Laser cutting equipment can provide companies with quick and efficient ways to cut and engrave metal. Cutting with laser machines is not only cleaner than other cutting methods, but it also requires less finishing and deburring after the cuts are made. Though dependent on the materials used, laser cutting is famous for making accurate and precise cuts.

So, How Much Does a Laser Cutter Cost?

The cost and pricing of laser cutting machines vary greatly depending on the type, power, and model. If you plan to cut metal and other thick materials, you’ll need higher wattage than if you want to cut thin materials such as cloth. In general, the higher the wattage, the higher the machine price.

A metal laser cutter ranges from $8,000 to over $250,000! The bottom-end metal laser cutter can handle very small, low volume projects. But for more standard commercial applications, you need a metal laser cutter that will likely exceed the $20,000 mark. Most companies turn to a metal laser cutting service instead.

Buying a Metal Laser Cutter vs. Metal Laser Cutting Service

When comparing the pros and cons of buying a metal laser cutter, you may find that it’s cheaper and more efficient to hire a company that already offers metal laser cutting services. After all, there is a lot more to consider than just the cost of the machine. “How much does a laser cutter cost?” should only be the first of many questions.

Advantages of a Laser Metal Cutter

  • These machines make it easier to keep your work-pieces in the correct position. Short cuts made by laser cutters don’t take long and are very accurate. In fact, the entire cutting process is achieved in less time than other traditional methods.
  • As each section is produced, there’s no direct contact of the work-piece with the metal laser cutter so this lowers the risk of contaminating your materials.
  • In a traditional separation process, a great deal of heat is generated, thus melting the material. With a laser cutter the heat area is smaller and reduces your risk of material deformation.
  • Metal laser cutters require less energy for cutting sheet metal.
  • Laser cutters are extremely versatile and can be used to burn or cut structures that are simple or complex in one piece.
  • Just one or two machines can be used in place of several other specialized cutting machines.
  • The process of laser cutting is controlled by computer programs, which makes it precise and reduces waste.

Disadvantages of a Metal Laser Cutter

  • Metal laser cutters require high wattage to perform essential duties. This can lead to high energy consumption and surprisingly high energy bills.
  • A metal laser cutter should be operated in a well-ventilated, fire resistant space, which can be expensive to set up.
  • Each machine has limitations which means many companies need multiple types of laser cutting machines to complete a project.
  • Production can be time consuming. Though the machines run automatically, they need to be supervised. For larger pieces, multiple employees need to be on hand for a single product.
  • More employees mean more labor costs and, of course, worker’s comp increases, too.
  • Companies that specialize in metal laser cutting services get the best pricing on materials. Unless you expect to do high volume production, you may not save as much as you expect by buying your own machine.

Is it Worth Buying Your Own Metal Laser Cutter?

In the end, metal laser cutting machines are expensive and are time consuming to operate. They can start as low as $8,000 for a small one and go all the way up to over $200,000. While this may be a great investment for some companies, it’s not worth the trouble for most companies. For most needs, you can save time, money, and headaches by outsourcing to an experienced metal laser cutting service that already has the perfect setup.

Compare costs to a metal laser cutting service. Get a free quote today.