Learn How to Handle Laser Cutting Speed & Power without Experience

Are you looking to get into the world of laser cutting? Laser cutters have unlimited possibilities! In fact, there are many ways to utilize yours. Laser cutters have taken over large businesses and now there’s a market for small businesses. If you’re looking to sell products locally, a laser cutter is an excellent choice. Furthermore, many people have picked it up as a hobby. Regardless, you don’t need much experience to master the laser cutter. 

If you’re looking to master this craft, you’ll have to understand the CO2 laser cutting speed chart. That might sound intimidating! However, it is easy once you get the hang of it. We’ll help you understand the world of laser cutters and the chart. 

Laser Cutters and Speed Charts

To best use your machine, it’s best to understand how it works. We’ll help cover types of laser cutters, what the speed chart is, and how to utilize the chart. 

What Is a Laser Cutter?

Laser cutters are a relatively new technology. Because of this, it’s difficult to understand how they work. Laser cutters date back to 1961. The first was a CO2 laser designed by Kumar Patel. They first picked up momentum in large industries. Some of these industries included technology, aerospace, and the automotive industry. In recent years, they can be found in people’s homes. 

Laser cutters utilize a powerful laser beam. This beam can draw, engrave, and cut unique designs into materials. You can choose from several different materials such as cork, metal, wood, felt, and more. 

Laser cutters often come in different powers. The power of a laser cutter is measured in kW. Most household laser cutters offer 1 to 3 kW. This may limit some materials that can be worked on. These machines offer three different capabilities. These capabilities are cutting, marking, and engraving. Depending on the material you use, some capabilities may be favored over others. 

Types of Laser Cutters

What is Laser Cutting? - A Definitive Guide to the Process - TWI

Laser cutters are broken down into three categories. Depending on your needs, one may be better than another. These laser cutters also differ in price and capabilities. The three types of laser cutters include: 

1. CO2

Introducing the very first type of laser cutter, the CO2 laser! This is still widely used today. A CO2 laser uses light beams. These beams are created with electricity and a gas-filled tube. The gases used in the tube are most often carbon dioxide, hydrogen, helium, and nitrogen. 

Some CO2 lasers can range between 25 to 100 watts. This makes them extremely strong. They are best used with paper, acrylics, and wood. However, you can also use them with leather and other textiles. CO2 lasers have high energy efficiency and power output ratio. The main downfall is that they don’t work well for thick metal. However, for most household projects, this is a good option. 

2. Neodymium

Meet the second high-energy laser on our list! Unfortunately, it has poor efficiency for repetition. Also, not many hours can be expected out of this kind of laser. They are expensive to purchase and only have a lifespan of 8000 to 15000 hours. Because of this, they aren’t as commonly used. 

In contrast to CO2 lasers, ND lasers can be used with metals. They are also efficient in working with plastics and ceramics. 

3. Fiber Lasers

Lastly, we’ll discuss fiber lasers which are the most expensive of the three. They use glass fibers that take energy from diodes. One upside to fiber lasers is they are low maintenance and have a long lifespan. They have a high power output and can easily cut through thick material. 

Fiber lasers aren’t commonly found in the household. Instead, they are best used in the medical and manufacturing industry.

What Is a Laser-Cutting Speed Chart?

Test Your Material to Determine Laser Speed and Power Settings

Laser cutters have transformed in their use of technology. Now, you have charts that help you navigate the machine. Depending on the material you use, you’ll require different thickness and speeds. To ensure you don’t damage your material, it’s important to follow this chart. 

A laser cutting chart will provide insight based on the material and the material’s thickness. Depending on whether you want to cut or engrave, the settings will have to be altered. The chart will vary based on the type of laser you invest in. Regardless, this will work well in helping beginners navigate their laser projects. 

Understanding the Chart

The chart will be broken down into two primary categories. This includes power and speed. To breakdown each factor of the chart: 

  • Power. Power is in charge of the energy in the laser. Generally speaking, more power creates a deeper cut but requires wide edges. Less power results in a shallower cut, but the edges will be straight and neat. 

  • Speed. Speed determines how quickly the laser will move on the material. Too much energy can cause smoking and result in damaged or burnt edges of your project. Generally speaking, higher speed results in a quicker and shallower cut. Lower speed results in a deeper cut but it’s more time-consuming. It’s important to balance these out. 

To ensure that your settings are perfect, we recommend using a scrap piece of your material. Using a large piece can result in damage. It’s important that you’re patient while doing this. The two factors need to be well balanced for them to work perfectly. If you want to cut, your requirements will be different than engraving. Like all things, take your time and you’ll be good to begin your project. 


You can also check our article on the 9 Amazing Laser Cutter Projects and Ideas to Inspire You.


Are you ready to begin your laser cutting project? Following the co2 laser cutting speed chart might be overwhelming. However, we guarantee that patience is more important than experience. If you are willing to take the time, you’ll be able to master your laser cutter. Make sure to find a laser that works for the projects you want to complete. Once you master a speed chart, you’ll be well on your way to mastering your laser. You’ll have unlimited potential!