Plasma is the fourth state of matter after solid, liquid and gas. When gas molecules are heated, they become ionized and conduct electricity. This is called plasma. In a plasma, the electrons which leave the atoms due to the heat collide with the positively charged ions and with each other. These collisions create an incredible amount of energy. A Plasma cutter harnesses this energy to cut through sturdy metals and their alloys.
The plasma cutter has a small channel through which pressurized gas such as oxygen, nitrogen, argon or shop air is passed. The negatively charged electrode present in this channel is provided power by an external electrical supply. The electrode generates an electric arc which heats the gas until it reaches the plasma state. The plasma reaches a temperature of as much as 40,000 F which cuts through metal like a knife through butter.
Some of the top models of plasma cutters in the market have been listed here.
Hypertherm Powermax 45
Hypertherm Powermax 45 easily cuts through 7/8 inch steel. It can perform extended reach cutting, drag cutting, flush cutting, extended reach gouging and fine feature cutting, precision gouging, max control gouging and mechanized cutting. There are three torch options for cutting at various angles such as 90 degrees, 45 degrees and straight cutting. The torch cord is 20 ft in length while the power cord is 10 ft long. The sturdy construction makes it suitable for heavy use.
LOTOS LTP5000D Plasma Cutter
LOTOS LTP5000D is a portable plasma cutter which can cut steel, stainless steel, aluminium, copper and other metals. It can make clean cuts of as much as ½ inch. The PAPST German cooling system keeps the temperature of the machine under control. MOSFET transistor ensures easy cutting of tough materials.
MISHTO CT-520 Plasma Cutter
MISHTO CT-520 is a portable heavy-duty plasma cutter suitable for stainless steel, iron, carbon steel, brass, titanium and many other metals. Fan cooling and thermostatic protection prevent overheating, which makes it highly durable. The unit is housed in a sturdy metal casing but is light in weight.
SUNGOLD POWER Plasma Cutter
SUNGOLD POWER can cut through various types of metals. The maximum cutting thickness of this cutter is ½ inch. The LCD screen of the cutter displays the air pressure. It has exhibited good performance in heat dissipation, switching speed, peak current capabilities, temperature drift and performance at high voltages. It can work for long periods of time at a stretch.
Forney 317 250 P+ Plasma Cutter
Forney 317 250 P+ has an in-built compressor and runs on 120V and 20A electricity. This plasma cutter can cut through steel, stainless steel, copper, brass and many other metals. It can cut metals up to 1/8” thickness. The drag torch technology enables precise cuts. It takes about 1-2 seconds for the torch to ignite after pressing the trigger.
Plasma cutters are widely used in industries for cutting and welding heavy-duty metals for various manufacturing processes. They are also used for home applications such as plumbing or home welding. Metal artists also prefer plasma cutters to make minute and precise cuts to create various designs.