Plasma Cutter Drag Tip vs. Standoff: What Are the Difference?

Mar 5, 2023 | Plasma Cutting Tips

Weighing the plasma cutter drag tip vs. standoff techniques can help you determine which plasma cutting process to use.

In this post, we will take a closer look at the two techniques, explaining what they involve, their pros and cons, and which process to choose when using your Hypertherm plasma cutters from Cyrious Metal Works.

How Plasma Cutter Drag Tip Works

The process generally involves gently dragging your plasma cutter’s torch’s tip along the work material to cut it.

Start by placing the torch far from you, and then pull it in your direction as you cut the material. Remember to keep the torch upright throughout the entire cutting process. Also, your movement should be smooth and consistent to ensure a clean, accurate cut.

How Standoff Works

The standoff technique involves holding the tip of your torch a small distance from the material, generally between three and four millimeters. The process also requires a cutting tip whose amperage must match your plasma cutter’s output.

To begin cutting, place the torch above the material and start drawing the tip across. Using a standoff guide or spring, circle cutting guide, and roller guide kits can help create your desired cuts.

Comparing the Two

Weighing plasma cutter drag tip vs. standoff will uncover each process’ distinct benefits.

Advantages of Plasma Cutter Drag Tip

This cutting method offers plenty of benefits, such as:

  • Easy to do: Plasma cutter drag tip is easier since you only need to drag the torch’s end along a template or straight edge.
  • More accurate: Plasma cutter drag tip is more accurate than standoff.
  • Less spatter and blowback: The process produces less blowback and spatter, which significantly enhances the longevity of your torch’s parts and tip.

Advantages of Standoff

The standoff technique also has benefits to offer. For instance, the process can support extremely high cutting currents.

Also, the method allows you to complete the cutting much quicker because of the faster travel speeds it permits.

Standoff and Plasma Cutter Drag Tip Drawbacks

While these cutting methods offer several advantages, they also have certain drawbacks. For starters, you can only use plasma cutter drag tip on cutting currents that do not exceed 40 amps.

Alternatively, the main disadvantage of standoff is how challenging it is to accomplish. The process needs steady hands and a lot of care to limit the risks of double arcing.

Plasma Cutter Drag Tip vs. Standoff: Which Is Better?

With each cutting method having its own advantages and setbacks, there is no outright winner. Ultimately, the method you choose will depend on your application and preferences.

For example, if you are working with low currents, plasma cutter drag tip would be the better option. Alternatively, if you prefer a speedy cutting process, then standoff would be more suitable.

Need help weighing plasma cutter drag tip vs. standoff? Reach out to Cyrious Metal Works. We are committed to offering you the support you need, from helping you pick the right cutting process to repairing a damaged plasma cutter nozzle.

Contact Cyrious Metal Works today at (903) 345 1841.