5 Best Plasma Cutters with Built-In Air Compressors [Review and Comparison 2021]

In order to help our customers have an objective view and choose the brand of plasma cutters with Built-in Air Compressors to meet their needs, we have researched and presented the 5 best and most popular plasma cutters today.

Plasma is a great invention of mankind during the 1879s. Since the first plasma cutter was created, many other versions of plasma cutting machines have been developed with more improvements and perfection in terms of speed, power, and effect.

Another perfect improvement is the built-in air compressor which sounds great without changing size, quality, and price. This kind of machine is exactly a good option for everyone who wants to own two machine’s effectiveness just in one unit. 

Then you look at their strengths and weaknesses to make your choice. Please contact us if you need advice on any of these products

General comparisons of  top 5 Plasma Cutters in  2020:

Model namesImagesDimensionsWeightCheck Price
1. Hypertherm Powermax 30 Air

16.5x7.7x 13.1 inches29.8 lbsSee More
2. Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci
15x18.5x11.2 inches31 lbsSee More
3. Hobart 40ci AirForce With Built In Compressor
18.2 x 11.5 x 17 inches27lbs
4. Hobart Airforce 27i
9 x 5.5 x 13.25 in. (229 x 140 x 337 mm)19 lb. (8.6 kg)See More
5. Miller spectrum 875
24.2 x 15 x 19.8 inches62 poundsSee More

Are these machines capable of cutting like conventional plasma machines? What do they stand out from other machines?

The cutting ability of these cutters is exactly the same as other plasma machines. However, there is a difference in the time cutting between plasma cutters and plasma cutters with built-in air compressors.

 Based on the amount of air that the device can provide, they allow metal cutting only for a certain period of time. Each type of cutter has compressors of different sizes that will give a different cutting time limit. There are many types of machines available today, so you need to check the specifications and note that some machines can maintain cutting pressure that allows non-stop cutting.

Which one is cheaper, A Plasma Cutter, or A Normal Non-Air Compressor machine?

Typically, compressors with built-in compressors will be more expensive than plasma cutters because this type of cutter has built-in air compressors besides plasma. On the other hand, You can also have another option to buy 2 machines with 2 different uses but the price may be the same or even higher.

Moreover, you will find it quite overwhelming and when you have to use it outside, you will find it very inconvenient.

Although the cost of a plasma cutter with built-in air may be higher, They have better quality and convenience. However, don’t  worry because it’s not too much higher than the normal ones

Why we choose these five products?

There are various types of plasma cutters with Built-in air compressors which you can easily find on the Internet. However, we just mention in this article the best ones from our view. Of course, it’s not subjective only. We also tried to collect information from star ranked by users’ reviews. And from their outstanding features in terms of their good points and bad ones as well.

Details of  top 5 Plasma Cutters with Built-in Air Compressors:

To ensure portability and save time, we want to show you the great uses of an integrated machine based on the analysis below.

1. Hypertherm Powermax 30Air Plasma Cutter with Built-in Air Compressor

Hypertherm 30air
4.54.5 / 5
It may look small but the product gives a great performance.

Pros

  • price: average
  • 3 years of warranty
  • Diverse outputs: 15 to 30 amps
  • Maximum cutting ability: 5/8
  • Smooth, beautiful slices
  • technology of drag-cutting
  • gouging extension

Cons

  • Leakage of internal air valve after wide use

Overview

Ranked top of the most popular plasma cutters, the Hypertherm Powermax 30Air plasma cutter definitely doesn’t disappoint you. It is a perfect machine for everyone to use flexibly anywhere.

This product will be suitable for welding shops and those who use it for odd jobs. The cutting ability of the product through thick slabs of steel up to 5/8 with smooth, sophisticated cuts. Although it does not have the ability to accurately engrave and remove angled cuts like the Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP, it is lighter with a built-in air compressor.

In particular, the price is more affordable, so it suits more people.  Moreover, the Duramax LT torch is designed to provide a comfortable grip that is made from heat and impact-resistant material. Based on the positive reviews of the products and the aforementioned advantages, this is definitely the top choice that we would like to recommend for you. Surely it will help you make a variety of cuts over the years in the best way.

In case  Hypertherm Powermax 30Air is used too much daily, which can cause the internal valve to fail, do not worry because it is easy to replace at a very low cost.

For the users to have a total view of the product, we mention its strength and weakness in this table

Hypertherm Powermax 30Air Plasma Cutter with Built-in Air Compressor
Hypertherm Powermax 30Air Plasma Cutter

2. Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutting  with Air-Compressor (120V)

Hobart 500564
Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutting with Air-Compressor
3.53.5 / 5
The machine uses compressed air and an electric arc to make cuts through metal materials. That combo results in a faster and more efficient cut than if you use oxy-fuel.

Pros

  • Price: low
  • Five years of warranty
  • Dimensions: 15” x 18.5” x 11.2”
  • Portable plasma cutter
  • High-quality parts
  • Easy to use
  • Accurate cut

Cons

  • Operates only on 120V
  • Limit cut:  Max ¼’’(Not suitable for cutting thicker metals )
  • XT12R torch is not nice as the XT40R

Overview

Hobart brand always ranks at the top of high-quality products, especially plasma cutting machines. A good point of Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutting with Air-Compressor is definitely its lightweight, but the product is limited by its cutting ability that is unsuitable for thick metals.

It can only cut metal to a maximum of ¼″ and preferably 1/8″ or less. Although the cutting range is limited with no option to adjust the output amperage, It still completes the job beyond tolerance. Moreover, this product is quite cheap, just slightly more costly than the 40 Amp Mophorn Plasma Cutter.

Besides, you can completely trust the quality of the parts because they are all internal parts of high quality.

With an ergonomic handle and cables that are extra flexible, this New XT12R torch is more efficient and comfortable. However that this Hobart torches lead 12 feet and its torch doesn’t have an as nice appearance as the XT40R

If you don’t have to work with thick products and you care about the durability of the machine, Hobart Airforce 12ci is a machine worth buying. In addition, you can get more cutting value from it in a range of an extremely affordable price.

There is a list of pros and cons to help you compare with other products and have the best choice.

Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutting  with Air-Compressor
Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter

3. Hobart AirForce 40ci plasma cutter With Built-In Compressor 

Hobart 500566
Hobart AirForce 40ci With Built In Compressor
4.84.8 / 5
This Hobart plasma cutter is designed for mobility and even features a 12-foot lead that offers absolute freedom of movement.

Pros

  • Low price
  • Small, lightweight, easy to move around.
  • Fairly good resale value.
  • Precise cut

Cons

  • Limit cut:  Max 1/4’’(Not suitable for cutting thicker metals )
  • The instruction booklet might be missing so you would have to make some searches to get tutorials or contact the official center for guidance

Overview

Hobart Airforce 40i plasma cutter is also a product of the Hobart brand. It is quite similar to Hobart AirForce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Air Compressor (500564) but has an older model.

This Hobart Airforce 40i plasma cutter with a built-in air compressor is designed to cut steel, aluminum, and other conductive metals from 1/8” thickness, and even the cutting ability can reach 1/4”. It can also cut various Rusty parts off the steel. The weight of this Hobart is very light – only about 27 lbs. So you don’t need to care about its size anymore. Especially, the main feature of this product is that you do not need to use your air compressor, it has a built-in machine.

In this way, You do not have to adjust the regulator. Moreover, it throws sparks only about 1-2ft, so you don’t have to worry about fire when working.

This product would be a perfect choice for automotive / sheet metal applications because it is a very portable, lightweight, and compact device. The cables are good and long.

Overall, this Hobart 40i is the older model of Hobart 12ci. There are lots of different reviews about it, but it’s harder to find it in stores. Therefore,  we suggest you get the newer model Hobart 12ci which is easier found in stores.

Almost all products have their drawbacks besides the strong points. To help you have a good view, let’s check our list below.

Hobart AirForce 40ci plasma cutter With Built-In Compressor
Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter

4. Hobart Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter with Built-in Air Compressor

Hobart 500565
Hobart Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter with Built-in Air Compressor
55 / 5
Running 15 to 27 amps, the Hobart 500565 Airforce 27i plasma cutter is a powerful, versatile and lightweight machine with lots to offer.

Pros

  • Price range: medium
  • Five-year warranty
  • Max cut: 5/8”
  • Multi-Voltage Plug (MVP)
  • precise cut, thinner kerf, less slag to clean up
  • Wind Tunnel Technology
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Torch lead: 12 feet

Overview

There are many similarities between the Hobart Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter and Hypertherm Hypertherm Super 30. First, they probably have the same specifications but the price of Hobart  Airforce 27i Plasma is a little lower. Its first strength must be mentioned is that it is Compatible with engine-driven welders.

It has Complete cutting capability when powered by an engine-driven welder with a 240 V receptacle of 4 kW or more.  Although this type of plasma cutter has a warranty period of up to five years and is high in quality, its performance is not really high.

A special feature of this product is the ability to cut clean sections up to 3/8 with a capacity to sever 5/8″ at a maximum of 27 amps. Fan-On-Demand – Runs only when needed reducing dust/debris pulled into unit. It has rather more weight and shorter leads, which is incapable of producing sheet metal parts similar to Hypertherm Powermax 30.

For this reason, You can also be completely confident when cutting thicker parts with Hypertherm Powermax 30 than Hobart Airforce 27i plasma.

Overall the product is quite perfect, there seems to be a little to complain about this plasma cutter. This table can help you find its strengths and weaknesses.

Hobart Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter with Built-in Air Compressor
Hobart 500565 Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter

5. Miller Spectrum 875 Plasma Cutter with Built-in Air Compressor

Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme Plasma Cutter
Miller Spectrum 875 Plasma Cutter with Built-in Air Compressor
00 / 5
Plasma Cutter, Spectrum 875,90 PSI, 50ft .

Pros

  • Ability to work well on metals that can reach 3/8 inches
  • High-quality cutting lines
  • Portable
  • diverse outputs: 220v and 120V
  • Auto-Refire can automatically change the output power, which depends on the metal thickness
  • adjustable Fan parts
  •  The wind tunnel technology

Cons

  • Not built-in air
  • experience hiccups in case  of an incorrect setting

Overview

The last product we would recommend belongs to Miller Electric brand , a leading manufacturer with high-quality. Its name is Miller spectrum 875 Plasma Cutter with Compressor. 

This extremely fast cutter allows for really interesting cutting. With a 60 amp rated output, the Miller Spectrum 875 plasma cutter can cut steel in thicknesses of 7/8 inch – 10 IPM and 1/2 inch – 27 IPM. Moreover, the Spectrum 875 Miller plasma cutter has an automatic build-in to help users use it more efficiently and flexibly.

The torch connection is very quick and simple to use. The patented automatic pilot arc start-stop circuit makes metal cutting easy.

This product is affordable, so it is one of the best tools for your choice. It works well with high performance. Although it doesn’t come with a built-in air compressor, it does have one that you can buy separately. While the lack of an integrated compressor can take you to waste time, keep in mind that it is cheap and has good cutting ability.

Miller Spectrum 875 Plasma Cutter with Built-in Air Compressor
Miller Spectrum 875 Plasma Cutter

Conclusion :

In many famous decent plasma cutters brands, we recognize the prominence of the above 5 best Plasma Cutters with Built-in Air Compressors. We then came up with highlights and assessments of the 5 best ideal products based on both their strengths and weaknesses.

By listing the necessary points so we hope users can compare and make the best choice. As listed, Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR  seems to be the best one which has a strong capacity to make precise cuts at a very reasonable price. With its high quality, we want to recommend it to all users, especially managers of the workshop.

We concluded that the Miller spectrum 875 Plasma Cutter with Compressor is the best for your pocket. Despite having no built-in air compressor as the other machines, its cutting ability is excellent over a reasonable range of price and we are sure that it may be one of the best available affordable cutters you can own.

Your checking of these reviews is appreciated. We hope you can find a suitable machine for your cutting products. Don’t hesitate to give us any comments or questions related to the product because we are willing to help you find the best one.

How To Choose The Best Plasma Cutters With Built-In Air Compressors?

Power Source

Most lightweight plasma cutters operate on 120-volt power if they are used in home workshops or around customer houses. A dual input power plasma cutter, running on both 120 and 240 volts, is more adaptable, but it will have a heavier weight than a 120-volt machine.   

If the 240-volt input isn’t required, you should spend the same amount of money on a 120-volt cutter with a better compressor. On a 120-volt household power, you can use a maximum amp of 15. That’ll get you through the steel of up to 3/16 inches. 

Duty Cycle

It’s ideal to have a plasma cutter that can work continuously during the day without being waited to cool down. The duty cycle is positively associated with the amount of time you’ll be able to go with a single continuous cut. 

Although 35% may not seem like much, it equates to nearly 3 minutes of continuous cutting before you need to wait for a plasma cutter to cool down. 

Warranty

A longer warranty duration demonstrates the manufacturers’ confidence in their cutters’ quality. Regarding plasma cutters, 3 years is a long period. That’s possibly several hours of heating, cooling, and blasting per week. 

The air compressor increases the amount of heat, electricity used, and moving parts in the system. Since the plasma cutters equipped with built-in compressors are more expensive, it may be worthwhile to pay a little more to obtain a machine guaranteed for a longer period. 

You might also think about the extended warranty offered by some manufacturers at an additional expense.   

Advanced Features

Some features can significantly simplify your cutting tasks. Drag cutting technology allows you to initiate the arc and continue the cut by dragging the torch across the metal’s surface. Many torches must be kept at a particular distance higher than the metal without this feature, which might be tough if you’re not physically healthy or getting exhausted after finishing working. 

These days, automatic settings are becoming more widespread. Some cutters lack control settings, detecting and responding to the materials by themselves. Others simply have a single rating and run at max amperage regardless of the metal thickness. 

High-tech power sources, such as inverter tech, can also result in benefits including lightweight. When you are in an inconvenient location, a lighter cutter is easier for you to store, transfer and maneuver.     

Accessibility & Safety

Longer torch leads and power extension cords should be among the most important features that any plasma cutter owner should seek. The majority of torch leads are between 12 and 15 feet long. Anything shorter than that will result in less-than-ideal circumstances. 

A cutter with a simple, user-friendly interface removes lots of guesswork, particularly for beginners. It’s convenient for professionals to have a machine requiring little to no supervision. 

Above all, don’t make a 120-volt cutter accomplish the task of a 240-volt cutter. Things will go wrong. 

Ways To Reduce Dross In Plasma Cutting

When cutting metal with a plasma cutter, the cut’s perimeter will frequently be surrounded by molten metal. Dross refers to the waste and foreign matter accumulating because of the molten metal generated during plasma cuts. 

This excessive hardening of metal is pricey since it causes unprofitable downtime. You undertake post-cut clean-up to remove the dross during these periods of downtime. 

The following are some methods for getting rid of or reducing dross. We divided the solutions into categories based on the different sorts of dross.   

Top Dross

It forms on the plate’s upper edge on both pieces. It could be caused by utilizing worn consumables, such as no longer effective cutting tips. 

Furthermore, cutting a metal piece too quickly can result in top dross. Another reason is that the torch height or standoff is set too high.

How to solve top dross problems:

  • Be sure to use a new cutting tip. 
  • Decrease your cutting speed gradually until you see less dross.
  • Incrementally lower the cutting torch’s height.    

High-speed Dross

When you cut too fast, this kind of dross forms. The arc is left behind because of the torch’s faster speeds, resulting in hard lumps of uncut metal on the bottom of the plate. 

How to solve high-speed dross problems:

  • Use a new cutting tip, particularly if the cutter’s old cutting tip orifice is exhibiting symptoms of wear.
  • Decrease your cutting speed gradually until the dross level is reduced.
  • Increase the current, but don’t go beyond 95 percent of the AMP  rating of the nozzle.

Low-speed Dross

This is the dross that accumulates when your cutting speed is slow. You overwork the plasma arc in this situation. This reaches a wider span of metal since the cutting speed is insufficient. 

The incision automatically widens as the arc extends. The cut width reaches the point where the torch’s gas velocity is insufficient to blast away molten metal pieces. As a result, a heavy layer of dross forms on the plate’s bottom. 

Read More: Hypertherm Powermax 30 XP Review