Laser beam machining removes, melts, or thermally modifies a material by focusing a coherent beam of monochromatic light on the workpiece. This article describes the principal lasers used in metal processing: neodymium-glass, carbon dioxide, and neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet lasers. It discusses the operating parameters of concern in percussion drilling and trepanning. The process variables in surface treatment and laser cutting, as well as the operating parameters of concern in laser welding are reviewed. The article also explains the various categories of surface treatment: heat treating, cladding, surfacing, glazing, and marking.