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Best CNC Plasma Machines For Beginners

Quality and intuitive CNC plasmas for beginners are the best way to help entry-level workers and hobbyists get a feel for their machines without the frustrations of working with cheap equipment. 

With so many CNC plasma machine manufacturers to choose from, it can be challenging to find a machine that will help you maintain high-quality production standards while making operation easy for a beginner. 

We’re here to simplify your search.

This article will highlight what you should look for when shopping for the best entry-level CNC plasma machines.

What Makes Good CNC Plasmas For Beginners?

CNC plasma machine for beginners

Versatility, precision, and efficiency are non-negotiables when it comes to the right machines for the job. The best CNC plasmas for beginners combine features that make it easy for beginners to get their projects done with little hassle.

When looking for the best entry-level plasma machine, look for the following features:

User-Friendly CNC Control

Some CNC plasma machines use computer-based operations.

Since these machines are built for high-production settings — such as industrial — you will have no problem deploying these plasma machines for smaller-scale operations, such as hobbyist pursuits, individual workshops, and compact fabrication shops with modest production requirements. 

CNC plasmas for beginners help strategically manage costs for those in the realm of solo ventures and beginners working in smaller establishments. For added functionality, consider opting for a CNC plasma table equipped with an onboard diagnostic system, ensuring seamless and trouble-free maintenance.


While numerous brands excel in delivering superior motion control and precision, their costs often surpass the budgets of small shops, hobbyists, and beginners. However, select brands to manage to provide industrial-grade capabilities at a price point suitable for entry-level CNC plasma tables. 

Additionally, beginners should consider companies that extend flexible payment options and financing, alleviating the burden of a substantial up-front payment. 

CAD/CAM Software

Certain CNC plasmas for beginners come equipped with integrated CAD/CAM software — and computers capable of running the software — streamlining the transition from design to cutting with remarkable efficiency. This feature empowers smaller shops to seamlessly draw and trim pieces directly on the shop floor, right at the machine. 

This integrated software’s convenience expedites the process and enhances the overall workflow for more agile and responsive operations in compact workspaces.

Popular software includes products like Fusion 360, Vectric Aspire, and Vectric Vcarve Pro. These products can help beginners learn more quickly since they come packed with user-friendly features and resources.

Torch Height Control

Certain plasma tables forego torch height control (THC) to cut down on the overall cost of the plasma cutting system. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to understand that height control is pivotal in ensuring edge angularity and prolonging the table’s lifespan. 

A plasma torch with torch height control automatically adjusts its position, raising or lowering based on its proximity to the metal surface. This feature is excellent for beginners still learning the basics and ensuring they don’t accidentally damage the machine.

What Can I Make With a CNC Plasma Machine?

CNC plasma tables are useful for various settings, including fabrication shops, automotive repair facilities, industrial structural steel facilities, and construction companies. 

A CNC plasma machine is perfect for custom fabrication and sheet metal shops and lets you create:

  • Construction brackets and hardware
  • Signs and decor
  • Precise holes and unique complex shapes

Now that you know what you should look for in the best CNC plasmas for beginners, let’s look at a few machines that exceed these expectations. 

The SideKick CNC Plasma 

beginner cnc machine

The SideKick CNC plasma machine is a great entry point for beginners. This plasma machine is ideal for manufacturing plants, automotive shops, fabrication facilities, and educational institutions. 

The SideKick comes ready to use within minutes of arriving at your facility, so beginners can jump right in without worrying about assembly. 

There are four models to choose from: SideKick 4, SideKick 8, SideKick 10, and SideKick 12.

Crossfire XR Plasma Machine

Entry-level machines shouldn’t break the bank, but they shouldn’t compromise on quality, either. The Crossfire XR Plasma system from ShopSabre gives beginners the performance they need to work like the pros. 

This spacious 4×8 machine comes equipped with a Windows OS Control PC and Automatic Torch Height Control. It is backed by Langmuir Systems XR Support and Fire Share, giving beginners the resources and community support needed for quality productions. 

The Crossfire XR features a heavy-duty 750lb C-channel frame, making it easy to work with materials up to 1” thick steel. The machine also has a 65-gallon water table for a reliable foundation and precise cuts.

The starting price tag for this machine is perfect for beginners.

Don’t Overlook Customer Support 

A reliable CNC plasma machine makes a beginner’s job easier, but there is always the possibility of difficulties with the hardware or software. When looking for a CNC plasma machine, make sure you take the manufacturer’s customer support into account.

For example, ShopSabre offers 24/7 support, ensuring beginners can confidently navigate their new machines. If you encounter any challenges, our dedicated customer care team is ready to troubleshoot and identify the underlying issues, ensuring a swift resolution and allowing you to resume your project seamlessly.

Ongoing Training 

The best CNC plasmas for beginners make it easy for entry-level workers and hobbyists to learn quickly, but a quality manufacturer provides more than just good hardware. 

A key sign that you’ve discovered a top-notch beginner CNC plasma system is the addition of training and educational resources to optimize machine utilization. With ShopSabre’s SabreNation, you can unlock the full potential of your CNC plasma table, enabling you to produce outstanding products.

Start Strong With ShopSabre

If you’re in the market for the best CNC plasmas for beginners, you’ve come to the right place. 

Whether you’re starting at a small manufacturing business specializing in woodworking or metal cutting or a beginner hobbyist, ShopSabre’s American-made CNC plasmas for beginners are the perfect starting point.

ShopSabre is the industry’s go-to CNC plasma machine supplier, offering precision and quality that can’t be matched. Get in touch with us today online or at 952-461-4570.

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