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What Is the Difference Between a Water Table and Downdraft?

Publish Date: Oct. 25, 2022 Author: Cherry Publisher: EagleTec CNC Modify Date: Oct. 25, 2022

When we decide to buy a cnc plasma table for our metal fabrication shop, usually, there are two choices for us to make: which machine table is better for my job: down draft or water table?


Before discussing which is better, we first need to know the two table models.


What Is a Down Draft Table?

The CNC plasma down draft table uses a downdraft system under the plasma machine table. The design tapers down under the table to exhaust duct, which is connected to the fan at the end of the machine base. Then the smoke and dust will be removed through the fan's rotation during the metal processing.

What Is the Difference Between a Water Table and Downdraft?cid=2

What Is the Water Table?

The water table on cnc plasma machine means that the machine table is like a sink that can contain water. We put the metal sheet under the water during cutting. Through the water, the heat, dust, and smoke are captured. We need to adjust the water level according to different materials or thicknesses. The table has a sump that can drain the water when you do not use the machine.

water table for cnc plasma cutter

So what are the differences between the two tables? Which one is better? Let's make a comparison in detail.

• For cnc plasma machine with a down draft table, there is no need to make changes once we set up the machine system. While for the water table, we need to adjust the water level according to different situations.


• Replacing the filter is straightforward compared to frequent pumping, silt removal, and water refill. Using the downdraft table, we only need to change the filter regularly (the average is from 1 to 2 years, depending on your frequency.) A downdraft table is easier to maintain than a water table.


• For down draft tables, dust and waste are usually collected in hoppers for simple disposal. We do not need to work out how to deal with the sludge and polluted water.


• There would be no restrictions on the region's temperature if you chose a cnc plasma cutter with a downdraft table. The water in unheated shops or cold areas will freeze, so the cnc plasma machine with a water table is unfriendly for winter.

• During metal processing, the water table has the following potential risks: water becoming hot and splashing out, machine operator being slipped or scalded.


• For rust-prone materials, a downdraft table is more proper than a water table.


Using a downdraft table, we don't need to dry the metal pieces after cutting.

I guess you must know which table is better from the above description. So the water table does not have the slightest advantage? Of course, the answer is no. Compared with a downdraft table, a water table type cnc plasma machine costs less at the initial purchase since it does not need to add an exhaust fan and filter. But its low initial investment cannot cover the inconvenience caused during later use.


I hope everyone can get an ideal cnc plasma table for your metal fabrication shop. If you are looking to purchase a cnc plasma table, you are welcome to contact EagleTec CNC.


Some popular plasma machines you may be interested in:

5x10 cnc plasma table

New style affordable cnc plasma table


Original Post from EagleTec CNC

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