We Review Hypertherm’s Powermax 30 XP Plasma Cutter

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Home » Plasma Cutters » We Review Hypertherm’s Powermax 30 XP Plasma Cutter

In this Powermax 30 XP review we’re taking a look at one of the most flexible plasma cutting systems on the market. 

Billed as a more portable than it’s big brothers (the Powermax 45 and the Powermax 65)  the 30 XP offers the same durability and reliability as it’s bigger brothers, but in a more compact package.  Here are just a few of the highlights of the 30 XP.

  • Lightweight – weighs in at just 21.4 pounds
  • Cuts up to 3/8″ steel at 20IPM (inches per minute) and 1/2″ at 10IPM.
  • Auto voltage technology allows both 120V and 240V operation
  • High power for thicker metals and FineCut consumables for more delicate work.

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Powermax 30 XP Performance Specs



Cut Speed

Rated Cutting

3/8″ (10mm) , 1/2″ (12mm)

20 IPM / 10 IPM

Sever Cuts

5/8″ (16mm)




Duty Cycle

35% @ 240V and 20% @ 120V

Our Hypertherm Powermax 30 XP Review

Admittedly there are cheaper plasma cutters out there with similar specs, but the 30 XP is in a different league from these cutting systems. (also see our Lotos plasma cutter review)

How so?

Hypertherm is American-made.  They stand behind each of they’re products with one of the best service reputations in the industry. 

There are dozens of Chinese brands out there based on similar designs, but guess what happens when something goes wrong? 

You’re SOL.  

These manufacturers provide ZERO service other than returning the unit for another that could very likely have the same problem.  

This might be OK for someone who’s not relying on their product for their business.  But if you need a tool you can lean on day in and day out there is NO comparison.

So if you’re looking for a high performance cutting system that can handle loads of use the Hypertherm 30 XP is a solid choice.  Hypertherm has more plasma cutting patents than anyone else in the game.  Yes they’re prices are high, but you only pay for quality once. 


Using the Powermax30 XP is simple and straight-forward. To get started you’ll need to connect the power and the gas supply.  There are plugs for both 120V and 240V operation.  Obviously you’ll get a great deal more out of the machine at 240V.

You’ll need a separate air compressor to operate the 30 XP.  (The Powermax 30 AIR has it’s own compressor built in)  This can be either a standard air compressor (minimum 99.1 l/min at 4.7 bar (3.5 scfm at 68 psi).  The system has an internal filter, but additional filtering may be required depending on the quality of the gas supply.

A high quality air supply is an important consideration as cut speed, cut quality, and consumable life are all adversely affected by poor air quality.

The amperage control on the front of the unit adjusts power output. Adjust this dial based on the thickness of the material you’re working with as well as the distance of the tip from the surface of the metal.

The torch is ergonomically shaped and comfortable to grip.  Operation is very simple and easy to use even over extended usage. This is an important feature as it makes extended cuts easy on the hands translating to straighter cuts.

The 30 XP is designed to be highly portable. Tipping the scales at 21lbs it’s relatively light and comes with a hard plastic case. 

What Makes This Unit One of the Best?

An investment in a tool like the Powermax 30 XP is not insubstantial.  Reliability and durability are key for any tool upon which you depend.

It’s Built for Performance

While it has substanital price tag the Powermax 30 XP is built from the ground up to be a cutting system you can depend on day in and day out.  Simple setup and easy controls allow you to setup and get to work in very little time.  The cutting capabilities offer both high power for thicker cuts and precision for more delicate work.

Consumable Life

Hypertherm understands that consumable life affects profitability.  Another important benefit of the Powermax 30 XP is that it can operate on less consumables than comparable cutting systems. In fact it is 170% more efficient than other models. Over the run this focus on efficiency helps to offset the higher retail price point.

Simple Setup & Operation

Because of the patented drag-cutting technology, this cutter is very easy to use. This means that both pros and beginners can spend less time learning and more time getting to work. 

American Made

Hypertherm’s line of products are made right here in the U.S.A. This unit is designed from the ground up to be a workhorse that performs well through years of heavy use. It is built to be a reliable workhorse that is powerful and dependable.

Final Thoughts

The Powermax 30 XP is undoubtedly one of the top performing plasma cutters on the market. It has everything you need to get clean and consistent cuts on anything up to 1/2″ thick.  It works on just about any type of metal.  With it’s consumable options it excels at both more delicate cuts and thicker cuts.

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About the Author

Karl is a former welder and landscaper who now enjoys tinkering and teaching at his local DIY shop. His favorite shop activities are TIG welding and plasma cutting. In his spare time he also enjoys deer and elk hunting in the mountains of Oregon. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and can contact him via email.