Last Updated on September 2020
Just because you want the best doesn’t always mean you need the latest and greatest, and that’s why we’re going to look at the Hypertherm Powermax 30XP. While there are other, newer models available, there’s no reason to pay a premium price for a later model if you don’t have to.
Let’s examine the positives and negatives of investing in the 30XP instead of the new 45XP.
Hypertherm Powermax 30XP Versatility
A plasma cutter is, by its nature, a very versatile piece of equipment, and the 30XP is no exception. Not only is it incredibly simple to use, but it can also handle materials up to 16mm in thickness. As with other plasma cutters, it can handle a wide range of materials and leaves a much cleaner cut than an oxy-fuel system, resulting in less time spent cleaning your kerf. It’s also much more efficient in its use of consumables than other plasma cutters.
Portability is where the Hypertherm Powermax 30XP shines. This unit is one of the most portable plasma cutters available. Weighing less than 22 pounds, the 30XP offers great power in a small package, cutting through steel as fast as two hundred inches per minute. There are other units with more power, but none that offer this kind of power in such a portable go-anywhere package.
How Does It Measure Up Against the New Hypertherm 45XP?
There are differences between the older 30XP and the newer 45, of course.
The 45XP model can offer you a clean cut on even thicker materials than the 30XP, and the newer model does provide more versatility and has a few new features. For example, the newer model uses “Smart Sense” tech to keep air pressure set properly. However, many of the improvements (beyond increased power) could be considered convenience features.
While the 45XP can cut thicker materials, the 30XP offers the same quality of performance and portability. Depending on what jobs you’re looking to perform with your plasma cutter, the differences between the two models may not be worth the extra price attached to the newer model.
Unless you need more power, the 30XP is most likely the best choice based on price alone.
Few Key Differences
The most noticeable difference between the two units is the price, but another key difference is weight. While the Powermax 30XP weighs in under 22 pounds, the 45XP is quite a bit heavier, coming in at a hefty 36 pounds.
As you would expect from the weight difference, the 30XP is also a noticeably smaller unit overall. Both factors are tied into portability with the 30XP much easier to take wherever you need it.
Another difference is the power. With the 30XP being a smaller and lighter unit, it’s no surprise that the 45XP is more powerful. According to Hypertherm, the 45 is rated at 5/8 of an inch, while the 30XP is rated for 3/8 of an inch.
This difference in power may not be worth the additional cost of the newer model, depending on what you want to do.
Hypertherm plasma cutting systems are known as being some of the best plasma cutters on the market, and this model is one of the reasons why. A physically smaller unit with the ability to offer the same precision of plasma cutting, this machine is a markedly less expensive cutter. If the cutting power of the 30XP will do what you need done, you’ll spend anywhere from 25 to 35 percent less by choosing it over the 45XP. While the newer model does offer some new features that aren’t included in the older machine, the 30XP has been one of the finest, most portable plasma cutting systems on the market for years, and even with newer models available that hasn’t changed. The Hypertherm Powermax 30XP is still a reliable workhorse, and reviews remain overwhelmingly positive. You get the Hypertherm quality that’s made this brand’s cutters so famous, the clean kerfs of a plasma cutter, and save money in the process. You can find the 30XP available for sale many places, but on average, Amazon has the best buy on this cutter model—even before you factor in free Prime shipping savings—which at 22 lbs.+ of shipping weight is a must.