Operating cost?

If the Glowforge Pro with the air filter attached is approximately 1,150 peak wattage. What is the total operating cost per hour if my electric company charges me 11.6 cents per kilowatt hour?

So it’s kinda in the units.

Kilowatt hours means how many thousands of watts you used for an hour.

So 1,150 watts is 1.15 kilowatts, and you want to run it for an hour, so it’s just 1.150 kilowatt hours.

We end up with 1.150 kilowatt hours * 11.6 cents/kilowatt hour = 13.34 cents.

Unit analysis follows, if you want geek out for a sec...

When multiplying or dividing numbers, you also multiply and divide units and they cancel each other out here. So the way I did it is actually a bit more complicated than you need to be:

Kilowatts * cents per kilowatt hour … the kilowatts cancel each other out, and you will just end up with cents/hour, which is what you wanted.

For more on unit analysis (super useful concept when sussing these things out):



You can pick up a meter to check actual usage. (No math.) :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


I’m a manager at Harbor Freight, duh, I actually think we carry those. Thanks a lot for the replies!


Power costs are negligible if you are using a filter, especially if you consider it’s quite possible to only get 15-25hrs from the cartridge, or significantly less if you use draftboard or medium PG plywood. Depending on material, that’s $10-15/hr or more. Worst case you’ll get just a few hours, so $50/hr for the filter.


The math is so trivial that I’d just save my money here. Those meters are useful for finding out the draw of a device, but you already know that.

And when it comes down to it, 13 cents per hour is a rounding error when you’re dealing with a laser cutter that costs thousands of dollars and materials that are more expensive than that by orders of magnitude.

Even just your average box of zeiss wipes (12 ish bucks) is as expensive as 90+ hours of electricity costs. A sheet of proofgrade is double that.


Exactly. You could run your machine constantly all day for $1.

You could easily fill a filter cartridge (with the wrong materials) in that time - $250…


This is helping. I was just trying to get the approximate power cost and start figuring in everything else going off of that. I’ve already purchased the Pro. Now I’m trying to get an idea of the of just the “base” cost… The info on the air filter has been helpful:)

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Really hammers home my basic feeling that a filter is only a measure of last resort, and if it’s at all possible venting is the way to go.


There are a few posts about how to price out jobs that get into cost analysis. In the end for most people the labor costs are going to be far and away the bulk of it, depending on how you value your time.

Some searches you might like:




And just in general, I bet you’ll like this post as you get your feet wet:


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