I have used the PUK 2 a lot and the PUK a little bit.
The three biggest differences I see are
The PUK 3 allows you to save settings, which is a great time
saver for doing similar jobs.
There is variable adjustments on the PUK3 than just the 8 setting
on the PUK2
The PUK 3 has lower power setting than the PUK 2, which allows
you to weld fines wires and chains.
There seems to be a LOT of miss-floating around about
As Jim said it does full welds and is NOT just a tack welder. I’ve
re-tipped many prongs over the last 3-4 years and it does an
excellent job, faster than a torch. I’ve seen a lot of prongs
re-tipped with a Laser and don’t see any different between a prong
re-tipping with a trained Laser Welder and a trained jeweler on the
I’ve also worked on silver with both the PUK2 and PUK3 with no
The needles do need re-sharpening often when you start but as you
learn how to use it properly you won’t have to sharpen them as much.
The biggest problem I’ve seen jewelers have with the PUK is moving
the work. You need to keep your hand still. I always position the
needle above my benchpin and hold the jewelry with both hands and
brace my hands against my benchpin.
Having a gap between the jewelry and the needle causes a bigger
“spark” which can damage a stone and blows the tip of the needle off.
Keep you hands still and place the needle tip on the jewelry and
keep it there until the weld occurs, eliminates 80% of the problems
associated with the PUK welder.
The PUK is very accurate, because the weld occurs at the tip of the
needle. There is no cross bars to line up, no shooting your finger
(or the stone), there is no light beam ricocheting around the cabinet
that might hit a stone or any of the other problems you have with a
Laser. Plus you save a ton of money!
To me the BIGGEST difference between a Laser Welder and the PUK is
that the Laser companies have done a fairly good job of training and
there are a lot of Laser welding seminars taught at all the different
trade events. The companies selling the PUK and ABI and similar
welders have done a very poor job of teaching jewelers how to use it.
Imagine plugging in a Laser and trying to learn how to weld jewelry
with it with NO training and just learn by trial and error.
The learning curve is only bigger for the PUL because no-body is
offering any training on it. Jim has done a few seminars on it and so
have I, but that’s about it.
PS. I am NOT associated in any way with the PUK. Just a happy user.