Thermal Metal Cutting Solutions: Plasma vs LASER vs Combination

Piranha offers multiple thermal metal cutting methods to meet your needs. There are often multiple methods that will work, but there is always a good, better, and best thermal cutting method based on many factors. That’s why our factory representatives and engineers are here to help you discover the best solution for your operation.

Piranha solutions include our tough yet affordable C-Series plasma tables, precision HD Plasma tables, 1kW to 2.5kW L-Series fiber LASERs, powerful PlateLASER fiber LASER, and incomparable multitasking Piranha combination machines.

Piranha’s industry experience and our comprehensive time studies can often reveal solutions to save you a great deal of time and money.

Compare These Thermal Cutting Options

Click the options below for an overview of Plasma vs LASER vs Combination solutions and let us help you cut through the challenges of choosing the best thermal cutting solution for your needs. Contact us to get busy working for you!

Comparison Chart: Plasma, LASER, Punch-Plasma

This comparison chart is designed to help understand the benefits of each cutting technology. This is a basic guide, and we welcome you to reach us to further explore your specific needs. Thermal Cutting Technologies Chart

C-Series Plasma Tables

Piranha C-Series plasma tables provide a reliable quality plasma cutting solution at a low investment level.

  • Real machine tool construction for a great price
  • Solid – Built to last
  • Piranha support, parts warranty with good documentation for easy startups
  • Available in 3 sizes – 4×4, 4×8, and 5×10
  • Welded frame – most competition is bolt together
  • Servo control drive motors – NOT stepper motors
  • Dual sided drives – better positioning accuracy
  • Linear guides and bearings – best accuracy
  • Hypertherm Powermax from 45 amp to 125 amp available
  • Maximum material thickness from ½” to 7/8″
  • FastCam Pro software
  • Optional pipe cutting attachment

Piranha Plasma Table

HD Series Plasma Tables

Piranha HD Plasma tables provide near laser cut quality for significantly less investment than LASER.

  • Great value – priced lower than competitive machines
  • Piranha support, parts warranty with good documentation for easy startups
  • Installation included
  • Available only in 5×10
  • Welded frame – not bolt together
  • Hypertherm CNC controls with shape library – easy to use interface
  • Panasonic servo motors – high power for good contour definition and 800 IPM rapid speed
  • Dual side drives – better positioning accuracy
  • Zoned downdraft table – 6 zones for efficient fume extraction
  • Breakaway torch – with sensors
  • Hypertherm plasma systems – HPR130XD, HPR260XD, XPR300

High Definition Plasma Table

L-Series Fiber LASER

Piranha L-Series fiber LASER bring affordable fiber laser technology to small and low volume fabricators.

  • Value and Price – complete laser package for under $200,000 includes dust collector, pallet changer, and programming system software
  • Simple to Use – CNC nests DXF files at the control or offline for quick prototype or short-run jobs
  • Piranha quality, parts, service and applications support
  • Available only 5×10
  • NLight fiber laser 1kw to 2.5kw, IPG available
  • 1 kw – up to 3/8″ steel, 3/16″ stainless steel
  • 1.5k — up to ½” carbon steel, ¼” stainless steel
  • 2kw & 2.5kw – up to ¾” carbon steel, 3/8″ stainless steel
  • Rack and pinion drive X & Y, ball screw drive Z
  • Easy to remove slag pans under cutting area and shuttle table
  • Graphical CNC control on on-board DXF importing and nesting
  • Manual focus cutting head standard, optional auto-focus cutting head
  • Edge detection



Piranha PlateLASER high power fiber LASERs are the fastest LASERs in the world for high productivity and unmatched capability.

  • Optimized – designed to deliver all the capabilities of 6kW and 12kW fiber laser cutting
  • Intelligent – material parameter libraries controls everything except geometry
  • Reliable – linear drive motors and sealed cutting head
  • Available in 5×10 (model 1530) and 10 x 20 (model 3060), longer machines available on request
  • 6kW or 12kW fiber laser power
  • Polymer concrete precision ground machine base – accurate, thermally stable, and vibration dampening
  • Carbon Fiber bridge (model 1530 only) — strong and light weight
  • 12 second pallet exchanged (model 1530 only) — keeps the laser cutting more of the time
  • Cutting head sensors – protect the head from overheating and inform the operator when a cover glass change is recommended


  • Cut ¼” steel and thinner using nitrogen assist gas
  • Cut up to 1″ steel using oxygen assist gas
  • Transmissive cutting head – serviceable on site


  • Cut ½” steel and thinner using nitrogen assist gas – eliminate edge oxidation; up to 3x faster cutting speeds than 6kW (525 IPM compared to 177 IPM in ¼” steel)
  • Cut up to 1″ steel using oxygen assist gas
  • Reduced nitrogen consumption at high speeds – nitrogen cost savings up to $325,000 per year over 2 shifts
  • Reflective cutting head design – robust and reliable, less sensitive to contamination, serviceable on site

Piranha PlateLaser

Combination Machines

Piranha combination machines generate more parts at lower cost than for higher profitability and reduced secondary operations than any other process.

  • High Productivity – punch holes faster than cutting with plasma or laser
  • Low Manufacturing Cost – low operating cost and labor cost
  • Combine multiple process on one machine – punch, plasma, drill, tap, mill, bevel, mark, form
  • Available in 5′, 6′, 8′, and 10′ widths, up to 20′ lengths, special lengths available
  • Punching tonnage capacity from 40T to 100T
  • Up to 5″ diameter punching size
  • Automatic tool changing – from 5 to 42 tools (model dependent)
  • Maximum material thickness from ½” to 1″
  • Hypertherm plasma systems – MAXPRO200, HPR130XD , HPR260XD, HPR400XD, XPR300
  • Available bevel plasma cutting
  • 10HP and 30HP drilling/tapping systems
  • Ink jet marking
  • Countersink, louver, emboss, extrude – form features with punching
  • Small parts door – quick part removal into skid or optional conveyor
  • Load, unload, large part, and skeleton removal automation available in a variety of configurations

Piranha Plasma

Request More Information and Price Quote

Use what our team knows about metal fabrication to help you improve your production performance and increase your profitability.

Call 800-338-5471 or click below to request product information, professional consultation, and a price quote.

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Unbeatable quality at an affordable price. That’s Piranha.