# What does the power rating of 10W mean?

When hair clippers or similar appliances are rated at, for example, 10W, does that mean 10W per hour or second? I'm trying to determine power of various hair clippers.

• you are confusing watts W with watt-hours Wh .... watt is the measurement of the amount of power being consumed at any instant .... it is obtained by multiplying the voltage across a load by the current flowing through a load ..... watt-hours measures the cumulative power used over a period of time ... the clippers consume 10W of power at any given instant ... if you run them for 6 minutes, then you will have consumed 1Wh Apr 19, 2019 at 20:19

Neither. You're confusing energy and power. Power is energy per unit of time, and one watt is one joule per second. So if you have a 10 W device, that means, that it's consuming 10 J each second.

Now, the issue with electric energy is, that joule, as a unit, is quite small. Therefore, we use larger units, such as wat·hour or kilowatt·hour. Note the multiplication there! Hour is 3600 seconds. So one watt·hour is 3600 J, and one kilowatt·hour is 3600000 J.

So your 10 W device will spend 10 watt·hours, if it works for one hour, assuming that it always uses same amount of power.

Now, the confusion comes, when people start dropping the time, and start referring to kilowatt-hour as kilowatt. Don't do that, and be careful when others do, since they might now understand what they're talking about.

• This is a great answer. Could you please add to it, by addressing the ridiculousness of saying something like "Watts per Hour"? Then it would be a perfect answer. Aug 15, 2022 at 13:26

"W" stands for Watt, which is the measure of the rate of consumption of energy, in Joules (energy) per second.

Adding in an additional time component is commonly done to identify the total energy used. If you used your 10W appliance for 10 seconds, then you would use $$\10W\times10s=100J\$$ energy. A common use for this form is used by the electric company to bill you for power.

10 watt means it needs 10 watt (volt x current) to operate itself.

If your clipper is designed to run on a 5 V supply and is attached with a source of 5 volt it needs 2 ampere of current to operate with its rated power.