Lead-in versus delay

I read through this forum quite a bit, and it’s left me with some questions. It seems it’s best to go with zero delay if using lead-in, so would you use no lead-in if using a delay?

I’m trying to cut 16ga and having a heck of time. My best go so far is:

35 amps
70 ipm
lead-in 0.055
angle 90
dist 0
delay 0.3

Thanks for any help/info


I just cut a shit ton of 14g this morning, 35amp, 155ipm, .15s pierce 3mm arc lead in. Have you set your delay to milliseconds? If not, that .3 isn’t doing really .3, it’s still 1 second. General config, check the box “delay in milliseconds” or something like that, far right side near top… the for .3 seconds enter 300 for the delay… It’s a bug in mach… I have always used both… the delay is for the torch to go from pilot arc to cutting arc, then punch throught the metal. Then it starts the cut sweeping into the nominal cut line so that the machine is at speed once it starts cutting. If you use a small lead in, your going to have holes at the beginning of your pierce point… Like these… These were just lines so no avoiding it… I could have used no delay probably, but it would still happen to some extent…


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Thanks Dicky.

This is a close up of my test pattern so to speak. A one inch circle and one inch square, Can barely see where the torch started/ended.

Use a lead-in of .01 (since you suggested 3mm)
Lead in angle of 90 (is that too great?)
Lead in dist of 0 (had 0.1 not sure I changed it)
Pierce delay of 300 ms

Ran at 35 amps cutting at 120 rpm

Any other suggestions? Sure appreciate your help.

My rules of thumb for lead-in & lead-out are distance = twice the kerf and an angle of 60degrees or shallower so the torch doesn’t just get settled and then need to make an abrupt right angle turn to be on the line - let it slide in a bit more gradually.

Looks like you nailed it! I always do like James says too.

Thanks guys, what do you like for a lead in radius?