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Flame Cutting VS. Plasma Cutting

Publish Date: Dec. 16, 2020 Author: Cherry Publisher: EagleTec CNCModify Date: Dec. 16, 2020

According to our experience, users who plan to purchase CNC plasma cutting machines usually make a comparison like this: flame cutting vs. plasma cutting. Moreover, we can often see a cnc plasma table with both cutting systems. Today, I will go through the whole thing about the differences in cutting materials, thickness, and cost between the two.


Before we dive into the specifics, let's take a look at both machines' basic definitions.

cnc plasma cutting vs. cnc flame cutting

What is a cnc plasma cutting machine?

CNC plasma cutter machine refers to a type of equipment that can cut through electrically conductive materials through an accelerated jet of hot plasma under CNC mode. In the cutting process, gas (such as compressed air) is blown at high speed out of the plasma cutting nozzle; meanwhile, an electrical arc is formed through that gas from the nozzle to the metal surface being cut, turning some of that gas to plasma. The plasma is hot enough to melt the metal materials being cut and moves sufficiently fast to blow molten metal away from the cut.

5x10 cnc plasma cutter table

The CNC plasma cutting system controls when the plasma source starts the arc, when to shut down the arc, and along which route to cut, etc. We should choose an appropriate plasma power according to the thickness of the workpiece to be cut. Of course, the higher the power, the higher the plasma cutter's price, and vice versa.

What is a cnc flame / oxy-fuel cutting machine?

CNC flame / oxy-fuel cutting machine refers to a cnc cut table with the flame cutting torch on it. The CNC system controls the direction of the flame torch, when to "cut," when to stop, and which path to cut along. Finally, complete the cutting of the graphics. The flame fuel can be industrial oxygen with acetylene or propane. The former is of high purity, so it is more popular among the users.

multi torch gantry cnc flame / oxy-fuel cutting machine

Flame cutting vs. plasma cutting

As shown from the above, the two types of machines are mainly different in the following three points.

• Different cutting thickness applications. Because the melting point and thermal deformation of flame cutting are relatively severe, it's better to use a plasma cnc machine to cut the workpiece with a thickness of more than 6mm.

• The cutting materials are different. A flame cutting machine can only cut ordinary carbon steel plates.

Simply because of that, the surface of non-ferrous metals cannot be oxidized, so we need to use a CNC plasma cutting machine to cut them.

• The cost is different.

The initial purchase price of the cnc oxy-fuel cutting machine is relatively low. Still, due to the continuous use of oxy-fuel (industrial propane or acetylene), the use cost is relatively high.

On the contrary, the plasma machine costs more than a flame machine due to the plasma generator's cost. However, it only consumes electricity and plasma consumables during use, so its use cost is relatively low.


EagleTec-CNC focuses on building excellent quality cnc plasma cutting table and providing best support to clients. Welcome your contact.

To view our full machine models, please click plasma cnc for sale


I hope it helps! See you next time.


Original Post from EagleTec CNC

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