How to change a laser pen to a laser that can burn

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to change a laser pen to a laser that can burn
(Ableimages/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A red laser pen provides a beam of coherent laser light through the application of electricity being fed into a red laser diode. To increase the efficiency of the red laser pen, you need to modify the setting that regulates the electricity being received by the diode. The modification will require a few tools but no special electronics skills. The enhanced laser beam, while still within the legal limits proscribed for its sale, will be able to create a "burning" beam at very close range on materials like paper.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Red laser pen
  • Newspaper
  • Duct tape
  • Flashlight
  • Portable drill
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • Flat-edged jeweller's screwdriver
  • Hand towel

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  1. 1

    Unscrew the battery cap from the back of the red laser pen. Remove the batteries from the battery compartment. Place a sheet of newspaper on a table.

  2. 2

    Place the red laser pen horizontally on the newspaper with the push button facing up. Tape the front and back of the pen to the newspaper with a strip of duct tape on each section. Place one hand on top of the laser pen, just in front of the battery compartment. Press down on the hand to hold the laser pen steady.

  3. 3

    Place the drill bit of the portable drill on the top of the laser pen, just in front of the push button. Drill through the casing with the portable drill. Rotate the drill bit around the inside edges of the hole to enlarge it slightly. Remove the portable drill.

  4. 4

    Turn the flashlight on. Aim the flashlight beam at the hole so you can see the screw inside. Insert the tip of a flat-edged jeweller's screwdriver into the slot on the screw. Rotate the screw a quarter turn clockwise. Remove the screwdriver.

  5. 5

    Cover the hole with a strip of duct tape. Put the batteries back into the battery compartment and screw the battery cap back on. Remove the duct tape holding the laser pen on the newspaper.

  6. 6

    Aim your modified laser pen at the newspaper from an inch or so away. Press the push button. Hold the beam of laser light steady until the paper begins to smoulder. Release the push button. Cover the smouldering newspaper spot with a moist hand towel.

Tips and warnings

  • Never aim a leaser beam at a person's or pet's eyes.

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