6 Best Air Compressor for Plasma Cutter

You must need the best air compressor for plasma cutter as it requires consistently high PSI and decent airflow. An ordinary air compressor can’t operate this power full air tool which is mostly used to cut sheet metal or heavy steel maintaining equal thickness. Apart from these, a versatile air compressor with some user-friendly design will greatly purchase to handle any heavy-duty plasma cutter to make the job done.

Thus we bring out a list of the best air compressors that can suitably operate plasma cutters while offering improved performance along with a longer life span.

Due to the reason mentioned above, you need to know about the best air compressor for plasma cutters. Because an air compressor is a secondary tool that provides support to your plasma cutter.

DIYers pick: 6 Best Air Compressor for Plasma Cutter

In this article, we are going to talk about the top air compressors for plasma cutter available in the market. As there are several options, choosing the right one for your project can be time-consuming. So,  we are here to help you with the process by providing sufficient information regarding the topic at hand.   

Top Air Compressor for Plasma Cutter

Air Compressor for plasma cutter

Craftsman: Air Compressor for plasma cutter

  • Craftsman air compressors have a PSI of a maximum of 150.
  • The tank of 6 gallons offers maximum stored air and portability.
  • The oil-free operation ensures durability. 
  • The air compressor doesn’t require any maintenance.
  • Proper cut-inch pressure ensures versatility. 
  • The compressor has a swift recovery time due to 2.6 SCFM. 
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Craftsman air compressor is one of the best air compressors for plasma cutters available out there. If you are looking for an air compressor that you can use for different types of projects, then you need one that has a high pound per square inch.

This is why you should consider the Craftsman air compressor because of its maximum PSI of 150. You can provide you a long time service without having to refill it because of the 6-gallon tank it comes with. It is also well known for its life expectancy and no requirement for maintenance as this air compressor provides an oil-free operation. 

Other great features of the Craftsman air compressor that make it more desirable are its pancake-style construction and swift recovery time. Because of the air compressor’s build, you can use it very efficiently without facing any inconvenience. It also features a dual coupler that provides support for two users at the same time. The air compressor also has a hard console shield that protects all the necessary parts from getting damaged. Moreover, it allows you the view of the pressure as it comes with pressure gauges. 

  • The Craftsman air compressor is a conveniently portable tool. It has an oil-free pump. The swift recovery time is praiseworthy. You can use this compressor for a long time without facing any maintenance-related issues. It also comes with an accessory kit that provides you with all the additional necessities.

  • The only problem with the Craftsman air compressor is high decibel level noise generation.

Runner Up

plasma cutter air compressor

California: Steel Tank plasma cutter air compressor

  • California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor has a maximum pressure of 120 PSI.
  • It provides 30 to 60 minutes of uninterrupted run time. 
  • 60 dBA of noise level offers an almost soundless operation. 
  • The tank of 5 gallons offers effortless movement and easy operation.
  • It requires zero to low maintenance because of its oil-free pump. 
  • The air compressor has great versatility regarding unevenness and temperatures. 
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If you are searching for a plasma cutter air compressor for an environment that doesn’t allow tools of high decibels, then California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor is the one for you. Among its several commendable features, generating only a noise level of 60 dBA while operating is quite unique. Because it is equivalent to the conversation level that we are used to.

Durability and high performance are the next two features that helped the air compressor to come at the top of the list. Due to its oil-free pump, you can doubtlessly rely upon it for long-term usage. Even though the compressor has a large tank of 8 gallons, it is still very lightweight making it more convenient and comfortable to use. 

  • The California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor has a steel body making it more reliable. It provides you with an oil-free operation resulting in no maintenance. You can easily refill the tank in a short amount of time. You can also move the air compressor quite effortlessly when needed. It has a high pound per square inch. Starting in cold weather is not difficult. And lastly, the ultra-quiet feature makes it unique.

  • The main problem with the California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor is its weight. It is a bit on the heavy side which makes it uncomfortable and inconvenient to use.

Best Overall

Best Pancake Air Compressor for plasma cutter

DEWALT: Best Pancake Air Compressor for plasma cutter

  • DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor has a maximum pressure of 165 PSI.
  • It has a swift recovery time due to 2.6 SCFM.
  • 22.6 liters of tank prolong the run time.
  • It offers high efficiency even in cold weather.
  • The noise level of 75.5 dBA offers a relatively quiet operation.
  • The air compressor comes with an extension cord of around 15.2 meters, so you can cut metals from a long distance. 
  • The couplers and high-flow regulators offer greater performance wile using plasma cutter. 
  • It has a maintenance-free, durable oil-free pump.
  • Well-protected parts due to the console cover. 
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DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor offers a combination of all the necessary features that you want your plasma cutter compressor to have. It is not only highly efficient but also comes cheap.

Starting from having a high PSI of 165 to including a tank of 22.6 litters, it exhibits great performance and prolonged run time. Due to its standard size motor, you can easily fit it in different types of pneumatic tools. Hence, the versatility of this air compressor is praiseworthy. 

DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor is a highly protected compressor because of the console cover it comes in. The rubberised leg cover also prevents it from any kind of scratch. It requires low maintenance due to the oil-free operation and offers a greater lifespan. Lastly, the low-level noise generation is also exemplary.

  • DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor has an oil-free pump for better durability. You can use this air compressor without any sort of maintenance. You can easily start the motor even in cold weather. This compressor comes with a console cover for better protection. This compressor has a low noise level. Compared to other air compressors, you’ll find this one to be cheaper.

  • The DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor is mostly suitable for projects that are small and doesn’t require much time to complete. For long-term, big projects, this air compressor may not be the right choice.

Best Budget

Air Compressor for plasma cutter

Bostitch: Best Cheap Air Compressor for plasma cutter

  • The Chinese air compressor can drives a plasma cutter by its 6 gallon air tank.
  • These are capable of cutting plasma through ⅝ inches to 2 inches, 1 1/4 to 2 inches, and ¼ to 9/16 inches of length effortlessly.
  • A tank capacity of 6 gallons makes the compressor last longer during operation while cutting plasma.
  • The compressor also comes with a Poly Vinyl Chloride air hose of 1/4-inch x 15′.
  • It requires low maintenance due to oil-free operation. 
  • The compressor generates a noise level of 78 dBA. 
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If you are looking for a powerful unit that comes in a small pancake-style structure, then Bostitch Air Compressor is the best plasma cutter compressor for you. Doesn’t matter what kind of project you plan on using this air compressor for, it will guarantee you proper execution and effortless operation. It has a maximum pressure of 150 PSI that can ensure great performance during heavy-duty operations. The pressure it delivers is ideal for all sorts of pneumatic tools

The Bostitch Air Compressor requires no maintenance and provides oil-free operation. Due to this, the air compressor is highly reliable for long-term service. You can also easily activate it in all sorts of weather because of the efficiency it offers. 

  • The Bostitch Air Compressor is a highly portable air compressor for plasma cutters. It is lightweight due to its tank size so you can easily move it according to your convenience. The compressor has great versatility and can operate on various projects. Compared to the features it comes with, it is quite inexpensive.

  • Even though having several great features, the Bostitch Air Compressor lacks one of the most important features. Which is having a high decibel level noise generation. This makes it ineligible for operations held in quiet environments.

Premium Pick

Quite Air Compressor for Cutter Tools

PORTER-CABLE: Best Quite Air Compressor for Plasma Cutter

  • The 150 PSI maximum pressure enables the Air Compressor greater run time. 
  • 2.6 SCFM ensures swift recovery time while cutting plasma. 
  • The pancake-style construction includes a 6-gallon tank.
  • It comes with rubber feet and a water drain faucet for greater stability.
  • A motor of 120 volts ensures quicker activation even in cold weather.
  • The oil-free pump offers a longer lifespan and lower maintenance. 
  • The components of the compressor are well protected. 
  • Dual air couplers ensure support for 2 users that means two plasma cutter at once. 
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PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor is one of the best plasma cutter air compressors available. It is a pancake-style, portable, multi-purpose air compressor that is capable of dealing with heavy-duty operations without breaking down. It has a maximum PSI of 150 that is quite sufficient and the tank can hold up to 6 gallons of air that ensures greater run time. It also has an air regulator and a heat overload protector that helps the air compressor to maintain its temperature while operating on all sorts of activities relating to plasma cutting. 

PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor guarantees no maintenance issues because of its oil-free pump. The dual pressure gauge it comes with helps you understand the amount of pressure that’s coming in or going out so that you can keep track. The compressor also has dual air couplers that provide support to two users at the same time, making the process even easier and faster. 

  • The PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor has a compact structure. As a result, you can easily use it in cramped-up spaces without having to worry about the inconvenience. Despite its size, it is very powerful and can perform heavy-duty operations effortlessly. The compressor is also highly portable. The oil-free operation it guarantees makes the compressor more reliable, durable, and easily maintainable.

  • PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor is a bit on the noisy side. Therefore, it is difficult to use it in places that require a quiet environment or sound-free operation.

Customer Choice

Air Compressor for Plasma Cutter

WEN: 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor for Plasma Cutter

  • At 90 PSI WEN 2202 20-Gallon Oil-Lubricated Portable Vertical Air Compressor provides 3.8 CFM airflow. 
  • At 5.0 CFM it provides 40 PSI airflow. 
  • The maximum pressure of this compressor is 135 PSI, that is enough for a plasma cutter machine.
  • The tank of 20 gallons provides long-time airflow while operating. 
  • The reinforced steel build provides maximum stability and durability.
  • It comes with an NPT coupler of ¼ inches.
  • Portability of this air compressor ensures anywhere plasma cutting facility.
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If you are looking for a plasma cutter air compressor that has a large tank and can provide you with maximum support while cutting through with your plasma cutter, then WEN 2202 20-Gallon Oil-Lubricated Portable Vertical Air Compressor is what you need.

This compressor provides a pressure of a maximum of 135 PSI. The construction of the tank is very solid because of the reinforced steel. This offers you great life expectancy and great reliability. You can also effortlessly monitor the incoming or outgoing pressure with the help of the dual pressure gauge. Even though the weight of this air compressor is a bit on the heavy side, you can easily move it from one place to another because of the attached wheels and handles. 

  • You can use WEN 2202 20-Gallon Oil-Lubricated Portable Vertical Air Compressor for all sorts of operations. The 20-gallon tank provides great run time. You can rely upon this air compressor because of its solid build. It comes with necessary accessories like- drain valve, pressure gauge. Transportation is easier because of the wheels and handles it comes with.

  • As WEN 2202 20-Gallon Oil-Lubricated Portable Vertical Air Compressor is designed for heavy-duty metal cutting, it is a bit on the heavy side because of the 20-gallon tank it comes in.

Factors to pick the Best Air Compressor for Plasma Cutter

If you are in search of the best plasma cutter with a built-in compressor, you need to know the basic features that the compressor needs to have. Therefore, make sure to go through this buying guide to get a proper idea.

Maximum PSI

The pound per square inch of an air compressor is one of the essential things to consider while buying one. Because value determines the pressure an air compressor can provide. You should know that 80 PSI for a tank of 80 gallons is enough for providing supply to a pneumatic tool. However, the requirement may vary depending upon your operation. You must remember that a 3 gallon air compressor cannot run impact wrench.

Duty Cycle 

Another important factor to consider is the duty cycle. Duty cycle is a percentage that gives an idea of the air compressor’s run time. You might think that an air compressor that has a duty cycle of 100% is the ideal one. But the fact is due to this the compressor may quickly heat up and stop working. Therefore, the suggested duty cycle for air compressors is 75%. 

Power Source 

Depending on your workplace and work type, you’ll need to choose your air compressor. For example, if you need the plasma cutter air compressor for a home job, then a 120-powered machine will be sufficient enough. But if you want one that has the versatility to perform in several places and types of work, then you’ll need a dual-powered machine that has both 120 and 240 volts. 

plasma cutter air compressor

Life Expectancy & Warranty

Buying a plasma cutter compressor should be a one-time thing. So, the one you invest in should have a great life expectancy and also should provide a long time warranty. Because longer warranty of any product shows the confidence the manufacturers have in that certain product. For the durability of your air compressor, consider buying one that has an iron cylinder casting as they tend to provide better stability and lifespan. 

FAQs on Best Air Compressor for Plasma Cutter

How much air pressure is needed for a plasma cutter?

Depending on the model, the requirement of air varies for a plasma cutter. But the belief is, bigger air compressors are always better. However, you’ll need an air compressor that has a higher CFM rating than the plasma cutter you plan on using it for. Ideally, the CFM of the air compressor should be 1 ½ to 2 times more than the CFM of the plasma cutter. Because this way, you will be able to make sure that the plasma cutter doesn’t stop operating during the time the air compressor refills. 

Does a plasma cutter require an air compressor?

As mentioned earlier, plasma cutters require an air compressor for better support while cutting through metals. The process of metal cutting happens in two steps. The first step doesn’t require an air compressor. However, in the second step where the finishing cut takes place, the plasma cutter requires sufficient air pressure to make the cut more precise and the edge more accurate. Therefore, these plasma cutters sometimes come with a built-in air compressor. So to sum up, air compressors are a necessity when working with a plasma cutter.

What is the best air dryer for a plasma cutter?

An air dryer is an additional tool that provides filtered air to your plasma cutter. By doing so, prolongs the machine’s lifespan and offers clearer cuts of the electrically conductive metals. The Motor Guard M-30 NPT Compressed Air Filter is said to be the best air dryer for plasma cutters. It is highly recommended because of its easy maintenance, simple installing process, and its tendency to keep the air supply line clean by trapping particulates, oil, and moisture.

What is the best air compressor dryer?

Air compressor dryers ensure a hassle-free and low-cost supply of dry air. These dryers are made of materials that absorb all the moisture from the air. The Campbell Hausfeld Air Cleaner & Air Dryer is well known as the best air compressor dryer. This air compressor dryer comes with an oil removal filter. It provides great efficiency and performance. It has a great life expectancy because of its solid build. The price of this dryer is quite low compared to other air compressor dryers.

Do you need argon for the plasma cutter?

A plasma cutter mainly consists of five gases. These are- oxygen, hydrogen, air, argon, and nitrogen. Now, whenever the thickness of the metal increases, cutting through it becomes difficult without combining all of these gases. Any thickness of higher than 1.5 inches requires great pressure. So, to answer the question, yes you need argon for the plasma cutter, especially if the metal thickness exceeds 1.5 inches. Because it will provide high quality, clean cut. 

Take the Best Air Compressor for Plasma Cutter

You need a specific kind of air compressor for your plasma cutter in order to get the desired result. All the available air compressors come in different shapes, sizes, and with different types of features. This is why it is important for your plasma cutter to have an air compressor that has all the specifications that ensure fine edges and flawless cuttings.

Therefore, in this article, we have talked about the six best air compressors for plasma cutters. We have discussed their features, advantages, and disadvantages to help you understand what specs you truly want your plasma cutter air compressor to have. Additionally, we have provided you with a buying guide to help you walk through the process of buying in case you don’t want to settle for any one of the above-discussed air compressors. 

We hope you find this article helpful and wish you all the best in purchasing the right air compressor for the plasma cutter you have. 

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Sam Morgan is a general contractor based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He does home renovations, extensions, landscaping maintenance, and general handyman jobs for homeowners. He is also the part-time content writer at Machine Handyman and a lifelong tools enthusiast. Sam loves hand tools, power tools, machinery, and DIY gadgets of all shapes and sizes! He is always researching the different types of home improvement tools that will get the best results. This site will cover products like power drills, air compressors, saws, nail guns, screw guns, grinders, cutting tools, and many more.

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