Are you looking for the best plasma cutters with built-in air compressors? They are revolutionary in their field, which is why many people want to get their hands on them.
In its base, a plasma cutter is responsible for turning the metal into a nearly gaseous condition by heating it up and then pushing the plasma out. That way it cuts the metal with the help of air. However, in order for this to be successful, the cutters require air with high pressure. And it can be acquired from special compressors that tend to be too expensive for many users.
Luckily, nowadays, the plasma cutters with built-in air compressors solve this problem. Not only is their price more affordable but they also have nice features that are worth checking out. To give you a hand with choosing the right one for you, in this full guide we’ll present all details you should know, starting from reviews of the best plasma cutters with built-in air compressors up to the buying guide. Enjoy!
Reviews Of The 6 Best Plasma Cutters With Built-In Air Compressors
1. Forney 317 250 P+ Plasma Cutter with Air Compressor
This green plasma cutter is mainly suitable for simpler tasks around the house. However, professionals can utilize it, as well.
Since it has a low weight, it can be carried around easily. And it’s started with a torch arc that is activated once the user pulls the trigger. Aside from this, this cutter is totally automatic and incorporates an air dryer and regulator of pressure.
Some detailed specifications are:
- Weight: 40 pounds
- Power input: 120 volts
- Warranty: 3 years
- Size of power cable: 15 feet
- Output power: 12 amps
2. Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR Hand System with 15' Lead
Although it’s a small model, Hypertherm made this cutter with some useful features for delivering a powerful performance. Its portability enables workers to carry it everywhere. They should just plug the cutter in, attach the clamp, and start cutting.
One of the main things that contribute to its efficiency is the internal compressor, which makes sure there is enough pressure. Not to mention that the AIR T30 torch incorporated in this model can resist dangerous environments and prevent damages.
Here are more specifications:
- Dual power input: 120 and 240 volts
- Weight: 30 pounds
- Output: 15 to 30 amps
- Size of accepted steel: 3/8 inches maximum
- Warranty: 3 years
3. Thermal Dynamics 1-1110-1 AirCut 15C Light Duty Plasma Cutter
Those that are looking for a professional cutter with industrial design and quality will find pleasure in this one. Despite the built-in compressor, it maintains the low weight and there are a few helpful features that make the utilization easier.
Firstly, it should be noted that it has a high rate of cutting. In fact, it can cut through a steel of 3/16 inches. To contribute to this, it has a big duty cycle and is suitable for ESAB. All of this explains why craftsmen that use machines like this professionally can take it with them to people’s houses and do the work everywhere.
These are some specifications worth considering:
- Size of the torch: 20 feet
- Weight: 29 pounds
- Duty cycle: 35%
- Input power: 120 volts
- Output: 15 amps
- Warranty: 1 year
4. HeroCut HC3500 Plasma Cutter With Built-In Compressor
What makes this plasma cutter with an internal air compressor interesting to users is that it is affordable and still offers some nice features.
For starters, it’s simple to set up and operate. This is especially important to those that don’t want to go through complicated manuals and spend a lot of time starting it. Connected to this, it comes with five tips and electrodes to assist users.
When it comes to power, it possesses a big range. Yet because it requires high input power and amperage, it can create problems in many households as it slightly exceeds the standard limit. On the other hand, its power range enables it to perform well in various conditions and cut through multiple metals. And the regulator of air that’s placed at the back of the machine increases the efficiency further.
Another aspect to consider is its weight, which is a bit high. Therefore, it isn’t considered to be a portable model. Due to all of this, this plasma cutter is mostly suitable for beginners and those that cut metal as a part of their hobby. But professionals that shop on a budget can still utilize it in their work.
For more specifications, check these out:
- Weight: 44 pounds
- Input power: 220 volts
- Power output: 15-35 amps
- Accepted size of cut metal: 2/5 inches
5. Hobart 500565 Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter 120/240V
When compared to some other models, this one lacks some options. Yet its price is lower, justifying this to an extent.
A notable feature of this cutter is its plug, which accepts multi-voltage. This means that people can utilize it to connect to both 120 and 240 volts of power. Also, it includes wind tunnel technology. With it, dust can’t enter the machine and damage its parts.
However, users should be aware that the machine’s weight isn’t very low. Not to mention that to be sure they achieve maximum performance, they should use it on thinner steel. Still, it operates well on professional worksites and is utilized by people that work with it every day.
If you’re curious, here are more detailed specifications:
- Input power: 110/120 and 220/240 volts
- Warranty: 5 years
- Output: 14-27 amps
- Weight: 32.1 pounds
- Maximum size of cut sections: 3/8 inches
- Dimensions: 2 x 8.2 x 14.2 inches
6. S7 50 Amp Built-In Air Compressor Plasma Cutter
In its base, this plasma cutter was made to be suitable for performing a variety of tasks from repairing and maintenance to processing metal. Moreover, it can cut through many metals, among which are stainless steel, aluminum, carbon steel, and similar.
People like to get it because it has a reasonable price and is a fair model taking this into consideration. However, it’s worth saying that users shouldn’t push it too much and cut very thick metals with it as it may get damaged more easily in comparison with some other models.
More precisely, here are the specifications:
- Weight: 47.9 pounds
- Input power: 220 volts
- Output power: 20-50 amps
- Duty cycle at 20 amps: 35%
- Maximum cutting capabilities: ½ inches
How To Choose The Best Plasma Cutters With Built-In Air Compressors
If you’re new in the plasma cutting niche, then you may think that plasma cutters aren’t very versatile in terms of power source as well as similar features. On the contrary, plenty of options exist on the market, so you should just find the one that’s most suitable for you.
The cutters operating on 120 volts are quite popular. It has a great performance if you’re working at home or have your workshop. Additionally, they’re the most light-weight models. Some plasma cutters can have a dual source power – both 120 volts and 240 volts. Users can perform a wider variety of tasks with these models. But they should expect that these models are a bit heavier.
As we previously mentioned, the voltage the machine operates on determines the whole weight of the model. But that isn’t the only factor. State-of-the-art technology tries to eliminate heaviness as a problem with these machines. The inverter technology, for example, is known for being light-weight.
Lightness is a desired feature in the best models. That’s because users can take the plasma cutter everywhere they go. Plus, they can easily find a place to store them or temporarily put them away while they aren’t working.
This refers to the period when the machine works continuously after which users have to let it cool off before operating with it again. Usually, it’s measured in ratios or percentages.
In the case of plasma cutters with integrated air compressors, productivity is a key element in your performance as a worker. So, the best models out there should enable you to work with them for a while without stopping and they shouldn’t break down every second or so.
With that being said, a power cycle (or a duty cycle, in other words) of around 35% is just fine. While it may seem like not enough, on the contrary, it means continuously cutting for more than three minutes. And that doesn’t happen often.
As technology progresses constantly, almost daily, automatic settings are the new trend that some users may be hyped about. To illustrate, some plasma cutters just sense the material that should be cut and immediately adapt to deliver excellent results. While it may not be a make-it-or-break-it factor, still it’s a nice additional feature that may be useful to some.
Since you’ll spend a few more additional bucks at the beginning when you’re purchasing a cutter with an air compressor that’s built in the structure, it’s nice to have a backup plan if something goes wrong. That’s what the warranty is for. If the machine breaks down or something happens to it, you should use the warranty.
For many high-quality models, a warranty period of around three years is more than enough. That translates into many hours a user may spend cutting with a single model.
Some manufacturers even give out extended warranty periods, but, of course, it may cost more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Will I pay more if I buy a plasma cutter with an air compressor opposite buying just a plasma cutter?
Plasma cutters with air compressors are considered to be two very professional machines placed in one machine. What’s more, if you want to make the cut as professional as it can get, air compression is a key factor, because its force is suitable for blasting out the boiling plasma. That’s why it’s only natural for the prices to go slightly higher when you’re buying a cutter with a built-in compressor instead of just a cutter that uses outside air sources.
- How much air does a plasma cutter need?
According to some experts, this number can be approximately 4-8 SCFM which are delivered at 90-120 PSI. This can be adequate for less thick and thicker steel.
- What’s the difference between plasma cutting and laser cutting?
One of the basic differences regarding the two is how they are used to cut materials. The latter is a process that’s associated with thermal power to make a cut and uses a beam of light. The other alternative is plasma cutting. This technique utilizes a blend of gases to cut.
All things considered, plasma cutters with built-in air compressors are useful utilities. They make the whole process easier and cut the metal more efficiently. We hope that with this guide, we managed to help you choose the right model for you and taught you more about the key features you shouldn’t overlook before you make your final decision. So, happy shopping and share your experience with plasma cutters with us here!
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- 1 Reviews Of The 6 Best Plasma Cutters With Built-In Air Compressors
- 1.1 1. Forney 317 250 P+ Plasma Cutter with Air Compressor
- 1.2 2. Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR Hand System with 15' Lead
- 1.3 3. Thermal Dynamics 1-1110-1 AirCut 15C Light Duty Plasma Cutter
- 1.4 4. HeroCut HC3500 Plasma Cutter With Built-In Compressor
- 1.5 5. Hobart 500565 Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter 120/240V
- 1.6 6. S7 50 Amp Built-In Air Compressor Plasma Cutter
- 2 How To Choose The Best Plasma Cutters With Built-In Air Compressors
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 4 Final Words