Hypertherm Powermax 30xp Review

When it comes to plasma cutters there’s no doubt that Hypertherm makes the best quality rigs around.

Their high-quality and reliability have become legend in the welding and fabrication community. It’s not uncommon for fathers to pass their old machines down to their sons.

The Hyptherm Powermax 30xp is no exception. Featuring dual voltage power input the Powermax 30xp is capable of both blasting through thick metal and accurately cutting precise shapes through thin metal.

If you’re tired of settling for poor quality plasma cutters that break after a few years, keep reading.



  • Operates on 120 and 240V
  • Comes with case and lots of extras
  • Duramax LT torch design
  • 50% more power from previous model
  • 15-foot torch lead
  • Uses compressed air
  • Super easy controls
  • Ultra lightweight and portable
  • Solid warranty
  • Will last a lifetime


  • Expensive

What’s Good?

Operates on 120 and 240V

Whether you just need to do some light-duty cutting or need to blast through 5/8″ thick steel, the Hypertherm Powermax 30xp has you covered.

This dual voltage rig operates on both 120V and 240V input power making it ideal for both household jobs and more heavy-duty tasks.

In addition, switching between the two input voltages couldn’t be easier. Simply switch the adaptor, which is included in the package, and plug it in. The Hypertherm Powermax 30xp automatically detects the switch and adjusts accordingly.

The duty cycle on this machine differs for each input:

120V: 20% @ max amperage

240V: 35% @ max amperage

hypertherm powermax 30xp

Comes with case and lots of extras

Besides the superior product and cutting quality, one of the best things about the Hypertherm Powermax 30xp is the fact that it includes everything you need to get started cutting today – and a whole lot more.

Not only will you get the plasma cutter, you’ll get:

A heavy-duty case so you can store it without fear of dust and grit getting in and mucking it up. It also includes a handle and a carrying strap for easy transportation.

A pair of high-quality cutting glasses to protect yourself from sparks and debris.

A pair of durable leather gloves that will double as welding gloves. You probably already have a pair but it never hurts to have extras.

A consumable kit which includes:

1 standard nozzle

1 electrode

1 FineCut nozzle

1 FineCut deflector

Just add the air compressor and you’ll be slicing through sheets of metal in no time.

Duramax LT torch with 15-foot lead

While you are free to use any torch you want, the torch that is included with the Powermax 30xp – the Duramax LT – is better than most and built to withstand heavy-duty use in some of the most demanding environments.

It is designed to withstand high impact and heat so no matter your work environment you wont have to replace it for a long time.

Furthermore, the consumables have twice the lifespan of lesser torches so you’ll save money in the long run. Not only that but the Duramax LT is 70% more efficient on average for higher cutting speeds and lower cost of cutting. You’re only problem will be figuring out what to do with all the money you save.

The 15 foot lead allows you to move around without restriction, giving you plenty of room to cut without having to move the plasma cutter and air compressor along with it.

The two-in-one design of the Hypertherm is complemented nicely by the Duramax LT. It not only gives you the option to blast through 5/8″ thick metal but its FineCut consumable kit lets you cut precise details on thinner metal making it one of the most versatile plasma cutters on the market today.

hypertherm powermax 30xp

50% more power from previous model

The previous model – the Powermax 30 – was an outstanding piece of equipment but thanks to advancements in plasma cutting technology the 30xp surpasses it on every level.

Most notably, the power output.

While the power supply output remains the same at 30 amps, the output wattage is 50% higher (2.8kW vs 3.5kW) and it’s the wattage that provides the cutting power.

The wattage is calculated by multiplying the output amperage (30) by the rated output voltage (125). So 30 * 125 = 3750 watts = 3.75kW rounded up to 3.8.

Because of the higher output wattage the Powermax 30xp will outperform most 40 amp machines and will dramatically improve the lifespan of consumables.

Phew! Does anyone else need a drink after that?

Uses compressed air or nigtrogen

Most types of plasma cutters today can be lumped into two categories: conventional and precision.

Conventional plasma cutters typically use air as the plasma gas whereas with precision plasma cutting multiple gases can be used including, oxygen, high purity air, nitrogen and a hydrogen/ argon/ nitrogen mixture.

All handheld consumer based plasma cutters are conventional, including the Hypertherm Powermax 30xp. However, the Powermax is unique in that it can utilize either air or nitrogen.

The ideal gas flow for this unit is 4 scfm @ 80psi.

Super easy controls and interface

The controls on this unit couldn’t be easier to use. There is a single knob that you adjust from 15 to 30 amps. That’s it.

Although there is a little more to the interface it is still simple to understand:

Power on LED: When this is green you know that the machine is on.

Gas pressure LED: When this is yellow it indicates the gas pressure is below 40psi and you need to crank it up.

Torch cap LED: When this is yellow it means the consumables are loose, not correctly installed or missing.

Temperature LED: When this is yellow it means the internal temperature is outside an acceptable operating range.

hypertherm powermax 30xp

Ultra lightweight and portable

Thanks to modern inverter technology, this powerhouse of a machine weighs a mere 21.4 lbs. You could throw the thing across the shop if you wanted to. We suggest you don’t, however.

The handle on top is convenient for transporting it around the shop or too and from your buddy’s house when they find out you finally bought one. In addition, it also comes with a carrying case and a strap for the ultimate in portability.

hypertherm powermax 30xp

Will (probably) last a lifetime

Hypertherm plasma cutters are, hands down, the best quality plasma cutter you can buy. While some others come close, like Thermal Dynamics and Miller, there is really no comparison.

Unlike every other company in the world who design their products to break after a certain amount of time so you are forced to buy a new one. Hyptherm products are held to such high quality standards that it’s not uncommon that the first Hypertherm plasma cutter you buy will also be your last.

While I can’t personally vouch for them lasting a lifetime (as I’ve only had mind for a few years) I know people who’ve had their machine for 10+ years and, with the exception of consumables, haven’t had to replace a single thing or have had any issues whatsoever.

Solid warranty

Even though the Hypertherm Powermax 30xp will likely last you for a long, long time – if not forever – Hypertherms 3 year warranty is like the icing on the cake.

There’s always a chance you could end up with a defective product so its nice to have that safety net.

Hypertherm offers a 3 year warranty on the plasma cutter itself and 1 year for the torch. That’s more than enough time to figure out if you got a defective unit.

What’s Bad?


There is really nothing bad I can say about the Hypertherm Powermax 30xp. It’s a masterpiece of engineering.

However, some might object to the price, which admittedly is steep. But if you never have to buy another plasma cutter again, its obviously worth it.

Or you can buy a piece of crap every two years and cope with the frustration and headache of dealing with the non-existent customer service from some lesser companies that will remain unnamed. It’s up to you.

The Verdict

The Hypertherm Powermax 30xp is the best plasma cutter you can buy in its price and power range.

Its 2-in-1 design allows for not only heavy-duty cutting up to 5/8″ thick but also precise cutting on thinner material using its FineCut nozzle. Switching between 120V and 240V couldn’t be easier. Simply attach the appropriate adapter and the machine automatically detects and switches to the correct voltage.

The unit is great for beginners and professionals alike. It comes with everything you need to start cutting as soon as you get it. Just add the compressed air and you’re ready to start cutting.

If you’re looking for a plasma cutter that’s reliable, high-quality and will last for decades, then consider the Hypertherm Powermax 30xp.

Or if you need something with a little more power, consider its big brother: the Powermax 45.

Specs and Features


Weight: 21.4 lbs

Size: L14″ x W5.5″ x H11.5″

Power Input: 120 / 240 V

Power Output: 30 A

Duty Cycle: 35% @ 30 A

Cut Thickness: 1/2″

Severance Thickness: 5/8″

Warranty: 3/1 year