Just how thick a plasma cutter can cut will depend on several factors. Before you select the plasma cutter for your project needs, you most likely want to know exactly how thick of metal material can a plasma cutter cut.
Cut thickness capability should be specified by the manufacturer so you know if a specific plasma cutter is suitable for your cutting necessities. And the plasma torch that you match to your plasma cutter will definitely play an important role.
How thick can a plasma cutter cut? – While cutting capabilities are not universal and can vary from brand to brand, generally speaking, plasma cutters will cut metals like steel and non-ferrous materials that are less than one inch thick.
While it is a tool that is exceptional for cutting expanded metals and even non-linear cuts, that doesn’t mean that all plasma cutters are the same, and when selecting you will need to determine the thickness of the metal that you cut most often. Plasma cutters are normally evaluated based on their amperage and cutting capability.
For example, if you usually cut metals that are a quarter-inch thick or less, you can consider a lesser amperage of the cutter.
If instead, you cut a lot of half-inch thick metals, a higher amperage will provide you with a quality cut. Smaller amperage machines can cut through thicker metals, but the cut quality may not be top grade. You may end up with a cut that cuts through with difficulty and leaves you with slag or dross.
How thick of metal can a plasma cutter cut?
Every plasma cutter will have its own optimal field of thickness cutting capability. It’s important for you to ascertain that the cutter’s optimal cutting capability matches exactly what you need to cut.
A rule of thumb might be that a plasma cutter for quarter-inch cutting will feature a 25-to-30-amp output, a half-inch cutting capability will have a 50-to-60-amp output, while a plasma cutter that can cut from three-quarter-inch to an inch in thickness will have approximately an 80 amp output.
The Speed of the Cut and Thickness
Plasma Cutter manufacturers will also provide the speeds for cutting metal thickness. Speed will be indicated in IPM or inches per minute. A machine that has a higher amperage will cut at a faster speed than one with a lower amperage, but both will be able to accomplish the cut.
The experts suggest it’s a good idea to consider a machine that has a cutting capability that is twice what you generally cut if you have a lot of cutting to do. So, if you generally cut half-inch thicknesses, get a machine that can handle up to an inch with higher amperage.
Conclusion – How Thick Can a Plasma Cutter Cut?
Today’s marketplace offers plasma cutters that will cut metals up to an inch in thickness, however, depending on the amperage output, each plasma cutter will offer its own field of optimal cutting thickness to give you the best performance.