Best Plasma Cutters In 2020 – Reviews and Buying Guide
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A plasma cutter can provide you with the cleanest, smoothest cuts on metals.
We understand that a lot of people want to have the convenience of a plasma cutter, but they are uncertain what the best plasma cutters are, or how to choose this unit.
Our goal was to find right machine for you that were user friendly, and highly adaptable. The following units have all been: tested, tried, and proven themselves to make precision cuts, in short amounts of time, on a variety of metals.
Best Plasma Cutters - Reviews In 2020
1. Lotos LTP5000D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
This plasma cutter uses the non-touch arc technology. With the arc being able to do its work without coming into contact with the metal you can use it to cut rougher metals, dirty metals, painted metals, and even corroded or rusty metals with precision.
The non-touch technology also allows you to make more precise cuts and it increases the amount of use you get from your consumables. When you are working on farm equipment, automobiles, or anything that is already fabricated this technology is a work saver. It allows the cutter to work while produces the minimum amount of slag.
You will get a DC output equal ranging between 10 and fifty amps. When powered by a 220 volt or 240 volt current your cutter will make an ideal clean cut/rated cut at 10 IPM on ½” thick metals. It will make a severance cut at 10 IPM on ¾” metals.
When the machine is powered by 110 volt or 115 volt currents it will make an ideal clean cut at 10 IPM on 1/3” thick metals. It will make a severance cut at 10 IPM on 2/5” thick materials. This device uses compressed air instead of any hazardous gas.
2. Hypertherm Powermax45 XP - Best CNC Plasma Cutter
This cutter is a lightweight device weighing only 36 pounds. It is extremely easy to move, and does not require a cart, or any heavy lifting. It measures 17.4” x 6.8” x 14.1 inches so you will not need a huge table for it, and it can be used in small shops and garages.
This device comes with a 20” hand torch. You will have the power to cut through 5/8” thick metal easily, and with the utmost precision. You will even be capable of performing precision gouging at a high rate of speed. This cutter has the speed capacity to cut through metals one and a half times faster than the common oxy-fuel cutters do. You will work shorter amounts of time and get more work accomplished.
You can use this machine to mark your metals so you can easily identify parts. You can also use it to score metal prior to welding so your welds are perfectly positioned, smoother, and cleaner.
You do not have to concern yourself with the pressure the machine is set at. It has smart sense technology designed into it so it senses the pressure setting that is needed for the metal yo are cutting and makes self-adjustments. (Read full review)
3. LOTOS LT5000D 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter
This device comes complete with the needed power supply, your cutting torch, the air filter regulator and the ground cable. It comes fully assembled so you will not need to put anything together prior to using the device.
It has an output rating between 10 and 50 amps when it is powered by a 240 volt current. When using the 240 volt power supply it is capable of cutting ½” thick metals at an ideal clean cut, and a 10 IPM rate of speed. It will make a severance cut on ¾” metals, at a speed of 10 IPM, when it is powered by 220 volts.
It can make an ideal clean cut at a 10 IPM rate of speed on metal that is 1/3” when it is plugged into a 110 volt circuit. It can make a severance cut at 10 IPM on 2/5” metals when plugged into a 110 volt outlet.
It can be setup and ready to use in under one minute. It has an industry type D plug that has been factory installed so it makes a quick connection to any air compressor that has a standard coupler in place. And this is also included in our best budget plasma cutter post for its affordable price.
4. Hobart 500566 Air Forced 40i Plasma Cutter 240V
This Hobart plasma cutter will give you the ability to cut expanded metals, perforated metals, painted metals, powder coated metals, dirty metals, rough metals, and smooth metals with the same precision.
It is powered by 240 volt electrical currents. It has an ergonomic trigger so it has more efficient consumption of air and uses fewer consumables.
The fan is a fan on demand so you can easily use the cutter in a shop that has dust in the air without damaging, or slowing down the cutter. The fan automatically turns on when it is needed, and only runs as long as it has to.
Fewer dust particles and less debris are sucked through your cutter and torch. Dust can be abrasive and cause damages inside a cutter, so the fan on demand reduces the dust that enters the cutter, and prolongs the life of your equipment.
This plasma cutter is perfect for both light usage and heavier industrial applications. It can cut 7/8” thick mild steel at 10 IPM. It has a duty cycle of 50%. It can be used on a variety of materials like steel, aluminum, copper, brass, and the cuts you get will be precise, accurate, and smoother than you could ever dream of.
5. PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter
This is a portable machine that allows you to move from one location to the next easily. It only weighs 24 pounds, so you will have no trouble lifting it, storing it, or transporting it. This machine is a repair worker, or hobbyist dream come true.
It comes complete with a ground cable that is 12’, four clamps, an air regulator, 2 couplers, the cutting torch, 2 tips for your plasma cutter, and the main machine body.
It can be powered by either the standard 110 volt electrical circuit or a 220 volt electrical circuit. You simply flip a switch to set the machine so it can handle the electrical input that you have readily available.
It will give you the ability to cut stainless steel, mild steel, copper, aluminum, and steel alloys up to ¾” with ease. It provides 50 amps of output and makes perfectly clean cuts on ½’ thick materials at 10 inches per minute.
It produces a 50 amp output with a duty cycle of 60% at 1040 F, That is a lot of power from a machine that measures 15” x 6” x 12”. It is operated with clean air as the gas supply.
6. Prime Weld Ct520d 50 Amps Plasma Cutter
This combination machine does it all. You get a 50 amp plasma cutter, a 200 amp TIG welder, and a 200 amp Stick welder all wrapped in one convenient package. You would not believe that all of those features could be neatly wrapped into one convenient package, but this Primeweld device does it all which makes it one of the smallest plasma cutters in the market.
For a machine to have all of those abilities you would think that it would need to be big, heavy, and cumbersome. This machine measures only 23.6” x 16.8” x 12.8” and it weighs less than 36 pounds. That is an astonishing amount of power contained in a mighty small package.
You might think a machine that small would only be able to cut thin pieces of metal. This jewel can cut metal that is up to ½” thick with excellent precision. It also has a duty cycle of 60%.
To change between welding and cutting processes you do not need any tools, or any difficult setup processes. You simply flip a switch and turn a knob and you are ready to perform the process you need. In less than a minute you can be set up to do any work that you need to do.
7. Forney Easy Weld Plasma Cutter for Home Use
This machine, along with a power supply of 120 volts, and 1.5 cubic feet per minute of compressed air, is all you need to cut metal that is as thick as ¼” at 10 inches per minute. The metal type can be mild steel, stainless steel, steel alloy, copper, brass, aluminum, and many others.
To give you clean and precise cuts the machine has drag torch technology. The drag torch technology actually allows you to drag the end of the torch across the metal you are cutting so you get an exact cut that is as clean and free of slag as possible.
You get 20 amps of power from a machine that measures only 15” x 8” x 12’ and weighs only 21 pounds. It is the perfect plasma cutter for hobbyist and the average individual homeowner.
It uses compressed air as a gas supply so you will not have to deal with expensive and hazardous inert gases. You can take it from job to job, and the all metal case will stand up to the moving, the outdoor elements, and the work load you give it.
With this you will get a 13’ cutting torch, an adaptor to convert it from a 20 amp to a 15 amp, an additional electrode, and additional nozzle, a ground clamp and 8’ cable.
8. 2019 Everlast Inverter plasma cutter
This Everlast plasma cutter has a blow back pilot arc that gives you the ability to cut metals that are not clean metals with the same precision that you would have cutting new metal. If you ever have to cut dirty metal, rusty metal, corroded metal, painted metal, powder coated metal, or rough exterior metal, then this is the machine you want to have with you.
It is a lightweight machine that is easily transported from one location to the next. It is powerful even though it is small, and it will perform the jobs provided by the hobbyist or the experienced metal worker/welder.
It can be used on almost every metal type, and will cut a clean cut at a speed of 8 to 12 inches per minute on metal that is up to 1” thick. It can cut a severance cut at speeds of 8 to 12 inches per minute on thicknesses up to 1 1/” thick.
It uses dry air as a gas source. No need for you to have nitrogen, or any other possibly hazardous gas on location.
It comes with a 15’ IPT 60 hand torch, a 10 ft. cable and worker clamp, a DINSE connector, and air pressure regulator, a water trap, and a consumable starter kit.
9. SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter
This is one of the quietest plasma cutters on the market. It is made out of heavy duty iron which reduces the amount of vibration it has during operation and that means you have less noise to deal with. It is sufficient for business owners, shop foremen, homeowners, hobbyist, and professional welders that travel.
It is a DC output device that has a unique LCD digital display. This digital display makes reading the air pressure and other settings easier than it would be on a common machine.
It provides excellent heat dissipation, which means you get precision cuts, and a durable device you can count on for years.
It starts with a pilot arc so it starts very quickly and provides a clean cut from the beginning. You can use it on brass, aluminum, steel, stainless, and copper that is up to ½” thick. You get that kind of cutting power from a machine being powered by your standard 110 volt household current. It is also dual voltage so you can operate it on a 220 volt circuit if that is what you have available.
This machine has over heat protection and over voltage protection designed into it. The cooling fan on the device will quickly dissipate heat, and this means you are safer and your machine lasts longer.
More reading: Amico Cut 50 Plasma Cutter
What is a Plasma Cutter?
A plasma cutter is a specialized tool designed to cut through materials that are electrically conductive. The most common materials that are cut by these tools are metals like copper, brass, steel, and aluminum.
A plasma cutter is able to make cuts through metal by creating plasma which is an extremely hot electrical groove of ionized gas. Whenever you apply enough heat to a solid object, that object will be transformed into a liquid. With more heat the liquid can be transformed into a steam. With even more heat the steam can become ionized, which means the (gas) steam adapts so that it becomes plasma.
What is a plasma cutter used for?
The plasma cutter uses plasma (gas) to move energy from a power source over to an electrically conductive material. Like metal. The result is the metal is cut in clean pieces that are more consistent in size than if you used any other metal cutting apparatus.
When a plasma cutter is used the final pieces have smoother edges, it cuts through metals at a faster pace than any other cutting apparatus, it can cut a larger variety, and more thicknesses than many other cutters.
People who do metal craftwork, like making metal signs, metal ornaments, and such love the plasma cutters. These cutting tools come in different sizes and strengths so it is easy for a hobbyist to find one of the tools that works impeccably on the type of materials they work with.
People that do repairs on metal objects, like the cutting decks of mowers, or tractor parts, find the plasma cutters to be fast, reliable, and easier to maneuver into tight situations.
There are also plasma cutters that are used in metal fabrication shops. These shops usually have automated cutters that are set to cut a particular size and pattern out repeatedly.
More Reading: Reviews on plasma cutters under 1000 USD
Best Plasma Cutting Machine Buying Guide
If you are about to purchase your first plasma cutter it might behoove you to know what features will make one cutter better for your purposes. Choosing the right cutter will not be hard if you simply learn a few of the plasma cutter basics.
You need to determine what thickness of metals you will cut the most often. You want to consider the thickest cuts you will need to make on a regular basis so you can choose a cutter that is capable of handling that thickness.
Determine the Available Voltage 110v/220v
This produce a certain amount of amps say 50 amps, much like welding machines do. They are powered by electrical currents of 110 volt or 220 volt, and they may be capable of accepting dual voltage.
Speed of cuts
The plasma cutter will be rated as capable of making a cut into a specific thickness of material in inches per minute (IPM). If the exact IPM is not specified then you can assume the cutter is rated at the standard 10 IPM.
Quality and Precision
Not only will you learn how fast the machine can cut certain thicknesses but the package should tell you what quality the cuts will be. For instance:
- Rated cut is actually the most precise cut and your package may indicate that the machine can perform a rated cut, or clean cut on a piece of 7/8” thick material in 10 IPM increments.
- The same machine may be able to cut 1” thick material at a speed of 10 IPM, but the cut will be less precise and is referred to as a quality cut.
- The same machine may be able to cut a piece of metal that is 1 ¼” thick at a speed of 10” IPM, but the quality of the cut will be less, and it may be called a severance cut.
The Working Environment
If the area where the plasma cutter will be primarily used has a lot of metal shavings in the air, or a lot of dust and debris in the air, then you need a plasma cutter that is specifically designed for dirty air environments.
These cutters will have features like fans on demand instead of continuous fans. The fan on demand will reduce the amount of dirty air that your device is exposed to.
If you do have to buy a cutter that has a continuous use fan; that is going to be used in a shop filled with dust particles or metal shavings then position the cutter as far away from the work that generates the dust and shavings.
The Air the Cutter uses
For the most part ordinary air is the cutting gas used by the majority of hand operated plasma cutters that are used in one primary location. If the cutter is used in mobile applications then choose one that uses nitrogen as a cutting gas.
Nitrogen is cheaper than bottle air. Most people use nitrogen if they primarily cut aluminum because of the amount of oxidation that occurs with the nitrogen versus the ordinary air.
If you are interested about welding machines along with plasma cutter, don't miss our extensive article on guide to choose best valued MIG welders.
Types of Plasma Cutters
Many people hear the term plasma cutter and they think that there is one tool that does this function. The truth is there are a variety of tools that are plasma cutters. Some of these tools are perfect for people who do arts and craft work, and some of them are perfect for large shops that fabricate enormous metal pieces of machinery, and there are some of the cutters that are automated so they do a repeat cut.
The manual plasma cutters use a small hand held torch to make the cuts. Even the handheld cutters come in different sizes and different strengths. There are even manual cutters that are part of combination welding machines.
Air plasma cutters
These plasma cutters use clean air to create the plasma that cuts through the metals. Read our top plasma cutters with air compressor review post to know more about this.
Mixed Gas Plasma Cutters
These plasma cutters utilize a combination of gases to create a plasma stream. The mixed gas cutters can often cut specific types of metal, or thicker pieces of metal more precisely than the clean air cutters can.
High Definition Cutters
These plasma cutters use specialized nozzles on their torches so they can narrow the width of the arc produced. The narrowed arc causes the energy density to be greater and provides a cleaner and more precise cut. They are the most accurate of all plasma cutters.
This type of cutter is not usually owned by individuals or hobbyist.
The automated cutters are generally large machines that are used in companies that make metal objects, or metal components. These automated machines can be set to cut a repeated pattern out of a particular metal. This allows the factory to produce hundreds, or thousands of items in a short period of time.
A plasma cutter is a wonderful tool if you work with metal, fabricate items out of metal, do decorative metal crafts, or do repairs on metal items like farm equipment, lawn equipment, and automobile bodies.
These devices can be used to cut things out of new metal pieces, or to cut away old welds that are a part of an existing object. You will find that plasma cutters will give you years of trouble free performance, precision cuts, and they decrease your work load.