How to Choose a CO2 Laser Cutting Machine?

CO2 laser cutting machine
Choosing the right CO2 laser cutting machine can be a difficult task. With so many on the market, it's hard to know which one is best suited for your particular project and what features you should keep an eye out for when making this important decision. In this blog post, we'll discuss why finding the right CO2 laser cutting tool is essential and provide tips on choosing one that meets your needs while staying within budget. Keep reading to learn more about the various factors in choosing a reliable CO2 laser cutting machine!

Table of Contents

What Is CO2 Laser Cutting Machine?

A CO2 laser cutting machine is a mighty and efficient machinery that utilizes a laser beam to cut materials with precision and accuracy. The high-intensity beam, created when electrically charged CO2 gas interacts within the device, has shown remarkable success in cutting many kinds of applications for industries worldwide. This advanced technology can be used for thin and thick materials accurately, quickly, and cost-effectively.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of applications for cutting machines that employ CO2 lasers. However, these CO2 laser devices have been utilized by various industries, notably manufacturing production, for several decades. The machine provides several benefits over the other kinds of lasers available.

Laser-cutting machines are not at all like your standard mechanical laser-cutting equipment. However, since the laser only makes very brief contact with the substance getting cut, the degree of precision obtained is higher, and the likelihood of contamination gets reduced. After considering everything, you may wonder which kind of laser-cutting equipment is best for your needs. Considering all the various cutting equipment available, a CO2 laser would be an excellent option. Continue reading to learn more about the process and the benefits of a CO2 laser.

CO2 Laser Cutting Machine

How Does a CO2 Laser Work?

There is a systematic progression that takes place when CO2 laser cutter machines do their function. After being stimulated by an electric current, a gas mixture consisting of CO2, nitrogen, and helium that serves as an active medium accumulates more energy. As a result, there is an increase in the amount of energy contained in CO2. The energy gets stored in the form of vibration or rotation.

At this point, the system is composed of highly excited particles that must de-excite themselves. It is accomplished by discharging energy that takes the form of a photon, which produces a beam of light. A series of mirrors then get employed to aim the light beam in the direction of the output. After that, a resonator is formed, which is ultimately accountable for the light energy that the beam emits. Finally, it passes through a lens that focuses the laser beam applied to the material.

What Types of Metal Can Be Cut with a CO2 Laser?

Various metals are cut with the help of a CO2 laser, but some cannot due to the surface reflection from the materials. Cutting machines that use CO2 are well suited for steel, stainless steel, brass, and aluminum, among other metals.

However, some components might harm your machine and you individually. As a result, it is strongly suggested that you educate yourself on the types of metals and non-metals that can get cut using the CO2 machine. In addition, the properties and attributes of different materials might vary significantly from one another.

The machine can break down due to a lack of awareness regarding compatible materials. Therefore, it is suggested that you fully comprehend the material that is suitable for use. Doing so may shield yourself and the machine from experiencing issues, saving you significant money on repairs.

Types of Meterials

Benefits of CO2 Laser Cutting Machines

The CO2 machine gets demonstrated to be quite effective. It offers entrepreneurs and businesses several distinct benefits. Due to its various benefits to those who use it, its range of applications is extensive. Even though many other kinds of laser equipment are available on the market, CO2 lasers remain prevalent among many users and industries. Below, we have compiled a list of some advantages of using a CO2 laser-cutting machine.

Laser Power

The device generates extremely powerful, highly concentrated beams and can efficiently cut through materials such as carbon and stainless steel without any problem. As a result, the machine is very effective in an industrial setting. Since the laser is so impactful, industries can now use it to cut varying thicknesses of materials. In addition, since the laser powers the machine with a very high output, cutting is effortless and effective.

Laser Quality

Undoubtedly, the CO2 laser produces products of an exceptionally high grade overall. The machine uses various technologies, including computer numerical control (CNC), to deliver more precise dimensions and contours, thus elevating the product’s overall quality. If you wish to cut materials of the highest possible quality, it is strongly recommended that you purchase this machine.

Laser Speed

The charging performance of CO2 laser machines is very well known. The CO2 laser cutting machine can rapidly and efficiently cut through various materials. In addition, the initial piercing times of CO2 lasers are much quicker than most other laser equipment. Therefore, it will perform exceptionally well and very efficiently if you use it to cut anything along a straight line. You should use 5mm thick materials to get the best results from the laser machine.

Material Compatibility

CO2 laser cutting machines can cut a diverse range of materials, detailed in the machine’s compatibility guide. Therefore, CO2 lasers have become the most widely used laser technology in laser material processing. Wood, plastic, rubber, metals, ceramics, paper, and many more materials are compatible with the machine. The experience from existing clients indicates that this equipment is an excellent choice for various commercial applications.

Laser Accuracy and Precision

Regarding accuracy and precision, the CO2 laser-cutting equipment is unparalleled compared to other alternatives. These machines generate precise, clear cuts and are incredibly clean and transparent. CO2 lasers will function with the same force regardless of the material being processed, guaranteeing a very high level of accuracy. Given the extremely thin width of the laser machine’s incision, CO2 laser machines can make designs with very high precision despite their relatively cheap cost. When working with a CO2 machine, accuracy and precision should be the least of your concerns.


The importance of taking precautions to ensure one’s well-being cannot get underlined. When buying a CO2 machine, you must have a solid understanding of its various safety features. CO2 Laser cutters that are entirely enclosed and have several safety features are often safe to use. When shopping for CO2 lasers, you should always look for models with safety interlocks, which will keep your equipment from breaking down. Even though the device has adequate safety safeguards, wearing protective eyewear and gloves while working with it is highly advised.

Additionally, the danger factor has greatly reduced due to using CNC technology. You are no longer required to manually operate the machine since, with the assistance of CNC technology, everything can be done automatically by entering your dimensions and shapes using the computer. It eliminates the need for you to operate the machine physically.


CO2 Laser Cutting Machine vs. Fiber Laser Cutting Machines

These two cutting strategies are well-known in the corporate world and among consumers. The two have the same purpose and objective: to cut various materials, yet their characteristics and qualities couldn’t be more different. Cutting machines that employ CO2 and fiber lasers have multiple applications.

However, the challenge is selecting the appropriate machine for one’s needs. Since both machines perform the same purpose, choosing the one that best suits your needs might be extremely tough. Therefore, to simplify things, we have a few distinctions between the CO2 and Fiber laser-cutting machines that will assist you in choosing the right laser-cutting machine for your needs.

Speed Difference

Speed is one of the most important considerations when deciding what kind of laser equipment you require. You should remember that pace at which a particular cutting gets performed is determined not only by the material getting cut but also by the thickness of the material and structure. Although both types of laser technology are extremely fast, the cutting speed of fiber lasers is noticeably quicker due to the more advanced technology they employ. However, the speed of the machines also varies depending on the power that they possess.

Material Handling

Both machines can cut wood, plastic, paper, and other materials. However, a particular machine cannot process various types of materials. For instance, one should use a fiber laser when dealing with reflecting materials. On the other hand, when dealing with non-metals, a CO2 laser is a preferred tool. In addition, both machines come with a compatibility list that details the types of materials that can be utilized without risk while working with the machines of choice. Therefore, make sure to check the list before making a decision.

Power Consumption

Compared to the more conventional CO2 laser, the energy consumption of fiber lasers is around 30% lower. Although both machines are excellent in terms of accuracy and precision of their cutting, in the end, the amount of power consumed is of utmost importance. It is commonly acknowledged that fiber lasers provide much better energy efficiency than CO2 laser cutters. In a fiber laser, there is no need to use an external laser gas source, which reduces the amount of power required.

Overall Cost

When utilizing laser-cutting equipment, the cost is a significant consideration. Compared to the price of a CO2 laser cutting machine, a fiber laser is estimated to be much higher. However, calculating the actual price of these machines after all the necessary activities is difficult. Even though the technology behind fiber lasers is not cheap, the cumulative effect of the costs associated with their maintenance and repairs leads to the conclusion that fiber laser-cutting machines have a much lower overall cost of ownership than CO2 laser-cutting machines. The following is a brief breakdown of the various expenses involved with owning these lasers:

Initial Cost

The word initial refers to the price of the lasers when they are first purchased. A fiber laser always has a greater starting cost than a CO2 laser. Quality fiber laser equipment would cost between $40,000 to $350,000, with additional features raising the price. The price of a CO2 laser ranges between $10,000 to $80,000, depending on the specifications.

Operating Cost

You should never assess the operational costs of these lasers solely on the purchase price. These lasers’ operating costs are significantly varied. We will offer an average cost since operational costs vary depending on variables like power and machine type. Running a CO2 laser costs between $12.73 and $20 per hour. A fiber laser will cost between $3 and $6.24 per hour.

Maintenance Cost

If servicing is not handled properly, it may become a major issue. CO2 laser cutting machines have very high maintenance costs. The front and rear mirrors will be rather expensive. On the other hand, a fiber laser requires little to no maintenance. They can withstand extreme conditions and have a very high tolerance level. Therefore, fiber lasers require the least amount of maintenance.

CO2 Laser Cutting MachineFiber Laser Cutting Machine
Process A CO2 laser cutting machine is a device to cut different metal sheets. The procedure involves the application of CO2 gas.Fiber laser cutting uses a solid-state laser to melt and penetrate metals, resulting in a precise and efficient cut. An optical fiber gets used as the laser medium in this process.
Speed/5mm Stainless Steel2.7m/min6m/min
Material CompatibilityStainless Steel
Mild Steel
Stainless Steel
Mild Steel
Application Industrial
Small Business
Medical Industry
Cutting Business
CostLow Initial CostHigh Initial Cost
CO2 VS. Fiber Laser Cutting Machine

How to Choose CO2 Laser-Cutting Machine for Your Business?

The CO2 laser cutting equipment installation represents a significant financial commitment for any business. Therefore, it is not intended for use only once but rather as an investment in an ongoing effort that will bring about rewards over time.

You must remember how crucial it is to choose the appropriate laser engraving machine or cutter. If you fail to do so, it will negatively impact the manufacturing process of your company as a whole. Therefore, to choose the most suitable CO2 laser machine for your business, you need to have a strong grasp of the process and the methods that set up a good cutting business.

Step 1 – Choose the Right Brand

When searching for laser cutting machines or engraving machines, it is essential to make sure that you get them from the manufacturer that is most suited for developing them. If you fail to do so, you risk purchasing a laser machine of poorer quality. In addition, you may question how I can check the brand’s authenticity or determine whether trusted.

It is a lot simpler than it appears. All you have to do is evaluate their customer service and see how they respond to questions, read their articles and reviews, and observe whether or not they take the time to explain things or speed through the process. A business’s reputation gets built on all of these different factors. Of course, the price is another significant factor; nevertheless, you shouldn’t make your selection entirely on the price alone.

Step 2 – Set a Budget

When selecting a laser-cutting machine, most people neglect to establish a budget, leading them to overspend or get something incredibly cheap. Therefore, when you enter the market, you must have researched the pricing of the different equipment while setting the budget. In addition, when buying a machine, you must consider your return on investment (ROI). If your sales are meager and you buy a machine worth ten times what you make, the business is at a loss. Therefore, be sure you plan thoroughly and wisely.

Step 3 – Ensure Requirements

Before investing in laser cutting equipment, you must determine its fundamental function. Your necessity for a particular laser form will be established by the kinds of materials you cut. CO2 laser cutters come in various sizes and power; therefore, know your requirements before purchasing. If you want to put the device to use in an industrial setting, then you should look into buying a high-powered laser. On the other hand, small, low-powered lasers are excellent if you plan them for personal crafts and small businesses.

Step 4 – Choose CNC Technology

There is a wide variety of CO2 laser manufacturers available on the market. You must choose the one that is the most excellent available option. In addition, as a result of technological advancements, selecting laser machines equipped with CNC technology is becoming an increasingly fundamental necessity. With the aid of this technology, you will be able to complete your task in a considerably shorter amount of time and with much more performance since it would help small businesses save money on labor costs.

Step 5 – Ensure Workstation

You must have a solid grasp of the dimensions of the workstation before you go ahead and make an impulsive purchase of laser-cutting equipment. Always make an effort to maintain the laser equipment in an open area for the sake of adequate ventilation. Users, for the vast majority, do not think about the workstation, which causes the laser machine to be in a highly congested area, leading to various complications. Many laser machines are available on the market and can be any size or shape. Make sure you have your workstation’s measurements on hand before acquiring a machine.


The CO2 laser cutting machine gets widely used in manufacturing and other industries. The equipment offers exceptional cutting quality and accuracy. Choosing the right equipment can be challenging, but we hope this article has given you an explicit knowledge of the aspects. If you still have difficulty with the procedure, don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.

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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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