AHP AlphaCut 60 Plasma Cutter Review

AHP Alphacut 60 Plasma CutterAHP make low cost, solid tools that don’t have any extraneous technology or unnecessary flair, and this AHP Alphacut 60 plasma cutter follows that template, almost to the tee.

When you buy this, you aren’t buying some top of the line, ridiculously expensive cutter with a dozen features you’re never going to use. Instead, you’re getting a system that’s powerful enough for general use, with a couple of nice touches that you’d expect to see on higher end machines.

Whilst you’re not going to get the same performance as you would with an high end plasma cutter, you’re also not paying high end prices, so as we normally recommend, take a moment to think about what you plan to use it for. If you just need a machine that’s going to perform in general, day to day cutting, with a solid duty cycle and good performance across the board, this definitely isn’t a bad choice.

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Quick Cut Specs

Weight: 47.4 lbs (21.5 kgs)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 22x10x20″ (559x254x508mm)
Type: IBGT
Power Requirements: 110-220V
Amps: 60A
Torch: IPT-60 with 20ft lead
Compressor required: Yes
Minimum Compressor (CFM): 5.5 CFM @ 70 PSI
CNC Capable: No
Warranty: 3 years parts and labor on manufacture defects, 6 months on the accessories.

Key Features

First impressions of the machine are good. It’s well built and seems solid and reliable. We’ve heard a few instances of wiring and control chip issues, but that’s all covered by AHP’s 3 year warranty, and it’s something that can happen with any piece of complicated machinery, so it’s not something I would concern myself with.

AHP Alphacut 60 Plasma CutterThe front console is well laid out and easy to read at a glance, with a large air pressure indicator, well laid out warning lights, and huge analog dials that are really easy to grasp and use, even in gloves. There’s no LED readout or high tech controls, but when you’re in the middle of a heavy work day, simplicity is never a bad thing.

The torch is basic, but easy to handle, especially when you factor in the tech that AHP added to this system. Blow back start makes it simple to get going, and once you’re down and on metal the pilot arc system keeps you cutting, even if you hit rust, paint or grime. There’s the capacity to drag cut right out of the box, as well, which is great if that’s something you’re looking for, especially if you’re a relative beginner.

There’s a simple to use post flow control system, which is great for extending the life of your torch and consumables, and the consumables themselves are available online for pretty reasonable value. That’s a nice touch, especially considering some of the smaller brands really try to gouge you on consumables, as a way to pump up profits. We’ve even seen some on eBay, which makes it even cheaper to keep this thing running.

When it comes to cutting, this really is a machine of two halves. When you’ve got it plugged into a 110V power supply, you’re not going to be happy. The performance on 110V is actually pretty dire, struggling to cut through material a system running half the amps could cut through, around 1/8” mild steel, with anything thicker causing issues. Not to mention the pulsing problem that starts to occur as you ramp up the amperes.

But then you plug it into a 220V supply, and the thing comes to life. Once you give this the power it needs and get it down onto material, it’s actually really impressive. At 220V and 60A this can easily cut through anything up to 3/8” steel without struggling at all, which we found really surprising. That’s the sort of performance you’d expect to see on a system twice the price. Plus it cuts fast, with a pretty clean finish.

However, I will say that ability to run this off of 110V means you should be able to run it off of larger generators, and considering that it’s relatively portable, it does give you the option for mobility.

One of the things we really like about this cutter though, is the great duty cycle. It’s far better that I was expecting, at a great 60% even at maximum power, so you can keep cutting for longer.

We’ve already mentioned that this can run on both 110V and 220V power, and the switch is as simple as adding an adaptor onto the plug. The adaptor comes with it, too, which is nice, as again, sometimes you see manufacturers trying to charge extra.

Honestly though, I wouldn’t buy this if I was just planning on using it with 110V. The performance just isn’t there. However, the power you get when you plug it into 220V more than makes up for that.

Ratings

Green Check Blow back start and pilot arc makes starting this up and keeping an arc as you cut as simple as pulling the trigger.

Green Check Dual voltage power supply with just one change of a plug.

Green Check Exceptional duty cycle, with a minimum duty cycle of 60%, even at max amps.

Green Check Able to drag cut straight out of the box, and has the option for a roller guide from AHP.

Green Check Easy availability of consumables, and they’re not too expensive either.

Green Check Solid 3 year warranty.

Conclusion

For the price, this is a great machine. You get good performance, with fast, clean cutting at a really good duty cycle, and it’s simple to set up and easy to run.

Like I’ve been saying, though, make sure you have the option to run it off of 220V, because the performance on 110V is lacklustre. If you’ve got the capacity for that, though, then this is an effective and powerful machine that really does cut incredibly well. And you can’t ask for more than that.

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