Handheld vs Compact/Enclosed Laser Cleaning Systems

Handheld vs CompactEnclosed Laser Cleaning Systems

Laser solutions can help you eliminate contaminants, prepare for bonding, and extend the lifespan of your products. They come in a variety of wattages — ranging from low to high-powered lasers. But, they can also be mobile or stationary. What is the difference between handheld and compact/enclosed laser cleaning systems? And, how do you know which solution is right for you?


Our laser cleaning solutions produce thousands of pulses per second to absorb and remove contaminants from your products. Whether it’s a monument covered in oxides or parts of a car needing bonding before manufacturing, we provide laser systems for your needs. Unlike other media blasting options, laser solutions remove contaminants without damaging the substrate — which extends the lifespan of your product. Plus, it can be used for:

  • Bonding preparation
  • Coating removal
  • Injection mold treatment
  • Post-weld treatment
  • Tire mold cleaning
  • Weld preparation


Each and every one of our laser solutions can be built as a handheld option. But, what difference does that make when cleaning your products? Handheld laser solutions improve your mobility by allowing you to maneuver and adjust your line of sight on large or difficult to move product pieces. It also gives you the flexibility to change cleaning locations — pending that you move to a different optical hazard zone.

Unlike an enclosure, you must create a designated hazard zone to implement proper laser safety. And, handheld options require more effort to use. You’ll need to hold and operate the laser — which can be heavy depending on your laser solution. This human aspect can also make cleaning your products take longer. Despite your operator manually using a handheld option, the laser solution carries the same small risk as any robotic and automated option.


Compact and enclosed laser cleaning solutions have a stationary area where you place your product to be cleaned. When operating, an enclosure can help protect passersby and operators from specular and diffuse reflections. A well-designed enclosure will prevent the laser from operating when access panels or doors are open or when parts are missing. In addition to safety, a compact or enclosed laser cleaning option can efficiently clean products automatically — without having to hold the laser manually.

Because compact/enclosed laser options are stationary, they don’t work well for intricate angles and unique geometries or for varying parts. It lacks the flexibility and mobility offered by handheld options but is still as effective when cleaning your products. That’s why compact laser options are better for less complex or unique products.


It’s important to understand that whether you need a handheld or compact laser system is solely based on the type of product being cleaned and the needs of your business. Before determining the right laser solution for your needs, first, we need to get to know you and the products requiring cleaning. This involves asking a few questions and identifying the:

  • General size, area, and geometry of the parts needing to be cleaned
  • Material substrate(s)
  • Coating/contaminant type and thickness
  • Current cleaning type, rate, and cycle
  • Desired cleaning rate
  • Previous processing steps in the part lifecycle
  • Next steps after cleaning
  • Operational details surrounding the laser process

Once we have a better understanding of your application and have determined a solution, we’ll test our laser systems to determine the best setup for your needs. Our lab provides the perfect conditions for testing our laser solutions, but we’re also able to test the product at your location — under certain circumstances. Ultimately, whether our laser solutions will work for you boils down to one thing: can we accomplish the desired result? This includes not only from a technical standpoint but also an operational one.


Adapt Laser specializes in the know-how and application of laser cleaning solutions. We offer products with a range between 20 and 1,600 watts and provide training to ensure your employees can get the most from their laser cleaning solutions. We’ve equipped a variety of industries and companies with laser cleaning solutions — including military and defense for the US Airforce and Navy — and hundreds of organizations trust our state-of-the-art laser cleaning solutions.

Contact us today or call (816) 466-5855 to find the right laser cleaning solution for you.