How to Choose a Plasma Cutter

How to Choose a Plasma Cutter

The best plasma cutter will help you get a precise cut very quickly. It can be a necessary addition for repair shops, artwork, recycling and demolition. Plasma cutters will work on a variety of conductive metals, which makes it ideal for a variety of situations. But with so many options available, how can you pick the right plasma cutter for your needs?

What to look for in a plasma cutter.

What to look for in a plasma cutter

Start trigger

Plasma cutters may either be contact start models or high frequency start models. For users working in a secluded work environment, both plasma cutters will prove just as effective. However, high frequency start plasma cutters may experience interference when used near certain electronics, such as telephones and televisions. Telling the two apart can be an ideal way to define your options when you are looking for a plasma cutter.

A in-built inverter

Plasma cutters will work with a standard AC power supply. For people who are interested in plasma cutting services but have no power output, this can be particularly challenging. If you are planning to power your plasma cutter with a generator, you will need to consider an inverter. Generators produce DC, which is not compatible with plasma cutters. However, the right model will also feature an inverter that allows convenient use without power.


Do you work from a central area? Do you intend to share your plasma cutter? If you do not have access to a workshop, you may consider buying a lightweight and mobile plasma cutter. Many older models are compact and immobile, and are very difficult to move about. For people who plan to use their plasma cutter infrequently or for personal work, and those who may consider sharing the use of their plasma cutter, a lightweight and portable option could be best suited.

Top plasma cutting tips and tricks

You should always hold the torch at a 90-degree angle, allowing you to keep a secure and stable drag shield on the metal you intend to cut. It is also important to know how to operate the amperage for maximum efficiency when cutting. Remember, thicker metals will require more power while amperage can be adjusted for lighter work. You may need to follow your manufacturer specification, since some manufacturers recommend full power settings for all work.

Your plasma cutter will specify the air pressure that is suitable for cutting at certain levels. Most plasma cutters will be compatible with a number of gasses, and it is up to you to determine the best gas for the job. For instance, if you are cutting through stainless steel, Nitrogen would coffer great value.

You need to inspect for and address any damage that your plasma cutter might be showcasing. The shield cup, electrode and cutting tip should also be inspected before every use. This will ensure optimum service every time, which can mitigate the safety risks involved. If you use your plasma cutter once at a go, you will be less likely to cause damage to these components and may even prolong the lifespan of your tool’s consumables.

You will need different techniques for cutting, piercing and gouging. It is important to understand the angling and amperage differences for all these different aspects of work for efficient and quick plasma cutting.

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Brian is a part time educator at a local community college, where he specializes in teaching Molecular Biology and Chemistry. He has 12 years of experience in this capacity, but has been doing home based crafts and science experiments out of his garage since he was in high school. When he is not spending time at school or in the research lab, he likes to take up DIY crafts, which he picked off YouTube five years ago. He has become a carpentry and ironwork guru, with many of his crafts donated to the school to help attract the interest of students, who spend one weekend a month at school working on their own crafts. Brian strongly believes that every DIY hotspot needs a strong, durable plasma cutter.


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