5 Signs You Should Choose a Laser Cutter Over a Plasma Cutter

Posted on: 7 August 2017

If you need something intricate cut, there are a few different options, but two of the most popular options are laser cutting and plasma cutting. These approaches are similar in a wide range of ways, but there are key situations where you may want to choose laser cutting in particular. Here are five signs you should choose a laser cutter.

1. You Want to Do More Than Cut

With a plasma cutter, you can generally just cut things. Laser cutters, in contrast, offer more versatility. You can use a laser cutter to drill, engrave and even weld certain materials. This is important to keep in mind if you are buying your own equipment, but it's also important to think about if you're hiring a professional.

If you opt to work with a professional laser cutter rather than someone who specialises in plasma cutting, you have built-in versatility that can help meet your needs down the road.

2. You Want the Ability to Work With Multiple Materials

Whether you're working with a professional and trying to decide which type of equipment you want to buy, you'll be happy to know that laser cutters can also work with more materials than plasma. Plasma cutters can only handle metal. Laser cutters, in contrast, can work with plastics, glass and wood in addition to metal.

3. You Are Cutting Materials With the Same Melting Point

Although laser cutters offer more versatility than plasma in the above circumstances, they tend to be less versatile when working with multiple materials at the same time. In particular, a plasma cutter can cut through layers of different types of metal that all have different melting points. A laser cutter cannot do that.

4. You Want the Quietest Option

Cutting metal can be noisy, and if you want to keep your workspace as quiet as possible, you may want to choose laser cutting. In most cases, it tends to be quieter than cutting with plasma. This is important if you are purchasing your own equipment, but it's also important if you are hiring someone to come to your place of business and do the cutting on site.

5. You Don't Mind the Long Term Upkeep Costs

Finally, if buying your own cutting materials, you should compare the sticker prices of the equipment, but you should also think about long term upkeep. In particular, with plasma cutters, you generally only need to replace nozzles and electrodes on a regular basis. With laser cutters, you have to replace the nozzles as well as the protective glass, the gas supply and various filters.