Home / Automotive Reviews / Best Plasma Cutter For The Money (Reviews & Guide)

Best Plasma Cutter For The Money (Reviews & Guide)

/
2153 Views

The world is made up matter. Plasma is among the four fundamental elements of matter. The other three states of matter are solid, liquid and gas, with plasma being the fourth. Unlike the other three states, plasma has very different properties.

Due to its unique properties, it is used for many things, including cutting through materials that can conduct electricity. This is where finding the best plasma cutter for the money comes into play. Quality plasma Cutters have revolutionized how metal and electrically compatible objects are cut.

Anyone who has not yet embraced this technology is missing out on an excellent opportunity to save costs, time, and energy. In the market, there are several plasma cutters, and go over our plasma cutter reviews to become more aware before making the final purchase.

Table of Contents Show

Top 15 Best Plasma Cutter For the Money

RankingsNamePrice and More Details
#1
Lotos LTP5000D 50AMP Pilot Arc Plasma CutterClick Here
#2
Hypertherm Powermax45 American Build EditionClick Here
#3
Ramsond Cut 50dx Plasma SytemClick Here
#4
Thermal Dynamics CutmasterClick Here
#5
Hobart Airforce 40i Plasma CutterClick Here

1. Hypertherm Powermax45 Plasma Cutters

Hypertherm Powermax 45 with dual voltage plasma cutter

Key Features

  • Supports many accessories
  • Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP 088121
  • Comes at a minimum price
  • Includes 20 ft. torch
  • Pairs with the CNC table

The Hypertherm Powermax45 is our first top pick for its portability and ease of use. Its smart sensor makes this unit the top cutters for the money, and it allows you save lots of time by providing a superior quality of cuts. Additionally, it is super light weight and small in size.

Also, you can achieve fast cuts with a patented tech that is 1.5 times greater than other conventional systems. Do you plan to make cuts of huge objects that occupy a larger space? This is the one to go for. It is sufficiently large and also well able to manage such much larger loads.

Besides it can be paired and it work well with a table that is specifically designed to work efficiently. Why not get hold of it and deploy it for that role? We consider this product one of the best plasma cutters available on the market today.

Pros
  • Reduces grinding
  • Provides a superior quality cut with less working time
  • Can cut up to 16mm of thickness
  • Easy to set up and use especially for those first-time users
  • Lightweight and small in size providing excellent portability
Cons
  • Expensive system

2. PrimeWeld Cut50 Plasma Cutter

The PrimeWeld Cut50 Plasma Cutter is the best for the money

Key Features

  • HF non-touch arc-starting style
  • 50 Amps under 220V system
  • Frequency 50 and 60 Hz
  • 75 PSI@ 5 CFM air pressure

If all you want is to impact metals that are heavily rusted or greasy, you have no better friend and companion. It basically gives you the leeway to start the arc without necessarily having the wires touch the workpiece. A convenient automatic dual-voltage capability also exists as part and parcel of this machine.

It sees to it that you run the various voltages with limited hassles in your part. By its stature and construction, it pierces through rusty, painted, and rough surfaces with absolute ease. Then again it suffers minimal slag in the course of tackling the various chores.

Pros
  • Switches back and forth many voltages
  • Cuts a variety of objects
  • Tackles the painted metal as well
  • Lasts fairly longer
Cons
  • Comes at a great cost
  • Likely to injure you if handled recklessly

3. Lotos LT5000D Plasma Cutter

Lotos plasma cutter brand is very reliable

Key Features

  • 50 Amp Digital Inverter Plasma
  • Automatic Dual Voltage / Dual Frequency (110/220V 50/60Hz)
  • PAPST Advanced German Cooling System
  • Max Severance Thickness: 3/4″
  • Max Cut Thickness: 1/2″

The Lotos LTP5000D model is the latest Lotos tech for plasma cutters. It is a 50Amp Non-touch Pilot Arc device with a dual voltage of 110 and 220. Its manufacturer describes it as a 1/2 inch clean tool.

According to customer reviews, the Lotos works best on the latter voltage 220V but also works quite effectively at 110V. For this product to be used well, a person will need two items: an air hose which has a female connector. With a female connector, one can easily connect and disconnect the air inlet.

The other essential element is the air compressor that comes with this high quality plasma cutter. Planning to cut across numerous surfaces? You have to pick and use a similarly versatile device of this kind. Lotos plasma cutter is one of the best cutter for the money.

Pros
  • It is a dual voltage model with a choice between the 110V and the 220V
  • Can effectively be used for personal use, other than commercial use
Cons
  • The 110V voltage does not work as well as the 220 Voltage
  • A person needs to buy their plug for the 110V and the 220V since it does not come with its plugs
  • As much as the cut is impeccable, it is larger compared to other personal welders

4. SungoldPower 50A Plasma Cutter

SungoldPower 50A good tools for working on cars

Key Features

  • Advanced Inverter IGBT Tech
  • Automatic Dual Voltage / Dual Frequency
  • Has an Digital LCD display
  • Easy read front panel air-pressure gauge

This SungoldPower is the one to look up to if you do happen to change your locations every now and then. It is pretty portable and hence convenient to deploy remotely. Its flagship trait is the IGBT tech that makes it far more stable and superior to the ordinary machines of its nature.

It uses of the most advanced inverters to be able to discharge the stream of plasma that is subsequently used for multiple tasks. Moreover, it is also elaborated by the use of impact-resistant materials. That also makes it last longer not to mention guaranteeing elongated length of service.

Pros
  • Delivers a powerful stream of plasma
  • Portable to move around with ease
  • More superior and stable
  • Operates on dual voltage and frequency
  • Displays the metrics for you to note
Cons
  • Lacking in some traits or features
  • Demands too much time and expertise to handle

5. Hypertherm Powermax 30 XP Plasma Cutter

Hypertherm Powermax 30 XP Welder

Key Features

  • Plug adapters included with the set
  • Duramax LT torch design
  • Impact resistant objects
  • Comes with a hard case
  • Adapts to 110 V – 240 V input power

The Hypertherm PowerMax30 XP has a casing and is an American edition with a two in one version. It has a capability of cutting thicker metallic surfaces as well as delicate materials which need exceptional precision. These portable plasma cutters are well packaged and the weight is easy to handle.

Additionally, these Hypertherm PowerMax 30 cutters come with consumables such as plugs that could be used for both the 120V and the 240V circuits. Also, it comes with shaded glass, a carrier case, and a shield mask and even gloves. Could it be that you want to cut for a prolonged duration of time?

Set your eyes on this unit as it is the one that is optimized for the matters of maximum comfort. Moreover, it is also manufactured by the use of impact-resistant materials. That also makes it last longer not to mention guaranteeing elongated length of service. You can find the pros and cons of the PowerMax30 XP below:

Pros
  • It can cut with precise accuracy
  • A very light in weight, with a well-designed carrier
  • Does not require any explosive gases
  • Use with both 120v or 220v
Cons
  • It can be speedy
  • Person has to be steady to achieve a clean cut

6. Ramsond Cut 50dx Plasma Cutter System

Precise plasma cutter machine with a good tourch included

Key Features

  • Ramsond CUT 50DX 50 Amp Inverter
  • Comes with an integrated Digital Display
  • Computer numerical control
  •  1-Inch Max Cut Thickness: 3/4-Inch

The Ramsond Cut 50dx is our fourth top pick for its impressive 60 percent duty cycle performance. The sever cuts production is excellent with a maximum of a 1-inch thickness of steel cutting capability. With its integrated pressure gauge, this Ramsond machine is by far the best plasma cutter for the money.

If you happen to change locations every now and then, you want a model that can guarantee your performance regardless of where exactly you may be at any given time. By virtue of allowing for dual voltage performance, no other cutter comes even close to this. Read the pros and cons to understand why you should consider making use of this one for your on-the-go applications.

Pros
  • Uses V-MOSFETs Inverter for an incredible 60 percent duty cycle
  • Compact and portable handle that is fully insulated
  • Pulse width modulation tech that provides constant and precise uniform cuts
  • Amazing dual voltage for 110 and 220 volts power capabilities
  • Extremely lightweight with only 19 pounds
Cons
  • Poor cuts for large thicknesses of metal
  • Works excellent for thin surfaces

7. Eastwood Versa Plasma Cutter

Eastwood Versa affordable equiptment for professionals

Key Features

  • 60 Amps Output plasma cutter
  • Cuts Up To 7/8″ 220V Input
  • This cutter comes with a 20′ Torch Cable;
  • 10′ Ground Cable with Clamp
  • Air Compressor Requirements: 5-7 Cfm @ 60 Psi

The Versa cut60 plasma is a sharp cutter. It can easily slice materials that are 7 or even 9 inches thick. Not only does it cut through the thick metals, but it also cuts through any surface and has a neat cut to it.

Its built-in pilot arc allows an operator to have stability and precision when you cut. It happens to have an in-built moisture separator which would enable only clean air to pass through the plasma torch. Its flagship trait is the torch cable that measures a whopping 20 feet.

For multiple applications, we vouch for no other cutter than this one. It is extremely powerful and truly reliable enough to be able to pierce through extremely thin materials. You use this to channel the flow of the plasma to the exact spot where you need it to be.

Pros
  • Has a build-in arc which makes it more stable while in use
  • Its output is 60Amp, which makes it very appropriate to use
Cons
  • The one metal which this cutter can cut well is steel.
  • It does an ok with the rest like steel stainless steel.

8. Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter

Hobart Airforce 12ci that can operate with ease

Key Features

  • Built-In Air Compressor 120V
  • Smaller heat-affected zone
  • Has no pressure settings

The 500564 Airforce 12i is the way to go if one needs a cheap plasma cutter that works perfectly at home or in small welding environments. It works perfectly in harsh environments but is comfortable to use.

This unit is perfect to work at 104 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures, but keep in mind that it produces low quality cuts for thick surfaces. Inverter technology also forms a vital part of this unit. It furnishes the powerful cutting capability that pierces through the strongest steel with ease.

Without a doubt this is a small plasma cutter that any mechanic add to their garage. Lacking in the strong and heavy muscles? Pick a portable plasma cutter that is easier to carry around like this one.

It comes ready assembled and ripe for use. Furthermore, it can work in touch environments with a 35% rated duty cycle at 104F degrees, but has an inbuilt coolant which enables a comfortable working environment.

Pros
  • You don’t need a separate air compressor
  • It is convenient to use
  • Cuts about 4 or 5 inches comfortably
Cons
  • Does not have a CNC plasma torch
  • Not CNC compatible.
  • Poor quality

9. Everlast PowerPlasma Air Plasma Cutter

Everlast PowerPlasma Air Plasma Cutter

Key Features

  • 80 Amp CNC compatible plasma cutter
  • Comes with an inverter type cutter @ 60% duty cycle
  • Maximum cut for quality @ 10-12 IPM (Steel) 1 1/4″
    Adjustable Post Flow (power plasma only) controls

The Everlast PowerPlasma is not a cheap plasma cutter. It is a multipurpose Welder with dual voltage, i.e., 110V and 220V. Also, It is an excellent tool for portable duties since it is a quality tool. It is also great at repairs that have to do with thick jobs.

Do you need a great cutter? Choose this powerful, stable, and durable cutting tool as it is better for constant usage. Thanks to the easy cut tech, it also pierces through the painted and rusty metal with absolute precision.

Look no further this is one of the best plasma cutters for your money. However, warranty may be limited to some countries. Perfect if you are looking for a low power consumption device. Also, It boasts of an easy starting as it makes use of the pilot arc to do so.

Pros
  • Clean and smooth cut on any metal that comes in its way
  • It has a low electric power consumption due to its excellent inverter technology
  • Has a protection circuit which warns the user when they are using more electricity than required
  • Has excellent arc stability which means one can have neat cuts
Cons
  • According to some users, instruction that comes with it does not help much
  • The warranty does not cover some countries

10. Hobart Airforce 27i With Built in Air Compressor Plasma Cutter

With 50 percent duty cyles for energy savings

Key Features

  • Built-in Air Compressor
  • Cuts quicker than oxy fuel
  • Smaller heat-affected zone
  • No pressure settings

The Hobart Airforce 27i has a cutting ability of 3/8 and 5/8 mild steel. It is not a cheap plasma cutter because of its wind tunnel tech that reduces the amount of debris and dust that is pulled into the unit. Also, we recommend the Airforce 27i for those who are looking to cut metal thickness between 1/4 and 3/9 inches.

Additionally, It comes with a built-in compressor and lightweight tech. Many materials of these kinds demand that you attach an external air compressor to be able to make it capable of cutting. Not so with this one. Instead, it has a built-in air compressor to do the job on its own. That maintains it compact and hence easier to carry around if and when the need to do so may arise.

Pros
  • Precise cut for mild steel
  • Connect to 120V or 240V as a power source
  • Wind Tunnel to protect from dust and debris
  • Lightweight and portable inverter
  • Built-in Air Compressor
Cons
  • Not a cheap unit
  • Only for 5/16 inches

11. Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster Plasma Cutter

Incredible Cooling sytem and super deal plasma cutter

Key Features

  • 7.6 kW rated output
  • 50% duty cycle at 60A
  • Automatic multi-voltage detection
  • Built for portability and durability

The Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 60i has advanced gas optimizer technology to increase the consumables life. With maximum sever cuts performance of 16mm, the cutmaster is considered one of the most powerful among the competitors. Also, it comes with the SL60QD 1Torch for easy replacement. When it comes to a cutter that produces clean thin metal cuts, the Thermal Dynamic is the go tool.

Also, it comes with an amazing technology that protects the consumables lifespan. This might be the best one to consider leveraging. Looking to etch out some decorations as well? Choose to work with a budget plasma cutter that is similarly pretty agile and able to maneuver itself out and about easily. Its integral multi-handle design is what enables it to make those decorative marks with ease and precision.

Pros
  • Sever cuts performance of 16mm of thicknesses of metal
  • 50 percent duty cycle dual voltage technology
  • Four-year factory warranty
  • Powerplasma with easy torch replacement
Cons
  • Does not perform as well with steel stainless steel

12. Hobart Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter

Good plasma cutter Capable of cutting conductive metals

Key Features

  • 240V power input plasma cutter
  • Light and heavy industrial uses
  • Weighs only 31 pounds
  • Setup is easy too
  • Powerful performance

The Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter is an excellent fit for someone that is looking for both lights a heavy industrial use. The Hobart Airforce 40i can withstand sever cuts of 7/8 inches of steel, which is not bad for a portable cutter. It is considered a potent cutting machines that can be transported with excellent portability.

Comes with one of the best trigger systems on the market. Also, it can perform well on both thin and thick metals. However, it only operates under 240 volts of power, and is not as light as other models. It is a highly recommended plasma cutter tool among all top body shops because of its quality cuts.

Who said you have to acquire larger and bulkier cutters for your powerful applications. Even one that is smaller and lighter of this kind may still be of help to you. Though small, this one is able to exude a whopping 40 amperes of power output. This output is sufficiently large to be able to yield everlasting impacts.

Pros
  • Powerful 7/8 cutting ability in a 50 percent duty cycle
  • Has efficient air consumption
  • Safety ergonomic trigger mechanism
  • Wind Tunnel Tech to prevent dust from damaging the machine
  • Use for both light and heavy cutting
Cons
  • Only operates under 240V
  • With 31 pounds it is not the lighter portable cutter

13. Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme Plasma Cutter

Miller electric plasma cutter for clean cuts

Key Features

  • XT 40 Hand Held Torch 12ft
  • Heavy-Duty Quick Connect Work Clamp-20ft
  • X-case(TM) Power Cord 12ft
  • MVP 240/120V Adaptor

The miller electric company has created the most potent 40AMP portable cutter on the market with a cutting capability of 5/8 mild steel thickness. Also, the Miller Spectrum cutter offers a dual voltage connection with incredible Auto-Line technology. Well known brand cutters that comes with outstanding LED indicators for better workflow. Can’t go wrong with the model 625 X-treme plasma-cutter.

In order to cut through your metal carefully, you have to get a plasma cutter that is appropriately designed and suited wholly for metal cutting. With its metal cutting design, this item is a good one to pick and deploy for the job. Its dimensions and overall stature also combine to make its work awesome.

Pros
  • Comes with a case for excellent protection
  • Very portable with only 21 pounds of weight
  • Flexible cables and LED indicators for ease of use
  • Pilot Arc Technology with this model
Cons
  • Connectors tend to be larger and heavier than the older 375 model
  • Not able to cut 1 inch or more

14. Amico Cut50 Plasma Cutter

Amico Cut 50 Plasma Cutter

Key Features

  • This cutting system is easy to fix and install
  • Lasts fair long during cutting sections
  • Does not fidget unnecessarily
  • Accepts many accessories

This fantastic lightweight and portable plama cutter is perfect for any DIY home repairing or cutting job. Also, it is not recommended for beginners due to some installation complications that requires experience. If you are generally a do-it-yourselfer, this one is for you.

It is a machine that can be deployed and handled with ease. Then again it is devoid of those powerful and sophisticated parts and components that machines of its kind ordinarily possess. For this reason, it is overall simpler to make do with.

Additionally, If you are looking for a decent metal cutting ability with a significant percentage of savings, then consider the Amico CUT-50. It is on our top pick list for the versatility and we believe that this tool could be one of the best cutting system for the money.

Pros
  • Almost 50 percent of savings
  • New and improved cooling system for the Torch
  • Dual voltage for 110V and 220V
Cons
  • Some resistors might blow out with inadequate use of the cutting unit
  • Seem to be a little hard to set up, not recommended for beginners

15. AHP AlphaCut Plasma Cutter

Alpha Cut Plasma Cutter

Key Features

  • Continuous Pilot Arc
  • 60 Amps of professional cutting power
  • Blow-back start technology
  • Pilot Arc Commercial class
  • 60% Duty cycle at 60 amps 110/220 voltage

The AHP plasma cutter has a recent 2016 model called AlphaCut 60 60Amp plasma cutter. This cutter has a dual voltage of 11oV and 220V. It has a great pilot arc which enables a user to cut through objects like rusted metals, painted and even expanded metals precisely.

Extremely versatile machine that can be used both commercially and for personal DIY projects. Known to produce clean cuts for mid-sized thickness. Also, overall this equipment produces high quality cuts, and allows you to switch from 110v to 220v almost instantly with the power adapter.

Is your search for the right cutter mainly dictated or informed by commercial use? Look up to no other cutter than this one. It does have the blow-back start technology that makes this possible. Adding to this is the ability to exude a whopping 60 amperes of output that in turn generates massive professional cutting power for you. All these make for the cutting of heavy-duty bulky applications!

Pros
  • Has a dual voltage with a plug that has the ability to quickly switch from the 220V to the 110V and vice versa.
  • Can be used commercially, and if need be, personally
  • Has a built in air separator which enables clean cuts to be formed
Cons
  • The 110V is not as adequate as the 220V and can leave one feeling disappointed and frustrated while working with that input

Best Plasma Cutters Buying Guide

There are a variety of plasma cutters on the market with various features and cutting ability. Before you decide on which machine to purchase, check the specifications and the reviews for each device.

Make a decision on which features and capabilities work best for your application and use. Take into account the price, power hookups, e.g., 120 or 240 Volt and amperage requirements, and how efficient they are in comparison to the consumables and cost of the consumables.

Some of the best plasma machines come with built-in air compressors to supply compressed air while others require external high capacity units. Also, these units can come equipped with dual voltage systems. Sometimes brick and mortar stores do not have the top plasma cutter features. For example, a Ramsond Cut 50dx plasma cutter can be purchased for less than five hundred dollars.

What is a Plasma Cutter?

A plasma cutter is a piece of equipment generally used for the cutting of electrically conductive objects like aluminum, copper, or steel. Various industries use a plasma cutter for their activities. Examples of places that use plasma cutters are welding shops, industries, automotive industries, and even in metal scrapping and salvaging industries.

Plasma cutting over the years has become an excellent way of cutting any form of electrically conductive metal. It is an exact method, it is faster than the other methods, and it is also cheaper than other methods. This research was conducted and reported by the body called Computer Numeric Control (CNC).

How a Plasma Cutter Works?

A plasma cutters is found to be useful in cutting sheet metal in angled or curved shapes. Hand-held torches can cut up to 38 mm or 1.5 inches’ thick steel plate. These cutter machines controlled torches controlled by computers can cut through steel that is up to six inches thick.

A grounding clamp is attached to the metal piece to be cut to complete an electrical circuit. The plasma cutter generates super-heated electrically ionized gas, which completes the electrical circuit back through the grounding clamp. Some form of compressed air is blown through a focused nozzle at high speed towards the work-piece. It can be oxygen, air, or inert gas.

An electrical arc forms within the chemical, creating an electrically conductive channel of plasma which delivers sufficient heat to melt the metal being cut. The compressed air blows the metal surface away in effect separating the metal or cutting through the work-piece.

What is plasma cutting?

Plasma cutting describes a process of cutting through materials that conduct electricity using an accelerated jet of hot gases or plasma. Steel, aluminum, brass, and copper are the typical materials cut using this process. However, anything that conducts electricity can, in theory, be cut with a plasma cutter.

The process is used in hobby shops up to and including large scale industrial manufacturing and repair shops. Due to their high speed and precision, a plasma cutter is used in fabrication shops, auto repair, and even salvage operations.

How to determine the amount of power that you need?

Just like a truck, the more power you have, the faster you can go with a giant load. Two plasma cutters with the same number of amps, but different voltages deliver much different power levels. Amps times volts gives you the number of kilowatts it provides.

A 120-volt system with the same current as a 240-volt system delivers less power. Slower cutting in terms of inches per minute and smaller thickness may be an issue depending on if you are a hobbyist or a repair shop, for example.

What kind of metals can a plasma system cut?

Typically, plasma cutters can cut through steel, mild steel, stainless steel, brass, copper, and aluminum. The power of the best plasma cutters also determines how fast it can cut through the material and what is the max cut of the material. These systems are known for cutting metals quickly with high precision and are popular with fabrication shops and industrial construction projects.

Things to Check Before Getting a Plasma Cutter

Main consumable parts and components displayed

Plasma cutters are practical and efficient steel cutters. However, like most tools, they need to be handled with care, taking safety precautions seriously to prevent accidents. A adequately maintained cutter can also provide accurate, clean cuts without the need to make corrective cuts later on. Factors such as air quality, the cutting thickness of the metal, voltage levels, power supplies, and proper grounding are essential. Consumables should also be reviewed and replaced before they cause poor results.

1. Air quality

The ideal process develops gases and noxious fumes that can be harmful to humans. Always work in a well-ventilated area or use filtration systems to remove particulate and noxious gases.

2. Metal thickness

Verify the thickness of the metal across the cutting area and also the capacity of your plasma cutter. Best results can be attained with a consistent thickness of metal and appropriate power for the thickness under consideration.

3. Input voltage

The input voltage and the amperage determine the overall power level in addition to the cutting ability in terms of thickness and speed of cut. Always confirm you have the right machine for the metal you are cutting.

4. Power source

The power source must have the voltage and amperage capability to power the plasma cutter. A 25-amp fuse on a 120 volt supply is not sufficient for a 40 amp – 240-volt plasma cutter.

5. Air pressure regulator

The air pressure regulator controls the pressure of the air injected into the system for ideal cutting. Check with your manufacturers manual for the optimum setting for your plasma cutter. They tend to vary between machines.

6. Ground

Electrocution is one of the most significant risks to users of plasma cutters. Proper grounding of the item to be cut, wearing rubber gloves and welding gloves, using a rubber mat to stand on and ensuring there is no moisture present is essential.

What are plasma cutter consumables?

Consumables in a plasma cutting machine are the materials that are slowly consumed when the device is being operated. If any of them are beginning to be worn down or begin malfunctioning, the cutting process becomes slower, less precise, and the actual cut can start to become more extensive. You may not even be able to cut through the metal surface at all at some point. The main parts are covered in the next section.

What are the main consumable parts?

There are five different components to the consumable parts of a cutting machine – the shields, retaining cap, the nozzle, the electrode, and the swirl ring.

  • Swirl Ring: The swirl ring causes the more cooling gas to swirl on the outside to cool the nozzle. The air swirls around the electrode, around the arc, down the nozzle and out through the Torch.
  • Electrode: The electrode is a slender piece of copper or silver and may contain hafnium or tungsten. The electrode carries the electrical current from the Torch to the plate.
  • Nozzle: The nozzle focuses the plasma arc. Wide nozzles are used for gouging, while narrow nozzles are used for more delicate work for detailed shaping and cutting.
  • Plasma Cutter Retaining Cap: The retaining cap in a plasma cutter is to cover and secure the other consumables together in position for efficient cutting.
  • Shield Cap: The shield protects the consumables from a bad metal surface associated with the cutting process, therefore extending their life cycle.

How to improve consumables life?

Consumable life cycles depend on cutting capacity, distance held from the piece being cut and whether the right consumables are being used for the correct type of cut. Slow cutting means higher temperatures which can use up the consumables more quickly. Worn consumables can reduce the life cycle more quickly.

How to protect yourself while using plasma cutters?

Plasma cutting machines use high voltage and high current electricity to cut thick metallic material. Improper grounding presents an electrocution risk. Sparks can ignite clothing and flammable liquids. The high-intensity light can damage the eyes as well. Every user should use protective eyewear, headgear, footgear, and protective clothing. The work area should be ventilated and free of flammable liquids.

Welding Helmet

You should wear protective eyewear and also face shields or helmets to protect the face from molten metal, which can severely burn your skin.

Flame Resistant Apron

Flame resistant aprons and unique clothing should be worn to protect your body and clothing from burns from hot metal. Leather, heavy wool or heavy denim seems to work well.

Leather Welding Boot

Hot metal can quickly burn through regular shoes. You should wear heavy leather high topped boots to protect their feet and ankles from flying metals.

Welding Gloves

Your hands are probably the closest appendage to the actual cutting process. They are exposed to hot metal. Wear heavy gloves to protect them.

Extra Welding Jacket

Continuous high power plasma cutting generates a great deal of heat, and molten metal. Many operators wear extra welding jackets to protect there clothing and bodies from burns.

Welding Carts

If you are not going to be using the plasma machine on a consistent base, then buying a welding cart can help you save time. There are a few welding carts that can help you safely keep your machine after purchase, and it can also help you keep your garage clean.

Plasma Cutting Duty Cycles Explained

An important consideration when purchasing a plasma cutter is the duty cycle. A machine with a 30% duty cycle means it can be used for three minutes out of every 10 minutes. A machine with a 50% duty cycle means you can use it for 5 minutes out of every ten minutes without damaging the device or its components.

The duty cycle is based on standards such as power supply, cutting at the maximum current level and the components inside reaching the maximum operating temp. Most plasma cutters come with sensors that can shut down the cutter when these standards are met. A cooling system may extend the duty cycle.

How does ambient air temperature affect the duty cycle?

Duty cycle standards are based on standard temperatures set by the manufacturer. Some plasma cutters use 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If your operating ambient temp is lower, internal components can take longer to reach their duty cycle levels. Similarly, plasma cutters located at higher ambient temperatures can lower the time the machine can be used.

What happens if you exceed the duty cycle in a system?

In most cases, nothing, because the plasma machine’s internal sensors can report overheating and automatically shut the machine off. If for some reason the sensors are bypassed, it can continue working for a short while and then overheat and possibly catch fire.

Advantages of Using a Plasma Cutter

Plasma cutting machines have several advantages over those or regular acetylene torches. Faster cutting, wide cutting capability, can cut all electrically conductive metal, works well-cutting sheet materials, excellent cutting performance on small and medium thickness steel, relatively low consumable expense, and a capability of cutting high-quality edges.

They are very portable as long as there is a compatible electrical connection. One person can move some of the smaller machines.

Plasma cut quality and cutting performance

  • Cut quality: Some models cut with minimum cuts with a narrow kerf. Operators can cut many different angles easily. An angle grinder is not necessary once you use a good plasma cutter.
  • Cutting speed: Manufacturers claim that some models can complete cuts in one-fourth of the time of many other cutting tools. Also, there is minimal metal distortion.
  • Portability: Small models are now produced in lightweight, portable designs suitable for one person to quickly move these machines to a variety of work sites.
  • Precise cutting: Other models offer precise cutting results producing a minimum amount of slag. They are ideal for cutting shapes and angles.

What is Pilot Arc Technology?

Late-model plasma cutters are now available with an innovation called “pilot arc.” This design reduces electrical interference with electronics situated nearby and they provide an increased stable arc while cutting. Consumables also last longer, which reduces the overall cost.

At present, they are more expensive to purchase, which offsets the savings in consumables. Machines equipped with pilot arc are ideal for construction sites with nearby buildings that operate computers and other electronic devices.

Tips for Using a Plasma Cutter

  • Safety Gear – Wear a welding helmet, proper glasses, high-quality aprons, and high topped leather boots.
  • Safe Environment – Make sure the area is well ventilated and removes all flammable material from the area.
  • Correctly assemble the Torch – They should be clean, consumables should be kept clean on a cloth to avoid contamination from material on the shop bench.
  • Replace consumables regularly before they wear out and begin lowering the quality of your work.
  • Clean the Torch regularly.
  • Avoid torch collisions and do not use the Torch as a hammer.
  • Proper coolant and gas flow ensures the consumables are adequately cooled and can last longer. Excess gas pressure can cause it to be challenging to start. Verify the flow every day before using.
  • Maintain correct standoff from the metal to ensure the arc can flow smoothly. The incorrect standoff can damage the ideal cutting tool or the metal you are cutting. All best cutters need compressed air and ground to perform at its best.

Here is a great informative video from Eastwood Company about plasma cutting tips and tricks:

Final Words

Hope you have enjoyed our complete buyers guide and reviews on the best cheap plasma cutter on the market today. You can check price on amazon by following our links above if you need more information. We suggest purchasing a good plasma cutter with a built in air compressor that can fit your budget options.

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar