Modern cutting methods allow manufacturers to improve the accuracy of their metal and plastic products. As a result, better, more precise quality parts are produced without compromising productivity. Increased efficiency and reduced production costs are also achieved through precise cutting methods.

Laser and plasma cutting are two of today’s most popular cutting methods. Both offer distinct advantages and disadvantages for different industries. This article provides a detailed comparison of plasma cutting vs. laser cutting and their value in today’s manufacturing industries.

Plasma Cutting vs. Laser Cutting

Both plasma and laser cutting are advantageous and feature unique applications for various manufacturing needs. Let’s look into their differences in a few aspects:

Cutting Thickness

Thickness is a common factor that may determine how efficient a cutting process is compared to other methods. For example, the maximum metal sheet thickness in laser-cutting metals ranges from 20-25 mm for mild steel. To cut efficiently beyond this thickness, high-powered CO2 lasers are required.

Plasma cutting is ideal when dealing with thicker cutting requirements. Handheld plasma cutters can easily cut into steep plates of up to 38 mm, and stronger automated machines can cut even as much as 150 mm.


Laser cutting is accurate, dependable, and significantly faster than other techniques, especially when making intricate cuts. Different cutting techniques, such as plasma or flame cutting, can be time-consuming for complicated or big metal components.

On the other hand, plasma cutters can easily reach high temperatures, cutting through materials faster than many methods, such as oxy or waterjet cutting.


Plasma cutters can produce clean cuts in various steel sheets (+/- . 01″ – . 030″ relative to the setup). The cut will become less precise as material thickness increases because the plasma attempts to melt through more material without creating unneeded slag.

Laser cutting is incredibly precise. It allows for extremely fine dimensional precision (less than 0.0005 inches) and narrow cut widths (less than 0.0001 inches).

Plasma Cutting Advantages

The plasma cutter is one of the most specialized, widely used, effective, and adaptable pieces of equipment for quick and easy cutting. It is a versatile device that offers the following advantages:


Different kinds of metal can be cut with plasma. Likewise, any conductive metal — including steel, iron, copper, brass, aluminum, stainless steel, and other hard materials — can be cut using an electric arc. Plasma may also cut objects stacked on top of one another.

Ease of Use

Plasma cutters are portable and can be moved where the job requires it or operated by an individual.


Plasma can cut materials faster, with less waste, and more safely. This results in lower costs for the consumer, making it a more economical process than other cutting techniques.

Precision Cuts

One of the key benefits of a plasma cutter is precision or exact cutting, particularly when cutting sheet metal into various shapes or angles. However, the operator must have a steady hand to execute the cut effectively.

Laser Cutting Advantages

Laser cutting is one of the go-to manufacturing technologies of today. Among its advantages over other cutting methods are as follows:


When using a laser cutter, there is no need to switch out equipment between cuts. With the same configuration, several different forms can be cut out of the same material thickness, including intricate cuts.

Tight Tolerances

One of the main benefits of laser cutting over other thermal cutting techniques is accuracy. With a +/-0.1 mm accuracy, great precision can be attained without post-treatment. Such a high quality typically negates the need for further tolerances.


Laser cutting automation requires little manual labor. While an expert machine operator still contributes significantly to the end product’s quality, the cutting speed and minimal manual labor requirement lead to cheaper costs than other cutting techniques.

Exceptional Laser Cutting Solutions From Metal Works of High Point

Metal Works of High Point is committed to helping clients reduce manufacturing costs without compromising quality! We use our metal laser cutting services to increase fabrication process efficiency and lower production costs.

We specialize in laser cutting techniques such as fusion cutting, flame cutting, and sublimation cutting. With 3-axis laser cutting systems and experienced professionals on our team, Metal Works of High Point can handle all your custom laser cutting requirements! Additionally, our system is capable of 24-hour metal-cutting operations, for guaranteed efficiency.

Contact us for more information on our metal laser cutting services.

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