If you’re looking for one of the best tools to cut through sheet metal, a plasma cutter is a tool you need to have in your arsenal. Not many tools can rival its speed and precision, making it one of the top tools for cutting sheet metal, such as stainless steel and aluminum.
That being said, plasma cutters come in all shapes and sizes and picking the right one is paramount to a good cutting job. As such, we want to share with you the things you should consider to choose the right plasma cutter:
The power range in the case of plasma cutters varies from 40 amps to 700 amps, with 100 amps being the most common. The rule of the thumb is that the more powerful the cutter, the higher the price.
Power plays an important role in how fast a cutter can cut through a material. Therefore, if you need to cut big sheets of metal fast and clean, it’s better to go for a more powerful cutter.
If you are a hobbyist who does some metal cutting here and there, a 100-amp cutter should suffice.
2. Cutting Thickness
The thickness of the metal you can cut with a plasma cutter varies greatly, with some cutters being able to cut up to 5 inches of steel while others can only go up to 1/16th of an inch.
It depends on the model of the cutter and the manufacturer, so you need to pay attention to the specifications when you look at plasma cutters.
3. Duty Cycle
Duty cycle is the term used to specify the amount of time a plasma cutter can run before it needs to cool off. Duty cycle 3 minutes or more. While this might not be too much of a problem if you’re a hobbyist, it can be if you’re a professional.
Regardless, always take a look at the duty cycle. The higher the % stated, the more time you get. For example, if it states that the duty cycle is 30%, that means 30% of 10 minutes, which is three minutes.
Plasma cutters can vary in price from $100 to $10,000. Obviously, the price increases with the power and thickness, but most cutters fall into the above price range.
If you’re a hobbyist and don’t have a lot of money to spend, it’s best to go with a cutter in the lower price range. If you have the money to spend, then it’s best to go for a more powerful cutter.
5. User Friendly
Obviously, a plasma cutter will be a little difficult to use if you’ve never used one before. The good news is that there are many easy-to-use plasma cutters available on the market.
Look for a cutter that’s light, easy to control, and doesn’t require an expert to operate. Once you get used to it, you can get to bigger and more powerful ones!
The above are just some of the many things you should consider to be able to pick the right plasma cutter for the job. Remember, there are so many to pick from, so it is vital to understand your needs and what to know about them to shorten the list to the last few plasma cutters that’ll work for you. By then, it is just the balancing between price and performance, and you should make the sound decision of buying the plasma cutter that gives you the most for your money!
Cyrious Metal Works sells the best plasma cutting systems for both personal and business use. If you’re looking to buy affordable CNC plasma tables and more, check out what we offer!