When you need to cut pipes on construction sites, sometimes can happen that the access to the electricity can be difficult, or even worse, none-existent. Then you will appreciate a reliable device that is independent on the electrical connection. We introduce the EX-TRACK® PA-1, portable pipe cutter from Thermacut®.

EX-TRACK®PA-1 is a portable cutting system designed for cutting mild steel tubes using an oxy-fuel torch. With this device you can cut pipes up to 600 mm diameter (with the supplied chain) and with wall thicknesses up to 90 mm. The entire cutting process is manually controlled by an operator. As a big advantage we see that no electricity is needed.

The EX-TRACK®PA-1 is a handy cutting tool for use on construction sites, and in workshops, where pipes need to be cut, make a bevel, etc. A flashback arrestor protects the device from flashback and damage.

After installation of two larger wheels (included in the package), you can even cut tubes with diameters smaller than 108 mm, in diameter down to 80 mm. Just swap the wheels. The clutch leveler allows you to quickly move the device onto the desired cutting spot.

Cutting tubes with EX-TRACK® PA-1 is much faster than cutting with a standard grinder and the cut surface is much smoother. The whole device is easy to assemble and it’s easy to use.


Check out the video with an installation guide, step by step:

Download your brochure, operating manual, and fact sheet at

Want to know more about the EX-TRACK®? Visit our website

Text:               Thermacut, k.s.
Photo:            Archive of Thermacut, k.s.



Thermacut® has recently launched a new HD range of the EX-TRAFIRE® plasma cutting systems. What you can expect and where are they applicable? Read on to find out more.

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  • řezání plazmou
  • ex-trafire 45hd
  • řezání plazmou

These powerful plasma cutting systems are designed to meet the rigorous demands of continuous industrial use. The EX-TRAFIRE®HD plasma cutters have a 100% duty cycle for high-quality long cuts in thick sheet metal up to 50 mm and more. In addition to cutting, grid cutting and gouging, they also have an optional marking function. These reliable and durable machines have found a place in many different segments of the industry due to their versatility.

The heavy industry segment

Thanks to their high output power, these machines can deliver continuous top cutting performance and high-removal-rate gouging, which can be used, for example, in the maintenance and manufacture of excavators, tractors or mining machinery. The EX-TRAFIRE®HD range of plasma cutters offers plenty of power for sheets up to 50 mm thick, a wide range of applications, and interfaces for intelligent networking.

Using plasma cutting in heavy industry segment

General fabrication

The EX-TRAFIRE®HD line of plasma systems can do a lot and withstand even more for your industrial production. They provide clean cuts without the need for subsequent work, helping you to achieve higher productivity.

Plasma systems can do a lot for your industrial production.

Structural segment

On the shop floor there is often a need to manually cut large bridge sections or building components. Operators appreciate a flexible plasma cutter that is easy to use and can cut and gouge (weld edge preparation) all types of steel and aluminum.

Manual cutting of large bridge sections or building components.

Shipyards & Offshore

Typical application for the EX-TRAFIRE®HD plasma systems. The construction of ships or foundation structures for offshore wind turbines and drilling rigs requires precise cuts for high-quality components without delay. These new plasma systems are not only extremely robust, productive, and powerful, but also deliver extremely clean and accurate cutting results.

The construction of ships or foundation structures for offshore wind turbines and drilling rigs requires precise cuts.

Automotive & Transport

EX-TRAFIRE®HD plasma systems are also ideal for the manufacture and repair of vehicles and their components. They are ideal for heavy cutting and gouging in production and are perfect for semi-finishing and repair work.

EX-TRAFIRE®HD plasma systems are also ideal for the manufacture and repair of vehicles and their components.

Steel Mills & Steel Service Centers

If you process coils and profiles after fabrication, or if you cut sheet metal for further processing, you need to achieve a high cutting rate and good edge quality at the same time. The powerful EX-TRAFIRE®HD plasma systems are ideal for strong, rapid cuts and a wide range of applications in steel mills and steel service centers.

The powerful EX-TRAFIRE®HD plasma systems are ideal for strong, rapid cuts and a wide range of applications in steel mills and steel service centers.

The energy segment

The EX-TRAFIRE®HD plasma cutting systems are suitable for a wide variety of uses in the energy industry, from pipeline construction to wind power plants and right through to turbines and overhead power lines.

The EX-TRAFIRE®HD plasma cutting systems are suitable for a wide variety of uses in the energy industry, from pipeline construction to wind power plants and right through to turbines and overhead power lines.

The HD range of the EX-TRAFIRE® plasma cutters offers plenty of power for cutting sheet metal up to 50 mm thick and a wide range of applications, including a handy sheet marking function. Make the most of 100% duty cycle for manual cutting up to 50 mm and above, and gouging when removing wear resistant coatings or preparing welds. They are also excellent for mechanized cutting of semi-finished products and are ideal for continuous cutting. All EX-TRAFIRE®HD systems have flexible interfaces that make it easy to implement automated 3D robotic applications.

These plasma cutting systems are machines you can rely on for your daily work, and they improve your productivity. There is nothing more to say, just try it.

Are you interested in plasma cutters? Visit our website, where you can find the complete range of plasma power supplies by Thermacut®.

Not sure which one to choose? We are here for you! Contact us at

Text:               Thermacut, k.s.
Photo:            Archive of Thermacut, k.s.



EX-TRAFIRE® plasma cutters have been an important part of the Thermacut® portfolio for several years, and they are offered to our customers worldwide. A few years ago, one of them was purchased by the Czech Assembly Works company from Uhersky Brod. They got the EX-TRAFIRE®75SD plasma cutter.

Customer using EX-TRAFIRE® 75SD

The company operates worldwide in the field of steel construction for production sites for large wooden materials for the furniture industry, flooring products, or kitchen production. The basic equipment requirement is therefore the ability to thermally cut steel and thin plates up to 20 mm thick (mild steel, Hardox®, aluminum, stainless steel, tubes, sheets) and to cut different shapes at different angles for the creation of such structures.

We have asked Mr. Martin Kočica, the founder and supervisor of the company, for a short interview. He briefly introduced his business, told us what demanding tasks the equipment must fulfill, and why he decided to purchase a plasma cutter by Thermacut®.

Mr. Kočica, tell us please, what is your business about?

Locksmith production, installation of air conditioning, and filtration equipment to achieve the lowest possible amount of production waste into the air.

What does your work involve in practice?

Our activities include building equipment, installation of piping, steel construction, etc.

Why did you decide to invest in a plasma cutter?

We decided to invest mainly for practical reasons. We often need to cut materials and to make irregular shapes, where the angle grinder isn´t a suitable tool to use because of difficult manipulation.

What are the main advantages you see in buying a plasma power supply?

The most important advantage we can see is a considerable decrease in consumption of grinder pads / discs for Hardox® and other steel sheets resistant to abrasion. Other benefits we can highlight are high cutting speed and perfect torch flexibility, even in narrow spaces that are difficult to reach.

How often do you use plasma cutting technology for metal cutting?

On a daily basis.

Why Thermacut®?

Because Thermacut® is a Czech company offering cost-effective machines. We also like the fast communication, availability of consumables, and technical service.  

Would you recommend the investment in a plasma cutter?

Yes, I would.

Have you already experienced our after-sale service? What has it been like?

Yes, I have, and we have had no problem with that.  

Thank you for the interview, your time and we wish you good luck in your business.

Are you interested in plasma cutters? Visit our website, where you can find the complete range of plasma power supplies by Thermacut®.

Not sure which one to choose? We are here for you! Contact us at

Text:               Thermacut, k.s.
Photo:            Archive of Thermacut, k.s.



Are you new to plasma cutting and uncertain about which gases to choose to achieve the best results? Although there is a lot of information everywhere, the average operater, especially a newbie, might get lost quickly. Let´s clear it up once and for all.

Depending on the metal that you´re cutting, you´ll require different types of gases, or a special mixture of gases. In this article we will focus on their main characteristics and recommend which metals various gases are suitable to cut.


The most common plasma cutting gases include compressed air, oxygen, nitrogen mixtures (N2/CO2; N2/H20; and (N2)2/air), and argon-hydrogen. All of them work relatively well on thinner sheets of metal, one-half inch or less (≤ 12 mm), but when the plate thickness increases, fabricators typically use a combination of these gases to improve production.



Compressed air is the most versatile plasma gas, providing good ratio of cut quality and speed on low alloyed steel (mild steel), stainless steel, and aluminum. The big advantage is lower operation cost because it´s not necessary to purchase it. On the other hand, it is necessary to maintain a compressor on a regular basis, and keep it free from any particles or oil mist and moisture. Using compressed air, some kind of oxidation and nitriding can occur on the cut surface, which can cause porosity with a negative impact on the following weldability. The issue is usually corrected by using high-quality weld wire with denitrifiers afterwards.

Suitable for metals:Mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum
Recommended material thickness:Up to 1 inch (≤ 25 mm)
ApplicationCutting, gouging, marking (EX-TRAFIRE® HD line)

The best solution for EX-TRAFIRE® plasma cutting systems is a good-sized air compressor with a gas flow output more than 200 lpm (7.1 scf/m) depending on the type of power supply. The gas pressure value should be at least 0.8 bar (11 PSI) above the required dynamic cutting pressure, depending on the torch type. For example, the FHT-EX®105RTX torch at 105 A requires dynamic pressure of 5.2 bar (75 PSI) / 140 lpm (5 scf/m) for cutting applications. That means the input pressure into the power supply should be at least 6 bar (87 PSI) / 170 lpm (6 scf/min) – including a little buffer reserve. The more lpm the better.


In industry, oxygen is the number one gas for cutting mild steel because of clean, good-quality cuts, leaving only a slight layer of dross (mineral waste formed on the surface of molten metal), that´s ease to remove from the kerf due to the low surface tension. In addition, cutting with oxygen increases cutting speed in comparison with other plasma gases. Oxygen works effectively in combination with other secondary fuels as well. Oxygen isn´t recommended for cutting stainless steel or aluminum.

The main disadvantage of oxygen is the high gas price, and in some cases slightly reduced consumable lifetime. It also doesn´t work on shiny surfaces.

Suitable for metals:Mild steel
Recommended material thickness:Up to 1 ¼ inches (≤ 32 mm)

Oxygen isn´t used and allowed for the EX-TRAFIRE® plasma cutting systems.


Earlier, nitrogen was used in legacy plasma torches. Nowadays nitrogen is often used for higher current plasma systems, for cutting materials up to 3 inches (≤ 75 mm). The best results are achieved while cutting stainless steel and aluminum, but fair cut quality is achieved on mild steel too, although some dross may occur. By itself, it’s most effective on smooth and shiny thin sheets. A bit advantage of nitrogen is excellent cut quality and extended consumables lifetime. On the other hand, nitrogen is an expensive gas.

For thicker metals it´s better to use nitrogen in combination with carbon dioxide, with air, or with argon as a secondary gas.

  • CO2 slightly improves surface finish, increases cutting speed and extends consumables lifetime
  • Air is the best secondary gas when you´re using a nitrogen plasma system
  • Water as a secondary, if the system allows, must be used with a water table
Suitable for metals:Stainless steel, aluminum
Recommended material thickness:Up to 3 inches (≤ 75 mm)

Referring to the first paragraph, compressed air contains around 75% nitrogen, so nitrogen and its mixtures are also suitable gases for the EX-TRAFIRE® power supplies. They are recommended for stainless steel or aluminum cutting.


Argon is a rare, therefore expensive, inert gas, unreactive with the metals being cut. Using argon while cutting is advantageous. It stabilizes the arc and prevents atmospheric contamination of welding pools, but it can´t work alone because of its low conductivity.

Hydrogen is a perfect thermal conductor and can quickly cool hot metal surfaces. For these reasons it is optimal for cutting aluminum and high alloyed steel (stainless steel). Although it has excellent conductivity, its low atomic weight prevents it from having high kinetic energy. Just like argon, it must be combined with other gases.

The standard argon-hydrogen mixture is 65% argon and 35% hydrogen. This argon-hydrogen mixture is the best for thick stainless steel and aluminum plates that exceed 3 inches. For cutting mild steel it isn´t recommended. In addition to cutting, the argon-hydrogen mixture is also suitable for plasma gouging on any materials. Argon-hydrogen provides a straight, very smooth cut, and an almost polished surface on high alloyed steel (stainless steels). The combination offers the maximum cutting capacities. Due to the high purchase price, operation with argon-hydrogen is less economical.

* Prior to use, ensure that your system is safe and compatible with argon-hydrogen gas.

Suitable for metals:Stainless steel, aluminum
Recommended material thickness:Up to 4 inches (≤ 100 mm)
ApplicationCutting, gouging, marking

Argon and its mixtures are suitable for the EX-TRAFIRE® power supplies for marking application using the EX-TRAFIRE® HD line. Compared to compressed air, marking with argon will prevent grooves that are too deep and wide. In other words, you can achieve better results.


Considering the most common materials you cut, their thickness, required cut quality and your financial requirements, here are some brief conclusions:

  • The most economical and versatile gas for plasma cutting is clean compressed air, which fits for mild and stainless steel, and aluminum as well
  • Oxygen is the best for mild steel cutting, where air is used as a shielding gas, with good cut quality, fast cutting speed and only a low, easily removable dross
  • When you need to cut mainly stainless steel and aluminum, use nitrogen plasma in combination with CO2 to reach the best cost-performance ratio
  • For very thick stainless steel and aluminum plates, argon-hydrogen in combination with nitrogen as a secondary gas is the best choice to get a perfect cut quality for the cost

The most suitable plasma gas for the EX-TRAFIRE® plasma cutting systems is clearly compressed air. The main benefits are reduced initial and operating cost, and easy accessibility (just a compressor with correctly set parameters).

A possible alternative for cutting stainless steel or aluminum is nitrogen. Using nitrogen requires only slight adjustment of cutting parameters compared to the compressed air.

For the purpose of marking plates with the EX-TRAFIRE® HD line, the best choice is clearly argon. Using a special range of consumables for marking applications, you can achieve nice, smooth, mild, and narrow grooves.

We hope you found this article useful. If you need any advice in this area, do not hesitate to contact us. You can contact us at this email address:

Text:               Thermacut, k.s.
Photo:            Archive of Thermacut, k.s.

CUTTING NEWS Uncategorized


On Friday September 16, Thermacut® celebrated its 30th anniversary. Thermacut® is originally a Czech company that has long enjoyed a reputation as a reliable employer with a friendly internal atmosphere, a welcoming company culture and, above all, a strong pro-customer approach. It currently employs around 280 people and has extensive sales representation in 26 countries worldwide.


The celebration organized for employees and eminent personalities associated with the history of the company took place in Uherske Hradiste in the glamorous premises of the Reduta complex. The official opening ceremony featured remarks by the Managing Directors Mr. Andreas Böckling, Mr. Dušan Loukota and Mr. Stanislav Sládek. Afterward, attendees enjoyed a rich program.

The highlight of the evening was the performance of a magician and his assistant, who performed spectacular illusions in the style of David Copperfield, accompanied by emotional music. We admired a levitating table, enjoyed candle and rope tricks, were breathless while the magician pierced his assistant’s head, and much more. An excellent display of bartending skill followed as the second act. Accompanied by modern music and his own UV (ultraviolet) effects, the professional barman performed bartending tricks that saw bottles, glasses, shakers, ice, and straws flying in the air.

Around 10 p.m., the raffle prizes were drawn, including a luxury wellness stay at the Abacie Hotel in Nový Jičín, dinner for two, and gift vouchers.

The excellent band Foxy Hunters played in the main hall for listening and dancing, while the cymbal band Falešnica delighted the lovers of dulcimer music. During the evening, guests could also have their portraits drawn by a professional caricaturist or take a funny photo in the photo corner.

We believe everybody enjoyed this special event and hope we will meet again to celebrate another considerable Thermacut® jubilee.


Let´s recall the main historical milestones in the gallery.

Visit the official Thermacut® web site and join to the world of thermal cutting.

Text:               Thermacut, k.s.

Photos:          archive of Thermacut, k. s.


During a daily routine cutting process, and if the operator is doing everything correctly, it is almost impossible to know how the torch will react in non-standard conditions. For example, how it reacts when the torch is overheated, or the nozzle gets blocked. Thermacut® has come up with a solution to simulate these extreme conditions, and to provide testing of its EX-TRAFLAME® oxy-fuel cutting torches according to the international standards.

A specially designed ISO test device by Thermacut® is able to simulate extreme conditions such as a flash back initiation, or torch overheating. These tests, which are clearly specified by international directive, also help development engineers to propose innovations focused on improving the lifetime and resistance of torches.

The EX-TRAFLAME® oxy-fuel torches are tested according to the international directive EN ISO 5172 specifying the requirements for testing torches for flame welding, heating, and metal cutting. The directive is valid for machine torches with a cutting range of up to
300 mm. The purpose of the test is to prove the durability of the torch against constant flash back.


The torch is most exposed to high temperatures while piercing the metal sheet. The torch stands at the same position and the heat from a flame (reaching approximately 3000 °C with Acetylene) is heating the nozzle and torch body. Depending on the material thickness, the standard preheating time is approximately 1 minute. There are known cases when an operator is exceeding the preheating time too much, which causes damage to the torch. Simulation of the torch overheating helps us to know how the torch will react in this extreme situation and how resistant it is to rough handling. At the same time, it gives us valuable feedback and an opportunity to innovate the torch design further to reach the best cutting results.

Simulation of the torch overheating

During the test, the torch is lit inside a metal basin that is submerged in a medium-sized container filled with water. The heat is reflected from the walls of the metal basin to reinforce heating the torch. The above-mentioned directive specifies that the nozzle must be exposed to the back heat from a standard (neutral) flame for 3 minutes. During that time no flash back can appear.


Testing the torch resistance in the situation when the nozzle orifice gets blocked simulates the two most frequent mistakes while cutting. The first one is the torch hitting the metal sheet, caused either by an operator´s mistake or by a failure of the Torch Height Control. The second mistake is an incorrectly made pierce caused by too slow torch speed, or even no torch speed, and afterward the melted material blocks the nozzle. Such mistakes lead to the flash backs into the torch body and cause damage.

Flash back simulation

A rotating pedestal is installed on the test rig and a sample of the copper material is then placed on the pedestal. There are five grooves on the material surface. The front surface of the nozzle is brought into sliding contact with the segment. The test directive specifies 30 interruptions of the flame in total. The torch test shall be considered satisfactory if there is no sustained flash back during five complete rotations. In the event of a sustained flash back, the test must be stopped immediately!

Check out the video showing the torch passing the tests
(slow motion picture)

While performing ordinary cutting, when the operator is doing everything correctly, it is difficult to know how the torch behaves when exposed to extreme conditions. That was the main reason why Thermacut has come up with a solution to simulate these conditions, and more. Based on these test results, development engineers can propose torch design enhancements to improve the durability of the EX-TRAFLAME® torches. It is necessary to mention that during the tests no material is cut. So, these tests save money, time, and protect the health of the staff. The other benefit is a high variety of test condition settings, such as a time extension, adding device rotations etc. The Thermacut® torches are tested properly. So, the customers can be sure that the EX-TRAFLAME® torches are durable, reliable, and completely safe.

For more information about the EX-TRAFLAME® oxy-fuel cutting torches and other products, please see our website

Was the article interesting for you? For more information please do not hesitate to contact us at the following email:

Text:               Thermacut, k.s.;

Photos:           archive of Thermacut, k. s.



In many areas of industry, heavily stressed functional surfaces are reinforced by deposition welding protective coatings. During the service life of a component, it often makes sense to remove worn protective layers and to apply new protective coatings to the heavily stressed areas. Here, the plasma gouging process offers an economical and ecologically responsible alternative to the conventional removal process with carbon rod electrodes.

In cooperation with a German specialist for the production and regeneration of complex wear protection systems, Thermacut® has qualified plasma gouging as a process suitable for the thermal removal of worn wear protection layers on tool joints and stabilizers on components from the offshore industry.

In preliminary tests with Thermacut® FHT-EX® plasma gouging torches, the suitability of the process for the common iron- and nickel-based wear protection alloys was first demonstrated. Furthermore, the specific advantages of the plasma gouging process were shown, especially in comparison to the conventional process with carbon electrodes. 


  • higher material removal rate,
  • lower noise emissions,
  • easier handling,
  • smoother and cleaner surfaces
  • no rework
  • more targeted process control 

Due to the high thermal effect (22 kW electric arc power) of the plasma jet, coating thicknesses between 1 and 8 mm can be removed in a single operation. Although the PGP (plasma gouging process) can be used effectively with flat and irregular surfaces, it reveals its full advantages in automated use with rotationally symmetrical components such as tool joints and stabilizers. Through continuous movement of the Thermacut® FHT-EX® plasma torch, old wear protection coatings are removed evenly with constant surface quality. The component surfaces can thus be protected for renewed use with new welds after removal by PGP without further post-processing.

Check out both videos showing FHT-EX® torches used for gouging 

Are you interested in the modern and capable FHT-EX® plasma cutting and gouging torch made by Thermacut®? Visit the web site, download a catalogue and contact your local Thermacut® office.

Text: Thermacut, k.s.
Photos: archive of Thermacut, k. s.



Most producers are facing strong competition, and to be successful they must earn a customer’s trust. A good, long-term relationship is usually based on stable product quality, high-level customer support, and finally on the availability of technical support. As Thermacut® has evolved over the 30 years of its existence, from an aftermarket producer to an OEM and solutions provider, it can afford a comparison.  


Today there is an increased emphasis on product quality. First, the quality is determined by materials used, and that is the same for all producers. What makes the difference is the level of processing technology and construction properties.

The more modern machine facilities the company has at its disposal, the more perfect and precise processing can be achieved. Consistency in quality control is important, of course.

Construction properties

An experienced development team is dedicated to parts enhancement, focusing on the improvement of their useful properties. Suggested solutions are subsequently evaluated in the test laboratory, where parts are proven with demanding lifetime and cut quality tests. 


Since the goal is not to lower the parts quality, which is usually the same or even better than OEM, affordability must be achieved other way. For example, better affordability can be realized through high volume production or simply by a lower trading margin than OEMs to remain competitive.  


In addition to price, the friendly, personal approach of the Sales Department and good after-sales service are often crucial from the customer´s point of view. Selecting a suitable supplier involves more than price comparison and product quality. The selection process must also consider the existence of skilled and competent staff that can provide a variety of services.


From the very beginning, the Thermacut® company put an emphasis on high quality and product innovations, whose design construction was often patent protected. The Thermacut® R&D Department is dedicated to enhancement of existing technologies in the field of plasma, laser and oxy-fuel cutting. The test laboratory has been founded for evaluating new parts, and it serves as a training centre as well. The effort and energy invested are worth it in the long term. Basically, we can say that the elementary capabilities of the Thermacut® company and OEM producers don´t differ.


Thermacut® Smart Solution replacement parts suitable for Hypertherm® Powermax® 65,85,105 and Duramax® hand/machine torch

How do these parts differ from originals? They differ in a unique solution using a two-piece swirl ring, patented elliptical nozzle shape, and unique design of the shield and retaining cap. Using these parts in a set, they can also be assembled into the OEM torch. These innovative products provide consumers lots of benefits such as enhanced lifetime of the replacement parts, better cooling, and high cut quality.

Elliptical nozzles suitable for Hypertherm®

The patented elliptical shape of the nozzle combined with shield and retaining cup use a modified gas flow design, which offers improved consumable cooling and focusing of the plasma arc with a strong gas shielding barrier. This results in improved consumable lifetime and cut quality and resistance against the blowback of melted metal.

SilverEX-® electrodes

The fact is, silver conducts electricity better than copper. So Thermacut® engineered an electrode from end to end using solid, pure silver and combined it with special alloys to increase overall durability. Because more power is delivered directly to the cut, you can dramatically increase your cutting speed up to 40%. But silver has another unique property. It transfers heat better than copper, which means your torch with a SilverEX-® Electrode will run cooler. The cooler your torch operates, the longer all your consumables will last.

SilverPRO electrodes

Thermacut’s new SilverPRO electrodes are the optimal combination of a copper electrode body and silver-pro insert. Our solid silver insert conducts the flow of electricity extremely well and simultaneously dissipates the heat of the plasma arc better than standard electrodes, resulting in longer electrode life. All this for lower costs compared to electrodes made entirely from silver.

Patent protected design of Thermacut replacement parts suitable for ESAB® IPQ

Using a unique design solution, this set of consumables for oxy-fuel cutting offers a proven positive effect on the parts lifetime thanks to the layout of the sealing elements on the outer and inner diameters of parts.

In the end, the final decision of which supplier to choose is up to the customer. Should he trust the OEM manufacturer or decide to build a relationship with an alternative supplier? Both try to maximize customer satisfaction. Indeed, with the same level of material inputs and using the same production technology, very similar results and cut quality are achieved. There are other crucial factors that matter, such as price policy, availability of the parts, and customer and technical support. That´s why getting Original doesn´t always mean getting the best.

Learn more about whole Thermacut® assortment and visit the official web site

*Thermacut® is no way affiliated with Hypertherm®, Kjellberg® and Esab®.

Text:   Thermacut, k.s.
Photos:   archive of Thermacut, k. s.



Cutting small holes with an air plasma system is a challenging task. It usually requires advanced professional skills and work experience. Deep knowledge of the plasma technology, material characteristics and proper setting of the machine are the key factors for great cutting performance.

One of the most frequently asked questions from our customers at professional training sessions and meetings is how to cut the best small circle holes. In the previous published article Make your tinsmithing work easier with a small yet powerful plasma cutter” we described cutting small holes with a handheld plasma cutter. This time let´s focus on how to cut small holes with a mechanized air plasma system. For metal sheets with a thickness of minimum of 5mm, we speak of a small hole with a diameter equal to or less than twice the thickness of the metal being cut.

The machine operators often face a challenge to achieve good cut quality. The top of the cut piece is more or less satisfactory, but the hole cross-section tapers towards the bottom side and thus the cut surface is not square.

What are the most important factors affecting the circle cut quality?

1. THC (Torch Height Control) ensuring the automatic control of torch to workpiece distance.

2. The top-quality plasma system with a reliable torch. The plasma system needs to operate with the highest accuracy, no vibration, ensuring smooth torch movement on the CNC gantry cutting machine.

3. Offline programming software supporting the adjustment of cutting parameters suitable for small circle cutting, such as cutting speed setup, auto speed reduction, pierce position, torch height, kerf width, lead in and lead outs.

The system should be able to recognize a small circle and automatically apply adjusted parameters, which is usually the same as the contour cuts, in order to achieve the best results and to avoid possible mistakes. The pierce itself should start on the piercing height in the middle of the circle. Afterwards the THC moves the torch into the correct cutting height, leads in and starts cutting the circle.

The CNC control system should be able to distinguish the material thickness and be able to decrease the cutting speed in comparison with the straight edge cutting speed at a given material thickness. What is also very important is finishing the cut. Try to overburn the trajectory leading into the kerf where the start-cut was, with the torch remaining at the same height. That way the starting point will be less visible. This all is automatically set by the smart software blocking the THC control during the circle cutting operation.

Remember that good cut quality is often the combination and seamless interaction of a high-quality torch, programming software, CNC machine accuracy, condition of the consumables, and THC system.

Complementary information

Check out the video’s series with the correct settings of

EX-TRACK®CNCto reach the best results.

EX-TRACK®CNC – basic settings for plasma cutting

EX-TRACK®CNC – plasma torch position set up

The portable EX-TRACK®CNC cutting system can operate both plasma and oxy-fuel cutting torches with great results.

Have you already tried the FHT-EX®105RTX torches? The high-quality torches suitable for EX-TRAFIRE®55SD/75SD/100SD plasma cutting systems.

Learn more about whole Thermacut® assortment and visit the official web site

Text: Thermacut, k.s.
Photos: archive of Thermacut, k. s.



In order to achieve the best cutting results with the EX-TRABEAM® laser cutting heads, cleaning and regular maintenance are the top priority. The reward for regular service and maintenance of the EX-TRABEAM® laser cutting heads is reflected in cutting performance, reliability, and cost effectiveness. Read on and learn how to take care of the EX-TRABEAM®.


The following steps are necessary to achieve the best results with your cutting head.

After 8 hours of continuous cutting, visually check the condition of the nozzle and ceramic, clean both parts. After 24 hours, check and clean the nozzle, ceramic and the sensor insert. When needed change any damaged or worn parts.

Once a week check the process cover slide, that are most exposed to a dirt, fumes, smoke, and debris. In a contaminant free work area, clean the cover slide using the recommended liquid solution *Methanol. If the cover slide can no longer be cleaned or is found to be damaged, it must be replaced. Check the distance between the nozzle and the worksheet, if there is a discrepancy between the measured distance and the sensor unit display, recalibration of the cutting head will be necessary.

Regularly clean the external surfaces of the cutting head. Inspect all gas, compressed air and water connections. Check cable connections, including the laser cable.

*Methanol is safe to use when handled correctly, following the manufacturers guidelines, wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, use in a well-ventilated area.

Was this article interesting? For more information please do not hesitate in contacting us at the following email:, or visit our website  

Text:Thermacut, k. s
Photo: archive of Thermacut, k. s.