A plasma cutter enables you to cut through most metals with greater precision than oxy fuel.
Plasma is usually defined as the fourth state of matter. When heat levels are sufficient enough, the matter will change from gas to plasma, as the gases become electrically conductive.
A plasma cutter uses the power of the ionized gas to achieve greater cutting precision. The hot gas leaves the nozzle at high speed and a hot torch is created which is then applied to the workpiece.
Take some time to go through this short tutorial explaining 4 important things to consider when buying a plasma cutter.
Manual or Mechanized
Plasma cutting systems are divided into two major categories: manual and mechanized. Manual systems let you use a hand-held plasma torch which is then used for cutting metals. The advantage of manual plasma cutters is that they are more maneuverable, giving you more freedom as well as additional performance options.
The majority of hand-held torches are able to cut up to 38mm (15 inches) thick material. As an example, a 12 amp hand-held torch will allow you to cut up to 3/16 inch of material, while a 100 amp hand-held torch will manage to cut up to 11/4 inch of material.
Conventional or High Definition
Plasma cutters come in two main types: Conventional Air Plasma and High Definition Plasma. Conventional cutters are mostly being used for home garage production and usually satisfy the needs of small to mid-size production.
High definition cutters are used predominantly by larger manufacturers who want to achieve better cutting precision.
Consider the Weight
If you need to operate your plasma cutter in different locations and in different conditions, you will want a plasma cutter that is versatile and easy to use in different situations.
Portability should be one of your major priorities when choosing the right plasma cutters that will satisfy your needs. For this reason, we recommend you choose a lighter cutter because heavier units will be harder to move.
Consider the amount of weight that you could reasonably carry. Still, even if you can manage to handle heavier units, it’s better you choose lighter units as it will increase portability and make your work a lot easier.
Determine the Thickness of the Metal You Are Going to Cut
Before you purchase a plasma cutter that is best suited for your needs, pay extra attention to the thickness of metal you cut. As we have stated earlier in the article, plasma cutting power depends on the amperage and greater the amperage, the greater cutting power.
If you usually cut less thick materials, lower amperage cutters will fulfill your needs without a problem.
Another factor you will want to consider before buying is the cutting speed, which depends on the thickness of the material. Again, metal thickness plays an important part. If the metal you cut isn’t thicker than ¼”, mid to lower amperage machines will do the job, but higher amperage ensurer significantly faster cutting speeds.
Tip: If you are still not sure what to look for when buying a plasma cutter, you can find a variety of different models by visiting Plasma Cutters online stores.In such sites,each model has a list of specifications that will help you make an informed purchasing decision.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)