How Much Do Tube Lasers Cost? (2024)

Laser Tube Cutting Machine Being used for Exhaust Pipe Manufacturing
This detailed guide to Tube Laser Cutting Machines discusses the key factors contributing to their high price and how buyers can optimize their purchases. 

Table of Contents

Exhaust Pipe Fabrication using Fiber Laser Tube Cutting Machine

The manufacturing world has amazing tools to increase productivity and decrease operational costs. Tube laser cutting machines are some of the best tools a business can purchase. However, buying such heavy equipment is a big and daunting investment. Understanding the key cost factors associated with metal tube cutters can help make the process much easier.

This article discusses the basic operation of tube laser cutting machines and breaks down all their cost factors.

Average Cost of a Metal Tube Laser Cutting Machine

Fiber Laser Tube Cutter on Stainless Steel Pipe

A tube laser cutting machine is available at nearly every price point. Entry-level models are recommended for small businesses looking to increase their production capacity.

Entry Level Models

Entry-level tube laser-cutting machines are cost-effective tools that generally sell for $20,000 to $40,000. These low-cost models can handle small to medium-sized metal tubes and move in three axes of motion.

Despite their limitations, most entry-level CO2 and fiber laser cutting machines can cut through various materials and tube shapes.

  • Square Tubes
  • Round Pipes
  • U-Channels
  • Angle Steel (L-Bar)
  • Structural Steel (I-Beam, T-Bar, etc.)
  • Special Shaped Tubes (Rectangular, Rounded Square, etc.)

For a complete list of laser cutting materials, check our extensive guide to material choices.

Mid-Range Models

Moving up to industrial equipment. A mid-range tube laser cutting machine costs between $50,000 and $100,000. These models have a larger machine bed (metal tube handling area) and have four degrees of freedom. 4-DOF machines have a laser head that can move in two axes of motion compared to standard models.

For $50,000, you can expect a high-efficiency fiber laser, improved cutting accuracy, and compatibility with larger tubes (pipe diameter up to 12 inches).

Heavy Duty Models

Finally, we move on to specialized heavy-duty machines. A specialized tube laser cutting machine can cost anywhere between $100,000 and $500,000. These machines represent the peak of metal tube laser cutting. They can easily handle metal tubes a hundred feet long and over two feet in diameter.

Heavy-duty laser cutters can be configured with a massive 8kW fiber laser for greater material compatibility and depth penetration. Expensive fiber laser cutter models also come with high-quality servo motors that improve cutting precision and accuracy.

Cost Breakdown of a Laser Cutting Machine

Baison Fiber Laser Tuber Cutter Assembly Line

Various factors add to the overall cost of a laser tube cutting machine. Understanding the origin of these costs will help businesses prepare to perform a more accurate cost analysis and keep them from going over budget.

1. Initial Investment and Purchase Price

The initial investment in a tube laser cutting machine includes the purchase price, ranging from $50,000 to $100,000, and accessory costs for specialized applications. The purchase price is affected by the machine’s configuration, CO2 or fiber laser options, and material handling capabilities.

Laser Type

The initial investment cost of a CO2-powered laser cutting machine is lower than that of a fiber laser machine. However, a fiber laser system has a much longer life span, ten times longer than a CO2 source. So, over time, the maintenance costs of CO2 lasers will negate the initial cost savings.

Another reason fiber lasers are more expensive is their smaller spot diameter, which results in higher cutting precision.

Laser Power

High-power laser beams require a robust power supply and a comprehensive cooling solution. As a general rule, the increased laser power will mean an increased machine price.

  • A CO2 tube laser cutting machine generally has an upper limit of 2000-3000W. Higher-wattage CO2 lasers lack precision and are generally used for processing raw metal billets.
  • Fiber laser options range from 1000W to 6000W, with some industrial machines offering over 10,000W of laser power. For new buyers, 6000W is more than enough. It can cut through all materials, including carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and various alloys.

Machine Size

Cutting and processing larger metal tubes will require an equally large tube laser cutting machine. Larger machines cost a lot more as they use more materials in their construction and come with expensive motors that can withstand heavy loads.

If your business occasionally deals with massive metal tubes (over 50ft. long and with an outer diameter of 1 ft.), investing in a larger machine is a good idea.

2. Multi-Axis Laser Cutter

Laser cutters with more than three axes of motion (degree of freedom) are more versatile, efficient, and faster. As discussed above, a multi-axis tube laser cutting machine can be a real game changer, allowing for more complex cuts while maintaining high cutting speed.

Multi-axis machines also come with a hefty price tag. The initial cost is much greater than standard models. However, higher production capabilities & cutting versatility help reduce the ROI (return on investment) period. 

3. Shipping Installation and Costs

Shipping and installation are some of the biggest cost factors in buying a tube laser cutting machine. Manufacturing and construction machinery weigh a lot and require heavy-duty crates for enclosure and large commercial vehicles for transport.

Shipping Costs

While local shipping is lower than international shipping, many businesses are not near an industrial hub. Global trade routes deal in such high-volume shipping practices that sending a heavy tube laser cutting machine overseas is relatively affordable. Businesses should always check the shipping costs before making a purchase decision.

Customs and Tariffs

Another element of international shipping is the customs and tariffs levied on companies. Even a locally produced tube laser cutting machine will be subject to tariffs if it uses components from an overseas company.

Installation Costs

An often overlooked factor is the installation cost. Safely moving and installing a heavy metal tube laser cutting machine is tough. Contractors with years of experience and professional know-how play a vital role in correctly installing your new machine.

4. Operating and Maintenance Costs

Metal tube laser cutting machines are powerful tools that require regular care and upkeep.

  • A laser cutting machine will significantly impact your operating costs throughout its life. Laser power is directly related to electricity. Thus, higher-wattage models will have higher operating costs.
  • Maintenance costs include regular servicing and replacing parts, such as laser tubes and cutting heads, which can add up over time.

5. Hidden Costs

Hidden costs generally refer to the extra cost factors that don’t appear on an invoice. Deploying a fiber laser cutting machine in your factory brings the following hidden costs.

  • A tube laser cutting machine takes up a lot of floor space, which is one of the few things that is difficult to attain. You can install 2-3 smaller machines or a single large metal tube laser cutting machine.
  •  Training time doesn’t show up in a payroll, but it is still a cost factor when buying new equipment.

Used and Refurbished Tube Laser Cutting Machine Options

Used industrial hardware is always a good choice. When larger businesses upgrade their fleet of metal tube laser cutting machines, they sell the older ones for a fraction of their retail price. However, great care should be taken when buying anything used.

The quality and condition of the products can vary significantly. Buyers should always check for telltale signs of deterioration, such as rust, loose parts, or missing accessories.

Refurbishment refers to cleaning, calibrating, and replacing worn parts of a machine. Currently, no refurbishment standard or certification is available for industrial equipment. So, a refurbished laser tube-cutting machine might still need serious maintenance after purchase.

Benefits & Drawbacks of Used Laser Tube Cutters
BenefitsDrawbacks
Pay a Fraction of the Machine’s Sticker PriceUncertainty of Machine Quality
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Reusing Old HardwareLack of Warranty Support
Save on Shipping Costs by Buying from a Local ResellerHeavy Maintenance Required After Purchase
Heavy Maintenance Required after Purchase
Comparing the Benefits & Drawbacks of Buying a Used Tube Laser Cutter

How Tube Laser Cutting Machines Work?

Schematic of Fiber Laser Tube Cutting Machine

Understanding the basic working principles of laser tube cutting machines will help newcomers better understand the operational and maintenance costs. 

Components of Tube Laser Cutting Machine

A tube laser cutting machine is a complex manufacturing tool composed of several independently moving parts that work together.

Following are the Key Components of Tube Laser Cutters

1. Laser Sources

Laser tube cutters can be equipped with one of two laser sources- fiber laser or gas (CO2) laser. Fiber lasers are more expensive but energy efficient and reliable. By comparison, CO2 lasers are low-cost, high-power. But less precise and less energy efficient.

2. Laser Head

The laser beam is routed to a CNC (computer numerically controlled) head that accurately moves the laser along a desired path. The laser head also determines the laser’s spot diameter and the machine’s cutting tolerance.

3. Laser Head Robot Arm

Industrial laser tube cutters have five degrees of freedom (DOF). The champing chuck manages two axes of motion, and the robot arm manages three axes. The robot arm moves the laser head up-down, front-back, and rotation around the tube.

Most commercial laser tube cutters don’t come with a robot arm.

4. Clamping Chuck

The clamping chuck holds the metal tube in place while the laser runs and rotates it around its cross-section as needed. Chuck size determines the maximum diameter of the tube, which is supported by the laser tube cutting machine.

5. Feeding Chuck

A secondary chuck is situated at the back end of the laser tube cutting machine (opposite the fiber laser cutting head). The feeding chuck supports the weight of the metal tube and is responsible for the tube’s forward motion.

6. CNC System

Computers help keep the various parts of a laser cutting machine in alignment with one another. Cutting dimensions are fed into the CNC system, which decodes the instructions for the various motors inside the machine.

7. Motors

A tube laser cutting machine will employ several different motors to control the motion of the laser head, clamping chuck, and feeding chuck. The two most common motors in a metal tube laser cutting machine are servo and stepper motors.

A servo motor is generally more reliable, while a stepper motor is more cost-effective.

Tube Laser Cutting Process

All tube laser cutters operate on the following basic steps.

  1. The metal tube is mounted onto the tube laser machine by passing it through the feeding and clamping chuck.
  2. The cutting parameters, including laser power, cutting speed, and tube dimensions, are entered through a computer interface (laptop or manual input).
  3. The laser source outputs a laser beam based on operator instructions.
  4. The CNC system moves the fiber laser cutting head over the tube surface to make precise cuts.
  5. After a design is cut, the feeding chuck moves the tube forward so the process can continue without interruption.

Conclusion

Laser power is a revolutionary new tool in the modern manufacturing landscape. Recently, it has become a valuable asset in metal tube cutting. Today, you can get a laser tube cutting machine for as little as $20,000, with used models costing even less. Before buying a laser tube cutting machine, buyers should familiarize themselves with the system’s basic components and key cost factors. Understanding the cost breakdown will help you optimize the laser cutter according to your needs.

Save Time & Money with Baison Laser Systems!

Baison is a leader and innovator in the fiber laser industry. Our years of experience and dedication to quality have enabled us to manufacture the best fiber laser tube cutting machines. Baison metal tube cutters are built to last a lifetime.

We offer our new customers Free Application Evaluation and Customer Training to help them get a head start on the competition. The best way to save money is to buy equipment from a reputable brand that has your best interest at heart.

Start saving with Baison. Contact us Now!

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Sam Chen

Hey there, I’m Sam!

I’m the founder of Baison. We have been helping manufacturing industries increase their productivity and capacity with our advanced fiber laser systems for over 20 years.

Have questions? Reach out to us, and we will provide you with a perfect solution.

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