Home » What Is The Difference Between Laser Marking And Laser Engraving?

What Is The Difference Between Laser Marking And Laser Engraving?

Are you confused by laser marking and laser engraving? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between the two processes and put an end to any confusion. So come along and join us as we take a journey into the world of lasers!

Definition of Laser Engraving

Laser engraving is a subtractive manufacturing technique that uses a high-power laser beam to create an image on the surface of materials such as metal, plastic and wood. When used for industrial applications, it is often referred to as laser precision engraving or micromachining.

The beam removes layers of material in order to create an intricate design or marking onto the surface.

The process itself is quite simple, but requires complex software algorithms in order to control the process. They start by sketching out commands for the software before beginning the process of cutting away materials using this type of beam. It is then instructed to direct how much material should be removed and where it should be removed from according to precise coordinates, depending on what kind of object you are trying to mark or cut into your material.

The resulting marks created from both processes can differ in terms shape and depth due to differences between the power settings used when making these marks; while everything depends on what kind of job needs completing they can operate effectively within several different power levels ranging between 0.5W-8W at varying frequencies rated in megahertz up into gigahertz range which allows them make all kinds of intricate designs or etchings onto almost any surface imaginable!

Definition of Laser Marking

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Laser marking is a type of technology used to create permanent marks on the surfaces of metal, plastic, and other substrates. They are durable, cost-effective and can be used to enhance products from a branding perspective by adding logos, unique identifiers, and codes. They can range in complexity from simple engraving with engraved fonts to intricate images.

The most common types are:

Each type has its own distinct advantages and applications but the main difference between them is that one involves ablation of material while the other involves a deeper shallow mark without any actual material removal or destruction.


Source: thunderlaserusa.com

They are both permanent marking processes used to create high-resolution detailed images on a wide range of materials, such as metal, plastics and other surfaces. Both processes use a laser beam controlled by computer-assisted software to etch the marking onto the material surface with pinpoint accuracy. However, there are distinct differences between the two processes.

Marking: It is used for non-destructive surface layer changes at a microscopic level. The laser beam will break down molecules in an extremely localized area and at the same time mark or label that area with text or images. While it alters material surfaces, it doesn’t damage structural integrity of the material itself. Commonly used materials include titanium, stainless steel and aluminum alloys.

Engraving: It involves removing layers of material to create a deeper image than achieved with laser marking. The traditional techniques range from creating deep grooves in softer materials like wood to vaporizing tiny layers of metal off hard surfaces like stainless steel or brass alloys. Computer controlled laser engraving produces unchanging lines and images in a much shorter time than manual etching methods and can be accomplished on many types of metals including:

  • Aluminum
  • Iron
  • Chrome plated steels
  • Brass
  • Copper alloys

as well as some plastics like ABS or PVC among others materials such as rubber for stamp making.

Advantages of Laser Marking

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It is a unique and precisely targeted process used to mark permanent and semi-permanent marks on materials. It is an effective method of labeling and marking, typically used to add images, logos or text onto plastic, metal, paper or wood products. Unlike laser engraving which creates a deeper divot in the material, it provides a surfaced application of an image or text that typically cannot be removed.

The advantages of laser marking are numerous: it is fast and precise; it can provide a high-definition finish; and it can accurately label difficult shapes that cannot be printed. Laser marking also offers consistent repeatability in complex styles with small details like microtext or barcodes compared to other label printing processes such as screen printing.

In addition to its superior accuracy, laser marking does not require the use of supplies like ink so there is reduced risk of smudges or wear on labels over time. It also involves lower running costs due to its high speed accuracy when varied designs must be applied over large batches of product. This makes laser marking an efficient way to efficiently brand large stocks with scalable versatility that can represent your unique branding elements with accuracy and precision – all while saving time and money!

Advantages of Laser Engraving

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They are different types of technologies that both use laser beams to create designs, text, and images on a variety of surfaces. While they have several similarities, there are also some key differences. It is a popular choice amongst businesses due to the superior level of precision it offers as well as its durability.


  • It is more precise than other forms of surface marking, capable of producing high-resolution marks with detailed accuracy.
  • This method is also more permanent than marking; since the tattoos denoted on a product or material are burned into its surface as opposed to just being engraved on top, it produces a high-durability finish that can last for decades if taken care of properly. This decreases the need for frequent repairs or replacements and drastically reduces maintenance costs over time.
  • It provides businesses with greater flexibility when it comes to customizing their products or materials; the technology can produce marks in various colors depending on the tint and sheen of the material being engraved while Traditional methods may only be capable of producing certain colors due to limitations in their setup or machinery capacity.
  • Finally, this process leaves barely visible scraps or waste after its use – making it an environmentally friendly option for companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint.


In conclusion, laser marking and laser engraving are two distinct processes that involve burning different levels of materials on a surface. Laser marking is used when accuracy is not a priority and the material being burned does not need to be deep or layered. Laser engraving involves burning deeper layers into the material to create detailed images with higher precision for longer lasting products. It all depends on what you need your product to look like in the end; decide from there which process will suit best!