Metal cutting can be done effectively at a more reasonable price with the best Forney plasma cutter. Founded in Colorado in 1932, Forney Industries has now been worldwide well-known for thousands of metalworking products. Every plasma cutter of Forney ensures a top-notch standard in build quality, durability, and performance.
We know that choosing an appropriate plasma cutter model might confuse you with this wide range of choices. This article has shortened down the 3 best models of Forney based on ratings and reviews of previous buyers.
At the end of this article, there is a short buying guide mentioning a high-quality plasma cutter’s vital criteria. We hope that this sharing will help you pick up a suitable model for your metal cutting jobs.
Read More: Best Sellers in Plasma Cutting Equipment
Top 3 Best Forney Plasma Cutter Review
Before heading to the main session, please notice that these three plasma machines differ from each other for their electrical efficiency, cutting quality, and performance. These differences make it suitable for a specific user group.
Without any delay, let’s get down to the 3 best plasma cutters of this family-owned brand!
#1. Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma Cutter
- Suitable for small jobs
- Lightweight, travel-friendly
- Drag Torch technology
- Integrated fan to keep the engine cool
- 12-month warranty
- Air compressor is not included
- Not suitable for heavy-duty jobs
Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P review
This Forney easy weld plasma cutter is a great pick for do-it-yourself projects, farm and garden, metal arts, and other small jobs.
With a compact design and user-friendly experience, this model of Forney is easy to use for those who have little experience in metalwork.
When picking up a plasma cutter for small projects, travel-friendly is a must. Forney 20P is bigger but lighter and more affordable than Lotos LTP5000D.
This Forney plasma cutter weighs only 21.5 pounds (9.75 kilograms). Thus, it can be taken to any job site with a top handle. It can also be easily stored in your garage after a working day.
Durability & cutability
This machine is designed with a rugged metal case to protect electrical components against hard forces or harsh weather conditions.
Little as it seems, this best handheld plasma cutter provides you a robust performance within a compact design.
First, it can handle various types of metal, including mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, galvanized steel, etc. In terms of thickness, it can cut brass, copper with a maximum thickness of ¼ inches, and aluminum up to 3/16 inches.
Second, this cutter requires an outlet power source of 120 Voltages. In comparison, the standard number of a small machine is only 115 Voltages. This outlet is more than enough for home projects with little experience in the field.
This cutter is slightly bigger than a Miller. Still, it has a higher duty cycle than a Miller machine when cutting similar metal.
Apart from its cutability, this machine is also equipped with safety features to maintain its lifespan and performance. There is a fan to cool down the machine quickly for various high-demanding jobs. So you can use this machine for years with no worries about its performance.
Nonetheless, in case of an exceed duty cycle, the thermal overload protection system helps you manage the cutting output to avoid burning, damaging, or injury issues.
Any regrets for this Forney machine?
First, we wish there would be an integrated air compressor in this appliance, so you don’t have to purchase it separately.
And since this is a compact model, it can’t handle heavy jobs. So, if you plan to get a plasma cutter to cut thick pieces of metal, you should aim for a heavier model.
When looking for an air compressor for this engine, you should ensure that it has a minimum CFM of 1.5.
#2. Forney 317 250 P+ Plasma Cutter with Air Compressor
- Built-in air compressor
- Can be used for various applications
- Simple interface and easy operation
- Ground cable and clamps for repairing purpose
- Thermal load protection
- High duty cycle
- More expensive than other Forney models
- Can’t cut thick metal
Forney 317 250 P+ Plasma Cutter with Air Compressor review
A drawback of a plasma cutter is that it lacks a high-pressured airflow to clean up the mess. A cutter with a built-in air compressor is a game-changing device for both amateurs and professional metalworkers.
Some people think that a Forney plasma cutter with a built-in air compressor is excessive. I think this is a one-time investment. You don’t have to waste time seeking two separated engines worrying about complicated warranty issues.
Second, suppose you often have to carry your cutter to different work sites. In that case, a plasma cutter that can cut metal and clean the mess at the same time is more travel-friendly than two single ones.
Forney 317 250 P+ is the best plasma cutter with a compressor for light and medium jobs. This cutting system can be used to cut sheet metal and plate, HVAC, contractor, general fabrication, and so on. You can change its working mode instantly with a rocker switch.
Benefits with a built-in compressor
A notable feature of this Forney machine that I would like to mention in this article is the air compressor. This built-in compressor brings two benefits to your metalwork.
First, it allows you to blast the plasma out of the cut, giving you a perfect cut. Without this compressor, you will have to do this job manually, which is tiresome.
Second, it protects the engine from dust, thus prolonging its lifespan and minimizing maintenance effort.
There is a moisture separator to remove water particles outside the machine to support the air compressor, keeping the equipment clean and dry.
Weighing only 40 pounds with a compact size of 15 x 7.5 x 14 inches, this device is an ideal choice for working outdoors or anywhere you can. With a sturdy handle on top and a plastic container, you can carry it daily easily.
Its super-long power cord of 7 feet allows you to work continuously without plugging/unplugging many times or using a cord extension socket. Additionally, you can plug this plasma cutter into any outlet since it uses a standard power supply (120V- 15A).
What is more, the Forney 317 250 P+ also features an inverter power supply. You can choose to use the internal supply or connect it with a 120V power source. Likewise, in case the power goes out, you can still work without delay.
Another reason why I put this Forney machine into the list here because it uses Drag Torch technology for precise cuts. With this machine on hand, you don’t have to position your metal piece for cutting.
With this technology, you can get a precise cut by moving the torch directly across the surface of the metal.
Furthermore, this engine has a high duty cycle, which means that you can cut continuously. This continuous cutting time helps you maintain precise and clean cuts, especially when working on big metal pieces.
Forney is known on the market with the most affordable plasma cutters with a built-in air compressor. Despite its inexpensive price, this machine can’t be used for hard metal works. Why?
This system doesn’t have the dual-voltage option (just 120V), so it’s impossible to directly plug it into the 220V power source. In this case, you will need a converter or do some professional wiring before using it.
Second, since it’s too light, you can’t keep it stay in one place when cutting thick pieces of metal. Thus, you should look for its two upgraded versions for heavy-duty jobs – Forney 325P and Forney 700P.
#3. Forney 40P Plasma Cutter
- Dual voltages of 120V and 230V
- High cutting capability
- Internal air regulator
- Three-year warranty
- No built-in air compressor
- Not suitable for newbies
Forney 40P Review
Sometimes you have to cut thick metal pieces, and a compact model like Forney 20P might be insufficient for you.
Owning two cutters is too inconvenient since you will have to carry both these two machines at a time, not counting accessories, air compressor (if needed), and welding tools. The operating cost for two cutting systems is also too high.
Since Forney has a wide variety of products for all purposes, you can pick a dual-voltage cutting machine like Forney 40P for both light and hard work.
In other words, the Forney 40P is your answer to all cutting demands. It can be used anywhere with either 120V and 230V power.
From mid steel and stainless steel up to 5/8”, to aluminum up to 3/8”, this Forney Easy Weld plasma cutter offers a high cutting ability and handles all cutting jobs for you. For precise cuts, there is an air pressure control to maintain correct pressure every time.
Like the two above welding models, the Forney 40P also features the Drag Torch technology of Forney. Therefore, you don’t have to waste much time finding an appropriate starting point. Just put the torch directly on the metal surface. You will have smooth, consistent, clean cuts.
Besides its performance, this Forney plasma cutter is designed with a great user experience in mind. The Forney 40P is more than a cutting engine. It can also be used as a storage rack or drawer to keep your working space organized.
There is a rubber tool mat on the top of the machine to keep your small tools in one place and avoid missing them. You can use the side hooks to store attachments and tools.
While the two above welding models have only a single handle, this cutting system features two plastic handles for extra portability. You can carry it on your own, or with the help of a friend or colleague.
This cutting machine backs with a three-year manufacturer warranty. Suppose you have any issues while using this cutter, you can directly contact the Customer Support department of Forney for help.
Please notice that this welding device best suits those who frequently have to do both light and hard work. If you are new to welding machines or only do light work, you should look for the affordable Forney Easy Weld 20P.
In contrast, Forney 40P is not recommended for cutting thick metals daily since it is less powerful than a heavy-duty model. It also lacks an internal air compressor, which is essential for a robust cutting system.
Forney Plasma Cutter Review With Comparison
|Product||Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma Cutter||Forney 317 250 P+ Plasma Cutter with Air Compressor||Forney 40P Plasma Cutter|
|Input Power||120V (20A/ 15A)||120V (20A/ 15A)||120V/230V|
|Rated Output||20A||20A||120V: 15A -16A and 230V: 15A- 40A|
|Cut Thickness (Inches)||1/4 (Max.)||0.01 Inches||clean-cut capacity of 1/2" and maximum server cut capacity of 3/4"|
|Duty Cycle||35% @ 20 A||35% @ 20 A|
|Air Pressure Requirements||1.5 CFM/ 60-100 PSI||Built-in Compressor||1.5 CFM/ 60-100 PSI|
|Dimensions (Inches)||15.125 x 8.125 x 12||15 x 7.5 x 14 inches||20.5 x 15.88 x 13 inches|
|Weight (lbs.)||21.5||40 pounds||45.1 pounds|
|Check Price||Buy It on Amazon.com||Buy It on Amazon.com||Buy It on Amazon.com|
In sum, there is no perfect best Forney plasma cutter for everyone. Each welding model has its highlighted features, making it suitable for light, hard work, or switching between these two types. To pick up the best model, you should make careful consideration depending on your job demands and your budget.
Whichever model you choose, you should follow the product manual and safety cautions to prolong the engine’s lifespan, reduce maintenance cost, and safety in metalworking for you.
FAQs about Forney Plasma Cutter
- How can I improve the quality of my plasma cut?
The key point to have a high-quality plasma cut is to choose the right cutting machine.
Additionally, there are some important tips to improve your plasma cut quality:
- Make sure your air is dry and clean
- Always cut in the right direction
- Pick up the appropriate cutting process based on the metal’s type, thickness, cut quality, and job goals.
- Choose a torch length that fits with your work distance
- Choose an appropriate cutting speed to give the arch time to catch up with the torch speed
- Your torch should be positioned square to the metal piece
- Is Forney a good plasma cutter?
Every Forney plasma cutter model has a friendly interface, compact design, and affordable price. So, a Forney plasma cutter is good for light and medium metalwork.
- Who makes the Forney plasma cutter?
Forney plasma cutters and machines are designed by American and European welding specialists with Forney standards. Besides, Forney also cooperates with a manufacturing partner in Italy to produce high-quality plasma cutters.
- How to use the Forney plasma cutter?
Each Forney plasma cutter has different guides and safety cautions. You should follow the user manual, which is included in the product package.