What’s The Best Air Dryer For A Plasma Cutter?

If you’re running a plasma cutter in your shop, it is recommended to filter the air going into your machine with an air dryer and filter combo unit. This will reduce the amount of moisture, oil and particulates that are fed to your plasma cutter by your compressor. An inline external cartridge filter placed between your compressor and plasma cutter is the easiest way to filter these contaminates. These filters are serviceable and can be maintained by changing the filter cartridge inside of the filter housing after extended use.

Motor Guard M-30 Submicronic Compressed Air Filter

Easy to use air dryer and filter that houses one single replacement cartridge that traps moisture, oil and particulates from going into your air supply line. With Motor Guard being so popular you can be confident that replacement filters will be available many years from now.

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Motor Guard M-723 Replacement Filter

Replacement filter for the Motor Guard listed above. Very easy to change and only runs about $20.

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What Are The Benefits Of Using An Air Dryer With A Plasma Cutter?

Clean air to your plasma cutter will help increase the life span of your torch consumables and produce cleaner cuts. Most plasma cutter owners that use their machine often find that running an air dryer filter saves them money in the long run from the reduced amount of consumables they use.

The following video below is by Jim Colt, a member of Hypertherm’s team. He has spent much of his time on forum sites helping members of the plasma cutter community by answering all of their commonly asked questions. He is a very knowledgeable source of information and in this video he addresses the effects of moisture, oil and particulates in a plasma system.


How To Test Your Compressor Air For Moisture

To test your air for moisture use an air nozzle to blow air on a small handheld mirror. If small water droplets start to form on the mirror, you have a moisture in your air supply. This means your plasma cutter would greatly benefit from an air dryer.

Remember To Drain Your Compressor Of Water

Drain the valve on the bottom of your compressor daily to get rid of any built up water. Open the valve on the bottom of your tank for about 3 seconds and let the water drain. This will help reduce the moisture in your air system and increase the life of your air dryer cartridges.

Not All Tools Need Filtered Air

Not every tool in your shop needs filtered air. It’s best to only use your air dryer on tools that require it. This will help reduce the amount of filter cartridges that you use.

The easiest way to avoid unnecessary filter use is to mount your air dryer and filter directly to your plasma cutter cart. This works great if your plasma cutter is the only tool in your shop that is sensitive to quality air. However, if you need to use it with other tools simply split the air connection at your compressor and mount it there.

Filtered Air For Large Scale Plasma Systems or Professional Use

If you work in a professional production environment you will want a refrigerated air dryer. They are designed to remove moisture from the entire air system in your shop, eliminating the need for individual filters on each tool. Refrigerated air dryers cost around $1500.

Schulz Refrigerated Air Dryer for Air Compressors

Refrigerated air dryer that will remove moisture from whole garage air systems. Made to handle high volume (35CFM). Rated for compressors up to 10HP.

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