A criterion of precision-plasma-cutting is the burrs of the cut-lines, angles or corners of the cut, or a bare metal-surface. Here, instead of compressed air, industrial gas is used in order to achieve a better cutting quality, which is close to the quality of laser cutting. The advantages against the flame cutting with plasma-cutting-machines are mainly rested in the four-times-higher- cutting-speed and in the lower-heat-distortion, due to the high-energy-density. In addition, plasma cutters can cut all metals virtually, while torch-cutting is largely limited to structural steels.
So a plasma-cutter is more flexible, in particular because we use also handheld-device.
It also achieves higher cutting speeds than the laser at medium to high plate thicknesses and knows no alternative or competition for cutting high-alloy steels and thicker aluminum-sheets.
Whether plasma-or laser cutting is needed, is depends on the material itself, its thickness and condition.