HOBART AirForce 250ci Plasma Cutter – Portable Cutting Machine


Plasma cutters are great, they basically do away with the need for a torch and gas. Which does 2 things, it saves space because you don’t need to have huge bottles and saves costs because you are not buying gas. Unless you need 100% duty cycle, like for ship breaking, a plasma cutter is for you.  Plasma cutters have been around for a while and come in all different shapes and sizes.  Maybe not all shapes as they always seem to be a rectangular steel box.  For the general metalworker, small shop, farmer or even the homeowner a small unit is the way to go. The 250 ci has a trick up its sleeve that most other plasma cutters do not have.  The plasma cutter has a built in air compressor, so you do not need external air.  Basically this cuts down on the equipment you need to run it and makes it a complete portable solution. You can easily take this 27 lb plasma cutter to the work site.  All you need to run it is 20 amps of 115 VAC electricity from a generator or the grid.  Imagine if you had to also run a separate compressor, you would be have a high amp draw.

The built in compressor is a huge help, in our tests it ran smooth and had a constant supply of air. We noticed how quiet it was compared to a normal compressor running. If it conducts electricity, the AirForce 250ci can cut it, up to 1/4″ steel.  The unit comes with a HP-25 torch with 16.5′ of hose to allow you to get into almost any situation. The torch has a good feel to it an is activated via safety switch that you pull down.  Hobart also included a few extra consumables with the unit.  It is always good to have extra consumables on hand. The power cord is 7′ long, all of the cords can be stowed on the back of the unit by a loop and clip setup. The front of the cutter has a warning  and operation lights to let you know the status of the unit. Power, temperature and torch readiness all are indicated by an LED. The unit has an on demand fan which will shut off when not cutting. To help extend the life of the tip and electrode the air is blown through to keep the tool after cutting. The unit is rate at 35% duty cycle at 105 degrees F.


Hobart has been a trusted welding brand name for decades and the AirForce 250ci Plasma Cutter with 5 year warranty does not disappoint. It has brought a new level of portability to the brand. The unit is a snap to use with only one switch controlling it. If you are in the market for a small portable plasma cutter the AirForce 250ci Plasma Cutter should be on the top of your list!


  1. Great writeup!! That is a cool tool!! They need to throw that bad boy in the utg3!!!! Love that its made in the USA!!!! Keep up the great work!

  2. My name is Steve lowe my son in law has a hobart air force and it keeps shutting off the machine keeps running but the gun turns off can’t figure it out please advise


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