A variety of modern machinery and technologies have incorporated Computer Numerical Control (CNC) in them. A CNC plasma cutter is one of those types of machines that are utilized with Computer Numerical Control.
CNC plasma cutting refers to cutting through materials that are electrically conductive, by making use of hot plasma from an accelerated jet.
The hot plasma is directed towards the material in order to cut it. Some of the types of materials that are typically cut by using a CNC plasma cutter are copper, aluminum, brass, and steel.
If you have previously worked with a handheld plasma cutter, you already know how powerful they tend to be.
To add on, CNC plasmas are great investments as they are able to deliver high-quality cuts at a relatively low operating cost.
However, without a good CNC plasma table, it can be nearly impossible to achieve the edge quality or precision you require when cutting metals.
Therefore, whether you use a CNC plasma cutting as a hobby or in large production, making use of a CNC plasma table is crucial in order to achieve satisfactory outcomes.
Best CNC Plasma Table Reviews
1. Baileigh PT-22 CNC Plasma Cutting Table- TOP PICK
The Baileigh PT-22 CNC Plasma Cutting Table offers plenty of features that are not found in a lot of plasma cutting tables, even at a higher price range.
It comes fully assembled:
The Baileigh Plasma Cutting Table arrives completely pre-assembled. Therefore, you do not need to spend hours building or determining how to get the alignment right.
It gets better!
The good folks of Baileigh also included a water bath with ball valve at drain – which is definitely a cherry on the top! So say no to dust and smoke when working with this machine.
Easy to use...
With a design software package that is easy-to-use, it allows the user to design or plot out a job using any computer. Also, you can load the plasma table using a USB stick.
The PT-22 does not come with a downdraft system. As a result, you need to ensure a clean dry air supply when working with it, in order to eliminate the smoke and dust produced.
The Baileigh PT-22 CNC Plasma Cutting Table provides many useful features, making this machine a worthy investment.
2. Firebird CNC Plasma Cutter Table- BEST BUDGET
The Firebird CNC Plasma Cutter Table is a medium-sized, budget-friendly that is capable of ensuring accuracy and precision in your work every single time.
It has a healthy cutting range...
The Firebird CNC Plasma Cutter Table has a medium cutting size of 48” x 48”. The overall machine is 60” by 60”.
A budget-friendly plasma table handling serious cuts!
Even though this machine is budget-friendly, compared to the other plasma cutting tables of this price range, the Firebird CNC Plasma Cutter Table can handle pretty serious cuts.
How can you beat that?
It has a Torch Height Control. This means that, whether the material is even or uneven.
This Table ensures you precise and accurate work every single time.
Do not burn yourself!
It does not come with a cooling system. Therefore, you need to be extra careful from burning yourself while cutting to make sure that your material is not getting too hot.
3. CNC Gas Oxyfuel Flame Plasma Cutting Table- RUNNER UP
The CNC Gas Oxyfuel Flame Plasma Cutting Table is a pretty huge machine that has thoughtfully incorporated plenty of useful features.
An automatic plasma torch height control:
With the help of this feature, you can ensure that your working end of the cutter does not get too close to the material.
If the cutter is too close to the material, it could end up overheating the parts around your cut.
This Plasma Cutting Table has a cutting area of 59” x 98”. As a result, this machine can help you to work on everything – from small signs to big metal sheets.
That’s not all!
It also comes along with StarCAM software which allows you to draw on your own computer and copy into the machine.
A minus point:
The CNC Gas Oxyfuel Flame Plasma Cutting Table does not come with a water tank.
Therefore, this machine will not help you with smoke and dust containment.
To sum up...
The CNC Gas Oxyfuel Flame Plasma Cutting Table is a massive and serious machine which is a pretty good investment – considering all its features – but it is probably not suitable for an average user who wants to DIY.
4. GMC Plasma Table PT-0510/105A- PREMIUM
The GMC, Plasma Table, PT-0510/105A comes with several praiseworthy features that make this machine totally worth the buy.
Automatic height detection system:
It comes with a high precision cutting torch height CNC control in order to automatically detect height.
As a result, it ensures perfect arc distances every single time – even on uneven materials!
Built-in dust and fog vacuum system...
It also comes with a built-in dust and fog vacuum system which ensures you to get rid of any dust and smoke produced during your plasma cutting process.
As if that’s not enough!
With a 60” x 120” cutting area, this table makes for an ideal machine for working on either small or big projects.
It does not come pre-assembled. Assembling the GMC Plasma Table could require a high learning curve, and need to spend time watching the demo video provided.
That can take too much of your time before you can actually start working with it.
In a nutshell...
GMC, Plasma Table, PT-0510/105A is a great industrial-grade machine as it comes with several noteworthy features that are ideal for heavy-duty work.
What to Look for When Buying a CNC Plasma Table?
To begin with, CNC plasma cutting tables are absolutely useful but they are large purchases.
Therefore, in order to save yourself or your company a big amount of money and time.
It is wise to do appropriate research regarding which CNC plasma table is best suited to your needs before you buy it.
Here are some of the factors you might want to consider when looking for the right CNC plasma table:
Check it out...
One of the most significant components of a CNC plasma table setup is the software that runs it.
The software has two functions: design the piece to be cut and control the plasma cutter and the table.
Make sure that the software that is running your CNC plasma table is specifically optimized and created for that table.
The ideal software that should be running the CNC plasma table is the one that is written by the same company that made the table.
Smoke and dust...
CNC plasma cutting tends to produce a great amount of smoke and dust.
As a result, the smoke and dust can quickly fill up an enclosed room if you do not take dust-containment measures or proper ventilation.
1. Water Bath
A water bath is a smoke and dust containment system that consists of a shallow table filled with water.
The water bath is positioned below the cutting surface of the table. When cutting the metal using the machine, the dust and spark are passed down to the water where they are doused immediately.
When using a water bath, make sure to ask the table manufacturer if a water bath is recommended with their cutting table.
This is because sometimes, water can splash and cause the underside of the cutting table to become rusty.
Note: When you use a water bath, make sure to keep away all electrical components away from contacting the water.
A downdraft system is another smoke and dust containment system that has skirts around the base of the table.
Also, there is a fan that sucks air down through the table, eliminating smoke and dust.
Therefore, when buying a CNC plasma table, it is wise to look if the machine comes with a downdraft system or not.
It is definitely crucial to make sure that you are getting a high-quality machine as CNC plasma cutting tables can be quite expensive.
Therefore, do your research beforehand in order to make sure that you are buying the highest quality you can get within your budget.
1. Quality of the materials...
When buying a CNC plasma cutting table, it is wise to check the quality of the materials that are used in the making of the frame. Steel is stronger than aluminum.
As a result, a machine made out of steel would have the appearance of flimsiness, although it would require less material and be lighter.
On the other hand, a machine made out of aluminum would have the appearance of strength and be bulkier.
In a nutshell, machines made out of either steel or aluminum would both have more than enough strength even for big jobs.
2. Quality of the table design!
A lot of factors could potentially impact the performance of a CNC plasma cutting table.
Even a slight difference in the smallest factor could change the performance of the table.
For instance, if the gantry – which is the heavy, big bar that slides up and down the length of the table – weighs too much, it could make the torch hard to control with high speed and accuracy.
On the other hand, if the gantry is lightweight, it can produce pretty accurate outcomes even at high speeds.
It is also necessary to look at what type of motors are used to control the torch. Servo motors are widely known to be better than stepper motors.
A stepper motor does not provide any feedback to the controller and has a limited number of positions it can be moved to.
Whereas a servo motor provides feedback to the controller by giving information regarding where it happens to be at the moment.
To add on, a servo motor can be moved to an infinite number of positions within its range of motion.
Note: Servo motors are more expensive than stepper motors.
However, it is wise to ensure that your attempt at cost-cutting is not hampering your ability to cut quality designs.
Lastly, make sure to look at the warranty system of the plasma table. You do not want a short warranty period. The longer the warranty period, the better.
Check how much replacement parts could cost. Also, check if the warranty covers every part of the machine or just some parts of it.
At the end of the day...
All of the four different plasma tables mentioned above, have distinct and praiseworthy features.
Therefore, which one of these plasma tables is best suited for you depends on the specific features that you are looking for.
Whether you are on a budget, you want your machine to be big or compact in size, you want a cooling system.
Your own checklist of such features will determine which brand of plasma table you need.