Our Review of Hobart 12CI Plasma Cutter for 2022

Last Updated on May 2022

We’re living in a golden age of technology, so why is it so hard to find something as necessary as a “useful” tool? Could it be the competition between leading tech tinkerers isn’t as stiff as it used to be? You’ll be relieved to know that when it comes to arc and plasma machines, there are superb arc welding machines available.

Hobart’s 12CI Plasma cutter is by far the most precious hidden gem in the industrial market, and people who are looking for a powerhouse tool should look no further – this Hobart 12CI plasma cutter review is where you want to be.

Hobart’s Everyday Welder

So what is the Hobart’s Everyday Welder? In essence, it’s a lightweight yet powerful cutting tool that does the job quickly and reliably. It comes outfitted with bleeding-edge technology features, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and it’s among the most versatile welding tools out there, combo models excluded.

This neat little cutting tool can pierce through:

  • brass,
  • copper,
  • aluminum,
  • galvanized steel and
  • stainless steel.

Though lightweight, the Hobart plasma machine boasts a powerful performance due to the built-in air compressor feature. The zones heated up by this cutter are relatively small, which in turns results in less warping.

Overall, this is a great, moderately priced plasma cutter which is perfect for light to medium duty cutting.


The reason why Hobart’s Everyday cutter is so versatile is quite apparent – it’s powerful enough to cut nearly all kinds of materials. Its all-powerful features allow it to cut brass, stainless steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, and copper. It was designed for smaller applications, body shops, hobbyist welders, and light industrial work.

What’s more, it can cut 0.25-inch thick mild steel, and it won’t have any problems in slicing through sheet metal, no matter how strong the metal is. It also comes with predetermined pressure, making it ready to use straight out of the box.


This remarkable plasma cutter is made of highly robust materials, but they’re not entirely responsible for its outstanding level of durability. Namely, Hobart’s Everyday Cutter features the post-flow cooling system which significantly extends the torch’s lifespan, further reinforcing the overall durability of this tool.

What’s more, this plasma machine features built-in troubleshooting indicators which will allow you to quickly check its status, the readiness of the torch, the temperature, and other factors. The next durability feature of interest is the fan-on-demand – this is a cooling fan which will only run when you need it, making it ideal for dusty environments.

Compact Design

Hobart’s Everyday Cutter is versatile, it’s powerful, and it’s as durable as can be. Thus, the question emerges – how did the Hobart manage to squeeze in all of those necessary qualities into such a portable casing?

Hobart’s 12ci plasma machine isn’t precisely weightless, but it’s quite compact. Its actual dimensions are 16.5 inches by 18.5 inches by 11.2 inches, so it’s safe to conclude that you won’t have any problem moving it from place to place.

Price Point

At first sight, the Airforce 12ci seems to be pricy, but let’s take a look at it from a different perspective.

In general, plasma cutters aren’t exactly cheap, and in fact, most models are well above the range of $500. Even though the 12ci is, too, it brings a lot of benefits to the table, and it’s beyond any doubt that it holds enormous value for the cash.


The warranty Hobart offers for their products is incredibly lengthy, and you could read the entire document. What we can tell you about it is that you are entitled to a refund, reparation, or re-supply of parts if anything goes awry within 5 years of your purchase. Hobart earned their reputation for quality work, and they are more than capable of backing up their words.

A Man Welding With Hobart Machine

What Makes Hobart Such a Great Model?

Built-in Air Compressor

The built-in (piston driven) air compressor is what makes this unit incredibly portable as well as easily transportable. The hose is long, and it also provides more mobility to whoever is using the 12ci. Some other models might require you to buy a separate air compressor, but the Hobart saves you from this step.

Portable Design/Weight

Weighing only 31 pounds, Hobart’s 12ci is decently lightweight. As for its compact design, we’ve already mentioned its dimensions in the earlier sections of our review – it can safely be labelled as compact and portable.

Consumables Price

The consumable components of a plasma torch are:

  • shield,
  • retaining cap,
  • nozzle,
  • electrode and
  • swirl ring.

As the name suggests, these components are slowly consumed during the process of cutting and need to be periodically replaced.  As they’re used up, the cutting process becomes harder to control and will at some point stop entirely.

Because every plasma cutter requires consumables, you need to factor their cost into your budget.  Some cutters consume them at faster rates than others, meaning that these machines will actually cost you more in materials over the long run.  The Hobart’s efficiency keeps these costs low, leading to long-term savings when compared to other models.


7.1 Total Score

In a nutshell, Hobart’s 12ci plasma cutter is a piston-driven tool that is incredibly easy to use and comes with pre-set air pressure, meaning you won’t need to tinker with the pressure yourself. It’s more reliable than most less expensive cutting tools, and it comes outfitted with a plethora of convenient features that make it one of the best tools.

User Rating: 2.52 (48 votes)

Disclosure: We make a small commission from Amazon whenever you purchase products following our links (at no additional cost to you). This will never affect our evaluation of products. You can find our full disclosure here.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Welding Insider