Best Plasma Cutters: We Reviewed the Best 3 Models for Any Budget

If you work with metals (melting, welding, shaping, and so on), you probably need to use a specialized cutting tool. Now, this tool may vary depending on the type of cuts you want to make, but the for quick and effortless results, you are going to need one of the best plasma cutters.

These tools use electricity to ionize gas or compressed air to create high-intensity energy, which translates into heat. This heat is focused into a stream that cuts through most metals like it was butter, without leaving any scrapings behind.

The good news is that, due to modern technologies, plasma cutters are smaller in size (than they used to be) and the prices make them available to hobbyists. So, if you’re looking for such a tool to add to your garage or auto shop, you won’t have any troubles finding options.

Since we know it can be a bit difficult to understand and absorb all the knowledge required to choose a plasma cutter for your specific needs, we did some digging and found the best products for a DIY aficionado.

Our Choice
Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 1/2 Inch Clean Cut, Brown
Best Value
SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Air Plasma Cutter Inverter DC Digital Display IGBT Portable With Accessories Welding Machine Inverter Cutting 50Amp 110V and 220V
Premium choice
Goplus Plasma Cutter Cut-50 50A 220V Electric DC Inverter Air IGBT Cutting Machine w/Free Mask LCD Display (Plasma Cutter)
Input Voltage
110V/220V
110V/220V
220V
Type
Pilot Arc tech with compressed air
Compressed air
Inverter tech with compressed air
Duty cycle
60% @ 50 A
60% @ Input Air Pressure<0.3MPA
60%
Clean cut thickness
0.5"
0.5"
12mm
Customer rating
Our Choice
Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 1/2 Inch Clean Cut, Brown
Input Voltage
110V/220V
Type
Pilot Arc tech with compressed air
Duty cycle
60% @ 50 A
Clean cut thickness
0.5"
Customer reviews
Customer rating
Best Value
SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Air Plasma Cutter Inverter DC Digital Display IGBT Portable With Accessories Welding Machine Inverter Cutting 50Amp 110V and 220V
Input Voltage
110V/220V
Type
Compressed air
Duty cycle
60% @ Input Air Pressure<0.3MPA
Clean cut thickness
0.5"
Customer reviews
Customer rating
Premium choice
Goplus Plasma Cutter Cut-50 50A 220V Electric DC Inverter Air IGBT Cutting Machine w/Free Mask LCD Display (Plasma Cutter)
Input Voltage
220V
Type
Inverter tech with compressed air
Duty cycle
60%
Clean cut thickness
12mm
Customer reviews
Customer rating

1. Lotos LTP5000D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter

If you’re looking for a plasma cutter that’s easy to use and move around, the Lotos LTP5000D is a fantastic choice. The unit is compact and portable (only weighs 23 pounds), it doesn’t require special expertise to use properly and does wonders on light-duty cutting jobs.

The device uses pilot arc technology that allows users to cut through all sorts of surfaces (even painted or rusty ones) without touching the tip of the tool to the metal. As a result, the cutter is extra-safe to use, produces better quality, and has a longer life.

Lotos LTP5000D is rated for a max clean cut thickness of 0.5” and a maximum severance thickness of ¾.” It can cut through different metals such as aluminum, copper, stainless steel, alloy steel, and more. The dual voltage capability and state-of-the-art MOSFET/IGBT transistors make this machine a must-have in any home garage or small businesses that work with metal.

Furthermore, due to the solid handle, which allows you to use the device wherever you need it. The instructions are clear, and even a complete beginner can understand how it works. Also, it is recommended for inexperienced cutters because it uses non-hazardous compressed air.

Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 1/2 Inch Clean Cut, Brown
519 Reviews
Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 1/2 Inch Clean Cut, Brown
  • NON-TOUCH PILOT ARC PLASMA CUTTER: efficiently cuts though rough, painted, and rusty surfaces and produces minimal slag. Pilot arc technology allows you to cut without touching the tip to the metal. Better cutting quality and longer consumable life.
  • SAFE AND AT LOW COST: compact plasma cutter has a handle for portability and uses non-hazardous compressed air to cut stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, copper, and aluminum.
  • THE COMPATIBLE CONSUMABLES SETS for this BROWN Color LTP5000D Plasma Cutter are "PCS22" or "PCS33". Please search "Loots PCS22" or "Loots PCS33"; NOT compatible with Loots PCON40 or PCON90 Consumables Sets or any other third part consumables set
  • OUTPUT & PERFORMANCE: 10-50 A DC output, 1/2" ideal clean cut and 3/4" maximum severance cut under 220/240V. 10-35A DC output, 1/3" ideal clean cut and 2/5" maximum severance cut under 110/120V. SUITABLE CUTTING for Stainless Steel, Alloy Steel, Mild Steel, Copper, Aluminum, etc. Uses non-hazardous compressed air to cut, safe and at low cost.
  • SETUP WITHIN 1 MIN: The pre-installed NPT 1/4" industry type D plug and air filter regulator allows you to quick connect to your air compressor by using the stand coupler existing on your air compressor. The whole machine can be setup quickly within 1 min.


2. SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Air Plasma Cutter

Equipped with an LCD display, solid handle, and automatic dual-frequency, the SUNGOLDPOWER plasma cutter uses IGBT technology to provide the best possible results. As such, the unit is durable, handles heat dissipation well and is highly effective at higher voltages.

The device uses air pressure to cut through a wide array of metals (carbon steel, stainless steel, alloy steel, iron, copper, aluminum, and more) of different thicknesses. It also works on surfaces that are not in ideal conditions (rough, painted, and/or rusty) and produces minimal slag.

The SUNGOLDPOWER cutter is rated for an ideal clean cut thickness of 0.5” and a maximum severance thickness of ¾,” but it supports adjustable current, so it adapts to the demands of the metal being cut. It features high cutting speed, and the cut is so smooth that it doesn’t need any polishing.

Finally, the LCD screen provides useful information such as air pressure and current and keep you up to date regarding the state of the unit. It’s also durable as it was designed to be waterproof, it has built-in overheat and over/under-voltage protection, and lack of air pressure protection.

SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Air Plasma Cutter Inverter DC Digital Display IGBT Portable With Accessories Welding Machine Inverter Cutting 50Amp 110V and 220V
74 Reviews
SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Air Plasma Cutter Inverter DC Digital Display IGBT Portable With Accessories Welding Machine Inverter Cutting 50Amp 110V and 220V
  • 1.50A IGBT plasma cutter with LCD display, Automatic Dual Voltage / Dual Frequency (110/120 V 220/240 V 50/60Hz). working with air compressed gas
  • 2.1/2" ideal clean cut and 3/4" maximum severance, adjustable cutting current to satisfy the cutting demands based on different kinds of material and thickness of working plate
  • 3.Suitable for cutting carbon steel, stainless steel, alloy steel ,copper and Aluminum etc. efficiently cuts though rough, painted, and rusty surfaces and produces minimal slag
  • 4.IGBT inverter soft switch, DC output Digital LCD Display, Easy Read Front Panel Air-Pressure Guage, save energy and no noise, High cutting speed, Cutting smoothly and no polish demands
  • 5.Built-in over-heat protection, over-voltage protection, under voltage protection and over heat protection and lack of compressed air pressure protection


3. GoPlus Plasma Cutter Cut-50 50A 220V Electric DC Inverter Air IGBT

For those of you who are looking for a plasma cutter that comes close to a professional device, the GoPlus machine can be an amazing choice.

Featuring advanced inverter technology, this is a multi-functional machine that comes equipped with a high-quality plasma torch that delivers impressive cutting performance (12mm max cutting thickness). The current is continuously regulated to deliver high cutting speed and a smooth surface around the edges.

Furthermore, it can be used as a DIY tool or a professional one since it has applications in a wide range of industries (automotive, repair and maintenance, ducting work, and more). It’s extremely durable due to its heavy-duty iron build, and it has proven its reliability in the field time and time again.

Just like the previous models we reviewed, the GoPlus cutter is compact and portable (it comes with a solid carry handle), but it also comes with wire and mask that ensure your safety. Finally, the unit is designed to be used in both indoor and outdoor settings (it is weatherproof), which only makes it versatile and easy to use.

Goplus Plasma Cutter Cut-50 50A 220V Electric DC Inverter Air IGBT Cutting Machine w/Free Mask LCD Display (Plasma Cutter)
20 Reviews
Goplus Plasma Cutter Cut-50 50A 220V Electric DC Inverter Air IGBT Cutting Machine w/Free Mask LCD Display (Plasma Cutter)
  • 【Compact Design】With comfortable handle and compact size, it is easy to operate and carry. And it comes with wire and mask, which can prevent you from hurting while using, it provides extra convenient for your work.
  • 【Multifunctional Use】The cutting machine is suitable for a wide range of applications including sheet metal fabrication, light industrial use, site work, automotive, ducting work, repair and maintenance services. It not only can be used in businesses and DIY users, but also fully accommodating the demands of professional operators.
  • 【High Quality Material】This plasma cutter is made of heavy duty iron. Its solid material construction makes it reliable and gives it strength that can be used for a long time. It is a good choice for the processing of metal materials machinery.
  • 【Efficient Cutter】The plasma cutting is equipped with a high quality plasma torch developed specifically to enhance and improve the cutting quality. Its continuous current regulation, high cutting speed and smooth cutting surface makes your work more efficiently.
  • 【Easy to Assemble and Use】All assembly hardware is included. Clear and brief instruction makes it easier to put together and use. And no professional tools are needed.


Best Plasma Cutters Buying Guide

In the reviews above, we mentioned several features that may look a bit weird, which is why we thought it’s best to explain the most important ones. This way, you’ll know exactly what they mean and how to use this knowledge when buying your own product.

Dual Voltage

This allows you to work on two different voltages (usually 120V and 220V), depending on your needs. There should also be a physical switch that makes the change to the setting you need without worrying too much about this process.

The feature is quite useful for portable models since you don’t know if you will be working in your garage or if you need to take it to a different site. Overall, it’s not mandatory, but it gives you more flexibility.

Input & Output Current

These two settings let users know about the amount of energy consumed by the machine and the amount of power delivered. However, it’s important to know that a high output cutter doesn’t necessarily mean better performance.

To understand this, you’ll need to take a look at the thickness rating and speed of cutting.

Thickness Rating

As you can see in the reviews above, each plasma cutter features a specific thickness rating (max clean cut thickness and a maximum severance thickness).

The clean cut thickness talks about the ideal maximum thickness of the metal you can cut without damaging the edges (the cut piece will still have smooth lines). For instance, a 40 Amp model should be able to support a maximum cut thickness of about 0.5 inches.

The maximum severance thickness, on the other hand, refers to the absolute maximum thickness of the metal before the machine won’t be able to cut through it. The result of this cut won’t be smooth, and there may be excess slag.

Quick note: to know which cutter is best for your needs, you must first understand the type of metals you want to cut.

Duty Cycle

This feature is expressed as a percent, and it represents the number of minutes the device can be working without pause in a 10-minute interval.

For instance, a 60% duty cycle means that you can continuously use the cutter for 6 out of 10 minutes (it needs 4 minutes of break time).

Now, it depends on your preferences and needs, but if you want speedy results, you may want to choose a higher duty cycle for your plasma cutter.

Inches per Minute

This feature is self-explanatory as it describes the number of inches it can cut in a one-minute interval.

For instance, if a cutter features a rhythm of 10 inches per minute at a 40% cycle while working on a 0.5-inch thick metal. This means that, for four continuous minutes, you can cut a 40-inches slice of metal. Of course, the result also depends on your work speed and other work conditions, but this is the rhythm you should expect.

Build Quality

While the price is going to be a huge factor in your decision, we also recommend thinking about the quality of the materials used to build the cutter. These devices feature a wide range of prices, but the ones that will last for a long time without too many maintenance needs are a bit more expensive.

Look for a unit that is solid and implements all the necessary safety technologies to keep a newbie safe. Also, don’t forget about accessories and consumables.

How to Safely Use a Plasma Cutter?

Before we can answer this question, we must first give you a basic definition of plasma. Plasma is a state of matter (the fourth, to be more exact) during which, gases that don’t usually conduct electricity change their behavior.

Plasma cutters work with a type of compressed gas (air or nitrogen in most cases), which is blown through a nozzle where it is ionized (with the help of an electrode), thus becoming conductive of electricity. The result is a super-heated stream of gas that melts through most metals known to man. As an added functionality, the compressed air blows the molten metal from the cut, creating a clean and smooth edge.

Now, there are two types of cutters: regular and Pilot Arc. Regular designs need to strike an ark between the electrode and the metal using a high-frequency discharge. This initiates the cut but can also be hazardous if the surface is not smooth.

Pilot Arc cutters use a technology that creates a stream of plasma between the electrode and nozzle, which means you don’t have to actually touch the tip to the surface to initiate the cut. This way, you’re not running the risk of the tip slipping from the surface or being misdirected.

A quick tip: if you have a cutter without Pilot Arc technology, you need to treat the surface before using it. This may mean using a rust converter or sandblasting any paint or bumps.

Finally, for safe use, make sure to use all the accessories delivered with the machine (some come with a tip holder so that you won’t touch the tip to the metal by accident) and check that the wire and the tool are in good shape. Furthermore, always use protection goggles, appropriate gloves, and wear clothes that will keep any molten metal from reaching your skin.

Wrap Up

Regardless of the fact that you want to cut through a car door or you’re looking to get rid of that engine stand that’s been taking up space without any use, a plasma cutter may come in handy. However, it is important to know how to choose the best one for your needs and how to appreciate its true value.

By |2019-08-06T04:55:23+00:00August 6th, 2019|0 Comments