5W, 40W, or 90W: How To Choose The Right Laser Cutter Strength for Your Needs

Laser cutters come in a variety of different strengths. Many are focused on industrial use, such as those used for cutting diamonds, and too strong for home use. There are three strengths that are ideal for small businesses or hobbyists: 5W, 40W, and 90W. It may be difficult, at first, to figure out which is right for you and your unique projects. Overall, finding the best laser cutter for your needs is going to require some deep consideration on what you will be using it for, the materials you plan to use, ease of use you require, and your price range.

Laser cutters are great for entrepreneurs, educators, hobbyists, architects, inventors, artists, makers, and everyone in between looking for an affordable way to craft custom designs onto a wide variety of materials. A family may even decide to get a laser cutter to craft their own household items for a fraction of the cost of buying them from elsewhere, perfect for the growing environmentally conscious movement. The possibilities are endless. Here is a quick guide to understanding the differences and help you narrow down your search for the perfect laser cutter so you can focus on enhancing your 21st-century skills

Differences Between 5W, 40W, 90W Laser Cutters

5W Laser Cutter

A 5W laser cutter is the least powerful of all available laser cutters. The laser on a DVD or CD player is actually 5W, and you can buy kits online to retrofit an old player's laser to make etchings. Bare in mind, however, that this would require a fair bit of technical knowledge and may not be safe due to a very high risk of creating a fire hazard. A 5W laser cutter can cut through many materials that are up to 4mm (1/6") thick but are primarily used for etching. If you are a hobbyist or professional who builds miniatures, dollhouse furniture, architectural models, polishing off 3D printed models, custom etched and similar items, then a 5W laser cutter will be perfect for your needs.

40W Laser Cutter

If you plan on working with a wider variety of materials with varying degrees of depth in your designs, a 40W laser cutter will be more suitable for you. In addition to etching and engraving, and the ability to cut most materials up to a 1/4" thick, a 40W laser cutter will allow you the flexibility of cutting through thicker materials, giving you more flexibility on your designs. The Dremel LC40 is a 40W laser cutter that was designed to be the perfect balance between strength and ease for nearly all non-industrial applications. Additionally, with our easy-to-use laser cutter software, which includes a customizable material library, never before has it been so convenient to bring the powerful benefits of a laser cutter into your home, classroom, or business. 

90W Laser Cutter

If you're searching for a really powerful laser cutter, such as for cutting marble and other strong materials, a 90W laser cutter will provide you with the capabilities to do so. A laser cutter of this strength is usually sought after by those who need extremely detailed designs engraved onto very thick materials, up to 1/2" in most cases. For most just getting started in the laser cutting area, a laser of this magnitude is something to work your way up to, and usually not recommended for casual enthusiasts or users.

After you research what type of laser cutter machine will best suit your needs, if you find that 40W laser is what you want or need, the Digilab LC40 is the best one to get. It has been designed to be very user-friendly, making it the perfect fit for just about anyone, regardless of your experience level. Visit the Digilab to find more information and valuable resources to help guide you through your journey and make your final determination.