Video: LASERS!

Who doesn’t love lasers? Favourite tool of the James Bond villian, and weapon of choice for Luke Skywalker. Today I took a look at some slightly less awesome laser-based gadgets. Read on to see which ones Dr Evil would love, and which you should give a miss.

Click the image below to see the video:

TVNZ Video Lasers

Item: High Power Laser Pointer
Price: $60 (US$40 + free shipping)
Rating: 4 / 5
Info: Mostly useless, but hours of fun. This high-powered laser pointer will pop black balloons, light dark matches, and cut through black plastic. It’s not a toy, and shouldn’t be used by anyone under 16 without supervision. When you’re not using it to light fires, it might come in handy for pointing out stars or pointing at positions on a large building site.
Item: Laser distance measuring device
Price: $30 (US$21 + free shipping)
Rating: 2 / 5
Info: Using a laser to point our the target, this device actually measures the distance using ultrasonic sound – just like a bat. It’s vaguely accurate, but easily put off by angles, reflections, and just about anything else. I guess you get what you pay for here – $30 is not a lot of money.
Item: Non-contact thermometer
Price: $119
Rating: 5 / 5
Info: If you need to know the temperature of any surface, this device is for you. Point the laser at your target and pull the trigger, and you’ll instantly know the temperature of the surface. Useful if you have a pizza oven, or perhaps if you’re tuning cars or operating machinery. Or even if you just want to have fun like my son – running around the house and measuring the temperature of every surface, from -18degrees in the freezer to +600degrees on the stove element.
Item: Solar powered ‘laser’ alarm clock
Price: $29.90
Rating: 2 / 5
Info: Too lazy to lift your head and check the time? Just hit the button on top of this alarm clock and it will project the time onto the ceiling where you can see it. Otherwise, it’s a cheap solar powered alarm clock.


  1. Gidday

    Just checked your blog after seeing you on the morning TV, must say, its very interesting! Ive read about four posts before what I actually came here for, to grab the website you were talkong about. SOmewhere in Hong Kong for choice gadgets, with free shipping.

    Can you post that in a reply or something/

    Cheers bud, your blog just made my bookmarks.

  2. If you want a proper hand-held laser measuring device that’s accurate (± 2 mm), try these -

    I think I could soon tire of popping black balloons, esp. blowing them up to start with.

  3. I saw your video on breakfast about the 200mW laser and thought the lack of safety was disgraceful

    1. A laser over >5mW can cause eye damage even without focus. A 200mW laser will literally blind you before you can blink and is dangerous even from 200m+ meters away

    2. Laser safety googles should always be warn when a laser >50mW is in use

    3. Paul was pointing it near someone, this is extremely hazardous given the power of the laser

    4. Red lasers aren’t usually used in astronomy or construction since green appears much brighter to the human eye. A 50mW green laser appears brighter than a 200mW red laser despite being 4x less powerful

    You made little mention of the extreme risk using a laser of that power without goggles posses. Please don’t take this as criticism but safety needs to be mentioned.

    If you don’t all ready have any pick up a pair of anti-red laser safety goggles from dealextreme. Your eyes will thank you.

  4. In the US, its illegal for > 5mW, and in AUS its > 1mW. NZ will probably follow within a few years.

    I bought a 5mW green laser from eBay for around $7-8 NZD inc shipping.

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