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Customer Reviews for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534

FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534

Item# 164791
The new AirForce 250Ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor features a new lightweight inverter design that is both lightweight and powerful. Built-in compressor for total portability and low system cost. Cuts mild steel up to 1/4in. thick using standard household current. New HP-25 torch is more comfortable, efficient and economical. Plasma cutters cut faster and more precisely with a thinner kerf and less slag than cutting with oxy fuel. A smaller heat-affected zone also causes less warping. And you'll never have gas pressure settings, flame tuning, metal preheating, or gas cylinders or refills to worry about. Amps 20, Cutting Thickness in. Up to 1/4, Pilot Arc Yes, Volts 115, Clamp Cable Length ft. 16.4, Dimensions L x W x H in. 7 1/2 x 13 x 10, Duty Cycle 35 @ 12 Amps, Plasma Gas Flow/Pressure Preset w/built-in compressor, Power Cord ft. 7, Cart No. New lightweight, powerful inverter design New HP-25 torch is more efficient and comfortable Built-in piston-driven air compressor Cuts mild steel up to 1/8in. @ 10in. per minute 1/4in. mild steel @ 3in. per minute Also cuts stainless steel, aluminum, brass and copper Cable management strap secures torch and cables to make transportation easy and convenient Thermal overload protections Pilot arc start ensures constant arc start and minimizes tip burnout Post-Flow Cooling cools torch after cut to extend life of consumable tips and electrodes Fan-on-demand system runs only when needed Diagnostic LED lights indicate system status 5/3/1 Industrial Warranty 5 year warranty on transformers, stabilizers, reactors, rectifiers, rotors, stators and brushes 3 year warranty on drive systems, PC boards, solenoid valves, switches and controls 1 year warranty on MIG guns, plasma torches, relays, contactor, triggers, regulator, accessories, spool guns, battery, field options and running gear. 90 days for industrial use. Normal wear items such as drive rolls, contact tips, nozzle, gas diffuser, plasma torch tips and electrodes and weld cables are not covered under warranty Hobart 5/3/1 limited warranty
Average Customer Rating:
4.513 out of 5
4.5
 out of 
5
(39 Reviews) 39
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Summary (39 reviews)
5 stars
28
4 stars
6
3 stars
3
2 stars
1
1 star
1
36 of 39(92%)would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Questions & Answers:
4 Questions | 6 Answers
Customer Reviews for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Review 1 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

Very good plasma cutter

,
February 5, 2014
By Timmy87
from Dewitt,ar
"I have this plasma cutter in my shop and I use it a lot. Still cuts good and fast. Overall it's a good plasma cutter"
Describe Yourself: Professional
+4points
7out of 10found this review helpful.
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Review 2 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

EZ to use, tough, and made in USA

,
February 5, 2014
By imaworkinmom
from Appalachian mountains
"I bought this unit for my dear hubby as a Christmas gift. First - the Northern Tool customer service and shipping are second to none. That being said, I need to say that in 20+ years of marriage, I have never had my hubby so pleased with any gift. He has already cut several projects out - metal ranging from 1/16" to 1/2". He was very pleased with the ease of operation and the quality and speed of the cuts. He also loved the ability of this particular unit to be used with either 110V or 220V. I do recommend having a strong air compressor to run the unit with (I got him a new one to use with the plasma cutter).
Overall, a great value for the money and you're buying Made in USA product. Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!"
Describe Yourself: Home Handyman
-4points
4out of 12found this review helpful.
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Review 3 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

a lot of bang for your buck

,
February 4, 2014
By kujosabiter
from MINNESOTA
"this model has its own compressor so it works well from eighth inch on up to quarter inch steel you just need to take your time still working well after 5 years would recommend this to all professional or home also the 110 volt I can take it anywhere love it love it love it have fun"
Describe Yourself: Professional
+9points
9out of 9found this review helpful.
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Review 4 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
4 / 5
4 / 5

Nice Quality Item

,
February 4, 2014
By BranDaddy
from Indy
"Very portable! Nice not to have to have a separate air supply. Wish price was a little lower, of course. Northern Tool was a great company to purchase this from."
Describe Yourself: Home Handyman
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
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Review 5 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

Made in the USA!

,
May 28, 2013
By OldFordTruck
from Houston, Tx
"I have owned this machine for going on 6 years now. The only thing I have had to replace is the tips and that's not that often. I am just now shopping for a new cup and that's only because I let an inexperianced friend borrow it. It has stood the test of time and is still kicking like new. You can use it with an extension cord but it needs to be a large enough guage to handle the amps. It would be a sin if I didn't mention that it is made in the U.S.A.!"
Describe Yourself: Professional
+12points
12out of 12found this review helpful.
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Review 6 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

plasma cutter

,
April 25, 2013
By carroll1969
from texas
"i think it is a good machine and it cuts 1/4 in stell and it is verey handy for small jobs and pitcher art i would recemend it to my friends and familley i woyld recemend norther tolls to all my friends and familly because all the toll do the jab that it is made for i have never had any problems with yalls tools"
Describe Yourself: Home Handyman
-21points
4out of 29found this review helpful.
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Review 7 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

nice unit for intended purpose

,
April 23, 2013
By sahunter
from san antonio
"Bought the plasma to work on cars and cut up to 12-16 guage metal and so far working on 14 guage the unit works well. If you hold the tip low it cuts like a knife but with tip held up slighly higher it cuts a wider cut ( free tip ). If you move fast (you will have to use it to see what I mean) it will leave attached metal but if you slow down and cut with a purpose it works fine. The recycle rate is ok (waiting up to a couple of minutes) after a 8-12 inch continuous cut but it was never intended to be heavy duty. And the drink break cutting with precision is welcomed sometimes. Overall good value but if you intend to do more than semi-serious hobby work step up. Works fine for what I do."
Describe Yourself: Home Handyman
+2points
9out of 16found this review helpful.
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Review 8 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

Easy to learn and use

,
August 13, 2012
By KTHD01
from UT
"Easy to set up and use. Good product for the money."
Describe Yourself: Home Handyman
+11points
11out of 11found this review helpful.
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Review 9 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
4 / 5
4 / 5

It works

,
October 17, 2011
By welditcustoms
from Texas
"As a metal sculptor I often use this product to cut specialty pieces. The machine is smooth but does take some getting used to. Overheating can happen but a good solution is a small external fan which keeps the unit cool. I like the portability of the unit. I transport mine constantly and it takes a beating but has never let me down."
Describe Yourself: Professional
+2points
19out of 36found this review helpful.
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Review 10 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

Perfect for my hobby

,
June 14, 2011
By bigTerry45
from McCleary, WA
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"I purchased this plasma cutter over a year ago to open up more options for me in my metal art. With no experiance with a plasma cutter of any kind, I had no problems operating this right out of the box, plug in, attach clamp, put cutter head to work piece and pull the trigger, it is that easy. I work in metals normally 1/8" and under and this cutter works very well for me in this range, working with heavy material than that would require an upgrade to something larger, read the specs. and be honest with yourself about what your after and you will be happy with this unit. The art I have been able to make with this unit has more than paid for it and as a hobby tool for the right material I highly recomend it."
Describe Yourself: Home Handyman
+9points
14out of 19found this review helpful.
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Review 11 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

Better than a light saber!

,
June 12, 2011
By gerber
from Orlando, FL
"Awesome to cut metal with spark and air! This Hobart Plasma Cutter does what it says. I use it for auto restoration; it has saved me month's and agony over using a grinding wheel and cut off wheel. This model is able to cut out any/all steel frame members and spotwelds on my vintage Mustange. Easy to piece-out old rusty parts espicially in hard to access spots. This size unit works adequately for rough cutting and spotwelds - smaller size has actually saved my bacon NOT cutting through into adjoining panels! I'm mostly removing whole parts and welding new ones in place so slow and rough cuts are ok. Unit works well for fine cuts on body panels, however, if you need to make precision cuts on 1/8"-1/4" frame members you should purchase a larger unit. This size is a great starter unit - easy to learn and foregivving! When I buy a bigger one - I'll definately keep the 250 for it's portability (built in compressor) and ability to run on 110v power."
Describe Yourself: Home Handyman
+9points
10out of 11found this review helpful.
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Review 12 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
3 / 5
3 / 5

Hobart 250Ci Plasma Cutter -- for Hobbies

,
March 22, 2011
By ArtistLin
from Kalamazoo, MI
"I would recommend this product for a hobbyist. It overheats and stops at the end of each cut. Takes 10-20 seconds to be able to start cutting again. Even on thin oil drum metal from, cutting is slow and achieving smooth curves difficult. Love that it's lightweight and has a built in compressor, but wish I'd invested in a larger model that cut thicker steel faster and cleaner!"
Describe Yourself: Total Beginner
+2points
9out of 16found this review helpful.
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Review 13 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
2 / 5
2 / 5

Doesnt work well

,
March 14, 2011
By NCPJim
"But it does not cut what the specs say. It overheats and Shuts down all the time. Spend your money on a bigger one. I love Hobart equipment. This is the first one I have purchased that I cannot use for much of anything"
Describe Yourself: Professional
+2points
7out of 12found this review helpful.
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Review 14 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
1 / 5
1 / 5

Don't

,
January 31, 2011
By rketr
from Texas
"I'm really surprised with most of the other comments. I'm sorry to say that my experience with this unit has been very frustrating. I've tried cutting 1/4"...a 6" cut took about 1/2 an hour to finally get thru. I've tried 3/16", 1/8", and recently as small as 26 guage. The 1/8" and 26 guage worked ok, but the unit still had trouble.
Biggest problem is that as you are cutting, the unit will stop in the middle of a run. You might get 10 seconds of cut time. You might get 1/2 a second of cut time, or anywhere in between. Once the unit stops, it won't start up again until 5 to 45 seconds of 'cool down time' has occurred. Frustrating barely covers it.
It is nice, however, that it comes with a built in air compressor. But that is about the only perk about it."
Describe Yourself: Professional
+7points
13out of 19found this review helpful.
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Customer Comments
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Rich87T
 
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February 4, 2011
"Sounds like you have a bad ground. Our unit will do the same as you describe if the clamp isn't grounded to the metal.
You should get "a spark" when you pull the trigger, but you should get a much more powerful spark when cutting through the metal. If you aren't getting that second level of spark, your cutter isn't powering up."
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Review 15 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

A great plasma cutter

,
November 23, 2010
By RemcoW
from SW CT
"My hobby is working on vintage cars and it often calls for cutting out panels and fabricating new ones.
This tool is perfect for that - it cuts through sheet metal steel like it was a hot knife cutting through butter. It is also good for 'drilling' out spot welds, although that takes a bit of practice. You basically hold the took under an angle over the spot weld, turn it on and then turn it straight. If you do it quickly, it zaps right through the spot weld.
I love the fact that the compressor is built in, yet it is still light and portable. It is also a lot quieter than using a cutoff wheel - nice if you're in relatively close proximity to your neighbor's house and want to work later into the evening hours without bothering people with lots of noise. It works great.
Make sure you have good power, though.
While you may have a 20Amp outlet, this cutter will not work well if that circuit is too loaded - i.e. you have too many things hanging off that particular breaker. While this plasma cutter may not pop your breaker under those conditions, it will shut off automatically.
That's how the unit is specified to operate so that's not a negative, imo.
"
Describe Yourself: Home Handyman
+8points
8out of 8found this review helpful.
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Review 16 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great

,
August 23, 2010
By fripptas
from South Carolina
"This machine does everything it says it can do and more.
i use it for copper and it zips right through. As soon as you take it out, your ready to go. comes with a hight guard so you don't get too close but for the thin stuff "1/8 or smaller" you can run it right on top of the metal. perfect for the hobbyist to the pro.
"
Describe Yourself: Professional
+7points
7out of 7found this review helpful.
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Review 17 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

hobart 250ci plasma cutter

,
June 3, 2010
By NS28
"This plasma cutter works great. No complaints. I have used it many times and it comes in very handy on items you don't want to use a torch for."
Describe Yourself: Home Handyman
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
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Review 18 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

Hobart 250Ci Plasma Cutter

,
June 1, 2010
By Mike8
from Enfield, NS, CA
"Works excellent fot it's intented use, up to 3/16, & with the built in compressor it's extremely portable- you just need a heavy enough extension cord to deliver the 20A needed to power this machine.
Mine is used mainly for autobody & light fabrication. With a little practice, even the novice will be making straight,smooth cuts with minimal clean-up required. I've had mine for over 2 yrs & have used it for work beyond it's intended purpose, with only the consumable tip needing replacement. It's not long paying for it's self, in what you'll save in cut-off wheels, blades, & oxy-aceteleyne.
"
Describe Yourself: Professional
+5points
5out of 5found this review helpful.
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Review 19 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great for hobbyist

,
May 31, 2010
By cwick
from Buffalo, NY
"Have only used on sheet metal so far but works great. Love the fact that it runs on 120V circuit and has built in compressor which makes it extremely portable and versatile. Long leads are also a big plus."
Describe Yourself: Home Handyman
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
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Review 20 for FREE SHIPPING - Hobart AirForce 250Ci 115V Inverter-Based Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - 12 Amp Output, Model #500534
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
5 / 5

well worth it

,
May 31, 2010
By challenger
from montrose Il
"bought this a year ago and have been using it to restore a car very easy to use and works as decribed if need a small unit try this one you will like it."
Describe Yourself: Total Beginner
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
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Customer Comments
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tinnersam1
detroit,mi. 
 
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great product
June 14, 2011
"sheetmetalworker for almost 40 years. this cutter does what i need done.worked in a bodyshop and had to cut of 6 foot of a truck frame. no problem"
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