A comprehensive resource for safe and responsible laser use

Worldwide: Dangerous 1 watt laser on sale for only $200 (+ updates)

A highly hazardous 1 watt handheld laser pointer is now being sold to consumers worldwide, for a price of only USD $200. This is a major increase in power as well as a major decrease in price. (Fall 2010 update: The price was later raised to $299, its current selling price as of Dec. 2010.)

Wicked Lasers advertises the 1 watt Spyder III Pro Arctic as “the most dangerous laser ever created”. This is not far from the truth; it is by far the most dangerous laser affordable by the general public. Previously, such a laser would have cost many thousands of dollars.
In the opinion of LaserPointerSafety.com, any Class 4 handheld laser like the Spyder III has no justifiable consumer purpose and should be banned or severely restricted. Details about the laser’s safety hazard, why it should be banned, and some of the difficultly in doing so on the June 2010 Alert page. In addition, the page If you are writing a laser law has a section that describes how Wicked Lasers made such a breakthrough.

To Wicked’s credit, they make the hazards clear at their website. In an attempt to warn customers, they do require purchasers to click through a list of eight hazards before they reach the order form. They voluntarily added labels to the laser warning against shining at aircraft, and stating “Blue Laser Hazard”, and they also include one pair of laser safety goggles.

However, accidents and misuse do happen. The News section of this website contains just a sampling of the many ways laser pointers users cause trouble to themselves and society. Making Class 4 lasers affordable to ordinary consumers is a big step in the wrong direction


On June 10, Internet gadget blogs made the first widespread public announcements. Bloggers noted the extreme power of the laser. Although these commentators are not laser safety experts, most had similar misgivings about excess power.

From Gizmodo: " ‘With greater power comes the need for greater responsibility.’ That's actually what Wicked Lasers, the mad geniuses behind the Spyder III, wrote to us in an email describing this terrifying piece of technology. They wanted to make one thing very clear: this is not merely a laser pointer, and it's certainly not a toy. What it is, really, is a weapon.... just writing this post has left me terrified enough to stay as far away from these things as possible... until our review unit gets here.”

From CrunchGear: “...costs only $200 and can burn almost anything.... Scary stuff.”

From Switched, in a post entitled Want to Burn Out Your Friends’ Eyeballs?: “How the hell is this thing legal?... As if laser pointers weren’t aggravating enough for airplanes, cats and movie theaters, now you can permanently blind and scar your friends with one, too. But kids, for the love of God or midichlorians or whatever rules your universe, please do not buy this horrible thing.”

From UberReview, in a post entitled Wicked Lasers Latest Offering Is a Weapon: “... a big, fat moral dilemma.... It all begs the question why anyone would need one of these? I mean, I get that people like to experiment with lasers, but I also see that these could be used to cause instant irreparable damage to another person if held in the wrong hands.”

From Dvice, in a post entitled With Spyder III, the laser pointer just got deadly: “I’m honestly a little scared that the Wicked Lasers Spyder III exists.... It should be as hard to get something like this as it is to get a handgun.”


On June 25, Casio released a statement warning against the misuse of laser diodes in its XJ-A series of projectors. (Wicked Lasers “harvested” these Casio diodes to create the Spyder III Pro Arctic.)