What cooler should I buy?

Hi there! Still working on my first DIY CO2 Laser. I’m in the process of purchasing everything I need and I’m almost there thanks to this helpful community.

I’m about to order a chiller. There is a pretty big price difference between all the chillers I find. I’m currently looking at the CW3000, the CW5000 and the CW5200. I want to make sure I have adequate cooling but don’t want to spend unnecessary money.

I’ll be running a 90W tube for hobby usage. I don’t live in a hot climate (The Netherlands). So I was wondering what cooler I need.

Any recommendations? Thanks!

The CW3000 doesn’t have a chiller to cool the water. It’s basically a radiator with a fan.


I thought that that was also the case for the 5000 series? If not, that’s definitely a reason to go for the 5000 serious. Anything specific about the 5200 I need?

5200 is single output and you cannot replace the refrigerant if it ever needs to be, the 5202 is for two machines and you can replace the refrigerant if you want.

The only difference between the 5200 and the 5202 is it has a ‘series’ connection for the cooler.

The first one I got wouldn’t chill properly, so I used the A side to run a copper tube through a beer cooler with ice. Isolated the distilled water in the tube coolant with the tap/ice water bath.

Don’t know about replacing the refrigerant they are pretty ‘low cost’ inside.

Here’s the maintenance manual for the 5200/5202 chiller.



Thanks! Based on your feedback I think the CW5202 is a bit overkill, but I’ll probably go for the CW5200AG. Maybe Santa can buy me one. :sweat_smile:

Probably should have included this link to the 5000/5200 series manual

Sorry about that… :sob:


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Full service. Thanks! :grimacing::+1:t2:

I notice that there are multiple brands offering the CW5200. Is there any difference? Or are some of the cheap rip-offs?

I’m sure the answer to both is yes… :frowning:

Bought mine on ebay, didn’t work, after about a month jumping through hoops for them, I ended up making a ‘deal’ with them. It cost me money. The problem is that they are heavy, so shipping them back is very costly.

Good luck.

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Whenever you purchase anything off ebay etc, use Paypal. Amazon you’ll pay a premium price but generally if there’s an issue you can at least return it. I bought mine off amazon via OMTech and it was give or take the same price as others. However, mine was delivered with a huge dent in the box and a medium dent in the back of the machine which did not affect it’s performance. I did get a refund of $80 on it for the hassle.

Yes, there are clones and outright fakes. You want a genuine S&A Teyu chiller. Watch out for listings that are very close but with one letter changed. Teyu has decent customer service and a real warranty that they stand behind plus it is a multiple year warranty versus just one year or less for most other manufacturers.

Most CO² lasers operate best between 16°C and 19°C.

If it gets warmer than that then you’ll need the ability to cool below ambient temperature. As noted the CW-3000 can at best return the coolant temperature to near the ambient temperature.

When it gets colder than that then you need the ability to warm or heat the coolant. The difference between cooling and heating is cooling is only needed while the machine is operating. If the ambient temperature is near or below freezing then the heated coolant must circulate not only in the chiller/heater and the laser tube when the machine is operating but also during non-operational times to keep the chiller/heater, laser tube and water lines both inside and outside the machine from freezing and bursting.

SA makes a combination chiller/heater but the are pricey. Some users remove the fill cap from the top of the chiller and insert a thermostaticly controlled aquarium heater inside the tank. Others like myself have used thermostaticly controlled external inline heaters that are inserted into one of the water lines. In any case the chiller unit must be left running to circulate the coolant.

There is much debate about adding different kinds and brands of antifreeze to the water. I don’t for three reasons; glycol is the only one that doesn’t significantly alter the conductivity of the water which can cause arcing, adding even glycol will void the warranty on your laser tube and possibly your chiller, but mainly if you use any of the mentioned methods to heat the circulating water there is no need to add any type of antifreeze.

We picked up the CW5000, we live in the south, and worked in a garage without air in 100 degree days with no problem…Kept the tube around 60F

This is the one I am interested in Q600s mini Water chiller with built-in heater. It is a heater as well. I have bought from them before…very nice people. They are located in Sacramento, Ca. [Q600s mini Water chiller with built-in heater]

For the selection of water cooler, please refer to the following table

I have a CW5000 that I bought about 4 years ago, it has worked very well on my 60 watt red and black Chinese laser.

Here too, the CW5000 keeps my laser fine between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. It could be a little less noisy but a few insulation mats help a lot, the same goes for the feet, a little soft rubber plate under them does wonders.
In that it is a closed water circuit and I have no problems with minus temerature, I have nothing but demineralized water in the cooler. After 2 years of use, the water in the CO2 tube is as clear as it was the first day.

Major problem with those ‘charts’ are they are general. In an industrial setting you can probably ensure that ambient freezing (maybe overheating) won’t be an issue, but in someones hobby shack/garage it maybe a different story.

My location was the SW desert and it commonly does not go below 90 F in the summer, with the day time temperatures reaching 120. The ‘radiator type’ series will only be a heater for your system in that environment. The inverse to the low deserts is high northern latitudes/altitudes when it’s too cold most of the year.

My 5202 actually shut off because of high ambient temperatures or at least went into an error state and stopped the laser.

Might be an ok general guide for a ‘normal’ ambient range of temperatures, whatever that may be.


@jkwilborn As you mentioned in this environment, you are advised to use the high-power water cooling equipment, CW-6000 series. In addition, it is recommended that you do not add ordinary water in the water cooler, and need to add coolant. It will help you very well

I ran my 5200 series very well in the valley at 110+ degrees. I run distilled water as the coolant with 1 drop of algaecide in the 6L volume (I think). Being warm it will ‘grow’ things. A single drop is all it needed.

I don’t use any other type of additive. Excluding commercial coolants :money_with_wings:, all of them lower the dielectric of the coolant and can exacerbate the possibility of an HV arc into the coolant. At that point anything the coolant touches that is conductive will have HV potential on it.

Mine seems to work fine, so far…