3 Major Differences Between Laser Cutting And Punching

When it comes to machining and custom metal fabrication processes in general, there are plenty of processes that can be interchanged to achieve a similar result. In this vein, many manufacturers often pit punching and laser cutting with one another. However, the two processes are quite distinct from one another not just in terms of mechanism, but also in terms of efficiency and accuracy. Hence, for those who are unsure about opting for a particular operation, here are 3 key differences between laser cutting and punching that will aid in making a more informed decision.


3 differences between punching and laser cutting.


Operating Costs 

The first thing to consider before making a selection is the operating cost, which itself can be analyzed by the following 3 factors:

Speed of Production: When it comes to machining more parts in a given time period, then punching is definitely superior to laser cutting. However, this is only effective if the design and cut being made are homogenous. 

Accuracy: In terms of achieving intricate design and getting the smallest of details with precision, laser cutting is the more obvious choice as it is known for its accuracy.

Batch Size: If the batch size is large enough with no major deviations in design, then punching is a great choice. However, for multiple small batches with varying designs, laser cutting is superior, as it is faster to recalibrate the machine. 


Part Dimensions

Intriguingly, part dimensions, particularly thickness, play a huge role in choosing an optimal machining process. The general rule of thumb is that punching works best with thicker materials, whereas for thinner parts, a laser cutting machine is necessary to achieve the best results. 



Generally, a punching machine is not very adaptable, unless it is a specialized device with features like 360-degree rotation, reduced scrap creation and the ability to cut at multiple angles. 


However, for laser cutting, there is no special set-up required as the machine is highly adaptable by default to deal with changing designs, dimensions and workloads. 


Thus, by understanding these key differences, business owners can make the more practical choice for their specific applications.


One of the leading metal fabrication firms in the Toronto area, we at Metal-Tronics are known for our keen focus on innovation. We have digitized a lot of our equipment to meet the demands of the market. Furthermore, we are actively training students who will become skilled machinists in the future. To know more about our services and pricing, contact us today.