Oxy-fuel Cutting
Oxy-fuel cutting. In oxy-fuel cutting, a torch is used to heat metal to its kindling temperature. A stream of oxygen is then trained on the metal, burning it into a metal oxide that flows out of the kerf as slag. Oxy-fuel cutting advantages and disadvantages

How to Determine if Oxy-fuel Cutting is Right for Your Business

In its simplest form, oxy-fuel cutting is a thermal cutting process that uses oxygen and fuel gas to cut through material. Oxy-fuel cutting systems have a wide range of benefits for various industries, but you should consider all aspects of the machine before making a purchase. Let’s dive into oxy-fuel cutting advantages and disadvantages and determine if it’s right for your business.

What is Oxy-fuel Cutting?

During the cutting process, oxygen mixes with acetylene, propane, propylene, or natural gas; this results in an intensified chemical reaction within the steel oxidation process that allows for a powerful cutting force. The flame preheats steel to its ignition temperature, which is directed at the metal to create a chemical reaction between the oxygen and metal to form iron oxide — also referred to as “slag.” The oxygen jet removes the molten slag from the material (this cut area is called a kerf), resulting in a clean cut.

Advantages of Oxy-fuel Cutting Systems

Enhanced Ability to Cut Thick Metals

Oxy-fuel cutting systems are ideal for cutting through thick metals, such as carbon steel between 2 and 6 inches thick. Plasma cutting systems, on the other hand, usually cut metals that are less than 2 inches thick.

Accurate, Straight-Edge Cuts

Because of their high accuracy, oxy-fuel cutting systems can create quality, straight-edge cuts. They’re also ideal for bevel strip cutting.

Improve Metal Strength

The high heat of the oxy-fuel cutting system hardens metal, increasing its strength and durability along the cut edge.

Improve Productivity

Oxy-fuel cutting systems can be equipped with multiple oxy-fuel torches, which increases productivity and minimizes processing time.

Enhanced Versatility

Oxy-fuel torches can cut, weld, braze, solder, heat, and gouge. Therefore, they can provide your business with a wide range of services for the cost of only one piece of equipment.

Oxy-fuel Cutting Disadvantages

Material Limitations

Oxy-fuel cutting systems are typically used to cut ferrous material — metal that contains iron. This makes oxy-fuel cutting a desirable option for working with carbon steel. However, it’s not suitable for cutting stainless steel, and is not often used for cutting cast iron or aluminum.

Continuous Purchases

Oxy-fuel torches aren’t dependent on primary power or compressed air, but they do require you to purchase gas at regular intervals.

Weighing Oxy-fuel Cutting Advantages and Disadvantages: Is it Right for You?

When you’re trying to decide between oxy-fuel or another type of cutting system, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.

What Will You Be Cutting?

The type of material you’ll work with will influence whether you should purchase an oxy-fuel cutting system or another type of equipment. If you’ll be working with ferrous materials, an oxy-fuel cutting system is the best way to go. However, if you plan on working with aluminum or stainless steel, it’s best to go with another system, like a plasma cutter.

What is the Thickest Material You’ll Need to Cut?

If you’ll continuously be working with thicker metals, you’ll save time and money by using an oxy-fuel cutting system. On the other hand, if you’re working with thinner metals, a plasma cutting system may be the better choice.

Still Not Sure What’s Right for You? Talk to the Experts

AKS Cutting Systems has over 100 years of experience in the cutting systems industry. That expertise uniquely positions us to evaluate which kind of cutting system is right for your business, and match you with an appropriate piece of equipment.

We are a fourth generation, family-owned and operated company that believes in keeping manufacturing within the United States.We are one of the only Made-in-the-USA manufacturers of cutting machines for plasma cutting, waterjet cutting, oxy-fuel cutting, and fiber laser cutting systems for the plate metal, tube and pipe, sheet metal, and fabricating industries.

We have a strong reputation for durability, accuracy, and reliability with thousands of installations worldwide. We partner with many high-quality machinery sales dealers, including Hypertherm, and we have an extensive service and support network.

When you need advice on which cutting system is right for you, contact our team.

Pictured: From left to right: Ed Raschen, President, AKS Dealer C4 Industrial – Jose Avila, Operator, AG Equipment.

AG Equipment Co., a Broken Arrow, Oklahoma-based producer of natural gas compressor packages, purchased an AKS Cutting Systems plasma cutter in 2021 to meet its unique needs.

The company primarily cuts flat plates that will be rolled into pressure vessels and other components for the skids and lifting. Working with carbon steel and stainless steel of varying thicknesses — from 10-gauge up to three inches thick — AG Equipment needed a machine that offers both versatility and precision, according to President Kent Bright.


In celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2021, KMT Waterjet Systems honored AKS Cutting Systems with an award thanking the manufacturer of plasma cutting systems and waterjet cutters for its premier partnership.

KMT, the oldest manufacturer of waterjet pumps in the world, has been AKS’ pump vendor for eight years and wanted to recognize the successful partnership, according to Chuck Schmidt, Business Development Manager.


regular maintenance aks cutting systems

When a business relies on plasma cutting machines to keep production rolling, preventive maintenance is a requirement of a successful operation.

Without it, even the highest quality machine will show signs of premature wear, experience inferior cut quality and eventually suffer from costly downtime. To keep your AKS Cutting Systems machines running optimally, we’ve broken down key maintenance tasks based on the frequency with which they should be performed. Use this as a general guide to keep these complex machines in top working order.

When it comes to operating efficiently, there are many variables that can be used alone or together to improve the bottom line.

Using a top-quality plasma cutting machine from AKS Cutting Systems offers several advantages, especially when paired with Hypertherm ProNest software and when preventive maintenance is performed at recommended intervals.

aks greenway and associates

The AKS team had the honor of attending the 2021 Greenway and Associates Open House in Orange City, Iowa this week.


tilt overtravel aks

Tilt overtravel – where a plasma cutting machine’s bevel head goes beyond 45.7 degrees – is a fairly common issue that, fortunately, is easy to correct.

Tilt overtravel rarely occurs when a machine is running a program. Usually, it happens during a new installation or between uses.


precision metal manufacturing aks

Precision Metal Manufacturing (PMM) is a small, American, U.S. veteran-owned fabrication business located in Mesa, AZ.

Sean Derivan, Owner and President of PMM, has been in the fabrication business for his entire career, starting out in a small fabrication shop in Ohio more than 30 years ago.


greenway and associates aks

Our long-time dealer Greenway and Associates has opened a new location and showroom in Albert Lea, MN

Greenway and Associates’ new location expands their territory to include Iowa, South & North Dakota, Illinois and Minnesota to better serve their Northern customers.

nova automation aks cutting

NOVA Automation, in Denver, CO, is known for solving complex automated packaging challenges.

For more than 25 years, NOVA Automation has manufactured innovative solutions in automated packaging systems for a wide range of industries including bulk foods, mining and materials, lawn and garden, building materials, agricultural seed and feed, pet food, produce, and chemicals and plastics.


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