Main advantages of plasma cutters
When you first start your search for the best plasma cutter model, you may wonder what advantages they have, as opposed to other traditional cutter models. One of the key factors why a plasma cutter is better is because it provides a higher level of precision compared to other cutting tools, such as the oxy-fuel cutters. The plasma cutter is also extremely versatile and allows each operator the option to cut a variety of shapes and so much more. The plasma cutter also requires a little-to-no clean up as it uses an electrical charge to cut instead of the heat like the oxy-fuel models. The plasma cutter models are not usually best suited for cutting metal that is exceptionally thick, but they are able to cut aluminum as well as stainless steel, which is difficult for oxy-fuel cutters to handle.
Things to consider before buying a plasma cutter under $1000
There is a variety of features to check when purchasing a plasma cutter. The power, as well as the cut thickness, are two main features that can tell you a lot about the unit’s performance. Next, you will want to check the materials that you can cut with a particular model and also its input voltage, duty cycle, warranty, and accessories that come with the tool. Aside from that, when looking for the best plasma cutter under $1000, you will want to take the price of the model into consideration. These are important features to take into account when looking to purchase a model as each buyer will want to make sure that the plasma cutter can perform to their expectations when working on a project.
Plasma cutters use both air and electricity to cut, so it is important to see how much power you can get from it. The power is measured in amps and can range anywhere from 12 amps to 60+ amps. If you are looking for a heavy-duty model for various tasks, you will want to get a powerful model. On the other hand, for a smaller project, you don’t need that much power.
One of the best plasma cutters under $1000 for smaller projects on our list is the Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor, which has the power rating of 12 amps. This model would be a perfect fit for someone who is looking to do the very intricate and detailed cutting.
The cut thickness is the measurement of how thick a piece of material the plasma cutter can effectively cut through while still providing a clean performance. The cut thickness can vary, ranging anywhere from ⅛-inch to ⅞-inch. For example, the Eastwood Versa-Cut 60 Plasma Cutter has the largest cut thickness among the models featured on our list. This is an excellent option for those who are looking to tackle a larger project and are not as concerned with executing very small and detailed cuts.
Some plasma cutter models also offer a pilot arc feature, which assists in cutting more difficult materials, such as expanded metals, painted or rusted materials. This feature is ideal for anyone who is looking for continuous cutting.
Max severance thickness
Similar to cut thickness, the max severance thickness is the measurement of the maximum thickness a plasma cutter can cut through. However, it is important to note that a max severance thickness is not a clean, neat cut. Rather, it is a rough cut, just enough to cut a piece of material into two parts, often leaving some melted parts still attached. The max severance thickness is slightly larger than the cut thickness. For example, the Reboot CUT50 Plasma Cutter has a cut thickness of ½” and a max severance thickness of ⅗”.
Like we mentioned earlier, one of the main advantages of using a plasma cutter is that it can cut through materials that other cutters on the market can’t. When looking through the product description of each plasma cutter, be sure to notice what materials are listed there. The more recommended materials are listed, the more versatile the plasma cutter is! If you are looking for a plasma cutter that can deal with a good amount of materials, try the W Weldpro CUT60NH Inverter Contact Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter. This model can cut stainless steel, aluminum, copper, cast iron, carbon steel, and some other different kinds of metal.
Next, you should check the amount of voltage needed to supply the plasma cutter’s system. This is important to take into consideration as each user needs to be careful not to overload their plasma cutter’s system and connect it properly. Often, in the product description, you will find dual-voltage models, such as the Lotos LTPDC2000D. This means that the plasma cutter can operate using both 110-120 volts as well as 220-240 volts. It helps to make a plasma cutter more accessible and easy to use in a variety of locations. If a plasma cutter is not dual, it can cause the need for some finessing down the line.
For 220v models, you will need to get a generator to provide the correct amount of voltage for your plasma cutter to function.
The duty cycle is another key product feature that is essential to take into account. It refers to the amount of time within a 10 minute period that the plasma cutter can operate safely without any damage or overheating. This rating is most often listed as a percentage and decided based on its relations to amps and how much amperage the cutter uses. If you are looking for a plasma cutter, which is long-lasting and can be used extensively, perhaps a model such as the W Weldpro CUT60NH Inverter Contact Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, which provides 60% at 60 amps would be a great choice for you.
It is also very important to research if there is any warranty offered by each plasma cutter’s manufacturer. If a plasma cutter does offer a warranty, then be sure to find out how long it lasts for and what it covers. A warranty ensures that each product will be fully functional for the years to come. In the off chance that a part is malfunctioning or something breaks, the warranty ensures that every problem will be fixed and the buyer will have a flawless product once again.
After researching all of the above-recommended features, it is wise to look into what additional accessories are offered with each plasma cutter under $1000. Some of the most commonly found accessories are cutting torches, ground clamps, facial masks, hammer brushes, and power adapters, and so on. All of them can be found with the W Weldpro CUT60NH Inverter Contact Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter.
Each of those accessories adds to the overall value of the product. You want to check if everything is included in the package to start your projects right away.
Often, it is the accessories that ultimately sell the buyer on the product. The main reason for this is that the additional features often are specific and cater to exactly what the buyer’s needs are.
What else can be useful?
Other features that could prove to be extremely useful with the plasma cutter include anything that either adds to the ease of use or enhances the cutting process. A built-in air compressor is a rare feature that is found only on some plasma cutters, such as the Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor. This combination of two units into one definitely adds to the ease of use.
Some plasma cutter models also include other functions, and some even offer the function to weld! This makes the plasma cutter extremely versatile and can provide results that a plasma cutter without these features could not!