Powermax 45XP -- consumable life?

Here’s the back side of the stainless plate…

…and here’s a pic of the nozzle:

The nozzle is shot, the shield should be changed so I am guessing the electrode is also bad.

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In addition to the nozzle being shot (way too big a hole - it’s blown out), @langmuir-daniel mentioned that the pierce delays in the HT manual were much too slow. I haven’t done a ton of experimenting with the new Pro yet, but if he’s right then you’ll need a long pierce delay too.

Pierce delay I use on 3/16 mild steel is .5 .8 is way too fast for that. also make sure on the front of your machine you aren’t on gouge mode. Read your instruction book and it will show you its the top light that needs to be on.
Change consumables and test on some mild steel, then slow everything down and cut the stainless. You man manually slow or speed it up right in Mach 3. make sure you have a good ground.

Good point on Gouge mode! The cut certainly was behaving like that but didn’t think to look at the power supply to check the setting…

Thanks for all the tips everyone. I’ll update this post with a pic of a successful exhaust flange cut once complete! :slight_smile:


  1. The pierce delays in the Hypertherm manual are dead on. The delay measurement starts when contact closure is sensed on pins 12 and 14 (Arc Transferred signal contact closes when current is sensed on the work cable, indicating the arc has transferred and started cutting metal). If the Langmuir interface does not use this signal…then yes the pierce delay would be off. That is not your problem…from the nozzle it looks as though you may be attempting to pierce and cut at the cut height (which is .060"). Look on the cut chart in the operators manual for your Hypertherm and you will see the pierce height listed…on materials thicker than 3/16" you can destroy the nozzle orifice on one pierce if you do not pierce at the cut height. My suggestion…since you do not have a torch height control: make a cut file with all of the pierce points, Adjust torch to work distance to the pierce height listed in the operators manual for the material and thickness your are cutting. Pierce all the holes. Next, readjust torch to the cut height and have another cut file that edge starts aon the prepierced holes…you will now get nice cuts without damaging the nozzle orifice. There is a section in your manual called “consumable inspection”. Chances are your electrode is fine. Height control is necessary in my opinion! Jim Colt (41 years at Hypertherm)

Great ideas Jim–thank you! I was actually thinking about doing exactly as you suggest given i’m cutting 3/8" material…Keep you posted on my outcome!


The pierce delays in the HT manual are spot on, I can attest to that. I’ve cut up to 1/2" so far and if anything, some of them in the 1/4" range are a little too LONG as I can see the arc cut through almost instantly and the torch move half a second later. Definitely a consumable issue, replace them all. The nozzle is obvious and If the molten metal splashed back into the shield from piercing too low, that shield is toast and shouldn’t be used.

Just a heads up Amazon sells some knock off consumables for less than half the price. I have both a hand torch and a CNC torch and so far I have only used them in the hand torch. There is no noticeable difference in cut quality and physically if you get the matching ones I couldn’t tell the difference between them either. They are worth a try and at the very least you could use them for every day use and save your expensive name brands for when your expectations are higher. Though I think they are perfect for everything.

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Aftermarket consumables for Hypertherm torches will save you some cash at the time of purchase, however they will cost your more with shorter life (cut quality drops off much faster than with the genuine consumables). Often the result is catastrophic premature failure of the electrode…which if you do not hit the stop switch quick enough will destroy the nozzle , shield and possibly damage the torch body. The copied consumables also are illegal, patent infringing copies that eliminate US jobs. Hypertherm consumables are all made in Lebanon, NH, USA by employee owners of Hypertherm. The aftermarket parts are produced of different copper alloys, the electrode hafnium emitter is bonded to the copper body using simple techniques (Hypertherm has a patented proprietary manufacturing process), and consumable part stack-up tolerances are way off factory specs. A torch damaged by incorrect consumables can be costly. Jim Colt


I took a chance on the Jack and Dave crap on Amazon.I bought the fine cut consumables to try and wish I hadnt.Im not sure how they have such good reviews on there.The problems I had with them was they would just stop cutting then start again.Thst was my experience but other may have fared better.

Knock-off consumables are maybe fine for guys hand cutting steel in the shop when you can use the consumables untill they stop working BUT to use them on a CNC table is just asking for trouble and frustrations. If the end of the life comes durring a programed cut your risking ruining a sheet of stock that you paid good money for and your not able to stop that program fast enough to not put your torch at risk.
OEM consumables last long enough that they work out cheap enough for what you get out of them.
The cheap China crap could cost you more in the long run and they sent us a virus we should never forget.

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I tried using the .01s pierce delay on the 16 gauge material I’ve been cutting and the machine moves way before the cuts is pierced. I’m assuming that’s how the crossfire pro with THC works. Daniel on Facebook told me to increase it to 1s, I’ve been using it a .6s with good luck, I just do not understand why the machine moves before cut is made using Hyperhterm’s book settings. @langmuir-daniel

It may be on my end though, because I haven’t been using the USB coupler and I messaged Langmuir on Instagram for that and they sent me a picture of how it’s supposed to be.

The reason is because the book setting delay times start AFTER the arc starts. There is a sizeable delay between when the torch is triggered and when the arc starts. In a future firmware release we plan on giving users the option to have pierce delay start after arc voltage is sensed by the THC, but for now you must account for the delay between trigger on and arc on.


Hypertherm systems equipped with a machine torch and the rear panel CPC port have a signal called “arc transfer” (pins 12 and 14 on the CPC port). This signal is a dry relay contact closure that closes every time the arc current is sensed on the work cable. This very accurately provides a signal that the cutting arc has started. As soon as this contact closure occurs you should then use the exact pierce delay times listed in the operators manual. Jim Colt


@langmuir-daniel Will this information be used to improve future firmware/software updates?

Yes its always been in the plans, its actually very simple to implement softwarewise, but the biggest challenge is being able to support functionality with and without THC (where you dont have a voltage signal to start the delay timer from).

That’s great news. As a software engineer I feel your pain.

Have they upgraded this yet in firecontrol? I have a 45xp, thank you