Comparing Laser Cutting vs. Plasma Cutting

Plasma cutter making sparks

When it comes to custom metal fabrication, two of the most popular methods used in industrial settings are laser cutting and plasma cutting. Both of these technologies are thermal processes, but they differ in the source of their cutting power. While laser cutters use a concentrated beam of light to cut through materials, plasma cutters generate a directed flow of plasma for cutting.

About Laser Cutting

Lasers have been used for cutting since the 1960s and became a viable option for industries like sheet metal and textiles in the 1970s. Because of its ability to produce clean cuts, the aerospace industry also took an early interest in laser cutting.

Before laser cutting technology became more advanced, materials were cut manually. Once computer technology entered the picture, computers were utilized to guide the cuts, making laser cutting a more versatile and reliable metal fabrication option. Laser cutting is often used for metals like tungsten, steel, aluminum, brass, and nickel, and can also cut wood, silicon, ceramics, and other non-metals.

About Plasma Cutting

Plasma cutting was first introduced in the 1950s when it was discovered that sending a high-velocity jet of superheated gas through a constricted opening would create ionized gas that could melt metal. It was a revolutionary development, as most metal cutting was being done using oxy-fuel and metal-on-metal processes, and plasma cutting produced less waste, cleaner edges, and no burn marks.

This method of metal fabrication started being used by manufacturers in the 1970s and grew in popularity in the 1980s as technological advancements made it more cost-effective. Plasma cutting can only be used for electrically conductive metals, as the electrical spark generated by the torch must react to the metal being cut to close the circuit. Some of the metals that plasma cutting is commonly used for include:

  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Carbon steel
  • Copper
  • Mild steel
  • Stainless steel

CNC Plasma Cutting Machines From Machitech

If your company is hoping to increase output while decreasing operating costs, consider a CNC plasma cutter from Machitech. We offer CNC plasma cutting systems for businesses of all sizes and types that are hoping to streamline their metal fabrication processes. We provide custom cutting and drilling solutions, and our experienced engineers and drafters are ready to design a solution that meets your needs. Our state-of-the-art solutions can be customized to fit any production demands, and since a single technician operates our machines, they can help your shop achieve maximum profitability.

When you partner with Machitech, you can expect flawless installation services and comprehensive training for your operators. Once your CNC plasma cutter is operating, you can take advantage of our MachiCare Preventive Maintenance Program to ensure your equipment remains productive year after year. And unlike many of our competitors, Machitech provides Free Lifetime Remote Support, so you’ll be able to get your equipment back online quickly should an issue arise.

Want to Learn More?

Contact Machitech today to learn how one of our CNC plasma cutters can improve your shop’s operations.