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Laser Cutting vs Plasma Cutting – What’s the Difference

Laser Cutting vs Plasma Cutting

If you’re considering a fabrication project that requires precision cutting, you may be wondering what the best method is for your needs. In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between laser cutting and plasma cutting, so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your project.

How Laser Cutting Works

Laser cutting uses a focused beam of light (usually from a CO2 laser) to heat up and melt through materials like metal, plastic, and wood. Laser cutters are incredibly precise—they’re able to cut intricate shapes and patterns with ease, making them ideal for projects that require intricate designs. The downside to laser cutting is that it’s limited by the type of materials it can cut; only certain types of materials will work with this method. Additionally, laser cutters are relatively slow compared to other methods of cutting.

How Plasma Cutting Works

Plasma cutting is similar to laser cutting in that it uses a high-powered beam of energy to cut through materials like metal. However, unlike lasers, plasma cutters use a stream of hot ionized gas instead of light. This makes them ideal for thicker materials such as metals because they can quickly slice through the material without creating any heat-affected zones or warping the material around the cuts. Furthermore, plasma cutters don’t require any special shielding or protective measures during operation—making them much safer than laser applications. They are also faster than laser cutters since they don’t need to wait until the material has been heated up before starting the process.

Differences Between Laser Cutters and Plasma Cutters

When deciding between using a laser cutter or plasma cutter for your project, there are several factors that you should consider: speed, cost, accuracy/precision, safety concerns, size/shape limitations and material compatibility. Generally speaking, laser cutters offer higher precision but take longer to complete cuts, whereas plasma cutters offer faster but less precise cuts at lower costs per unit. Ultimately, it comes down to what kind of project you’re working on and what kind of results you want—laser or plasma.

  • Laser cutting is more precise than plasma cutting.
  • Laser cutting can be used on a wider range of materials than plasma cutting.
  • Laser cutting produces less heat than plasma cutting.
  • Laser cutting is faster than plasma cutting.
  • Plasma cutting is less expensive than laser cutting.
  • Plasma cutting produces more fumes than laser cutting.


Laser and plasma cutting both have their advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs. If you’re looking for precise designs with minimal heat-affected zones, then lasers are likely your best option; however, if speed is more important than accuracy, then plasmas may be more suitable for your application. Ultimately the choice comes down to what kind of results you want from your fabrication project; do some research beforehand so that you can make an informed decision about which method is right for you!

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