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Metal art is a very common form of expression. If you have experience making art with metal, you will understand just how interesting and intriguing the process is. With metal at, your creative abilities are limitless and you can truly create what you imagine.
Metal artists, like all other artists, have various tools which they make use of to produce their art. This type of art is a different sort of art because one cannot simply rely on ‘talent’ to create metal art. These tools which metal artist make use of come in different forms. One of such tools is a plasma cutter.
A plasma cutter is the best metal-cutting tool you can use for cutting through metal. It is a machine that transfers energy through the electrically conductive gas from any power supply to an electrically conductive material. Plasma cutting is a widely used process due to its efficiency and effectiveness. The plasma cutting process is usually used for aluminum, iron, brass, stainless steel and copper. With the right plasma cutting machine, you are one step closer to become as good of an artist as you can be.
Best Plasma Cutters for Metal Art – Quick Answer
|Top||Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 1/2 Inch Clean Cut, Brown||5/5||Click Here To Check Price|
|PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter Automatic Dual Voltage 110/220VAC 1/2" Clean Cut Portable||5/5||Click Here To Check Price|
|Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP Building America Edition Hand Plasma System with Case and 15-Feet Lead||4.8/5||Click Here To Check Price|
|Plasma Cutter, Inverter, Spectrum 375||4.7/5||Click Here To Check Price|
Best Plasma Cutters for Metal Art 2019 Review
LOTUS LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
- Non-touch pilot arc plasma cutter
- Quick an easy setup
- Weight: 26 pounds
- Duty Cycle: 60% at 50A
- Input voltage: 110/220 VOLTS
- Amperage: 10-50 AMPS
- Max cut: ½ inches
The LOTUS LTP5000D is a non-touch and pilot arc plasma cutter. It is a top choice of many metal artists due to its efficiency and durability. The pilot arc feature allows you to cut through your materials without needing to come in contact with the tip to the metal. The arc also extends the life of your consumables. Lotus LTP5000D makes use of compressed air meaning you will need an air compressor to operate it.
It is built with a handle to allow moving to be easier. In addition, it can be easily set up within minutes without any professional help needed. The machine smoothly cuts through materials which eliminates the need for finishing. The input power cable it has is 1.8 meters long while its ground clamp is 6 inches. This machine would be great for you if you need one with a maximum severance cut thickness of ¾ of an inch. To crown it up, the LOTUS LTP5000D has a one year warranty.
- The machine can be set up easily
- The consumables are cheap and easy to get
- It cuts on different surfaces
- It has a pilot arc feature
Primeweld Premium and Rugged 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter
- Made of high quality and durable materials
- Cuts through stainless steel, alloy, steel, mild steel, copper aluminum, etc
- Lightweight and designed for movements
- Dual voltage
- Weight: 24.4 pounds
- Duty Cycle: 60 % at 50A
- Input voltage: 110/220 VOLTS
- Amperage: 20-50 AMPS
- Max cut: ½ inches
While this plasma cutter does not have a pilot arc, it is still a great choice for metal art. Its maximum severance cut is ½ inches which is great for metal art. The Primeweld Premium is made with quality, durable and safe materials. It cuts each material neatly and with precision.
It is lightweight and portable which makes it a great choice if you plan on working in various locations. It does not have complicated controls and this means that you can use it and set it up without any professional help. The affordability does not mar or reduce its level of quality as it is still a premium choice. It can be used for both professional as well as domestic use.
Another advantage of this cutter is that the company offers great customer service to attend to whatever problem you may have encountered. In addition, the ground clamp measures 12 inches for stability as you use it. It has a 3-year warranty assuring you of its durability.
- Three-year warranty attached
- Reliable and durable
- Strong enough for the toughest of projects
Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP Building America Edition Hand Plasma System
- Comes with essential consumable kit
- Comes with carry-case, gloves, shoulder strap
- DURAMAX LT torch design
- Weight: 42.2 pounds
- Duty Cycle: 35 % at 40A
- Input voltage: 110/240 VOLTS
- Amperage: 40AMPS
- Max cut:5/8 inches
The Hypertherm Powermax30 XP is perfect for cutting and gouging jobs. This machine is reliable and durable for metal art. It has a dual input voltage of 110 volts and 240 volts giving you multiple charging outlet options. Its maximum severance cut of 5/8 inches is more than suitable for metal art.
The consumable kit which it comes with contains electrodes, nozzles, swirl ring, shield, and the retaining cap. It has some accessories which include a dust cover. The dust cover protects your machine and gives it a longer life. The machine weighs 42.2 pounds and so you should take its weight into consideration. Since this machine focuses mainly on cutting, it is perfect for metal art. It also comes with some welding gloves.
- Comes with a convenient storage case
- One knob interface
- Dual voltage
Miller Electric Plasma Cutter, Inverter, Spectrum 375
- XT30 torch
- Heavy-duty work clamp
- Shoulder strap
- Dual voltage
- Extra consumables
- Weight: 33.6 pounds
- Duty Cycle: 35 % at20 A
- Input voltage: 120/240 VOLTS
- Amperage: 30 AMPS
- Max cut:3/8 inches
Miller Electric Plasma Cutter is great for a metal artist. It makes precise cuts for beautiful artworks. It weighs 33.6 pounds and may not be so easy to move around. It has a dual input voltage of 120 volts and 240 volts. It has a maximum cut severance of 3/8 inches which is enough for metal art.
The XT30 torch presents a nice feature. Miller electric designed this machine to last long and be extremely durable. Although Miller products are usually a bit expensive, their prices are justified as they give great service. It can serve metal artists of all levels of experience due to its build.
- Built with a heavy-duty work clamp
- Easier to carry due to its shoulder
How to Care for A Plasma Cutter for Metal Art
- Cover when not in use
- Clean after use
- Do not store wet or damp places
- Use a plasma cutter for only jobs that require a plasma cutter
Each plasma cutter on this list is one that would improve your metal artwork skills considerably. However, remember that safety is extremely important when it comes to any form of welding. If you decide you on another machine apart from the Hypertherm Powermax30 XP which provides safety gloves, make sure you purchase one of the best welding gloves to ensure your safety. If you also dabble in other welding processes apart from metal art which requires a plasma cutter, you can decide to get a multi-process welding machine.
What to Consider Before Picking Out A Plasma Cutter For Art
When deciding on a plasma cutter to buy, it is imperative that you consider the duty cycle of the plasma cutter. A plasma cutters duty cycle refers to the machines ability to work on a particular weight of workload for a period. A machine with a low duty cycle will only perform well for a shorter period. After this, performance will reduce which will cause the job to take longer. When picking out a plasma cutter, ensure to consider the duty cycle to avoid future problems and to ensure you actually get your money’s worth. Although plasma art is not as demanding, it is still a great idea to get a plasma cutter with a duty cycle that is suitable for long term jobs.
Before purchasing a plasma cutter, ensure that your preplanned location to use the plasma cutter has an outlet that can power it. You will need either 110v or 220v outlets. You should also check your circuit breakers to be sure that your amps can withstand not only the processors but also the amperage of your machines unit. Before buying, make sure that your workshop has suitable outlets. Most residential buildings have outlets with 15A breakers. That will not work for you if your cutter is a high amperage consumer. You should ensure that your breakers have sufficient amps to withstand the amperage of the unit and the compressors.
Before buying a plasma cutter, decide on how much you are willing to spend. However, do not aim too low. Some extremely cheap cutters are priced so ridiculously because they have reduced performance. Although price is not an indication of performance, it is better to steer of ridiculously priced goods. While you should have a price set in your mind, you should be flexible enough to add a few dollars to it in case your perfect machine is a bit higher than your original budget.
Lighter Torch Cord
When deciding on plasma cutters for art, go for one with a smaller torch cord. A smaller torch cord will weigh lighter and will not be too heavy for your body to convey even if you use it for long periods. You will not have to pout your art-making on hold to rest your arms. Get something lighter and more comfortable to work with.
As a metal artist, it is quite likely that you will need to make art in different locations. For this reason, any machine you buy must be portable and mobile. For one thing, the machine must not be too heavy. If you are sure that you will be moving your plasma cutter around, decide on the maximum weight whatever mode of transportation you have is capable of carrying. A nice feature your plasma cutter may have is one that will make carrying convenient such as straps, wheels, or handles.
Mode of Air Supply
Plasma cutters make use of forced air. The modes, however, differ based on various things. It is very common for the cutter to have its own air compressor. However, if you are going for a more affordable unit, it may not have one meaning you will have to get an air compressor separately.
Average Cut Thickness
Decide on the amount of cut capacity you need. This depends on the materials you intend on cutting. If you intend on cutting regular metal or aluminum sheets, you can be satisfied with a unit of ½ cutting thickness. The ability of your machine greatly affects the speed. Find out the maximum thickness of the materials you usually create art with and purchase a plasma cutter that can cut materials that are a little bit thicker than that. Cutting materials that push your machine’s limit is never a good idea as your materials will not be smooth or neat.
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Some plasma cutters also work as welding machines. If you require a welding machine, it is a good idea to look for a machine that can also weld as well as function as a plasma cutter. If you are getting such a machine, ensure that you get one of the best welding gloves to ensure safety. You can also consider a multi-process welding machine that works as a plasma cutter and performs other welding processes.
Not all plasma cutters have pilot arcs but when you are picking out a plasma cutter for art, you should look out for one that does. A pilot arc allows the machine to start up without coming in contact with the machine. This feature is best for artists because it allows them to place their metal in the right position. Art requires ultimate precision. You will be able to follow out patters with a plasma cutter with a pilot arc.
Most plasma cutters make use of a system containing 5 consumables: The swirls ring, a single electrode, the shield, the nozzle, and the retaining cap. Each consumable works hand in hand with the others to ensure smoothness, neatness, and precision. When picking out a plasma cutter for art, going for a machine with consumables that work on low amp settings is a smart thing to do. You will be able to make precise cuts with an accurate plasma cutter.