Plasma Tube Cutter

plasma pipe cutter

Plasma Tube Cutter Principle

Plasma tube cutter is using a high-temperature, high-speed plasma arc as heat energy. Melt the metal tube to be cut, and blow away the melted metal with high speed airflow.
Plasma tube cutter can cut all kinds of metal materials (stainless steel, carbon steel, alloy copper, aluminum, copper, nickel, titanium, etc.), with fast cutting speed, narrow kerf, small deformation, saving materials and other characteristics.

Plasma Tube Cutter Features

Low cost and can blown air cutting various metal sheets.

High performance imported plasma source with stable performance and the service life of up to 100,000 hours.

High speed, away from the efficiency, cutting thin plate per minute speed up to dozens of meters.

Less maintenance rates.

Good quality cutting edge with small deformation, smooth, and beautiful appearance.

Imported guide motor and servo motor, high cutting precision.

Can design a variety of graphics or text cutting, simple, flexible, convenient operation.

Plasma Tube Cutter – The Complete FAQ Guide

There has been an increase in the demand for plasma tube cutter equipment in the past years. This was and is due to the advancement and the advantage that plasma cutting gives.

Today, we’ll not only talk about plasma cutting. We will also be discussing many things about plasma tube cutters and equipment of the same sort.

At the end of the guide, you’ll be well-versed with what plasma pipe cutters are. Moreover, you’ll also determine the best manufacturer or supplier of plasma cutters in the world.

Definition of Plasma

Plasma is simply the usage of electricity to expand ionized gas to create heat.

Definition of Plasma

Plasma being used in the welding process

What is Plasma Cutting?

Plasma cutting is a subtractive method that you can use in slicing or cutting through a wide range of objects.

What is Plasma Cutting
Cutting through a metal pipe using plasma

You’d have to use ionized gases with temperatures upwards of 20,000 degrees Celsius.

This is the temperature required in order for the material to be melted and cut out of the picture.

How Does a Plasma Cutter Work?

You can easily identify plasma to be a set of charged particles or electrically heated gas.

How Does a Plasma Cutter Work
CNC Plasma Cutter in action, cutting a metal sheet

Now that we know what it is, let’s talk about how it works. Before we get into that, though, it is important to note the variables included.

There’s the electrode, the cutting gas, shielding gas, the plasma, and the nozzle.

Once they’re all in place, the gas or the air is connected to the plasma cutter. This is what will give the pressure to the cutter, helping you with the cut.

After you turn the air on, the next step is to turn your plasma tube cutter on.

A spark of high frequency is generated, causing the plasma gas to become ionized. When the power supply increases the current, it then generates the arc, strong enough to create the cut or the slice that you need.

What Materials Can Plasma Cut?

You can use plasma to cut through a myriad of materials and objects. Among the most common ones are hard materials that are conductive, which are:

What Materials Can Plasma Cut_
Torch about to cut through a piece of metal sheet

  • Coppers
  • Inconels
  • Mild Steel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Aluminum Steel
  • Cast Iron
  • And Many More

There are some businesses that use plasma to cut through thick wood. It seems unorthodox but don’t worry, you wouldn’t have any problems with it, if you do it the right way.

DIY Plasma Pipe Cutting Equipment/Machines

If you think that a pipe tube cutter is pretty expensive for you, you can build a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) plasma tube cutter!

DIY Plasma Cutting Equipment
An example of a homemade (DIY) plasma cutter

The materials you would need to create and build your DIY plasma cutters include:

  • Contactor
  • Tip Wire
  • Electrolytic Capacitors
  • Power Switch
  • Auto Coil
  • Plasma Torch
  • Electrodes
  • Frame

You can check out a sample of a DIY plasma tube cutter in the video below.

What is a CNC Plasma Cutter?

A computer numerically controlled (CNC) cutter is a machine that needs less supervision.

CNC Plasma Cutter
A computer numerically-controlled (CNC) plasma tube cutting machine

Basically, it’s an automatic machine you use for subtractive methodologies.

It contains a machine that has a plasma torch, which moves inward and outward a path, depending on what your programmed movements are.

What are Rotary Plasma Cutters?

Rotary plasma cutters are machines that move rotationally to cut or slice parts of workpieces.

Rotary Plasma Cutters
Plasma torch mounted onto a welding rotator

It’s accompanied by a welding positioner, which moves and rotates the workpiece to achieve the desired output.

What is a CNC Plasma Square Tube Cutter?

It’s a machine that you can use to cut rounded or square tubes automatically.

CNC Plasma Square Tube Cutter
A machine that can cut through square tube steel

More often than not, these are already CNC integrated, making the procedure easier and better.

Types of Plasma Cutters

Out of the many different types of plasma cutters – which one is right for you?

Manual Plasma Cutters
Manual plasma cutter where the torch is held

It’ll be easier for you to understand plasma tube cutters if we categorize them in two (2) ways:

Manual Plasma Cutters

Manual plasma cutters are machines that you need to handle physically.

You’d want to purchase and use manual cutters if you’re going to work on light work. The most common examples and classifications of manual cutters include:

  • High Definition Precision Plasma; and
  • The Conventional Plasma

Automatic Plasma Cutters

Meanwhile, these automatic cutters are more suited for bigger and larger projects.

They’re CNC, so there would be little-to-no supervision. It’ll move according to the program it has been set or designated to perform.

You can utilize many different types and kinds of automatic plasma tube cutters. But, the most common are:

  • 3D/3+ Axis
  • 2D/2 Axis
  • Tube and Section

Parts of a CNC Plasma Tube Cutting Machine

In order for you to understand it easier, it’s better to identify the parts based on where they are as a whole.

CNC Plasma Tube Cutting Machine
CNC plasma tube cutting machine

We’ll divide it into three (3) categories:

  1. Frame
  2. Plasma Torch
  3. Control Unit


The frame is the overall structure of the machine. It’s comprised of a track, a host (control system), beam, the beam control wire, chassis for the track, and the torch.

You can think of it as the body of the machine. It’s the part of the entirety, creating the results or the output you’re looking for.

Plasma Torch

This is the part of the machine that contains and releases the plasma, making the cut or the weld.

It’s comprised of a torch head, trigger button, cutting nozzle or cutter, shield cap, and the rings.

Control Unit

Lastly, the control unit is something you can consider as the CPU or the central processing unit of the machine. It’s where everything is embedded to make the machine act how you want it to be.

How Much Does a Plasma Tube Cutter Cost?

There aren’t regular rates for plasma tube cutters. Searching the internet might not be as helpful as how it should be.

Why? – Because when you search, you’ll see a lot of items that “seem” legitimate, when they’re not. There are a lot of misleading companies that promote their products in the wrong ways.

For the best and the highest quality of plasma cutters, you can expect to pay upwards of $15,000. This’ll include the complete set of a plasma tube cutting machine already.

Can a Plasma Tube Cutter Slice Hardened Steel?

As we’ve mentioned above, plasma tube cutting machines can work on and slice through hardened metal.

Can a Plasma Tube Cutter Slice Hardened Steel_
Plasma torch slicing through a thick hardened steel strip

These include mild steel, carbon steel, aluminum steel, stainless steel, and the like.

Why is Plasma Pipe Cutting Recommended?

Plasma tube cutters might sound new to you, but why is it the one most experts recommend?

Here are a couple of factors why plasma tube cutters win in a battle against regular cutting.

Faster and Increased Speeds

You can’t ever compare plasma cutters with regular water jet cutters.

Slicing or cutting hardened metals, even those up to two (2) inches thick using plasma tube cutters will be faster and easier.

It’s less time, which means more productivity for you and your business.

Little-to-No Warping

With faster cutting speeds and transitions, you won’t ever have a problem with warping – why? – Because the heat transferred to the material is greatly diminished.

You’ll experience very little warping in certain instances.

Flexible and Versatile

What type of cutter can you use that can cut through wood, plastic, metal – all the same?

Plasma tube cutters are capable of helping you slice and melt even the hardest of steel. Since it utilizes electricity, it’s able to release power that you never imagined before.

Cleaner and Neater Cuts

Water jetting is a neat option to take; as well as regular saw cutting.

But did you know that plasma cutters can actually give you neater and cleaner cuts? Because of high speed, you’ll never question both accuracy and precision.

In case you’re wondering why a lot of experts recommend using plasma tube cutters – you now know!

These benefits and perks are only some of the most common ones you can consider.

There are a lot more; and that will depend on the industry you’re in, and the type of cutter you need.

What Do You Need to Run a Plasma Tube Cutter?

Can plasma cutting machines run on their own through electricity?

In order for your plasma pipe tube or pipe cutter to function, it needs an air compressor.

There are plasma cutting machines that have built-in compressors. If yours doesn’t have one, it is imperative for you to have one.

Continuous pressure is what you need in order to give your cutting machines the power. Without it, your cutters wouldn’t work.

Can You Repair or Troubleshoot a Plasma Cutting Machine?

There’ll be instances when your plasma pipe cutters will experience wear. It could be because you’re overusing it, it could be because of the frequency of usage – or any of that sort.

Can You Repair or Troubleshoot a Plasma Cutting Machine_
An expert looking through the system of a CNC plasma tube cutting machine

When this happens, you don’t have to rustle and panic with the plans of purchasing a new one. You can have your plasma tube cutters repaired and troubleshot.

Before you bring it to a service center, what you can do for basic troubleshooting is to:

  1. Clean the body of the torch (from top to bottom)
  2. Locate the power supply and clean it
  3. Check the cooling components in the tank
  4. Check on the quality of the water
  5. How’s your plasma? The quality of gas is crucial in making your cutters work
  6. Check on the safety limits you have set

Once all of this is done and you still can’t get the answers nor the resolutions you’re looking for, it might be time to have it repaired by a professional.

Unless you’re an experienced technician or machinist, refrain from going deep into the system. You might end up breaking it more.

How Long Can a Plasma Pipe Cutter Tip Last?

There have been a lot of misconceptions about it. It’s not going to depend on what type of gas you use, nor the material you’re working on.

Plasma Cutter Tip
Different types and kinds of plasma cutter tips

The average lifespan of an arc will last within two (2) to four (4) days. We’re talking about arc time when and while it’s active.

With that figure, it’s safe to say that you’ll be able to make about 600 to 1,400 pierces or cuts.

Which Plasma Tube Cutter Manufacturer Can You Trust?

There are a lot of manufacturers and suppliers of plasma tube cutters. But we here at SOHO Cutting, we’re dedicated to making your lives a lot easier.

For more than a decade, we’ve been deemed to be the most trusted and the most reliable plasma cutting machine manufacturer in the whole of China.

You can trust us to help you with a lot of plasma tube cutters. Whether you need a plasma pipe cutter, a table type laser tube cutting machine – even a 5-axis, 4-linkage tube pipe cutter, we’ll never fail you!

Why is Soho Cutting the Top Plasma Tube Cutter Manufacturer?

Apart from the fact that we’re skilled and fully experienced, SOHO Cutting is also:

  • Known as a partner of world-renowned brands in plasma cutting
  • Capable of producing and manufacturing high quality CNC plasma cutters, flame cutters, etc.
  • A valued company in the industry of fabrication and manufacturing
  • Famous for the products we were able to innovate and develop

You’ll never have doubts on the quality of our plasma tube cutters, as well as our other cutting machines.

If you need to cut metal, steel, hardwood, plastic – even glass, SOHO Cutting will be prepared to get you the specific machines you need!

Contact us now and get the plasma tube cutters you’ve always wanted to get!