Hypertherm Powermax45 XP Hand System

Hypertherm Powermax45 XP Hand System

Hypertherm is legendary in the world of plasma cutters – even their ‘low end’ options are better than most plasma cutters available today.



  • Superior cut and gouge quality – up to 5/8″
  • Patented drag-cutting technology
  • Extremely versatile
  • Simple controls
  • Stable arc
  • Long consumable life
  • Expanded metal setting
  • 20-foot torch and clamp lead
  • Solid company overall


  • Expensive
  • No onboard air
  • Only includes a small consumable starter kit
  • No max removal gouging
  • Requires 220 – 240V

What’s Good?

Superior cut and gouge quality – up to 5/8″

The Hypertherm Powermax45 XP offers the most precise cutting and gouging in its class. Using just 45 amps of power through a 240V outlet, the Powermax 45 cuts through 5/8″ steel like paper.

What separates this rig from the rest of the pack is the sheer number of consumables and attachments available. You’ll be able to cut metal into any shape you can think of while maintaining high-quality standards.

Patented drag-cutting technology

With a typical plasma cutter, you need to hold the tip of the torch slightly above where you want to cut. This is called holding a stand-off. Depending on the length, it can be hard to keep your hand at a steady height, resulting in an uneven and ugly cut.

Hypertherm’s patented drag-cutting technology eliminates this risk by allowing you to drag the shield along the metal at an even height. This technology electrically isolates the nozzle from your work piece to eliminate what’s called a “double arc.”

The advantage of this technology is a better quality cut and increased consumable life.

Extremely versatile

Did you know there’s more to plasma cutting than just ripping holes through metal? Through a variety of different torch types and consumables, the Hypertherm Powermax45 XP can either blast through 5/8-inch steel plate or slowly wash away dirty metal. This machine takes versatility to a whole new level.


Plasma cutting involves heating a piece of electrically conductive metal to molten levels and then forcefully blowing it away using plasma. Using a variety of consumables there are several ways you can cut using the Hypertherm Powermax45 XP.

Bevel – Bevel cutting is the process of cutting metal with an edge that is not perpendicular to the top of the piece. This is done by eye using a standard torch or, if precision and speed are key, a specialized torch attachment.

Drag – Drag cutting (see above) is when you drag the torch right on the metal instead of holding from a distance. This dramatically increases the speed and quality of the cut.

Extended reach – This is used when a regular torch can’t physically access the part that needs cutting. An extended tip (3-inches) is used to provide better visibility and accessibility.

Fine feature – While fine cutting metal with a laser or water jet is typically preferred, plasma cutting methods are quickly catching up. Hypertherm’s FineCut consumables produce a narrow kerf and stiff arc to provide unmatched precision.

Mechanized cutting – With the Hypertherm Powermax45 XP, you can take advantage of handheld or machine-operated cutting.


Gouging is similar to plasma cutting in the sense that it uses plasma and air to melt and blow away molten metal. The difference with gouging is the specially designed consumables. Gouging uses a torch with a wide kerf, held at an angle to the project piece, so only some of the material is blown away.

Max control A shield that allows for precise metal removal with a shallow gouge and light-duty washing applications.

Precision A nozzle and shield set up to help remove small amounts of metal at a very low current.

Marking – Allows for identification markers, numbers, and more.

Simple to use

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, the Hypertherm Powermax45 XP is dead-simple to setup and use. From the control panel to the actual operation, this unit is a dream to use.

Control PanelThe front control panel couldn’t be easier to use. There are only two options to navigate: amperage adjustment and mode switch. The amperage adjustment is an easy-to-turn knob that allows you to adjust anywhere from 0 – 45 amps. In addition, the mode switch allows you to select different operating modes: continuous pilot arc to cut expanded metal, non-continuous pilot arc to cut metal plate and gouging.

OperationThanks to their shielded consumables, the Hypertherm Powermax45 XP is so easy to use a child could do it. Just place the torch on the workpiece, pull the trigger, and drag. Simple.

Long consumable life and 20-foot torch and clamp lead

Hypertherm’s consumables are world-renowned for two reasons: quality and durability. Using patented shielding technology to protect the consumable, each product’s life is extended dramatically.

Not only do the consumables last forever, but the leads they are attached to are 20 feet long. Furthermore, the power cord is another 10 feet giving you a total of 30 feet to move around. Couple that with its portability and this machine is practically unstoppable.

Expanded metal setting

Typically, when using a plasma cutter, the arc cuts out when passing over a hole or gap in the metal. You then have to reignite the arc to start cutting again. Depending on what type of metal you’re cutting (dirty, lots of holes, etc.) you can waste a lot of time stopping and starting over again.

Fortunately, Hypertherm has a solution. The Powermax45 XP allows you to easily cut across holes and gaps without extinguishing the arc. Even in standard cutting mode, the arc rapidly switches between the cutting and pilot current for a continuously smooth cut.

Not only does this save time and energy, but it also drastically increases the life of the consumable.

CNC interface

Did you know the Hypertherm Powermax45 XP can be hooked up to a CNC table?

If you spend a considerable amount of time using your plasma cutter, consider investing in a CNC machine. You’ll not only save time, but you’ll also save money by extending the lifespan of your consumables. A CNC setup will also increase the duty cycle of your rig, allowing you to work longer.

You can easily switch between a regular torch and a CNC interface thanks to the Powermax45 XP’s FastConnect torch connection.

Solid company overall

Hypertherm’s dedication to quality has never been as obvious as it is in the Powermax 45. At this point in time, they are one of the best plasma cutter companies out there.

From their commitment to craftsmanship to their customer service, Hypertherm is a cut above the rest.

Did I mention the Hypertherm Powermax45 XP is made right here in the USA? What more could you ask for?

What’s Bad?


For such a beast of a machine made by such a legendary company, you can expect to pay more than others in its class.

On the bright side, you’ll probably only need to buy 1 in your entire lifetime.

No max removal gouging

For many plasma cutters, max removal gouging is a pretty basic feature. But the Hypertherm Powermax45 XP is lacking in this capability. While you can complete most projects with max control gouging, this is still something to keep in mind when shopping for a new plasma cutter.

220V power needed

You can’t just run this from your standard 120V household outlet. You’ll need to upgrade to 220-240V.

The Verdict

The Hypertherm Powermax45 XP is – hands down – the best plasma cutter in its class.

The unit is capable of cutting through ⅝” steel like red-hot iron through ice while severing up to 1 ⅛”-thick steel plate. In addition, the patented drag-cutting technology offered by Hypertherm produces clean, steady cuts each and every time.

Versatility is king with the Powermax45 XP. Featuring a wide array of consumables and attachments, the only problem you’ll have is not having enough time in the day to try everything out.

If you’re looking to invest in a plasma cutter that will serve you for a lifetime, the Hypertherm Powermax45 XP is by far the best choice. If you don’t, then keep saving until you can afford one.

Specs and Features

Weight: 36 lbs

Size: L17.4″ x W6.8″ x H14.1″

Power Input: 200 – 240 V

Power Output: 10 – 45 A

Duty Cycle: 50% @ 45 A

Cut Capacity: up to 5/8″

Warranty: 3/1 year

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