Plasma cutter is a valuable technology to cut materials like sheet metal, heavy metal, etc. But sadly, plasma cutters cannot work well if it doesn’t have a good air compressor added.
Because for a farm cut sufficient amount of air is a must, or else the plasma will not come out of the cut for not having an immense air pressure. Hence, you have to adopt the option of getting a quality fuel-air compressor for your plasma cutter. So, what are the best air compressor for plasma cutter?
Of course, you need to have both an air compressor and plasma cutter of high quality. You may get confused with so many options at the marketplace and get the wrong one that doesn’t suits your needings.
That is why we are here to share with you the best air compressors for plasma cutters available. So, let’s check out from first to last to limit your list to your favorite and choose any with ease.
- 1 7 Best Air Compressor For Plasma Cutter Review
- 1.1 1# Craftsman Air Compressor – CMEC6150K
- 1.2 2# Bostitch Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor
- 1.3 3# PORTER-CABLE 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor
- 1.4 4# Bostitch Combo Kit Air Compressor
- 1.5 5# DEWALT 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor
- 1.6 6# California 8010 Steel Air Compressor
- 1.7 7# Campbell Hausfeld Portable Quiet 6 Gallon Air Compressor
- 1.8 Factors To Consider Before Buying An Air Compressor For Plasma Cutter
What Size Air Compressor Is Best For Plasma Cutters?
Typically, the question is “what type,” but air compressors do not have types. So, they are divided by their sizes. And we have listed them below.
There is no simple answer to which size is the best, but we will try to make it simple to understand.
The size of your air compressor depends on what sort of work you are going to do. Are you a hobbyist who wants to do DIY projects at your home, or are you a professional mechanic who has to cut super thick metals on a daily basis? Our answer heavily relies on your answer.
Besides, you should always get a compressor that has 1.5 times more CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating than what the plasma cutter requires. For example, if your plasma cutter requires 4 CFM, then get an air compressor which is rated to have 6 CFM.
But we would not recommend getting any small air compressors (smaller than 5CFM) because no matter how light your work is, it might give you a low-pressure interruption on continuous use.
So you have two options, either a medium or a large size compressor. It’s always better to go for the largest size air compressor you can get your hands on. But a medium one will do your job pretty fine as well.
7 Best Air Compressor For Plasma Cutter Review
1# Craftsman Air Compressor – CMEC6150K
Searching for a portable oil-free air compressor for your cutting work in your budget? Well, there are no better options than a Craftsman Air Compressor.
It is not just a budget-friendly compressor, and you will find so many features within it as well. For example, its 6-gallon capacity can maximize the air in it and also increase portability.
It is made so durable that it will not break easily, even if it falls from a place much higher. You don’t have to do any maintenance for at least as long as it can last.
The maximum pressure it can provide is 150 PSI for ensuring adequate cutting on various quality materials. You can cut through any material with such an amount of pressure smoothly.
It recovers much quicker because of the 90 PSI. Besides, it weighs much lighter, and for this feature, the user will feel much comfortable using it.
The oil-free pump makes sure that your working environment does not get messed up. Now comes the exciting fact, the built-in motor gives an impressively high performance that it is even able to start itself quickly in cold weather.
- The air capacity of a 6-gallon compressor can create enough pressure for smooth cutting.
- The quality of product material is excellent to increase its durability
- There is no need for maintenance
- The oil-free pump keep things not messy
- The high performing motor starts even if the weather is cold
- The tank cannot keep the air more than 75 percent
- The safety control valve is poorly made
Though the air compressor has two flaws yet it can provide you more than enough performance. You need to use it carefully, incredibly, when filling the air.
You have to understand that every product has flaws, and so does the Craftsman Air Compressor. But honestly, the air compressor did deliver what it promised.
2# Bostitch Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor
If you are looking for an air compressor suitable for cutting jobs, then a Bostitch manufactured pancake oil-free air compressor will do the job for you.
The pump is made oil-free so that, when using the compressor, the surrounding and compressor itself will not get messy.
You will receive 90 PSI from the pump and a 6-gallon tank. Of course, this is adequate for cutting any material, especially steel.
The compressor is designed in a way to provide you a long running time. Plus, its recovery time is much less. It means you can use it for a long time, even on the same day.
The 6 gallon is enough for accumulating air and create pressure for cutting materials. The weight is light enough. Hence you can store them or carry them effortlessly.
The couplers do an excellent job in maximizing air tools along with the regulator for creating high flow.
It’s so easy to use that you don’t have to put a cap on any coupling when you want to use only one outlet of the two. It will seal the other outlet by itself.
The maximum PSI you can get is 150, so if you need 110 PSI, this will properly. An excellent air compressor for plasma cutters indeed.
- It systemically seals one outlet when you use any of the two outlets
- The oil-free pump keeps the air compressor and surrounding clean
- It’s simple to start even when the weather is cold
- Up to 150 PSI lets, you perform cutting works with a fine finish
- The weight of the air compressor is much light so that carrying it and porting it becomes a comfortable task
- The noise it makes is much loud.
- When putting much pressure, it starts to give poor performance
Though the Bostitch Pancake Oil-Free Air Compressor makes noise, it does perform fine unless you put so much pressure on it.
Remember, you just can’t expect a 150 PSI air compressor working with the exact pressure. Working in such a way will rather ruin the product soon.
Keep the pressure low, at least less than 150 PSI, and assure you of it delivering the best performance.
3# PORTER-CABLE 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor
Are you searching for an air compressor that can start at a low amp? Then Porter Cable is here at your service.
With it, forget worrying about cold weather because it will start comfortably. The producers added a console cover for protecting vital components.
Like other products we mentioned before, the porter cable gallon also offers a 6-gallon tank to create tremendous pressure and cut steel.
The tool runs a long time with a max of 150 PSI. It’s easy to port, so you can carry it with you wherever you need it.
The water drain valve properly drains the unnecessary amount of water to increase the air compressor’s power.
The quick response and recovery time make it a strong air compressor for handling pressures of work for even a whole day.
The air compressor is praised for its stability. We can say it’s a total worth the money kind of air compressor for plasma cutter.
- Constructed using High-quality material for increasing the durability
- The oil-free pump keeps the environment and compressor get less messy
- The 6-gallon tank has enough space for maximum air filling
- You can start it in the cold weather at low amp
- Can support two users with the help of two regulated factories
- There is a minimal leak that lets the air go out of the tank slowly
- Create loud noises
Usually, most air compressors make loud noises and have other minor problems, but those issues don’t make them useless.
The same goes for the PORTER-CABLE 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor. Except for the two commonly found cons it has, it is delighted with its workings.
It’s one of the best air compressors, and you will not understand it until you try the air compressor.
4# Bostitch Combo Kit Air Compressor
The ideal air compressor for interior applications and various finishes, Bostitch brings you a 3-piece nailer compressor and combo kit.
It has a 6-gallon tank that can have a sufficient amount of air to cut and do other various types of works.
It’s so great that you can run a framing nailer, too, with it. From cutting materials to roofing, it’s probably the best air compressor we have found until now.
You can save a lot of money purchasing a Bostitch combo kit air compressor because you don’t have to buy an extra hose or other attachments.
The manufacturer will provide you with the product. You can also put the compressor on the Hardie board siding. To know how much oil you need to use for the air compressor, you can always check the manufacturer’s guidelines.
We liked the product most because you don’t have to get a break when you are doing any job with it unless you plan to work for a whole day.
- Good quality material used for the air compressor production to make it live longer
- Can work continuously without taking a break for a long term
- The combo kit Includes all necessary things including, hose
- Excellent product performance within the friendly budget
- Except for the compressor, you can run a framing nailer too
- Does not work well at a much high PSI (over 110 PSI)
- Sometimes the nails get jammed
To be honest, the Bostitch Combo Kit Air Compressor is a remarkable invention of the brand. There are very few products that have pressure-related problems.
But most of the products have no defects at all. Besides, those cons don’t have much effect on work.
You can buy it because we are recommending it, and the reason we recommend it. After all, it gives a high-class performance like the best air compressors.
5# DEWALT 6 Gallon Pancake Air Compressor
Here comes the better budget air compressor. It offers you 165 PSI while having 6-gallon tank space. Using a 90 PSI pump, it can deliver 2.6 SCFM enabling the tool to run for an extended period.
Its quick recovery makes it very useful because you can comfortably work with it for 9-10 hours. The motor efficiency is high. Hence it can be started when the weather is cold.
The couplers and regulators of the Dewalt air compressor are of much superior quality. That’s why the air tool can provide maximized performance.
Do operations with no maintenance, and for portability, you are allowed to take it anywhere. The console cover keeps the compressor protected nicely, so repairing it never is a problem.
The manufacturer added a ball valve to drain water from it quicker than many other air compressors. All these features together prove how great it is for doing cutting jobs. A worthy compressor for plasma cutters.
- The excellent quality material used in producing the Dewalt compressor increased its lifespan
- An air tool can maximize air performance.
- No maintenance is needed so, and you can use the compressor being relaxed
- The quick recovery lets it work for longer than 6-7 hours
- The console cover protects the air compressor and makes it easy to repair
- Air compressor can make a loud noise
- The enclosed pump area is not strong
In general, the Dewalt air compressor showed with its performance that it should be considered as one of the best air compressors.
Because it showed promising results, we believe like all the satisfied customers, and it will stand up to your expectations.
6# California 8010 Steel Air Compressor
We listed this air compressor as one of the best air compressors because it comes with the complete air filter and wheel kit.
It features an oil-free pump for keeping maintenance low. It is a larger air gallon than we spoke about before. Comes in 8 gallons.
It can fulfill cutting jobs with a fine finish. You can carry it anywhere because the wheel kit makes it easier to port.
The manufacturer produced the air compressor as versatile because it can work at different temperatures. The premium quality steel makes it so durable that it can live and provide service for years.
- Comes with a larger 8-gallon tank to offer more air pressure
- It has a wheel kit that allows it to be transported easily
- It can do its job at different temperatures for being used in various works
- The production material is high-quality steel, enabling it to live as a durable product
- The air compressor is easy to use
- It doesn’t come with a hose, so you have to buy an extra hose as required
- If you leave it plugged, it will release hot smoke
The overall performance of the California 8010 Steel Air Compressor can be rated 4.7 out of 5. We hope this rating can make you understand how good the compressor is for your plasma cutter.
It even provides more pressure because the 8-gallon tank can collect more air to produce more pressure. As it delivers the expected service fine enough, we put it on our best air compressor list.
7# Campbell Hausfeld Portable Quiet 6 Gallon Air Compressor
Were you getting exhausted seeing how all the air compressors produce a lot of noise?
If you want to get rid of the loud noises an air compressor usually makes, Campbell Hausfeld is here to help you with the issue. It’s designed to make a minimal amount of noise, and that the sound doesn’t make you at all.
It’s not the only good fact about it, and there are more. Unlike many other air compressors, you should choose it for a plasma cutter because it can live four times more than regular compressors.
The 6-gallon tank is enough for gathering and keeping the air to release tremendous pressure. The grip of each compressor is made durable and effortless to carry from one job to another.
Moreover, it’s oil-free as well as maintenance-free. What else does a compressor need to be perfect for a plasma cutter?
From top to bottom, everything it has makes it an air expert air compressor from internal to external.
- Have durable and soft grip for making the portability easy
- 50 percent quieter than usual air compressors for giving your ears the relaxation at working times
- The oil-free feature makes it more efficient and less messy
- It can live four times the usual compressors for increasing its working capability
- Added 6-gallon tank for the production of adequate pressure
- The switch added is much poor quality
The only flaw of Campbell Hausfeld Portable Quiet 6 Gallon Air Compressor proves to us that it’s worth it. Though you will find better than this, you need to higher your budget.
Within a reasonable budget, you cannot find any other air compressor working as well as a Campbell compressor. In our honest opinion, it is going to be the correct shot for the plasma cutter.
Factors To Consider Before Buying An Air Compressor For Plasma Cutter
Both plasma cutters and air compressors are helpful yet dangerous tools. From safety to usability, you should be very demanding and knowledgeable when buying the right air compressor for your plasma cutter.
Here are some of the things you should know before you lock on to your option.
Arguably one of the most crucial factors you should never overlook is the power input/output.
Air compressors come in two voltages: 110V and 220V. But the fun part is that it sometimes can have a switchable mode that lets you change between the voltages.
If you are a beginner who does not need much power, you can go with 110V. It can be plugged into any general household power outlet. But if you need more power, then you have to go for 220V.
As air compressors require lots of power, it is better not to use multiple eclectic appliances on the same outlet your compressor is plugged into. It’ll reduce the input power.
If you ask us, the wiser option would be to go for an air compressor which lets you switch between both the voltages.
Portability and flexibility is a crucial aspect of an air compressor. But it also depends on your usage. Just because it’s portable does not mean it’s better for you.
If you move a lot during your work, then go for an air compressor with wheels on the bottom. This will ensure that you can take the compressor wherever you want without much effort.
But this comes at a trade. If your compressor has wheels, it can easily hit objects or fall down while moving. So you must be very careful.
On the other hand, if you don’t have to move around at your workplace. Just get a compressor that permanently sits in a specific place.
You might say that portability and weight is the same thing. But, no, they are not the same thing.
An air compressor can have a wide range of weights from 30 pounds to even crossing 80 pounds. If you like to carry around your compressor with you, then go for something between 30 to 40 pounds.
But, remember that a lighter compressor won’t provide the power needed to cut thick metals compared to a bigger, heavier compressor. So, if you want to carry your compressor effortlessly, then you’ll have to trade performance for it.
If you weren’t familiar with this, don’t worry, we’ll explain it. When you work with an air compressor, it’ll make a lot of noise. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find a silent compressor. So, we’ll have to get the one that is the quietest.
Noise is measured in dBA. The more the dBA, the more noise it’ll produce. To find out how much noise your compressor might generate, look at the key features section.
To help you find the right one, here is a comparison of dBA. A whisper is about 30 dBA, daily conversations are around 60 dBA, and a motorcycle engine sound is 95 dBA. If you are exposed to noise above 70 dBA for a prolonged period of time, it’ll cause hearing problems.
So, we would recommend getting a compressor that is rated 60 dBA. But if you cannot find that one, then go for 70 dBA but work with caution.
The capacity of the air compressor is directly connected to the performance. The larger your tank is, the more pressure it will create.
Generally, air compressor tanks are measured in gallons. A larger tank also means that it’ll have a more powerful motor. But again, it depends on your usage. You don’t necessarily need a 30 gallon compressor for light home projects.
But if you’re going to do heavy-duty work such as cutting thick metals, then go for a compressor that has more than 30 gallons. To be more accurate, buy a 60 gallon tank.
What Size Generator Do You Need If You Want To Run An Air Compressor?
Look at how much power the compressor needs to run. For example, if it’s rated 120V, 10amps, you’ll need a 1200 watts (120×10=1200) generator or more.
What’s The Noise Level That Is Considered Safe For Long Term Usage?
Look at the description for how loud the noise can get. Noise is measured in decibels or dBA. 60 to 75 decibel is safe for prolonged usage. Don’t buy anything louder than 80 dBA.
I have 120V Outlets But My Air Compressor is 220V. What should I do?
You can buy a 220V to 120V converted or a generator that is rated for 220V. But, remember that a converter will reduce the power output of the compressor.
How Much Pressure Can An Air Compressor Generate?
To know the pressure rating, you have to check the PSI or pounds per square inch. The more the PSI, the more the air pressure.
Well, plasma cutters need such air compressors durable, produce a pressure of at least 150 PSI, and an excellent motor starting. All the products we recommended fulfill these basic requirements.
With this bit of a limited list of best air compressors for plasma cutters, you can easily choose any.
Just be sure not to hurry in choosing. You should check each air compressor feature carefully and compare those with one another so that you can get the best of the best. I hope now you know about what are the best air compressor for plasma cutter.