How to Choose the Best Wood for Laser Cutting

Wood is undeniably a great material for laser cutting work. Laser cutting on wood looks exceptionally well. However, that’s only the case when you choose the best wood for laser cutting.

Not every wood will suit laser cutting work, but they just look like perfection on the right ones. Don’t know how to find the best wood?

Well, I am here to help you out with that. I will take you through different types of wood for laser cutting and help you choose the best one for your needs.

The types of wood used for laser cutting

There are several types of wood that you can find for laser cutting purposes. They all have their distinct quality that suits different types of needs you may have. You will see the reflection in the result of your laser cuts.

Here, I have got different types of wood that give you the different effects of laser cutting. Let’s check out the choices you get.

Cherry wood:

When you use cherry wood for laser cutting purposes, you get crisp and detailed results. If you are engraving on cherry wood, you will probably get the best visual experience as the engraved design stands out very well. For the wood quality, you get good durability and strength.

It’s a great option if you want to add some particular parts to your furniture. They can take nails and screws pretty well, which makes them easier to attach to staff.


If you want a light shade of wood, then alder must be your best bet. The wood is very soft, which makes laser work simple. You don’t need to put too much power into your work.

For laser engraving, this is the best wood to have. The lighter shade of the wood creates the perfect contrast making the engraving pop up.


This type of wood is a great choice when it comes to laser cutting. Because of the lower density, you can go for intricate laser cutting on this wood. Also, it doesn’t require too much power to cut this type of wood using the laser. You get quicker results with this wood as well.

If you want the easiest way out for cutting wood with a laser cutter, this is it. You get the best results from your laser cutter when you use this wood. These are lightweight and flexible so that you can use them in various projects.


Even though plywood is an engineered wood, they are great for laser cutting. With plywood, you can get accurate lines in your laser cutting. This results in getting the perfect shapes on the wood cutouts you want to make using your laser cutter.

This wood is one of the classic choices for adding wood to your furniture. You can’t get better wood than this one when it comes to fine filigree work.

Aside from these, there are several other types of wood that you can use. But these can get the job done in most cases for laser cutting purposes.

Related: Laser cutting power vs material

How to Choose the Best Wood for Laser Cutting

Just knowing about the wood types won’t help you in any way. You have to know how to choose the perfect one that suits your needs the best. I am here to help you figure that out, so you don’t have to worry. Just follow along with the things I discuss below.

Checking the resin content of the wood

To understand this, you will have to know what’s resin content. The resin content of wood determines the intensity your laser cutter can have on it. A lower resin content will give the wood a lighter burn from the laser. At the same time, a high resin content results in a darker burn.

Wood such as cherry and alder tends to have a higher resin content. Whereas woods that are a bit harder, such as oak, have a lower resin content. Choose the one based on whether you need a lighter burn on the cut or a darker one.

Learn the difference between the woods

You will need to know the difference between woods to choose the perfect one for yourself. Some woods are easy to cut, some have a greater contrast for better looks. For example, woods that are soft like balsa can give you easier and quicker results.

Whereas for strength and durability, you can go for plywood or cherry wood. These work great as wood for furniture.

Density or thickness of the wood

This factor has a lot of impact on your wood cutting using a laser cutter. It can determine the power, speed, and other settings you have to do on the laser. It’s obvious that for lower power and greater speed, you will go for thin wood.

However, a thin wood may not serve the purpose you need to fulfill. So, you have to check on that as well. Try going for a wood that gets the job done with the least thickness.

Go for a test run to see results.

Before moving directly into your project, try doing a test on the material. This will help you see the results for yourself. You can also play around with the settings to get the best possible results within the shortest time.

Getting the best results within the shortest time is the primary goal of laser cutting. So, you have to aim for that and see which wood fulfills your need perfectly.

Final words

All in all, there is no single best wood for laser cutting. They all have their specialties. So, what you have to do is choose the one that suits your preferences the best.

As I shared some ideas to choose the best wood, it shouldn’t be a problem now, right? You can make your decision quite easily. The best way to choose a single wood is by doing several test runs on the wood.

This method will never let you down; that’s something I can say for sure. So, go for some tests before entering your project.


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