About Plasma Cutters
Plasma cutters (or plasma torches, as they are also known), are heavy duty tools used to cut through steel and other thick metals that can?t be handled using more traditional methods. Buying your own plasma cutter is a matter of choosing the model and specification that suits your needs - the more powerful plasma cutters can take on even thicker materials but will also set you back more cash.
How they work
Plasma cutters work by blowing an inert gas out of its nozzle at an extremely high speed, which has an electrical arc running straight through it from the nozzle all the way down to the cutting surface. The electrical arc converts the gas into plasma, which melts the metal into being cut whilst simultaneously moving fast enough to remove any molten metal from the process.
As well as buying a plasma cutter, it is essential to buy some eye wear that provides UV protection as well as stopping flying debris: green lens goggles with shade #8 or #9 should have enough UV protection to stop retina damage. A face shield, leather gloves, jacket and apron are also needed to stop you from getting burnt from the molten metal or plasma.
Types of plasma cutter
The types of cutter available usually differ in the method of starting the electrical arc. High voltage circuits are the simplest method of achieving this, but can have disadvantages in safety, maintenance and emissions. Other, more complicated methods can avoid these risks but come with increased cost. Choosing a plasma cutter means evaluating what you will be using it for and deciding what type you need from that.