The Best Plasma Cutters Made Specifically For CNC Tables

Congratulations, if you are reading this article it sounds like you have purchased a new CNC table or are in the process of doing so. CNC tables take my vote for one of the coolest tools you can have in any garage. With that said, most tables do not come paired with a plasma cutter so you are now asking yourself what’s the best plasma cutter for my CNC table? Luckily there are some really good turn key options that can get you up and running in no time. Today were going to look at some of the most popular choices that most fabricators use and really breakdown what makes a plasma cutter good for a CNC table.

The Best CNC Plasma Cutter We Recommend For Professional Shops

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Hypertherm Powermax 65 w/Machine Torch

If you plan on working with heavier steel in a fast paced production environment the Powermax65 XP is your machine. 65 amps is a ton of power with the capability to cut 5/8 inch steel at 26 inches per minute and 1/2 inch steel at 40 inches per minute. With the easy to use interface port and the great customer support from Hypertherm it makes this machine the best in its class.

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The Is The Best CNC Plasma Cutter We Recommend Under $1000

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Primeweld CUT60 (60 Amp with CNC Port)

The Primeweld CUT60 is a very impressive machine that we have been testing in house and have been absolutely blown away with the results. This machine can make easy clean cuts on 3/4″ mild steel (actually rated for 4/5″, but we like to set our ratings on the conservative side). The cut quality is simply amazing for the price and cannot be beat by any other machine in this price range.

The CUT60 has a CNC port on the back of the machine as well as an included matching plug for easy wiring.

Not only is the performance of this machine great, but the company who makes it provides you with excellent customer support and warranty. This machine comes with a three year warranty (free shipping to and from for repairs) and awesome technical support from the manufacture. Primeweld is going the extra mile to provide USA based support to compete with big names like Hypertherm and Miller.

You won’t find a better machine for the price.

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What Plasma Cutters Can Be Used On A CNC Machine?

Not just any plasma cutter off the shelf can work with a CNC table. You need a machine that is specially equipped with an interface port to ensure that your CNC table can communicate with your plasma cutter. If you buy a plasma cutter without an interface port it will be a time consuming nightmare trying to get it to work correctly. We’ve found that we like Hypertherm’s interface setup the best and highly recommend them new CNC table owners. Hands down, they have the easiest installation with all the parts available to order. They also allow you to purchase machines with CNC machine torchs already installed.

What Is A Vertical Machine Torch And Why Do I Need One?

Typically CNC tables use a “Machine Torch” which is a vertical torch that is easily fastened to the CNC table and replaces the standard 90 degree hand torch you would find on conventional units.

Most machines like the Powermax45 XP have a quick disconnect making switching between a standard torch and a machine torch very easy. No dismantling of the machine is required. If only plan on using your plasma cutter on your CNC table you can order your Hypertherm with a machine torch already installed to save you an extra few dollars.

What Is A CNC Interface Port And Why Do I Need One?

In order for your CNC table to interface with your plasma cutter you need to purchase a machine with an interface port. The picture below shows an example of an interface port on the Hypertherm Powermax45 XP. Also shown is the diagram for that port which you can use to to connect it to your table correctly. If you decide to go with the Powermax45 XP (spoiler alert that’s the machine we recommend for most users) you can find the Powermax45 XP here ( and the CNC interface cable here (

Hypertherm CNC Machine Interface Cable (25 foot) (228350)

Hypertherm makes it very easy to connect one of their machines to your CNC table. This 25 foot cable will plug directly into the back of your Hypertherm plasma cutter and has spades on the opposite end making it easy to connect to your CNC table. This cable will work with the Hypertherm 45, 45xp, 65, 85, 105 and 125.

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How Powerful Of A Plasma Cutter Do I Need For My CNC Table?

When it comes to choosing the amount of amps of your machine for your CNC table you need to consider the average thickness of the metal you’re cutting. Ideally you want to be operating in the optimal cutting range of the machine in order to get cleans cuts and preserve the life of the consumables on the torch.

For example, the Powermax45 XP’s production rating is rated to cut 1/2 inch steel at 24 inches per minute and has a maximum rating of 5/8 inch steel at 16 inches per minute (official spec sheet can be found here). This machine will operate very well being used on 1/2 inch steel and will yield good quality cuts at a good pace. This means that anyone with a average cutting thickness of 1/2 inch or less will find the Powermax45 XP to be there their best value. If your average cutting thickness is 5/8 inch the Powermax45 XP will still perform at that thickness, but you can expect slower cut times. Instead it would be worth upgrading to a more powerful machine like the Powermax65 which is rated to cut 5/8 inch steel at 26 inches per minute (Powermax65 XP on XP Spec Sheet).

Long story short, buying a plasma cutter that is slightly bigger than what you need will give you better results, faster performance and more flexibility.

The following chart gives you a basic representation of efficient use at different cutting thicknesses. This chart created by Lincoln Electric tends to be a bit conservative for the average user, but for a demanding production environment these numbers hold true.

In Conclusion

When investing in a CNC table it can be hard to shell out extra money for a quality plasma cutter because the tables are already so expensive. You have to remember that your table is only as good as the plasma cutter you put on it, so make sure you purchase the right machine the first time. Purchasing a machine with lots of power will give you better performance and better consumable life in the long run. We find that Hypertherm is just simply the best manufacture and they really have worked hard to create the best plug and play machines out there. Get yourself a Hypertherm and never look back.