5 Best Plasma Cutters to Use with a CNC Table (Summer 2022)

Not all plasma cutters can be used with a CNC table, so we picked the best options that are compatible.
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Last updatedLast updated: June 28, 2022
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Whether you are a professional or a hobby handyman, if you like to work on metals often and use a CNC table, a plasma cutter is a good addition to your tools. A plasma cutter cuts and divides hard materials precisely and quickly. Its functions are versatile, and you can be flexible using the device.

From plasma cutters with a transferring arc to non-transferring plasma cutters, hand-held plasma cutters, or machine-guided plasma cutters – there is a large selection of plasma cutters to choose from. So it’s not easy to find the best plasma cutter for CNC. Taking a look at the duty cycle, input voltage, output current, cutting ability, dimensions, and weight, and the warranty, we will give you easy-to-understand purchase advice and show you the best plasma cutters that are compatible with CNC tables. Please also note our safety instructions for the safe use of your plasma cutter.

Top 5 Plasma Cutters for CNC Review 2022

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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 5415 people in the past 30 days
9.9
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.5
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.8
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.5
9.9
1
Editor’s Choice

Lotos LTP5500D

Features
  • Duty cycle: 60% @ 55A
  • Input voltage: 110/120V and 220/240V
  • Output current: 20–55A
  • Cutting ability: 3/5″–3/4″
  • Dimensions: 17.5″ x 7.1″ x 12″
  • Weight: ‎21.5 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year

Other features: Plasma/TIG/Stick combo; Blow-Back non-high frequency start; 14ft torch; pre-installed NPT 1/4” industry type D plug

The Lotos LTP5500D is a plasma cutter that works with a 60% duty cycle at 55 amps. The input voltage here is 110/120 voltage and 220/240 voltage while the output current is 20 to 55 amps. This is a plasma cutter that comes with a 220 plug on it. It’s a 30-amp plug, however. In the manual, it says that it requires a 60-amp breaker.

The LTP 5500 and the Primeweld CUT60 are very similar machines in terms of performance, coming from two of the top brands in the cheap plasma cutter market. The performance of the machine is getting up there with professional-style machines. The Lotus model has a 30-day refund/replacement policy and a 1-year warranty but it’s just not as good as Primeweld’s three years.

Why did it make our list?

  • The plasma cutter is a combination of a plasma, TIG, and stick welder. It has a blowback non-high frequency start. So, you do not need contact with metal to start an arc. We also liked that this cutter comes with a one-year warranty, although we feel this could be more.

What is not ideal about it?

  • Although this machine is advertised to be CNC ready and great for the DIY. However, we realized there's not an easy way to connect a computer to this CNC. However, there are tutorials online on how you can convert this to be able to be CNC-ready.
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 5138 people in the past 30 days
9.7
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.5
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.5
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.6
9.7
2
Best CNC Port

Everlast PowerPlasma 52i

Features
  • Duty cycle: 60% @ 50A
  • Voltage: 110/220V
  • Output current: 20–50A
  • Cutting ability: 1/2″–3/4″
  • Dimensions: 16″ x 7″ x 13″
  • Weight: 32 lbs
  • Warranty: 5 years

Other features: upgraded IPT-60 torch; Adjustable Post Flow timer (up to 60 sec.); digital display; 14ft torch cable

The PowerPlasma 52i from Everlast works with a maximum output of 50A and creates a clean cutting capacity of 1/2 inches and 3/4 inches.  It is still operated on normal household electricity, which is certainly an advantage for many, especially since its compact design and low weight make it ideal for mobile use.

The operation is uncomplicated, it can be continuously adjusted between 20 and 50 A and convinces with a duty cycle of 60% at 50 A. The device has been redesigned to have a fully digital design. This ensures better reliability and circuit complexity. At around 42 pounds of weight and compact dimensions, the device is a bit portable.

What makes it special?

  • The PowerPlasma 52i is a new improved device. It comes with a separate function and gouges feature for use with CNC. The airflow, which quickly cools the torch after cutting, is very good. The scope of delivery is very good and so is the price-performance ratio, because the device is not too expensive in relation to the workmanship. We also liked that you can set the device continuously between 20 and 50 A and the operating concept is convincing.

What cons did we find?

  • The consumables could be better. They are junk. For a good experience, we advise that you buy real consumables.
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 4722 people in the past 30 days
9.3
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
8.8
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.2
Features & Benefits
Product Review
8.9
9.3
3
Best Value

PRIMEWELD CUT60

Features
  • Duty cycle: 60% @ 60A
  • Voltage: 110/220 with adapter
  • Output current: 20–60A
  • Cutting ability: 1/3″–4/5″
  • Dimensions: 20.47″ x 10.43″ x 16.54″
  • Weight: 33.1 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 years

Other features: MOSFET Inverter-powered; Blowback Pilot Torch; High-Frequency arc start

The Cut 60 from Primeweld is a powerful plasma cutter that works with up to 60A. As a result, it achieves a cutting performance of up to 1/3 inches with mild steel. You can also cut aluminum up to a thickness of 4/5 inches. At only around 33 kilograms, the device is light enough and also compact. At full load (60A) the duty cycle is 60%, which is also decent.  The high-frequency contact ignition ensures clean and good ignition behavior, and you can freely set the cutting current between 20 and 60 A.

Despite the high performance, it is very compact with only around 33 pounds of weight, a bit lighter than the Everlast PowerPlasma 52i. It has a compact size of 20.5 x 10.4 x 16.5 and also impresses with a duty cycle of 60% at 46A. If you look at the cut quality between this machine and the LTP 5000, it is night and day as this machine beats it. The three-quarter-inch cut is so much cleaner on the Primeweld compared to the Lotos model above.

What makes it stand out?

  • PRIMEWELD offers a three-year warranty for those based in the US and they pay for shipping for the machine. Also, you are 100% covered if you don't get a machine that works correctly. Asides that they will pay for all the shipping, it also comes with a good warranty program that covers up to three years which is unheard of in this market for cheap plasma cutters. A CNC port and adapter plug are also included. This machine speaks to a lot of people and fits a lot of people's budgets and usage.

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • The instruction manual can be better. It wasn't written by someone who speaks good English. However, you may not need it as there's nothing much you need to figure out and the customer support is excellent as well.
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 5049 people in the past 30 days
8.7
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
8.6
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
8.3
Features & Benefits
Product Review
8.5
8.7
4
Most Efficient

Plasmagon Cut60HF

Features
  • Duty cycle: 70% @ 60A
  • Voltage: 110V/220V
  • Output current: 10-60A
  • Cutting ability: up to 0.7″
  • Dimensions: ‎12.99″ x 8.66″ x 5.12″
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • Warranty: not specified

Other features: LCD display; ergonomic handle

The Plasmagon Cut60HF plasma cutter is a dual voltage model; meaning it works with 110 or 220 volts. It came with around 8 feet of hose for your air. It also came with the regulator for the air and the bracket that mounts it. It only comes with three sets of consumables and then some fittings for your air lines. The machine also comes with the common consumables with a good torch that has safety on it.

The device offers decent performance at an affordable price. The operation takes place on the mains power and the operation is very comfortable and uncomplicated. Thanks to its compact dimensions of 13 x 8.6 x 5 inches and a weight of around 21 pounds, the device is very compact to be able to take with you. Together with the Lotos LTP550D, it is the most lightweight in this review.

What do we love it for?

  • Although there is no high-frequency contact ignition, the equipment, thanks to its thermal protection, is still decent with overheating, under voltage, and overvoltage protection as well as a warning in the event of a lack of compressed air. The scope of delivery is also convincing because it comes with an AG60 cutting torch, a ground clamp, an oil-water separator, an air hose, and three sets of consumables.

What were we disappointed with?

  • The only thing we are not really happy about is that the ground clamp is quite short. However, you can find new ground clamps at your local store.
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 3037 people in the past 30 days
9.1
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
8.8
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
8.7
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.0
9.1
5
Features
  • Duty cycle: 50% @ 45A
  • Voltage: 200–240V
  • Output current:10–45A
  • Cutting ability: 5/8″
  • Dimensions: 17.4″ x 6.75″ x 14.1″
  • Weight: 36 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 years

Other features: 20 ft leads included; protected air filter regulator; automatic gas adjustment

Light, compact, and with high cutting speed without leaving a slag, the Hypertherm Powermax 45 is one of a kind, allowing you to perform simple and more complicated jobs with absolute precision. It is a fast machine with cutting speeds 1.5 times faster than oxyfuel. It has a superior quality of cutting and edge preparation. The Plasma Powermax 30 cutter allows different types of cuts. You can make a flush cut and cut closer in base materials at a 45-degree angle. You also have the option of making surface finish cutting. The machine offers a long reach grooving and greater accessibility when grooving in tight spaces.

It is easy to use, has a small size, has a light weight, and offers exceptional portability for cutting equipment rated 16 mm (5/8 inches). It has a drag-cutting technology that enhances the use of the machine. The Smart Sense technology ensures that the air pressure is always regulated. It offers a good learning curve for novice operators. The CNC interface and FastConnect torch connection allow operation in manual and mechanized applications.

Why is it special?

  • The great thing about the Hypertherm Powermax 45 plasma cutter is that it is not just a tool for professionals. Its compact and ergonomic design is also built to do small cutting jobs at home. Its compact construction, including the compressor, allows it to be moved anywhere. With it, you can make works of art, superior cutting quality and grooving, less cleaning and grinding rework

What are the flaws?

  • It lacks protection elements. Also, the sparks can cause burns. Therefore, safety glasses, sleeve covers, and helmets must be purchased separately. It costs a bit more, but you get what you pay for.

Things to Consider

A plasma cutter is an efficient tool for precise and fast processing and cutting of hard materials such as metal. The plasma torch is transportable and can be used on construction sites, in the workshop, or on the go by rescue workers, for example. In this guide, we will give you more information that will be useful for choosing a model and successfully using it.

What Makes a Plasma Cutter Compatible with a CNC Table?

5 Best Plasma Cutters to Use with a CNC Table (Summer 2022)

You can only use a plasma cutter that has no HF interference on your CNC computer

What makes specific plasma cutters suitable for CNC machines is that they are digital devices designed to be used with a computer. The computer indicates the precision of the cuts to be made, according to a digital sketch (vector image), previously made in a compatible program such as Corel, AutoCAD, Solid Works, Fusion, etc. Thanks to the electronic control technology, you will therefore be able to automatically manufacture workpieces with high precision. CNC stands for computerized numerical control. It is a computer-based, automated control of a plasma cutter. The CNC Plasma Cutter uses a high-speed jet of ionized gas (plasma), which conducts the electricity from the torch to the work material and heats the part until it melts and expels the material.

With a CNC plasma cutter, you will get different advantages during the process, and it is reflected in the result.

One of the greatest benefits of these cutters is their compatibility with different types of metals. In addition, you will have much more precise work and great cutting cleanliness, since the plasma torch expels the residues of the molten material. They are easy to operate thanks to their CNC system that specifies the exact location of the cut.

Features to Consider Before You Buy a Plasma Cutter for CNC

To choose the best plasma cutters for CNC, some of the key features to consider include the following:

Power Specs

The voltage that a plasma cutter works with is called the line voltage. Models with around 230 volts are perfectly adequate for hobbyists. A 400-volt device is particularly suitable for experienced do-it-yourselfers. Make sure to use a high voltage connection when working with professional equipment. Some models use far more electricity than others. So that the plasma cutter does not turn out to be a power hog, a comparison of the average energy values of the devices under consideration should be made before buying.

Duty Cycle

The duty cycle, also known as the power cycle Trusted Source Duty cycle - Wikipedia A duty cycle or power cycle is the fraction of one period in which a signal or system is active. Duty cycle is commonly expressed as a percentage or a ratio. A period is the time it takes for a signal to complete an on-and-off cycle. en.wikipedia.org , in welding is a period when the signal of the plasma cutter is active; that is, a period it takes for the signal to finish an on and off cycle. It is usually expressed as a ratio or percentage. For example, the duty cycle of the PRIMEWELD CUT60 is 60 percent at 60 amps. This value means that the plasma cutter can work for 5 to 7 minutes within 10 minutes.

Cutting Ability

There are three ways of cutting with a plasma torch: drag cutting in slow implementation close to the workpiece, distance cutting for penetration work, or furrowing and drilling. The maximum cutting thickness indicates the highest possible thickness of the material to be processed. Commercially available models can usually process material that is 15 to 20 mm (0.6 to 0.8 inches) thick. Powerful plasma torches also cut through 35 to 40 mm (1.4 to 1.6 inches) thick metal.

Control Panel / Display

Plasma cutters for CNCs are digital devices and there is no way we can talk about digital technology without the use of a control panel or display. The display shows the duty cycle, air pressure, among other data. The Everlast PowerPlasma 52i and the PRIMEWELD CUT60 for example have good display systems that ensure the digitalization of your work.

Dimensions and Weight

If you need the plasma cutter primarily for work at home, you can buy a heavy-duty plasma cutter. However, if you want to be flexible and mobile, a device with a lower weight of around 10 kg is recommended. So that your plasma cutter is easy to transport, you should also pay attention to the dimensions. Compact and lightweight, the device can be taken anywhere.

Durability and Warranty

An important criterion for the longevity of the device is the quality and processing of the material from which the plasma torch is made. Seals of quality give the assurance that you have chosen a high-quality device. A sign of reliability and durability is also the warranty. Most brands offering this include a warranty coverage between 1 to 5 years. Lotos LTP5500D comes with a 5-year warranty while the Everlast PowerPlasma 52i has just a year of warranty. However, you should note that the more premium the quality is, the better the warranty coverage.

How to Use a Plasma Cutter with a CNC Table?

5 Best Plasma Cutters to Use with a CNC Table (Summer 2022)

A plasma cutter must be hooked up to CNC via machine interface connectors

The craftsman or do-it-yourselfer connects the plasma cutter to a power source via the electric cable. The connection to the device and a clamp for the material are usually located on the earth cable.

The rear panel of CNC plasma cutters has machine interface connectors that you may hook your automated torch to.

However, the interface port that you wish to use for your CNC cutting table only works if you’ve removed the hand torch. So, you cannot keep the two torches plugged in.

The electrically conductive plasma is created during the ignition process. With a temperature of up to 30,000 degrees, the plasma cutter can process metal precisely.

You must make slow movements with the plasma cutter. Since the gas contained is ionized, it reacts very quickly and cannot cut cleanly and precisely if it is moved too quickly.

If users are not that technically experienced, they should leave the usage and maintenance to a specialist who follows the specifications in the operating instructions precisely.

How to Maintain It

To ensure a long service life for the device, the following points should be taken into account during maintenance:

  • The plasma cutter must be disconnected from the power supply before maintenance, otherwise, there is a danger to life.
  • The inside of the plasma cutter must remain free of metal dust particles. We recommend cleaning the inside of the device with compressed air.
  • The nozzle, electrode, and gas swirl ring must be replaced at regular intervals so that the plasma cutter is not damaged.
  • The nozzle clamping sleeve must be reassembled and tightened after changing. The clamping sleeve must never be placed on the plasma torch without the other components!
  • After maintenance or repairs, all cables must be reattached to the plasma cutter.

What dangers do I have to avoid when working with a plasma cutter?

Before you start using the plasma cutter, you should read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and take all necessary safety precautions. The greatest dangers to avoid are:

Electric shock: The risk of electric shock is reduced if the plasma cutter is connected as described in the operating instructions and only the accessories supplied are used. Live parts and electrodes must not be touched without gloves! The protective clothing should not be wet, otherwise, it would conduct electricity.

Development of smoke and gases: There should be good ventilation in the room in which the plasma torch works. Inhaling gases can be harmful in the long term. Ideally, the workplace must have an air extraction system.

Risk of burns: There must be no flammable materials near the work area. A small flight of sparks through the plasma torch could be enough to start a fire. Users should protect their skin with appropriate protective clothing.

Risk of explosion: The workplace environment must be free of explosive gases or flammable liquids. All parts and accessories of the plasma torch must be handled with care.

Impairment of a pacemaker: Since magnetic fields are generated Trusted Source Plasma Cutter Awareness Reminder A plasma cutter can be hazardous when improperly used. Incidents could include electric shock, fire, or personal injury. www.bu.edu when working with a plasma torch, the function of a pacemaker could be impaired under certain circumstances. Users with a pacemaker should seek the advice of their doctor before starting work with the plasma cutter.

FAQ

Your plasma cutter should have protection from overvoltage, under-voltage, and overheating. However, most personal protective equipment (PPE) needed must be purchased separately and properly used.

Yes, you need a mask. Asides from a mask, welding goggles, a hard hat, and gloves on. A full-body suit is also useful to protect the skin from sparks.

A plasma cutter can cut mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, monel, titanium, and cast iron.

Our Verdict

Rated 9.9, our Editor’s Choice is the Lotos LTP5500D. The plasma cutter is a combination of a plasma, TIG, and stick welder. It works with a 60% duty cycle at 55 amps. It’s our overall best plasma cutter for CNC.

We think the Everlast PowerPlasma 52i has the best easy-to-use CNC port. It’s rated 9.7 out of 10. It can be continuously adjusted between 20 and 50 A and has a duty cycle of 60% at 50A. The device has been redesigned to have a fully digital design. This ensures better reliability and circuit complexity.

With a rating of 9.4, our Best Value pick, the PRIMEWELD CUT60 is a powerful plasma cutter that works with up to 60A. As a result, it achieves a cutting performance of up to 1/3 inches with mild steel.

References

1.
Duty cycle - Wikipedia
A duty cycle or power cycle is the fraction of one period in which a signal or system is active. Duty cycle is commonly expressed as a percentage or a ratio. A period is the time it takes for a signal to complete an on-and-off cycle.
2.
Plasma Cutter Awareness Reminder
A plasma cutter can be hazardous when improperly used. Incidents could include electric shock, fire, or personal injury.
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