Mark Engrave Cut
Metals ✔️ ✔️
Plastics ✔️
Leather ✔️
Stone ✔️
  Mark Engrave Cut
Metals ✔️
Plastics ✔️
Glass ✔️ ✔️
Acrylic ✔️
Wood ✔️
Textile ✔️ ✔️
Leather ✔️
Paper ✔️ ✔️
Stone ✔️
Laminates ✔️
  Mark Engrave Cut
Plastics ✔️ ✔️
Glass ✔️
Acrylic ✔️ ✔️
Wood ✔️ ✔️
Textile ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Leather ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Paper ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Stone ✔️
Laminates ✔️

So how do you know which one you need?

To make it digestible, we are going to split it into the main three types of lasers. They are all capable of marking or engraving to some degree, but not all of them will work the same way, so we will look at the pro’s and cons of each one.

Further down the page there is information about the technology and how it works. On top of the page you can find the a quick reference table. If you are unsure and want to know what best matches your material then feel free to message us or drop our team an email.


UV Lasers

UV lasers work a little differently than CO2 or Fibre based lasers as UVs do not damage the materials with heat. This makes them the best laser type for marking, suitable for anything from fruits, to glass, teflon, diamond, silicone, plastic and metals. You really can mark almost anything with a UV laser!

How do UV laser marking systems work?

Operating at 355nm, UV lasers have a much shorter wavelength than other laser types. UV lasers shoot high-energy photons in the ultraviolet spectrum that break the chemical bonds in the material which causes the material to undergo non-thermal process damage. This process does not produce thermal deformation (heat damage) on the material or nearby areas of the target area.

UV laser’s wavelength is only one-third of standard wavelength lasers, therefore often referred to as a third-harmonic generation (THG) laser. This wavelength is achieved by passing a standard wavelength laser at 1064 nm through a non-linear crystal, reducing it to 532 nm, this is then passed through another crystal, reducing its wavelength further, down to the working 355 nm.

In summary, the UV marking process is extremely fine and controlled, making it great for delicate or accurate work. However, due to the process this technology employs, a UV laser marking system is not normally suitable for engraving or cutting.


      • Suitable for marking the widest range of materials

      • Great for delicate, accurate work

      • Very low power requirements

    • Long-life and maintenance-free period


      • Not very suitable for cutting or engraving, except for a few applications such as thin films, PCB etc.

    • More expensive than CO2

Fiber Laser

Fiber lasers are the go-to option for part marking and engraving especially for metal. They are very well established in many industries and are often found on manufacturing lines and workshops.

With most fiber laser modules possessing more than 100,000 operating hours before any maintenance is needed, they are exceptionally reliable. As fiber laser engravers can be easily adjusted to achieve greater depth, they are very flexible and easy-to-use.

Operating at the 1,064nm wavelength, they are the best suited for metals, but can also operate on a much wider array of materials. Using fiber lasers for branding things like personalised items, switches, phones, jewellery, becomes more popular day-by-day.

How do fiber laser engravers work?

When a fiber laser meets an object it evaporates the surface material to expose deeper material, essentially “carving” by chemical and physical changes. These changes are caused by the light energy (photons) reacting in the target area.

Fiber lasers possess a high electro-optical conversion efficiency, in layman’s terms this means they convert more of the energy to light (compared to CO2). In reality, this means fibre laser systems require less power to effect a material, resulting in a low power consumption for a fiber laser marking machine.

Types of Fiber Lasers

There are two common types of fiber laser you will find, and we offer both types to suit the users budget and needs. The main difference between these types of technology is the variety of pulse width and frequency.

Q-Switched (Very basic and we don’t sell this)

These are the most commonly found type of fiber laser sources, it is also the cheapest. They are efficient and they possess a range of parameters to experiment with, but pulse duration (ns) is not one of them. This means they are less flexible than a MOPA laser when choosing materials to work with and are more prone to deforming different materials.


A MOPA laser is more flexible, they have become far more popular and widely available in recent years as prices have come down. MOPA systems have the additional option for adjusting the pulse duration – making it possible to be more gentle with materials and thus are less prone to creating unwanted deformations once setup correctly.

Note: Fiber LP models are technically also MOPA lasers (Master Oscillator Power Amplifier) but do not have a variable pulse duration (ns). To avoid confusion we have only branded the M7 models as MOPA lasers.


      • Versatile range of applications

      • Long-life and maintenance-free period

    • Fast engraving speeds


      • Less versatile for marking than UV

    • Not suitable for some organic materials (wood, glass, fabric etc.)

View Fiber Laser Range

CO2 Lasers

CO2 galvo lasers are excellent for organic materials like paper, rubber, wood, glass and ceramic. They are also the only choice for cutting acrylic and other plastics.

CO2 systems are amongst the most common type of laser used for industrial engraving and cutting. Smaller, low power units are those most commonly used by hobbyists due to their low cost (but also have a far lower operating lifetime).


Plotter (Plotter Laser)

A plotter system is a motion system that usually contains several stepper or servos, rails and belts. Attached to this are a series of 3 or 4 mirrors that deliver the beam via deflection to a focus carriage that usually contains a single layer plano-convex lens.

Whilst operating, the lens moves over the work area, which is usually large and rectangular in shape, to deliver the focused laser to the work piece.

Sealed (Galvo Laser)

This is a sealed unit, typically containing 2 mirrors that are attached to galvanometers. The beam is focused through a fixed lens known as an F-Theta lens. The work area is constraint by the characteristics of the lens and is quite small and rectangular in shape.


RF CO2 Laser Systems

RF systems may be more expensive, but it is the only option with CO2 galvo lasers. Life expectancy can be over 20,000 hours (almost 8 years of single shift work), so it’s a “no-brainer” when looking at CO2 galvo machines.


      • Can mark organic materials and glass

      • Good engraving speeds

    • Lower cost


      • Shorter lifetime than fibers (up to 100’000+ hours)

      • Difficulties marking metals

    • Less accurate than the other technologies (larger dot size)


Machines to suit every requirement

Here at Finnlaser we supply all types of laser machines to suit almost every application. Our experts are always on hand to help and recommend you on which configuration best suits your needs.

Still couldn’t make your mind? Consider buying two machines? Contact us for a package deal