Forney 20P Plasma Cutter Review
Last updated ago
4 min read
Welding Buddy Experts
December 9, 2021

Forney 20P Plasma Cutter Review

Last updated ago
4 min read
Welding Buddy Experts
December 9, 2021

Forney has established a reputation for itself as a company that supplies industry-standard equipment while emphasizing a balance of cost and serviceability. The brand has introduced a modest range of plasma cutters that aren't universally popular but are favored by particular groups of customers. One thing to keep in mind is that none of these machines are compatible with CNC installations.

Reasons to get the Forney Easy Weld 20P Plasma Cutter

Forney's plasma machines are perfect for automobile repairs, maintenance (farm, ranch, and residential), HVAC, plumbing, and metal fabrication. 


Cuts: It can easily cut mild steel, aluminum, and stainless steel from thin material to 6.35 millimeters.

Easy to use: You only need a 120-volt power supply and 1.5 CFM of compressed air to get started.

Drag torch technology: This lets you slide the cutting tip directly against the metal you are cutting for smooth, clean cuts.

Light and portable: Because the generator is portable, cutting and transferring to different job locations is feasible.

Rugged: The entire casing is made of metal, designed for day-to-day use and abuse.


  • Industrial construction 
  • 1/4-inch steel cutting
  • Friendly to generators
  • Torch connection of 13 feet
  • Cutting using a drag torch


  • Only 120 volts are permitted.
  • Expensive for its degree of power

Forney 20P Plasma Cutter Review: Main Features and Benefits

This 120V machine is surprisingly robust and lightweight. It's capable of handling steel up to 1/4-inches thick with a 20-amp power setting. It's lightweight at 21 pounds, so you won't sweat beads while carrying it around the home, workshop, or wherever your job takes you. With industrial features, a 13-foot long torch, and other handy features that are challenging to find with a model at this price point, the Forney Easy Weld 20P is a professional unit you can rely on.

Forney has been manufacturing welding equipment for over 90 years and understands what it takes to maintain a plasma cutter running in a modern industrial context.

Of course, this machine isn't exactly flawless, and if your work volume reaches mass-production levels, you might want to consider upping your choice to a much more powerful machine. When manufacturing hitches, changing frames, or designing suspension elements, 1/4-inch pushes the borders. Forney provides excellent customer service and a one-year guarantee on Forney 20P plasma cutter parts.

Cutting Capacity

It can cut through mild, stainless, and galvanized steel and copper and brass, with a maximum cut thickness of 1/4′′. When cutting through metal, you may obtain as fine a finish as 3/16′′. Sheet metal up to 3/8-inch thick can be precisely cut. Isn't it something to behold?

While these features are fabulous, you can expect the work speed to be slower than expected because of the additional cleaning that might be needed for the edges when working with any ⅜-inch thick metal.

Caution: You may want to cut through the paint and deep rust on occasion, if not usually. For the arc to burn away the corrosion and paint, you must maintain electrical flow continuity at all times.

Drag-cutting and Pilot Arc

Drag Cutting enables the user to drag the torch's tip over the surface of the material. It implies that you may glide the torch across the surface to achieve smooth, clean, and accurate cuts. It also assures that metalworkers with less expertise will not mess up the Forney 20P plasma cutter tips while cutting.

The pilot arc guarantees that you may maneuver the plasma cutter over tiny gaps without fear of the arc extinguishing. Beginner welders may find the pilot arc and drag cutting confusing to attempt at first, but they will soon realize the ease and convenience these features provide with gradual practice.

Automated Air Regulation

There's an internal regulator to regulate air pressure and a drier to keep the air dry that you can't see unless you remove the case. Hence, the machine gets as much clean gas as it needs to do various cuts at changing speeds under varied conditions.

Because both novices and seasoned experts struggle to meet these criteria, this feature should be considered mandatory rather than optional.

Duty Cycle

If the duty cycle had been the sole metric for judging a plasma cutter's quality, the Forney 20P plasma cutter would be hugely ignored due to its duty cycle rating of 35% at 20 amps. So should you still consider the Forney 20P?

You don't have to worry if it actually works for 3.5 minutes and then requires another 6.5 minutes to cool because the promise holds even during intensive applications. 3.5 minutes is enough to get great work done as well as giving your muscles some needed rest.

Thermal Overload Protection and a Cooling System

When the duty cycle is surpassed, the heat protection mechanism kicks in, shutting down the continuing cutting activity. When the cooling is complete, it immediately resumes the plasma cutting output. Because it is an automated function, the user does not need to engage with it for a single second.

The machine's cooling system, which uses a cooling fan incorporated into the housing, is a post flow system, which means it only works after ensuring that the airflow is sufficient to last the life of the consumables; this extends the life of the consumables.


  • Can I use a generator with the Forney 20P Plasma Cutter?

You may surely rely on the generator for its function! Make sure that the power supply has a continuous output of at least 4000 watts, including "low idle off or low idle' options.

  • Can This Plasma Cutter Handle Expanded Metal?

The Forney Forums indicates that the cutter can handle expanded metal, which, in part, is due to the pilot arc feature. However, the disadvantage lies in the fact that you can't restart the arc without the machine undergoing a necessary "cooling purge" of the airflow.  


Of course, for anyone looking forward to developing their metal fabricating prowess to the next level or completing large-scale applications, the Forney 20P will not be a very useful piece of equipment. Instead, this machine is designed for beginner-friendly projects, such as minor home repairs and renovations. It is highly reliable in such applications. To sum it up—good drag cutting capabilities and strong cutting performance are irrespective of materials, whether it’s steel or aluminum. When you consider these features, the Forney 20P is a fantastic choice for a plasma cutter unless you have a hard and fast rule on the duty cycle.

We hope our review of the Forney 20P plasma cutter provides valuable insight into plasma cutters in general and what equipment you need for specific applications.

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