What is the difference between CO2 laser and fiber laser?

  • Can't CO2's cut metal too? Should I just get a CO2?

  • @Robby Lazer  CO2's can't really cut metal, they can only make markings on coated metals. I'm pretty sure even the fiber lasers can only cut really thin metals anyways. Although I noticed OMTech just started carrying an aerosol spray coating that's supposed to make most metals markable with CO2s. I'm planning to try that out, I can let you know how it works if you're interested.

    Anyways, the basic difference is that fibers are pretty much just for metals and CO2s can do quite a range of materials. 

    Fiber markers operate at 1,085nm wavelength so metals are able to absorb the laser better. They're also air-cooled so it's a lot less maintenance too. The problem is that you can pretty much only mark metals and some harder plastics. 

    CO2 lasers operate at 10,640nm wavelength so the laser is more easily absorbed by organic materials like wood, leather, fabrics, etc. The water cooling system also makes an extra step to deal with.

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