Over the years we have been steadily filling out our product line of welding and plasma cutting products. We constantly get requests for a better/different/more affordable option to something we sell and we do our best to listen! Our tech team often gets questions about which product is better for them and even though a product is close in design and price, there are small details that set it apart and may make your decision easier.
One of the most common questions we get is “Should I buy the Versa-Cut 20 or the 40?”. The machines are named after their output in amps respectively. Initially you may think “bigger is better” and if you’re looking to cut heavier gauge metal often, you may be correct. The Versa-Cut 40 can cut up to 3/8″ steel or aluminum and can run off 110V or 220V with the supplied adapter plug. The Versa-Cut 20 can cut up to 1/8″ steel and only needs 110V input to run it at all times. So obviously their is a difference in power and thickness, but this doesn’t come without a compromise.
The other thing to consider is the air required to run each machine. If you only have a small pancake or mobile air compressor you might not be able to keep up with the 5-7 cfm @ 60 psi required to cut with the 40. This means you’ll need to do very short cuts or will get inconsistent cuts as your small compressor tries to keep up. The Versa-Cut 20 on the other hand only requires 3 CFM @ a low 30 PSI. That means it’ll drain your tank less quickly and will allow you to make longer cuts before having to wait for the compressor to catch up. If you’re mainly cutting thinner materials and only have 110V and a small compressor you’re still in the game with the Cut-20.
The size and accuracy of a cut is also very important. A plasma cutter that is dialed-in correctly can produce intricate cuts with little slag. The problem with most large plasma cutters is that they have a torch that takes larger tips and produce a wider arc. This means intricate cuts can be difficult; especially as the tip wears and the plasma arc grows. The Cut-20 uses a fine 0.65mm cutting tip that allows for precise cuts for greater control over the arc. In contrast the versa cut 40 uses a mid-range 0.1mm tip that creates an arc/cut almost twice the size. We reach for the Versa-Cut 20 when we want to make cuts in sheet metal as the fine arc will warp the metal less and creates the cleanest, quickest cut possible.
So if you’re on a budget with 110V, a small compressor, and plan to only cut thinner materials the Versa-Cut 20 is the ticket for you. The Versa-Cut 40 or 60 are great for medium to heavy cutting and can handle almost anything you throw at it and will make larger cuts. Read about all of our plasma cutters here: http://www.eastwood.com/welders/plasma-cutter.html .