Inconsistent info on cutting Teflon

Teflon contains fluorine and so I would think that you cannot safely cut it, like plastics with chlorine.

And yet if you research this you will find various sources including CO2 laser manufacturers saying, “sure, works great!” I did see an explanation that teflon sublimates instead of burning, creating teflon dust when it solidifies again. If this is correct, I guess that makes sense. But I guess that also means you better have the right settings; I am sure it can be made to burn.

Has anyone looked into this? What’s the real story?


Teflon may not be PVC, but then some folk would skateboard down a brick street on a steep hill simply to say they did it and it is possible, and not at all like a cobbled street.


I can’t claim to know the full story, but I looked into this when it came up here or perhaps somewhere else, and what can be done using industrial equipment vs. our hobby machine can be quite different.

If you have some and want to try it, go ahead - I don’t think you can hurt the machine. Whether you’d be happy with the results, however, is another story.

I have a screen protector for my phone that appears to be PET, and that would be safe and cut fine, but (according to some) would leave a very small raised edge that would prevent it from sitting flush against the phone screen where it had been cut. I suspected that, and don’t have a bunch of scrap to test with, so it is why I actually started a thread here for more opinions. I’ll probably just end up using a fresh utility knife blade, it only needs a minor trim in one area, and the one that’s been on there since 2018 was crudely cut with tools from a manicure kit and has been fine - just ugly.


For my particular application I am interested in using teflon as a backing board for engraving designs in stick-on masking material… I need something super slippery to let me pick up the engraved piece with transfer tape. So, edge quality doesn’t matter to me, but corrosion risks do.

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“…ideal for laser cutting.”

I’ve cut small pieces and had no issues, cut quite nicely.


I’ve seen that page, my post is asking about the discrepancy in advice.

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Another way to look…

It will take a fair amount of heat (400+) and almost nothing sticks to it. I have not tried lasering it, but use its non stick for assembly.

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That’s a good idea, I’ll give it a shot. I am skeptical that it will stand up to the power that gets through the engraved material, but there is no reason not to try.

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Do you mean PTFE?

Nope. It is (supposed to be) PET.