Laser vs. Water: What’s the Best Metal Cutting Method?

Process Of Cutting Metal

Before deciding which precision metal cutting service you should get, it helps to understand how your best options work. The two standard cutting methods used by industry professionals include laser cutting and waterjet cutting. You can start by examining the strengths and weaknesses of these methods through the materials they work with and the way they operate.

Here’s what you should know before hiring a company that specializes in precision metal cutting in Utah:

The Range of Materials

Given their powerful features, laser cutters can cut metal (except for the reflective type), plastic, glass, or wood with ease. However, it is not recommended for materials composed of elements with different melting points. Waterjet cutting, on the other hand, is more versatile because it is able to cut through almost any material.

When it comes to material dimensions, laser cutting is great for medium sized materials (between 0.12” and 0.4”) while waterjet is better for cutting thicker objects (between 0.4” and 2.0”). This means laser cutters are ideal for detailed structures and waterjet cutters are more useful when working with thick combination materials.

The Operational Techniques

Both cutting methods can be used for 2D objects, but leave it to the waterjet method when it comes to slicing through 3D materials. Other than traditional cutting, waterjet and laser cutters are capable of ablation and structuring. However, engraving, welding, and drilling are among the tasks that only laser cutters can accomplish.

After weighing your options, you can now choose or ask for the right cutting method when talking to precision metal cutting service providers in Utah. To ensure that you are getting what you pay for, check your providers’ portfolio and ask about their clients’ experience to learn about the quality of their services.