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FAQ: What is the operating cost of a Kern laser system?

Whether you’re a business owner considering the addition of laser technology to your production line, an artist exploring new mediums, or simply curious about the technology, it’s crucial to grasp not only the potential benefits but also the financial implications of operating such equipment. Our aim is to provide you with clear, detailed information to help you make an informed decision about incorporating laser cutting technology into your operations.

Energy Consumption

A typical OptiFlex 500W laser system that is operating at full capacity will consume around 12,100 watts or 12.1kW/hr. If your electric company charges $0.12kW/hr, the machine will cost about $1.45 per hour. Other external systems which are not powered from the main electrical panel, such as the chiller, air compressor and vacuum blowers should also be considered in your calculations.


Regular maintenance is necessary to keep a laser cutter in good working condition. This includes chiller fluid replacement, filter replacement, cleaning, aligning, and replacing parts like lenses, mirrors and belts. Occasionally, more significant repairs may be required, such as replacement of the laser source. It is a good idea to speak with a Kern sales associate to get a better understanding of laser source replacement options. Kern’s customers can also check our replacement and maintenance part costs on the website.

Gas Consumption

When cutting metal a gas assist such as  oxygen or nitrogen is typically consumed. The gas consumption rate will be determined by the nozzle size, and PSI parameter used. Gas tanks come in a variety of sizes. High production facilities might consider investing in a liquid tank or generator system.

Operator and File Setup

If you need to hire someone to operate the machine and work on CAD files, their salary or wage is a factor.

Ready to learn more?

Request a 30 minute appointment with a friendly Kern laser expert.