Laser Cutting vs. Roller Plasma Cutting: What’s the Difference?

Blog | March 25th, 2019

The world of welding and metal fabrication can be as exciting as it is exhausting. There are a variety of different ways to approach a project. Today, however, we are going to be focusing on two of the most common cutting processing methods available: laser cutting and roller plasma cutting. We’ll go ahead and detail how both systems of cutting work as well as the primary differences between the two. If you are interested in welding, cutting, or metal fabrication then keep on reading.

Laser Cutting vs. Roller Plasma Cutting

If you talk to anyone who has worked within the metal cutting world, you’ll likely have heard THE question. What question is that? The question comparing plasma cutting and laser cutting, which one is better, and which process is more ideal for their current project. It’s hard to break down two completely different processes in an appreciable amount of time, but we’ll go ahead and give it a shot.

1) Roller Plasma Cutting – This is the older form of cutting between the two. Plasma cutting revolves around gas firing out of a nozzle while an electric arc forms that allow the cutting to proceed. Plasma cutting only works on metal. With that being said, roller plasma cutting can work on ANY type of metal, as there are no limitations. You need to protective goggles in order to protect your eyes. This is a complicated form of cutting and should only be attempted by trained professionals.

Ideal For
– Roller plasma cutting is ideal for cutting through metals of all types and thicknesses. Plasma cutting is great for dealing with metal but it does not work with other types of material. Additionally, roller plasma cutting is an experts-only process that requires extensive training in order to perform.

2) Laser Cutting – Laser cutting can be divided into two subsequent categories: CO2 lasers and fibre lasers. Fibre lasers are great for cutting through thin metal. CO2 lasers are incapable of cutting through certain metals, including reflective sheets of metal. What makes a CO2 laser cutting rig so popular is that it can cut through alternative materials such as acrylic and wood.

Ideal For– Laser cutting is ideal for quick and efficient cutting. Laser cutting is accurate and easier to do for newcomers to the process. Laser cutting, unfortunately, cannot handle thicker materials.

When it comes time to handle your metal cutting and fabrication, there is only one team you can count on. Here at McKean’s Sheetmetal Fabricators, we work tirelessly in order to give you the service that you need. Since 1989, we’ve been Melbourne’s most reliable team of sheetmetal fabricators. Give us a call today!

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