Plasma cutters are industrially used for wide ranges of activities, which include cutting thin sheets of steal, thicker steel, piecing and piercing of thin and thick sheets of steel, molding different structures, sizing thick or thin sheets to bigger ones among others. All these activities are need accuracy and preciseness of the best, sharp and fine plasma cutter. In a nutshell, plasma cutting is an industrial process used by big manufacturing companies together with industries to cut sheets of steel into an array of shapes and sizes. The need for the best plasma cutter is thus important if you want to be steps above others.
Types of best cheap portable plasma cutters
Because of the different steel types and the different requirement for each to get precise cuts, different plasma cutter types had to be developed. This is because each steel type is compatible with a plasma cutter that best works with it. The grading systems that define the cutting levels together with environments required dictate that different plasma cutter types be used. Different voltage ratings dictate the different plasma cutter types we have on the market.
Due to the different steel cutting needs, a combination of different ratings have been fixed through which these steel get their precise cuts. Two precise and distinctive ways are used in plasma cutting technology thus defining the plasma cutter types. These are the:
High frequency plasma cutting
These high frequency ratings are meant to be used for cutting thicker steel sheets because of the greater loads they can sustain. They require torch-like nozzles where high temperatures will be employed to cut the steel. The working part, which puts off the arc and leads to precise cuts, is the electrode. Since it’s quite expensive, use this method only on thick sheets that can’t be cut by the blow back plasma cutters.
Blow back plasma cutting
The blow black plasma cutting is the simplest cutting methods hence these cutters are equally simple. Both the cathode and the anode are connected to power and brought to contact with the sheet being cut. It is a cheaper method worth being employed on thin sheets.
Advantages of Using Plasma Cutters
- It is easier to cut both thin and thick sheets of paper
- It is possible to precisely cut different types of metals such as aluminum, steel and stainless steel.
- It is possible to handle different mechanical activities by the use of the plasma cutters. These include piercing, cutting and piecing among others.
Tips on finding the best cheap portable plasma cutters
- Duty cycle
- Input power
- Cutting speed
- Air supply
- Control panel
- Built-in inverter
This is a very crucial factor to look at with consideration of whether the plasma cutter is used frequently or not. A buyer should consider a cutter with a high amperage output if it is going to be used frequently for a long time, but not for continuous use. A cutter will have a high duty cycle if it has a high amperage output as compared to one with a low amperage output. One should go for a cutter with maximum thickness that it can best work with if the cutter is to be used continuously for longer periods.
The larger percentage of plasma cutters needs high electric power for effective work and that’s why this factor must never be overlooked. All cutters come with amperage ratings and are designed either for 220 volts or 110 volts power outlet. One should go for a cutter whose electric outlet meets the minimum amperage requirement of that cutter. It is wise t have a separate circuit for the plasma cutter. This is to avoid reduced input power to the cutter that can be caused by plugging in other appliances into the same circuit.
This is also another vital factor to consider before buying a plasma cutter. As you check for how thick the metal is, you should also check whether the cutting speed is the one desired. So compare the cutting speed as well as the cutting quality. There are three qualities of cutting;
- Rated cut, which provides highest quality, cut. Here the cutter is used to cut steel that is mild and less thick at a maximum speed. The cut is usually smooth and clean, since the metal is not very thick.
- Quality cutrated cutters give good quality cuts of materials that are thicker in a longer period.
- Sever cutrated cutters are able to cut materials that are very thick but at a slower speed. The cuts are usually of poor quality and require post-cutting to clean up. The speed starts slowly but it increases with decrease in thickness of the material that is being cut.
There are two kinds of starts that are usually used by cutters to initiate the pilot arc; high frequency and contact start. A plasma cutter using high frequency start can cause plenty of interferences when used close to electrical appliances or electronic devices. The control of these other appliances makes it dangerous to use a high frequency start. No interferences are caused by the contact start technology. It also provides a pilot arc that is visible to allow the user to see it and put the torch in an accurate position.
Normal air is used in cutting for most hand-held cutters. Bottled nitrogen is preferred to bottled air for cutters that are portable by most users. This is because bottled nitrogen is cheaper as compared to air and it is believed to produce less oxidation. Nitrogen is also drier than the compressed air which is good when dealing with stainless steel cuttings. It is however tedious to o around carrying a cutter together with bottled gas. A good alternative to this is to get a cutter that has a compressor that s built-in. this makes the cutter to be portable since the weight is less and it also saves money.
This is one crucial factor to the effective working of the cutter, since an environment that is not clean will certainly produce unclean air supply to the cutter. This affects the accuracy of the cutting and may also interfere with how durable the device will be. There are specially designed cutters suitable for such environments. They have a wind tunnel technology that is build-in so as to provide reliability and accuracy. The device is designed such that the air meant for cooling flows through in such a way that it does not blow over the electrical components. This way the dust cannot settle on any vulnerable part of the electrical components. This is a very effective way of dealing with a dirty environment since the fans run whenever it is necessary preventing any entry of dirt or dust.
This is basically the main part of the plasma cutter which allows running of the device by the user. When buying a plasma cutter, one should go for a cutter with controls that are easy to read and also easy to understand. This is very helpful especially to those users that are inexperienced. It becomes easier for them to use the cutter if the controls are simple and specific. To make work easier, one can consider plasma cutters that are fitted with consumable compartments, mounted onto the control panel.
There are workers who may frequently be working within sites that are far from power outlets and such will need in-built inverters in their cutters. Mobile workers who move around and are not certain of whether they will come to work within power outlet ranges may also need plasma cutters that have in-built inverters. Such plasma are able to take in DC electric power and instantly convert them to AC via high frequency transistor com inerter from almost ten kilo hertz to about 200 kilo hertz. Though quite expensive, such cutters come with high portability as you will not have to carry a separate inverter during your errands.
There are users who may not need to consider the portability issues that much. If you don’t plan to be moving around with your cutter, and your plans are to have it stationery in your workshop, then it you may not need to consider the portability of the cutter. However, if your work involves being mobile from one region to the other, then portability will be one important subject to be factored in. Considering the most compact and the lightest cutter possible is prudent.
A plasma cutter is a real investment in your workshop. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when looking for the best plasma cutter in the market. Among these, include the ease-to-use, the quality of performance together with other features that may be applicable for you. The most important thing is for you to do a detailed research before spending your money on just any tool. By this, the complex plasma cutter buying process is simplified into something very easy indeed.