YouTuber Builds the World's Most Powerful Handheld Laser Pointer and It Can Instantly Melt Glass

By Andrew Liszewski on at

The handheld laser pointers you can buy at office supplies stores are legally required to be no more powerful than 0.005-watts, and most fall well below that threshold so they’re relatively safe to use. With that as a reference, you have a better understanding of just how terrifying this 100-watt handheld laser pointer really is.

The last time we checked in on Drake Anthony, who’s best known ‘round YouTube parts as Styropyro, he was demonstrating his latest toy: a professional (and extremely sketchy) laser tattoo remover he found on eBay that maxed out at around 30 million watts. However, unlike a laser pointer, the tattoo remover’s beam could only be triggered in pulses just 10 billionths of a second long.

GIF: Styropyro (YouTube)

For his latest creation, Drake got his hands on an engineering sample of a blue laser diode array. The diodes are designed to be used individually in devices like laser-based projectors for large cinemas, so, pushing safety aside for a few hours, Drake turned an old microwave radar gun into a handheld housing that allows all 20 of the blue laser diodes to be fired simultaneously with over 100-watts of power.

Battery life is limited to roughly seven minutes, but that’s not much of an issue as it takes less than a second for the laser pointer to instantly set paper bags and wooden two-by-fours aflame, and that’s with the 20 beams all firing in parallel. Drake further upgrades his laser pointer with a lens on the front that focuses all 20 beams into a single concentrated point. Glass melts at over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and with the beam focused Drake’s laser pointer starts to melt a glass bottle just seconds after it’s been turned on.

If you’re inspired to build one of your own at home: don’t! Drake is well versed in not only the technology and physics of lasers, but he’s also familiar with the extreme safety risks involved with custom creations like this. At 100-watts, it’s 200 times more powerful than the rating of an already dangerous Class-4 laser. Safety glasses with an extremely high optical density are a must – as is having a fire extinguisher close at hand every time this thing is powered up.

Featured photo: Styropyro (YouTube)