Are you wondering if you can use a plasma cutter without an air compressor? If yes, you are far from alone. Although most plasma cutting machines come with an air compressor, you can find some units that come without this useful component. This can be confusing for beginners, especially, and might have you questioning, does that mean that we don’t need one? Let’s take a closer look.
If you have not seen a plasma cutter up close and personal before, then it can be difficult to understand how they are set up. There are several vital components that all plasma cutting machines need to have in order to function properly.
Plasma cutting uses a combination of heated gas and electricity to cut through various metals such as stainless steel and aluminium, but where does compressed air come into play?
It’s simple really. The reason why people use plasma cutters is that they are able to harness high-intensity heat for a superior cut quality. However, it is through the use of an air compressor that this heat is directed to the metal, allowing for a more precise cut.
The amount of air pressure that you need when using a plasma cutter is about 4-8 SCFM delivered at 90-120 psi. This covers units that are intended for up to 3/8 inches thick steel to large units that can handle 7/8 inch steel.
Ideally, you should choose an air compressor with a CFM rating that is 1.5 to 2 times higher than your plasma cutter.
There are multiple reasons why you should invest in an air compressor to use alongside your plasma torch, with one of the most notable ones being you can enjoy a more precise and cleaner cut. In fact, if you want to make the exact same cut time and time again, then an air compressor is a definite must.
Another benefit of using compressed air is that you can find high-performing plasma cutting machines that have built-in air compressors. Not only does this allow for portability but it also means you will only have one power cord which can make the laser cutting experience easier.
Whether you think that a portable air compressor and plasma cutter combo is the right choice for your cutting needs or you are unsure still, contact us here and let us find the perfect plasma cutting machine for you.
If you are wondering why some people choose not to use one of these pneumatic tools, then you should know that it predominantly comes down to cost. Whether you choose to purchase a separate air compressor or you opt for a built-in model, you are still going to have to spend a little bit more money.
Another factor that puts some people off buying built-in air compressors is that these rely on a fixed air pressure, which means that any leaks will have a serious impact on your ability to cut.
All of the above being said, a built-in air compressor can transform your cut quality and provide a level of flexibility that you won’t get from buying a separate unit.