Drag cutting vs. holding a stand-off with plasma
A common misconception is that you need to hold the tip of your torch up off the material you're cutting. Generally this is true, unless you are using a Hypertherm plasma system. Hypertherm torches are unique in that you don't have to hold a stand-off. You can drag your torch right on the metal using our shielded consumables. This shield technology, found on the front of the torch, electrically isolates the nozzle from the metal work piece to eliminate a common phenomenon known as double arcing.
There are a couple of advantages to drag cutting. The first is, it makes things easier for the operator. You don't have to worry about having a steady hand. You can simply drag the torch along a straight edge or template. In most cases, you should wind up with a more accurately cut piece.
Drag cutting also helps to increase consumable life as spatter and blow back isn't as much of a problem. Hypertherm offers shielded cutting technology to 200 amps with a hand torch, and up to 800 amps with our machine torches.