The dependence of the ablation rate of aluminium on the fluence of nanosecond laser pulses with wavelengths of 532 nm and respectively 1064 nm is investigated in atmospheric air. The fluence of the pulses is varied by changing the diameter of the irradiated area at the target surface, and the wavelength is varied by using the fundamental and the second harmonic of a Q-switched Nd-YAG laser system. The results indicate an approximately logarithmic increase of the ablation rate with the fluence for ablation rates smaller than ∼6 μm/pulse at 532 nm, and 0.3 μm/pulse at 1064 nm wavelength. The significantly smaller ablation rate at 1064 nm is due to the small optical absorptivity, the strong oxidation of the aluminium target, and to the strong attenuation of the pulses into the plasma plume at this wavelength. A jump of the ablation rate is observed at the fluence threshold value, which is ∼50 J/cm2 for the second harmonic, and ∼15 J/cm2 for the fundamental pulses. Further increasing the fluence leads to a steep increase of the ablation rate at both wavelengths, the increase of the ablation rate being approximately exponential in the case of visible pulses. The jump of the ablation rate at the threshold fluence value is due to the transition from a normal vaporization regime to a phase explosion regime, and to the change of the dimensionality of the hydrodynamics of the plasma-plume.