Hobart Airforce 12ci with Built In Air Compressor
The first impression you get from looking at the Hobart Airforce 12ci plasma cutter has got to be the cheap listed price compare to many other brands in the industry. Honestly, you really cannot find another welding steel cutting equipment that has inbuilt air compressor for less than $1000. In fact, the current selling price at Amazon (provided that it hasn’t changed) is a fair bargain considering the number of features that comes with this air plasma unit.
As one of the leading manufacturer of welding and cutting equipment, you really can’t go wrong with this Hobart brand that comes equipped with the XT12R torch. Now before you head to Amazon, please be warned that their listed name is incorrect. Somehow they have named this plasma cutter the Hobart Airforce 12i but if you look closely to the product code, the 12ci and 12i both has the same code of 500564. In fact, when we went over to the official Hobart website, we couldn’t even find a model named 12i. So in case you may be wondering why they have slightly different names, well now you know.
The Airforce 12ci was designed for smaller applications work so it is not as powerful as some of the later machines, but you won’t have much trouble with cutting sheet metal, HVAC, plumbing and more. It is perfect for auto body shop and hobbyist who are trying to accomplish the lesser jobs. Weighing only 13.6kg, it is a Godsend for any plumbers who are taking the cutter from job sites to job sites, all without an external air compressor which can be a pain to carry around, let alone the extra cost involved of powerful, maintaining and servicing.
Take a look at some of it’s specs and features
Input: 120V – 20A @ 60Hz
Output output: 12A @ 110 VDC – 35% Duty Cycle
Weight: 26.7 lb or 12.1 kg
Dimensions: 10″ (25.4cm) x 8.25″ (21cm) x 13″ (33cm)
Rated Cut: 1/8 inch or 3.2mm @ 10 IPM
Max Cut: 1/4 inch or 6.4mm
Product Code: 500564
What do we think?
The Hobart Airforce 12ci plasma cutter designed for smaller steel work, but comes with some of the latest technology from Hobart including Fan on Demand, Pilot arc start operation, Thermal overload protection system and Post flow cooling. Not the best plasma cutting system for industrial or heavier usage, but if speed is not an issue then you won’t have much problem getting through electrical conductive materials such as aluminium, stainless steel, cast iron, copper, titanium and more. It really depends on your time limits and the type of applications you’re trying to work on.
Please also note that this unit doesn’t come with a digital display screen, but then why would you need one when there are diagnostic lights that will help you detect torch readiness and other system status such as temperature completely reducing any downtime. Just be mindful of the slag build up when you try to cut steels that are over the thickness recommended figures, but steady hands and patience should do the trick. Overall, this is a top notch plasma cutting machine for the price, especially now that it has a new inverter design that weights significantly less with a built-in air compressor. Really…what more can you ask for?