This is a new article that will show you some of the best ways to help you choose the best plasma cutter for your projects.A plasma cutter uses the electrically conductive gas to convert energy from a supply of energy to another conductive material, hence causing a cleaner, faster cutting process than using oxyfuel.
Table of Contents
- What Is Plasma Cutter ?
- How To Choose The Best Plasma Cutter?
- Best Plasma Cutter Reviews 2021
- Best Plasma Cutter Under $300
- Best Plasma Cutter Under $500
- Best Plasma Cutter Under $1000
- Best Plasma Cutter Under $2000
What Is Plasma Cutter ?
Plasma Cutter is a cutting technique which is able to cut through any conductive metals like steel, brass, aluminum, titanium and copper. You can use the torch of plasma cutter with one hand. There are some kinds of different plasma torch, depending on the thickness of metal that you need to cut. Generally, plasma cutting is much cheaper than other metal-cutting processes such as water jet cutting or laser cutting.
Plasma cutters often use a copper nozzle for constricting the gas stream with the arc that flows through it. Then, that arc is from an electrode jumping to something else. There are some systems using a ‘non-transferred’ arc that is from the electrode jumping back to the nozzle, but they are not often used for cutting. This also means that plasma cutter is just used for conductive materials such as stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminum. However, many other metals and alloys are also conductive such as brass, copper, titanium, cast iron, etc. There is a problem here is that for some of these metals, the melting temperature makes them hard to cut using a good quality edge.
Now, in this article, we want to show you some of the main factors you should pay attention when purchasing best plasma cutter.
How To Choose The Best Plasma Cutter?
While many advantages of plasma cutter over oxyfuel cutting, there is no wonder for you to invest in a plasma cutter. Although a plasma cutter will surely pay off its costs in the long run, if you want to cut lots of metals, it is better to purchase the right plasma cutter for your needs. Now, we will show you some of the main factors you should consider when buying a plasma cutter for the money.
The type of plasma cutter you choose will be determined by your work. A plasma cutter can cut some kinds of metal. As a result, when choosing a plasma cutter, you need to pay attention to the thickness and the kind of metal you want to cut. After considering your particular needs, you may find it easier to choose the right plasma cutter. Today, on the market, there are also products that combine a plasma cutter with a TIG and stick welder. If required, this may be a great option for you.
The output power will determine what a plasma cutter can cut. For instance, 12A output power from a 120V power supply can cut almost all 1/8-inch metals, while 60A output power from a 230V power supply can cut almost all of the metals that are 7/8-inch. Also, there are inverter-based plasma cutters on the market that offer high cutting output power with the same cutting capacity.
With a plasma cutter, the duty cycle is the amount of time the machine can operate continuously before needing to cool off. For example, a five-minute duty cycle means that that plasma cutter can run continuously for 5 minutes before it cools off for 5 minutes. Generally, a machine that runs at a lower power may have extended duty cycle, although its hot operating conditions can shorten it. A machine with a longer duty cycle will be proper for making deep or long cuts on large pieces of metal. Meanwhile, a machine with a shorter duty cycle will be proper for home and shop uses.
Your work flow as well as priorities will determine the type of plasma cutter you need. However, remember that while two plasma cutters can cut through a ½- inch metal and one plasma cutter can cut through that metal in a minute, the other machines could take 4-5 minutes if it is designed with a slow cutting speed. Therefore, selecting a plasma cutter with the right cutting speed can make a big difference.
The right torch
There are 2 common kinds of plasma cutting torches. The first option is the high-frequency torch that has the advantage of not using moving parts and hence remaining fairly dependable. However, this kind of plasma cutting torch requires occasional maintenance and it can also create electric noise that interferes with nearby electrical equipment. Another option for you is the contact start torch that does not interfere with other electrical equipment.
Besides, if you want to cut thin metal, you should choose a single flow torch that operates with limited amperage and also does not need an extra shielding gas flow in order to cool down the torch. For cutting on large metals or users who want to cut thick metal, a dual shielding gas flow torch will make it easier to cut thick metals at the high amperage.
Moreover, it is very important for you to select a torch design that you can hold well, especially if you need to use it for a long period of time.
Best Plasma Cutter Reviews 2021
|Plasma Cutter||Dimensions||Weight||Voltage||Amperage Range||Cutting Thickness||Editor’s Rating|
|VIVOHOME Portable DC Inverter Plasma Cutter||18 x 11 x 14"||23 lbs||110/220V||50 A||12 mm||4.3/5|
|SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter||18.5 x 11 x 13.5"||24.4 lbs||110/220V||50 A||12 mm||4.1/5|
|PrimeWeld CUT50D||15 x 12 x 6"||26 lbs||110/220V||50 A||19 mm||4.5/5|
|Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp||15 x 6 x 12"||23.9 lbs||110V/220V||50 A||12 mm||4.0/5|
|Mophorn 60 Amp Plasma Cutter||18.7 X 7.9 X 15"||26 lbs||220V||60 A||15 mm||4.4/5|
|PrimeWeld CT-520D 3-in-1||17 x 8.1 x 14.2"||35.7 lbs||120V/240V||50 A||14 mm||4.7/5|
|Lotos LTPDC2000D||17 x 8 x 12.5"||41.9 lbs||110V/220V||50 A||12 mm||4.0/5|
|Mophorn 100 Amp Plasma Cutter||24 X 10.6 X 18.9"||29 lbs||380V||100 A||35 mm||4.4/5|
|Everlast SuperUltra 206si 50A Plasma Cutter||20 x 12.5 x 13.5"||30 lbs||110V/220V||50 A||12 mm||4.1/5|
|Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP||14 x 5.5 x 11.5"||9.8 kg||110V/240V||-||16 mm||4.8/5|
Now, it is time to read on Best plasma cutter reviews before making a decision to select any of the machines.
Best Plasma Cutter Under $300
1 – VIVOHOME Portable DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Cutting Machine
I bought this plasma cutter with a fairly low expectation, naturally because the price is very cheap compared with others. It turned out a surprisingly good choice – lightweight structure and brilliant functions.
This cutter possibly cuts up to a thickness of 1/2″, allowing easy handle of various metals, such as iron; copper; carbon steel; aluminum, etc. Not to mention, its features are various and high-quality, so you can make use of this plasma cutter for different applications from sheet metal fabrication to repair & maintenance services.
A snapshot of the VIVOHOME Cut-50 cutter’s features:
- 50-amp digital inverter plasma cutter
- High speed – 1.8 times faster than the flame cutter
- Auto-voltage technology to flexibly adjust between 110 – 220V
- Smooth cutting surface, even when it comes to thick metals
- A multi-application yet the easy-to-operate tool
There are many things I like about this cheap plasma cutter. But here come two highlights.
- First is its lightweight and multi-functional structure. The product size is only L15*W11*H14 inch so you can carry it around at ease. I recommend VIVOHOME plasma cutters for widespread applications from big scale industrial CNC, construction work to household use.
- Secondly, this tool can cut different sized steel plates as butter. Even when the steel is rusty, dirty or paints covered, the cut still works smoothly.
- The instruction manual is hard to understand.
- Even there are misleadings in some parts.
It seems that the writer is not a native English speaker. For me, who have many experiences with electronic cutters, it is still fine. But with my friend – a newbie to plasma cutters, he said: “The user guide is not as useful as toilet paper.”
Fortunately, there are some Youtube videos available for your reference.
Overall, this plasma cutter supports high speed and precision cuts at a surprisingly small price.
2 – Super Deal DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Machine With Screen Display Dual Voltage 110/220VAC 1/2″ Clean Cut (CUT- 50)
This plasma cutter features a pilot arc-striking system that allows it to get easy starts and a clean cut. Besides, this 240V plasma cutter also features a convenient digital display, making it the best plasma cutter under 300 you should try out!
Super Deal plasma cutter has PRO technology, allowing it to give more stable performance and less power consumption. Besides, this machine is made of heavy duty iron, making it reliable and strong for using in a long run. This plasma cutter also has built-in over-heat protection, so it can help prevent you from hurting whenever using. Moreover, it has a wide range of applications including light industrial use, sheet metal fabrication, site work, ducting work, maintenance and repair services, making it ideal for businesses and DIY users as well as professional operators.
Some technical details are:
- Continuous current regulation, smooth cutting surface and high cutting speed
- Easy to use and operate
- Affordable price
- Long service life
- Low energy consumption and environmental protection
- Duty cycle of 60% at 24A
Like other cutting tools, this plasma cutter is designed to offer reliable performance for home or shop uses while saving your money.
3 – PrimeWeld CUT50D 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter – I Highly Recommended
This PrimeWeld CUT50D Air Inverter Plasma Cutter is designed for both industrial and construction work, or home and shop use. It is known as one of the best plasma cutter under $300 that you should know. With this plasma cutter, you can cut many different kinds of metals such as stainless steel, mild steel, alloy steel, aluminum, copper as well as other metals. Besides, this plasma cutter is a premium and rugged plasma cutter working on an automatic dual voltage 110/220V at 50A current.
The use of this plasma cutter will be cheaper than Oxyacetylene after a few cuts. Besides, the high frequency of this plasma cutter can cut thicker materials than other DC plasma cutters. Addition to this, the optimized design based on MOSFET transistors offers high power output for thicker metals and steady output for thinner metals.
Some technical details are:
- The automatic 110/220V dual voltage
- Easy to use
- Working on stainless steel, mild steel, alloy steel, aluminum, copper as well as other materials
- Weighing 22.5 lbs.
- Duty cycle of 40% at 50A, 60% at 50A
- 3 year warranty
This product produces nice deep cuts, even if you are an entry level user. Also, it is very easy to set up, and it is a worthy product with affordable price.
Best Plasma Cutter Under $500
1 – Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 1/2 Inch Clean Cut
The Lotos LTP5000D Non-touch Pilot Arc Plasma cutter is designed to use in industrial and construction environments. Also, it is ideal for home use. It is worth mentioning in best plasma cutter under $500.
This machine is a 50A dual voltage 110/220V plasma cutter. Using this portable machine may be cheaper than using Oxyacetylene after just several cuts. This plasma cutter has a handle and can be used to cut alloy steel, stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum and copper. Moreover, it has MOSFET transistor that enables to cut thin metals and it can reach high power output when cutting thick metals. Plus, dual voltage capability enables this plasma cutting machine to run directly on 220V power, or on 110V power when using a pigtail. This machine is ideal for stainless steel, mild steel, alloy steel, copper, and aluminum, etc.
Some technical details are:
- Automatic Dual Voltage Switch 110/220V
- PAPST advanced cooling system
- 50A plasma cutting capability
- Duty Cycle of 60% at 50A and 100% at 35A
The LOTOS LTP5000D Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter offers high-quality cutting performance. The features of pilot arc are especially useful for cutting on dirty metals or rough surfaces. Actually, this model is a great choice for home DIY jobs as well as small business projects.
2 – Mophorn 60 Amp Plasma Cutter
With less than $500, you can invest in one plasma cutter by Mophorn. The rated duty cycle is high, about 60%, meaning that the cutter can operate at a more significant percentage and also at higher amps. Moreover, its voltage compensation can tackle with +/-15% electricity fluctuation. Simply speaking, you can cut more while consuming less power. Despite its small price, the cutter is equipped with advanced inverter technology and PWM control.
Highlight features of Mophorn 60 Amp Plasma Cutter:
- The maximum input current of 60 Amp & adjustable LED output current
- The high voltage of 220V
- 15mm cutting capacity
- IP21 level protection from the overheat, overpressure or overcurrent
- Wide applications from automation work to site work
Having worked with the traditional cutters, I know how challenging it is to handle such massive tools. The plasma cutters tell a different story.
- The lightweight and compact structure allow users to operate and move them around without any problems. That is one reason I fall for this Morphon cutter.
- Besides its quick and precious cutting, the wind cooling fan is a big bonus.
It keeps my cutter safe from the overheat situation, then helping to lengthen the lifespan of the tool and also improve its productivity.
From my experiences, the fan of this cutter is somewhat bigger than that of other brands at similar prices. – “Great” I might add.
- If you ask what I am not satisfied with this product, there is not much to complain except for the smoke.
- As many other plasma cutters, this tool produces quite a lot of fumes during cutting, especially when it comes to stainless steel.
- Hence, remember to put on a mask whenever working with this model if possible.
3 – PrimeWeld CT-520D 3-in-1 50 Amp Plasma Cutter
The next recommendation for plasma cutters under $500 is PrimeWeld CT-520D 3-in-1 Plasma Cutter. It is suitable for both heavy and mild metals such as steel, iron, aluminum or copper. The cutting thickness varies according to the materials in use. However, the maximum measurement supported is 1/2″ – unexpectedly amazing considering its price. This tool works well on a 10-50A current, and for welding purposes, you can even adjust the flow up to 200A.
Here come specifications of the PrimeWeld CT-520D Plasma Cutter:
- The ability to cut any workpiece up to 1/2″ in thickness
- Amperage capacity from 10A to 200A, along with the 120/240V dual voltage
- The Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) inverter technology
- 3-built-in cutting options including TIG-17 torch for tig welding, PT-31 cutting torch, and stick holder welding rod
- F-class insulation for a safer operation as well as a higher voltage capacity
My first impression on this cutter was its name, which introduced this cutter as the 3-in-1 welder. So I wondered what functions were included exactly.
Now that I have checked up all of the three, I have to give the PrimeWeld tool a thumb up.
- Accordingly, you can take advantages of this plasma cutter for metal cutting, TIG welding, and MIG welding.
- The TIG welding is my favorite function since it uses a tungsten electrode instead of the consumable wire. That way, it allows the greatest operational control.
- Like plasma cutters I mentioned above, this cutter is also lightweight and compact.
There is one thing related to the minor internal air leak I want the manufacturer to improve. Other people seem to run into a similar error.
Anyway, this issue can be fixed easily by removing the fitting before wrapping the teflon tape.
Best Plasma Cutter Under $1000
1 – Lotos LTPDC2000D Plasma Cutter Tig Stick Welder 3 in 1 Combo Welding Machine
If you have a big budget – under 1000$, there are many plasma cutters available to choose from. But one of the best ones is the Lotos LTPDC2000D. This portable cutter is a multipurpose welder with 3 outstanding functions: Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter; TIG Welder and Stick Welder. Not to mention, its non-touch pilot arc technology produces better cutting quality and lengthens its lifespan. Accordingly, you do not need to touch the tip of the cutter to the metal during your cutting.
Let’s take a quick look at the features:
- 1/2 inch clean and fast cutting
- A flexible dual voltage between 110V and 220V
- The combos of 3 functions: TIG Welder, Stick Welder, and Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
- The ability to weld with kinds of acid or primary electrode
- So far so good. I have used every function but the strong stick welder is certainly my favorite one.
- Using 8 wire at 220V, I checked how it worked with 1/4″ piece of mild steel in different AMP settings: the max of 200 amps – well done; 150 amps – still worked fine; 100 amps – the took cut 1/4 inch plates together, and the ideal setting is 80 amps – great.
- I did some other experiments, and the cutter worked beyond my expectations.
I desire the longer welding leads as the current leads are surprisingly short. For me, at least 1p extra feet minimum will be fine.
Other functions work really well so I still rank it as the best plasma cutters under $1000.
2 – Mophorn 100 Amp Plasma Cutter
Another Morphon plasma cutter on the list. This time, I introduce you to its 100 Amp Plasma Cutter Pilot ARC 380V. Besides features as other cutters by Morphon, this version supports a high voltage of 380V, along with the compensation function to flexibly adjust according to the power network’s fluctuation. Also, the advanced inverter technology supports faster cutting and higher efficiency compared to other IGBT plasma cutter. The rated duty cycle is up to 60%.
I cover all the highlight features you should never miss as follows:
- Support the cutting thickness up to 1-1/3 inch (35mm)
- Max input current of 100A and input voltage of 380V
- The duty cycle of 60% which enables 85% efficiency
- IP21 protection for safer welding and the longer product life
- Of course, this plasma cutter is lightweight and multi-functional.
- Compared with Morphon 60Amp cutter, this version is a significant improvement regarding the cutting thickness and supported voltage.
- The higher the voltage is, the thicker the cutting becomes. To be more specific, this tool can cut up to 35mm steel plate like butter when using the maximum 380V.
Moreover, I hardly expected the Pilot ARC technology came at such a small price until I checked several cutters on the list. Honestly, since I bought a plasma cutter with the pilot arc, I never want to go back to traditional cutters anymore.
Considering its price, I have almost no complaint about this plasma cutter. If I have to point out what I love the least, it is the size.
3 – Everlast SuperUltra 206si 200a Tig Stick 50a Plasma Cutter Multi Process Welder Dual Voltage 110/220v
The Mosfet inverter design of this plasma cutter model with Stick, DC TIG, and Plasma output keeps everything streamlined and simple for the users, even the entry level users. This multi-process unit is more reliable than before when it has a new digital control system which is more reliable and easy to use.
This model is designed to handle the occasional plasma cutting and welding chore. With up to 200A of DC TIG welding power, this unit will have enough power to work on small steel or stainless repair.
Everlast SuperUltra TIG Stick plasma cutter has some following specific features:
- Lightweight and portable
- Working on stainless steel, steel and chronic moly
- HF plasma cutting along with pilot arc function
- Economy foot pedal
- Dual voltage 110/220V
- Weighing 30 pounds
- Stick electrode holder with 10 feet of cable and Dinse connector.
- Work clamp with 10 feet of cable and Dinse connector.
As a much improved replacement for PowerUltra 205P, the PowerUltra 206Pi is useful around small garages and home shops because a combination of DC welder and plasma cutter. So, if you are looking for an easy way for welding and cutting your steel and stainless, the PowerUltra 206Pi will be an economical alternative to buying separate units.
Best Plasma Cutter Under $2000
1 – Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP Building America Edition Hand Plasma System with Case and 15-Feet Lead
When you plan on cutting metal, you can consider using the updated Hypertherm Powermax 30XP Plasma Cutter. This is a new and improved machine with many specific features. It has a 50% increase in cutting power, so it has faster cut speeds and is a 2-in-1 design with high cutting power for thicker metals and consumables for cutting on thinner metals.
Some of the main features of this plasma cutter that you should pay attention are:
- Auto-voltage adapts to 110/240 V input power.
- Coming with hard carry case, eye shields, standard consumables, shoulder strap and Fine Cut consumables.
- Weighing 2.2 pounds
- Easy to use and light weight
- Working on any type of metal such as stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminum
- No expensive and gases needed.
Although this Hypertherm’s Powermax plasma system is a bit pricey, this system will help you do cutting or welding faster, more reliably and of course at a lower cost. It is one of the best plasma cutters you should choose right now.
After reading the top 10 plasma cutter reviews, we hope that you can find the best plasma cutter for your projects, you can look at these models on Amazon and compare prices for all of these recommended machines above. Also, you can check out other models before making your final cut.