View Full Version : How many watts and amps do laser cutters take?

Clark Pace
03-27-2014, 7:45 PM
I know the tube wattage. But the overall wattage and amps is what I'm interested in. I know different machines will take different kinds of power. But I have a 220volt 50watt machine. I don't want to blow my breaker. I know 50 / 220 gives me .22ma. But that is just the tube? Anyone?


Rich Harman
03-27-2014, 8:23 PM
50W/220V = 227mA (but the input values are wrong)

There are huge losses. It takes four or five times as much watts going in as to what you get out. Your laser is probably running around 20,000V and 25mA, that would give you 50W. The total draw may be a couple hundred watts for just the laser.

The motors of course use a bit of current, so does the air assist, and the exhaust fan is probably the biggest single consumer of electricity in the system. However, with just a 15A breaker on your 220 circuit you will be good for 3,000 watts, you will probably use less than half that.

Joe Pelonio
03-27-2014, 8:29 PM
When I added the (45 watt)laser in 2006 the difference in my electric bill, running 8 hours a day with exhaust, maybe 1/3 of that with air assist pump was only $20. Rates have gone up a bit since then but we are still at only about 7 cents/kWh. I would agree that 1,500 watts total is probably about right.

Michael Hunter
03-27-2014, 9:02 PM
My 60W Epilog draws about 1.5kW power from the mains when engraving at full power and highest speed.

Measured with a meter and enough to make my 2000VA (1.4kW) UPS complain after about five minutes.

Rich's guestimate seems about spot-on!

Dave Sheldrake
03-28-2014, 7:14 AM
Rich is pretty much bang on, at best Glass tubes are about 10% - 12% plug efficiency just for the resonator. RF's are a bit better but not a huge amount.



Clark Pace
03-28-2014, 9:59 AM
After moving in the landlord let me know a previous tenant ran space heaters and kept on blowing the breaker making me nervous.

Also when I plugged the unit in there was no power. My power supply was not working. I've ordered a new one, but now I'm nervous about the electrical quality. I did have to manually ground the plug to a pipe.

Joe Hillmann
03-28-2014, 1:10 PM
If you are worried about the wiring not being good enough to run your laser you can always run new new wire and a new circuit breaker and have a dedicated circuit just for your laser that you you know it can carry the current needed.

Rich Harman
03-28-2014, 1:17 PM
After moving in the landlord let me know a previous tenant ran space heaters and kept on blowing the breaker making me nervous.
One space heater on a 120V circuit will draw around 12A. That and something else on that circuit could easily blow a 15A breaker. Two space heaters is a near guarantee that you will blow a breaker.

Are you using you laser with a 220V outlet or are you using a 110 to 220V converter? If the latter, then you might want to try to put something on a separate circuit since you may be getting close to 15A.

Also, these seems to be a good time for a reminder: the purpose of a breaker is to protect the wiring between the breaker box and the outlet, not to protect the appliance. This is why you do not swap to a larger breaker, the breaker is sized to the wiring not the device.