CNC plasma cutters enable automated cutting of metals. They ensure precise, accurate, neat cuts at all time. Learn about the 5 best CNC plasma cutters.
Some plasma cutters are hand-operated and others are CNC-operated.
CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. CNC tables enable a computer program to direct the torch head, so as to make clean, sharp cuts. It enables the plasma cutter to cut diverse shapes on demand. CNC provides a level of accuracy that you can’t manage with handheld cutting.
This means, in simple words that the plasma cutter is being operated by a computer. The difference between such a computer-operated cut and a hand-operated cut are immense. When you use your hand, the preciseness of the cut will depend on your skill and confidence. While hand-operated cuts vary in quality, CNC tables ensure that cuts are always precise and accurate.
Not all plasma cutters can work with CNC. The following are the five best plasma cutters for CNC.
The following comparison table is a representation of the five CNC plasma cutters to be reviewed below.
|Plasma cutter||Check on Amazon|
|Herocut Cut55 CNC||check price here|
|Everlast PowerPlasma 50S||check price here|
|Dalishi ICUT60P||check price here|
|Saviron LGK-80S||check price here|
|Razorweld PLJRWPC45LT||check price here|
Best Plasma Cutter for CNC Reviews
1. Herocut Cut55 CNC Plasma Cutter – Non-Touch Pilot Arc
This Herocut plasma cutter features a non-HF and non-touch pilot arc. The pilot arc is an innovation which helps minimize interference with electronics when you are cutting. This allows for a more stable cutting arc. Furthermore, it adds to consumables life since they do not touch the metal when starting the arc. Plasma cutters that have a pilot arc are operationally cost-effective.
This plasma cut is equipped with advanced IGBT inverter technology. While some IGBT plasma cutters use high frequency starting technology (HF) and high voltage circuit for the starting process, others use pilot arc starting technology. As a non-HF IBT plasma cutter, this Herocut can make a constant arc with its torch without touching the work piece.
Furthermore, it is able to work with a CNC table. CNC allows for greater precision in cuts than you would manage just working with your hand.
-Works with CNC table
-Make arc without touching work piece
-Stable cutting arc
2. Everlast PowerPlasma 50S Plasma Cutter – Increased Consumable Life
This too is an IBGT plasma cutter, one of the best performing in the market. IBGT technology has proven useful in metal cutting applications. The PowerPlasma 50S can regularly cut a ½ inch and severe nearly 1 inch of thick steel. It provides enough cutting power for your average small fab shop or DIY hobbyist.
It is a small plasma cutter, not bulky, and you can therefore easily find space for it in your working area. Furthermore, this small size contributes to portability and you can therefore handle it with ease when you are working.
This is a new generation Everlast PowerPlasma 50S that has an Italian-designed IPT 60 torch. While the torch has similarities with older series of torches, it actually features improvement such as increased consumables life and a wider range of consumables.
To enable clean, sharp cuts, or complex ones that you can’t manage with the hand, this Everlast has a CNC port which allows for light gauge CNC use. CNC plasma cutters are also useful in workshops to help create decorative framework such as wall art, address signs, commercial & residential signage, and outdoor garden art.
Other features include 50 amps professional cutting power, blow-back start technology, 110/220V dual voltage, and an adjustable post flow timer of up to 60 seconds which prolongs consumables life.
-Can work with CNC
-Increased consumables life
3. Dalishi ICUT60P Plasma Cutter – An IGBT Machine
As an IGBT plasma cutter, the ICUT60P, it has what it takes to succeed at industrial and commercial applications. It puts out 60 amps of power. It can work with a CNC machines, which would help you make more accurate, precise, and diverse types of cuts.
Furthermore, IGBT machines are superior and more stable than MOSFET machines. MOSFET technology is not as good at coping in certain cutting applications when pushed to the limit. IGBT technology is, on the other hand, able to handle diverse types of work. IGBT plasma cutters are the ones preferred by professionals and industrial use.
It is useful in electrical construction, chemical construction, mechanical processing, and family DIY.
For metals like carbon steel, iron, and cast iron, the ICUT60P can cut 16mm. For stainless aluminum, it cuts 13 mm, and for copper it will cut 16 mm.
This machine has a robust adaptability to electricity power grid. It is highly capable of resisting interference, provides automatic voltage compensation, and has a stable cutting current and steady arc.
-Works with CNC
-Able to handle diverse cutting applications
-Able to handle diverse types of metals
-Stable cutting current and steady arc
-Strong adaptability to electricity power grid
-Plug not included
4. Saviron LGK-80S Plasma Cutter – With Minimal Slag
The LGK-80S has a current of 100 amp, and provides an efficient cutting operation thanks to its non-touch pilot arc. It cut through rough or rusty or painted surfaces while producing minimal slag.
Its pilot arc starting technology enables the cutting torch to make a constant arc without touching the tip to the metal you are working on. Working like this reduces operating costs, reduces interference, extends consumable life, and enables a stable cutting arc.
The LGK-80S can cut a thick metal plate easily and quickly. It has a maximum cutting thickness of 30 mm. It cuts stainless steel, copper, carbon steel, and aluminum.
The major hazards of using welding or plasma cutting machines are power-related. The LGK-80S gives you protection against over voltage, over current, and low voltage, so it’s safe to use.
-Works with CNC
-Extended consumable life
-Stable cutting arc
-Non-touch pilot arc
5. Razorweld PLJRWPC45LT Plasma Cutter – Compact and Efficient
This Razorweld provides high performance and cutting capacity in spite of its compact size. The custom-designed sure-grip torch, the Razorweld makes for a seamless cutting operation.
It is a small yet highly efficient machine that you will easily find space for in your workshop. The small size also means that it’s a portable device. It has a euro-connection quick-release torch feature which enhances portability and enables you to quickly interchange compatible torches, when the need arises.
It is a single phase inverter cutter machine.
It is also user-friendly, easy to operate in terms of settings. It has a 2T/4T function which reduces the fatigue of operating the machine. In addition, it has a simple 20-45 amp dial that enables you to change the cutting capacity. It has a built-in handle which makes it easy for you to grab on and work.
The low-frequency pilot arc start also ensures consistent and reliable operator ignition without interference to nearby electrical devices.
-Works with CNC
-High performance and cutting capacity
-Lightweight and portable
-Preset air adjustment
Understanding CNC Plasma Cutters
Plasma cutters are either handheld or CNC-operated.
Handheld torches are ideal for quickly cutting through metal plates, sheet metal, pipes, bolts, straps, and so forth. They are also good gouging tools, for back-gouging weld joints or removing defective welds. You can use a hand torch to cut small shapes from steel plate. However, it is not possible to achieve good enough accuracy or edge quality for most metal fabrication, which is why we need CNC plasma cutters
The CNC plasma system is a machine which moves its plasma torch in a computer-directed path. The computer directs the machine’s motion using numerical codes in a program.
Handheld vs Mechanized Plasma Cutters
CNC cutters typically use a different type of plasma system then the handheld ones. Their type of system is specifically designed for mechanized cutting rather than handheld cutting.
Mechanized plasma systems feature a straight-barreled torch, and an interface which can be controlled automatically by the CNC.
Some entry-level CNC machines can carry a torch designed for handheld cutting. However, machines designed for intensive manufacturing or fabrication tend to have a mechanized torch and plasma system.
Parts of the System
A CNC could be two things. It could be an actual controller specially designed for machine tools, featuring a proprietary interface panel and a specially designed control consol. On the other hand, it could be something as simple as a Windows-based laptop running a software program that communicates with the machines drives via Ethernet port.
Many entry-level machines, HVAC machines, and some precision unitized machines operate with a laptop or desktop computer as their controller.
The torch’s motions are controlled by the CNC. A part program, which is typically a text file containing M-codes and G-codes describes the part’s contours and instructs when to turn the torch on or off.
Part programs are typically written by a post-processor, which is a software that takes part geometry from a CAD file and translates it into G-codes and M-codes that the CNC can read.
The CNC plasma cutter also needs a drive system. The drive system consists of motors, drive amplifiers, encoders, and cables. There should be at least two motors: for the X-axis and Y-axis. Each motor has its own drive amplifier, turns a low-power signal from the CNC into a higher-powered signal that indicates how far the axis has moved.
The motor receives the power from the amplifier via cables which also transport position signals from the encoder back to the CNC.
After reading the part program, the CNC outputs signals to the machine’s drive system. In response, the drive system causes the torch to move in the desired direction and at the programmed speed.
The CNC reads the feedback from the encoder, making necessary corrections to the drive signals to ensure the torch remains on the programmed path.
All the electronics that make up the CNC and drive system communicate and work super-rapidly. They measure and update position information every few milliseconds. As a result, the machine has a smooth motion that is accurate enough to produce plasma-cut parts that have a straight, smooth, consistent edge quality and precise part dimensions.
CNC plasma systems have an I/O system – that is an electrical system which handles inputs and outputs. It is that enables the CNC to turn on the plasma at the appropriate time – for instance by turning o an output that closes a relay. The CNC uses inputs to know that the plasma arc has started and is ready for movement. These are the basic necessary inputs and outputs, but there can be many more.
There are many features and subsystems. These include arc voltage height control systems, integrated plasma systems, plasma bevel systems, and so forth. However, the features we have described above are the basics of a CNC plasma cutter and as such are common to all CNC plasma machines, even the simplest ones.
Picking a plasma cutter is not an easy choice, particularly if you narrow it down to those that can be operated with computer numerical control. With the reviews and information provided in this article, however, you are now equipped with information about CNCC plasma cutters and you will have an easier time picking one.
We too had a trying time, picking the best out of these five plasma cutters. We picked the Saviron LGK-80S. It is a 100-amp machine, with a simple operation and smooth cutting surface. It has a non-touch pilot arc that efficiently cuts through rough or painted surfaces.
For our runner’s up, we picked the Herocut Cut55. It is a 50-amp plasma cutter, with non-HF and non-touch pilot arc. It has an inverter, built-in regulator, and dual voltage.
That’s our take, but what about you – which would be your first choice?