Choosing the Best Type of Laser for the Tasks at Hand

Lasers were first introduced almost 60 years ago. Though they’re relatively new in the grand scheme of things, their applications have quickly grown and spread. From performing delicate surgical procedures to carrying out heavy-duty tasks, they’ve made their way into virtually every industry. New uses seem to be arising on a continual basis.

Laser Rating Scales

BOSS lasers ratings are based on a number of factors, such as energy source, output, risk levels and possible uses. Some are best suited to industrial applications whereas others are more appropriate for small-scale commercial use. In many cases, industrial versions are neither recommended nor legal for residential settings. On the other hand, home laser machines may not be capable of performing industrial-scale tasks. Two basic, common types of lasers come into play for home-based workshops and light commercial purposes: fiber and CO2.

What Are Fiber Lasers Used for?

Fiber lasers are the most recent of these two options to hit the market. They offer greater control and precision than their gas counterparts. Fiber-generated beams also tend be faster and more efficient. At the same time, they don’t produce harmful reflections like CO2 lasers can, so they’re safe to use on metals and other reflective materials. Though they offer a certain level of safety, they’re still powerful enough to cut metal and even be used safely on certain types of plastic.

What Are the Best Applications for CO2 Lasers?

CO2 lasers have been on the market for much longer than fiber ones, so their potential has been more fully explored. These types of lasers are gentle enough to be used in anti-aging skin treatments. On the other hand, they’re powerful enough to etch glass and slice through ceramic, rubber and a wide range of other materials. Despite their strength, they can cut or etch wood, paper and acrylic without burning or melting the medium.

Not all lasers are rated for use in all situations. Some would do immeasurable damage to certain materials and offer little in the way of precision on others. When thinking of purchasing a laser machine, consider the types of materials you’ll be working with, tasks to be performed and level of experience among other elements.