Hypertherm Plasma Cutter Reviews: Top 5 Models Compared Side by Side

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If you have the slightest idea about the brand, Hypertherm, you probably know how it continues to stay relevant in a market where more than half of the population is in favor of a small budget, and only a few focuses elsewhere.

Over the years, the company has maintained reputation by standing up to the BIG claims of quality and reliability. Buying from the brand means you’re putting top dollars on the line. So, you need to be conscious and knowledgeable prior to investing, and that’s what all our Hypertherm plasma cutter reviews are for.

In this article, we’ll discuss 5 plasma machines outlining their key features and limitations. By the end, you’ll be able to discover the one you really want.

Hypertherm Plasma Cutter Reviews

The Ultimate Hypertherm Plasma Cutter Reviews of 5 Models

We’ve picked these Hypertherm machines taking the needs of DIY people, households, small commercial shops, prototyping tasks, repairs and maintenance workshops into consideration.

Then, we’ve presented our practical findings to help figure out which one best serves your demands. Initially, here’s a comparison table to help you grab some quick ideas about each unit.

Preview
Hypertherm Powermax45 XP Hand System w/o CPC - 20' Leads
Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP Building America Edition Hand Plasma System with Case and 15-Feet Lead
Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR Hand System with 15' Lead
Hypertherm Powermax 65 Hand System - 25 ft Lead
Hypertherm Powermax 85 G4 Plasma Cutter with Machine Torch & Remote On/Off Switch
Input Voltage
200–240 V, 50 to 60 Hz 480 V, 3-PH, 50 to 60 Hz
120–240 V, 50/60 Hz
120–240 V, 50/60 Hz
200–480 V, 50/60 Hz, 1-PH 200–600 V, 50/60 Hz, 3-PH
200–480 V, 50/60 Hz, 1-PH 200–600 V, 50/60 Hz, 3-PH
Input Current
200–240 V, 39/32 A 480 V, 3-PH, 9.4 A
120–240 V, 25.5–18.8 A
120–240 V, 29–15 A, 1-PH
200/208/240/480 V, 52/50/44/22 A, 1-PH 200/208/240/480/600 V, 32/31/27/13/13 A, 3-PH
200/208/240/480 V, 70/68/58/29 A, 1-PH 200/208/240/480/600 V, 42/40/35/18/17 A, 3-PH
Output Current
10-45 A
15-30 A
15-30 A
20-65 A
25-85 A
Output Voltage
145 VDC
125 VDC
83 VDC
139 VDC
143 VDC
Duty Cycle
50% @ 45A, 60% @ 41A, 100% @ 32A
35%, 240 V 20%, 120 V
35%, 240 V 20%, 120 V
50% @ 65 A, 230–600 V 40% @ 65 A, 200–208 V 100% @ 46 A, 230–600 V
40% at 85 A, 200 to 208 V 50% @ 85 A 240 V 60% @ 85 A, 230 to 600 V 60% @ 85 A & 480 V 100% at 66 A, 230 to 600 V
Required Air Pressure
6.67 scfm @ 85 psi
4 scfm @ 80 psi
N/A (Built-in)
6.7 scfm @ 85 psi (Cutting) 7.5 scfm @ 70 psi (Gouging)
6.7 scfm @ 85 psi (Cutting) 7.5 scfm @ 70 psi (Gouging)
Dimensions (D x W x H) (Inch)
17.4 x 6.8 x 14.1
14 x 5.5 x 11.5
16.5 x 7.7 x 13.1
19.7 x 9.2 x 17.9
19.7 x 9.2 x 17.9
Weight (lbs.)
31
21.4
29.8
64
71
Preview
Hypertherm Powermax45 XP Hand System w/o CPC - 20' Leads
Input Voltage
200–240 V, 50 to 60 Hz 480 V, 3-PH, 50 to 60 Hz
Input Current
200–240 V, 39/32 A 480 V, 3-PH, 9.4 A
Output Current
10-45 A
Output Voltage
145 VDC
Duty Cycle
50% @ 45A, 60% @ 41A, 100% @ 32A
Required Air Pressure
6.67 scfm @ 85 psi
Dimensions (D x W x H) (Inch)
17.4 x 6.8 x 14.1
Weight (lbs.)
31
Check Price
Preview
Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP Building America Edition Hand Plasma System with Case and 15-Feet Lead
Input Voltage
120–240 V, 50/60 Hz
Input Current
120–240 V, 25.5–18.8 A
Output Current
15-30 A
Output Voltage
125 VDC
Duty Cycle
35%, 240 V 20%, 120 V
Required Air Pressure
4 scfm @ 80 psi
Dimensions (D x W x H) (Inch)
14 x 5.5 x 11.5
Weight (lbs.)
21.4
Check Price
Preview
Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR Hand System with 15' Lead
Input Voltage
120–240 V, 50/60 Hz
Input Current
120–240 V, 29–15 A, 1-PH
Output Current
15-30 A
Output Voltage
83 VDC
Duty Cycle
35%, 240 V 20%, 120 V
Required Air Pressure
N/A (Built-in)
Dimensions (D x W x H) (Inch)
16.5 x 7.7 x 13.1
Weight (lbs.)
29.8
Check Price
Preview
Hypertherm Powermax 65 Hand System - 25 ft Lead
Input Voltage
200–480 V, 50/60 Hz, 1-PH 200–600 V, 50/60 Hz, 3-PH
Input Current
200/208/240/480 V, 52/50/44/22 A, 1-PH 200/208/240/480/600 V, 32/31/27/13/13 A, 3-PH
Output Current
20-65 A
Output Voltage
139 VDC
Duty Cycle
50% @ 65 A, 230–600 V 40% @ 65 A, 200–208 V 100% @ 46 A, 230–600 V
Required Air Pressure
6.7 scfm @ 85 psi (Cutting) 7.5 scfm @ 70 psi (Gouging)
Dimensions (D x W x H) (Inch)
19.7 x 9.2 x 17.9
Weight (lbs.)
64
Check Price
Preview
Hypertherm Powermax 85 G4 Plasma Cutter with Machine Torch & Remote On/Off Switch
Input Voltage
200–480 V, 50/60 Hz, 1-PH 200–600 V, 50/60 Hz, 3-PH
Input Current
200/208/240/480 V, 70/68/58/29 A, 1-PH 200/208/240/480/600 V, 42/40/35/18/17 A, 3-PH
Output Current
25-85 A
Output Voltage
143 VDC
Duty Cycle
40% at 85 A, 200 to 208 V 50% @ 85 A 240 V 60% @ 85 A, 230 to 600 V 60% @ 85 A & 480 V 100% at 66 A, 230 to 600 V
Required Air Pressure
6.7 scfm @ 85 psi (Cutting) 7.5 scfm @ 70 psi (Gouging)
Dimensions (D x W x H) (Inch)
19.7 x 9.2 x 17.9
Weight (lbs.)
71
Check Price

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The above table doesn’t explain everything you want to know about these plasma cutters, does it? Well, the details are here.

1. Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP Review

Product Features
12 Reviews
Product Features
  • Small size and light weight provide exceptional portability for a 16 mm (5/8") rated cutting system
  • Patented drag-cutting technology makes the Powermax45 XP easy to use even for first-time operators
  • Smart Sense technology ensures that air pressure is always correctly set
  • Finish jobs faster, with cut speeds 1.5 times greater than oxyfuel on 6 mm (1/4") mild steel
  • Superior cut and gouge quality reduces time for grinding and edge preparation

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The plasma cutter packs the power and features required for delivering great results in specific tasks like drag cutting, flush cutting, etc. These capabilities make the unit an exclusive pick for those who love metal detailing.

For excellence in actions like these, you need precision, especially when it comes to air pressure. The unit has been equipped properly to help you along the way. You don’t have to concentrate on this area, which means you’ll have more time to focus on your skills. Here’s a quick look at its cutting capacities and speed.

  • Recommended: 5/8 inch at 20 ipm
  • Maximum: 7/8 inch at 10 ipm
  • Severance: 1 1/8 inches at 5 ipm
  • Pierce: 1/2 inch (for hand-held uses)
  • Gouging: 7.5 lbs. / hour

Pros

  • Standard-cut thickness with serious flexibility and versatility ensured (9 different operations allowed)
  • Lightweight design with a durable build for extended serviceability
  • Compatibility with a wide variety of torches and consumables for automated and handheld actions
  • Effective controls and features to ensure efficiency minimizing errors
  • A carry handle for easy portability

Cons

  • Too expensive for occasional users and hobbyists
  • High air pressure requirements (considering the electrical specs)

2. Hypertherm Powermax 30 Air Review

Product Features
  • 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
  • New AIR T30 torch is rugged and designed to withstand the toughest environments
  • Do more in less time. Fast cutting speeds and superior cut quality result in less secondary operations

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Speaking of the specialties, this particular unit comes with a couple of advantages over the others. One is its built-in air compressor and another one is its subtle varieties of thicknesses, which are practical, not just some advertised numbers.

For a machine with an internal air compressor, its weight is still within an acceptable range. In practice, it’s not like a super cutter, but the variability is appreciable, and here’s why.

  • 5/16 inch at 20 ipm (Daily Usage)
  • 3/8 inch at 10 ipm (Clean Cut)
  • 3/8 inch at 5 ipm (at 20A)
  • 1/4 inch at 14 ipm (Clean Cut) (at 20A)
  • 10-gauge metal at 30 ipm (at 20A)
  • 5/8 inch at 5 ipm (Severance)

Pros

  • Variable cut thicknesses for helping individuals with diverse needs
  • Built-in air compressor for saving the cost of an external unit
  • Lightweight, rugged design for portability and durability in extreme environments
  • Above-average power efficiency and factor for reduced power losses
  • Auto Voltage function for hassle-free voltage management
  • Safety catch for preventing accidental electrical firings

Cons

  • Low duty cycle

3. Hypertherm Powermax 30 XP Review

Product Features
42 Reviews
Product Features
  • Auto-voltage automatically adapts to 110 V - 240 V input power. Plug adapters included.
  • Comes with hard carry case, eye shields, gloves, shoulder strap, standard consumables and Fine Cut consumables.
  • Duramax LT torch design provides a sure, comfortable grip made from heat and impact resistant material.
  • Auto-voltage automaticvally adapts to 110 V - 240 V input power. Plug adapters included.
  • Comes with hard carry case, ehe shields, gloves, shoulder strap, standard consumables and FineCut consumables.

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Cutting through 1/2-inch metals is possible with more than one plasma machine on this list, but the same can’t be said when it comes to clean cuts, we mean ‘real clean’. The 30 XP model works better than others in this area. In the end, you’ll have narrow kerfs and a very little amount of dross to handle.

If you’re interested in gouging, the unit may help you but only while removing and tacking spot welds. Its (cutting) versatility is also recognizable like the 30 AIR model.

  • 3/8 inch at 20 ipm (Daily Usage)
  • 1/2 inch at 10 ipm (Clean Cut)
  • 5/8 inch at 5 ipm (Severance)
  • 1/4 inch at 19 ipm (at 25A)
  • 3/8 at 8 ipm (at 25A)
  • 1/2 at 3 ipm (at 25A)

Pros

  • A lightweight yet sturdy design to serve the user under demanding circumstances
  • Clean cuts at a good speed and satisfactory severance thickness
  • IGBT Inverter for consistency, portability, and efficiency in plasma operations
  • Auto-Voltage™ function to handle fluctuation ensuring consistency with safety
  • FineCut consumables for precision with narrow kerfs and clean edges

Cons

  • Extreme caution required for cutting (very) thin materials (challenging for beginners)

4. Hypertherm Powermax 65 Review

Product Features
  • Recommended Cut Thickness: 3/4"
  • Maximum Cut Thickness: 1"
  • Severance Cut Thickness: 1-1/4"
  • The Powermax 65 delivers faster cut speeds, improved cut quality, and longer consumable life

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What we’ve learned about this unit is one of its significant selling points – outstanding drag cutting performance. Minimal stress on users’ hands, flexibility, and safety are all parts of this particular type of plasma action, and the Powermax65 is the keeper, perhaps the most adept one at that.

The patented shield cup adds up by letting the operator have no worries about dross buildup and smooth cuts. Regarding cutting capacities, it’s got some pretty impressive numbers. Let’s check them out.

  • 3/4 inch at 20 ipm (Daily Usage)
  • 1 inch at 10 ipm (Clean Cut)
  • 1 1/4 inches at 5 ipm (Severance)
  • 5/8 inch (Pierce)
  • 10.7 lbs. / hour (Gouging)

Pros

  • Excellent cutting abilities (thickness and speed)
  • Versatile applications, such as drag, extended reach, fine feature, flush cutting, and gouging
  • Extended duty cycle and power factor for consistent operations with less idle time
  • SmartSense function for automatic air pressure adjustments
  • SpringStart technology for arc starting and torch actions without inconsistency
  • Impact and heat-resistant torch for regular performance in tough environments

Cons

  • A bulky plasma machine at a high expense (not essentially overpriced though)

5. Hypertherm Powermax 85 Review

Product Features
  • More productivity with lower operating cost faster cut speed,improved cut and longer consumable life
  • Better reliability smart design and intense testing for bulletproof performance.
  • Improved torch durability - Unsurpassed heat and impact resistance with more robust internal design.
  • More versatility innovative torch designs and system features for use in more applications.

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It’s perfect for any metal workshop and commercial repair center where the frequency of usage and the demands are always high. Apparently, this unit has no limitations if you’re cool with the price and weight.

You won’t miss any of these – accuracy, speed, and consistency. So, no worries about the duty cycle, power output, control features, and safety! There’s little doubt in its suitability for professional purposes. The following numbers explain why it’s a heavy-duty system and not just any typical plasma cutter.

  • 1 inch at 20 ipm (Daily Usage)
  • 1 1/4 inch at 10 ipm (Clean Cut)
  • 1 1/2 inches at 5 ipm (Severance)
  • 3/4 inch (Pierce)
  • 19.5 lbs. / hour (Gouging)

Pros

  • A powerful unit for versatile applications (eight different types)
  • Exceptional cutting and gouging capacities for more challenging projects other than household/DIY works
  • Smart Sense for automatic air pressure adjustments
  • SpringStart for consistent arc starting and reliability of the torch
  • An excellent drag cutting machine with patented shields for minimizing dross and allowing for smooth cutting
  • Suitable for portable automation and hand or robotic cutting

Cons

  • Not ideal for DIY or individual metalworking projects (considering the price and weight)

Final Verdict

Since you’ve learned that each of the above units has been designed with excellence in one or more areas, it’s time for narrowing down their usability, should a decision has to be made.

The Powermax45 XP is ideal for metal detailing, drag and flush cutting. It may not be as efficient as the Powermax65 which is #1 on our list for this particular job.

The Powermax30 AIR comes with a built-in air compressor which makes it more attractive than the Powermax30 XP. However, the latter works better when you hate to handle a lot of dross and wide kerfs.

With all things considered, the Powermax85 is on top because of the cutting and piercing accuracy and the speed it delivers. That’s all we can tell you about these plasma cutters.

Feel free to write to us for more insights into them and others, or simply share what you think. Happy buying!

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