Hand cutting with Powermax SYNC

Posted on 10/15/2021 in Setup and support, Plasma cutting

The Powermax SYNC™ plasma cutting system can be used for various cutting and gouging applications. This video will show how to get the best results when handheld cutting with Powermax SYNC systems.

Setting up the Powermax SYNC plasma cutter for hand cutting

  1. Before operating the Powermax SYNC, be sure the torch, work cable, and gas supply are properly connected, and the work-clamp is attached to ground.

  2. Next, install the appropriate cartridge onto the SmartSYNC™ torch.

    • If you prefer to drag-cut, use a yellow drag-cutting cartridge that corresponds to the amperage setting you plan to use. The drag-cutting cartridge has protruding castellations that can touch the plate when cutting.

    • If you prefer to hold a stand-off – cutting by lifting the torch off the plate – install a gray cartridge.

    • For help identifying cartridges and their function, reference the decal on top of the Powermax SYNC. The decal shows the image, amperage, and part number for each cartridge. There is an icon next to each cartridge that represents the application. You can also find cartridge information in the operator manual.

  3. Now that you have installed the cartridge, power the system ON, and move the torch-lock switch into the green position.

  4. There are 2 cut modes on the display panel you can chose from. One mode is ideal for cutting plate. The other mode, represented by dashed lines, is ideal for cutting expanded or grated metal. Select the mode that makes the most sense for your cutting needs. You are now ready to cut.

  5. Place the torch at the edge of the material. Hold the torch perpendicular to the workpiece so that the cartridge is at a 90-degree angle to the cutting surface.

  6. When ready, flip the trigger’s safety cover forward toward the torch head and depress and hold the red torch trigger.

  7. Once the torch has established a pilot arc and transfer is made, drag the torch lightly along the workpiece and maintain a steady speed. Pulling or dragging the torch along the cut is more effective than pushing. An ideal speed will produce sparks that lag behind the torch at a 15- to 30-degree angle below the plate.

  8. If sparks spray up from the workpiece, it means the speed is too fast for the material being cut. Reduce the speed until the sparks exit below the plate.

There are tools and guides available to help with straight-line and/or circle and radius cutting applications. You can also make your own templates and use them for specific jobs.

How to pierce material

There may be times when you need to pierce the material. Piercing can produce molten blow-back into the torch which can potentially damage the cartridge. This is more likely to happen on thicker material. To prevent blow-back issues:

  1. Hold the torch at a 30-degree angle to the workpiece with the torch tip about 1/16 inch, or 1.5mm, above the plate.

  2. Fire the torch and slowly rotate the torch to a perpendicular or 90-degree position.

  3. Hold the torch in place while continuing to press the trigger.

  4. When sparks exit below the workpiece, the arc has pierced the material.

  5. Once the pierce is complete you can drag the cartridge lightly along the workpiece and proceed with the cut.


Watch more how-to videos to help you get the most use out of your plasma cutter in a variety of applications.




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