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The unconventional rotary disk laser holds promise in the development of new laser systems that have low gain and that are currently below threshold due to thermal effects at the high pump intensity required for lasing. It can be made to operate in almost any solid-state laser gain medium and can significantly increase the single-mode output power in CW or pulsed operation over the current state of the art. This article reports on the efficient single-mode operation of a Nd-YAG rotary disk laser and presents the first experimental data on its beam quality, pointing error, and power fluctuation. It also presents preliminary results from a single-mode Yb-YAG rotary disk laser.