Oxy Fuel. Never leave home without it.
Oxy Fuel. Admittedly it’s curious to see a company that promotes the purchase of plasma cutters write about a competing technology and recommend its customers to evaluate their need for such a product. But we try to offer the customer the best and most reasonable product to fit their needs. Selling or misrepresenting a product to do more or less than what it is capable of does nothing to further our name or a product line. We try to offer a balanced perspective on a topic regardless of our desire to move product. Oxy fuel will never lose its place in the world of welding. If you are considering a purchase of a plasma cutter and haven’t gotten an oxy fuel torch yet…stop.
Let’s consider the benefits of Oxy fuel rigs for a minute. Oxy fuel typically refers to Oxygen and Acetylene torches. But with the high price of Acetylene these days, the lesser known “fuels” are taking over. They each have their disadvantages, and advantages over Acetylene, so consider this wisely. Many cut well, but few have good heating properties. That is the primary reason to buy an Oxy Fueld rig.
Heating. No fuel heats like Acetylene. This is good for bending things, and prepping metal to a temperature where it can be safely welded. The heating property alone is the main reason why you should consider having an oxyacetylene torch or some other oxy/fuel combination. A plasma cutter is going to do anything but heat your metal for you. All it’s going to do is cut, and do it relatively quickly. Another legitimate reason to consider Oxy/Fuel is that it is completely portable. No power is required, and it works well as long as there is a fuel supply. No, most oxy fuel setups won’t cut anything but steel alloys, but it does it fairly quickly, and with all things, skill plays a part in quality of results. A properly cut hole with an oxy acetylene torch can be as smooth as a plasma…all without a power cord shackling to the closest outlet. Of course, let’s not forget about price. Any good oxy fuel setup can generally be bought a lot cheaper, than the cheapest plasma cutters.
Yes, you have to figure in cylinders, but even with that, price rarely exceeds the cost of plasma cutters, plus the cost of a compressor. One final argument for considering the oxy fuel torch first, is the fact that plasma cutters once they reach a half inch or greater maximum cut capacity, really begin to reach up there in price and input power requirements. Even an 80 amp plasma can’t be used regularly to cut much more than 1” thick material. While that may seem thick, relatively speaking, it is not. Any cheap, low end oxy fuel torch can usually cut up to 2 inches without much effort. This is important to keep in mind. Though some people may truly never need a oxy fuel torch, I bet that most will, and when the time comes to have one, there is no substitute.