Best Plasma Cutter Reviews 2017 – 2018

If you wish to purchase a plasma cutter, then you need to take into consideration the following things. The bewildering prospect of selecting the right cutter for your needs, particularly one that isn’t your first choice for a cutting tool, should be considered and treaded carefully.

This unfamiliar piece of equipment has many models and manufacturers to choose from, for one thing. For another, you should approach this problem in a logical manner. To wit, there are questions you should answer before going further with your plasma cutter shopping. For example, how much time do you plan to use this tool? To put it in another way, what kind of duty cycle should your plasma cutter have in terms of hours a day of operation?

Furthermore, what sort of electrical service should you get when you intend to utilize hits piece of equipment? Is it 30 amp, 110 volt, and single phase or 50 amp, 220 volt, and single phase? How portable should your plasma cutter be? Will you use it for your shop exclusively or do you need to take it to your job site? Portability becomes an issue if you’re a mobile worker.

What’s more, do you have a means of supplying the power tool with the compressed air it needs to operate when you’re in a remote location or are you limited to using it at your workshop, where the compressor is readily available? Or do you have a portable compressor that can go hand-in-hand with your portable plasma cutter?

PictureModelEditor RatingsOur Review
LT5000D Lotos 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter (3.8 / 5)
254+ Reviews
Our Review
Lotos LTP5000D Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter (4.2 / 5)
217+ Reviews
Our Review
Ramsond CUT 50DY 50 Amp Digital Inverter Portable Air Plasma Cutter (4.3 / 5)
103+ Reviews
Our Review
Hobart 500548 Airforce 500i 115/230 Volt Plasma Cutter (4.7 / 5)
15+ Reviews
Our Review
Hobart Airforce 500534 250ci Light Weight Plasma Cutter (3.6 / 5)
33+ Reviews
Our Review

Best Plasma Cutters Reviews

Lotos LT5000D 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter

This recommended plasma cutter earns its place on this list because it’s made by one of the leading manufacturers of plasma cutting and welding equipment in the globe. Lotos (or LOTOS) Tech offers one of the best industrial-grade plasma cutters available in the market today, which is the LT5000D.

The Lotos LT5000D has been precision engineered to deliver quality cutting action even in rugged conditions within construction and industrial environments. You can even use it for home projects, although plasma cutting in a residential context is quite the rare sight and application. The Digital Inverter LT5000D is a plasma cutter that’s 50A dual voltage device.

Using the LOTOS LT5000D Plasma Cutter is cheaper to use than oxyacetylene after a few cuts (although the better term is cost-efficient, since you’re not compromising anything when buying this instrument).

The power tool allows you to enjoy all the benefits that plasma cutting has to offer with a better, cleaner cut, less overall work, fewer chances of fire hazard, fewer noxious gases, less maintenance, and less cleaning. Meanwhile, its torch trigger could be moved for custom fittings if required. What’s more, you can use it with thumb or finger positions as required. The torch head is also small enough to fit all sorts of tight spaces, thus giving you maximum cutting flexibility every time.

Compared to DC plasma cutters, the Lotos LT5000D Air Inverter Plasma Cutter cuts much thicker materials. Furthermore, there’s less distortion in the work piece you’re cutting apart because it’s high frequency plasma that cuts right through the material like a hot knife through butter (or probably in a much more efficient way than that turn of phrase would suggest).

There are fewer chances of warping due to the high temperatures because the plasma cutter cuts things right away, with barely any time wasted. The unit is a compact package that truly delivers on its cutting promises with its optimized design and cutting-edge (pardon the pun) MOSFET transistors that offer high power output that’s consistent and dependable for thick metal cuts. Read our detailed review of the Lotos LT5000D here.

Lotos LTP5000D Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, 110V/220V

This is another LOTOS or Lotos product worth taking notice of since it’s a compact plasma cutter that’s known for its portability and quality. It’s like a smartphone in the sense that it’s the good thing that comes in small packages.

What’s more, it’s environment-friendly and safe to use by pros and DIY amateurs alike because it utilizes nonhazardous compressed air in order to do its cutting. Even better, it’s capable of cutting through aluminum, copper, mild steel, alloy steel, and stainless steel. Meanwhile, its pilot arc torch can dependably and efficiently slice through rusty, painted, and rough surfaces while producing minimal slag when everything is said and done.

As for this model’s MOSFET transistor, the LOTOS LTP5000D Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter has one that’s capable of producing a uniform output that allows for cutting thin metal strips and can also be adjusted so that it can reach a high enough power output for thick metal cutting.

Unlike the previous model, this is the more flexible Lotos unit that allows more variation when it comes to cutting material. As for its dual voltage feature, it’s an interesting benefit that enables the power tool to run on 110V 50/60 Hz with the usage of a pigtail that’s sold separately and directly on 220V 50/60 Hz power. It’s quite the flexible machine in more ways than one.

In short, the automatic dual voltage or dual frequency feature of this plasma cutter allows you to switch between 110/220V 50/60 Hz with ease. The whole kit even includes air hose connections, an air hose, air regulator, ground clamp and cable, and plasma torch. The 50 Amp Digital Inverter Air Plasma Cutter also has a maximum cut thickness of ½ of an inch and max severance thickness of ¾ inches. It also includes a PAPST Advanced German Cooling System to keep its high temperatures from going out of control or damaging the unit itself by overheating. It also integrates IGBT Power Drive Matrix and Pilot Arc Functions through Siemens’

The 50 Amp Digital Inverter Air Plasma Cutter also has a maximum cut thickness of ½ of an inch and max severance thickness of ¾ inches. It also includes a PAPST Advanced German Cooling System to keep its high temperatures from going out of control or damaging the unit itself by overheating. It also integrates IGBT Power Drive Matrix and Pilot Arc Functions through Siemens’ Roboust Infineon technology.

This plasma cutter has it all! Read our detailed review of the LOTOS LTP5000D here.

Ramsond CUT 50DY Digital Inverter Air Plasma Cutter

The Ramsond CUT Portable Air Plasma Cutter is also a dual voltage inverter that can go 110 volts 50/60 Hz or 220 volts 50/60 Hz as required by the circumstances. What’s more, this plasma cutter kit also includes a pressure gauge and an integrated digital display of current or amperage so you know if you’re using it right and you’re applying the right amount of pressure when doing any plasma-cutting operation. The integrated pressure gauge display is also easy to understand and perfectly readable for professionals who’ve had experience dealing with a plasma cutter. As for its duty cycle, it runs at 60%.

The unit has a max cutting thickness of ¾ inches and a max severance thickness of an inch, which makes it superior to many other portable digital inverter air plasma cutter models out there in terms of specs. It’s a machine that’s packaged well enough to be

It’s a machine that’s packaged well enough to be air dropped; its packaging is well-made and ensures the safety of the item inside, with the outside box lined with Styrofoam. As for the unit itself, it came with everything save for the electric plug. With it, you could cut ⅙ inch steel, ¼ inch steel, and ½ inch steel with amazing consistency and ease.

The plasma cutter was able to zip through all the materials like freshly sharpened scissors or a brand new knife. True to what’s indicated in the instruction manual, you could also use the Ramsond CUT 50DY for thinner sheets of metal (like aluminum) and not ruin it by going with the low amperage setting.

The machine cuts with no resistance and quite quickly too, so you should consider investing in a plasma cutter guide in case you don’t have steady hands for the job and you have difficulty getting straight cuts every time on your own. This 25-pound machine is truly a cutting-edge device in more ways than one. Read our detailed review of the Ramson CUT 50DY Plasma Cutter here.

Hobart 500548 Airforce Plasma Cutter

The Hobart 500548 Plasma Cutter is a must-have because it weighs only 27.8 pounds thanks to its new inverter design. What’s more, the unit is capable of cutting practically anything when powered by an engine-driven welder with a 240-volt generator power outlet (that’s about 6 kilowatts or more).

The torch it has is also developed to be fully ergonomic or easy to fit into your hands without tiring you out or causing carpal tunnel syndrome after extended use. The Hobart 500548 is also sports an MVP (multi-voltage plug).What this means is that it allows you to connect to common 230 volt or 120-volt power receptacles with one plug. You don’t have to switch plugs at all.

As for its temperature management, the Hobart 500548 is able to handle that with its post-flow air cooling, which cools down the torch and tip after use. This extends the lifespan of the electrode and replaceable tip (and, in turn, saves you loads of money in the long term).

As for the fan on demand, it runs when required. This reduces your electric bill while at the same time ensuring that your energy consumption is kept as low as possible. It even has wind tunnel technology, which is tech that prevents particles and abrasive dust from ending up inside the plasma cutter and damaging its internal circuitry.

The heat, the dirt, and the power sources of the Hobart 500548 Airforce are all kept well-regulated. This is most certainly the case with the device’s thermal overload protection. Aside from an effective cooling system, this unit is also built to withstand tough working environments and continuous work since it has a 35% duty cycle at 104° Fahrenheit. Read our detailed review of the Hobart 500548 Plasma Cutter here.

Hobart Airforce 500534 Plasma Cutter with Air Compressor

Last but not least is the Hobart Airforce 500534 Plasma Cutter. This lightweight wonder is a plasma cutter that comes complete with an air compressor and is powered by standard household current (you won’t have to hook it up to a special generator or an industrial-grade power source).

It won’t overload your electricity and it’s made to run at most any home-based electrical socket. It’s also made to cut up to ¼ inch of mild steel easily and utilizes compressed air and an electrical arc in order to cut thicker conductive metals like aluminum and steel with machine precision.

You can use the Hobart Airforce 500534 Plasma Cutter to make less slag to clean up, thinner kerfs, and precise cuts thanks to its faster slices when compared to cutters that make use of oxy/fuel. The unit includes a convenient cable management strap, extra replacement tips, a 7-foot power cord, 115 VAC plug, and 16.5-foot heavy-duty work clamp. It’s a bargain of a deal because it’s literally a complete package of a plasma cutter deal. It also has a compact size of 10 inches by 7½ inches by 13 inches and a portable weight of 27 pounds (relatively speaking, of course).

The AirForce Plasma Cutter has many plasma cutting benefits you’d surely enjoy, besides the fact that it cuts faster than any oxy/fuel torch. Your cuts are more precise when using this plasma cutter, and it comes with its own air compressor. It also doesn’t require any pressurized gas cylinders when you’re transporting it from your workshop to a worksite.

Flame tuning and gas pressure setting setup aren’t needed at all with this plasma cutter. You won’t need to preheat the metal before you cut it apart. What more can you ask for? Read our detailed review of the Hobart Airforce 500534 here.

Plasma Cutter Buying Guide

Duty Cycle

In general, the duty cycle of your plasma cutter will be greater at lesser amperages. To put it simply, if you wish to use the machine all day every day, you should consider getting a bigger, less portable unit than what you’d need to cut the material you’ll be working with because the extra hours will take its toll on a smaller cutting appliance.

Your duty cycle should have a huge amount of relevance with your shopping considerations. The majority of cutter makers will list the duty cycle in the operation or user manual of the product for your convenience. Therefore, make sure to check that approximation when you buy this machine.

Maximum Thickness

The user manual also lists down the maximum thickness that a cutter can cut, so watch out for that as well.  If you wish to use the cutter frequently (and not necessarily in a continuous fashion), then the bigger the cutter, the better the output. You should also base your purchase decision on the cutter’s maximum cutting ability.

If your usage of the cutter is at most infrequent, then your choices for portability will open up. You can choose a cutter based on the average thickness of whatever material you wish to slice apart. To reiterate, cutters with higher amp output will have a greater duty cycle (or durability and longevity after continuous use) at lower amperages and whatnot.

If your usage of the cutter is at most infrequent, then your choices for portability will open up. You can choose a cutter based on the average thickness of whatever material you wish to slice apart. To reiterate, cutters with higher amp output will have a greater duty cycle (or durability and longevity after continuous use) at lower amperages and whatnot.

Credit: Voortman.net
Credit: Voortman.net

Electrical Outlet

As for electrical outlets, this is an oftentimes overlooked factor when shopping for the right cutter. You usually need a great deal of power in order to operate the majority of plasma cutters out there, even the portable varieties with lower duty cycles. You either should have a power source available with 110 or 220-volt outlets.

In addition, they should feature amps rating as well. The electrical outlet in question should be able to support the minimum amp number required by the instrument. You should furthermore consider if other tools are plugged in the same circuit or not, since extra equipment can draw additional power and take away from the power of the plasma cutter (this is a tool that’s a bit of a power hog).

Portability Considerations

Aside from having a dedicated circuit for your plasma cutter to avoid lowered capabilities when sharing outlets, you should also consider whether or not you need a portable plasma cutter. As covered earlier, the more portable the cutter, the less duty cycle you can get out of it.

Then again, not all workers require a portable cutter per se. If your machine is to stay in one place (your workshop) where the materials to be cut are brought to the cutter instead of bringing the cutter to them, then there’s no need for transport on the job site. On the other hand, if the cutter is moved to the area where materials require cutting, you want it to be as portable and mobile as possible.

Thankfully, cutters have advanced enough to allow workers to carry them by the handle. You don’t have to use some sort of wheelbarrow to lug them around (as with the case of most generators and heavy duty air compressors).

On the flipside, the cutter isn’t the only one in need of portability. It also needs portable air compressors and a means of powering itself up in case there’s no power source in the worksite available (so you may need a portable generator as well). You might also wish to pick a plasma cutter that doesn’t use a high-frequency starting circuit if you wish to use it as part of an “automated process”. The circuit works as a spark plug of sorts.

Ergo, you can produce a much higher voltage than usual (or intended) with such a circuit included, which isn’t conducive of portable cutters that have a limited power source to begin with. What’s more, the high voltage could give you problems with computer systems because of its electrical interference as well.

Heed this warning: A plasma cutter with a high-frequency starting circuit is known to completely destroy computers like a magnet would to your hard drive. Therefore, getting a unit with a lower voltage pilot arc is the recommended course of action for your plasma cutter shopping needs.

Plasma Cutter Accessories

A plasma cutter comes with a number of accessories. Familiarize yourself with some of them since every accessory assists in making the task of cutting metals much easier.

  • Hoses: The plasma torch is connected to the plasma cutter through the hose. Many new cutters come with the hose by default, but there are times when these default hoses come up short in the length department. Therefore, you might need to buy a separate longer hose.

  • Electrodes: In order to turn gas into plasma that allows you to cut pretty much anything, you need electrodes to generate an electric spark first. This accessory requires frequent replacement, by the way.
  • Consumables: These refer to the attachment and housing that contains your electrodes and manages plasma flow from the nozzle. Although electrodes are the first things to wear out, the plasma cutting consumables take longer to wear out.
  • Shield Cup: This attaches to the plasma torch handle’s end. It’s an accessory that manages the plasma cutter’s intensity and, in turn, the overall cutting force.
  • Plasma Torch: The torch attaches to the plasma cutter’s end. The torch is the part of the unit that controls plasma. It’s also the part that does the actual material cutting, so it’s a vital accessory, to say the least.
Plasma Torch
  • Plasma Cutting Guides: As for the plasma cutting guides, they’re the ones that assist alignment of a cut so that it’s either cutting a predetermined path or pattern or it cuts along a straight line that doesn’t wobble due to human error.
  • Silicone Grease: The plasma torch’s O-ring requires loads of silicone grease in order for it to last longer. Since the torch is always under tremendous pressure and heat, it helps ensure its longevity.
  • Air Dryer/Regulator: Moisture can collect around the cut area as it cools, which is one of the major issues that can come about with plasma cutting usage. To avoid ruining the superheated cut material with moisture, you can use the dryer to keep moisture from building up.
  • Plasma Cutting Table: A cutting table that’s particularly designed  and precision engineered for plasma cutting use is important for cutting larger objects that are hard to move around.

So The Best Plasma Cutters Are:

Conclusion

You can search for quality plasma cutters all over Amazon, eBay, and other electronic sites. However, you should decide first whether or not you wish to get a cutter with an inverter. This is because inverters have a direct impact on the expensiveness of the unit. If you want to avoid inverters altogether, pay attention whether there are inverters on the unit you’re looking for or not. You can also put a negative sign right before the inverter word when searching for it as well.

This will exclude plasma cutters with inverters with your search results. What’s more, you should also pay attention on whether the unit is described as a plasma kit or not. Kits tend to not only include the cutter, but also the torch, hose, and other accessories. Obviously, the better bargains are the units since you’ll be able to get the complete package in one go.

This is especially true of workers who are buying their first cutters or don’t have hoses and torches to reuse with the cutter. The equipment they have might also be outdated or incompatible with the newer models, so buying a whole kit makes more sense than buying a cutter then buying the rest of the equipment separately.

There are even kits that offer a package of consumables too, so watch out for them. You should look for authorized plasma cutter retailers as well. That way, you’ll have access to better warranties (that is, manufacturer warranties) than from simply buying from Amazon or eBay.

Typically, with other purchase types from a non-authorized dealer, this is more difficult to accomplish because of issues in getting proof of purchases from the reseller retailer. An authorized dealer allows you to get better warranty deals with fewer questions asked when exercising your warranty privileges. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with every listing’s return policies. They can differ from reseller to reseller or site to site. Amazon.com has different return policies than eBay and vice-versa.

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