Thursday, January 3, 2019

Tool Thursday: Vivilux Rechargeable Laser System

This Thursday, I'm bringing you a neat notion that can be a huge time-saver. I've been lusting after those machines with built-in lasers, but with a price point around $20,000 this momma of four can't foresee that in my sewing budget. However, the clever folks at Vivilux, makers of the Super Bright, Super Flexible Craft Light, have an add-on gadget that lets me have the convenience of a laser added to the machine I already know and love.

Upon my request, Vivilux provided me with a Vivilux Rechargeable Laser System to review. My main objective was to avoid marking lines for binding, HSTs, and stitch and flip triangles. It's amazing how much time I spend doing this, so skipping the marking step altogether is a major efficiency booster.

In addition to the line lens, which serves as a guide for stitching in the aforementioned scenarios, the laser has 2 other interchangeable lenses. Vivilux has created YouTube videos to demonstrate how each of these makes life a whole lot easier.

I slipped the Vivilux 3-in-1 Rechargeable Laser System out of the package and took stock of my inventory, which includes a USB recharging cable and plug, plentiful alignment stickers, the laser, a strip of Velcro, instructions, and three screw-on lenses (dot, line, and cross-hair).

The 3-in-1 Rechargeable Laser attaches with a Velcro strip. It's a fairly compact unit, and can be placed wherever works best on your machine. First I tried the top of the machine, but found it interfered less with threading the machine when placed on the left-hand side. A small switch is used to turn the unit on and off, which you will want to be easily accessible. When recharging, the unit can be removed, leaving one half of the Velcro strip attached, and easily put back in place after charging. If you have a power strip nearby, you can even charge the unit without removing it from your machine.

I discovered that while the black portion of the light was very flexible, it wasn't particularly twistable. This was rectified simply enough by unscrewing the metal head slightly to fine tune my alignment.

I made sure the laser line was centered on both my needle hole and a point directly in front of that which was marked on my tray table.

While I previously had to make do with a cheap laser marker intended for the hardware industry, I've found some clear benefits to the Vivilux model.
  • The Vivilux model is charged using the provided USB cable and plug. It doesn't require you to frequently replace expensive, teeny batteries. (Since I have a one-year-old, the fewer terrifying choking hazards I have in the house, the better.) The custom-developed LiPo battery is tested for 100,000 charge cycles.
  • As indicated by the name, you get 3 lasers (dot, crosshairs, and line) in one.
  • Attaching the unit is as easy as placing Velcro stickers on the laser unit and your machine. If you change your mind on positioning, just pull off the Velcro sticker and attach it to a different spot on your machine. Hardware lasers are meant to attach with magnets, and do not have a flush surface to attach to your machine. This means making a contraption to clumsily affix it, or at least needing to purchase a Pop Socket and Mount.
  • The laser is focused for sewing machine throat height, which yields a fine 1mm line, dot, or crosshair.
  • The laser is made in FL, USA and is guaranteed from manufacturing defects.

So do you have a "laser"? If not, it's time to consider this serious time-saver. Besides, everything is better with a laser...or chocolate. Your sewing room can have both!

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  1. As long as I can have a laser without the shark, I'm all good! It sounds like a great tool.

  2. This seems like a must have tool. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. I've often heard the benefits of lasers for quilters, but never got one for myself! I love the idea of this small light and how portable it is! Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Thanks for sharing the information on this tool. I have seen people use them before, probably a different brAnd. And wondered how they worked. Looks like a great tool.

  5. I just bought one! Great job explaining how it helps. On the website YouTubes they didn’t show how it would help the stitch and flip method. I appreciate it!

  6. I found this post very helpful. I have looked for ages in the hardware stores, but didn't know what people were talking about. This sounds so much better and I don't want to waste time drawing lines! Thanks.

  7. I so need this, I spend so much time marking the backs of HSTs, this will be perfect.

  8. I just bought one too :) After quilting a small quilt with straight line quilting this morning, I think that the laser would also be useful for keeping the quilting lines nice and straight instead of marking them.

  9. Thanks for sharing the info! I bought something similar from a hardware store but wasn't able to attach it on my old vintage Singer.