How Thick Do You Need To Cut?

How Thick Do You Need To Cut?

Ultimately, the cutting equipment you pick should be determined by how deep you need to go. It doesn’t matter what other fancy features it has, if it can’t get the job done. To help you make the right choice, we’ve given an overview of the most popular cutting options and how much they can handle.

The scale here is listed by the recommended cut thickness, which is the maximum thickness a machine can make a perfectly clean cut without issues.

Recommended Cuts 5/16 to 3/8 inch

Miller Spectrum 375 X-Treme


Coming in at just 19 pounds, the Spectrum 375 is one of the most portable plasma cutters you can get. BUT, don’t get the Spectrum 375 confused with Lincoln’s Tomahawk 375. Despite the same number, the Spectrum has a deeper recommended cut but lacks the built-in air compressor.

Hypertherm Powermax30 AIR

As a company that specializes in plasma cutting, Hypertherm’s Powermax30 AIR is no exception to their impressive legacy. Similar to the Lincoln Tomahawk 375, the Powermax30 AIR has a built-in air compressor for ultimate portability. In fact, the Powermax30 AIR has the highest power-to-weight ratio for any machine with a built-in compressor. This allows it to have a recommended cut of 3/8th inch.


Recommended Cuts 1/2 to 5/8 inch

Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 40, 58 and 60i

While the Custmaster 40, 58 and 60i each have their differences, they share a lot of common features you can read about here in our in-depth review.


Hypertherm Powermax45 XP

The Original Powermax45 was somewhat of a legend, prompting Hypertherm to upgrade an old favorite into the Powermax45 XP, with a recommended cut of 5/8th inch. Check out our in-depth article on the Powermax45 XP here. There’s also the Powermax30 XP, which lacks the same power, but offers a lot of similar benefits at a lower price.

Lincoln Tomahawk 625

While not the most powerful plasma cutter in the Tomahawk series (that honor goes to the Tomahawk 1000), the 625 is definitely one of the most popular. It’s capable of making an incredibly clean cut up to ½ inch. For more about the Tomahawk 625, check out our in-depth article here.

Recommended Cuts 3/4 to 1-1/2 inch

Lincoln Tomahawk 1000

As the top tier in Lincoln’s Tomahawk series, the 1000 can easily cut through 3/4th inch thick material. For more about the Tomahawk 1000, check out our in-depth article here.

Miller Spectrum 875

The spectrum 875 is a perfect machine to bridge the gap between medium plasma cutters and the $8,000 industrial plasma cannons. It offers all the user-friendly features that Miller is known for, while still being capable of an impressive 7/8 inch recommended cut.

Hypertherm Powermax125

All hail the king of plasma cutters! The Hypertherm Powermax125 is so powerful, just holding one can give you a god complex. It features everything you’d expect from a top-of-the-line plasma cutter and is capable of a clean cut through 1-½ inch material.

Up to 8 Inches

While the debate between plasma cutters and oxy acetylene used to be more controversial, a lot of the community has come to an agreement. When it comes to precise cuts that require very little clean up, plasma cutters are simply the best. However, when it comes to brute strength, oxy acetylene is still the champion. If you need to cut metal up to 8 inches thick, oxy acetylene is the ideal choice. Welding Supplies has some excellent Oxy Acetylene bundles at a great price.

No matter how deep you need to cut, you’ll always find the best prices from the most reliable brands in the industry at Welding Supplies from IOC.