When used in cutting applications, laser technology provides excellent cut quality and high productivity for many different materials. Of the two main types of industrial laser cutters – CO2 and fiber – CO2 lasers typically have a lower capital investment cost, but are more expensive to maintain than fiber lasers.

While some industrial laser cutters can cut thicker steel (i.e., greater than 25 mm or 1”), it is important to take a number of other factors into consideration when deciding on the type of machine to purchase, including:

  • Number of parts to be cut
  • Type of material
  • Thickness of the metal
  • Required cut quality
  • Need for secondary operations

Laser system components

  • Laser resonator
  • Beam delivery
  • Cutting head

Types of lasers

  • CO2 laser
  • Fiber laser
  • Direct diode
  • YAG (yttrium-aluminum-garnet)

Fiber laser cutting applications

Due to high beam quality, fiber lasers are a good first choice for precision applications, or anywhere you need a narrow kerf and very high quality cuts. Typical materials include:

  • Mild Steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Titanium

Not sure which process or method to use?

You’ll find helpful information here:

Want to learn more about CO2 lasers?

Take our free "Understanding CO2 lasers" eLearning course on the Hypertherm Cutting Institute

Read more