How Plasma Cutting Works- A Complete Beginner’s Guide

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Cutting the metals in your factory or workshop is pretty tough. Maintaining the desired shape and structure after cutting is not always possible usually. You’ll need to polish and maintain it further to gain the perfect structure. A lot of time and effort gets wasted here.

This metal cutting at your workplace or industry gets easily resolved when you use a plasma cutter. A plasma cutter is an electrically generated cutter that functions with a high-speed jet of compressed gas.

The cutter is specially made for cutting metals. For that, you should know how plasma cutting works. Precise cutting and shaping of any metal are possible with it.

More innovations of the cutter are being made for other processes. We’ll know more about this amazing material in this article. Let’s take a look at what we have for you in the other sections.

how plasma cutting works

What is Plasma Cutting?

Plasma cutting is an electrically regulated cutting process that included the hot jet plasma force doing the task. The whole task is done and completed by the compressed gas. Oxygen, inert gas, hydrogen, and another compressed air form the main hot jet.

The plasma cutting is generally seen in the automotive garage, industries, and metal maintenance places. Cutting the metals like aluminum, stainless steel, brass, copper, etc., becomes easier and effective.

Due to its wide range of applications, all the works from large-scale industries and CNC applications to the small cuttings can be made with it. No speculations regarding its effectiveness can be found.

Read More: 10 Best Cheap Welding Helmet Review in 2021

How Plasma Cutter Work?

You already know that the plasma cutter is regulated by electricity and gas components. A blend of components between these two tiers accomplishes the work of the plasma cutter.

The cutter sends an electric jet in the form of gas. The gas components are mainly compressed air along with some other components. This giant ray of air generates the 4th state of matter, i.e., plasma.

The speedy high plasma with sufficient temperature allows you to melt the metal components. After molting the surface, the air’s great speed penetrates through the body and makes the cutting.

The Cutting Process of Plasma Cutter

The formation of the plasma cutter is made such that it has an electrode in it. All the gas regulations, temperature management, cutting power, etc., are managed by the electrode.

Take the edge of the surface a little outside the base. Keep the plasma cutter in a position to drill its jet flow of air on the cutting arena.

Pull the trigger of the cutter and start generating the cut. Move the whole thing slowly up or down. Let the gas properly penetrate the medium. You can also adjust your speed accordingly in different areas.

After finishing the cutting, place your cutter at the edge of the medium slowly or pause it. Rest the cutter for 20-30 seconds before raising it. Keep it in a safe place away from kids and general people. 

If you want to know about which are the top 7 best plasma cutters you can check our latest post about the top 7 Best Plasma Cutters for under 500$.

Advantage & Disadvantage

Using the plasma cutter assures you with a lot of benefits. But, amid the benefits, you can also see some drawbacks with it. Let’s present the advantages and disadvantages of using the plasma cutter in this section.


  • The speed of the cutting is very fast. It saves a lot of time for completing a cutting.
  • It can perform for any kind of platform, be it small, large, thick, or thin.
  • Generates cutting of high strength steel with less output of heat.
  • No discrimination in dealing with the type of metal
  • Assures you to get the automation firmly.
  • Produces hardly any disturbing noises that might affect the working environment
  • Operates one or more burners in completing the overall operation
  • All kinds of electrically conductive materials can be cut successfully.


  • You get a limitation of up to 160-180 mm dry cutting and 120 mm underwater cutting.
  • Consumes high amount of electricity and power
  • Pretty much expensive to afford for everyone
  • The kerf is comparatively wider.

Applications of Plasma Cutting

Normally, you get two kinds of plasma cutters to be practiced in daily life. They are manual plasma cutters and mechanized plasma cutters.

The manual plasma cutters are the most used ones. Different kinds of workshops dealing with metal processing, factory maintenance, agricultural tools, car repairing, construction works, metal service centers, shipbuilding, etc., deals with eh manual plasma cutter.

Usually, the mechanized plasma cutters are pretty large. Its application is available in every sector of the manual plasma cutters. The only difference between them is that mechanized plasma is used for cutting large surfaces, while manual one is used for small cuttings.

Apart from their maneuverability, both the cutters function the same. Their effectiveness and use are very accurate and precise.

It’s really awful when you don’t about how to use a double flaring tool. You can check out the post we have.

When Was The First Plasma Cutter Developed?

The first plasma welding was developed in the 1960s. To cut metal sheets, plasma welding took a great shape as the plasma cutter in the 1980s.

With the advancement of technology, CNC was introduced with the plasma cutter in the 1990s. You get great flexibility and accuracy in cutting the metals in different shapes and sizes with its innovation.

Still today, innovations are continuing to develop the use of the plasma cutter. The future implementations surely will be amazing for the whole automotive and industrial cutting sector.

What is Thermal Separation?

The process of separating or cutting metal using heat that requires no further modification is known as thermal separation. There are no restrictions or obligations of the introduction of oxygen in the process.

Normally, three types of thermal separation are usually seen. They are oxyfuel cutting, laser cutting, and plasma cutting.


A brief idea of how plasma cutting works has been depicted. You get all the ideas and information you need for using the plasma cutter.

It is recommended to know about the plasma cutter before using it. You have to be a good user to handle the plasma cutter. A lot of possible accidents can happen if the cutter is not controlled properly.

Now it’s your turn to get the best use of this cutter. We have done our job of presenting everything to you. Get assistance and make your regular work more productive with the perfection of a plasma cutter.

Avatar for Jack R. Stephen

I am Jack R. Stephen from Dallas, TX, USA and Co-Founder of Handy Tool Tips. I am a tool expert with years of practical experience. Besides my professional work, I love writing to help others with knowing handy tools thoroughly. For recreational & enjoyment purposes, I love going to hike with my best friend, Cameron. He was mentioned in several News Portals for his outstanding skills and professionalism for making great stuff with his tools. If you would like to chat with me please feel free to reach out via facebook or twitter or email.

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