How do I choose the correct wattage laser for my needs?

How do I choose the correct wattage laser for my needs?

The power of the laser source is measured by Watt. According to the machine you are considering, you will have power selection for your laser source, with a range of 30-120 watts of CO2 laser tube. Generally speaking, the lower power CO2 laser cutting machine can handle the same details and quality materials as the high-power laser cutting machine. But a higher power laser tube will allow you to cut deeper in one pass.

Cutting performance

the following are the minimum power ratings we recommend for cutting into materials like wood and plastic:

  1. 30w – 1/8” (3-4mm)
  2. 40w – ¼” (5-6mm)
  3. 50/60w – 3/8” (10mm)
  4. 75/120w – ½” (13mm)These values can vary significantly due to different types of materials, different focal lenses, alignment of optics, etc. This is only a very basic estimate.


Engraving speed

Depending on the materials you are engraving, you will see increases in speed with higher wattage laser tubes. When engraving a material like wood at 100% power, you would see the following changes in speed used to achieve the same depth depending on the power of your laser tube:

  1. 30w – 20% speed
  2. 40w – 30% speed
  3. 50w – 40% speed
  4. 60w – 50% speed
  5. 75w – 60% speed
  6. 120w – 90% speed

These values will not be true for all materials. With a material like anodized aluminum, for example, you would run your 30watt machine at 100% speed, so having a higher power laser tube in this case would not yield any additional benefit in this material. We recommend speaking to an Epilog representative to help determine the power of laser tube that will best fit your specific needs.