Pulse arc and Laser welders produce very similar results. However, the way the pieces are fused together is very different. Lasers use a light beam and pulse arc welders use electricity and an arc to fuse the metal together. Lasers can control their weld spot size and the amount of energy that is discharged into the weld independently while pulse arc welders can only control the energy. More energy equals a larger spot size on a pulse arc welder and less energy equals a smaller weld spot size.
Pulse arc welding systems allow users to achieve deeper penetration, especially on silver. Sometimes the light beam on a laser will reflect off of silver and not penetrate the metal as well as a pulse arc system. Pulse arc systems are known for being the welder of choice when working with silver.
Lasers can be used to smooth out and polish areas that have been welded together that are rough by widening the laser beam and turning the energy down. Pulse arc welders can be used to smooth weld areas as well but can take a bit more time then on a laser. The only exception being on silver.
Pulse arc welders will only weld conductive materials. This can be nice when diamonds, rubies, or pearls are close to the welding area. If a laser beam accidentally touches one of these items it will weld it. If the tungsten electrode of a pulse arc welder touches a diamond, ruby, or pearls a weld will not occur. Both systems can control their energy to lower levels in order to work close to diamonds, rubies, and pearls without damaging them.
Pulse arc welding systems require that the user attaches a grounding clip to the workpiece and must touch the workpiece to the tungsten welding electrode in order for a weld to occur. Lasers do not require a grounding clip and will weld anytime the user presses the foot pedal.