This paper reports a statistical analysis of the multiple-pass laser cutting of wet and dry pine wood with a Ytterbium fibre laser. As multiple factors affect the laser wood cutting process, finding the optimal combination of process parameters is necessary to achieve good quality and high process efficiency. Design of experiments (DOE) and statistical modelling were used in this study to investigate the significant process parameters and their interactions. A high brightness, 1 kW IPG single mode, continuous wave Ytterbium doped fibre laser was employed to cut wet and dry pine wood samples. The parameters investigated are laser power, traverse speed, focal plane position (f.p.p.), gas pressure, number of passes, direction of cut (normal or parallel to wood's tracheids) and the moisture content. The experimental results were compared against process responses defining the efficiency (i.e. kerf depth and energy consumption) and quality of the cut section (i.e. kerf width, heat affected zone-HAZ, edge surface roughness and perpendicularity). It has been found that the laser cutting process was mainly affected by the moisture content and the cut direction with respect to the wood's tracheids, followed by traverse speed, laser power and the number of passes. The effect of moisture content on energy consumption in the laser cutting process of both wet and dry wood is analysed. The wood cutting results with fibre laser are compared with those from a CO2 laser. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.