you are going to buy lasers from them, be sure you are dealing with individuals who know what they are talking about. A few simple precautions along with a few Google searches can teach us a lot about any laser model or particular company. If you are serious about buying portable hand held lasers, do yourself a favor and look into the laser source as well as the model that intrigues your interest. A good laser should last for a life time of enjoyment.