The plasma cutting system is a very valuable tool for most cutting systems. It is especially important in situations where a very precise cut is needed, and where it is important to have the cut done fast. Because the system will heat to around 40,000 degrees Fahrenheit, cuts made with these systems are always very clean. Parts cut by these tools are practically weld-ready. A clean, fast cut can also ensure that you save time and money. But when using these systems you may have many different choices of which kind to use. You may need to ask some simple questions before you decide which system will be right for you.
The first question to consider is how thick the materials is that you want cut. There are a variety of different types of cuts that can be made based on the thickness of the materials. Make sure when choosing a plasma cutting system that you choose one that is double the thickness of the materials you want to cut. This will allow each of your applications to have sufficient cut speeds. Another question to think about is the type of metal you will be cutting. These systems can be used to cut many different types of metals. Some examples are aluminum, mild steel and stainless steel. Choose a system that works with the type of metal you will most often be cutting.
Another thing to consider is the type of primary input power you will be using. Each different type of plasma cutting system will have a specific input power that is at maximum output when based on the voltage you are inputting into the system. Also consider your gas supply. Most systems will either use nitrogen or air as a gas source. This can come from an air compressor or a high-pressure gas cylinder. When using an air compressor, remember that it will draw on shop air so it is important to make sure that the air is not contaminated. Filters can be purchased to avoid this problem if you are using an air compressor with your cutting table.
A final question to consider is how long you want your torch lead length to be. Most of the time a plasma cutting system will come with either a twenty-foot lead or a fifty foot lead, so it depends on how far away from your power source you will be cutting.
When choosing a plasma cutting system, it is important to consider the type of work you will be doing. You may need a different type if you are using the system in your home shop versus if you are using it in an industrial setting, and working with larger metals or on a larger scale. Be sure to pick a manufacturer with extensive experience with many different options to choose from. It is also important to consider the customer service processes and repair options involved with the system you choose. If there is a problem in your future, you will want to work with a company who will help to make that problem better. Also choose a manufacturer who has a simple training brochure or process that will simplify your life by making their product easier to use.