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Fiber Laser Vs. Plasma Cutting, How Do You Choose?

Publish Date: Apr. 16, 2021 Author: Cherry Publisher: EagleTec CNCModify Date: Apr. 16, 2021

Fiber laser cutting and plasma cutting technology are widely applied in the production fields nowadays, especially the fiber laser cutting machines. As high-efficiency cutting equipment, it has become more and more mature and popular for diverse industries. What are the differences between these two?

Plasma Cutting Principle

The CNC plasma cutting machine is a type of thermal cutting equipment. Its working principle is to melt the metal at the incision of the workpiece with the high-temperature plasma arc heat. And using the momentum of the high-speed plasma to remove the molten metal to form the incision.

5x10 cnc plasma table

Fiber Laser Cutting Principle

As a new machine tool, the fiber laser cutter is now more maturely used in various industries. In terms of working principle, it is roughly the same as plasma. It works like this. After being transmitted through the optical path system, the laser beam from the laser generator is focused into a beam with high power density. The laser beam irradiates the object. The laser heat is absorbed by the workpiece, causing the temperature of the workpiece to rise sharply. After the temperature reaches the boiling point, the material begins to vaporize and form holes. The high-pressure gas directly removes the molten metal, thereby achieving the purpose of cutting.

stainless steel laser cutting machine with fiber laser source

Fiber Laser Vs. Plasma Cutting

• Compared with plasma cutting, fiber laser cutting is much more accurate, and the heat-affected area and gap are much smaller. So, if you need to cut a thin and beautiful sample, a fiber laser cutter machine is your best choice.


• Suppose you want to achieve precise cutting with small kerf, small heating area, and small plate deformation. Same, it’s better to go with a laser cutting machine.


• Plasma cutting would offer a sizeable heat-affected area with a wide gap, so it is not good at cutting thin sheets because the thin plates will be deformed by heat.


• Cutting speed: using a 1000W fiber laser cutting 2mm thick mild steel plate, the cutting speed can be up to 600cm/min. Plasma cutting speed is slow and low accuracy; therefore, it is more suitable for cutting thick plates.


• Cutting accuracy: The laser cutting incision is thin and narrow. The cutting seam is parallel to both sides and perpendicular to the object surface. The machining accuracy of the cut parts can reach ±0.2mm.


• Comparison of kerf width: fiber laser cutting is more accurate than plasma cutting. The gap of laser cutting is tiny, about 0.5mm. The plasma cutting seam is larger than the laser cutting seam, about 1-2mm.

How to Choose Between Both?

In short, if you are not particularly demanding on precision, have a limited budget, and cut thick plates, we recommend you choose a cnc plasma table machine.

On the contrary, if you want to cut delicate and beautiful things such as advertisements and decorations, a fiber laser machine is recommended. Although there’s lots of investment initially, the stunning products it made can help you get many orders.


We believe that laser cutting machines will go into the lead position in sheet metal processing in future development.


We hope you have a better understanding of fiber laser and plasma cutting now. If you need any help, please feel free to contact us. Thank you.

Original Post from EagleTec CNC

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