Plasma cutting is prevalent in fabrication shops, factories, automotive repair shops, and construction sites. It is a device that uses electrically conductive gas called plasma to cut metals like steel, aluminium, brass, copper, etc. But, it can also be used to cut any electrically conductive material.
A cutter rips through metal or any other material by sending an inert gas through the plasma torch and forcing the torch tip to cut through the metal. However, it requires a significant up-front investment. Buying a plasma cutter for your home or business workshop needs can be daunting, though. Here are some things you may keep in mind while making the purchase.
The Thickness of the Material
One of the top considerations while choosing the appropriate cutter is the end-use. What material would you be required to cut with it? Not all plasma cutters have the same cutting capacity. Therefore, you must choose a cutter with the right cutting capacity.
Ideally, cutters with 80% cut capacity would cut just about any material. Also bear in mind that mechanised plasma cutting machines are better at cutting thick material than manual ones.
Look at the Cutting Speed
Knowing the speed of your plasma cutter relative to the thickness of the material lets you have an estimate on the level of output your machine would produce. This can mean the difference between efficiency and a dip in productivity. Generally, manufacturers display this information on the label itself to enable customers to compare different machines.
Ease of Use
Before buying this device, make sure you understand all its functionality and operation. Ensure it is easy to use. Ease of use ensures that the operator can perform the job efficiently and in the minimum time possible. Also, ensure that the machine can be used by anyone regardless of their experience.
Consider its Operating Cost
The operating cost of the machine relates to its consumables, and parts such as electrodes, cutting tips, etc. need to be replaced from time to time for the machine to work efficiently.
Check with the manufacturer how quickly the parts need to be replaced. You can then calculate if the purchase is worth the investment because frequent replacement of parts can prove to be highly expensive over time.
Size and Weight
If you’re going to carry the machine around with you, you have to make sure it’s lightweight and portable. Thanks to the latest developments and improvements in technology, there are plasma cutters available today that are lightweight and compact without compromising power and performance.
Lastly, as with any machinery that you buy, it is essential to test it out or ensure that the manufacturer or the retailer has a return policy in place if the plasma cutter does not live up to its promise.
Ask about the manufacturer’s warranty and what all it covers. Ask the seller any other question that you might have. After all, it is the right amount of money, so it is essential to ensure if it is worthwhile and determine if the investment is a sound one.