Imagine this; your mom asked you to buy her a new phone, and all she said was to pick the best. So, you drove to the store and checked a dozen phones, each with cool, unique features. But, you’ve failed to bring one home because you couldn’t decide which one is actually the best. This is where a simple trip to Google beforehand and recommendations from friends should have come in handy. It's the same way with choosing the best plasma cutters for professional or personal use.
There are hundreds of plasma cutters you can pick from in the market, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with these choices. We just want the best plasma cutter for the money. Plasma cutting has offered numerous possibilities for cutting stainless steel, aluminum, and more. So, we do understand the importance of purchasing the right one for your needs.
To help you in your search, we’ve rounded up some of the best plasma cutters. We'll talk about the functions of plasma cutting, factors you need to consider, and the best cheap plasma cutters to get you started.
What is Plasma Cutting?
Plasma cutting is the process of cutting an electrically conductive material with an accelerated hot plasma jet. You can cut materials such as aluminum, brass, stainless steel, copper, and other conductive materials with the help of a plasma cutter. Due to the tool's precision and adaptability for an affordable price, this piece of equipment has become widely used in industrial construction, manufacturing, and automotive works.
Since plasma cutters produce a very hot "cone" for cutting materials, they become one of the most efficient ways of cutting curved or angled shapes. No wonder many people want to grab their own plasma cutters—it saves time, money, and effort!
What Can a Plasma Cutter do?
A lot of things!
If you still believe that a plasma cutter can only do one job, then you're mistaken and in for a treat. A plasma cutter is actually one of the most versatile tools you can have. You can use a plasma cutter to create intricate patterns and designs that can change and even improve metal art. If you need help cutting thousands of metals, a plasma cutter is a perfect addition to your tool kit.
Once you’ve finally decided to get a plasma cutter, what’s the next step? There are a few things to put into account when buying a plasma cutter. One of the main factors you have to think of is the price and specifications.
Choose the best budget plasma cutter for your various projects. Here’s a list of the top ones, with their pros and cons:
Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter - The Most Versatile Plasma Cutter
- Weight: 19.4 pounds
- Color: Brown
- Power Source: AC/DC
- Shipping Weight: 25.1 pounds
- Material: Steel
- Warranty: 1 Year
- Maximum output: 10-50 A
DIY and professional plasma cutter users alike will love the Lotos LTP5000D, a budget-friendly plasma cutter that will surely give you results. You can create a smooth, clean-cut using this plasma cutter without any hassle. No wonder professional welders love this tool.
Let's take a look at its product features: The Lotos LTP5000D is a portable plasma cutter that only weighs 25.1 pounds. Like any other Lotos plasma cutter, it has an amperage of 50A and a 60% duty cycle at an affordable price point. It also comes with stable compressed air to penetrate stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, copper, and aluminum.
What makes it unique from others is its pilot arc technology that allows you to cut up to ⅝-inch stainless steel plate without touching the tip to the metal. Compared to similar plasma cutters, this machine keeps slag production down to a minimum.
Most users give the Lotos LTP5000D a 4.6 out of 5 stars due to its cutting performance and easily replaceable parts. It only takes a minute to set up; it has a dual voltage unit, longer consumable life, and an advanced cooling system.
PRIMEWELD Premium 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter
- Color: Black
- Material: steel
- Thickness: 1/2″
- Voltage: 110/220V
- Amperage Capacity: 50A
- Maximum Output: 20-50A
Primeweld's Premium 50A Air Inverter is the most accurate and unbeatable plasma cutter for metalwork cuts. We're not lying! The 50-amp plasma cutter handle cuts up to ½ inches effortlessly. So, if you need a plasma cutter that moves like a breeze without breaking your wallet, then go for this handy tool.
Additionally, the machine has automatic dual voltage and three years of warranty. This tool can handle the type of metalwork without difficulty and is ideal for precision cuts.
Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter
- 12A output
- Max cut 3/16-inch mild steel plate
- 12-foot torch lead
- 5-year power supply warranty
The Hobart Airforce 12ci is a portable and lightweight power tool that you can use for your metal fabrication business. It works best for people who want a portable plasma cutter for household repair jobs. Some of its best features include an excellent built-in air compressor and a fan-on-demand setting which powers the fan only when needed.
This machine’s pilot arc technology makes it perfect for beginners. It also operates on 120V input, so it’s easy to plug anywhere. Lastly, the plasma cutter is very straightforward, easy to use and wield, minimizing operator fatigue. So, if you need a plasma cutter that you can easily take home, this is an ideal pick.
SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter - Best Plasma Cutter with Pilot Arc Feature
- Shipping Weight: 24.4 pounds
- Item Weight: 24.4 pounds
- Warranty: 1 year
- Power Source: DC
- Digital Display
- 1.8 times faster in cutting speed
- Maximum output: 20-50A
Plasma cutting is not just about welding and cutting; it has several applications in repair works, automotive, and more. Therefore, every feature on a versatile plasma cutter matters.
The package comes with the following components:
- Cutting torch LG-40
- Earth clamp
- Plasma tip (2 pieces) and air regulator (1 piece)
- PG head (1 piece)
- Gas pipe clasper (2 pieces) and hoop (2 pieces)
- Wire brush/chipping hammer
- Welding face mask
- Goggles (1 piece)
Aside from the cool package inclusions, this machine has an outstanding pilot arc-system that ensures a clean cut on the metal. Like any other plasma cutter, this has been carefully engineered to prove its function at an affordable price. Plus, the high duty cycle allows for low power consumption.
Zeny DC Inverter Plasma Cutter – Best Budget Plasma Cutter
- Weight: 24.4 pounds
- Material: Steel
- Weight: 10kg
- Color: Yellow
- Max cutting thickness: 1-12mm
- Shipping Weight: 24.4 pounds
- 110V or 220V dual voltage unit
Do you need a low-cost plasma cutter that gives superior performance? The low-cost Zeny Plasma Cutter has a 60% duty cycle and a weight of 10kg. Other specifications include:
- Efficiency: 85%
- Air pressure: 0.4Pa
- Power factor: 0.93
- Protection class: IP21
- Arc striking model: Touch
- Max cutting thickness: 1-12mm
This machine is low on energy consumption with a power supply voltage of 110V/60Hz, and a capacity of 5.5KVA. You'll also get a decent finish for its compact design latest technology designed to complete excellent cuts. Lastly, it has a top-quality plasma torch for maximum precision.
CUT-50, 50 Amp Pro by Amico
- Color: Red
- Size: Full Size
- Handle Material: Plastic
- Display Style: LCD
- Amperage Capacity: 50A
- Certification: ETL Listed
CUT 50 is one of the most user-friendly and convenient plasma cutters you can have. The newly designed plasma cutter with only 15-50 amps can yield great cutting performance. Its inverter technology makes it ideal for small business projects. Additionally, the CUT-50 can cut through to a thickness of ¾ inches on materials such as alloy steel or mild steel, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum.
Eastwood Versa Cut 40 Amp Plasma Cutter
- 40A output
- 60% duty cycle
- Trafimet CB50 torch
- Cuts up to the 3/8-inch plate
- 3-year warranty
Eastwood Versa gives you a high-quality machine at a very affordable price. You can have a plasma cutter that can create clean cuts on 24-gauge sheet metal. Moreover, you can set air pressure and outpower separately. The machine operates at 110/120V or 220/240V using an N50 cable adapter.
Green Forney Easy Weld 20p Portable Plasma Cutter
- Color: Green
- Item Weight: 21.1 pounds
- Power Source: AC
- Voltage: 120V
- Ground clamp: 8′
- 1/4″ cutting capacity
- Generator friendly
If you want a portable and generator-friendly plasma cutter, pick the Green Forney Easy Weld 20p Portable Plasma Cutter. It's built for everyday use, with applications such as plumbing works, auto body shop, sheet metal fabrication, and restoration. It’s one of the most easy-to-wield products on this list.
You simply need compressed air operated on a 120V power source. Due to the built-in regulator and air dryer, it makes cutting metals as easy as ever. The package also contains an adapter, nozzle, ground clamp, an extra electrode, and a cutting torch.
Canaweld Cut 45D Plasma Cutter
- 100% duty cycle at 30 amps
- Cutting thickness up to the 5/8-inch plate
- 45 amps power output
- Dual input voltage 110V or 220V
- 3-year warranty
The Canaweld Cut 45D is a compact plasma cutter with a shoulder strap. This is a powerful machine that delivers great performance with which you can perform sturdy continuous arcs. Additionally, it has a built-in air filler and water separator.
Everlast PowerPlasma 62i Plasma Cutter
- Input voltage: 220/240V
- Super bright control display
- Digital arc control
- Automatic pressure setting
- IPT 60 torch
- 3-second tip saver timer
The Everlast PowerPlasma 62i is the dupe for industry favorite PowerPlasma 60S. It has a bright control display for easy reading when you are wearing safety gear. Also, its back pilot arc makes it easier to use on rust and paint.
The automatic pressure setting lets you automatically change the pressure for a more clean cut. The 3-second tip timer turns off the torch after three seconds of arc idle time. Finally, the adjustable post-flow timer sets the time for airflow after cutting.
Plasma Cutter Buying Guide
A plasma cutter is truly a versatile tool you can have. If you purchase a good plasma cutter, it will do wonders for your productivity, while a cheap one can give you more stress. To help you make an informed choice, here are the questions you must ask yourself in search of the best plasma cutter under 500.
Question #1: What type of cuts will you be doing?
Deciding on a plasma cutter shall depend on the type of work you plan to do. If you need to conduct light-duty chores, a small machine is best. You don't need a heavy-duty plasma cutter just to cut thin sheet metals.
Question #2: How long is the warranty period?
Warranty periods for each machine can range from a few months to years. Some companies offer up to 5 years of warranty while others only offer a year. If you prefer a warranty of more than a year, there are many available companies you can check. The important thing is the company must commit to its promise within the warranty period. Some brands have dealership networks and service centers you can visit.
Question #3: What Power Levels Are Required?
For power needs, you must first consider power out and duty cycle. This determines the voltage you will need and the upper threshold for cutting. A 120/240V dual voltage plasma cutter is an ideal choice.
Question #4: Do you need an air pressure source?
Some plasma cutters come with built-in air compressors. No matter the size, a compressor can add to the cost of the machine. But, it can efficiently help you when you're working.
Question #5: Do you need advanced features?
Advanced features on the plasma cutter make it more convenient to cut materials. Some features you can think of are computer control, airflow adjustment, and different arc starting types. A specialized automatic setting can also help.
Finding the best plasma cutter requires research and knowledge. You don’t enter a hardware store without, at the very least, reading up on tool recommendations. The plasma cutters listed above are some of the best available online and physical stores. Simply answer the five questions on this buying guide to help you decide on the best plasma cutter for your needs.