What Plasma Cutter Gas Use: Brief Guide

Plasma cutting generates numerous inquiries, but one of the most common questions is, “Which gas does a plasma cutter utilize?” This query arises because the gas chosen for Hypertherm plasma cutters significantly impacts outcomes, performance, and operational expenses.
Understanding the various gases employed by your plasma cutter and their effects on cut quality can aid in making informed decisions. It’s essential to select a gas that complements the type of metal being cut.
Continue reading to explore the gases utilized by plasma cutters.


Plasma cutting, a straightforward yet potent process, involves passing an electric arc through a gas within a constricted copper nozzle. The arc’s intense heat elevates the gas temperature, transforming it into plasma.
Subsequently, the plasma’s electrical conductivity transfers the arc to the metal, enabling the high-speed gas to effortlessly sever the metal.
As evident, gas plays a pivotal role in plasma cutting. While the metal’s properties are significant, the gas choice dictates the achieved results.

So, what gas does a plasma cutter employ?

Here are three common options: compressed air, oxygen, and argon-hydrogen.


Compressed air proves highly adaptable and cost-effective, suitable for cutting various metals like stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminum. Moreover, it can serve as either the primary gas or a secondary fuel source.
In addition to its affordability, compressed air leaves no residue while cutting the metal.


Renowned for producing clean cuts and accelerating cutting speeds on carbon steel, oxygen has become the preferred option for mild steel cutting. Furthermore, it performs well in conjunction with secondary fuels.
However, oxygen is unsuitable for cutting aluminum or stainless steel due to its inefficacy on shiny surfaces.


Although argon is relatively pricey, it doesn’t react with the metals it cuts, enhancing plasma arc stability. Nevertheless, due to its low conductivity, it necessitates pairing with a secondary gas like hydrogen.
An argon-hydrogen blend delivers precise, smooth cuts and surfaces on aluminum and stainless steel. Additionally, hydrogen’s exceptional thermal conductivity facilitates rapid cooling of molten metal.

Selecting the Appropriate Gas

When choosing the gas, factors such as the material being processed, budget constraints, and desired cut quality must be considered.
While this decision-making process may seem daunting, seeking guidance from a CNC Plasma Cutting Machine Factory ensures informed choices tailored to your application’s needs.
Benefit from our specialized knowledge, which encompasses understanding plasma cutter operations and addressing queries like, “What gas does a plasma cutter use?”
What Plasma Cutter Gas Use: Brief Guide

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