Plasma Cutter Running Cost: Branded vs. Generic Machines

Plasma cutting is a popular method of cutting metal and other materials. It is a fast and efficient way to cut through thick materials, making it a popular choice for industrial and manufacturing applications. However, one of the major concerns when it comes to plasma cutting is the cost of operation. Plasma cutters require electricity, gas, and other consumables, which can add up over time. Therefore, it’s important to understand the costs associated with running a plasma cutter.


When it comes to the cost of running a plasma cutter, there are several factors to consider. The type of plasma cutter, the torch being used, and the materials being cut can all affect the cost of operation. Some plasma cutters are more efficient than others and require less power and consumables. Additionally, certain torches, such as the PT-31, SG 51, AG-60, and P-80, are known for being very cheap to run.

Factors Affecting Plasma Cutter Running Cost


When it comes to plasma cutting, the cost of operation can be a significant factor to consider. There are various factors that can affect the running cost of a plasma cutter. In this section, we will discuss some of the most important factors that can impact the cost of operating a plasma cutter.

Type of Plasma Torch Your Machine Uses

The type of plasma torch that your machine uses can have a significant impact on the running cost. Some plasma torches are more expensive to operate than others. For example, some of the more advanced plasma torches require more expensive consumables, which can increase the cost of operation. On the other hand, some of the cheaper plasma torches use consumables that are more affordable, which can help to reduce the running cost.

Power Consumption

The power consumption of your plasma cutter is another important factor to consider. The higher the power consumption, the more expensive it will be to operate the machine. It is essential to choose a plasma cutter that is efficient and uses power wisely. This will help to reduce the overall running cost of the machine.

Material Type

The type of material that you are cutting can also impact the running cost of your plasma cutter. Some materials are more difficult to cut than others, which can increase the wear and tear on the consumables. This can result in more frequent replacement of the consumables, which can increase the overall running cost of the machine.

Thickness of Material

The thickness of the material that you are cutting is another factor that can impact the running cost of your plasma cutter. Thicker materials require more power and can wear out the consumables more quickly. This can increase the overall running cost of the machine.

Cutting Speed

The cutting speed of your plasma cutter can also impact the running cost. The faster the cutting speed, the more quickly the consumables will wear out. This can increase the overall running cost of the machine. However, it is also important to consider the cost of labor when determining the cutting speed. A faster cutting speed can help to reduce labor costs, which can offset the increased cost of consumables. It is important to note that not all plasma cutters are created equal. Some non-branded models may be cheaper to purchase, but they may not be as efficient or reliable as branded models. Additionally, while the PT-31 plasma consumables are some of the cheapest on the market, it is important to compare the non-branded models to a branded model to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money

Ways to Reduce Plasma Cutter Running Cost

Plasma cutting is a cost-effective way to cut through metal, but the operational costs can add up quickly. Here are some ways to reduce the running cost of your plasma cutter:

Choosing the Right Plasma Cutter

Choosing the right plasma cutter can make a big difference in reducing running costs. Look for models that are energy-efficient and have a lower amperage range, as they will consume less power. Additionally, consider purchasing a model that has a built-in air compressor, as it will save money on the cost of external compressors.

Change Your Plasma Torch to a Generic One

Branded plasma torches can be expensive to replace and maintain. Consider switching to a generic plasma torch that is compatible with your plasma cutter. Generic torches are often cheaper and can be just as effective as branded ones.

Proper Maintenance

Proper maintenance is crucial to reducing the running cost of your plasma cutter. Regularly clean and inspect the torch and consumables to ensure they are in good condition. Replace worn or damaged parts promptly to avoid damaging the machine or producing poor-quality cuts.

Using the Right Consumables

Using the right consumables is essential to reducing the running cost of your plasma cutter. Look for high-quality consumables that are designed for your specific model. While generic consumables may be cheaper, they may not last as long or produce the same quality cuts.



Average Lifespan

Branded Consumables


100 cuts

Non-Branded Consumables


50 cuts


While non-branded consumables may seem like a cheaper option, they may not last as long as branded ones. In the long run, it may be more cost-effective to invest in higher quality, branded consumables.

Optimizing Cutting Parameters

Optimization of Plasma Arc Cutting Parameters on Machining of Inconel 718  Superalloy
Optimizing cutting parameters can help reduce the running cost of your plasma cutter. Adjust the cutting speed, amperage, and gas pressure to match the thickness and type of material being cut. Using the wrong settings can cause excess wear and tear on the consumables and lead to costly replacements.


When it comes to the running costs of plasma cutters, there are several factors to consider. The most significant cost is labor, which includes the time to handle raw material, finished parts, and remnants, as well as attending to the machinery while it’s running.

Another significant factor is the cost of consumables. The PT-31 plasma consumables are the cheapest on the market to run. When comparing non-branded models to branded models, it’s essential to consider the long-term cost savings of using high-quality, branded consumables. While non-branded consumables may be cheaper in the short term, they may not last as long or perform as well as their branded counterparts, resulting in higher long-term costs.

It’s also important to consider the initial cost of the plasma cutter itself. While smaller, portable units can be found for as little as $200, larger industrial plasma cutters can cost tens of thousands of dollars to more than a hundred thousand dollars. When choosing a plasma cutter, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your business and choose a model that balances initial cost with long-term operating costs.


Overall, by carefully considering the factors that contribute to the running costs of plasma cutters, businesses can make informed decisions and choose the model that best meets their needs while minimizing costs.

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