'Stand-Off' cutting V's 'Drag' cutting on a plasma cutter


Stand-Off Cutting

The stand-off cutting technique is the process of holding the tip of the torch between 3 – 4mm from the work piece to achieve the optimum cut. Stand-off cutting requires a cutting tip that you need to ensure that the plasma cutters output amperage is matched to the amperage with the tip.


Jasic Plasma Strand-Off Spring




A stand-off guide/spring, roller guides and circle cutting guide kits can be very helpful in creating the cuts you want.









Jasic Circular Cutting Guide Kit


To begin cutting you would place the torch above the work piece of about 3 - 4mm, and begin drawing the tip across the work piece.


You should always start with the torch placed at farthest point from you and then cut by pulling the torch towards you. Make sure to keep the plasma cutting torch upright to the material being cut throughout the cutting process. As you are cutting ensure you maintain a smooth and consistent travel speed to make a clean, precise cut.





Drag Cutting

Drag cutting is the process of dragging the plasma cutter's tip of the plasma torch along the work piece to cut the metal.


There main benefits of drag cutting is:


1. It's much easier for the operator because you don't need to maintain a distance between the cutting tip and the work piece. You can simply drag the end of the plasma torch along a template or a straight edge. This process usually ensures a more accurate cut.


2. Drag cutting produces less spatter and blow back and this improves the life of the front end torch parts.

As much as this is the easiest way to cut while minimising heat input it's usually only possible on cutting currents of 40 amps and below. Drag cutting does require a ‘drag’ cutting tip and you need to ensure that the plasma cutters output amperage is matched to the amperage of the tip.


It can often be helpful to use a non-conductive straight edge template (As mentioned above) to help maintain a straight cut. This technique works best when cutting metal that is less than or equal to 5mm diameter.


When you start to drag cut, you would place the tip of the torch on the work piece and begin dragging the cutting tip across the work piece. You should always start with the torch placed at farthest point from you and then cut by pull the torch towards you.


Make sure to keep the torch upright to the material being cut throughout the cutting process. As you are drag cutting ensure you maintain a smooth and consistent travel speed to make a clean, precise cut.

 Jasic Welding & Cutting Inverters 2020