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How Much Power Does a Plasma Cutter Use?

A plasma cutter is a highly versatile and useful tool. Reaching very high temperatures, you’ll be able to slice through thick metal sheets with ease. But to generate this much heat, they will need to use a lot of power. Precisely how much power will vary a little from cutter to cutter. Here are the general principles required to calculate the amount of electricity you require. 

How Much Power Does a Plasma Cutter

Finding Cutting Power

First, you need to make sure that the machine is set up properly. On some plasma machines, you might need to adjust the voltage. This will allow you to change the settings depending on where you are sourcing the power from. 

You’ll also need to consider the settings you are using the power cutter for. It’s usually best to start at the maximum current settings. You can then turn it down later, so it suits the metal that you are cutting. Using less power and moving slower will give you a more precise cut. 

If you want to cut through thicker metal, you’ll need to choose a more powerful machine. In this case, you’ll need to look at the number of amps. The higher the amps, the more cutting power you can access. 

With these principles in mind, it’s easy to find the amount of electricity you will be using. All you need to do is multiply the voltage by the amperage. This will tell you the number of watts you are using. For example, let’s assume you are using an 11-amp cutter at a voltage of 100. This will require a wattage of 1,100. This simple calculation will tell you whether a generator will be powerful enough to operate your plasma cutter. 

Are Plasma Cutters Expensive to Operate?

Now that we know how many watts it takes to operate a plasma cutter, we can figure out how much it costs to run. This will can vary slightly, depending on what state you are living in. This site gives you more detail on how much you can expect to pay. Generally, though, you can expect to pay $15 per hour to use a plasma cutter. This is cheaper than using a laser cutter, which will cost an additional $5 per hour. 

Using a Plasma Cutter with a Portable Generator

When you are working with a plasma cutter, it will require a lot of power. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t use it on the go. It is possible to connect a plasma cutter to a portable generator, allowing you to use it anywhere in the world. To do this, though, you need to be selective about the type of generator you are using. 

Most importantly, you’ll need to think about the number of kilowatts that the generator will be able to provide. You will need to match this with the number of kilowatts your plasma cutter needs. Generally, you will need to get something that is between three to five kilowatts. You might need a little more if you are planning on running an air compressor at the same time. 

Aside from that, it’s important to pick a reliable generator. Plus, you’ll need to get something that is fairly compact. This will make it easy to move and get set up. This article goes into more detail on how you can find the most efficient portable generators


Plasma cutters do require a fair amount of electricity to operate, as they have to reach astonishingly high temperatures. Thankfully, most home plasma cutters will be fairly easy to operate. You can even run them from a decently sized portable generator. 

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