[TOP 3] Best Plasma Cutter With Built-in Compressor Reviews

3 Best Plasma Cutter With Built-in Compressor Reviews, Tips & Guides

What is a plasma cutter and why do you need it for your air compressor?

Put it simply, a plasma cutter is a tool designed to cut through various types of electrically conductive materials (brass, steel, copper, etc.) No need to carry your heave machine around the field; by having the plasma cutter with built-in compressor, you can perform your tasks immediately and easily in your garage if having a suitable the power source. A regular plasma cutter requires an external air compressor operating on a standard wall plug.

Nowadays you can find dozens of them on the market, but choosing the best one seems to be a difficult mission. The price is pretty expensive, so you must consider carefully before making a purchase. To help you make an easier decision, here we come with three top-rated plasma cutters with air compressor for 2022… check out instantly:

Top 3 Best Plasma Cutter With Built-in Compressor

1. Thermal Arc 1-1110-1 Plasma Cutter System

Thermal Arc 1-1110-1 Air Cut 15C Plasma System
  • This unit comes standard with a built-in air compressor
  • Weighs only 29 pounds, almost 50% lighter than the competition
  • 1/8 inch (3 millimeters) recommended cut, 3/16 inch (5 millimeters) maximum capability

If you are currently on a tight budget, then the best option is the Thermal Arc 1-1110-1 Air Cut – a product of Thermal Dynamics. Not really having the best capacity, this plasma cutter is still powerful enough to cut through any kind of material that you want. What I like most about this model is that it’s rated at 15A meaning it is compatible with any outlet. Featuring a 20ft torch lead, the whole kit works perfectly on large pieces of machinery.

With the maximum cutting capacity of 3/16”, the Thermal Arc can cut its way through thick surfaces of metal without interruption. Very lightweight (29 lbs.), this product really stands out for its portability.


  • Lightweight, portable and compact
  • Cut through many types of materials nicely
  • 20ft torch lead
  • 15A rating makes the kit perfect for any outlet
  • More affordable


  • Not powerful enough
  • The duty cycle holds only 30%


2. Forney 317 250 P+ Plasma Cutter Kit with Air Compressor

Forney 317 250 P+ Plasma Cutter with Air Compressor,Green
  • Uses electrical arc and compressed air to cut steel, aluminum and other conductive metals
  • Drag torch technology allows you to move torch directly across the metal surface for precise cuts
  • Easy to use and operate

If the Thermal Arc is also out of your reach, then extend your list of the best plasma cutter with built-in compressor with another ideal choice: The Forney 317 250 P+. Of course its power capacity will not be on the same level as the first option, but overall it’s packed with some benefits that will surely be worth a purchase.

Also using the standard power supply (15A – 120V), this plasma cutter kit can be plugged into any outlet. Not to mention that it is extremely lightweight and portable thanks to its compact size; moreover, the reason I put the Forney 317 250 P+ model into the list here because of its unique drag touch technology which allows the consumers to direct the torch across the metal for precise cuts. For your safety, there’s the featured built-in thermal overload protection.

The Forney product can give you a solid experience at a reasonable amount of money.


  • Easy to use and operate
  • Most cheapest on our list
  • Work incredibly for any metal
  • Lightweight (35 lbs.)
  • Use the standard power of 15A


  • Lack of power capacity
  • There will be a delay every time the trigger is pulled


3. Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR Hand System

Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR Hand System with 15' Lead
  • Operate it anywhere with the internal air compressor
  • Plug into any 120 or 240 V power with Auto-Voltage technology and included plug adapters
  • Highly portable. The smallest, lightest weight system in its class

If you are searching for best of the best, then don’t miss out the Hypertherm Powermax 30 AIR.

Produced right in the USA, undoubtedly this plasma cutter with built-in air compressor is the top choice of most consumers compared to other models on the market these days. The material cutting process is completely convenient with the dual-voltage (240V) power capacity. Unlike those with 120V, the kit of Hypertherm offers a 35% duty cycle jump for rated cuts – therefore, feel free to use more power whenever you need. Whether it is aluminum, copper, stainless steel or cast iron, Powermax 30 AIR can handle them all ultimately.

When it comes to plasma cutters, Hypertherm for sure is one of the industry leaders and definitely the Powermax 30 AIR whole system is their reliable product. Very lightweight (35 lbs.), all the on-the-go jobs can be done prettily.


  • Lightweight and portable
  • Dual voltage capacity
  • Cut through all materials
  • Cutting process with fast speed


  • Quite expensive


Buying Guides – How To Choose The Best Plasma Cutter With Built-in Compressor?

A plasma cutter that has a compressor built in is actually two heavy-duty tools. A plasma cutter requires sufficient pressure to blast the plasma from the cut. This is one of the most critical requirements for quality cuts. This means that you will need both a high-quality air compressor and a plasma cutter within the same cabinet. Machines with an air compressor are more expensive than machines that use external air sources.

Power Source

Most lightweight plasma cutters can be used in a workshop at home or in close proximity to customers. The 120-powered plasma cutter will be more versatile, but it will weigh more than the 120-powered model. The same amount of money can be used to buy a machine that uses only 120 volts and has a better compressor. The machine can run up to 15 amps with 120 volt household electricity. This is enough to cut 3/16 inch steel.

Power Cycle

This is the time the machine runs continuously. After that, users must let it cool down before they can use it again. It is usually expressed in percentages or ratios.

Plasma cutters with integrated air compressors are key to your productivity as a worker. The best models should allow you to work for an extended period of time without having to stop and shouldn’t need to be replaced every minute.

A power cycle (or duty cycle) of approximately 35% is acceptable. It is not enough. However, continuous cutting does not exceed three minutes. This doesn’t happen very often.

Duty Cycle

The machine’s duty cycle is the time it can continue to operate without cooling down. A 35% duty cycle with a fixed amperage and voltage means that the plasma cutter can run for 3.5 minutes instead of the full 10 minutes, without needing to cool down. Lower amperage will result in a longer duty cycle. For deep, long-lasting metal cutting, a longer duty cycle with a higher amperage will be more effective.


Plasma cutters are available in three voltage options. There are three voltage options for plasma cutters. You can choose from 115V,230V, or a dual voltage cutter that has both. For beginners who don’t require much power, plasma cutters with 115V can be used. Although they can be plugged into a standard household outlet, they won’t provide as much power. A generator is required to power a device with 230V input. You can switch between the two options if you have one. It all depends on how much power and what your environment is.


It is important to look at quality and reliability when choosing a plasma cutter. You need to ensure that your tool is reliable and durable. If you desire reliability, it is important to select a reliable brand or manufacturer.


The machine’s voltage is what determines the total weight. However, this is not the only factor. These machines are made with state-of-the art technology that aims to eliminate any heaviness. For example, the inverter technology is light-weight.

The best models are light. The plasma cutter can be taken with you wherever you go. They can also store the plasma cutters or temporarily store them while they’re not in use.


While portability may not be an important factor for everyone, it is for mobile users.

You can use a plasma cutter for many purposes.

A portable unit that can be easily transported is a great option. The size and weight dimensions of the plasma cutter are important for portability.

The built-in inverter and built-in compressor make a unit smaller. It is easy to transport the unit thanks to features such as long cables handles and shoulder straps.

Some bands have built-in storage to store consumables, which increases portability.


Certain features can make cutting a lot more enjoyable. Drag cutting technology allows you to drag the torch across the surface of the steel to begin the arc. The torch will continue to cut. This feature is essential for many torch types. It can be hard to maintain a torch at a certain height above the metal if you aren’t in optimum physical condition or get tired at the end.

Automated settings are becoming more popular these days. Some machines don’t have any control settings, but sense the material and adjust automatically. Others only output one rating and run at maximum amperage, regardless of the thickness of the metal being cut.

High-tech power sources such as inverter technology can make your machine lighter. Lighter machines are easier to store, move, and position in awkward locations.


Safety should be your top priority. You should read all safety instructions provided by your plasma cutter. To protect your eyes, make sure you have a pair of good safety glasses. Although the arc isn’t as intense than a welding arc, it can still cause damage to your eyes. So make sure you get a pair of glasses in shades 3 and 5. Also, gloves are necessary. I prefer to wear MIG and TIG gloves. They allow you to feel the work while protecting your hands. Avoid synthetic gloves as they can stick to your skin and melt. Always use leather gloves. To protect your skin from the arc and sparks, cover your arms, legs, and body with durable cotton material. To prevent injuries from falling metal, you should wear steel protection boots while you are chopping up the metal.


You will not be required to contact a manufacturer for warranty service. A longer warranty period shows that the manufacturer is confident in the machine’s quality. A plasma cutter’s life expectancy is 3 years. This could mean that you spend dozens of hours heating, blasting, and cooling each week.

The compressor adds heat, electric demand, and moving parts to the equation. Plasma cutters with built-in compressors are more expensive than the others. It might be worth paying extra to get a longer warranty. The extended warranty offered by some manufacturers may be worth considering.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are All Plasma Cutters Require an Air Compressor?

Yes. Yes. The manufacturers of plasma cutters usually include a manual with their equipment, which describes the minimum pressure and airflow requirements.

What is the Best Plasma Cutter for Home Use?

It can be difficult to find the right plasma cutter for your home. Hypertherm Powermax is the best plasma cutter that has an inbuilt compressor, as we mentioned earlier. It does its job efficiently, and it was our top pick. Even a novice user can use this tool for casual home-use.

Can a MIG Welder be used as a Plasma Cutter?

Plasma cutting requires a constant power source. MIG, on the other hand requires constant voltage. Before cutting, the plasma circuit requires an arc to start. If you need to make many cuts, and don’t have the funds to invest in a plasma cutter, you can adapt your arc welding machine to make similar cuts. The cut air arc is not the same as a plasma cut. However, it mimics one. It can be used.

Can a Plasma cutter cut plastic or wood?

No. Plasma cutters can only be used to cut non-conductive materials. Plasma stream power is generated by the electric current that flows back from the workpiece to the unit. These machines can also produce too much heat, which can cause damage to non-conductive materials.

What is the difference between laser cutting and plasma cutting?

The way they are used to cut material is one of the main differences between the two. This is a process that uses light to cut materials and involves thermal power. Plasma cutting is another option. This method uses a mixture of gases to cut.

Are Plasma cutters with built-in compressors as effective as those without?

As long as the output amps of the plasma cutter are equal, there is not much difference in the cutting speed between a plasma cutter equipped with a compressor and a regular one. You would not be able tell the difference between a Powermax30 AIR and Powermax30 XP if I cut 1/4″ of steel. Important note: Both machines can output 30 amps.

When purchasing a machine that has a built-in compressor, the main thing to look at is its output power (amps). Machines with built-in compressors typically have a lower output because the machine must also be powered by an internal compressor.


Final Verdict

The best plasma cutter with built-in compressor among three options on the list above is certainly the Powermax 30 AIR of Hypertherm. Make your choice NOW!

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