Best Air Compressors For Plasma Cutter – Top 7 Budget Picks

Do you need an air compressors for plasma cutter? We all know very well that plasma cutters are used for various purposes such as welding, auto mechanics, construction work, and general household work. Here our nature of work is to cut the metals.

Plasma cutters normally work with the help of air compressors. It is to note that plasma cutters with inbuilt air compressors are also available in the market. However, many professionals also use plasma cutters with a separate air compressor.

If we have to choose between the both, then we should go with plasma cutters with an inbuilt air compressor. The reason is that they are very easy to use and also portable and this is the biggest advantage of these models.

Requirements Of Air Compressors For Plasma Cutter

If you are looking air compressors for plasma cutter, you should consider your cutter’s airflow requirements and air pressure. So these two requirements should be fulfilled; otherwise, it would have a bad impact on your plasma cutter.

Why do I need an Air Compressor?

Plasma cutters usually use air pressure to cut in two stages. The first stage consists of converting the plasma into the melted state. And in the second stage, air burst out from the compressor with pressure to give a final cut to the metal.

You cannot achieve precision in plasma cutting without an air compressor, especially in the final stage of plasma cutting. Therefore, an air compressor is always necessary to provide a good blast of pressurized air to the plasma cutter.

The Best Air Compressor for Plasma Cutter

1. California Air Tools Steel 8010 Tank Air Compressor

California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet
  • Capacity: 8 Gallons

  • Voltage: 110 Volts

  • Power Source : Corded Electric

  • Dimensions : 26 x 14 x 23 inches

California Air Tools is considered the best brand regarding air compressors for Plasma cutters. It is a great air compressor with a wheel kit and air filter; however, the hose is not included.

This fantastic air compressor has an oil-free pump, so you can easily use it in different temperatures and on uneven terrains. We all know very well that some air compressors are too busy, but it is the quieter one if we talk about this one.

So you can easily use this gadget even in your home where noise is a major issue. The best plasma cutters with built-in air compressors are also available in the market, but this is the separate one having a large 8-gallon steel air tank.

Overall, this is a potential air compressor that is easy to use and does not require much maintenance.

Pros

  1. Oil free pump
  2. Large size air tank
  3. Easy to use
  4. Two pressure control gauges

Cons

  1. Heaviest compressor

2. Campbell Hausfeld Portable Quiet Air Compressor (DC060500)

 Campbell Hausfeld 6 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor (DC060500)
  • Capacity: 6 Gallons

  • Voltage: 120 Volts

  • Power Source : AC

  • Dimensions : 16 x 23 x 16 inches

Campbell Hausfeld is a top-rated and renowned brand in making quality products, including air compressors. They are also famous for producing different air tools, accessories, paint sprayers, pressure washers, etc.

If we talk about this air compressor, it is considered the best air compressor for a plasma cutter. It is up to 50% quieter with the lowest sound levels that you can also use in your home.

The maximum pressure of 125 PSI gives you the maximum performance you want for your professional work. Overall, it is a very convenient and portable Air compressor for a Plasma cutter that is oil-free and has a maintenance-free pump. Also, it has a 6-gallon tank which is the best air compressor size for a Plasma cutter.

Pros

  1. Reliable power
  2. Maintenance-free compressor
  3. Super quiet
  4. One year limited warranty

Cons

  1. Difficult to move around

3. Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit (BTFP3KIT)

Bostitch Air Compressor Combo Kit, 3-Tool (BTFP3KIT)
  • Capacity: 6 Gallons

  • Voltage: 110 Volts

  • Power Source : AC

  • Dimensions : 21.13 x 19.5 x 18 inches

Bostitch is an attractive and small air compressor for plasma cutters. So you can easily take it anywhere you want on your job site. So it is a great portable air compressor with no leaks, even with the hose attached.

Overall, it is a great air compressor with a powerful motor and shows excellent performance. The Bostitch Air compressor for the plasma cutter is also the choice of many professionals regarding their projects.

No one will beat this air compressor if you are more concerned with quality. Like many air compressors, it has rubber feet and two quick connects. The rubber feet also help in giving a full grip when you place them on the ground.


Pros

  1. Longer hose
  2. Easy to use
  3. High-low regulator
  4. Helps to prevent oil stains on surfaces

Cons

  1. A little bit slow

4. Powermate 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor (Vx PLA4708065)

Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor
  • Capacity: 80 Gallons

  • Voltage: 230 Volts

  • Power Source : Corded Electric

  • Dimensions : 31.5x34.75x77 inches

Powermate is a big-size air compressor plasma cutter with a great 80-gallon capacity. So we can easily accept that it has a big tank with high airflow. Most surprisingly, it is made of high-quality cast iron, so no one can challenge its build quality.

It has a 3-cylinder and oil-lubricated pump with a maximum pressure of 155 PSI. I am also impressed by its powerful performance, and the reason is that it has a heavy-duty 240-volt induction motor.

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. So you can conveniently use this machine for daily professional work.

This machine also protects the moving parts nicely and has a fully enclosed metal belt guard.

No moving support

Pros

  1. High airflow
  2. 240-volt induction motor
  3. Large capacity
  4. Two years Limited warranty

Cons

  1. No moving support

5. NorthStar Single-Stage Portable Electric Air Compressor 

Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor
  • Capacity: 20 Gallons

  • Voltage: 230 Volts

  • Power Source : Corded Electric

  • Dimensions : 26 x 24.5 x 52 inches

Every professional in this field knows very well about the North Star brand. If we talk about this machine, it is a single-stage portable electric air compressor for a plasma cutter.

On the whole, it is a heavy-duty air compressor build with durable cast iron. I like this gadget because it does not heat up even if I use it for a longer period. Besides running quietly, this machine also provides long pump life and is very low in noise.

North Star air compressor is a big machine with 20 gallons. Moreover, it also has a portability kit with flat-free tires. This air compressor also stands out in the market with its superior design for industry-leading pumps.

Pros

  1. Quieter operation
  2. Heavy-duty air compressor
  3. Long service life
  4. Longer pump life

Cons

  1. Slightly low PSI

6. Quincy Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor (2V41C60VC)

Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor
  • Capacity: 120 Gallons

  • Voltage: 230 Volts

  • Power Source : Corded Electric

  • Dimensions : 37 x 30 x 74 inches

This air compressor with a plasma cutter surprised me with its exceptional performance. The air compressor with a plasma cutter can be used for various purposes, including media blast cabinets.

The best thing about this air compressor plasma cutter is that it does not cause any drop in pressure while working. During operation, it keeps on working and even rebuilds pressure and then switches off when it reaches maximum.

Many people worry about the noise that air compressors produce, but this one is the quietest device. It is an oil-less air compressor that is ultra-quiet and can be used in the home environment.

The motor of this air compressor is also potent to show a hundred percent performance. Overall it is a well-made unit that lasts for years. Most surprisingly, it runs smoothly and is perfect for serious professionals and hobbyists.

Pros

  1. Space-saving design
  2. A quiet compressor
  3. Extended warranty
  4. Well made

Cons

  1. More expensive than other

7. Ingersoll Rand – Comp Air (C2475N7.5)

Ingersoll Rand - Comp Air 7.5Hp 2 Stage (C2475N7.5)
  • Capacity: 80 Gallons

  • Voltage: 230 Volts

  • Power Source : Hand Powered

  • Dimensions : 26 x 38 x 70 inches

Ingersoll Rand is also the leading brand in manufacturing high-quality products, including air compressors. It is an international brand for making award-winning products.

If we talk about this air compressor, it is a fully functional and heavy-duty device. It has a state of the art technology where the products are specially designed by keeping in mind the nature of the work.

Most surprisingly, it is considered a super machine having a high power of 5 HP.

Moreover, it comprises high-quality cast iron, which enhances its durability and longevity.

The best thing about this air compressor for plasma cutters is that it has thermal overload protection on the motor. So while working, the machine would not go towards electrical damage or heating up.

Pros

  1. Perfect for professional use
  2. Highly durable
  3. Comes with great performance
  4. Powerful motor

Cons

  1. Not a portable

Buying Guide

Consider the following described factors before buying the best air compressor for a plasma cutter.

Power Consumption

It is to note that the plasma cutters work at different voltage inputs, whereas the most powerful machine operates at 240 volts. For these 240 volts, it needs 30 AMP output power.

But it also depends on your nature of work, and if you want to cut 1/8 inch steel sheets, a smaller 120 V machine is enough. This machine can generate 15 AMP power which is sufficient for a fine cut.

So the power you need for your work normally depends on the nature of your task. For heavy professional tasks, you always need greater power generation, and for these tasks, you run your plasma cutter for the whole day.

Horse Power

Considering the horsepower of your air compressor is also an important thing to consider. In this way, you can easily determine the size of your compressor needed for plasma cutting.

Normally, professionals go with 5 HP compressors drawing 24 AMP and are highly rated for operating plasma cutters without any interruption of giving air.

Air compressor tank size

Sometimes, the tank size of the air compressor does not matter because the air compressor only stores air; it does not produce air. So the storage size of the tank is of no consideration if the air is produced at the maximum rate.

Maximum PSI

The air compressor for the Plasma cutter must have a maximum PSI. If you have an 8-gallon tank with 80 PSI, it can easily operate the pneumatic tool with the ultimate tendency to give a continuous supply of air without any interruption.

Duty cycle

While purchasing an air compressor for a Plasma cutter, you must consider its duty cycle. You can easily check the duty cycle in the form of percentages. The duty cycle assesses how long the compressor will run out of 10 minutes.

Normally, the industrial compressors have a 75% duty cycle, and therefore I also

prefer the air compressor with this rate. On the other hand, if you go for an air compressor with a 100% duty cycle, it will heat up quickly and ultimately stop working.

And we all know very well that if the air compressor heats up, we have to wait for it to cool down, and therefore, most of the time is wasted. Normally, the plasma cutters have air compressors with 35% duty cycles at 15 Amps and 50% duty cycles at 12 Amps.

It is to note that plasma cutting is a heavy processor before you should go for an air compressor with quick bounceback property. If the air compressor comes with a quick bounce back property, it can easily hold the heavy load of plasma cutting.

Life expectancy

Many plasma cutters with inbuilt air compressors are also present in the market. These types of air compressors are also long-lasting. On the other hand, air compressors with iron cylinders also come up with greater life expectancy and durability.

Warranty of air compressors

The manufacturers give a warranty of 1 to 2 years for these types of air compressors. Under this warranty period, you can claim any malfunctioning in the machine or a broken part.

When purchasing the air compressor for the plasma cutter, you must go with a reliable air compressor with a good warranty period. You can also claim and easily refund if you want the wear and tear.

Frequently asked questions

Is Argon gas necessary for a plasma cutter?

There are mainly five gasses 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 gasses. 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.

So, in other words, if the CFM is higher, then it also helps you save your time and pressure. Also, there will be no interruption between the work when the air compressor has high CFM.

However, it also depends on the nature of your work. For example, you can also use small compressors for longer cuts if not using the cutter. Small or medium size compressors have the capacity of 30 gallons of air at 5 CFM.

Can we use plasma cutters for cutting high carbon Steel?

Surprisingly, 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, copper, and other types of materials with the help of a plasma cutter.

Conclusion

Plasma cutters are heavy-duty machines used for a variety of purposes. They are high-performance tools that need significant air pressure while working. It is to note that plasma cutters work with the help of air compressors.

So we always need a heavy-duty air compressor for the plasma cutter. The air compressors can 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.

Different types of air compressors are available in the market, but here in this post, we have particularly described air compressors for plasma cutters.

We also talked about the seven best air compressors for plasma cutters and the buying guide. If you have any questions about the air compressors for Plasma cutters, you can ask us in the comment section.