How to Use a Plasma Cutter – The Best Plasma Cutter Guide
How to Use a Plasma Cutter – The Best Plasma Cutter Guide
Over the years, we’ve researched several sources to learn more about the world of plasma cutters, and in that time, we discovered that many people are interested in learning how to use a plasma cutter. So, rather than keep it all to ourselves, we decided to share with you the knowledge and expertise that we acquired over time.
Plasma cutters are a type of instrument that cut through various materials such as steel, aluminum, and wood. They can be pretty costly, but they perform absolutely beautifully and produce works of art that are genuinely really valuable and amazing.
For example, check out just some of the work we’ve done with plasma cutters below!
Nothing happens overnight in the world of plasma cutting. You’ll have to be patient and practice good technique to get the hang of it. It’s not rocket science, but there are a few things you need to know in order to make the most of your plasma cutter. The secret to success is learning little by little every day, and studying diligently. Knowledge will be acquired over time, and you will become more confident in yourself as a result of your practice. By the end, you’ll be shocked at how far you’ve progressed when you look back.
Our goal is to provide you with all the information you need so that you don’t have to go through the same struggles we did. So, in this article, we will cover:
⦁ Why we need a plasma cutter
⦁ Mechanism and its settings
⦁ Complete operation with a plasma cutter
⦁ Consumables material
⦁ Tips for good shopping
In our prior post, we included some helpful information about the plasma cutter, “How Hot Is a Plasma Cutter,” and several cautionary measures. We recommend that you read it before proceeding, because when we learn how to use a plasma cutter, we must also remember to be safe.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Do I Need to Buy a Plasma Cutter?
Believe it or not, we began with a grinder, and a band saw, but one day we discovered the plasma cutter. From there, we decided to explore the answer to “What Is A Plasma Cutter” in a little more detail, and our lives changed.
Owning a plasma cutter is a fantastic addition to any shop and provides a level of versatility that is hard to beat. Once you learn how to use a plasma cutter, you can cut through an amazing variety of materials very easily.
All of the tools you’ve tried so far for cutting metal will seem worthless and difficult to operate when compared to a plasma cutter, since it gives the power to cut various materials, sizes, and thicknesses with relative ease.
Even if you’re not a professional, owning a plasma cutter is a significant investment and will save you time and money in the long run. With just a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to cut through metal like a pro!
How to Use a Plasma Cutter
From our personal experience, the plasma cutter is a great tool to have in your arsenal, but it’s not something you can just jump into and be perfect at. It takes some practice, learning the correct settings, and adjusting to the different materials you’re working with. Like anything else in life, if we want to be good at using a plasma cutter, we have to dedicate time to learning and practicing.
With the basic ordinary manual model, a little practice will help you to be able to make straight clean cuts on mild steel with a thickness of up to around 1/2 inches. This is the recommended maximum thickness for home hobbyists. A 110v plasma cutter is an excellent choice for those starting out, but it has limitations. They’re generally used for cutting thinner materials, such as chrome, copper, and aluminum.
If you need to cut through thicker materials than that, then it’s best to move up to an automatic or industrial model plasma cutter. For a thicker sort of metal, we recommend this model. See More
As a beginner, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when learning how to use a plasma cutter:
⦁ Safety is the number one concern.
⦁ You must be patient and take your time.
⦁ Make sure you understand the settings for each material.
⦁ Practice on scrap metal before cutting your project piece.
⦁ Start with simple shapes and work your way up to more difficult ones.
Once you’re ready to start cutting, all you have to do is:
⦁ Adjust the air
⦁ Connect the machine
⦁ Mark the metal
⦁ Start cutting!
When cutting metal, you should keep in mind that most plasma cutters require 220 volts to be able to cut metals thicker than ⅜ inches. Of course, it is also dependent on the plasma cutter in most cases.
Complete the Work Process With a Plasma Cutter
⦁ When you’re ready to utilize the plasma cutter, double-check that all connections are in place and ready to go; safety comes first.
⦁ If you’re in a closed space workshop, ensure you open all of the windows to get the air ventilation flowing through the workspace.
⦁ We must eliminate all flammable substances that are nearby to prevent a fire.
⦁ If your machine requires outdoor air, we must connect the line immediately; if the machine compresses its own air, we must check whether the device is connected to electricity and if the air is generated.
⦁ The machine will have a certain air pressure for optimal cutting; be sure to check the instructions.
⦁ When the air pressure is reduced, it will drop, but don’t be alarmed; it’s completely natural and anticipated.
⦁ When you release the shutter and cease the reduction, the pressure returns to any PSI you selected, and the meter shows the current PSI.
⦁ Place the object you’ll be cutting in a vise, on a saw, or table for inspection. Ensure it’s metal.
⦁ Adjust to the material you are cutting; if the metal is thicker, many machines will usually have 50 AMP, ⦁ like these.
⦁ When cutting metal, you should pay close attention to where it will fall so that it does not strike you or the cable.
⦁ The place where the cut is cleaned is either with a wire wheel or with a grinder until the surface is entirely bare metal.
⦁ We need to draw a line where the cut goes, using metal chalk, or any other marking device you have.
⦁ Attach the grounding clamp of the plasma cutter to a piece of metal that will remain stationary after cutting.
It’s time to put on our protective gear! Shaded goggles or a welding helmet, and gray shades are all recommended.
Starting the Work
⦁ Connect the plasma cutter and the air hose. Then, check if your machine is receiving energy and air.
⦁ If all is well, you’re ready to work.
⦁ Take the torch and align it by 90 degrees to your workpiece.
⦁ Align your body with the piece of metal, so that you are furthest from the sparks. This will help you to have a clear view of your cut, and to protect yourself from falling metal after the cut itself, because it is scorching.
Adjusting the Cut Itself
⦁ The next step is to ensure the plasma torch can fit through the entire incision. We don’t want to have to change the middle incision.
⦁ Flip down your plasma hood.
⦁ If possible, position your plasma torch slightly off the piece of metal to prevent blowback (this will not be possible if you are starting a cut in the middle of a piece of metal).
Start the Machine
⦁ To start the plasma cutter, turn a switch or push a button. Then use the built-in light to make an incision.
⦁ It’s crucial to note that you should track the speed of travel. It is simple to determine whether you are moving too quickly or too slowly. Sparks and dust fly in your direction if you go too fast. If this occurs, it implies you’re traveling at a dangerous speed.
⦁ We have to travel slowly, not force the machine. At some point, you may notice an uneven cut. If you move too slow, you may have room for the torch to wander left or right, which will result in uneven cutting if you do not use the guide.
⦁ Travel speed is correct if all dirt and debris fall to the floor.
Last but Not Least
⦁ Keep going until you hear the metal hit the ground, so you’ll know that the process is finished. If it doesn’t break in some cases, you’ll need to use hammers.
⦁ At the very end, you have to let the metal cool down before lifting it off the ground because it will be boiling. The small pieces are much hotter, so be careful when cleaning up.
⦁ The next thing to remember is that if you are just starting out or planning to cut metal, the thicker the metal, the slower the speed. If you move too fast, you will not achieve a thorough cut. So it is crucial to follow the machine’s work and not force it.
Which Is the Best Plasma Cutter to Buy?
So far, we’ve covered a few facts about the plasma cutter itself, its settings, and how the plasma cutter is actually used (how it works). Now, let’s shift gears and discuss the best plasma cutter to buy.
To make your decision easier, you can find various types of plasma cutters in the shop. We even sorted some models by price, from the cheapest to the most expensive, to make your search easier! See More.
If you’re hunting for a plasma cutter, you should note that everything boils down to your preferences and needs (the reasons you intend to utilize it). Therefore, you’ll need to define a precise objective for what you plan to do with it, whether for aesthetic reasons or a specific project or activity.
The Best Plasma Cutter to Use in the Field
As you can see, there are a lot of plasma cutters on the market. There are different types of brands, and the best one is the one that will finish the job. The prices range from the cheap ones from $200 to $3,000.
Of these cheaper models, most have solid performance and can finish the job without any problems. However, if you are looking for a more serious machine that will not have any problems with any job, then this is the best choice. See More!
To summarize, in order to use a field device, you’ll need a machine with either 15 or 20 leads. This is because such a mechanism will allow you to connect air and electricity rapidly.
Getting a new tool can be really exciting. From the moment you open the box to taking it out for its first spin, there’s nothing like the feeling of a new machine. The best plasma cutter is the one that will help you finish your job without any problems.
Plasma cutters open a world of possibilities for the DIY enthusiast and professional. With the best plasma cutter in your arsenal, you can tackle any project with ease!
Most frequently asked questions and answers:
Q1. How Does A Plasma Cutter Work Step By Step?
Plasma cutters work by sending an electric arc through a gas that is passing through a constricted opening. The gas can be shop air, nitrogen, argon, oxygen, etc. This elevates the temperature of the gas to the point that it enters into the fourth state of matter.
Q2. Will A Plasma Cutter Cut Rusty Metal?
The plasma cuts cleanly and quickly through 1/8 inch metal, just as simple as drawing a line. Plasma can cut any electrically conductive metal, including stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and more, without pre-heating. Plasma is also great at cutting painted, dirty, or even rusted metal.
Q4. What Air Pressure Is Required For Plasma Cutting?
Air requirements for a plasma cutter will require about 4-8 SCFM at 90-120 PSI. This will cover units that are intended for up to 3/8″ thick steel to large units that can handle 7/8″.
Q5. Can You Cut Wood With A Plasma Cutter?
Depending on the plasma cutter used, any thickness from 30 gauge through 1 inch can be cut. Unfortunately, plastics and wood are not electrically conductive and cannot be plasma cut. However, you can use a rotary saw, router, or another tool if you want to cut these materials in the PlasmaCAM machine