Hypertherm Powermax45 XP Review – Hand System Plasma Cutter

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Do you need a reliable plasma cutter with a torch technology that suits your projects? The Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP combines performance with versatility. Its drag-cutting technology is impressive. As a reputable American brand, this Hypertherm model enjoys high demand from avid welders and professionals that teach welding in trade schools.

However, many DIYers prefer portable plasma cutters with good build qualities. With a severance strength of 1 inch, you can cut 1/2 and 5/8-inch plates seamlessly. Don't forget that it's faster to grind after cutting metal plates with precision. If your metalworking requirements align with these features, a lightweight plasma cutter with at least 45-amps cutting capacity is what fits your project.

Features of Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP

If you are in the market for an affordable plasma cutter, you'll be overwhelmed with several brands. Most buyers believe that very expensive models of plasma cutters often have the best cutting system.

While this opinion might not be very correct, it's better to understand the features that make your favorite brand unique. However, the purpose of this review is to help you make the right buying decisions. Here are some features of this top-rated plasma cutting system.

Drag-cutting Technology

You can enjoy fast completion time and clean cuts with this plasma cutter model. With an easy-to-use drag-cutting technology, this product offers faster-cut speeds. At 50% @ 45 Amps, the speed is 1.5 times faster than cutting machines that use oxyfuel.

Usually, this level of cutting speed is ideal for 6 mm (1/4") stainless or mild steel, and 5/8" aluminum plates. However, marking applications, you need to dial down to 10 amps.

Smart Sense Technology

To apply edge preparation and metal-removal gouging techniques, set the air pressure correctly. Without the right supply of air, there might be fluctuations in air pressure levels. Smart Sense Technology is an automatic pressure adjustment system. By pressing a button, this automatic air regulator delivers the pressure that aligns with your applications.

Duramax Lock torches

Its 20-inch torch is great to practice your plasma-cutting skills. As an industrial-grade hand torch, its ground (return) lead also measures 20 inches. It's not easy to see portable plasma cutters of this caliber with long leads. Also, you can connect these Duramax Lock torches with automated cutting-machines for heavy-duty applications.

Power Type

This plasma cutter model runs on a single-phase input voltage (34/28A). At 45 amps, the efficiency of its cutting power is optimized. Also, this cutting tool uses an inverter (IGBT) system for power supply.


  • It's easy to install.
  • Works with on-board air compressors and (oil-free) nitrogen gas.
  • Durable components.
  • It weighs only 37 lbs.


  • It doesn't come with CPC ports.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the recommended gas supply pressure?

You can use oil-free and dry. However, ensuring that the compressed air (or nitrogen) is clean can improve the efficiency of this plasma cutter. For metal-cutting applications, the ideal gas pressure and inlet flow rate are 170 liters per minute 360 SCFH (6 SCFM) at 80 psi (or 5.5 bar).

It's a different configuration for precision gauging tasks. The inlet flow rate and pressure settings are 170 liters/minute 360 SCFH (6 SCFM) at 60 psi ( or4.1 bar).

Apart from cutting metal plates, what can this plasma cutter do?

It can cut a range of metal with 16 mm (5/8 inches) thickness. However, this plasma cutter offer precision marking of plates, gouging and other weld preparation tasks.

How easily does it get with precision cutting?

You might spend more time practicing the mastery of precision cutting with this plasma cutter.

Final Verdict

Apart from the specifications, this cutting tool is very portable. It's compact design, and fast cutting speeds are unique benefits buyers. You don't have to depend on low-performance plasma cutters. Instead, save your resources for models that are easy to use. 

With automatic air pressure settings and simple amperage adjustment, you can enhance the quality of your craftsmanship.

Last Updated on 1 year by Richard Boyer

  • June 28, 2022
Richard Boyer

Richard Boyer has been a professional welder for over 27 years of his life, and now he is a trainer and blogger providing critical information to anyone interested in welding. He is helping out both hobbyists, novice and professional welders to learn newer and better techniques. Read more about me

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