Best Plasma Cutter Reviews (Best Rated Products in 2019)

Are you looking for reviews of the best plasma cutters on the market? If yes, you’ve come to the right place. Our plasma cutter reviews have been compiled after extensive research of the highest performing products on the market. For our comparison, we’ve picked top 10 plasma cutters that are highly rated for main factors: reliable power, durability, efficiency and price.

  • Hypertherm Powermax30 XP
  • Voltage: 120/240V
  • Rated output: 15-30A
  • Duty cycle: 240V = 35%, 120V = 20%
  • Max Cut Thickness: 5/8"
  • Max Severance Thickness: -
  • Pilot arc: no
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • Hobart Airforce 40i
  • Voltage: 240V
  • Rated output: 40A
  • Duty cycle: 50% at 40A
  • Max Cut Thickness: 5/8"
  • Max Severance Thickness: 7/8"
  • Pilot arc: no
  • Weight: 31.4 lbs
  • Lotos LTP5000D
  • Voltage: 110/220V
  • Rated output: 10-50A
  • Duty cycle: 60% at 50A
  • Max Cut Thickness: 1/2"
  • Max Severance Thickness: 3/4"
  • Pilot arc: yes
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • AHP AlphaCut 60
  • Voltage: 110/220V
  • Rated output: 60A
  • Duty cycle: 60% at 60A
  • Max Cut Thickness: 5/8"
  • Max Severance Thickness: 1/2"
  • Pilot arc: yes
  • Weight: 34 lbs
  • Goplus CUT-50
  • Voltage: 110/220V
  • Rated output: 20-50A
  • Duty cycle: -
  • Max Cut Thickness: 1/2"
  • Max Severance Thickness: -
  • Pilot arc: no
  • Weight: -
  • Everlast SuperUltra 206si
  • Voltage: 110/220V
  • Rated output: 200A TIG / 160A Stick / 50a Plasma Cutter
  • Duty cycle: 35% at 50A
  • Max Cut Thickness: 3/4"
  • Max Severance Thickness: 1/2"
  • Pilot arc: yes
  • Weight: 40 lbs

Top 10 Plasma Cutters Reviewed

Lotos LTP5000D – Best Under 500

best plasma cutter for the moneyLotos LTP5000D is the most popular plasma cutter around. It’s considered by my many to be the best plasma cutter for the money. Even though it comes at a price at just under $500, it has an impressive amount of power, ease of use and high quality cuts. We wouldn’t recommend it for industrial use, but it’s perfect for hobbyists and light duty business needs.

The Good

  • Non-touch pilot arc. The technology allows the user to start the cut on the metal without touching it with the tip of the touch. As a result, you can cut through a variety of surfaces with ease and no slag. It can be all types of metal from painted to rusty, but up to ¾” thick. Additionally, this technology increases the life of the consumables.
  • Inverter technology. This provides an efficient power source with minimal weight. It offers the output current range of 10 to 50 amps. It’s a MOSFET inverter, which provides a steady output when working with thin metals, but can also reach higher power output for cutting thick metals.
  • ½” clean cut. With the clean-cut ability up to ½” and max severance ¾”, this plasma cutter has a great cost to power ratio.
  • Dual voltage allows the user to run the unit either on 220V for more power or on a standard 110V outlet.
  • Portable. The machine weighs just 26 pounds and includes a convenient strong handle for easy transportation.
  • Includes all the basic accessories you need to get started: a torch, ground cable and clamp, air hose clips and connectors, and an air filter.
  • Best affordable plasma cutter.If you’re looking for a more professional machine, we’d recommend the Hypertherm 30 below. Otherwise, this is the best plasma cutter in its class.

The Bad

  • Does not include the pigtail for 110V.
  • Short ground clamp, measuring only 6 feet long.
  • Lack of a torch trigger guard.

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Hypertherm Powermax 30 XP – Best Rated

plasma cutter reviewsIf you’re ready to invest a bit more, with Hypertherm Powermax 30 XP you can make the best quality rigs around. This brand is known for making incredible products and this product is no exception. This plasma cutter is a great choice if you’re tired of wasting money on poor quality units that break after just a few years.

The Good

  • Dual voltage. Using the included adaptor, you can easily switch from doing a household job on 120V to more heavy-duty tasks on 240V. Also, it’s auto-voltage, meaning the machine automatically adapts to 120V-240V power.
  • Duty cycle differs for the voltage used. On 120V it has a shorter 20% cycle at maximum amperage, while on 240V it’s a 35% cycle.
  • Comes with everything ready to get you started and a few extras, such as protective gloves and glasses. If you also have an air compressor ready, you’ll be able to start slicing sheets of metal in no time.
  • Duramax LT torch is designed for heavy duty use even in the most demanding environments. It’s impact and heat resistant, the consumables have a lifespan twice as long as of lesser torches, and it’is 70% more efficient at higher cutting speeds. Also, the 15 foot lead gives you plenty of room to move around.
  • Two-in-one design. The machine is rated at 30 amps and has the ability to cut almost any type of metal, even if it’s rusted or painted. You also have the option of using high power cutting to blast through up to ⅝” thick metal at 20 IPM or use the FineCut consumable kit for detailed, thinner metal cutting.
  • Lightweight and portable. Thanks to the use of inverter technology, the portable plasma cutter weighs just 21.4 pounds. For ultimate portability, it also comes with a strap and a carrying case.
  • 3-year warranty.

The Bad

  • It might be good at cutting, but it’s not an industrial plasma cutter.
  • Expensive.

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Hobart Airforce 40i 500566

best value plasma cutterThe next pick in our top plasma cutters reviews comes from one of the most reliable brands in the industry. And this plasma cutter packs a lot of power, efficiency, the latest technology and portability all in one unit. This is the best value plasma cutter, as the list of features goes on and on. It’s an excellent option for hobbyists, DIYers and light industrial users.

The Good

  • Inverter design, which allows fitting more power in a tiny package. So you can have a combination of portability and faster, more precise cuts with minimum slag.
  • This is a single phase plasma cutter that requires 240V of input power, giving it even enough power for light industrial uses.
  • With 40 amps, it can clean cut up to ⅝” thick steel and sever up to ⅞”.This small plasma cutter can tackle almost anything you throw at it, from dirty and rusty to perforated and expanded materials.
  • One of the longest duty cycles around. For cutting ⅝” metal, the duty cycle will last 50% at 40 amps.
  • Thermal overload protection. This built-in feature shuts down the machine if it gets too hot or you reach the end of the duty cycle, also if the fan gets blocked.
  • You can hook it up to an engine driven welder for power.
  • Post-flow air cooling. After the cutting stops, a stream of cool air continues to flow for a bit longer. This helps to extend the life of the tips.
  • Fan On Demand. It turns on only when the temperature reaches a certain level. The advantages of this are noise reduction and reduced energy consumption.
  • Line voltage compensation. This feature allows the power source to have a relatively steady current that will fluctuate only +/-15%. This results in cleaner cuts.

The Bad

  • Only 240V.
  • Expensive.

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AHP AlphaCut 60 – Best Under 1000

top rated plasma cutterAHP AlphaCut 60 is another good plasma cutter that comes at a price just under $1000. It has the solid build quality and a big boost of power. It can generate up to 60 amps of power to cut through even the most tricky surfaces, such as rusted or coated metals. This system is recommended for DIY enthusiasts or light shop work.

The Good

  • 110V/220V dual voltage capability with an adaptor included making the switch between the two quick and easy.
  • Using 110V, you can clean-cut metals up to ½”. Using 220V, the maximum thickness can go up to ¾”. It will be a slow cut, but still a clean one. Some users have even been able to cut 1 inch. However, the cut won’t be as clean.
  • Commercial class efficiency. This plasma cutter offers the highest rated 60% duty cycle at 60 amps. This allows you to accomplish a lot more at an even pace, which is especially important if you’re doing heavy duty cutting projects.
  • A continuous pilot arc that allows creating very smooth cuts. The smoothness also equals to better efficiency and allows to work on rough metal surfaces. It will give perfectly good cuts even if the metal is rusted, painted or expanded. The pilot arc also cancels the need to stop every time you run into holes in the material.
  • 3-year warranty.

The Bad

  • Some users commented that even though the machine does function at 110V, it does a much better job at 220V.

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Goplus CUT-50 – Budget Plasma Cutter

good inverter plasma cutterIf you’re looking for the best budget plasma cutter, Goplus CUT-50 is the best there is in its price category. For a low price, it offers great characteristics, including reliability, lightness, high cutting speeds and more.

The Good

  • Inverter technology. This reduces the dimensions and weight of the transformer and additionally increases the efficiency by 30%.
  • Dual voltage gives the ability to operate at either 110V or 220V, depending on the application at hand. It also works with a power of 60HZ.
  • Great rated output range. You have the option to operate the system at either 20 amps for cutting thinner metals or dial it up to 50 amps if you’re working on thicker metals.
  • Gas delay feature, which allows to supply the gas ahead of time or turn it off with a delay once the trigger is released.
  • Works well also in the outside environment if it has the maximum humidity of no more than 80% and in the temperature range between -10 to +40 degrees.

The Bad

  • Manual for the machine leaves a bit to be desired.

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Everlast SuperUltra 206si – 3 in 1 Plasma Cutter

welder plasma cutter comboEverlast SuperUltra 206si makes a great option for people looking for a 3-in-1 plasma cutter combo. This system in addition to a plasma cutter also includes a stick and TIG welder. It’s a simple machine that comes with all the basic features, but the cost is very low. So it’s designed for budget minded DIY enthusiasts.

The Good

  • Multi-process capabilities. The unit has all the basic features for minimal cutting and welding requirements.
  • The 120V/240V dual voltage capability allows great operation versatility.
  • Can be powered by a generator, which is great if you need to work in remote locations or in areas with an inconsistent power supply.
  • MOSFET inverter technology designed with the purpose of creating a lightweight and portable plasma cutter.
  • The system also generates a lot of power, which ranges for its different functions. It’s up to 200 amps for TIG welding, 160 amps for stick function and 50 amps for the plasma cutter system.
  • Pilot arc feature allows making better and more accurate cuts in less time.
  • Maximum cut thickness using the plasma cutter feature is up to ¾”. For DC TIG welding it’s up to ½”, while for stick welding electrodes, the maximum thickness is ⅜”.

The Bad

  • Not approved for industrial welding or fabrication.
  • Doesn’t weld materials thinner than 16 gauge.
  • The welder function is DC only, so not applicable for aluminum welding.

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What Is Plasma?

To understand what is plasma cutting and how plasma cutters work, it’s best to begin with a question of what is plasma.

We commonly think that there are three states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. However, these states change from one to the other with the use of energy, such as heat. So when the water is changing from solid to liquid state, a certain amount of heat is applied in the process. If the heat levels were to be increased again, the liquid state would change to gas. Now, if they were to increase one more time, the steam will become ionized, becoming plasma. In this fourth state of matter, it becomes electrically conductive. A plasma cutter uses this to transfer energy from a power supply to an electrically conductive metal.

What Is Plasma Cutting?

Plasma cutting, or as it is also called plasma arc cutting, is a process that involves cutting through electrically conductive metals with the use of an accelerated jet of ionized gas (plasma), heated to temperatures above 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This melts the material and creates a cut, forming a completed electric circuit back to the plasma cutting machine with the help of a grounding clamp.

How Does a Plasma Cutter Work?

Let’s start off by understanding the components of a plasma cutting system.

  1. Power supply. The power supply converts AC voltage into a constant DC voltage that can range from 200 to 400 VDC. This DC voltage provides a smooth plasma arc throughout the cut. Additionally, it helps to regulate the current output based on the material and thickness being cut.
  2. Arc starting console. This console produces AC voltage of about 5,000 VAC at 2 MHz. This creates a spark inside the plasma torch, which in turn provides the plasma arc.
  3. Plasma torch. This component’s function is to provide alignment and cooling of the consumables. The primary consumables include the electrode, swirl ring and nozzle. All plasma cutter parts are held together with the help of inner and outer retaining caps. To further enhance cut quality, you can also a shielding cap.

how does a plasma cutter work

Plasma cutters are designed in different shapes and sizes. It could be a large plasma cutter that incorporates a robotic arm and makes precise incisions. It could also be a portable hand held plasma cutter that you would usually find in a hobbyist’s or handyman’s shop. However, regardless of size and shape, they all function on the same principle and have roughly the same design.

Plasma metal cutting machines send a pressurized gas through a small channel – a constricting copper nozzle on the tip of the torch. The gas can be either oxygen, nitrogen or argon. Sometimes even shop air is used.

In the center of the nozzle, you’ll find a negatively charged electrode. Once the power supply is started, it generates up to 400 volts DC and initiates the pre-flow of gas to the torch. Then the arc starting console generates a high frequency spark, ionizing the plasma gas and making it electrically conductive. This forms a current path from electrode to the nozzle and creates a pilot arc. Next, when you touch the tip of the nozzle to the workpiece, the current path shifts from the electrode to that workpiece and this opens the pilot arc circuit.

As the inert gas passes through the nozzle, the generated spark heats the gas to the fourth state of matter. Then the created stream of directed plasma reduces metal to molten slag.

The cycle of creating the arc is continuous as long as the electrode has power supply and plasma stays in contact with the workpiece.

A secondary shielding gas is also used, which comes out of the shielded cap in the nozzle. This releases a constant flow of shielding gas to further constrict the plasma arc, giving a cleaner cut with smaller kerf.

What Can You Do With Your Plasma Cutter?

Plasma cutters are very versatile offering many options for metal working. It’s an essential tool for people looking to build and repair any type of metal pieces. The following are some of the processes that you can do with a plasma cutter.

  • Cutting metal to specific lengths.
  • Hand cut shapes and designs.
  • Doing metal sculptures.
  • Mobile car dismantling.
  • Constructing custom metal fences.

How To Choose the Best Plasma Cutter For the Money

Buying a plasma cutter is a pretty big investment, so it’s important to choose the product wisely, taking into account features, quality of the product and your requirements. Here are a few of the most important factors to take into account in order to choose the best plasma cutter for the money.

Prioritize Power

One of the main considerations should be the power output of the plasma cutter. This has a direct effect on the ability of the machine to perform. It will determine the types of metal you can cut, the thickness of a cut, and the length of the duty cycle.

The power output of a plasma cutter is directly proportional to input power.

Input Power

Some of the cheaper plasma cutters operate on regular 110/120V outlets, which is standard for most homes. However, this limits the level of work they can do. The most powerful plasma cutters will require 220/240V of power. They will be able to handle heavy-duty utility junctions and will cut through thicker materials. But they are more expensive of course.

Before making a decision, check what type of power you currently have in your household. Most likely you have 110V or 120V. If you do want a powerful plasma cutting machine, you can hook up a higher voltage outlet. Some of the plasma cutters also offer dual voltage capabilities, which can be very handy for versatility.

Amperage

Next in deciding how much power you need is the amperage of the unit. Generally, most of the units are in the 30-50 amps range, which should be enough for most projects and settings. You can also find units with up to 200 amps, but they are usually welder plasma cutter combos. When choosing the right number, take into account the thickness of the metal you’ll be cutting and the available power.

Here are some basic guidelines for choosing the amperage. If you mostly work with materials ¼ inch thick or less, 25 amps should suffice. But for cutting metals up to 1/2 inch thick, you should look for at least a 40 amp plasma cutter. And if your work involves cutting metals up to 1 inch thick, look for 80 amps and higher.

Maximum Cut Thickness

maximum cut thicknessOne of the first plasma cutting machine specifications to check should also be the maximum cut thickness. It refers to ideal metal thickness limit that the machine can cut while achieving smooth lines. Consult the amperage description above to determine the machine’s maximum thickness capability.

Some of the plasma cutters will also in their specifications maximum severance thickness. However, don’t confuse it with the maximum cut thickness. While maximum thickness refers to the ideal thickness of the metal, severance thickness refers to the absolute maximum thickness the metal can be for the plasma cutter to still be able to cut through it. However, cutting metal at this thickness is not recommended if you want clean, smooth results.

Duty Cycle

Duty cycle indicates the ability of continuous operation without the unit overheating or experiencing other issues. It’s represented in a percentage. It shows a percentage amount of time of a 10 minute period. So if a plasma cutter has a duty cycle of 30%, you can safely operate the machine for 3 minutes and then will have to rest for 7 minutes. This is important if you’ll be using the plasma cutter continuously for long periods of time, especially if you’ll need to meet output quotas and specific timelines.

The duty cycle usually depends on the maximum amperage output. More amperage equals to longer duty cycle and the other way around.

Cutting Speed

When purchasing a new plasma cutter, also don’t overlook the cutting speed specification and check that it is adjustable. There are usually three types of the cutting quality.

  1. Rated cut. The plasma cutter uses maximum speed to cut through mild and thinner steel. Since the material is not thick, the cut comes out smooth and clean, resulting in the best and highest quality cut.
  2. Quality cut. The cutting speed is slow, but it produces high quality cuts of thicker materials.
  3. Sever cut. These machines also use a slow speed to cut through up to maximum thickness materials. This will not give you the best quality cut, however, and there’ll be a lot of post-cut cleanups.

Once you know the thickness of the materials you’ll be working with, you can determine the desired cutting speed.

Start

You’ll have the choice of two types of starts to initiate pilot arc: contact start and high frequency start. The high frequency starting circuit uses a high-voltage transformer, capacitors, as well as a spark-gap assembly to produce a high-voltage spark at the torch.

Contact start torches use a moving electrode to produce the initial spark that further creates the pilot arc. So when you fire the torch, the located on it electrode and nozzle are in a short circuit. But then the gas moves into the plasma chamber, pushing the electrode back and creating a spark. It’s very similar to the spark that you get when you pull out a plug out of a receptacle too quickly.

The advantage of the contact start is that it produces much less electrical noise compared to the high frequency. So if you’ll be working nearby lots of electrical appliances, it could create a lot of interference with their controls. Also, they’re instant-on torches, meaning you don’t need to wait for the pre-flow.

The Torch

plasma cutter torchAll plasma cutter torches are designed with the same basic elements:

  1. An electrode that has a negative charge to carry it from the power supply.
  2. A gas distributor that creates a swirling vortex of the plasma.
  3. A constricting nozzle to send a focused jet of plasma.

The torch acts as a holder for the consumable parts. Features of torches have improved over the years. Today they have improved cooling, better starting characteristics, and enhanced cutting capacity. They also have improved ergonomics, such as having a trigger design, more comfortable handles, and adjustable torch heads.

If you plan on cutting thin materials, look for a single flow torch. It will have limited amperage but will work without the need for an extra flow of shielding gas for cooling the torch. For thicker cutting, on the other hand, look at dual flow torches. They will require shielding but will allow cutting thicker metals using high amperage.

Inverter

If you frequently work at remote sites or offer freelance services, you will benefit from getting a plasma cutter with a built-in inverter. It will allow you to work anywhere, even if there’s no power outlet.

These inverter plasma cutters rely on DC power and they feed it using a high frequency transistor-inverter. The frequency can be from 10 KHz 200 KHz. Also, digital inverter technology saves space, allowing the plasma cutter manufacturers to make these units more compact with high cutting frequency capabilities. This enables the cutter to be more efficient and fast. These units are more pricey, but it’s the best choice if functionality and portability are important to you.

Control Panel

Look for a plasma cutter that has an easy to read and understand control panel, as this is the main part of the machine that allows the user to control the unit’s operation. This especially important if you’re just starting with plasma cutting. It will be difficult to learn the process if it’s all too complicated.

The most basic controls will usually include at least a power switch and a knob for adjusting power settings for the material being cut. Additionally, they can include LED indicators and precise digital controls.

Consumables

plasma cutter consumablesConsumables are the parts that require regular replacement as they wear out due to use. So when buying a plasma cutter, consider also their life and cost, which will help you to measure the system’s cost of operation.

Some plasma cutters have more efficient use of consumables than others. So for example, if you find a cheap plasma cutter, but it requires very frequent consumables replacement, you’ll end up paying more in the long run.

Information on what are consumables, their purpose and when to replace them, you can find in a section below this buying guide.

Portability

Though this might not be a very important factor for every user, the size and weight of the plasma cutter can be an essential factor for those who require a lot of mobility in their work.

If you need a portable plasma cutter, look also for additional features that will help with its transportation. It could be a carrying handle, support shoulder straps or a storage case.

Safety Features

Most modern plasma cutters come with this a cooling system and a safety shut off feature. The last one switches the machine off before it starts overheating as the duty cycle ends. The cooling feature also prevents the unit from heating up by providing a cool air flow. Additionally, it keeps out dust and dirt, preventing damage to the components.

Air Supply

Most plasma cutters today rely on clean, dry shop air. Older models used to rely on nitrogen as the plasma gas, but it required carrying out expensive bottles or large containers.

Shop air is currently more affordable and offers more versatility. Almost all hand held units today use shop air plasma. The exceptions are thick stainless steel and aluminum cutting, as well as plasma gouging. If you plan on cutting thin materials and want extra portability, you can also get a plasma cutter with a built-in air compressor.

Plasma Cutter Consumables

The main consumables are the electrode and nozzle. However, there are also other parts that need regular replacement, such as the shield, retaining cap and swirl ring.

Nozzle

The plasma is created at temperatures about 20,000 Fahrenheit and during the cutting process, it moves at thousands of feet per second. This creates a flow of air and electricity through the machine’s nozzle, resulting in erosion. With some time, the hole at the end of the nozzle starts to wear out. How to tell if the nozzle is worn out? Look at the end of it, if the orifice is very large or oval-shaped, it will create a wider and less defined arc, so that would be a good time to replace it with a new one.

Electrode

The electrode carries the current. It’s usually made from copper or silver and it also contains hafnium. These materials are known for their great conductivity. As compressed air circulates around the nozzle, it creates a barrier between the heat of the plasma and copper. But with the high temperatures, hafnium eventually starts to melt and during the cutting process pieces of it start to blow out. Eventually, you’ll see a pit at the front of the electrode.

You can replace the electrode once you’ll see that the pit depth has reached 1/32 inches. If you don’t, you’ll be just burning through the copper and you probably won’t be able to cut at all.

It’s recommended to change the electrode and nozzle together. With a new set, you’ll have the perfect orifice and pit depth every time. Otherwise, you can compromise cut quality.

Retaining Cap

The retaining cap basically just holds all the consumables together.

Swirl Ring

The swirl ring channels the gas from the machine and down through the torch. The ring swirls in order to allow gas that is going out through the nozzle to be at different temperatures. The gas that is in contact with the nozzle travel along the outside at cooler temperatures. This prevents the nozzle from burning up. The swirl ring also pushed the gas backward in order to pull the heat off the electrode,

The last three plasma cutter consumables don’t require as a frequent replacement as the electrode and nozzle. However, it’s good to replace them occasionally as well. The swirl ring and the retaining cap can crack if they get dropped. A cracked swirl ring won’t be able to properly channel gas. As for the shield, if it will start to build up slag, it can constrict the air flow.

As a rule, it’s best to replace these three consumables for every 10 times you replace the electrode and nozzle.

Plasma Cutter Tips For Beginners

plasma cutter tips for beginnersAfter you’ve selected your plasma cutting machine, here is a plasma cutter guide with useful tips to get the best possible cuts.

  1. Set-up process. To get started you’ll need a clean compressed air supply. There shouldn’t be any water or oil in it. Then set the required air pressure and check that the nozzle and electrode are placed correctly. Also, check that there’s a good connection of the lead to the clean portion of the work.
  2. Make sure that you have all the necessary safety gear, such as long sleeves and gloves for hand protection and goggles or welding shield for eye protection. Further, consult the manual for the plasma cutter for all safety tips and guidelines.
  3. When piercing the metal, approach the metal at an angle, not perpendicular to the work. The ideal angle is 60 degrees from horizontal and 30 degrees from vertical. This will prevent the molten metal getting blown back into the torch.
  4. Don’t touch the tip to the work surface as it will decrease consumable life and will have an adverse effect on cut quality.
  5. If you’re a beginner, you might find using a drag cup useful for facilitating consistent cuts. The drag cup snaps over the nozzle and when you make a cut, you can just allow it to rest on the work surface and drag it along for a cut.
  6. The right speed is key for a perfect cut. Moving too slow will create molten metal accumulation on the bottom of the cut. And moving too fast will have the molten metal accumulating on top of the surface.
  7. Start with the maximum power setting on the machine and after you can adjust it down as needed. It’s better to have more power. The exception is when working on precision cuts or small kerfs.
  8. Try to minimize the pilot arc mode time, as it quickly wears down the consumables.
  9. Keep an optimal distance between the nozzle and the work surface, which should be between 3/16” to ⅛”. You can use your non-cutting hand to support the other.
  10. Make sure that you use the right tip for the amperage setting.
  11. For cutting specific shapes, start by making a template and then trace along the edge.

Plasma Cutting Hazards and Safety Procedures

Fire Hazards

The plasma cutting process blows out molten metal and sparks. It also heats up the metal and torch to very high temperatures, all of which can cause a fire hazard. That’s why you need plasma cutting eye protection, such as approved safety glasses or additionally a helmet.

To protect the body, use dry, flame-resistant clothing and gloves. And for foot protection, have high-top leather work boots.

Make sure that you don’t have any matches or butane lighters in your clothes’ pockets. Move all the flammables away from the work area. Never cut pressurized containers or containers that may have had combustibles or toxic materials in them before that.

Electrical Shock

Plasma cutters work at very high voltages, so make sure that you’re not working in wet conditions or without rubber gloves. Also, always have the workpiece properly connected to earth ground. Inspect for poor connections and bare spots on cables. And never touch live electrical parts.

Fumes and Gases

Metal cutting produces fumes and gases, which are extremely hazardous. So work only in confined spaces that have good ventilation and it’s important to wear a respirator that complies with all the requirements.

UV and IR Rays

The arc produces hazardous UV and IR rays that are dangerous to eyes and skin. So it’s important to have proper body and face protection not just because of fire hazards, but also UV and IR rays.

Where to Buy a Plasma Cutter

You can find plasma cutters at local welding shops or online stores. One of the places to look for them is Amazon, where you can find a great variety of products and can read plasma cutter reviews of real users.

Bottom Line

A plasma cutter is an essential tool for people working with metal. If you’ve come to this site bewildered by so many manufacturers and models available, we hope this best plasma cutter comparison has helped you to find the right system for your needs. Our picks for this article were selected as the best rated plasma cutters that offer the best in all categories: performance, power, build quality and portability.

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