[Latest for 2022] Best Plasma Cutters With Built In Air Compressor

Best plasma cutters with built in air compressor is a game changer, especially for a small shop. They work well with sheet metal and bodywork, as well as with heavy steel for frames.

Check out our latest picks for the Best MIG Welders to buy.

A disadvantage of plasma cutters is their reliance on high-pressure air. However, some plasma cutters include an integrated air compressor. Consider some excellent plasma cutters equipped with compressors.

The following are reviews of five of our favourite plasma cutters that are currently available online. We’ve done our best to paint a complete picture of their positives and negatives in order to aid you in your quest to find what you’re looking for.

We sincerely hope you enjoy it. If you require additional assistance, please send us a message in our comment section and we will do our best to assist you.

Plasma Cutters with Compressors | Buying Guide

When you purchase the best plasma cutters with built in compressor, you are actually purchasing two powerful tools. Sufficient air pressure to blast the plasma out of the cut is a critical requirement for a quality cut when using a plasma cutter.

This requires a high-quality air compressor and a high-quality plasma cutter to be housed in the same cabinet. As a result, the price ranges for machines equipped with an onboard air compressor are higher than for equivalent machines equipped with external air sources.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_abY5biBBWs

Power Source

If you intend to use this plasma cutter in a home workshop or to perform work in or near customer residences, the majority of lightweight machines operate on 120 volt power. A plasma cutter that accepts input voltages of 120 and 240 volts is more versatile but will weigh more than a 120-volt machine.

If the 240-volt input is not required, the same money can be used to purchase a machine with a 120-volt only input and a nicer compressor. On 120 volt household current, you can use up to 15 amps. This is sufficient to cut steel up to 3/16-inch thick.

Duty Cycle

You require a plasma cutter that can operate continuously throughout the day without excessive downtime for cooling. Consider the duty cycle of the machine you’re considering and how long one continuous cut will actually last. While 35% may not sound like much, it equates to more than three minutes of continuous cutting before a plasma cutter must cool down. How often do you actually cut something for three minutes straight with a torch?

Warranty Period

Hopefully, you’ll never have to put a manufacturer’s customer service to the test in connection with a warranty claim. However, a longer warranty period demonstrates the manufacturer’s confidence in the machine’s quality. Three years is an extended period of time in the life of a plasma cutter. That equates to dozens of hours spent heating, blasting, and cooling each week.

The air compressor increases the amount of heat generated, the amount of electricity consumed, and the number of moving parts. Given the higher initial cost of plasma cutters with built-in compressors, it may be worthwhile to spend the additional money to obtain a machine with a longer warranty period. Additionally, you may want to consider the extended warranty offered by some manufacturers at an additional cost.

Technological Advancement

Certain features can significantly simplify your cutting chores. Drag cutting technology enables you to drag the torch across the metal’s surface to initiate the arc and continue the cut. Without this feature, many torches must be held at a certain distance above the metal, which can be challenging if you’re not in the best physical position or are tired at the end of the day.

Automatic settings are becoming more prevalent in modern times. Certain machines require no control settings at all, sensing and adapting to the material automatically. Others simply have a single rating and operate at maximum amperage regardless of the thickness of metal being cut.

Additionally, lightweight can be a benefit of high-tech power sources such as inverter technology. A lighter machine is easier to store, move, and position in an awkward space.

Our Top Picks

Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Hypertherm Powermax 30 Plasma Cutter with Built-in Air Compressor

Our Top Pick
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Bottom Line
Because Hypertherm designed the PowerMax 30 for small tasks and portability, the PowerMax 30 does not include a computer control connection for CNC work. The power supply system on this machine is warrantied for three years. This machine is CSA certified for use in the Americas and Asia (except China), and it is permitted to be used in Russia, Ukraine, and Serbia for certified work.
Pros
Effective cutting arc
Pilot arc for grates and mesh in a continuous state
Constructed to industrial standards
Certified for use in the United States of America, Russia, and Europe
Designed with water separator
Cons
There is no CNC connection.
Not cheap, but at the top of the market
Lincoln Electric K2806-1 Tomahawk 375 Air Plasma Cutter


Best for Industrial Use
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Bottom Line
According to Lincoln, the K2806-1 Tomahawk 375 Air Plasma Cutter ships ready to cut immediately upon receipt. At 10 amps, the bottom end is capable of cutting sheet metal, but you must work quickly to avoid blowing off edges when cutting thin material. Cutting trailer frames and pipe fencing requires a maximum of 25 amps to cut 1/4-inch steel in a single pass.
Pros
Compresses up to 3/8-inch steel at 70 PSI
Air supply can be internal or external.
Torch LC25
Includes the regulator.
Cons
External air is required for severe cuts.
Not controllable by computer
Forney 250 P Plus Plasma Cutter with Built In Air Compressor


Ideal for Household jobs
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Bottom Line
Forney incorporates an air dryer and pressure regulator into the machine, resulting in a fully automatic cutter that requires no setup. It weighs 43 pounds and can cut up to 18-inch steel plate at 12 amps. Forney integrated a compartment for consumables into the case and offers a three-year warranty on the 250P Plus.
Pros
Generator-friendly drag torch arc starting
Has a space for storing consumables
Cuts through steel up to 1/8-inch 15-foot torch connection
Cons
Incompatible with high-volume work
1/8-inch and less light-duty work

Best Plasma Cutters with Compressors | Our Top Picks & Reviews

Hypertherm Powermax 30 Plasma Cutter with Built-in Air Compressor

Effective cutting arc
Pilot arc for grates and mesh in a continuous state
Constructed to industrial standards
Certified for use in the United States of America, Russia, and Europe
Designed with water separator

Because Hypertherm’s sole focus is on cutting technology, rather than on welding technology as a whole, the company has earned a reputation as the industry leader. The Hypertherm Powermax 30 demonstrates this pedigree throughout. This is the lightest plasma cutting machine in its class, weighing only 30 pounds but producing 30 amps, which is more than enough to easily cut 38-inch steel plate.

The onboard air compressor generates sufficient pressure to completely clear the cut channel, and the Hypertherm Powermax 30 features dual 120 and 240 volt power inputs. Hypertherm’s Drag Cut technology enables effortless arc starts by requiring only a touch and pull with the torch to initiate the arc.

Because Hypertherm designed the PowerMax 30 for small tasks and portability, the PowerMax 30 does not include a computer control connection for CNC work. The power supply system on this machine is warrantied for three years. This machine is CSA certified for use in the Americas and Asia (except China), and it is permitted to be used in Russia, Ukraine, and Serbia for certified work.

Positive
  • Effective cutting arc
  • Pilot arc for grates and mesh in a continuous state
  • Designed with water separator
  • Certified for use in the United States of America, Russia, and Europe
  • Constructed to industrial standards
Negatives
  • There is no CNC connection.
  • Not cheap, but at the top of the market

Lincoln Electric K2806-1 Tomahawk 375 Air Plasma Cutter

Compresses up to 3/8-inch steel at 70 PSI
Air supply can be internal or external.
Torch LC25
Includes the regulator.

The Lincoln Electric K2806-1 Tomahawk 375 Air Plasma Cutter has a maximum cutting power of 25 amps. Built to industrial standards, this machine is geared toward do-it-yourself fabricators rather than professionals performing high-volume work on a daily basis. Its compressor is rated at 70 PSI average work pressure, which means it operates between 50 and 80 PSI in practise. Some owners recommend using an external air source for heavy cuts near the 1/4-inch maximum, where pressures of up to 100 PSI may be required.

According to Lincoln, the K2806-1 Tomahawk 375 Air Plasma Cutter ships ready to cut immediately upon receipt. At 10 amps, the bottom end is capable of cutting sheet metal, but you must work quickly to avoid blowing off edges when cutting thin material. Cutting trailer frames and pipe fencing requires a maximum of 25 amps to cut 1/4-inch steel in a single pass.

To maximise productivity, the Lincoln K2806-1 Tomahawk 375 Air Plasma Cutter is designed with all controls on the front panel. Instead of having to lean around the back as with some other designs, the airflow rate can be monitored and adjusted directly on the front.

Positive
  • Compresses up to 3/8-inch steel at 70 PSI
  • Includes the regulator.
  • Torch LC25
  • Air supply can be internal or external.
Negatives
  • External air is required for severe cuts.
  • Not controllable by computer

Forney 250 P Plus Plasma Cutter with Built In Air Compressor

Generator-friendly drag torch arc starting
Has a space for storing consumables
Cuts through steel up to 1/8-inch 15-foot torch connection

The Forney 250P Plus with integrated air compressor is a compact plasma cutter ideal for use in the home workshop or on light duty jobs. It can be plugged into household current because it operates on a 120 volt input. It could be beneficial for professionals who make house calls for appliance repairs or HVAC ductwork repairs.

It’s simple to start and use, but has a delay time that makes it inefficient for high-volume cutting. Once you pull the trigger, it takes a few seconds for the arc to begin, followed by a few more seconds for the arc to reach a temperature sufficient for cutting. This is not a significant issue for separate cuts performed at a reasonable interval, but the Forney 250P Plus is not suitable for frequent, rapid cuts. It is, however, designed to run on so-called “dirty” generator power, making it suitable for use in remote locations.

Forney incorporates an air dryer and pressure regulator into the machine, resulting in a fully automatic cutter that requires no setup. It weighs 43 pounds and can cut up to 18-inch steel plate at 12 amps. Forney integrated a compartment for consumables into the case and offers a three-year warranty on the 250P Plus.

Positive
  • Generator-friendly drag torch arc starting
  • Cuts through steel up to 1/8-inch 15-foot torch connection
  • Has a space for storing consumables
Negatives
  • Incompatible with high-volume work
  • 1/8-inch and less light-duty work

Hobart Airforce 12ci 120V Plasma Cutting Machine

Compact design
Torch is ergonomically designed 
Input of 120 volts.
Pilot arc start 
Post flow feature

The Hobart Airforce 12ci plasma cutter is compact and lightweight. This is a light-duty machine that runs on 120 volts and has just enough power to cut 3/16-inch steel plate, which is more than adequate for bracket cutting, repair plate cutting, and other minor tasks. It’s ideal for HVAC technicians and others who require a plasma cutter that they can transport into a home and plug into the homeowner’s power source.

Despite the fact that this is a light-duty plasma cutter, it does include some advanced professional features. After the cut is made, the post flow air control will continue to blow air to cool it faster. Hobart’s Fan-On-Demand feature activates the cooling fan only when it is required, conserving energy and preventing dust and debris from accumulating inside the Airforce 12ci cabinet. Even beginners will appreciate the ease of use of this plasma cutter, which features a pilot arc start and a beautiful Miller ergonomic torch.

Hobart is a market leader in the metalworking and fabrication industries. Its machines are visible wherever welders and metal workers congregate. Although compact and lightweight, the Hobart Airforce 12ci with integrated air compressor is a serious professional tool that comes with a 5-year warranty.

Positive
  • Compact design Torch is ergonomically designed  Input of 120 volts. Pilot arc start  Post flow feature
Negatives
  • There have been some reports of low air pressure.
  • Limited output range

Thermal Dynamics Air Cut 15C Plasma Cutter with Onboard Compressor

Connection for a 20-foot torch
At 29 pounds, it is quite light.
Cuts steel up to 3/16-inch thick
At a duty cycle of 35% at 15 amps
HyperTherm developed this product specifically for ESAB.

Thermal Dynamics is a Hypertherm brand sold by ESAB, indicating that these are professional-grade machines. Both the higher price range and the relatively conservative output rating reflect this. The AirCut 15C weighs only 29 pounds, which is extremely light for a machine with an integrated air compressor. Indeed, this is approximately 50% of the average weight of a 15 amp plasma cutter. Thermal Dynamics claims that its plasma cutter has a 25% faster cutting rate than the competition in its class.

Thermal Dynamics’ AirCut 15C is capable of cutting through 3/16-inch plate steel with ease. The increased work capability, superior build quality, and one-year warranty from ESAB justify the higher professional price range. This machine is rated at a duty cycle of 35% at 15 amps. A pro could do a lot of cutting with a high cutting rate and a 50% duty cycle at 12 amps.

The Thermal Dynamics AirCut 15C is ideal for professional craftsmen who need to work inside a customer’s home due to its lightweight design and 120 volt power source.

Positive
  • Connection for a 20-foot torch At 29 pounds, it is quite light. Cuts steel up to 3/16-inch thick At a duty cycle of 35% at 15 amps HyperTherm developed this product specifically for ESAB.
Negatives
  • Expensive in comparison to the power rating
  • Only works with a 120 volt input Negative

Conclusion

We have tried to pick the best plasma cutters with builtin compressor for you. Hope this article will bring you with enough knowledge and information. If you have any questions please let us know in the comment section.

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