A common method to cut steel, stainless steel and aluminum is plasma cutting, a thermal fusion process. Compared to laser cutting, plasma cutting has many disadvantages such as lower cut quality, high energy use, more dust and noise emissions. However, when it comes to cutting any electrically conductive material, it is usually better to go with plasma cutting due to its versatility.
Naturally, every processing method has its own pros and cons depending on the material and usage, such as cutting many samples at once within the same stack. Lasers, however, have clear advantages when compared to mechanical chip removal cutting methods. To name a few: lasers use non-contact processing, have less setup costs, less contamination and higher versatility.