This paper presents data about the output characteristics of kilowatt Nd:YAG laser systems, developed by NEC. Since a big part of the publication regarding YAG lasers deal with SLAB lasers, it seems difficult to explain why results about laser systems using YAG rods, are still interesting. However, the answer is simple: one, laser systems with YAG rods and with more than one kilowatt output power are available today commercially. The second point is, that industry needs high powered systems for material processing. It cannot wait any longer. The technique is ripe, and industry needs more practical experience with high power YAG laser radiation, because results have proven that the key to material processing in the future lies with YAG lasers. Industry must awaken to this fact. Even if rod lasers she higher beam divergency than SLAB lasers, the technology provides a lot of other practical benefits, especially when fiber cables are used for resolving beam handling problems. There are sufficient applications in material processing, fully satisfied by rod lasers: cutting of sheet metal and 3 dimensional parts up to several mm thick, welding and surface hardening.