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When we ordered our current and 3rd plasma table there was no question which plasma cutter

we ere going with.  Hypertherm all the way.  Yes I have used other brands, but nothing ‘

compares to the quality, reliability and support you get from Hypertherm.  One thing that really

made them shine from the start was the extensive cut charts that were available for their

machines.  This really takes the guess work out of setting up and using your machine.  The cut

charts are accurate and well tested which I can not say the same for other brands.  Another

factor is consumable life and cost.  Hypertherm consumables have lasted longer than other

brands I have tried and tend to be less expensive in overall cost of ownership.  

Reasons for Choosing Hypertherm:

Quality of machines

Reliability of machines

Cut quality

Long consumable life

Low consumable cost

Extensive cut chart library

Excellent customer service and support.

Hypertherm has a ton of models to choose from.  For the hobby, fabrication and light industrial most people will be in the Powermax Series from Hypertherm, which includes the Powermax45 XP,  Powermax65, Powermax85, Powermax105 and Powermax125,  the bigger the number the more cutting amps.   

Choosing the correct fit your your application should include some careful consideration.  Pick one model above where you think your max thickness will be.   So many people get into the cnc plasma cutting world thinking it will only be a hobby or they are only going to do artwork and quickly find that that they want or need to do more.   This is true with the plasma cutter and the table size.   If you are teetering save your money and buy the next one up you wont regret it.  Your machines can all ways cut at lower power but never higher power than they are designed for.  

Hobby Use and Smaller Tables -  The Powermax45 XP is a great machine and the XP means it can do things like engraving which other models can not.  The Powermax45 XP has a maximum recommended machine pierce of ½ and a max hand severance of 1 1/8 inches.

The next most common machines are going to be the Powermax65 and Powermax85,  The 65 has a machine pierce capacity of 5/8 inches and a hand severance capacity of 1 ¼ inches.   The 85 has a max machine pierce of ¾ inches and a max hand severance of 1 ½ inches.  

If you need to cut some really thick material on a regular basis you can consider the Powermax105 which has machine pierce of 7/8 inches and a hand severance of 2 inches.   The Powermax125 tops out the Powermax line with a machine pierce of 1 inch and a hand severance of 2 ¼ inches.  If that is not enough for you then Look at the XPR Products from Hypertherm.  

For more info on the different models click the links below.

Links:  Hypertherm Home Page   Powermax45 XP    Powermax65    Powermax85   Powermax105

For and overview of the entire Powermax Series Line Check out:  Powermax family Brochure  (large pdf.  2.71MB)


Power - Make sure that you consider the power requirements and  air needs of the plasma cutter you select.  Most home garages may not have the wire and amp capacity of the larger plasma units and running larger electrical lines may be necessary.  Read the manual for the plasma cutter your considering before purchase to understand the requirements. Manuals and requirements can be found in the links above.

Air - Plasma cutters need two basic things power and air.  Air delivery is critical to cut quality.  Clean, Dry, and oil free air is critical, and must be delivered at the  required quantity and pressure.   The Powermax45 XP needs about 7 CFM (cubic feet a minute) at 90 psi for successful operation.  The Powermax65 and 85 are about the same the Powermax105 needs about 8 CFM. Check out my page on Plasma Air Supply Systems for more info and recommendations.

Torch Height -  To achieve the best cut results your machine must maintain proper cut height which is the distance from the torch tip to the top of the material your cutting.  Most of the time this about .06 inches or 1.5mm. This is a very tight tolerance that needs to be maintained so that your torch is not touching the material and is not too high above.  To achieve this you  need a Torch Height Control system that is built into the machines and its software to maintain this precise distance during the entire cut.  

Plasma Table design and quality -  The precision and quality of your plasma table can greatly affect your cuts.  If you table or gantry are out of square or if your gantry or drive system has slop, or is not smooth your cut quality and accuracy of your parts will be affected.

Check out are TIPS & TRICKS  PAGE,   RESOURCES PAGE,  PROJECTS PAGE, TUTORIALS PAGE, AND VIDEOS PAGE for more information and guides.

Who do I recommend for purchase of Hypertherm Plasma cutters and Consumables?

Want a discount on Hypertherm consumables at Baker’s Gas & Welding Supply?

Use code:  fabworks5   for 5%  off Hypertherm consumables only

Hypertherm = The most trusted brand in CNC Plasma Cutting