The High-Powered Green Laser 10mW Review

[Ed. Note: If you have one, be responsible when you play with your laser. Joe has passed on these articles that show what can happen when you are having some “innocent” laser fun.]

Powerful lasers, a thing that only used to be found in sci-fi movies and TV shows and in the arsenal of the military. Who would have known that in the early 21st century that ordinary citizens would be able to buy pocket sized powerful lasers capable of burning things and throwing a visible beam for great distances. Yes, the day has arrived that anyone can buy such lasers from internet vendors and have them delivered to your door.

The High-Powered Green Laser 10mW Review
photo courtesy of ThinkGeek

For almost a year I have been lusting after a Wicked Laser, but could not justify the near $400 price tag. Recently, my favorite online shop for all things geek, ThinkGeek put up for sale a 10mW laser. Upon reading the description of the impressive features and noting that the laser’s price was only $149.99… I immediately placed my order for it. I wasn’t really prepared for when I opened the box to find a BIG metal hefty pipe like object as I didn’t pay attention to the dimensions info on the website.

Yep, this laser is not the size of typical laser pointers. Its 7.5 inches in length and is makes me feel almost like I am holding a light saber. I was very surprised to find that the laser is constructed of solid aluminum and the quality of the parts is impressive for a “affordable” laser. The laser is rated for an output of 10mW with a class III-B rating, the typical laser pointer is rated for 5 mW output with a III-A rating… this is double the power.

According to ThinkGeek, the laser is capable of a range of approximately 20,000 ft (6096 m). It has a Constant wave output, I am guessing that normal laser pointers use the pulsed output method. But comparing between the 5mW and 10mW is like comparing a flashlight to something with the light power of the sun.

The High-Powered Green Laser 10mW Review

This laser is serious about safety… its got multiple locks that they call a user safety system to prevent the accidental firing of the beam. In the end cap is a key switch on/off that takes a round plastic key. Also on the end cap is a jack that accepts a dongle, which is an audio jack wired to complete the circuit. The key switch needs to be set to on and the dongle plugged in place for the laser to fire with activation via the silver momentary push button switch on the side of the laser. The finally safety is the shutter in the end piece that the beam emits from. A twist of the end piece opens and closes the shutter, of course you need to open the shutter to emit the beam. Also, on the laser is a eyelet to allow the attachment of a wrist strap, however one does not come with the laser. I supplied my own wrist strap and attached the plastic key to it so that I don’t lose it.

The High-Powered Green Laser 10mW Review

Another difference that sets this laser unit apart from the typical laser pointer is the power source, Which is two “AA” batteries instead of two “AAA”. There is also a red LED indicator that tells you the unit is on and a two second delay in firing the laser beam. The output of the laser is very bright, so bright that ThinkGeek says its “crazy bright” and that is the truth. The dot landing on objects is intense. The beam is bright enough to be seen in dark conditions. The beam can also be seen in the night sky. The first time I fired the beam straight up into the sky… I was in awe as I could see the beam go up and up and up into the sky. Very impressive indeed!

The High-Powered Green Laser 10mW Review

What is very cool about this laser is that it can do some of the cool things that a Wicked Laser can do for less. I was able to burn tiny holes in black trash bags which is amazing but grows old rather fast as the holes are pinhole sized. The super fun came when I finally got around to visiting my local party store to buy some dark color balloons, black and purple to be exact. The balloon popping is such an amazing thing to experience, right before the balloon pops, you can hear the material of the balloon stress and then pop. I have to admit, the first time popping balloons via laser made me laugh with glee and is lots of fun until the balloons run out.

The High-Powered Green Laser 10mW Review

I have to stress that the power output of this laser is very high and the beam very dangerous. Laser safety is very important when handling lasers of this nature. If anyone reading this review buys one of these lasers, please be responsible and use caution when handling it.

The High-Powered Green Laser -10mW is available directly from ThinkGeek.
MSRP: $149.99
What I Like: Low cost of the laser, safety mechanisms, can pop balloons
What Needs Improvement: They need to include a wrist strap


About the Author

Allen Hong
Allen is a computer technician with experience spanning MS-DOS to present. Having been a Star Trek fan all of his life has given him a love for technology. Tech toys and gadgets are also a weakness of his. Allen also loves video games, especially the classics and is a big Nintendo portable gaming fanboy and has his DS with him everyday so that he can get his gaming fix daily. He can also be considered a couch potato as he is addicted to watching TV, especially the Sci Fi Channel with its B-movies.
  • WonderDawg

    Ralphie: Mrs. Hughes, I want an official High-Powered Green Laser -10mW that can burn tiny holes in black trash bags!

    Mrs. Hughes: No, you’ll burn your eyes out.

    Ralphie: Ok then. Mom, I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!

    Mrs. Parker: No, you’ll shoot your eye out.

    Poor Ralphie. Sigh.

  • Ha! Isn’t that the truth! 😉

  • MitchellO

    I have a cheaper green laser, and while it isn’t as powerful, it still produces a very bright dot and in the dark the beam is slightly visible. Got it for AU$70 on ebay a year ago. Funny how it can be so much fun 😀

  • dmccarty

    So apart from popping balloons is there anything useful you can do with a super duper green laser? I was at a strange restaurant a few weeks ago where the chef burned an orange peel with a 10w laser and let the aroma infuse into the wine glass, then mixed the aroma with the wine. It was, well, interesting, but IMO not worth putting OSHA warnings all over the kitchen and making the staff work with arc-welding black glasses on.

    But I digress!

    So what can you do with this laser that’s useful?

  • Allen Hong

    Hmmm, what can you do that is useful? The only thing I can think of is using it in the daytime (the dot should be very visible) to pointout at remote objects to someone, instead of saying over there and point with a finger.

    I have been searching the internet on how to use a laser to detect explosives, but have yet to find anything about it. Anyone know about this?

  • mcsouth

    I’m not sure that this laser was designed for this, but high powered lasers are a wonderful thing in construction, providing accuracy that was unheard of years ago. Seeing a spinning red laser set up in an office construction site to mark the location of a wall allows the builders to cut down on the constant amount of measuring and marking that would ordinarily have to be done. Downside is that the red laser visibility gets substantially less in bright light.

    I could see where this kind of laser would be nice for, say, building a straight fence line for a long distance, such as a mile or more. Of course, the trick would be the safety aspect, I suppose.

  • MitchellO

    According to the box my green laser came in, its 5mW.

  • Allen Hong

    MitchellO, is your green laser III-a or III-b? I think typical laser pointers are class III-a. While anything above 5mW is class III-b.

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