As with plasma cutting, you can gouge any electrically conductive metal. The process can be carried out manually (by the operator) or, for optimal results and speed, using a CNC table.

Plasma gouging

By using plasma cutting, you can gouge any electrically conductive metal. You can manually carry out the process (as an operator) or, for optimal results and speed, using a CNC table. The main difference between cutting and gouging is that there is no piercing material in plasma gouging. In other words, during gouging the plasma arc uses the heat to melt the material, then blown off by a gas stream. However, in contrast to cutting, the torch is at an angle, and the generated arc is more extensive. This process’s versatility is vast – from making cuts, through cleaning and preparing the surface to remove rivets. It is a process suitable for many industries like production, steel construction and maintenance.

Plasma vs other gouging methods

Plasma is an excellent alternative to gouging with a carbon electrode or machining methods. This method comprises high quality and homogeneity of the gouges and high processing speed. Additionally, it is also much quieter and less expensive to operate.

Gouging with Powermax Hypertherm system

As in any industrial process, the right equipment selection is an essential issue. Hypertherm’s Powermax plasma cutters are the perfect solution as they include a gouging mode. In addition to that, Hypertherm offers high-quality gouging consumables. They enable the plasma system adaptation to the needs of the manufacturing profile.


In the case of large gouges and intensive cleaning, the Max Removal cover suites best for efficient removal of large quantities of melted material.


The new Max Control cover is designed for low score gouging with high accuracy and easy surface cleaning.

It seems the best solution for operations requiring maximum precision. For example, the removal of point welds, using a precision nozzle and shield in combination with a low (10 A) output current.


HyAccess™ series consumables characterise with their increased length. As a result, they can easily cope with gouging in areas with limited access.

To summarise

As you can see, the application of plasma does not end with just cutting. With the right consumables, you can quickly turn a cutting process into a gouging process. In other words, plasma technology once again proves its versatility.
Would you like to know more about plasma gouging? Feel free to contact us – we will be happy to answer any questions.
As an authorised Hypertherm representative, we will also assist you in the selection and purchase of suitable consumables.

This video presents an example of the gouging process with Powermax 105. Enjoy the video!