Like any technology, plasma cutters today are significantly more advanced than their previous versions. Due to technological advancement, the market has a plethora of inverter vs. transformer plasma cutters. It is quite challenging to choose between these 2 options in such a situation.
Inverter and transformer plasma cutter – both have similarities and dissimilarities. The main difference is transformer plasma cutters are for cutting aluminum oxides only. Meanwhile, inverter plasma cutters are suitable for stainless steel, aluminum, copper, mild steel, alloy steel, etc.
We have compiled essential information about plasma cutters for you to make the selection process easy. Continue reading the difference between inverter and transformer plasma cutter.
Comparison Chart – Inverter vs. Transformer
Table of Contents
We prepared this comparison chart based on the key features. Read it carefully, which will help you make a precise decision.
|Specifications||Inverter Plasma Cutter||Transformer Plasma Cutter|
|Working Process||Converts alternate current to a lower usable voltage output||Transformer plasma cutter uses rectifiers to convert AC to DC|
|Duty Cycle||65% – 100%, eliminating overheat issue||25% – 35%, getting overheat and frequent break is necessary|
|Durability||Less than transformer plasma cutter||Long|
|Weight||Lightweight. You can carry them easily in your job site||Bulky|
|Stability & Effectiveness||twice as effective as transformer plasma cutters||Appealing efficiency level|
|Cut Quality||Delivers clean and smooth cut||Average cutting quality|
|Price||Cost-efficient, saving 10% on your electricity bill||Budget-friendly|
|Suitable for||Beginners||Skilled and experienced|
Inverter vs. Transformer Plasma Cutter: In-depth Discussion
So, how do inverters and transformers stack up against one another? Undoubtedly, inverter plasma cutters are considered the industry standard; some welders also prefer transformers.
Let’s read the in-depth discussion below.
Characteristically, transformer plasma cutters are designed for handling heavy-duty tasks. The durability of transformers is also impressive, that you will get many years of efficient service.
On the other hand, the duty cycle of inverter plasma cutters is comparatively low, making them suitable for home use, and light to medium-duty tasks. However, a few models are available which has a high-duty cycle and can be used in industrial and construction sites. Sadly, the durability of inverter plasma cutters is uncertain.
Stability & Effectiveness
Over the last 50 years, many technological advancements have happened in the transformer plasma cutter. A premium quality transformer plasma cutter will help you attain an appealing efficiency without compromising on the stability of the ARC.
When compared to the inverter plasma cutter, this effectiveness is significantly poor. Inverters are 2X times more effective than transformers. For example, inverter plasma cutters will deliver the same result as a transformer plasma cutter using half the amperes. For this reason, inverters are workable with a common house socket. Buying a separate 220 V plugin or a generator is unnecessary. They also have a more stable arc.
Cutting quality is the heart of a plasma cutter which depends on the arc and product construction.
Perfection is a mandatory factor in every plasma cutting project. Since inverter plasma cutters have a more stable arc than transformer plasma cutters, inverter delivers clean and smooth results.
If precision is your top priority, we recommend using the inverter model. Due to clean and smooth-cutting results, you won’t have to spend much time cleaning the material edge or corner. While after cutting material with a transformer plasma cutter, cleanliness is required, and you have to spend additional time to complete a project.
Resistance to mechanical damage and weather conditions
Transformer plasma cutters efficiently withstand mechanical damage and different weather conditions. You can use them in severe working conditions. They offer efficient performance in both low and high temperatures as well. Even high humidity and dust levels can’t impact their performance. Moreover, in the event of a malfunction, the maintenance and repair cost of the transformer plasma cutter is cheaper and simpler.
But inverter plasma cutters are not designed to be worked in harsh conditions. They are not as good as transformers in low and high temperatures. That is why caution is mandatory during use. Moreover, repairing is costly when they break down.
Inverter plasma cutters require relatively less electricity and energy. It means they don’t get overheated quickly. These features make them cost-efficient and economical. Most inverter plasma cutters work at 65% – 100% duty cycle. A high duty cycle means, with inverter plasma cutters, you can work for a long time without taking a frequent break.
While, in the case of a transformer plasma cutter, the range of duty cycle is 25% – 35%. This means they get overheated, which affects the performance of the plasma cutter. When working with a transformer plasma cutter, you need to have proper work planning to cool down the machine frequently.
Design, Weight & Portability
Inverter plasma cutters are actually a significantly essential piece of equipment. They are compact, lightweight, and incredibly portable. Technologically, they are better than transformer plasma cutters. For their lightweight nature, anyone can carry them wherever required. Also, plasma cutters are usually easy to use.
On the flip side, transformers plasma cutters are technologically less complex. They are larger, making them less portable. So, you will sweat to carry them to your job site. Making the precise and clean cut is quite challenging for their less technological features. At the same time, you have to be skilled or experienced to work with a transformer plasma cutter.
Most transformer plasma cutters are budget-friendly. But inverter plasma cutters are cost-efficient in the long run.
You can save a lot of money buying an inverter plasma cutter. How? As already stated, inverters consume less energy and power, which means that to deliver significant performance, they don’t need high power and energy. As a result, they help you save on electric bills. Because of their enhanced arc stability, they need fewer consumables and a little amount of gas to perform.
But transformers are not an economical option like inverters.
Inverter vs. Transformer Plasma Cutter – Which one to Choose?
Buy transformer plasma cutter, if
- You have a dedicated workplace for plasma cutting
- You require to complete heavy-duty tasks
Buy Inverter plasma cutter, if
- Portability is your top priority
- You require to cut a wide range of materials
- You are an amateur looking for flexibility
Frequently Asked Question
Why are inverter plasma cutters better?
Inverter plasma cutters are efficient and provide stable ARC to complete a project. Due to this reason, they are efficient, and stability is also high. Moreover, newer models of inverter plasma cutters come with IGBT or MOSFET technology, making them reliable and less prone to temperature fluctuations.
Why are transformer plasma cutters better?
Transformer-based plasma cutters are suitable for heavy-duty tasks. Also, they resist high and low temperatures and show less wear and tear due to weather conditions.
Your choice for a plasma cutter doesn’t only depend on your budget. Reliability, construction, functionality, and performance under different circumstances play a crucial role when choosing between an inverter and transformer plasma cutter.
Inverter plasma cutters are constantly improving their functionality and budget. On the other hand, transformer plasma cutters are still surfing the market for their dependability and high power performance.
So, before selecting a model, it would always be best to know your preference.