CNC plasma tables are incredible tools used for fast and precise metal cutting. These amazing machines can accurately cut metal sheets and tubes, and as a result, they’re becoming hugely popular among factories and commercial businesses.
Most businesses choose plasma tables over traditional handheld plasma torches because they’re extremely precise. CNC stands for ‘computer numerical control’ since this is how the plasma cutting table inputs the desired cuts and settings.
The use of a computer ensures that each cut set comes out exactly as desired and greatly reduces the chance of human error found in manual handheld plasma cutting. This mechanism means that learning to use this tool is quite easy compared to the high skill ceiling that comes with the traditional method.
If you’re looking for the best plasma table for the money, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of the best CNC plasma tables that the market currently has to offer along with some great tips on how to choose the best plasma table for you.
- CNC Plasma Tables – Comparison Chart
- The Six Best CNC Plasma Tables Right Now
- Baileigh Industrial PT-22 CNC Plasma Cutting Table
- STV CNC SparX 510 Plasma Table
- STV Motorsports SparX 4400 CNC Plasma Table
- Firebird 48-L CNC Plasma Table
- GMC Plasma Table PT-0510
- CNC Gas OxyFuel Flame Plasma Cutting Table
- Picking The Best CNC Plasma Table For You
CNC Plasma Tables – Comparison Chart
|Name & Brand||Notable Features||Weight||Price|
|Baileigh Industrial PT-22||110 volt Power||500 pounds|
|STV CNC SparX 510||Automatic Torch Height Controller||450 pounds|
|STV Motorsports SparX||Water Table Included||400 pounds|
|Firebird 48-L||Full Software Package||270 pounds|
|GMC Plasma Table PT-0510||High Quality Servo Motors||4370 Pounds|
|CNC Gas OxyFuel Flame||Supporting Oxyfuel Flame Cutting||600 kg|
The Six Best CNC Plasma Tables Right Now
CNC plasma tables are fairly expensive tools and for good reason. Be a hundred percent sure with your purchase by checking out these six CNC plasma table reviews.
The Baileigh Industrial PT-22 plasma cutting table is a strong first entry that has everything you need to to start plasma cutting right away. No assembly fuss, an adaptable torch-holder, and a user-friendly software interface make this incredible machine a breeze to pilot.
This particular plasma cutting table comes in at 29”x31” making it a fairly compact machine as far as plasma cutting tables go. Despite its compact nature, the table still offers a very respectable 24’’x24’’ cutting area. That’s two feet long and wide, a fair size that would accommodate most cutting needs.
A strong fully welded main frame supports the entire mechanism and ensures that everything is steady and stable. Shifts in weight and imbalances in the frame can cause uneven and inaccurate cutting making a perfectly level workspace imperative.
The PT-22 plasma table can easily cut mild steel up to ¾” in thickness, but this only stands as the standard. The power output set on the plasma cutter itself will determine the cutting capabilities of the whole machine.
The user manual contains all the settings information you need when preparing to cut. Take note that the torch working height will vary depending on the material type and thickness. Specific settings values are also available in the user manual to give you an easier time. Also, make sure to measure your material thickness in millimeters when referring to the manual.
The PT-22 CNC plasma cutting table opts for a water bath system to help rid of the resulting debris from cutting. Just fill the table with either water or plasma cutting fluid halfway up to the top of the cross channels. This will ensure that most of the cutting debris is caught and can be easily drained out with the ball valve at the side of the machine.
Water tables can also accumulate bacteria that speed up rusting after a plasma cutting. That is why it is always important to sanitize your workspace after cutting or you can even use a special plasma cutting fluid designed to reduce this bacteria build-up.
All in all, Baileigh Industrial PT-22 CNC plasma cutting table is a very good starting point in terms of both price and performance. Its lack of assembly and simple control pad makes it a great plasma cutting table for both newbies and veterans alike and it is definitely worth a consideration.
The SparX 510 plasma table by STV Motorsports gives you a huge advantage when it comes to cutting space without sacrificing speed and accuracy. The 5’x10’ machine gives you a massive space to cut even the largest plates with ease while the high-quality stepper motors make for a quick job.
This incredible product allows you to handle larger professional projects with ease, thanks in part to the easy-to-use MyPlasmaCNC cutting program that comes included with the purchase. The program is simple and can be learned by anyone. The program takes all DXF. PLT. and TAP files, making for a seamless plasma cutting experience.
The program also allows you to make repeated cuts with the same settings, perfect for mass productions and larger orders that require extreme accuracy. It is important to note that the accuracy of the cut is heavily dependent on the settings you input in the program, so be cautious when inputting cutting speed and height.
The SparX 510 is of sturdy construction and can cleanly cut steel plates up to an inch thick. The product features extremely smooth linear guide rails that afford this plasma table a motion accuracy of 0.002” per 12 inches. This makes it not only a powerhouse for larger industrial projects but also a great option for intricate cutting work for startups.
Everything about this machine makes it ideal for small businesses looking for a good way to mass-produce specific shapes and designs. The product even comes with an integrated water pan that helps with dust collection from the weld.
This water bed also has the added benefit of lowering the retained heat during the cutting process. This will reduce possible material warping and greatly increase the machine’s overall accuracy. Although you can run the machine dry, we always recommend using water or a plasma cutting solution.
The only real drawback we can think of with this product is in its program. Having a Windows-based program leads to possible limitations for those who can use it. Despite this, the plasma table itself still stands strong.
With all that said, the quality that we believe truly shines is its accuracy and consistency. The SparX 510 plasma table in particular is a great option for anyone who needs larger cuts and we highly recommend it.
Another great product from STV Motorsports, the SparX4400 plasma table includes everything good about the SparX line in a smaller, more manageable format. This 4’x4’ CNC plasma table can still cut steel plates up to an inch thick, just like its larger versions while still being conservative with space.
All the SparX machines run on the same MyPlasmaCNC program that keeps the cutting process very straightforward and easy to pick up. Anyone who can take measurements of their materials and input this into the program will find success when using this machine.
The entire SparX line is very similar in terms of performance and output, the main difference being the size of the actual table. Although the 4’x4’ is considerably smaller than its 5’x10’ counterpart, this only makes it a better machine in different scenarios. It even shares the same maximum torch height of six inches that its other larger counterparts have.
Despite its smaller stature, it still holds the same general statistics that the other SparX machines have. The machine’s incredible motion accuracy of 0.002” per 12 inches is still something that can be attributed to its high-quality guide rails and overall frame stability.
You can still get a lot of work done with the SparX 4400’s maximum cut speed of up to 800 inches a minute. Remember, it’s important to finely calibrate your cut speed to ensure a thorough cut with minimal burning. This is especially important if you’re cutting metal you don’t plan to paint over. You wouldn’t want burn marks ruining an otherwise clean cut.
As with all SparX products, this product also comes with a water table, making for a cleaner and more efficient cut overall. Thanks to its more compact size, this also means you’ll be spending less on plasma cutting fluid should you choose to use that instead of water.
The only issue with the machine is its size. But even this, is a small nitpick considering the product line has other larger options. This product fills the need for a powerful yet compact plasma table perfect for both commercial projects or personal use.
Overall, the STV Motorsports SparX 4400 CNC plasma table is a great and cost-efficient option for someone set on the SparX series of products. Its smaller size means it can easily fit in your workshop while still consistently delivering industrial level performance.
The Firebird 48-L CNC plasma table is a versatile machine that gives you everything you need to get the job done. Its simple yet complete features mean that you won’t be fiddling with any overcomplicated controls but you won’t find yourself lacking in crucial features either.
The plasma table measures at about 60”x60” making it a fairly mid-sized plasma table. The actual cutting size comes in at four feet for both length and width, ensuring you have more than enough space to get most kinds of projects done. It even has a Z-axis movement, making it great for irregularly shaped or heightened projects. This Z-axis rail moves up to seven inches in height.
The floating head Z-axis movement is further complemented by its automatic material height sensor. The feature prevents unwanted contact between the torch head and the material being cut. Maintaining proper distance when cutting heightened material will ensure that your torch cuts evenly and minimizes adverse effects like warping or heavy burning.
This particular plasma table utilizes ball screws for both the X and Y-axis guide rails. Balls screws minimize friction and allow for faster and smoother motion during the cut. This gives a consistently clean cut, and when set correctly, minimizes the need for post-process grinding.
These guide rails can travel at up to 500 inches per minute, making it a fairly quick plasma cutter. The machine uses four separate stepper motor drives to give it the acceleration and deceleration needed to provide consistent cuts throughout its use.
The biggest issue with this machine is its relatively higher learning curve compared to other CNC plasma tables. Most plasma tables these days feature proprietary programs that utilize a simple and user-friendly interface that people can pick up in hours. This machine, on the other hand, requires knowledge of Mach 3 motion control software and Sheetcam to operate at full capacity.
The package does not come with a software license for either program, making it a little inconvenient for people who still need to purchase. But for veterans who already have a background with Mach software and Sheetcam, then its compatibility makes it a great machine to instantly pick up and use.
The Firebird 48-L CNC plasma table is a great bare-bones option for plasma table veterans. Its high-quality construction, relatively low-cost, and complete features make it well-deserving of a spot on our list.
The GMC PT-0510 is a great industrial-level plasma table that is appropriate for a whole host of different uses. Much like the previous entry, this product gives you an extensive array of features that are just what you need without being excessive or overcomplicated.
This plasma table measures at 5’x10’ cutting area giving you ample space to get medium to large projects done with ease. It is constructed mostly from stainless steel and it is designed to handle a lot of use. It’s sturdy build and durable frame make it ideal for heavy industrial use.
It can handle cutting material up to an inch thick with incredible accuracy and precision using the Hypertherm Powermax plasma source. This is further boosted by the automatic torch height CNC control. Arc distance is key when you’re going for a consistent cut throughout a project and some materials could be uneven. The automatic height control detects and readjusts accordingly to provide a more optimal experience.
The GMC plasma table also includes a built-in vacuum system. Cutting large or numerous materials can cause a large accumulation of dust and debris, this is automatically captured with the vacuum system providing you with seamless and continuous cutting without needing to worry about dust, smoke, or debris clouding up your workspace.
Another great touch that comes with this package are the demonstration videos to help you better understand the ins-and-outs of this particular plasma table. These videos really help make the simple learning process even easier, and further contribute to the safety of this device.
This plasma table runs on UCAN NEST v10 software, a free plasma cutting software that is widely used in plasma, laser, and water jet cutting. This compatibility makes this product great for those who are already familiar with the software from other cutting tables.
We do believe, however, that the GMC plasma table could have been made better with an integrated water table instead of just a vacuum. Water tables are a great way to collect dust and debris while also lowering the temperature input. Other than that, the product does incredibly well on its own.
Overall, the GMC PT-0510 plasma table gives you great value and efficiency for its price point. This 5’x10’ plasma table is highly sought after and is a strong contender on this list.
The final entry on this list is a jack-of-all-trades and an excellent plasma table. Newlin Machinery brings us this amazing CNC plasma cutting table that also supports oxyfuel flame cutting. But for this review, we will only be considering the features and capabilities of this product as a plasma cutter.
This plasma cutter has an effective cutting area of 2500x1500mm or roughly 8.2’x5’, making it a mid-sized plasma table. This kind of plasma table is fairly versatile, it can be used for smaller, more intricate work while still being good for larger industrial jobs.
This plasma table has an automatic plasma torch height control system, perfect for irregularly shaped material. This feature ensures that the machine adjusts arc distance and height according to the material being cut. Proper arc distance can help you avoid direct contact between the plasma tip and the material itself and also reduce the severity of burn marks in the final product.
As far as durability goes, the full-steel frame makes this machine an extremely sturdy piece that can withstand a lot of use making it perfect for industrial work. It also features a downdraft system to get rid of the dust and debris that is lost during cutting. The downdraft system is incredibly effective; it’s easy to clean and effectively captures about 80% of the dust and smoke created during plasma cutting.
This machine can cut materials up to 6’’ in thickness, making it the strongest cutter in this list in terms of sheer thickness capability. Most plasma tables can cut anywhere from ¾” to an inch of material, so the extra power makes this plasma table even more versatile.
The machine comes with StarCAM software, a program that allows you to transfer and convert stencils and designs in your computer to use in the control system. It also accepts DXF files using AutoCAD, giving you the ability to edit and change your design on-the-fly.
The only downside this product has is its lack of included water bed. We believe that water systems beat out downdraft systems in terms of overall quality. It may be more difficult to clean at times, but the extra heat protection a water bed affords you is invaluable for keeping you cut material intact.
In summary, the CNC Gas OxyFuel flame plasma cutting table is a great plasma table with massive flexibility as a cutting machine. Its high-quality construction and insane cutting potential make very much worth its relatively higher price point.
Picking The Best CNC Plasma Table For You
With so many kinds of CNC plasma tables out there, it can be a real nightmare to choose one that’s right for you. So we’ve put together a few things you should consider before you buy a machine.
How Much Workshop Space Do You Have?
Space consideration is a crucial factor before buying a CNC plasma table. These machines have a wide selection of sizes that are perfect for any kind of workspace. Larger industrial spaces can handle the bulkier 5’x10’ machines, while the smaller sheds and shops can accommodate the more modest 4’x4’ size.
It would be a huge problem if you decided to invest in a premium CNC plasma table only to find out it can’t even fit in your workspace. Remember that the actual machine dimensions differ from the machine’s effective cutting area.
What Kind Of Material Do Is It Made Of?
As with any large investment, you’d want to know if the machine is sturdy. Most, if not all CNC plasma tables are made of either steel or aluminum, and it’s important to know which you’re getting. As a rule of thumb, we trust machines that are made of full steel as opposed to aluminum.
Although both steel and aluminum can easily handle the job of plasma cutting, steel is still both lighter and stronger than aluminum. It also is less likely to rust, giving it a longer product life overall.
What Kind Of Motor Does It Have?
There are two main types of motors in a CNC plasma table: Servo and Stepper. Stepper motors are the more common type of motors due to their pre-set positions, limited range of motion, and cheaper price. Servo motors enjoy infinite positions and controller feedback which is why it’s usually more expensive than the latter
Just because stepper motors seem limited compared to servo motors, they can still perform well during mass production due to their amazing consistency.
Does It Come Assembled?
This wouldn’t be much of a problem for seasoned veterans who know their in’s and out’s with a CNC plasma table. But it is an important consideration for convenience whether or not the product will come assembled or not. A large machine like a CNC plasma table has a lot of moving parts that need to be set perfectly for it to work well. It can be a huge hassle to spend hours just trying to piece the entire machine together.
Are You Cutting Flat Material?
This is a crucial consideration since all CNC plasma tables have X and Y-axis guide rails as part of its cutting process. But some irregularly shaped materials may require movement on the Z-axis. This is such an important factor because plasma cutting requires a very particular arc length for it to be optimal. Having a machine without a Z-axis can cause hotspots, burn marks, and other inconsistencies during the cutting process.
Are You New To CNC Plasma Cutting?
Overall, CNC plasma tables are far easier than learning to use a handheld plasma torch. All of the instructions you need can either be found in your product manual or online. But some machines go above and beyond just to make a product more newbie-friendly. Most machines that come with proprietary CNC software give you detailed instructions on how to set up the machine itself as well as how to use the software.
Does The Machine Come With CNC Software?
As priorly mentioned, some machines come with their proprietary CNC software that’s compatible with their machine. But some products only include the machine itself. It’s up to you to find a compatible CNC software that you can use with the machine and are comfortable learning.
It’s important to do thorough research on the CNC plasma table as well as its compatible software to make sure you can properly utilize all the product’s capabilities.
Is This Your Profession Or A Hobby?
This may seem like an odd consideration, but it is important nonetheless. If you need a CNC plasma table for your work, you’ll want to prioritize the machine’s efficiency and durability. Large orders will require the machine to run overtime and it’s important to know that it won’t give up on you.
If you just want a CNC plasma table for your projects, it makes sense that you would want a smaller and more convenient machine.
If you’re looking for a CNC plasma table that can fit in a personal workshop, then the compact Baileigh industrial PT-22 Table will serve you well. If you need a sturdy machine that can handle industrial level demands then check out the GMC PT-0510 plasma table. But if you want a flexible and versatile cutting tool, then Newlin Machinery’s CNC Gas OxyFuel flame plasma cutting table will do the trick.
Buying a CNC plasma table can be a difficult endeavor. It’s important to thoroughly understand your own needs and the capabilities of each product. We hope this guide was able to give you enough information so you can confidently choose your own CNC plasma table.