What Is the Difference Between Hypertherm 45 and 45 XP?

Aug 1, 2022 | Plasma Cutting Tips

The Hypertherm Powermax45 is a favorite among plasma cutting enthusiasts. It’s one of the best cutting and gouging tools ever made. Hypertherm capitalized on the product’s popularity to launch the new and improved Powermax45 XP.

Are you considering picking up one of these plasma systems? This article will look at the 45 vs. the 45 XP under a few talking points to help you see the improvements. Hint: The 45 XP wins in most areas.

User Experience

The Hypertherm Powermax45 XP comes with everything you need for a seamless experience in the box, minus an air compressor. You’ll find the plug, torch, and other materials enclosed. Unlike its predecessor, the 45 XP comes with all the standard connections.

The control panel is the main difference between both models in terms of user experience. The control placement on the Hypertherm 45 is not the best, especially with the power button in the back. On the 45 XP, everything is within reach and easier to access.

Attaching and detaching the FastConnect torch is much easier on the 45XP, thanks to the one-button release. There are several warning lights and sensors to alert you to any problems.

The Hypertherm 45 offered a good balance between automation and control. The 45 XP offers an even better middle ground with the improved Smart Sense technology. It adjusts air pressure automatically, solving a major headache for most welders.

For everything else, you’re in control. You can adjust amps from 10A to 45A and switch between cutting and gouging at the press of a button.

Overall, the user experience is a lot better on the 45 XP.

Cut Capacity

The Powermax45 vs. 45 XP argument is incomplete without considering the cut capacity. The 45 XP slightly beats the 45 in delivering cleaner, more precise cuts on a wide range of materials. However, both will produce less clean results if you move above 5/8” (16 mm) thickness.

However, the 45 XP offers results even when cutting materials up to an inch thick. Unlike other plasma cutters, you can place the nozzle directly on the piece instead of holding it above.


Hypertherm discontinued the Powermax45 in 2016. That’s almost six years ago, so you won’t find a new unit easily. On the other hand, the Powermax45 XP is available everywhere, including here at Cyrious Metal Works.

If you want a plasma cutter you can buy on short notice, the 45 XP is the better option.


The Powermax45 vs. 45 XP debate shows that the newer product wins on most metrics. If you’re considering buying a 45 or a 45 XP, you should know there is no significant benefit to choosing the older model. You may get a lower price on it, but that’s only because you’ll find used units on sale.

At Cyrious Metal Works, we offer an extensive range of plasma cutters, including the Hypertherm Powermax45 XP. Check out our product page to place an order.