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August 25, 2020

Why high-definition plasma cutting is worth the additional cost

By scribe


In the grand scheme of shop work and production, CNC is a relatively young technology still experiencing constant innovation and advancement as technicians aim to further perfect their craft. Everything from finishing and sensory capabilities to dust collection and the structures of CNC plasma tables themselves has grown to help shape the present and future of the industry.

Among these latest advancements is the advent of high-definition plasma cutting. Here’s a closer look at what HD plasma is and how it can quickly prove to be a worthwhile investment in the shop.

What is high-definition plasma cutting?

High-definition CNC plasma cutting tables are specifically designed to cut steel of all grades and thicknesses. Also often referred to as high-def plasma, HD plasma, or high-density plasma, this technology is a bit more expensive but can frequently be worth the investment when compared to more basic plasma cutting techniques.

HD plasma cutting vs. low-cost plasma cutting

Plasma cutting involves sending gas from a nozzle through an electrical arc that creates plasma hot enough to cut through metal. Low-cost plasma systems can leave aluminum workpiece surfaces covered in aluminum oxide, which can cause a rough feel that requires additional grinding. Similar effects can be seen when cutting stainless steel, resulting in a nickel oxide covering on the workpiece.

High-def plasma cutting utilizes a smaller nozzle that tightens the plasma stream, resulting in cleaner, more precise edges, and dross-free cuts. HD CNC plasma cutting tables can deliver 3,000-plus starts as opposed to the 500 or so typically seen with lower-cost machines, resulting in increased efficiency without sacrificing any precision or cut quality.

Key benefits of high-definition plasma cutting

Investing in a high-definition CNC plasma cutting table can come across as a difficult decision, as they’re not sure if the returns will truly be worth the cost. Here are five of the greatest benefits HD plasma can provide to ensure your purchase delivers on its investment.


High-def plasma cutting achieves clean, precise edges a more basic CNC plasma table simply can’t achieve, in addition to helping avoid warping that can take place when working with thinner metals. HD plasma works to remove impurities from the workpiece while cutting to produce weld-ready cut surfaces.


Because of its ability to deliver upwards of 3,000 starts, high-definition plasma cutting is able to cut more quickly – especially when working with thinner metals. It is also more efficient on non-linear cuts than most alternative methods such as oxy-fuel cutting machines.


HD plasma excels in cutting steel and non-ferrous metals, and can effectively cut mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Other methods such as oxy-fuel can’t cut aluminum or stainless steel because they don’t support the oxidization process.


High-density plasma cutters are specifically built and refined for increased durability and long-lasting consistency, capable of supporting a longer consumable life than low-cost options.


As with all CNC machines, high-definition CNC plasma cutting tables take much of the work out of the equation by allowing operators to enter project codes and let the computer do the work. These automation capabilities make it easy to complete mid-to-large-scale projects without having to perform manual cuts or excessive workpiece resets.

Optimize your CNC work with help from ShopSabre

Our world-leading CNC machines provide precision, efficiency, and total versatility to help aspiring hobbyists and full-time commercial shop owners alike produce truly outstanding results with a fraction of the labor.

Here are a few of the primary reasons ShopSabre is able to develop and produce such revolutionary technology:

  1. Experienced in-house engineering talent
  2. The ability to totally fabricate and test designs onsite
  3. The ability to place the designs into production in-house

These are just a few of the advantages of being an American machine tool manufacturer. Shop our unmatched collection of CNC routers and CNC plasmas in Minneapolis today to experience the way CNC was meant to be.

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