Plasma is a device that utilizes electronically ionized gas to cut metals that conduct electricity. A plasma cutter can cut steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, brass, and all other highly electric conductive metals (All metals can conduct electricity).
Plasma cutters are more precise than oxy-fuel cutters, and they can also cut a wide range of metals such as stainless steel and aluminum, which is not possible with oxy-fuel. So, these advantages make plasma cutters necessary components of hardware engineering works and constructions.
Before buying a new plasma cutter, first, get to know which plasma cutter you need. In general, there are two types of plasma cutters:
A handheld Plasma Cutter has a hand torch that is used to cut material. These are portable, lightweight, and easy to handle. Handheld plasma cutters come in many variations. Different hand-held cutters have many types of types like pilot, non-pilot, and voltage differences.
CNC Plasma Cutters means Computer Numerical Control Plasma Cutters used to design complex and precise commercial works. These have a torch fixed on the top of the bed, which moves on the X-Y axis via an operating computer.
In most cases, CNC cutters have replaceable Plasma Cutting Devices, which means you can attach any other compatible Handheld Plasma Cutters with a CNC table.
Handel Plasma cutters come in many variations and sizes, so prices vary from 400$ to 1000$. Below are some highly-rated plasma cutters with their specifications.
PrimeWELD CUT60 plasma cutter is 110v/220v 60 Amp to use on house connections. It can cut up to 14-22 mm of metal with the pilot arc. The most reliable thing is that it has a 3-year warranty.
LOTOS LT5000D Plasma cutter is 10-50 Ampere 220/240V, which means it cannot run on low voltage. You can quickly connect to the pre-installed 1/4" NPT 1/4" industry type D plug and air filter regulator using the existing stand coupler on your air compressor. Getting the system up and running takes about a minute. Manufacturers provide one year warranty with the product.
Forney EasyWeld 140 F-C-i is a 140 amp and 120-V 20 Ampere plasma cutter, with one year of warranty. The product is exceptionally environmentally friendly, and you set it in less than one minute. It can cut 0.63’’ inches of thick metal.
YesWelder CUT-55DS is a dual voltage machine, which means you use low voltage 110v and high voltage 220v. Other features include Non-Touch Pilot Arc, Dual Voltage 110/220V, Powerful 1/2" Clean Cut & IGBT Inverter Technology.
Non-touch Pilot arc allows you to cut metal by touching it to metal, which prolongs consumable life, and you can also move the torch more freely while cutting. IBGT technology makes this more lightweight and smaller.
CNC Plasma Cutter is for commercial use only; these vary in size from 4x4 to 6x12, with many power variations and voltages, their price ranges from 1400 - 8000$. Here is a list of some CNC Plasma cutters. Most of the plasma tables manufacturers are from China.
Weldclass is USA based company that supplies in Australia. It provides many ranges of Plasma Cutters, from 4x4 to 5x10 in size. The table has a water bed that helps to soak fumes while combustion and material cool down sooner after cutting.
Toolots is a chain-based company, which provides a wide range of plasma tables on demand. One of the products is a gantry-type plasma cutter, which means its bed can exceed to much larger size (10x20) as you require. Besides this, although it is industrial equipment, it can still run on a very low voltage of 110V; it can output 120A of incredible power at total capacity.
Torchmate 5100 is an incredible plasma cutting product that is capable of running all day in industrial support. Bed size is 5x10 and provides three cutting options: FineLine® 170HD & 300HD, FlexCut® 200, and FlexCut 125. For the price, request a quote on their website.
Plasma tables are valuable industrial equipment. These can cut most metals in an exact and complex way that can't be done by the human hand, such as fancy complex design of gates, metallic cut name sheet, fancy art scenery on metal sheet, and much more related to designing on metals.
Starting investment on CNC plasma tables or handheld plasma cutters can be expensive, but plasma cutting is cheaper than other cutting methods. So, it's better to pay the bill once.
At max, a plasma cutter can cut up to 24 mm thick metals using maximum power output. Although oxy-fuel can cut more thick metals, the plasma cutter is far better, more precise, cleans, and easy to handle the device.
Generally, plasma cutters can cut all-electric conductive metals such as steel, copper, brass, aluminum, titanium, and much more. Still, tungsten is a rigid metal, and it takes too much time to cut tungsten. Moreover, plasma cutters can't cut wood, plastic, and other non-metals items.
Plasma Cutters are relatively more expensive than other cutting equipment, but they are worth the price. These can cut most of the metals used in steel, brass, aluminum, tin, and other electrically conductive metals and alloys.
Both Hand held, and Table Plasma cutters work on the same principle, but Plasma Table has a CNC device that controls the torch automatically with the given input. Different manufacturers make CNC Plasma tables by combining CNC tables and Plasma Cutters, but you buy a proper CNC Plasma table from authentic manufacturers.