Best Plasma Cutters with Built in Air Compressors 2019

a plasma cutter with a built-in air compressor

Since plasma’s discovery in 1879, to the first plasma cutter being created from a WW2 plasma welder in the 1950s, modifications have been multiplying to create faster, more powerful, and more efficient machines.

One of those brilliant adaptations is the built-in air compressor. This sounds easy enough, but creating it while maintaining the size, quality, and price is what’s revolutionary about it.

The following reviews are of our five favorite plasma cutters available online. We have done our best to paint the full picture of what’s good and bad about them to assist you in your journey to find what you’re looking for.

We hope you enjoy it. If you need further help, feel free to send us a message in our comment section, and we will do our best to help you out.

Comparison of Our Favorite Products for 2019:

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30
Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR Hand System with 15' Lead(Top Pick)

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35 lbs4.80/5
Hobart 500565 Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter
Hobart 500565 Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter 120/240V

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32 lbs4.65/5
Mophorn 40 Amp Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor
Mophorn 40 Amp Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor 220V Portable Plasma Welder Plasma Cutting Machine IGBT Inverter Digital Plasma Welding Machine(Best for the Money)

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50 lbs4.60/5
Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter
Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor 120V

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31 lbs4.40/5
Thermal Arc 1-1110-1 Air Cut 15C Plasma System
Thermal Arc 1-1110-1 Air Cut 15C Plasma System

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33 lbs4.25/5

5 Best Plasma Cutters with Built-in Air Compressors:

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

Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR Hand System with 15' Lead

The Hypertherm Powermax 30 plasma cutter is an impressive machine that would suit you whether you run a welding shop or do odd jobs in your garage. It’s capable of slicing a clean cut through both thick slabs of steel up to 5/8″, and fine decorative cuts in thin plate-like sheet metal.

It doesn’t offer quite as much as the Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP, which is capable of precision engraving and flush angled cuts. However, it’s lighter with a built-in air compressor and is more affordable to suit a broader range of people. If the Hypertherm Powermax 30 is used extensively on a daily basis, there is an internal valve that can fail. This shouldn’t affect it with less use, and the part is a minor cost and easy to replace.

From the whole range of plasma cutters with built-in air compressors, this is definitely our top pick and would serve you well over a full range of cuts for many years.

Pros
  • Input voltage: 110/120 & 220/240
  • Price range: medium
  • Three-year warranty
  • Output range: 15 to 30 amps
  • Max cut: 5/8”
  • Weight: 21.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14” x 5.5” x 11.5”
  • Torch lead: 15 feet
  • Fine sheet metal cuts
  • Drag-cutting technology
  • Extended reach gouging
Cons
  • Internal air valve leaks after extensive use

2. Hobart Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter 120/240V – The Runner-Up

Hobart 500565 Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter 120/240V

It was a close call between the Hobart Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter and Hypertherm’s Powermax 30. They have similar specs, and the Hobart is slightly lower in price. This plasma cutter has a five-year warranty and is a high-quality machine, but it offers less all-around in performance, which has brought it down to 2nd place.

We like its ability to cut clean sections up to 3/8″ with a capacity to sever 5/8″ at a maximum of 27 amps. It has more weight and shorter leads, and isn’t capable of creating the same fine sheet metal details Hypertherm’s Powermax 30 can cut. You also have more confidence cutting thicker sections with Hypertherm’s Powermax 30.

Overall, there is very little to complain about with this plasma cutter. If you’re after a reliable machine that suits onsite work, this plasma cutter will serve you well.

Pros
  • Input voltage: 110/120 & 220/240
  • Price range: medium
  • Five-year warranty
  • Output range: 14 to 27 amps
  • Max cut: 5/8”
  • Weight: 32.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 2” x 8.2” x 14.2”
  • Wind tunnel technology
  • Drag-cutting technology
  • Produces minimal slag
  • Pilot arc start
Cons
  • Torch lead: 12 feet

3. Mophorn 40 Amp Plasma Cutter with Built In Air Compressor – Best for the Money

Mophorn 40 Amp Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor 220V Portable Plasma Welder Plasma Cutting Machine IGBT Inverter Digital Plasma Welding Machine

The Mophorn 40 Amp Plasma Cutter is an impressive machine for the price it’s offered at. It does come with less quality and a lower warranty than some other plasma cutters, but because of its price and its ability to cut 12″ steel without a separate compressor, this is a prime choice.

You will like the 15′ torch lead, although the quality of the cuts is not to the same standard as the Hobart Airforce 27i plasma cutter and Hypertherm’s Powermax 30. It also has touch start technology, which never creates as clean a finish, and there’s no option to run it off 110/120v power points. However, it’s simple to set up and use, while the torch handle is comfortable and of reasonable quality for the price range.

This machine is not at the top of the list for a reason, but if you’re on a low budget and don’t have an air compressor, we recommend it as a good choice.

Pros
  • Price range: low
  • One-year warranty
  • Output range: 20 to 40 amps
  • Weight: 32.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10” x 16.3” x 10.6”
  • Torch lead: 15 feet
Cons
  • Input voltage: 220/240
  • Lower quality
  • Max cut: 1/2”
  • Touch start

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

Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor 120V

We like the quality of Hobart’s machines, and particularly its plasma cutters. The Hobart Airforce 12ci is definitely a lighter machine, only capable of severing 1/4″ at max and preferably cutting 1/8″ and less. It’s only slightly more expensive than the Mophorn 40 Amp Plasma Cutter, and it gives you much more confidence in the quality of its parts.

Even though it has a low range of cutting capacity and gives no option to adjust the output amperage, it leaves a clean finish. It runs off a standard power point and will get the job done within the gauge tolerance. It’s a shame most of Hobart’s stock torches come at 12′, but it’s a minor detail compared to the torch quality.

If your cutting range is minimal and products’ virtue is important to you, the Hobart Airforce 12ci is a worthwhile machine to buy. Otherwise, for a lower price you can get more but with less quality in the Mophorn 40 Amp Plasma Cutter.

Pros
  • Price range: low
  • Five-year warranty
  • Dimensions: 15” x 18.5” x 11.2”
  • Weight: 26.7 pounds
  • High-quality parts
  • Pilot arc start
Cons
  • Single input voltage: 110/120
  • Single 12-amp output capacity
  • Max cut: 1/4”
  • Torch lead: 12 feet

5. Thermal Arc 1-1110-1 Air Cut 15C Plasma System

Thermal Arc 1-1110-1 Air Cut 15C Plasma System

We’ve put the Thermal Arc 1-1110-1 Air Cut 15C Plasma System in 5th place due to the price being a bit high and the low range of functions it provides. It does sever a nice cut if you’re using it on 1/8″ plate or thinner, and it seems to be a reliable machine, although we don’t know how good the company is with following through on the one-year warranty, being an unknown brand.

It’s weighty for what it’s capable of and could be smaller. Its quality isn’t the highest, but we find the length of the leads impressive at 20′; this is longer than almost any other plasma cutter’s stock leads. This machine will cut 3/16″ plate with a slow struggle, and it won’t leave a perfect finish, but it’s capable nonetheless.

This is a useful machine for cutting 1/8″ plate with, but if you only need a minimal cutting range and want to pay less, we recommend the Hobart Airforce 12ci or the Mophorn 40 Amp Plasma Cutter first.

Pros
  • Price range: medium
  • One-year warranty
  • Torch lead: 20 feet
  • Dimensions: 1″ x 11.4″ x 12.3″
Cons
  • Single input voltage: 110/120
  • Lower quality
  • Max cut: 3/16”
  • Touch start
  • Single 15-amp output capacity
  • Weight: 33 pounds

Conclusion

Among the many decent plasma cutters we looked at, these were our five favorites. In the top place, we picked the Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR Hand System with its large capacity to perform pristine cuts while sitting at an affordable price. It’s a high-quality machine, and we recommend it to both hobbyists and workshop managers.

We concluded that the Mophorn 40 Amp Plasma Cutter is the best for your money. It doesn’t have the same quality as some of the other machines, but it cuts well over a reasonable range and is one of the most affordable cutters available.

We appreciate you checking out these reviews and hope you found what you were looking for. You’re welcome to leave any opinions or questions below in our comment section.

Other plasma cutters we’ve written about:

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Jacob Mills
 

Jacob's an experienced fitter and tuner/welder who's passionate about helping others develop in life through new skills and opportunities. He's found writing on numerous sites like weldingchamps.com about his passions including his website tinyhomeskingdom.com