Plasma Cutters Vs Cutting Torches

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Plasma Cutters Vs Cutting Torches

In the world of welding, there is an ongoing debate that which is better, plasma cutter or a cutting torch. So, we have come up with a little comparison for you all.

But, hold up! Let’s start again for the beginners. All those beginners who don’t know what plasma cutter is and what cutting torches, don’t worry! We got you covered!

Plasma Cutting: Plasma cutting uses plasma along with electric charge to cut through materials that are conductive.

Cutting Torches: Torches basically uses high heat source and oxygen to cut through metals. the pure oxygen used in the process increases the heat hence the conductive metal is cut easily.

Now it is time to have a look at the comparison table that we have created.

Category Plasma Cutters Cutting Torches
Precision Plasma cutters makes more precise cuts because plasma is used. The cuts are quite clean, precise and mess free. Cutting torches on the other hand use oxygen and fuel to cut through the conductive metal. The cut created with torches is not as neat and precise. It requires additional effort to make it look good.
Price Plasma Cutters is more expensive as compared to cutting torches. However, it ends up being affordable mainly because cuts made with cutting torches require extra work and they end up being more costly.

 

Cutting torches are comparatively cheaper but since they require additional work, they may become pricier than plasma cutting.
Power Plasma cutting is less powerful than cutting torches. It has the ability to cut through metal as thick as 2-inches. Even though the cuts made with cutting torches are not as clean, they are much more powerful than plasma cutting.

Cutting torches are capable of cutting through 24-inch-thick conductive metals.

Transportation and Portability In the modern times, plasma cutters have become much more portable. However, they are not more portable or easy to transport as compared to cutting torches mainly because they require electricity.

 

The cutting torches are more portable and easier to transport because all you need is a tank of gas and you can carry them to the farthest areas.

 

Advantages of Plasma Cutters

a) Curves and odd shapes can be created

Since the plasma cutters are extremely precise, they allow the users to create odd shapes and curves. You can follow patterns just like you use a pencil.

b) Gets the job done quicker

They take less time in cutting through metals. Other methods of cutting may be very time consuming. In comparison to other procedures, the plasma cutting takes only ¼ of the time.

c) Compatible with various different materials

Plasma cutters are able to cut through a variety of materials as long as they conductive. Some of the materials that are compatible with plasma cutting include titanium, copper and steel. Various alloys are also compatible.

d) Cost and energy efficient

Even though the cost of plasma cutting is high but it ends up being cheaper. Along with that, it utilizes less energy to get the job done.

e) Low-maintenance

The plasma cutters are quite low maintenance. They don’t require any repairing or replacements in the long run.

f) Safe to use

Since the plasma cutters mostly rely on inert gases, they become quite safe to use.

 

Drawbacks of Plasma Cutters

a) Unable to cut through thicker metals

The major drawback of the plasma cutters is that they are unable to cut through thicker metals.

b) Noisy and creates fumes

Also, during the cutting process, the plasma cutters create a very annoying noise and they also create fumes.

c) Creates bright flashes

Lastly, while using plasma cutters, the users must be very careful because it creates bright flashes.

 

Advantages of Torch Cutters

a) No power supplies are required

Since the torch cutters are quite portable. They don’t need power supplies or sources to be able to function. Availability of oxygen and fuel gas is more than enough for functioning of torch cutters.

b) Cuts through thick metals

The torch cutters are capable of cutting through thicker metals. They may cut through metals that are as thick as 24 inches.

c) Cheaper

The torch cutting is cheaper than plasma cutting. However, it may be costly in the longer run.

 

Disadvantages of Torch Cutters

a) Creates a layer of solidified steel

When cutting through the metals, the torch cutters create a layer of solidified steel. Hence, additional work is required to get rid of it.

b) Compatible with only limited materials

Torch cutters are not suitable for a variety of materials. They are only compatible with carbon steels, low alloy steels along with cast iron. Other alloys or materials are not suitable.

c) Oxygen and fuel mix can cause explosions

Cutting torches are not very safe to use mainly because the oxy-fuel combo can cause explosions.

The Winner?

Well, for one person, plasma cutters may be the winner while for the other person torch cutters may be the winner. This is mainly because each of them gets the job done and each of them have their pros and cons. So, you pick out your winner!

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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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