10 Best Plasma Cutter Reviews – Check the Ultimate Winner (2021)
Ever noticed how the name “plasma cutter” sounds so futuristic? Ironically, this tool has been in use since early 1960s, and it continues to be used for achieving quick and perfect metal cuts. In fact this cutting tool has almost completely replaced other traditional metal cutting methods both for commercial and domestic purposes. Just imagine how easy and convenient it would be to have a plasma cutter for all your DIY projects, without having to depend on others to have your metal parts cut in the way you desire! Yes, it’s true! The following review on the best plasma cutter will make your life more comfortable, especially as it comes with a buying guide and other crucial information that will help you learn more about this amazing cutting tool!
What Is Plasma Cutter?
Essentially, plasma cutter is an advanced metal cutting tool that can cut through steel as well as other metals and materials. This cutting tool incorporates the use of inert gas that gets blown out from the cutter’s nozzle at extremely high speed for cutting the metal. Simultaneously, an arc (electrical) is also applied to this blown out inert gas, which converts the inert gas into plasm to form an extremely hot torch for cutting through any metal very conveniently and comfortably. Today’s plasma cutter ideas include several technologically advanced parts to ensure that you get the best results when cutting metals with these tools. The advanced portable designs and affordable prices are added factors that make these tools so popular. What is the best plasma cutter? Let’s read on plasma cutter reviews to get to know more about the products that have found their way in this list:
Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter
This high-end cost-effective metal cutting solution by Lotos is the one that you need to get your hands on, especially if you are looking for a cutting tool that can cut 3/4″ metals. The Lotos LTP5000D is considered to be the best cheap plasma cutter but it is highly advanced and efficient. It works on dual voltage, giving you the advantage of powering it with 220V or 110V outlet. This fascinating plasma cutter also has the ability to produce amperage ranging between 20 and 50 amperes, with the latter amperage offering finest cuts for thick metals. Take a look at some other exclusive features of this product:
- This is a compact and sturdy plasma cutter that features a convenient handle that offers portability.
- It uses compressed air that is non-hazardous, for cutting alloy steel, aluminum, copper, stainless steel and mild steel.
- The machine features advanced Pilot Arc plasma torch that can easily cut through painted, rusty and rough surfaces, producing minimal slag.
- This Lotos plasma cutter comes with advanced PAPST cooling system (German) and MOSFET transistor to produce uniform output so that it can easily cut through thin metal sheets.
- The dual voltage feature of this product makes it possible to run this machine directly on 110V or 220V (both with 50/60 Hz).
- The package includes ground cable and clamp, air hose along with connections, air regulator and the plasma torch.
Conclusion This is the ideal cost-effective solution for those in need of high-end plasma cutter. Despite its limitations, this product’s performance is exceptional, which is why it would be a wise decision to invest in this model
- It is a cost-effective, high-end solution
- The Pilot Arc advanced technology adds to the longevity of this machine’s consumables
- It can cut metal in a uniform and swift motion, regardless of the metal’s surface being rusted, painted or irregular
- It requires very low-pressure for operation
- The warranty on this product is only for a year
Lotos LTPDC2000D Plasma Cutter
If you are in search of a top plasma cutter, then this multifunctional product is perfect for you. This 3-in-1 machine can effectively work as a TIG welder, stick welder and plasma cutter. This way you don’t have to spend your hard-earned money on buying separate tools for your metal cutting and welding requirements. It is interesting to note that this Lotos LTPDC2000D is made using IGBT Power Drive matrix (Robust Infineon), which makes it stand ahead of its competition, especially in terms of lifespan. This tough, durable plasma cutter offers much more improved cutting power than other products in this category.
- This non-touch, Pilot Arc plasma cutter has the efficiency to smoothly cut through painted, rough as well as rusty surfaces without producing much slag
- The compact design of this machine comes with a handle that makes it the best portable plasma cutter
- It uses non-hazardous compressed air for cutting alloy steel, aluminum, copper, stainless steel and mild steel
- The TIG welding feature of this machine comes with 15-200A DC electric output to ensure high-quality welding on steel, as well as precise welding in case of thinner-gauge metals and materials
- This cutting tool comes with convenient ARC start, stabilized welding Arc, and a deep but efficient weld pool to provide amazing welding shape. The Hot Striking adjustable Arc Current enhances the function of ARC start, making it ideal for welding using various Basic or Acidic Electrodes.
- The product comes with 30-day Money-Back Guarantee as well as 1-year warranty.
Conclusion This Lotos LTPDC2000D is a great option for those in need of budget cutter. The product has received a lot of popularity and positive reviews because of its outstanding performance. The multifunctioning ability of this plasma cutter makes it an ideal choice for metal cutting as well as welding purposes.
- It is a durable machine, especially as it is made using “Infineon IGBT” matrix (power drive)
- You get to save a huge amount of money as this product is multifunctional
- It is easily portable and light in weight
- This machine’s welding leads are considerably small
Primeweld 50A Plasma Cutter
Those who work with metals understand the significance of finding the right plasma cutter machine. This Primeweld 50A machine is highly efficient for various plasma cutter projects, ensuring safe use while providing precise metal cuts, something that you would look for in your plasma cutter. Rated as the best plasma cutter for the money, this high-performance product comes loaded with features that make cutting metals both meaningful and secure. Here are some of the unique features of this product:
- The precision in metal cutting offered by this unit is unparalleled. It can work with 50 Ampere supply to cut metal as fine as 3/4″ in thickness without any hassle, making this machine perfect for both hobby use and commercial purpose.
- This plasma cutter can easily cut through alloy steel, aluminum, mild steel, copper, stainless steel and various other metals and materials, offering fine and precise cuts.
- It can be easily moved around for your project requirements, as it has been designed to be compact and lightweight.
- The MOSFET transistors in this unit ensure that you get any size or shape of metal you want using this metal cutter.
- It comes with 3-year warranty, adding to its reliability as one of the best plasma cutters available today.
Conclusion The Primeweld 50 A Plasma Cutter is an exclusive model that is not only great in design but also high in performance. With dual voltage feature, you have the convenience of using this unit anywhere you get a power supply. This plasma cutter art object works best for any metal-based artwork or sculpture, irrespective of whether you are using fresh metal pieces or old and rusty scrap metal.
- It is a cost-efficient plasma cutter
- This metal cutting tool can be easily cleaned, and its maintenance is also simple
- It is easily portable, which means that you can carry it around conveniently
- It is a highly versatile machine and can be used to cut a wide range of metals
- The product is very safe as it comes with built-in fire-preventive features
- It can be tough to initially figure out how this machine operates
Zeny Cut 50 DC 50A Plasma Cutter
As a hobbyist this Zeny DC 50A plasma cutter is what you need for your metal cutting requirements, especially as it is priced economically. This unit can not only cut through thick metals but can also efficiently be used for cutting sheets of metal in various sizes. It offers clean and precise cut without causing the metal sheet to warp. This product features several unique characteristics that make it better than the rest and ensures that the performance of this metal cutting tool is impressive. It is highly durable and functional, giving you the best return for your money. For the exceptional cutting result, this reasonably-priced cutting tool is just what you need.
- Made from the most advanced technology, this unit is ideal for processing and cutting metals, both for DIY and industrial purposes.
- It is specifically designed to improve the quality of the metal cut, and its applications are wide including light industrial use, metal fabrication, site work, ducting work, automotive, maintenance and repair services.
- The product runs on current ranging between 20 and 50 Ampere, while its no-load voltage is 230V.
- The duty cycle of this machine is 60% and its efficiency is 85%.
- It has a maximum cutting capacity of 1-12 mm metal thickness.
Conclusion This is the ideal plasma cutter for hobbyist, as it can cut through various metals to give you desired metal shape with fine, precise cut. The drawbacks of this unit are negligible as compared to other products in the market, which is why we highly recommend this product. It is the best plasma cutter for home use for all your home-based DIY projects and/or artworks.
- The design of this machine is lightweight, making it convenient for you to carry this unit around while working
- The product is reasonably-priced
- Setting up the machine is simple as well as easy, and even a newbie can set up this machine without any assistance
- The cuts delivered by this plasma cutter is highly impressive
- You can use this cutting tool on a wide range of metals
- It is difficult to read the user manual
- This unit does not perform well in terms of high-grade metal cutting
- You have to buy the plug and air hose separately, as they are not included in the package
SungoldPower 50A Plasma Cutter
This SungoldPower model has the efficiency to cut through all kinds of steel and other metals. It has a stunning design and impressive features that make this model worth your money. And the best part is that this machine can be used without having to worry about untoward incidents. No matter what type of metal cutting you want, this unit can deliver it with accuracy. The duty cycle of this machine is impressively high so you don’t have to bother about excessive power consumption, and it works quietly so that you are not disturbed by any irritating noise while using the product.
- Stable performance of the product is guaranteed due to its IGBT soft-switch technology.
- The high duty cycle of this cutting tool ensures that less power is consumed during its operation.
- The LCD display allows you to read the air pressure gauge easily without any hassle, and it operates very quietly.
- The machine comes with cutting current that can be adjusted to meet your metal cutting requirements.
- This product is safe to use as it features in-built over-voltage and overheat protection
- It is well-suited for cutting metals like stainless steel, copper, alloy steel, aluminum and even carbon steel among others.
Conclusion Despite the fact that this SungoldPower Plasma Cutter comes with unclear warranty policy, it is a highly advanced machine that can efficiently cut metals of different kinds. It is also very safe to use as it comes loaded with safety features. And the exquisite design along with great functionality makes this product a must buy.
- It is energy-efficient
- Uses IGBT soft-switch technology to offer stable performance
- LCD display for easy readability
- Precise and fine metal cutting capacity
- It is a bit highly-priced
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Super Deal DC Plasma Cutter
Another multifunctional plasma cutter that you can opt for is this Super Deal DC Plasma Cutter. It comes with a cutter as well as a welder, which makes it a profitable deal to invest in this tool. The machine comes in a space-saving design, and its performance is highly impressive. The gauges of this unit can be read easily and its duty cycle is impressive. The product can smoothly cut through any metal that is up to 12 mm thick. The performance of this product is also stable, and it comes with digital output to provide you with accurate, precise cuts.
- The PRO technology used in this product ensures superior and stable performance.
- It consumes less power, which makes it more efficient and economical compared to other products in this category.
- The design of this product is also marvelous, as it made using quality heavy duty iron, giving its body a solid construction. This makes the machine more durable and reliable in terms of functionality and longevity.
- It comes with LCD display, easily readable air-pressure gauge (front panel), and is quiet during operation.
- The tool cuts smoothly at high speed, without requiring any further polishing on the metal
- The inbuilt over-voltage and overheat protection makes this unit extremely safe during use
Conclusion This plasma cutter is well-suited for several applications such as light industrial use, metal fabrication (sheet), automotive, site work, maintenance and repair services and ducting work. This means that whether you want to use it for commercial purposes or for DIY projects, this tool can offer you desired results. Apart from the problem of beginners having operation issues, this advanced cutting tool, with its multifunctional features can prove to be a wise investment.
- Priced pretty reasonably
- It is a multifunctional tool that works as a TIG welder, stick welder and a plasma cutter
- It runs very quietly
- It is a versatile machine that can be used for welding and cutting different varieties of metals
- It is easily portable
- Not all beginners can handle this unit
Goplus Cut-50 Plasma Cutter
For those of you who have to work every other day with different varieties of steel, be it alloy, stainless or even mild steel, this Goplus Cut-50 is the go-to cutting tool for you. It can supply gas in advance and also turn off the delayed gas so that the performance of the product remains stable. This digital cutting tool works quietly and its cutting speed is high, making it a reliable and high-performance machine. And it is reasonably-priced so you don’t have to burn a hole in your pocket to purchase this unit.
- Using switch power inverter technical this unit can lower the weight and dimensions of the main transformer, increasing the efficiency of the unit by an impressive 30%.
- It features dual voltage ability, making it ideal to work with this cutting tool in 220V as well as 110V (with 60 Hz power).
- The design of this cutting tool is such that it enhances the portability of the machine, as it comes with a portable handle, allowing you to carry it around conveniently.
- The performance of this unit is not hampered by extremes in external environment, and it can easily function in very high or very low temperatures.
Conclusion What we liked best about this Goplus Cut-50 is that it can sustain all kinds of weather discrepancies. It has the ability to perform at high speed, delivering you the finest cuts without making any noise, and it is moderately priced. Also, this unit can save a lot of energy when in use, saving you some more money and making it a worthwhile investment.
- It has a no-load voltage of 240V, which improves its efficiency
- It can easily support arc welding, making this diverse cutter perfect for both DC and AC use
- It can function perfectly well even in temperature that goes down to -10 degree Celsius, and more than 40 degree Celsius
- It does not get affected when the environment is mildly humid (with dampness as high as 80%)
- Its cutting speed is very high, and it operates quietly
- The product can effectively save energy
- It requires a three-phase panel for supporting 220V
This exceptional plasma cutter has quickly replaced its predecessor, the LOTOS LT5000D, making it one of the most sought-after tools for cutting metals today. The manufacturer, Everlast, is known for delivering high-quality machines, with improved technology in each new product, including this latest metal cutting machine. The 2017 Everlast SuperUltra 50A comes with high frequency based Pilot Arc that allows this machine to make incisions ranging between ¼² and 3/8² in metals of various kinds. This cutting tool is priced reasonably for both professionals and hobbyists so that you can get hold of the most advanced cutting machine available in today’s market.
- It features MOSFET inverter technology that enhances its metal cutting performance
- It is portable and lightweight in design
- The product offers fine repair on Chrome Moly, Steel and Stainless steel owning to its DC TIG feature
- The product features Pilot Arc technology based function that allows it to cut metals efficiently
- It has an amperage capacity of 200 A and draws power of 240V
- It requires DC current for operation and works on dual voltage of 220V and 110V
Conclusion On the whole, this Everlast SuperUltra 50A Plasma Cutter is one of the best multifunctional cutting tools for the domestic purpose. It is the most appropriate choice for you if you deal mainly with light metals and materials, and are looking for a highly efficiently cutting tool for your metals.
- It is a highly reliable product as the maker is well-reputed electronics manufacturer
- It draws very low current while working efficiently to cut through metals
- It does not require a lot of time for arc welding metals
- It comes with 3-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee
- The MOSFET technology-based design of this machine enhances its performance
- The price is not very high, but can be expensive to invest in this product
Lotos LTP7000 70A Plasma Cutter
This heavy-duty metal cutting machine has a 60% duty cycle that ensures high output and impressive performance. Its special Pilot Arc technology makes it convenient to use on metal surfaces that are painted, rough or even dirty. It is known to be a consistent, reliable as well as precise cutting tool that gets the job done in no time. This Lotos LTP7000 70A model is ideal for commercial use in factory, farm work, repairing of automotive parts. The features of this unit make it highly demanding in both commercial and domestic environments.
- The compact design of the machine along with a portable handle adds to convenience in carrying this unit around during work.
- The compressed air is non-hazardous and can efficiently cut mild steel, aluminum, stainless steel and copper, etc.
- The product comes with Pilot Arc based technology that makes it easy for you to cut metals that have rough, rusty or even painted surfaces without producing much slag
- The MOSFET transistor featured in this model ensures a uniform and precise output while cutting thin metal sheets
- It has the ability to cut metals with a thickness ranging between 7/8 inch and 1 ¼ inch
- It also comes with PAPST cooling system (advanced) to ensure safe operation
Conclusion This LOTOS LTP7000 is considered to be among the most durable and powerful cutting machines available today. Its unique Pilot Arc based technology allows this machine to cut continuously on metals with rough and dirty surfaces. It also features PWM or Pulse-width Modulation and V-MOSFET technologies that allow this machine to deliver concentrated and constant cuts on the metal. This cutting tool is great for commercial as well as DIY purposes.
- The Pilot Arc Non-Touch technology ensures that you cut through metals without having to touch the metal
- The consumable life of this product is very long and it offers impressive cutting quality
- The tip is bulky to ensure a clean cut
- The handle of this machine makes it easy to carry the unit around while working
- The compressed air is non-hazardous, which enables the machine to easily cut through alloy steel, aluminum, copper and stainless steel among other metals
- The 60% duty cycle and PAPST based advanced cooling system (German) improves the performance of the unit
- It has issues in terms of clean cutting
Hobart 500566 40i Plasma Cutter
This new and advanced Hobart model is similar to the earlier 12ci model, but with more interesting and attractive features along with 4 times more power than its predecessor. If you are looking for the best plasma cutter with built in compressor like the 12ci, you can effectively use this cutting tool for all kinds of metal, including ones that are expanded or perforated or even coated with paints. The reason why we have included this model in our list of best plasma cutters is because it is perfect for cutting metals that have a thickness ranging between 5/8 inch and 7/8 inch. In fact, it can be conveniently used for high performance in places where portability is a big factor. Find out more features of this product in the lines below.
- It has the ability to cut at a faster rate compared to oxy-fuel, as it comes with a duty cycle of 50%.
- This machine offers the benefit of cutting through perforated and expanded metals, along with metals that have coated or painted surfaces.
- It operates on an input power of 240V and has a maximum open-circuit voltage of 400V.
- The air consumption of this unit is highly efficient, and it also features trigger safety (ergonomic), which makes it ideal for use in heavy as well as light industries.
Conclusion The Hobart 500566 40i Plasma Cutter is the go-to machine for anyone requiring high performance at a reasonable price. In case you are new to metal cutting or are not regular with using a metal cutting tool, then you may find this product a bit pricey, but for professionals investing in this Hobart model can prove to be profitable.
- The portable and lightweight design of this product gives you the advantage of carrying it around your workspace
- The cutting performance of this unit is powerful and precise
- It has the ability to cut through expanded metal as well as painted or coated surfaces
- Assembling the product is simple and easy
- The cutting torch can be operated comfortably
- You will not require any pressure setting or flame tuning to operate this machine
- It is an economical product that features a single-knob based design
- This model does not feature air compressor (internal), so you will need to make arrangements for the external supply
|Product Name||Image||Rage||Overall Rating||Details|
|Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter||50 Amp||8.5||Check price|
|Lotos LTPDC2000D Plasma Cutter||50 Amp||9||Check price|
|Primeweld 50A Plasma Cutter||50 Amp||10||Check price|
|Zeny DC 50A Plasma Cutter||50 Amp||8||Check price|
|SungoldPower 50A Plasma Cutter||50 Amp||8||Check price|
|Super Deal DC Plasma Cutter||50 Amp||9.5||Check price|
|Goplus Cut-50 Plasma Cutter||50 Amp||9||Check price|
|LOTOS LT5000D||50 Amp||8.5||Check price|
|Lotos LTP7000 70A Plasma Cutter||70 Amp||7.5||Check price|
|Hobart 500566 40i Plasma Cutter||40 Amp||9.5||Check price|
Types of Plasma Cutters
The following are the types of plasma cutters typically available these days:
This type of cutter comes with smaller power supply compared to the mechanized one, and also features hand-held torch (plasma) for cutting through metal pieces. A handheld plasma cutter is usually versatile and easily maneuverable, offering you a wide range of applications in terms of metal cutting. The amperage of a manual gas plasma cutter ranges between 30 and 100 Amperes, but can sometimes go as high as 200 Amp. Generally, manual cutters can cut through metals with a thickness ranging between 3/16 inch and 11/4 inch.
A CNC plasma cutter is essentially a mechanized cutter and is generally larger in size than a manual cutter. Mechanized cutters also come with THC or torch height control that can be used for height sensing as well as voltage control. A mechanized plasma cutter table can be as large as 48 ft X 120 ft or as small as 4 ft X 8 ft, which affects the maneuvering of these machines during operation. However, these days you can also find mechanized portable plasma cutter in the market.
As mentioned earlier, plasma cutter and welder combination is very popular these days and can prove to be highly cost-effective. You can look for plasma cutter 3 in 1 that comes with TIG welding, stick welding as well as metal cutting options so that you can get all three jobs done by a single unit. Some of the best multifunctional cutters have been reviewed earlier in this article.
How To Choose A Plasma Cutter – Buyer’s Guide
The top cutters available today have already been listed out for you, but how do you know which one of these you should buy? Your plasma cutter purchase decision should be based on several important factors mentioned in the lines below: The very first consideration that you need to make is to decide the amount of metal thickness you will need to cut most of the time. Majority of the cutters get rated on the amperage and cutting ability they possess. This means that if you are looking for a cutter with the ability to swiftly cut through metals that have ¼ inch thickness, you need to opt for a cutter with lower amperage, and if you want to cut through thicker, you need to go for a cutter with higher amperage.
- Conduct Proper Test
The best way to select a cutter is by testing cut ability of various machines, and by testing the speed rate of these machines when cutting through metals with the same thickness. Comparing the cuts should be based on the precision of the cut as well as an examination of the slag/dross left behind in the bottom side. You also need to find out if the gap that is left after the cut (kerf angle) is angular or perpendicular. Opt for a cutter with focused and tight arc so that the cuts are fine and polished. Also, find out how far the cutter can be moved while maintaining the arc; if the arc is longer than the machine can easily cut through thicker metal plates. As you may require the cutter for several different cutting applications, you will have to move around the machine as frequently as possible across long distances. A lightweight and portable machine will ease your transportation issue. Most of the products mentioned in the review come with portable handles and ergonomic design, so selecting a cutter from the above-mentioned list should not be a problem.
- Easy Operation
You will also need to find out how easily you can operate the machine and how comfortable you feel using the unit. Make sure that the instruction manual of the cutter you choose is user-friendly and easy-to-read. This will help you when the machine is new, and you still need to learn how to use it. It will also help you understand better how to handle troubleshooting issues and assemblage of the machine when required for operation. The better the ergonomics of the machine, the more comfortable you will feel when using it. So, make sure that you invest in a unit that comes with great, comfy design.
- Safety Features Is A Must
It would be foolish of you to invest in a cutter whose safety features are vague. Make sure that the unit you buy comes with inbuilt safety features like overheat protection, which will keep you and the machine safe when operating on metals for a longer time span.
How to Use The Machine
In order to learn how to use this metal cutting machine, you need to find out how you should set up the machine properly for operation. The following lines highlight the way you need to set up the machine for use:
Voltage Setting Due to the fact that plasma cutters are not always automatic, you need to make adjustments in the output setting of these machines. It will do you good to keep the voltage at the highest setting initially to cut through metals swiftly and precisely. The products reviewed earlier in this article mostly come with dual voltage option, which means that you can either provide a power supply of 110V or 220V for using these machines. This is an added advantage for you if you were looking for a 110v plasma cutter.
Accessories For The Machine Another factor that you need to consider while using the plasma cutter is how to accessorize this machine. Today’s cutters come with accessories that can be easily assembled and used for better results. Using a drag cup can help you when trying to cut a flat large metal piece like floor pans and quarter panels. Also, it is a good idea to invest in extra consumables as there are times when you will need them while operating the machine.
Parts Check Don’t forget to check the electrode and tip as regularly as possible, as worn out parts can affect the end result dramatically. Similarly, conduct a thorough check of the air compressor and other essential parts before you start using the unit, as improper air pressure or contamination in the cutter can cost you heavily as soon as you turn on the machine.
Generally, a plasma cutter comes with the following parts: ASC or Arc Starting Console – This part is required for producing spark within the cutter for creating the arc that will cut the metal piece. The voltage requirement of the ASC is generally 5000V with 2 MHz frequency (AC). The Cutter – The cutter works to align the different consumable parts of the unit and to cool them accordingly. The plasma cutter tip, electrode and swirl ring are usually required for generating the arc and are aligned with the cutter. The retaining caps (outer and inner) of the cutter act as shields and hold the parts together in place.
Materials You Can Work With
The materials that can be cut using a plasma cutter generally include stainless steel, carbon steel mild steel, alloy steel and other varieties of steel. These days, however, plasma cutter for aluminum, copper, cobalt, magnesium and other metals are also easily available, some of which have been mentioned in the above review. While plasma cutter for glass is rare, you can conduct some research to find a good one online or offline.
Plasma Cutter Accessories
Accessories like the plasma cutter drag shield and protective cage are also available in some of the best models in today’s market. The drag cap works to keep the nozzle safe while in use, while the protective cage ensures the safety of the sensitive inner parts during operation. You may also require protective gear while using this metal cutting machine, which is why investing in plasma cutter glasses can prove to be a good idea.
The power supply of a cutter generally comes at 40 amp, 80 amp or 100 amp, but there are ones with higher or lower amperage requirement. Depending on how heavy your usage is going to be, and on the kind of metals you will need to cut, you should choose a cutter with the right amperage. If you will need the cutter for light work, then opt for low amperage, but if you have to cut through thick metals, it is best to opt for a cutter with higher amperage.
Generally, the voltage requirement for a plasma cutter is either 110v or 220V. There are some machines that come with 120v power supply. The need for proper voltage supply for a cutter has been clearly described below. However, these days units with dual voltage option are easily available, which enables you to use such machines whether the voltage supply is 110v or 220V. Your choice of cutter should be based on the amount of voltage supply you get in your workplace.
Advantages Of Using A Plasma Cutter
The reason why plasma cutters are so popular is that of the several benefits associated with using these machines. Here are some major advantages of using this metal cutting tool:
Cuts All Metal Types The traditional metal cutters cannot cut through all metal types, but the plasma cutter can easily cut through various metals including stainless steel, titanium, carbon steel, nickel alloys, copper, cobalt, magnesium, cast iron and aluminum. If a plasma cutter can conduct a metal, it can cut the metal easily, making it convenient for you to cut different kinds of metals with this machine.
Portability In general, the majority of metal cutting machines are pretty heavy so carrying them around can be quite tough, especially at the workplace. These machines come with high power and need to be stabilized at a specific permanent position before you start using them. But that is not the case with the newer versions of the plasma cutter. Today’s models feature portable as well as lightweight size, and their design includes handle for carrying these machines around during work. With the decrease in weight and increase in efficiency, opting for the latest models including the ones listed above can prove profitable to any professional or hobbyist.
Depth Or Speed The cutters available today come loaded with technology that enhances their performance in comparison to other metal cutting machines. The high amount of heat generated from an ionized gas stream, forming an arc, improve the metal cutting ability of the machines. This way the speed of the machines also increases, and they can deliver perfectly-cut metal pieces in no time. The present-day cutters are therefore more effective and precise when cutting through different metal types with different surfaces.
Precision In Cuts The advanced method used in today’s cutters includes the use of high temperature based gas stream (ionized), which forms plasm arc to cut through metals. This arc formation ensures that the metal piece is cut with great precision every time the machine is used. Not only can today’s cutters work effectively on thick metal pieces, but they can also efficiently give the desired shape to metal sheets. This is a huge advantage for artists and professionals who, earlier had to use cutter along with other tools to get desired shapes or sizes for their metal sheets.
While using this metal cutting unit, you need to take a few safety measures, especially if you are new to cutting metals.
Prior to starting your metal cutting operation, conduct the following check:
- Make sure that the compressed air is clean and free of oil or water, as the presence of any of these can wear out the consumable parts, and eventually other parts as well.
- Check the air pressure and ensure that it is accurate.
- Make sure that the connection is proper, as it will ensure better performance of the machine.
- Ensure that the electrode and nozzle are in their proper place before starting your operation.
- Handle Nozzle Carefully- Don’t allow the nozzle of the machine to touch your workpiece, especially if you are working on a current level that is 45 Amperes and above. If you allow this to happen, then the lifespan of the nozzle will be reduced due to double arcing. Another reason why double arcing occurs is because the unit is dragged against a metal template. As a result, the nozzle is also dragged, causing it to wear out prematurely.
- Use Of Safety Gear- You need to follow the instruction manual carefully in order to understand how the machine works. Don’t forget to wear gloves and long sleeves before using the machine as molten metal produced during the process can injure your body. Also, make sure that you protect your eyes with welding shield or dark googles (with darkness shade ranging between #7 and #9) prior to beginning the process of metal cutting. And follow all the safety guideline and tips provided in the instruction manual.
- Maximum Current- When you are setting up the machine, make sure that the current is kept at maximum output initially. You can turn down the current later on as required, but initially maximum current will help you get best results.
- Direction To Maintain- In case you want to make a circular metal cut to get a round piece, you need to move in clockwise direction. Again, in case you don’t want to waste the remaining metal piece (From the circular cut), you need to move in a counter-clockwise direction. In order to get more precise and fine cut, you need to push your machine away from your body.
- Ensuring Work Distance- While working with this machine, you need to keep a distance of 1/8 to 3/16 inch from the unit’s nozzle. Also, don’t move the cutter in upward-downward fashion and it will hinder the effort you put in to cut the metal.
Size And Noise
The two important aspects of a plasma cutter that affect their overall performance are: Most of today’s cutters are way more powerful than their predecessors, despite their small, compact size. They can be used to cut all kinds of materials and metals, right from 1inch metal plate to thin gauge sheets. While the traditional systems can cut through metals as thick as 2 inch or more, the ones mentioned in this review can efficiently deliver cuts on metals with a thickness under 2 inch. The ergonomic design of the plasma cutters reviewed above ensure smaller but more portable size, which can effectively help you carry these heavy-duty machines all around your workplace conveniently and comfortably. A big problem with such metal cutting machines is that they produce noise, not only physical but also electrical, the latter being caused by radiation of high frequency from within the system that interferes with the machine’s sensitive equipment. However, we have listed out only the best cutters in the market that are mostly silent during operation, i.e. they don’t create any physical noise, and come with reduced electrical noise caused by high frequency. Therefore, you can rest assured that no matter what product you choose from our list of best plasma cutters, it will come in portable size and will be noise-free.
As far as the design of this advanced metal cutting machine is concerned, it should be clear from the reviews that most of today’s plasma cutter designs include the following common aspects: The use of MOSFET and IGBT technologies ensure that the power supply remains constant and efficient during their operation so that the metal cuts are fine as well as precise. Also, the advanced Pilot Arc Technology ensures that metals with any kind of surface can be easily cut to get desired shape or size. They are easily portable as well as lightweight. Ergonomic design and lightweight materials used in these metal cutting tools offer you the benefit of easily carrying around the unit wherever required. They are extremely safe. The use of latest coolant system and in-built protection to prevent overheating contribute towards a safer and more secure operation.
Care And Maintenance
The only way to ensure great performance for a long time period you need to take care and maintain this advanced metal cutting machine.
Here are some effective ways to maintain and care for a plasma cutter:
- Don’t Ignore Replacing Consumable Parts– It is crucial that you replace the cutter’s consumable parts as regularly as possible, or if absolutely required. This will prevent the other parts from being damaged because of the consumable parts.
- Regular Cleaning- It is a must to clean the unit as frequently as possible. Make sure that you get rid of all signs of contamination and pollution as immediately as possible. The threads, both inside and outside, of the unit also must be cleaned (reserved crystal). You can use hydrogen peroxide to keep your unit dirt-free.
- Ensure Proper Assembly- Another important point to note is that the only way to ensure a longer lifespan of the cutting machine is by assembling it properly. Also, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and maintaining the unit.
- The Coolant And Gas Flow Should Be Appropriate– Make it your daily job to check the flow of gas and cooler pressure. Insufficient gas or coolant flow will lower the consumables’ lifespan, and will also affect the functioning of these parts. On the other hand, excessive gas pressure can result in hard starting.
- Make Sure You Use Appropriate Parts– In case you use a wrong consumable part, chances are that the cut quality and performance of the cutter will suffer. Eventually, the unit’s lifespan will also lessen over time. That’s why you need to choose and use only the right parts for your cutter.
When shopping for a plasma cutter you need to ensure that it comes with an outstanding warranty. There is no point in investing in a metal cutting machine that breaks within the first year of use but comes with only 6 months of warranty without covering your problem. Make sure that you read the product warranty thoroughly before purchasing it. Any model that comes with 3-year or longer period of warranty is worth your money.
Why is it important to initiate an arc with sufficient air pressure?
The need for air pressure in plasma cutter is to ensure that the consumables are kept cool. If the arc is initiated without sufficient air pressure, it may cause the electrode to overheat, resulting in burning up of the tungsten in no time and eventually damaging the electrode.
Is it wise to keep the travel speed extremely slow during operation?
No, because if the travel speed is slow then the consumables can overheat, causing the parts to wear out prematurely. Make sure that the tool is moved at a proper speed, especially if the amperage is high.
How to prevent water from accumulating in the cutter’s air stream?
The presence of water in the unit’s air stream will suppress the electrical arc and the heat in the cutter. If you notice that the arc is unstable or erratic, then check for the presence of water in the system’s air stream. An effective way to dispose water off the system is by installing a proper desiccant system on your compressor, or by running a small-sized water separator (in-line disposable).