There was a time when metal welding used to be only for the master-workers. Well-built sophisticated machines used to “magically” bring envisioned designs to life by cutting metal sheets precisely. Anyone beyond the industrial sphere wouldn’t even think about trying it.
However, with time such welding has become a lot more accessible. One of the many reasons behind it has been the easy availability of metal cutting machines like CNC plasma tables. These machines can be compact or gigantic depending on the internal design and goal objective.
Today we will look at some of the best CNC plasma tables present in the market. We will dig deep into each product to discuss the features in detail. You can go through all of them and finally decide which one works the best for your needs! But first, let’s get to know a few basics of the machine itself.
Best CNC Plasma Table Comparison Chart
Easy to use
Single Stepper,Dual Stepper
Mach 3, Sheet CAM
4 stepper motors ( 2 NEMA, 1 425, 1 270)
UCAN NEST V10
Mophorn Laser Engraving Machine
12x20, 20x28, 36x24, 55x35
Newlin CNC Gas Oxyfuel Flame
2-11x10, 2-11x20, 8x20, 5x8
Automatic Plasma Torch Height Control
Best CNC Plasma Table Reviews
1. Baileigh PT-22 CNC Plasma Cutting Table with 5" Casters
The brand of Baileigh is well-known for producing industry-standard professionally used plasma tables for metalworking.
If you have been struggling to work with the typical small plasma tables set at 2x2 feet dimensions, this will get you some peace of mind. This table comes with an operable area of 31 inches in length and 29 inches in width. That roughly translates to a 2.5x2.5 area where you can create the big beautiful metal designs you have been envisioning for so long.
The most attractive part of this table is that you don’t need to spend ANY time in assembling it! You will receive the PT-22 table in a pre-built condition where all that exhausting and time-consuming setup will already be done. So you don’t need to break any sweat over finding the right alignment of its components.
Since it comes fully assembled, you can just get on the programming software right away! The associated software is very easy to learn for everyone - beginners to experts. You can use this software to digitally load the plasma table through a USB stick. Then just mark the points you need to cut from the metal sheet along the X-axis and Y-axis in a DXF file.
This table weighing 500 lbs will need 110 volts of power to operate. This is a pretty standard electrical measure for any North American site. As a result, you can make it work in any area. Don’t stress over the water bath since it will be pre-built as well with drain valve.
It is capable of cutting from ¾-inch of mild steel sheets. There are two kinds of torch holders included to support both automated and customized designs. So if you are a beginner, use an automated design to get used to the process. Then get creative with the customized designs for more unique results!
1. Large area of 29x31 inches
2. Easy designing software
3. 110 Volt power
4. ¾-inch mild steel load
5. Delivered with full assembly
6. Water bath with drain valve
2. Firebird 48-L CNC Plasma Cutter Table
Firebird brings a strong competition in the market for CNC plasma tables with this model of 48-L. Since it first came out in 2017, this table has been a popular choice for many professional metal welders.
In terms of area sizes, this table is larger than our previous suggestion yet more compact than many. Its operating area is measured at 48 inches in both length and width. However, as a whole, the footprint of this table stands at 63 inches in width, 60 inches in length and 36 inches in height. So make sure your welding room has a large enough space to accommodate it.
While most CNC plasma tables come with only two axes - X and Y, the Firebird one incorporates all three! You will get the additional dimension of the Z-axis in order to design 3D models.
The X axis has a single ball screw while the Y axis has double. With these varying ball screws at your disposal, you can take advantage of lower friction, higher durability, better precision and consistent torque. As a result, your welding project completes on time with high mechanical efficiency and flawless design!
In order to improve the efficiency even more, this table has four stepper motor drives distributed among the three axes. Two 425 oz NEMA motor drives belong to Y axis, one 425 to X axis and one 270 oz to Z axis. Together, they enable the table to produce high torque at low speed.
A linter guide rail system incorporated into the table will help you keep the precision on point. Two pieces of software are compatible with this table - Mach 3 for controlling motion and Sheet cam for nesting or processing. It might take a while to get used to these software systems. That is why we don’t recommend this table for beginner-level welders.
1. 48x48 inches cutting area
2. Four stepper motors for efficiency
3. Linear guide roll for precision
4. Z-axis available along with X and Y
5. Two software systems
6. Budget-friendly price point
3. GMC Plasma Table PT-0510/105A
In terms of the cutting area, this plasma table from GMC surely takes the cake! It comes with a gigantic area of 5x10 feet where you can go wild with your design ideas!
The Hyperterm UCAN NEST V10 software will help you to bring these ideas to life. It is based on the Windows operating system and you can try out the demo version before committing to the full-fledged one. The basic shapes and library of other necessary tools are already included. Its programming pattern is very easy to learn so you won’t take much time to get the hang of it.
This machine gets its plasma from the Hypertherm Powermax source made in America. It helps the table to cut each metal shape fast without leaving clean-cut edges. To make each cut more precise, the table has also incorporated Yaskawa servo motors ensuring the highest quality.
Rely on the vacuum system directly built into the plasma table to take care of any dust residue. Keep everything under control with the compact CNC control center with waterproof buttons. Its torch height CNC control can measure the ideal height automatically. As a result, each piece cuts out with the most fitting arc distance every time.
You can cut and weld heavy-duty industrial metal sheets of up to one-inch thickness. Teach yourself how to make this machine work with the demo video provided in its flashcard. One downfall of investing in this heavyweight CNC plasma table is its expensive price point. Comparatively, it comes at thrice the cost of other competing brands.
1. Large cutting area of 60x120 inches
2. Top-notch Yaskawa servo motors
3. Automatic height detection
4. Built-in vacuum system for dust and fog
5. Easily programmable Hyperterm software
6. Thrice the cost of other brands
4. Mophorn Laser Engraving Machine
Mophorn offers you one of the top CNC plasma tables by providing top-notch functionalities at a reasonable price. It utilizes laser power to cut out the desired shapes from a wide range of materials. So this machine is ideal for those of you who want to explore working on elements other than metal.
You can use this machine to carve out beautiful designs from wood, leather, marble, rubber, ceramics, bamboo, glass, plexiglass and more! Just imagine having a perfectly cut out piece of any of these materials in intricate details at your home or workplace. Besides, you can also satisfy the clients of any small business you own centered around such designed bodies.
It operates using a micro-stepping motor. Having this kind of driver enables the machine to work with many image formats. Along with the usual DXF extension, you can also use this machine to work with images from JPG, JPEG, GIF, BMP, HPGL and DST. Thus, it gives you much more freedom than other competing brands or products.
Another aspect that keeps this machine ahead in our race of the best CNC plasma table for the money is the availability of several sizes. Depending on your requirements, Mophorn lets you pick the right model size. These include cutting areas measured at 12x20 inches, 20x28 inches, 36x24 inches and 55x35 inches. Besides, the range of power also changes from 50 watts to as much as 130 watts!
The corresponding price point also changes with these varying measurements. However, it is still not as expensive as many other choices. That is why many customers expressed their satisfaction with the Mophorn laser engraving machine’s performance. The only complaint they have is the difficult programming. Once you got that covered, all else will seem like a breeze.
1. Five sizes available
2. Micro-stepping motor supports multiple formats
3. Air assist eliminates heat and dangerous gases
4. Can engrave on a wide range of materials
5. Affordable price point
6. Programming is difficult to learn
5. Newlin CNC Gas Oxyfuel Flame Plasma Cutting Table
Another great option for people trying to find the best CNC plasma cutting table is this one from Newlin Machinery. Similar to our previous option, this one also comes in many sizes for catering to the wide range of customers.
You can find them in a total of four sizes. Two of them are adjustable in length from 2 inches to 11 inches. Their widths are 10 feet and 20 feet respectively. In addition to these, there are two other sizes measured at 8x20 feet and 5x8 feet. So you can pick the one which suits your welding needs and available space the most.
Along with plasma, this machine also uses the very efficient Oxyfuel flame for welding. Its localized operation helps the table to cut each part of your design with the utmost precision. If you have been planning to weld any design covering a bit larger area than usual, then this flame can do it for you the best.
If English is not your first language or you are just not comfortable with it, you can change the language settings from its control system. It supports several languages to make the whole process easily understandable for you. This control system reads the U disk file to cut the piece according to your provided drawing.
For making the design, you can use StarCAM or AutoCAD software systems. This machine is compatible with both of these popular drawing softwares. You can use it to cut pieces with thickness from 0.2 to 6 inches. The only disappointing part of this machine is that - it does not offer water tank and other accessories. So you need to purchase them separately.
1. Four sizes available
2. Multilingual control system
3. Both oxyfuel flame and plasma arc cutting
4. Can cut sheets up to 6 inches of thickness
5. Compatible with AutoCAD or StarCAM software
6. Water tank is not included
What Are CNC Plasma Tables?
CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. The CNC plasma table basically cuts metals according to the instructions provided to it via programming codes.
This whole system was put in place since the hand-held torches were incapable of producing smooth and precise cuts for complicated designs. Now the CNC plasma machines manipulate their plasma torch depending on the given code. That is why each machine must be compatible with at least one such software.
How Do They Work?
A compatible software system comes with every plasma machine. It helps the user to both draw and cut out the respective design from metal sheets. Two motors serve as the X-axis and the Y-axis. In some enhanced versions, there also can be a third one named the Z-axis. They take signal inputs from CNC and use it for moving motors.
Factors To Consider While Buying
While going through the possible options for your plasma table, keep the following factors in mind to make a sustainable decision and a worthwhile investment.
Each CNC plasma cutting table comes with a compatible software. This is one of the most significant factors since your machine will fully depend on this software to cut out the design.
Nowadays, there are mainly two kinds of software packages assisting CNC plasma cutting tables. They can be categorized as CAD (Computer Assisted Drawing/Drafting) and CAM (Computer Assisted Machining/Manufacturing). The CAD software enables you to draw the cutting points and then CAM processes it for proper results while cutting.
The CNC plasma tables available at low price points often combine the two. This ensures a seamless transition from the drawing stage to the cutting phase. In the high-end machines, the CAM software is much more sophisticated and loaded with many additional functionalities. Besides, they automate certain finishing touches or extra preparation steps.
Depending on your budget and welding requirements, find out which CNC plasma table offers the best of both worlds in its software.
What the cutting table’s frame is made of matters a lot. Typically, steel and aluminum are the common choices for building the best CNC plasma tables. They both have the ability to carry out any complicated task related to metal cutting. Even though steel may look flimsier than aluminum, they both are equally strong since steel is in fact stronger than aluminum.
So if you are trying to choose between these two, they both score the same as far as strength and competence are considered.
The ventilation system of a CNC plasma table usually refers to how they take care of dust, smoke and similar byproducts. Having a fume control system in place is common for most CNC plasma tables. This system makes sure that the smoke or fume produced in the process does not overload the room or space.
It can be downdraft or water table control in variety. The first one sucks in the debris using filters and eliminates up to 20% of the total amount. On the other hand, the water table control contains the falling debris. The former is preferred over the latter since the water table control system can lead to rust formation on the produced metal figure later.
Motors are the main mechanical component used in a CNC plasma table. There are mainly two kinds of motors used for this - stepper and servo. The former one is incorporated into budget-friendly machines while the latter serves the industrial CNC plasma tables.
While both stepper and servo motors are well-equipped for guaranteeing precision, servo is a step ahead. The servo motors also provide better speed and higher torque. As a result, you get the job done faster with more sophisticated precision. The speed range then varies between 10 inches per minute to 400 inches per minute depending on the sheet thickness.
Before making your final decision, take a good look at the design of each CNC plasma table. Make sure the gantry is light enough to cooperate with the plasma torch. A heavy gantry can make it hard for you to control the torch resulting in slow and inaccurate welding.
CNC plasma tables are not for the weak-hearted. Its sophisticated functionalities require a hefty financial investment and apt practical knowledge. So we would suggest to take some basic lessons regarding welding if you are new to this world.
However, if you have been doing this for a while already, you probably know by now which one is the best CNC plasma table for you. We hope our insights have helped you to reach the most viable decision. So get ready to start welding and create beautiful intricate designs on metals!