Air compressors fasten the plasma cutting process, providing you with pressurized air.
However, finding one that fits your needs, budget, and contract is tricky.
So, we have got your back here and have a list of exquisite air compressors with a plasma cutter.
In fact, a buying guide below will help you shortlist your options and pick one at last.
Without delaying further, let’s get into reviewing.
The Best Air Compressor For Plasma Cutter
1. California Air Tools Steel 8010 Tank Air Compressor
If you are someone with low-scale plasma cutting work, California Air Tools would be the best option to opt for. It is a hotdog air compressor with an air filter and wheel kit that will allow you to transport it from one place to another.
It has an oil-free pump, so you don’t have to worry about its regular maintenance and manage your precious time. We can confidently say that this is one of the quietest air compressors at a noise rating of 60 dB. So, you don’t have to put on the ear protectors while it’s turned on.
As an 8-gallon air compressor, you can use it for a long time. It has a sturdy motor with 1 horsepower, which makes the unit reliable and durable to work for 3,000 hours. It is a mighty and smallest unit for plasma cutting at 37.25 pounds with a top handle to drag it behind.
At 150 PSI maximum pressure, it is sufficient enough for the precision cut in the last stage of plasma cutting. Check out its price and availability on this date.
- Oil free pump
- Large size air tank
- Easy to use
- Two pressure control gauges
- Helpful for small tasks only
2. Powermate 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor (Vx PLA4708065)
Powermate is a big-size air compressor plasma cutter air compressor with an 80-gallon tank size. While this large size tells that it’s sufficient for plasma cutting, it makes the unit a perfect fit for heavy-duty tasks. Made out of high-quality cast iron, it is one of the sturdiest units available on the market.
It has a 3-cylinder and oil-lubricated pump. That said, you’d have to serve some time to maintain it regularly for an extended lifetime. Here we appreciate the manufacturer since they have already included it in the package, so you don’t have to find it.
With a maximum pressure of 155 PSI, it gives enough pressure to make fine cuts on steel, copper, brass, and every metal in between. At 90 PSI, it gives 14 CFM for continuous and efficient work. Goes without saying that it is a versatile unit and gives you value for the bucks.
You can easily operate this air compressor for the plasma cutter as it has a built-in tank pressure gauge with an on-off switch and control. It protects the moving parts nicely, has a fully enclosed metal belt guard, but doesn’t come with a cord.
The fully enclosed metal belt guard also covers and protects moving parts. Being 354 pounds and lacking a wheel, the hardest part with this compressor was moving it from one place to another.
- High airflow
- 240-volt induction motor
- Large capacity
- Two years Limited warranty
- Doesn’t come with a cord
3. NorthStar Single-Stage Portable Electric Air Compressor
This air compressor from the North Star brand is single-stage and portable. It is a 20-gallon air compressor that gives enough power and pressure for plasma cutting. On the whole, it is a heavy-duty air compressor built with durable cast iron.
What we liked about this gadget is that it does not heat up even if you use it for a longer period. We won’t call it a quiet machine, though. It produces 80 dB sound, which makes it vital to wear ear protectors.
Compared to other air compressors, it has a low maximum pressure of 135 PSI. However, we used it on 125 PSI for plasma cutting, and it got the job done. At 90 PSI, it gives off 5.0 CFM for optimum performance.
It is the only unit with wheels in all the vertical air compressors here. This makes its transportation a breeze despite 205 pounds weight. For the tank size and performance, we believe it is fairly priced.
- Quieter operation
- Heavy-duty air compressor
- Long service life
- Longer pump life
- Maximum pressure is low, comparatively
4. Quincy Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor (2V41C60VC)
Since Quincy 2V41C60VC is a 60-gallon air compressor, so it helps you get the plasma cutting job done efficiently. In fact, we used it for media blast cabinets, and it held power well.
The best thing about this unit is that it did not cause any drop in pressure while working. During operation, it kept on working and even rebuilt pressure and then switched off when reaching the maximum.
Many people complain that its drain on the bottom leaked on first time usage. So, we’d like to mention that you need to tighten it when setting it up for plasma cutting for the first time.
Like the Northstar air compressor, it is a single-stage air compressor. However, it lacks wheels and weighs 475 pounds. Although this weight is less than the Ingersol Rand, you will need the help of 3 to 4 people to move it.
The motor of 5 horsepower is potent to show a hundred percent performance. Overall it is a well-made unit that lasts for years.
- Space-saving design
- A quiet compressor
- Extended warranty
- Well made
- Complains of drain leaking
5. Ingersoll Rand – Comp Air (C2475N7.5)
There is no comparison to the performance of the Ingersoll Rand air compressor. It gives excellent outcomes and helps to cut nicely, thanks to its dual stage. In fact, it’s quicker than others due to the dual-stage build.
Like the Powermate air compressor, it is an 80-gallon tank but weighs twice its weight. It is 525 pounds and requires extra energy to move from one job site to another since it lacks wheels.
Moreover, it comprises high-quality cast iron, which enhances its durability and longevity. The best thing about this air compressor for plasma cutters is its thermal overload protection on the motor. So while working, the machine would not heat up.
It has a maximum pressure of 175 PSI and gives 24.3 CFM at 90 PSI. We find it a little more expensive than its counterparts but worth the bucks.
- Perfect for professional use
- Highly durable
- Comes with great performance
- Powerful motor
- Challenging to move
Guide To Buy The Best Air Compressor For Plasma Cutter
Consider the following described factors before buying the best air compressor for a plasma cutter.
Check out the weight of the air compressor you are buying. It should be enough to carry from one point to another. However, the weight of one air compressor will differ from the other on the basis of tank size and compressor type.
The tank size of your air compressor will depend on the work you need it for. Small plasma cutting tasks will need compressors with small tanks. While industrial use will require an air compressor of more than 20 gallons.
Keep in mind the maximum pressure a unit has to offer. Compare this to the other options available to you for maximum pressure. Try to pick a compressor with a maximum pressure of 150 PSI or at least one of 125 PSI.
The wheels on the air compressor make it portable, but as far as our observation, every unit doesn’t come with one. So, if you are a contractor and move from one job site to another, we’d suggest buying one with sturdy wheels for portability.
Your compressor shouldn’t damage your ears. That’s why it’s important to have one with low sound or at least easy on the ears. However, if you are okay wearing ear protectors, go for any unit that performs the plasma cutting well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Argon gas necessary for a plasma cutter?
There are mainly five gases present in the plasma cutter: Argon, air, hydrogen, Oxygen, and nitrogen. These five gasses should be present in a plasma cutter to cut the thick metals.
Your work is incomplete without combining all of these gases. If the thickness of the material is more significant than 1.5 inches, it requires excellent pressure. So you always need an organ for a plasma cutter, especially if the thickness of the metal is more than 1.5 inches.
What size air compressor can you use to run a plasma cutter?
The air compressor must be big if you want to use it for plasma cutting. According to manufacturers, the air compressor must be 1.5 times the CFM of your cutter. If there is a need for an air compressor with 4 CFM, you must go with 6 CFM of the air compressor.
Can we use plasma cutters for cutting high carbon Steel?
You can cut different materials with the plasma cutter, including different steels. So you can easily cut high carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, alloy steel, or copper with the help of a plasma cutter.
We always need a heavy-duty and one of the best air compressors for plasma cutter. The air compressors convert normal air into much denser and pressurized air. You can use this pressurized air for different operations, such as pressure washing, spray painting, plasma cutting, and construction.
In our opinion, California Air Tools Steel 8010 Tank Air Compressor is ideal for small to medium-duty plasma cutting tasks. It is a small compressor with an efficient motor, wheels for portability, low sound level, and a good maximum pressure of 150 PSI for easy cutting through metals.