best plazma cutter

5 Easy Fixes For Plasma Cutter Not Cutting Right?

Plasma Cutter Not Cutting Right

Plasma cutter not cutting right? Let’s talk about it! So you’ve got your plasma cutting machine all set up and your ready to start cutting! Until you realise somethings not right… my plasma cutter is not cutting right!! Your heart may be starting to race, your brain may be scrambling to try and work out what you’ve done wrong or what’s wrong with the machine. This is where our troubleshooting guide on “Plasma Cutter Not Cutting Right” comes in to hopefully give you a guiding hand. So read on below for the most common reasons for why your plasma may be just not cutting right.

Common Causes For A Bad Cut Or Why Your Plasma Cutter Not Cutting Right:

1. Nozzle and Electrode Condition –

Nozzle and electrode worn – two of the most common consumables of a plasma cutter to show the first signs of wear and tear. Change them both out for new ones and try the cutting process again.

2. Swirl Ring Condition –

If after changing the nozzle and electrode consumables for new ones and it hasnt changed anything, the next step is to inspect and maybe change the swirl ring. As the function of the swirl ring is to control the swirling action of the plasma gas flow around the electrode it’s important this is in top notch condition. A swirl ring has an average lifespan of around 50 electrode/nozzle change outs so it might be coming to the end of its time. What to check for on a swirl ring:

Buy Now
  • The first thing is to check for any cracks. Even the smallest hairline fracture or crack can impact your gas flow.
  • Check the O-rings, especially on the inside. These form the tight seal so any tears, cuts, or flat spots will affect that tight seal from forming.
  • Ensure there is no grease or dirt lodged anywhere over the swirl ring, especially over the tiny holes.
  • If none of the above are present, the swirl ring can be re-used.

3. Air Supply Quality & Pressure –

Check your air supply for pressure and contaminants. Contaminated air will have a major impact on your cut quality and on your consumables. The most common is moisture in the air supply which can be caused from external factors such as humidity, and high temperatures from things like your air compressor running a lot to keep up with the plasma, making the air being generated become hot and create moisture inside the tank. This moisture is forced down the air lines and eventually to the plasma torch and consumables.

4. Mechanical Slipping –

If the cut you make does not return to the start point that can indicate mechanical slipping or binding. In some cases it will be clear which axis is losing its position, so examine the particular axis for loose set screws, belts, or physical obstructions and see if that fixes the problem.

5. Power Surge or Drop –

A drop in power will also impact the way the machine cuts so assess your power supply. Maybe your machine is too powerful for your power circuit, therefore this may include upgrading your voltage system or investing in a more powerful generator.


We hope this has provided you some insight and hopefully solved what could be causing your plasma cutter not cutting right. If the issue is still continuing please contact your plasma cutter brand technical customer support so they can assist you further.

Check out our other Troubleshooting Tips or our Quick Guides for more plasma cutter and welding information.

Want to read more of our blogs!? Head to our blog page or find our most recent blog posts below.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top