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Will Plasma Cutter Cut Rusty Metal?

Will plasma cutter cut rusty metal? Will a plasma cutter cut through paint?

Do not have to worry about painted and rusty metal cutting with a plasma cutter.

If you can conduct current through the rusts, plasma machine will cut it. Clean off the rusted surfaces with a power grinder for a solid electrical connection with a ground clamp.

This advantage makes plasma operations more efficient to repair cars, farms, and heavy equipment.

Rusty metals are hard on consumables. So sometimes cleanup will help a lot. Torch with shielded consumables can cut rusty materials just as you would cut clean metals.
Early hand-held plasma systems might have faced problems while cutting through painted and rusted metals.

Fortunately, with advanced technology, a modern plasma cutting system can cut rusted, dirty, and even painted metal as efficiently as it would stainless steel. A unit with advanced plasma technology such as shielded, conical flow) can cut rusted metals better than clean steel.

You can use the edge start and some techniques such as tipping the torch to let pierce blowback to keep the shield and nozzle from damage, then drag the shield directly on the metal. Non-shielded consumables won’t last long while cutting rusty metals.

If your workpiece is terribly rusted or has more paint on one side than the other side, keep the rusty or painted side on the bottom. As a result, it’ll produce less dross while cutting.

Will Plasma Cutter Cut Rusty Metal?- Related FAQs

will plasma cutter cut rusty metal
Will Plasma Cutter Cut Rusty Metal

How clean does a rusty metal need to be exactly?

The cleaner the ground location, the better. If it’s heavy, you can use a grinder or wire brush it off. If your plasma cutter has a “high-frequency start (HFS)” (for example Versa Cut Plasma Cutter), you don’t need to clean the surface. Because, HFS lets the plasma arc blast through paint, rust, and years of grime to cut without the necessity to clean the surface you’re cutting.

Will a plasma cutter cut bolts?

Depending on the plasma cutting machine, you can cut any metals up to several inches thick. Most entry-level plasma cutters are limited to 5/8-inch thick metal, which works well for nearly anything you might work on. You can even cut nuts and bolts with cleaner results- no matter it’s clean or rusty. What is most important- you should ensure your safety.

What is dross in plasma cutting?

During the plasma cutting process, molten metal produces an unwanted accumulation of waste and foreign matters which are referred to as “dross”.

Would a plasma cutter burn paint on metal?

Due to the small heat-affected zone (HAZ) of plasma arc, plasma cutter keeps paint jobs on metal unaffected.

Best Plasma Cutter for Rusty Metal

#1 LOTOS LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 1/2 Inch Clean Cut, Brown

lotos ltp5000d plasma cutter

LOTOS LTP5000D uses non-touch pilot arc technology. So, it allows you efficiently cut rough, rusty, and painted surfaces without touching the torch tip to the metal. Best of all, it creates less slag.

#2 PrimeWeld 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter, Portable Plasma Cutting Machine, Premium, and Rugged Plasma Cutter Kit, Automatic Dual Voltage 110V/220V AC with Plasma Torch, 1/2″ Clean Cut, CUT50D

primeweld cut50d plasma cutter

PrimeWeld CUT50D effectively cut any metal-based artwork or sculpture- no matter it is rusty, or old scrap metal.