Can you convert MIG welder to plasma cutter? MIG welding machines are generally ideal for large and thick materials. Their operating temperature ranges between 15 to 30 volts.
If you want to use a MIG welder as a plasma cutter, you need to make sure the machine has the capacity to withstand the temperature.
Let’s learn more information about it.
Can Convert MIG Welder To Plasma Cutter?
No, you can’t convert a MIG welder to plasma cutter. Their voltage capacities are not the same. After all, they are designed and made for using a particular purpose.
A MIG welder is designed to join two metals, whereas a plasma cutter is mainly used to cut metals. Hence, their intended purposes vary from each other.
Why Can’t You Convert MIG Welder To Plasma Cutter?
Below are the primary reasons you can’t transform MIG welders into plasma cutters.
- Lower voltage
A plasma cutter’s average operating voltage capacity is around 50 to 60 volts. In contrast, MIG welding machines come with a 15 to 30 voltage range.
Using beyond-capacity voltage will trigger hazardous issues. After all, MIG welders are not supposed to take more than 30 volts.
- Lack Of Precise And Clean Cuts
MIG welders can provide a decent cutting result. But it won’t be as precise and clean cuts as plasma cutters. Its bulky electric arc allows you to quickly cut larger and thicker items without giving any break.
MIG welders won’t be able to cut massive and heavier objects accurately.
- Reduced Air Pressure And Wire Speed
You need to set up high wire speed and air pressure when using plasma cutters. Its wire speed can be up to 20,000 feet per second, and air pressure can be up to 90-120 PSI.
Unfortunately, MIG welders come with 3-4 times lower air pressure and wire speed. Such lower speed and pressure will prevent you from cutting thicker and larger items efficiently.
Differences between Plasma Cutters And MIG Welders
A significant difference exists between plasma cutters and MIG welders. Here are the most common ones.
Plasma cutters are known as one of the fastest cutters. Compared to MIG welders, they have at least ten times more speeds to cut a wide range of things swiftly.
- Using purposes
MIG welders are ideally suitable for Aluminum and Steel items. Contrastly, you can use plasma cutters to cut any type of metal.
- Precise Results
Compared to MIG welders, plasma cutters can provide consistent and precise results. After all, you need to maintain an accurate feed rate and voltage for MIG welding machines.
- Gas Emission
Plasma cutters release a huge amount of toxic gases than MIG welders. This will cause different health issues from long time use. That’s why regular DIYers don’t use them.
Can You MIG Weld With Plasma Cutter?
No, you can’t MIG weld with plasma cutters. A noticeable difference exists between the circuit of both cutting tools. Their duty-cycle AC and DC are different too.
You are supposed to get an increased frequency AC from a plasma cutter. This type of cutter doesn’t have a similar compressed-air jet that you can use as shielding gas.
Instead, plasma cutters come with a special electric arc that releases a precise, increased pressure jet of compressed air. Then it transforms into highly-heated plasma.
What Should You Use To Cut Metal?
The best tool for cutting metal will vary depending upon its thickness and materials. For example, if the metal item has a maximum of 10mm thickness, you can use a laser cutting tool.
Using a plasma cutter appears more appropriate if its highest thickness level is 25mm. But you can use some handy tools like a router to cut aluminum-based metals.
But if the metal item has a thickness between 28mm and 410mm, you will need an oxy cutter. It is effective for cutting ferrous metals. But it will produce a lot of toxic flames, so wear a fine quality respirator to protect your health.
Can You Cut Metal Using Mig Welder
Is this case, the answer is yes. You can cut metal with mig welder. You just need to increase the feed speed and co2 gas.
See the video bellow for proper guideline.
Are you still wondering whether you should convert MIG welder to plasma cutter? Since each machine is designed for a particular purpose, you should use them for those specific requirements.
Choosing incompatible tools prevents you from getting a precise result and puts the working safety at risk.
So, buying a plasma cutter separate to cut highly thicker items is better.