Abstract Possibility of ultra-precise laser induced ablative etching of diamond materials was investigated. Different types of lasers were used. Natural sigle crystal diamond, poly and nanocrystalline CVD diamond, amorphous diamond-like films were irradiated in air and vacuum at laser fluencies 0.01÷20 J/cm2. It is found that depending on material, laser fluence and wavelength physical and chemical regimes of materials ablation can be realized. The role of surface graphitization and oxidation, charge carriers generation in diamond is studied. It is shown that ablation rates as low as 10-3-10-4 nm/pulse can be realized and such processing regimes were applied to diamond surface nanostructuring.