Hypertherm Powermax 45 Review: The perfect 10 for professionals

Build Quality
Overall Score
  • Very powerful – cutting up to 1 -1/8″ steel.

  • The best in performance on the market. Period.

  • Made in New Hampshire, USA.

  • 3 year warranty on the power supply and 1 year warranty on the torch.

  • Expensive.

Check Price

If you’re in the market for a plasma cutter that is made from one of the most trusted USA brands on the market and don’t mind paying a few extra bucks for a higher quality more durable piece of equipment than the Hypertherm Powermax 45 fits you perfectly. This is unit is not made for someone who will use it a few times and stick it in the storage… this is made be used as a tool and used hard. Hypertherm makes quality equipment that is often found in metal shops and metal rigs out in the field. I have tons of time on my personal Powermax 45 and it’s one the most sound and best units I’ve even owned.

What We Like

First off the manufacturer of this unit is known for durability and quality, we like that. You can see a big difference between this machine against something like a Hobart by simply looking at the little details such as the torch handle, power cord, cutting cord length and the quick cord disconnect. These little features make this machine a pleasure to use. Hypertherm has a dual angle design that allows you use you consumable tips on the torch longer thus saving you money over time. In our tests we found that this true and we got about 20% more cutting time out of the nozzle consumables. This was important to us because as plasma cutter owners we know that replacement tips can get costly fast. Here’s a list of things we liked…

  • The torch handle felt great in the hand even with  welding gloves on and was easy to use (other units have triggers that are too small and a pain to use)
  • -20ft cutting cord was awesome! Let’s us keep the machine away from our work area and away from falling metal and sparks
  • -Quick disconnect on the cutting cord
  • -Nice handle on top of the unit to move it (it weighs about 40 pounds so this helps a lot)
  • -Good adjust ability on power settings
  • Makes really clean cuts with better percision than any of the other units in the 1/2″ machine category

How It Cuts

All the Hypertherm units I’ve used cut exceptionally well and the Powermax is no exception. As you can see you can expect smooth even cuts. This is due to a couple of things. First off, the longer lasting nozzle hardware. In order to get a cut like the one pictured below you have to have a good clean tip. Hypertherm is known for using nozzle hardware sparingly so you will get more cuts like these without spending a fortune on hardware. Next, you need to have a nice consistent smooth cutting hand. The machine itself can only so much so make you use straight edges whenever possible to makes you cuts nice and clean. That said I really like Hypertherm cutting wand and it’s easy to use with welding gloves on.

What We Didn’t Like…

  • The price tag
  • The weight. A 40 pound machine is heavy (this has to do with the 20ft cord which we love, but of course adds to the weight of the machine)

Bottom Line

You seriously can’t go wrong with this unit if you have the money to spend. Anyone who is looking for the best 1/2″ unit on the market should buy a Powermax 45. Hypertherm is made in the USA and they simply produce some of the best machines out there. Ask around and people will tell you that you simply can’t beat em!

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