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A Guide to the Different Types of Laser Cutters


Are you trying to decide on a laser cutter to use at your company? You might know several types, so how do you find the right one?

Laser cutters help businesses create designs and patterns quicker and with more efficiency. If you’re in production, it’s an excellent tool to add to your inventory. But when you find yourself with more options than you expect, how should you pick one?

We’ll walk you through the different types of laser cutters to help you decide. Here’s where to start!

Main Types of Laster Cutters

You can usually differentiate a laser cutting machine based on the type of laser it uses. The type you pick varies on the kind of material you need it for.

So, you should know your options and how they work when used for specific materials. The following are the common types of laser cutters to get you started:

CO2 Laser Cutter

As the name suggests, a CO2 laser cutter contains CO2 gas mixed with others, like helium and nitrogen. The mixture gets charged by electric discharge. And so it allows them to produce a laser beam.

CO2 laser cutters are the most common option because of the process efficiency and affordable cost. It works well with glass, paper, plastic, leather, wood, acrylic, and other typical materials.

While there are certain pieces of metal it can process, it produces the best results on non-metallic materials. Moreover, the metal may cause it to spark or catch fire.

Fiber Laser Cutter

A fiber laser cutting machine channels and amplifies laser beams through fiberglass diodes. This way, it creates a powerful beam without spending too much energy.

When you use a fiber laser, you won’t find reflection because it absorbs the materials as they are cut. And so, it’s an ideal option for reflective materials, like metal and other organic ones.

They also don’t require gas flow but can operate at an efficiency equal to or higher than CO2 laser cutters. It also generates fewer costs because the machine has no fans or mirrors.

Crystal Laser Cutter

Crystal laser cutting usually comes in two types called Nd: YAG and Nd: YVO, which refer to the crystals they use. The laser cutter produces a beam that can cut through thick and tough materials better than typical cutters.

In the laser cutting industry, it’s one of the most versatile options because it works for large-scale purposes. A few examples of its use include manufacturing, medical, military, and other fields.

But a crystal cutter is expensive, so smaller businesses and companies don’t often use them. Even so, it brings in more benefits than conventional laser cutting technology.

Direct Diode Laser Cutter

A direct diode cutter is a solid-state laser that uses a doped glass rod. It also uses less power than other laser cutters, so its beams are often of lower quality.

Nonetheless, a direct diode laser cutter is suitable for commercial use because it consumes less energy. And so, it reduces costs significantly.

Aside from commercial purposes, the nature of direct diode lasers makes them work well for cutting metal.

Factors to Consider When Picking a Laser Cutter

Each type of laser cutter offers a different benefit and use. In most cases, you should choose one based on your needs. But aside from those, you can consider a couple of factors when you compare your options.

The factors you should keep in mind when choosing a laser cutter are as follows:


Before you decide on what type of cutter to get, you should have a clear picture of what it’s for. Will you use it to cut plastic and acrylic or metal and wood? Are you purchasing it for commercial or office-exclusive use?

When you define the purpose of the laser cutting machine, you can line it up with the functions of each type. This way, you can find a cutter that works well with your needs and brings the best results possible.


After laying out the functions you need it for, you should think about the scale. The size of your cutter will affect the efficiency of your work as much as the production quality.

If you own a business that makes custom-shaped products, you might want to get a cutter with a larger bed to get more done. But if you won’t produce bulk items often, a medium to small cutting bed is enough.

Optics Quality

With laser cutting technology, optics plays a big role in defining the machine’s performance and output. Instead of focusing on the amount of power it consumes, check the quality of the optics.

You can request the manufacturer to demonstrate how the cutter works when used with different materials under different settings. It’s one way to let you test the quality of the machine’s optics and the possible outcomes it could produce.

Power Scale

Most laser cutters have different power levels. You might find some that use up little power consumption to operate, while others require the entire wattage available.

If you’re using a laser cutting machine for personal or less frequent use, a lighter cutter is ideal to keep you from spending too much power on it. On the other hand, businesses should consider large laser cutters to ensure they can handle each project despite the power use.

Even so, consider what materials you will likely use. Some need laser cutters with long power. In that case, you should look into other options, regardless of the scale of your projects.

Ease of Use

Whether you’re new to the laser cutter industry or an expert, it’s best to pick a machine with simple operation. This way, you are less likely to mess up when working on different projects.

It’s also good to look into how to maintain laser cutters and make minor repairs depending on what you have.

Find the Best Laser Cutters for Your Company Right Here

You can choose from a few laser cutters, varying on purpose and scale. Each offers different perks and performance levels, so it’s best to note details about every type available. This way, you can pick the most appropriate one for the job!

Check out the rest of our blog to learn more about it.

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