You may require a plasma cutter for your home workshop if you are in need of a powerful cutting tool. Cutting through a piece of metal may be very hard to do if you are using a mechanical saw. However, plasma cutters can cut through almost any metal. This machine makes use of high velocity ionized gas called plasma that can cut through thick or thin strips of metal precisely and with ease. Although this technology has been around since World War II, it is only becoming popular today, as it used to be very expensive. It is high time to look into the possibilities of using plasma cutters for your cutting needs. Simply follow the tips below if you are ready for a purchase.
Determine the Type of Metal You Will Cut Most Frequently
Consider the type and thickness of metal you will work on. Cutters are basically rated according to their amperage and ability to cut. Lower amperage units can cut through thinner sheets of metal. If you often work with thicker metal sheets, consider a higher amperage cutter. Each unit works for a certain range of metal thickness. Some metals are also easier to cut because they have higher electrical conductivity (for example, plasma cutters can more easily cut through iron than aluminum because iron has a higher conductivity). Usually, units with an output of 80 amperes can cut through a thickness of 0.75 inch, 60 amperes for 0.5 inch, and 25 amperes for 0.25 inch.
Choose the Best Cutting Speed
Choose cutting speed, taking into consideration that the rate of a power cutter is measured in inches per minute (IPM). Naturally, a unit with higher amperage can cut through metal at a faster rate than units with lower amperage. In order to achieve high quality cuts at a faster rate, it is best to choose a unit with twice the power. For instance, if you usually cut .25 inch metals, consider a 60 ampere cutter.
Consider Duty Cycle
Determine what duty cycle works for you. The duty cycle of a machine refers to the time it can cut through a metal continuously before it heats up and requires cooling. This is rated at a certain percentage for every ten-minute period. A 40 percent duty cycle, for instance, allows you to cut continuously for four minutes in a ten-minute period. A six-minute cooling period is required before you can use the machine again. Higher duty cycles allow you to cut for a longer period of time.
Look at Features
Look for portability, comfort, and safety features. Some consumers require mobility and portability. Look for varieties that can be carried around in job sites or other working sites. Make sure that the product comes with a very helpful and easy to read control panel and troubleshooting/set-up manual. It is also recommended that you choose one that has a safety sensor.
Test the Machine
Test the quality of cuts a machine makes and compare it to others. There is no better way to choose a plasma cutter than to see the results yourself.