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The Right Lens For Your Laser Cutting Projects

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Laser cutting is a fascinating tool used in a variety of manufacturing settings to design and create patterns or cut materials. These patterns would not be possible without the lenses for the lasers, which focus the laser beam into a smaller point for higher precision and accuracy. There are a variety of laser lenses on the market, and each kind has its own qualities.

General 2-Inch Lenses

Lenses are measured in inches in the distance that the laser can cut using the lens. For example, a 5-inch lens can focus the laser beam to where it can cut 5 inches away. A "smaller" lens means more detailed work, while a "bigger" lens will be better for general cutting over intricate designs.

Many laser cutting systems are automatically given with a 2-inch lens attached as this size is good for most work needed with a laser cutter. However, other lenses are available for sale depending on your laser cutter's manufacturer.

1.5-Inch Lenses for Small Detail Work

If you are focusing on intricate details in your laser cutting, then you will need a 1.5-inch lens. These lenses are perfect for thin lines, thin materials, and other projects where you don't need thick cuts.

A 1.5-inch lens could be a good choice to engrave paper as other lenses would give too much power to handle it. However, they would not be good for engraving graphics as those require more space between the laser and the material on hand, along with actual cuts.

2-Inch And Above, Per Material

2-inch and 2.5-inch lenses are good for engraving various materials that aren't extremely thin or very thick. However, these lenses and others up to 4-inch lenses are not good for projects with thick wood or foam as they have an upper limit on their ability to cut objects.

These lenses are much better at engraving than small lenses and can handle larger fonts. The higher the lens size you go, the more you can cut, and the more wattage you will need.

4-Inch And Above Behemoths

The largest lens sizes are generally meant for cutting through thick wood and foam, and not much else. In fact, 4-inch lenses are used for engraving by actually burning the wood — larger sizes aren't used for engraving at all.

Just as with the medium sizes, these lenses require more wattage from your laser cutter in order to manage the increased distance. They are good for foam rubber and either acrylic or wood.


The kind of laser cutting lenses that you will need will depend on the project, and you may need to use more than one for different parts thereof. Small lenses are better for fine details with small fonts, while the medium-sized lenses are good for a variety of different engraving needs so long as you have the wattage for them. Finally, large lenses are best for straight-up cutting without attention to detail.

To learn more, contact a laser cutting service.