Which Is the Best Hobart Plasma Cutter for Your Next Workpiece?
Last updated ago
5 min read
Welding Buddy Experts
November 11, 2021

Which Is the Best Hobart Plasma Cutter for Your Next Workpiece?

Last updated ago
5 min read
Welding Buddy Experts
November 11, 2021
hobart plasma cutter
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hobart plasma cutter
Check Price
hobart plasma cutter
Check Price

You're eyeing Hobart plasma cutters for your next metal repair, restoration, art, or construction job, but you're a little unsure of which model to use. Each unit has excellent features to offer, making the selection process confusing and overwhelming, especially for beginners.

Worry no more! This article provides a roundup of Hobart cutters to help you find the right machine for your next project. Additionally, you will learn the important aspects of a plasma cutter to help you set reasonable standards for your future selections.

About the Manufacturer

Hobart Welding Products has been a leading manufacturer of welding and cutting products for various industries since 1917. The company expanded its line of welding products in 2000, adding welding accessories and safety equipment (auto-darkening helmets, wires, rods, gloves, and more). To this day, Hobart continues to design, test, and produce quality and user-friendly tools. Hobart's current headquarters is in Appleton, WI.

Hobart Plasma Cutting Machines: A Review

Hobart is notable for its impressive features and capability—it is included in multiple lists of top recommended plasma cutting machines online. There are currently three plasma cutter models: 40i, 12ci, and 27i. Here's a detailed comparison of the models to help you make a wise buying decision.

General Product Features

Here's a list of features you can find in all Hobart machines, which set them apart from competitors.

  • Wind Tunnel Technology - Made to counteract dust and particles that cause damage to internal components.
  • Fan-On-Demand - Hobart's cooling system runs when the power consumption and machine contaminants need reduction.
  • Hobart 5/3/1 Industrial Warranty -The specified product warranty of Hobart machines: five years for transformers, rectifiers, and stabilizers; three years for generators, drive systems, and PC boards; one year for MIG, TIG, and plasma torches.
  • XT30R Torch - A torch with more efficient and comfortable replacement cutting tips and trigger safety.
  • Post-Flow Cooling Circuit - A life-extending circuit that cools down the torch and consumables post-trigger release.

Quick Specs Comparison

Here's a quick comparison of their technical specifications, which is important to determine the basic requirements of the machine.

Hobart Plasma Cutter 40i
Hobart Plasma Cutter 12ci
Hobart Plasma Cutter 27i
 Cut Capacity (Mild Steel) Max. severance cut: 7/8 in. at 50% duty cycle


Max cut: 5/8 in.
 Max. severance cut: 1/8 in.


Max. cut capacity: 1/4 in.
 Max. severance cut: 5/8 in.


Max cut: 3/8 in.

 Current Type Direct Current (DC) N/A N/A
 Cut Amperage Max: 40A
Min: 14A
 Max: 12A
Min: 12A
 Max: 30A
Min: 14A
 Net Dimensions Width: 5.5 in.

Height: 9 in.

Depth: 13.25 in.

Weight (with torch): 21 lbs.
 Width: 8.25 in.

Height: 10 in.

Depth: 13 in.

Weight (with torch): 25.1 lbs.
 Width: 5.5 in.

Height: 9.5 in.

Depth: 13.25 in.

Weight (with torch): 19 lbs.
 Inclusions Hand-held torch, work cable (with clamp), power cord with twist lock plug for Multi-Voltage Plug (MVP) adapters, built-in air/gas filter and regulator, cable management, and extra consumables (tips, shield deflector, and electrode). Hand-held torch, work cable (with clamp), power cord with plug, and extra consumables (tips, standoff
guide, and electrode).
 Hand-held torch, work cable (with clamp), power cord with MVP plugs, built-in gas/air filter, regulator, extra consumables (tips, shield deflector, and electrode), and cable management.

Comparison: Best Features

Are you looking forward to using a Hobart machine now? There's still more for you to discover! Each unit has its unique features, so make sure to look closely and see what they're truly made for.

Professional Portability: Hobart Plasma Cutter 40i

If you are looking for a portable plasma cutter for light to heavy professional metalwork, the 40i is the best choice. It weighs only 21 lbs., which is 30% lighter than its previous unit, so you can move it around easily. Additionally, it has a compact design 50% smaller than the previous version, so it's exceptionally portable.

hobart plasma cutter 40i

Home-Friendly Superior Light Cutting: Hobart Plasma Cutter 12ci

Do you need a reliable cutter for lighter jobs in your small shop or DIY use? The 12ci (formerly known as the Hobart 250ci Plasma Cutter) is the go-to machine for that! The device is easy to operate, so you don't have to go through the stressful assembly process. Moreover, its built-in air compressor contributes to its affordable, compact, and lightweight design. So grab the 12ci if you want easy, convenient, fast, and accurate cutting operations.

hobart plasma cutter 12ci

Flexible, Large-Scale Cutting Little Machine: Hobart Plasma Cutter 27

The Hobart Airforce 27i Cutter is user-friendly thanks to the MVP feature: you can connect it to 120V or 240V power holders without using any extra tools. Additionally, metal preheating, flame tuning, and gas pressure setting are not required to start cutting with this machine.

It is also moderately lightweight and has a cutting capacity larger than its size: 3/8 maximum cut and 5/8 maximum severance cut for mild steel. Because of its compact size, large cut capacity, and easy-to-operate design, the 27i cutter is an impressive tool worth the price.

Comparison: Applications

You might have a selected Hobart cutter in mind now, but we're not done yet! It's time to look at the activities and metals suitable for each machine.

Hobart Plasma Cutter 40i
Hobart Plasma Cutter 12ci
Hobart Plasma Cutter 27i
 Light construction, fabrication, prototyping, auto body repair, HVAC, plumbing, sheet metal, and farm applications

HVAC, sheet metal, plumbing, auto body repair, duct work, hobby workpieces, and artwork 

 Light construction, maintenance, body shops, HVAC, custom shower drains, plumbing, sheet metal, DIY, farm/ranch, metal art, and sculptures
Type of Metal
Steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, coated or painted surfaces, and expanded metal
Conductive metals such as steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminum, and galvanized steel
 Conductive metals such as steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, and aluminum

Comparison: Pricing and Downsides

As of the current Amazon rates, the 12ci is the cheapest option (under $1000), and the 27i is the most expensive option (ranging from $2000).

Watch out for the following limitations of each machine below:

Hobart 40i
Hobart 27i
Hobart 12ci
 Not the most affordable option.  A pricey option.Need to buy consumables and extra accessories separately. 
Needs an additional air filter in gouging applications.
The post flow setting is fixed. Although it’s generally for the best, it is a disadvantage if you want adjustments. 
Weak gouging capability.
 Not compatible for CNC machines/tables/systems. Not compatible for CNC machines/tables/systems. Not compatible for CNC machines/tables/systems.
 The quality is relatively lower than mainstream competitors. Poor quality cuts for aluminum due to absence of high frequency start.  Not the fastest cutter for aluminum and stainless steel.

Final Thoughts

The Hobart plasma cutting machines are worth purchasing since they offer a model for different cutting requirements. Additionally, the features they have make plasma cutting easier, faster, and better. However, it's essential to spend some time researching to understand the details better. We hope this serves as a valuable guide in finding the Hobart cutter you're looking for!

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