Laser Cutting vs Plasma Cutting

Laser Cutting vs Plasma CuttingThere is no perfect solution when it comes to metal cutting, which is why laser cutting may be better for certain tasks and plasma cutting is recommended for others.

But what are the differences between the two? Let us explain in this insightful ‘Laser Cutting vs Plasma Cutting‘ article!


What is Laser Cutting?

Laser cutting machines are multipurpose and can easily tackle a wide range of metalwork tasks with minimal effort. Using high powered, computer operated lasers, with the addition of nitrogen, oxygen or compressed air, they are able to cut through all types of metals from mild steel to stainless and also non-ferrous metals.


What is Plasma Cutting?

Plasma cutting uses electrically conductive materials by means of an accelerated jet of hot plasma in order to cut through metals that cannot be cut with flame based cutting machines. This method enables the user to cut any metal that conducts electricity. This includes stainless steel, aluminium, copper, brass and other conductive metals.


What are the Main Differences?

    • Plasmas transmit compressed gas to cut, while lasers usually harness the power of optical light
    • The plasma cutting process is used only for cutting metal. By contrast, laser cutting can cut many types of material, making it a more flexible process
    • Laser cutting is a more expensive process, which is expected due to it being capable of cutting more levels of detail on a wider range of material
    • Laser’s produce a far more intricate and precise finish, so it is ideal for highly detailed projects
    • When using the plasma method, the user will be required to wear protective gear. This is because plasma emits radiation
    • Plasma can cut thicker sheet metals than laser, so if it’s thickness that you are after, plasma cutting is king
    • Unlike plasma machines, laser cutter machines can also be used for a greater number of purposes, including trimming, scribing, welding and engraving
    • Plasma cutting machines are cheaper to run than its laser equivalent, and this results in it being more cost-effective for your business
    • Similar to the above, plasma is capable of completing tasks far more quickly, leading to reduce lead times


    What are the Shared Benefits

    • CAD/CAM integration
    • High quality end product