Top 10 Best Plasma Cutter Reviews and Buying Guides
Are you a professional who works with metal on a daily basis? Or just a DIY enthusiast looking for a tool to cut metals more easily? Either way, you will be needing something powerful and reliable which gives smooth and clean results. The tool for this particular job is known as a plasma cutter and it is recommended for its precision and smoothness. Although these tools can be expensive and technically advanced, the pay off is that the best plasma cutter is less wasteful and time-consuming.
You will also want to know more about different types of plasma cutters and their functions. Well, look no further, as we have done the research on your behalf! In this article, you will find a useful guide to buying plasma cutters. In addition, we have reviewed the top ten best plasma cutters. We made our compilation after researching and considering the pros and cons of each model. We also looked into vital factors such as efficiency, reliability, power, and price, to present you with the best plasma cutters on the market. Read on to learn more and help you decide on the best machine for your specific needs.
Best Plasma Cutter 2019 Reviews and Guide By Expert
1. Lotos LTP5000D
At first glance, the Lotos LTP5000D grabs attention with it’s budget-friendly price tag and compact size. For occasional use, this is a very affordable unit. It offers high-speed output for thick metal cutting, as well as steady output for thin metal cutting. It uses non-hazardous compressed air, which is suitable for cutting stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, copper, and aluminum. It can produce up to 1/2" Clean Cut and 3/4" Severance Cut. It also offers dual-voltage, which means it can be easily used at home as well as a workshop. Add to that a carrying handle, and you have a nicely portable unit which can be easily carried around.
First off, the Lotos LT5000D is not only light enough to carry around, it’s light on the pocket too. At the time of writing, you can snap this up at well under $ 400. The cutting performance itself has been described as “like a knife through butter” by users. It’s reported as being particularly good at cutting 1/2" steel and produces very clean smooth cuts on thinner materials. Another big plus point in this model is it’s dual voltage of 110V for light use and 220V for heavier work. This is a surprisingly versatile unit for it’s price.
The compact size means it’s easily portable for those who may need to carry it from job to job. This is due to it’s switch power inverter system. Need any more persuasion? How about a cooling system specially engineered in Germany. This ensures that the machine doesn’t get overheated through excessive usage, as well as keeping dust particles away. All in all, this is a fabulous little machine and perfect for light use at home or in the workshop. Overall it is the best plasma cutter for DIY lover.
2. Super Deal DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Machine With Screen Display Dual Voltage 110/220VAC 1/2" Clean Cut (CUT- 50)
The Super Deal Plasma Cutter is a truly super machine which offers versatility with great features at a fantastic price. It has a double multi-voltage plug which can be connected to 220V or 110V. It is also a portable unit and can be carried around easily. Its features include PRO-Technology which ensures a more stable performance. In addition, it has a high duty cycle of 60%, for those jobs which may need longer to complete. This cutter is suitable for a wide variety of applications. These include sheet metal fabrication, light industrial use, site work, automotive, ducting work, repair and maintenance services. The CUT-50 ensures a clean and smooth cut without warping the metal. It also has an easy-to-read front panel, a pressure reducing valve and is made from heavy-duty iron for robustness.
First of all, the high duty cycle of the Super Deal Plasma Cutter means it consumes less power. The benefit of this is that it’s much more economical and environmentally friendly than traditional cutters. This is also a great machine for cutting metals of varying sizes, thus versatility is a key point. This cutter also has a pilot-arc striking system that gives easy starts and nice clean cuts without the usual dross or slag.This is truly a bang for the buck plasma cutter with lots of five star reviews from buyers. So if you’re looking for a best plasma cutter with impressive performance, versatility, great design, and value for money, then look no further!
3. Ever last SuperCut51P 110v/220v Dual Voltage 50 Amp Pilot Arc Inverter Plasma Cutter
The SuperCut 51P from Everlast is the successor to the Supercut 50P. In this latest version, the MOFSET inverter has been redesigned and greatly improved. The new design and added features are a big improvement on the previous modSuperCut model.
If you already own the previous model and are looking to upgrade, this latest version may be well worth a look. Or perhaps you are hobbyist, who just wants a simply best plasma cutter that gets the job done without much fuss. This all new Ever last Super cut would be our pick for you. The most noticeable improvement in this model is the high frequency arc, ensuring a reduction in start delays. The high-frequency is also ideal for clean and low dross cuts for those seeking to make regular maximum cuts of 1/4" to 3/8".
The unit requires less current to produce plasma. Therefore it is more energy efficient. Once it is initiated, the high-frequency provides quick and continuously engaging pilot arc. Though there are more advanced models in the range, it can handle simple jobs very efficiently. The super cut 51P is an ideal choice for those seeking a basic plasma cutter at a decent price.
4. Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor 120V
The Hobart Airforce 12ci is the latest version of the 250ci. This machine has inverter technology which combines powerful cutting ability in a lightweight body, weighing only 27 lbs. Therefore it is very comfortable to use, as well as being portable. It has a built-in air compressor, which means you can start cutting right away straight out of the box.
It also has pre-set pressure, which means you don’t have to fiddle around. All you need to do, is pull the trigger and start cutting away! This cutter is best for cutting thin mild steels of 1/8 inch. For 1/4 inch mild steel, it will give a severance cut. It works better on thinner metals than thicker sizes. So it ideal for those who work more often with thinner sized metals.
The Hobart Airforce 12ci can cut lots of different metals, such as stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper, galvanized, etc. this one is half the size of most standard plasma cutters. Therefore it is much easier to handle and carry around. However, it’s reduced weight does not reflect it’s cutting power, which remains strong and clean. the Hobart Airforce 12ci can run on standard power outlets of 120V found in most homes.
The unit comes with it’s own built-in air compressor, so you don’t to buy an additional one. This also makes the machine highly transportable. This means less cost and more portability.the Hobart Airforce 12ci employs the pilot-arc, which means you don’t need to touch the tip of the nozzle to the surface of the metal. Subsequently, this means that the tips are preserved for longer. The pilot-arc is also useful when cutting rough, greasy or corroded metals.
5. Goplus Cut-50 50A 220V Electric Plasma Cutter DC Inverter Air IGBT Cutting Machine with Free Mask
GoPlus is renowned company for plasma cutting machine and The Cut-50A is the new plasma cutting machine from GoPlus. This cutting machine is finely designed model features the latest and most updated inverter technology. It is designed and equipped with a high quality plasma torch, which was specially created to enhance cutting quality. It has a high cutting speed, continuous current regulation and and a smooth cutting surface. All of these assures an efficient and quality cut. Another great thing about this machine is that it involves less cleaning, less maintenance, less noxious gases, less fire hazard. Thus, less is more!
It is compatible with a variety of applications, which includes light industrial use, site work, automotive, ducting work, repair and maintenance services. No matter what the job is, you will be assured of a professional finish each time. this model is able to cut a wide variety of metals and is suitable for both DIY and professional business and DIY purposes. It comes with a free mask for added safety. Additionally, it has a carrying handle for portability, while it’s compact size means it can be transported easily. all the hardware is included in the box with clear instructions. Therefore it is easy to assemble and use, with no professional tools required.
6. ZENY DC Inverter Plasma Cutter 50AMP CUT-50 Dual Voltage 110-220V Cutting Machine (CUT-50)
The Zeny CUT-50 is a spending agreeable plasma cutter in view of the specialist. It is equipped with a high grade plasma torch specially created to improve and enhance the cut quality. It is designed to cut metal sheets of different sizes, including aluminum, stainless steel, steel, copper and more. This unit produces a clean cut without causing the metal to warp. Depending on the cleanliness of your work piece, the cutter will be able to cut within the thickness range of 1-12mm.
Does not come with an air hose or plug. This is because it’s an auto dual outlet machine. Therefore if you would require these, then it would be an additional (albeit minimal) cost. the cutting quality is impressive too. It gives a better and cleaner cut than a jig saw and other cutting tools. The supplied manual is not very clear. It is recommended to obtain clearer instructions online. But this cutter won’t give you much trouble in setting it up at all.
The Zeny CUT-50 also features a manual dialer, along with an easy to read digital reader. So you will be able to read your last manual dial-in from this. It also has a high duty cycle of 60%, which means you can use the unit for longer without interruption. If you’re looking for an affordable plasma cutter, which has strong workmanship and superb functionality, the Zeny CUT-50 is the best plasma cutter for you.
7. Hobart 500565 Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter 120/240V
Hobart is a well-known company that produces quality plasma cutters. The Airforce 27i is another impressive model from the Hobart stable and one of their high-end products. It is a highly powerful machine, which can slice 5/8” with simply 240V of power. Though it delivers a power-packed performance, it is still lightweight and portable. In terms of cutting ability, it is best at cutting 3/8 mild steel. It can also deliver sever cut of 5/8 mild steel.
The other great thing about the Airforce 27i is its multi-voltage plug (MVP) that allows you to connect it to 120V or 240V power outlets without using any tools. Its plug can be used either at home or at work. Precision cuts through metal with better precision than most plasma cutters. It also produces a thinner kerf and less slag to clean up afterward. also it can be easily lifted and transported thanks to its inverter.
This is one of the more expensive machines on the market, currently retailing at just under $2,000. Thus it may not be suitable for those on a budget. However, as most buyers have given a five-star rating to the product, it may be well worth the investment for industrial or business buyers. it can be easily lifted and transported thanks to its inverter. this model is equipped with a built-in fan that runs only on demand, e.g. when it detects the presence of dust and debris etc.
8. PrimeWeld Ct520d 50 Amps Plasma Cutter, 200 Amps Tig Welder and 200 Amps Stick Welder Combo
The Primeweld Ct520d is a multi-function tool, which offers 3 combinations in one machine. It can be used not only as a plasma cutter, but also a TIG or Stick Welder. The advantage of having three tools in one is that it saves the additional expense of buying each one separately. PrimeWeld have not only given three functions in one tool, but they have also made it easy to switch between the functions as well.
The Ct520d comes with a dual voltage capability of 110V and 220V. This is useful for those times when a 220V power outlet may not be available. It also comes in a lightweight and portable package, weighing at only 32 pounds. So this machine is both lightweight and portable,
But keep in mind that the instructions are pretty much non-existent and irrelevant to this particular model. So it may be difficult for beginners to assemble or set up the machine. However the unit comes with a 3 year warranty, which is quite a long time in case it becomes faulty but due to its tough and durable build quality it will probably outlast much more than that.
The duty cycle of this machine is 60%, which means it can run for longer without needing a break to cool down. In terms of cutting ability, it is able to cut a variety of metals up to 1/2” in thickness. Its unique multi-functionality makes it stand out from the crowd and is ideal for those needing a range of functions in one machine.
9. Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter 240V
The Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter is a powerful machine in a compact package. It can clean cut 5/8 inch and sever cut 7/8 inch steel at 50% duty cycle. The Airforce 40i can also deliver a clean cut 3/16 inch copper, 3/8 inch aluminum, 3/8 inch stainless, ¼ inch brass and 3/8 inch galvanized.
It runs on 240V power so it’s versatile enough for both light and heavy users. One of the great features of the Airforce 40i is the Auto-Refire Technology. This allows you to cut expanded/perforated metals, as well as painted or coated surfaces.
It is equipped with an XT40R handheld torch, XT consumables and heavy-duty work clamp with cable. You might expect a heavyweight machine with all this, but the inverter design means it weighs only 34 lbs. Thus making it easily portable too. In addition, it features a single knob design on the front which allows you to adjust the amperage quickly and easily.
Thus it may not be suitable for those on a budget. However, as most buyers have given a five-star rating to the product, it may be well worth the expense if you are seeking to invest in a best plasma cutter for long-term and heavy usage. But Thermal Overload Protection feature shuts down the machine in case it gets overloaded when performing, e.g. if the duty cycle reaches its limit. Also the Airforce 40i has a built-in cooling system as well.
10. Miller Spectrum 375 Plasma Cutter
Miller produces some of the best welding and plasma machines out there. The Miller Spectrum 375 Plasma Cutter is no exception. This is a high-tech machine that packs in a powerful performance. It features auto-line technology and MVP adapters, which means it can be used with both 120V and 240V power. So the Spectrum 375 comes with switchable plugs and it is convenient to use both at home or for work. This unit is able to cut stainless steel, aluminum and 3/8 inch mild steel at 18 IPM. This means a smooth swift cut at 18 inches per minute. That’s a lot more thickness per minute than your average cutter.
It also features Auto-Refire Technology. This prevents hand fatigue as it means you don’t have to re-trigger the pilot manually. Additionally, it has an XT30 torch with an ergonomically designed handle and a flexible cable for added comfort. It also comes with some extras such as consumables, a shoulder strap, and an also a case for portability. Weighs only 19 lbs, thus making it ultra portable. Also an unique no-slip grip, finger contours and thumb guide. These ensure maximum comfort for the operator and designed to prevent fatigue.
It is not simply about buying the latest or most costly models.There are also certain features which you need to look for before you splash your cash.
What is a plasma cutter and what is it used for?
A plasma cutter is a specific kind of tool that uses inert gas blown through a tight nozzle at high pressure. It gets the gas to heat up and then it becomes ionized by an electrical arc and turns into plasma. This plasma cutter is used to transfer conductive gas to cut electrically conductive alloys at high temperatures. The advantage of a plasma cutter is that it can cut much faster and more smoothly than processes such as oxyfuel.
Now we have established what a plasma cutter does. Next, let’s look at some of the factors you will need to consider when choosing the best plasma cutter.
1. Cutting Ability
The main function of this tool is to cut metals. Therefore you need to consider the thickness and type of materials you will be working with. This is because cutting abilities can vary according to size and type of materials used. If you are working with material which is up to a ¼” thick, a lower amp cutter may be sufficient. If your material is up to an inch thick, you will require a more powerful device. If you use a smaller or less powerful machine with a thicker material it can result in a severe cut. This leaves behind post-cut debris and a rougher finish. So first determine whether the cutting ability of the unit is compatible with the thickness of the material to be used.
2. Cutting Speed
Based on the thickness of the material used most often, the cutting speed is the next factor to be considered. This will determine the quality of the cut. For thinner materials and less frequent use, a lower amp cutter may be sufficient. If you will be using it more often and with thicker materials, go for a higher amp. The advantage of a high amp machine is that it can cut faster and more efficiently than a less powerful machine. However, these can be more expensive.
3. Duty Cycle
The duty cycle refers to the amount of time you can use the unit before it gets overheated and needs to cool down. So you will need to consider the amount of time you will be using the unit. If it’s less frequently and shorter periods, then base your choice on the thickness of the material you use most. If more frequently and for longer, you will need a higher duty cycle alongside cutting ability. This also means it should have a higher amperage as it requires more power to run for longer. Generally speaking, the higher the duty cycle the longer you can use it without interruption.
Another point to consider is where you will be using the cutter. If it’s a fixed place such as a workshop, then this won’t be an issue. If however, you need to move it between different work sites, then you will require a unit which is comfortable enough to carry. A lightweight unit that has a carrying strap or handles would be ideal. Something else to look out for is a built-in inverter. This enables the cutter to consume power from a DC and transport it through a high-frequency inverter. An inverter is capable of transforming 10 kHz of DC power to 200 kHz. This feature is very handy for times when power outlets may not be accessible. The housing of inverter-based cutters is usually more compact for portability.
5. Consumable Parts
Consumables are the parts of the machine which will wear down with usage and eventually need to be replaced. The parts which are first to go are usually the nozzle and the electrode due to repeated exposure to high temperatures. You will know it’s time to replace these when your machine becomes slower and it’s cutting quality is reduced. Thus it is important to check how many consumable parts the cutter has and how long each is expected to last. The fewer consumable parts the machine has, the more money you will save in the longer run. Therefore, a more expensive machine with fewer consumables will work out cheaper long-term.
6. Start Types
Most plasma cutters employ a pilot arc which uses high frequency to conduct electricity. High-frequency starts are not recommended if using other electronics nearby, as it can interfere with or even damage them. In such cases, a contact start would be a safer and better option.
Benefits of buying a plasma cutter
When it comes to the world of welding, metal cutting plays an integral and important role. The most common process of metal cutting has been oxy-fuel, but recently plasma cutting has gained more popularity. The main advantage of a plasma cutter is that it can cut far more quickly and smoothly than oxy-fuel. Thus it has became an alternative option to oxy-fuel. Another benefit is that a best plasma cutter is able to cut virtually all types of metals. This includes non-ferrous types such as cast iron, aluminum and stainless steel.
The next great thing about a plasma cutter is the speed that it offers, coupled with precision of cuts. Using a plasma cutter means saving precious time, as it can cut in one fourth the time of other cutting tools. It also produces less slag and a much cleaner cut with a narrower kerf than the traditional oxy-fuel process. The best and most common way to describe it is, “like a hot knife through butter”. So you can imagine how smoothly it can perform.
A best plasma cutter is also able to cut stacked sheets of metals much more efficiently than oxy-fuel torches. Furthermore, thinner metals can be cut much faster with little to no warping or distortion. This includes shaped and angular metals. So this chalks up another plus point for those that need to cut several materials at once. You can also add precision to the list. This tool employs a unique process using hot steam, which ensures a more accurate cut.
One more great advantage about buying a plasma cutter, is that it can cut without having to pre-heat the metal beforehand. This is surely a time-saver. Apart from this, there are safety benefits too. Plasma machines do not involve handling open flames or explosive gases, therefore ensuring a much safer working environment. They are also easily transportable, due to a more compact size and weight. Thus if you need to carry your tools between worksites, you will find plasma cutters are more portable than traditional cutting tools. Additionally, they don’t always require electrical power as they can be operated using engine-driven welders or generators too.
The cost benefits of a plasma cutter are also comparatively less. You can cut thick pieces of steel using a plasma cutter for half the cost of other tools. You will also save money on energy, as plasma cutters consume less power. This contribute towards savings on your electricity bills. All in all there are multiple benefits of buying a plasma cutter. All that’s left to decide is which is the best plasma cutter is for you.
What is a plasma cutter?
It is a tool that uses an electric arc and high-velocity gas to cut metal.
What types of metal can I use the plasma cutter with?
You can use it with any electrically conductive metals.
What are the differences between the qualities of cuts?
There are three different cutting qualities. Rated cut is fastest and cleanest and used for less thick metals. Quality cut gives decent cuts with thicker materials, though it is slower. Severe cut gives a less refined cut but is able to cut the maximum thickest metals.
What are the start types?
Contact and high frequency are the two start types for cutters which use pilot arc. High-frequency start is not recommended if there are other electrical appliances using the same power outlet. This is because it can cause electrical interference or even damage.
What is the speed of a plasma cutter?
This depends on the amperage of the machine. The higher the amp and voltage required, the faster and smoother the unit will be able to cut.
What Are Consumable Parts?
Consumables are basically the parts which will need replacing. A typical plasma cutter usually has five small consumable components. These include the shield, retaining cap, nozzle, swirl ring, and electrode. Of these, the nozzle and electrodes degrade more frequently than the others and will need replacing more often.
When it comes to metal cutting, it's important that you have the best and most advanced tool for the job. With rapid progress in technology, there are now alternatives to traditional metal cutting processes like oxy-fuel. Plasma cutters are increasingly becoming the tool of choice for both occasional hobbyists and professionals alike. Cutting blades, metal grinders and other old school methods are no longer up to the mark. Nowadays people want efficiency teamed with a more compact size, and that’s where plasma units fill the demand.
Whether it’s speed, precision, ease of use, portability, versatility, and much more, you simply can’t beat a plasma cutter. In this article we have explained the process of metal cutting using a plasma cutter. We have reviewed the top ten best plasma cutters currently on the market, with both pros and cons. You will have learned the benefits of buying a plasma cutter over other tools. You will also now know which features to look out for when selecting a plasma cutter with our handy buying guide. For any questions you may have, our FAQ section covers the common queries. Finally, we hope that this article has been informative for you and wish you all the best with deciding on the best plasma cutter for you.