Hobart Airforce 500i 115/230 Volt Plasma Cutter Review
If you’re looking for a quality brand name and reliable plasma cutter that will get the job done than look no further. The Airforce 500i by Hobart is our #1 Best all around pick for the top plasma cutter of 2014. Here’s why…
What We Like
When reviewing all of these units we knew that they would all cut heavy thick metal out of the box, but we wanted to test them even further. One of the reasons the Hobart was placed on the top of our list was the attention to detail that Hobart provides. The torch hose is covered in a protective sleeve keeping it safe from sparks and falling metal. The ground cord is long and the clamp itself has a tough grip keeping attached to your metal very easily. The unit’s fan flows with a lot of power, however it doesn’t sound like the unit is about to blow up (like some of the other units we tested). The handle on the top of the unit made it easy to move around and the strap on the back allowed us to secure our hoses when moving the unit.
The torch itself had a great grip and the button was big enough to press even while wearing welding gloves (which is a common problem with smaller units).
How It Cuts
This unit cuts metal like butter. It’s very smooth and cuts with ease. Hobart claims that it only cuts up to 5/8 inch, but from our experience you can cut thicker metal with multiple passes. It’s rated at 5/8’s because that’s what it cuts comfortably. Longevity of the tips of the torch seemed normal and did not wear out faster than normal.
We really enjoyed this plasma cutter because it impressed us in all aspects. The fact that Hobart took the time to pay attention to the little things is what really made us fall in love with this machine. And at’s its price you can’t go wrong!
What We Don’t Like
We wish the unit came with a hard plastic carrying case as it would be easier to throw in the back of a truck. Secondly, we wish that Hobart would allow us to pay more upfront for a longer cord for the torch(This is a personal preference as the cord that comes with it is a decent length)
Overall Grade: A
We are very pleased with this unit and it cuts fantastic. We are proud to give it our “Best All-Around” award!
Useful Accessories For The Hobart 500i
The links of the following items will take you to Amazon.com where I found the lowest price.