Hobart 27i Review: Good performance at a competitive price

Hobart 27i Dual Voltage Plasma Cutter
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  • Hobart is a quality machine manufacture who is well know in metal fabrication for simple machines with great performance.

  • The 27i is dual voltage meaning it can be used on both on 120V and 240V connections making it functional in just about any work environment.

  • Great parts availability from Hobart as well as other after market brands.

  • Rated to cut 3/8″ inch steel. At 27 Amps you can cut up to 5/8″ mild steel, but you will have to do so very slowly.

  • Consumables are well priced and widely available. Very important!

  • Does not crank all the way up to 30 amps, which competing machines like the Hypertherm Powermax30 do. To be fair the 27i machine does cost about $300 less than the Powermax 30.

  • Build quality is slightly lower than that of Miller and Hypertherm. However, still very good compared to most cheap chinese machines.

The Hobart 27i Is A Fantastic Value and The Best Machine Close To $1000

Welcome to our Hobart 27i review. The Hobart 27i is one hell of a plasma cutter for the price. It packs everything you would want in a plasma cutter and does so at a very competitive price. It’s made by a quality manufacture,  has dual voltage functionality, good power at 27 amps, and has proven to be durable in work environments. If you’re looking for a machine around $1000 THIS IS IT. No question, this is your best buy.

Cutting test of the Hobart 40i plasma cutter

Machine and Torch Design

Hobart is known for having rather simple looking machines with easy to operate knobs and buttons. You won’t find any extra fancy bells and whistles, but you will have an easy to use machine. What we also like about Hobart is their cutting torch. Typically lower cost machines come with a cheap torch that lacks a sturdy feel. However, we love Hobart’s torches and find them to work well. Consumables are also very reasonably priced and readily available on sites like Amazon.

Upclose image of the hobart 40i plasma cutter torch

Hobart XT30R Electrode Kit

Replacement electrodes for the XT30R torch (The Hobart 27i has the XT30r torch)

Hobart Drag Shield For XT30R Plasma Torch

Drag sheild for the XT30R torch (The Hobart 27i has the XT30r torch)

Hobart Tips Kit For XT30R Plasma Torch

Replacement tips for the XT30R torch (The Hobart 27i has the XT30r torch)

Hobart Cup, Swirl Ring, O-Ring, Deflector Kit For XT30R Plasma Torch

Deflector Kit made for the XT30R torch (The Hobart 27i has the XT30r torch)


The 27i is a very powerful machine coming in at 27 amps maximum output on 240V and rated for clean cuts on 3/8″ steel when used on its 240v 27 amp setting. With our experience in the past we know that a 27 amp machine can actually cut up to 5/8″ steel, but at very slow pace. So if you find yourself in that situation you can 5/8″ steel, but it will take a while. (These result are based off the Powermax 30 XP cutting 3/4″ steel at 30 amps. You can view that demo Youtube video here).

On 120v (standard wall plug) you can turn this machine up to 20 amps. At 20 amps you can expect to cut a maximum thickness of 1/2″ mild steel. Once again it will be slow, but it is doable. (1/2″ 20 amp cut example can be found here).

Do We Recommend You Buy This Machine?

If you are looking for a machine for around $1000 we recommend you stretch it to $1200 and buy the Hobart 27i. You will without a doubt get the most machine for your money. This is really the least expensive professional grade machine that money can buy right now. It’s a fantastic buy and packs a lot of great features for the price. You will not be disappointed and it will last you many years to come.

If you can stand to stretch your budget another $300 then we we recommend you get the Hypertherm Powermax 30 XP instead (Hypertherm Powermax 30 XP on Amazon.com). The Powermax 30 can be turned up to 30 amps giving you a little more power and we find that the build quality is slightly better than the Hobart 27i. Also Hypertherm’s customer service and parts availability is top notch.

End Result: If you can afford a Hypertherm Powermax 30XP for $1500, get it. It has slightly better performance than the Hobart 27i. If the Powermax 30 is out of your budget then get the Hobart 27i. Both machines are fantastic.