How to Choose a Laser Cutter, Engraver or Marker

Cutting Metal(s)

If you need to cut metal(s), a “standard” CO2 laser cutter will NOT work. However, Boss’ HP Series CO2 lasers can cut sheet steel. The 155 watt models can cut up to 18ga and the 250 watt HP-5598 can cut up to 14ga mild and stainless steel. A CO2 laser will NOT cut other metals like aluminum, copper, titanium, gold, etc.

Engraving metal(s)

Custom “engraved” metal tumblers are common, but most are not actually engraved. Powder-coated tumblers, like those made by Yeti and Stanley, can be customized with a logo or text by using a laser to remove the powder-coating through a process called ablation. CO2 lasers CAN be used for this process. With the growing popularity of CO2 lasers, many suppliers now offer “laser-able” metals; these metals have a coating which is removed through laser ablation, similar to a powder-coated tumbler.

For permanently engraving metal(s), Boss’ FM-Series fiber laser markers are a great choice. The wavelength of a fiber laser makes it suitable for deep metal engraving.

“Marking” metal(s)

Common Materials and Processes

Material/ProcessCO2 LasersHP-Series CO2Fiber MarkersFiber Cutters
Wood Cutting/Engraving
Acrylic Cutting
Acrylic Engraving
Leather Cutting
Leather Engraving
Glass Etching/Engraving
Sheet Sheet Cutting up to 14ga
“Engrave” Coated/Treated Metals
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Fiber Markers will NOT process clear acrylics

Common Metals and Processes

Metal ApplicationsLS Series CO2HP Series CO2Fiber MarkersFiber Cutters
Sheet Metal Cutting (Steel up to 14ga)
Steel Plate Cutting (up to 1.5″)
Engrave Gold, Silver, Aluminum, Titanium
Cut Gold, Silver, Aluminum, Titanium
Mark Metals with Spray
Permanently Mark (engrave) Metals
Firearm Engraving/Stippling
Serial Numbers

Common Laser Cutting/Engraving Applications

Specific ApplicationsCO2 LasersHP-Series CO2Fiber MarkersFiber Cutters
Tumblers (Powder-coated or Painted)
Engrave “Laserable” Materials
Mark Metals with Spray
Permanently Mark (engrave) Metals
Firearm Engraving/Stippling
Permanent Serial Numbers