Over the decades, with the blessings of science and technology, plasma cutters have gone through revolutions. Compared to the 19th century, now plasma cutters have become more efficient, powerful and available in a handy size. Thanks to the plasma cutter manufacturers for making it possible for the DIYers and hobbyists to work on their own metal projects individually. Now, there is a huge availability of amazing plasma cutters from popular brands; it has become a challenging job for them to choose the best plasma cutter for the price.
But, not to be worried at all! From the thousands of plasma cutters, we have picked the 10 best budget plasma cutters for home and DIY use. So, no matter what type of metal material you want to deal with, you will definitely find the ideal plasma cutter from the list. More importantly, each of the products belongs to the top rated list, and they are also highly recommended by the users.
1. Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter
Do you want to have only the best one in the market? And don’t want to compromise with the brand? Then you must check out the 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter by one of the best brands Hobart. It's currently the best selling and high performing plasma cutter in any market place. Additionally, this product has been specially designed and manufactured for both DIY and industrial use. Let's dig in the device to know further!
To begin with, Hobart is a famous brand for making easy and user-friendly tools. Since a DIYer or an amateur user always has the risk of catching electric shock or fire, the safety issue is a major concern especially for dealing with tools like a plasma cutter. Therefore, in 500566 Airforce 40i, the Hobart team has incorporated auto-refire technology and ergonomic triggers. So, the user will be able to easily operate the device for cutting expanded or perforated metal materials. Also, they can comfortably work with painted and coated surfaces.
Not only that, but the ergonomic trigger of the device also comes with a safety and a torch to ensure precision cut with enough proper air consumption. Are you worried about its performance? You shouldn't because it's a Hobart product! And one of the remarkable features that made this device popular is its power supply. The device runs on 240v power that can cut up to ⅞ inches of steel. On top of that, the device also ensures a 50% duty cycle.
So, overall this handy plasma cutter comes with all the required features to work for any DIY project. Moreover, the user can cut steel continuously for a long time without taking a break. Therefore, all of these features make this Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter the best plasma cutter for the money that you certainly don't want to miss.
2. Lotos LT3500 35Amp Air Plasma Cutter
If you are searching for a plasma cutter under 500 but don't want to compromise with the advanced features and qualities, then our 2nd best might be the right choice for you. The LT3500 35Amp Air Plasma Cutter is from another budget-friendly brand Lotos who is efficient in manufacturing quality products at an affordable price. Are you excited to know it's outstanding features? Here they are!
Just like any other good quality plasma cutter, the Lotos LT 3500 comes with a powerful motor that can easily cut 2/5” metal-based metal. Therefore, it's an ideal plasma cutter that is recommended for small projects and home use. Nevertheless, even if the user is not a pro or hasn't used such a cutter before, here is the good news for them!
This device is very easy to set up and anyone can set it up within a minute. Also, to make the job easy for amateur users, the device has a pre-installed NPT ¼ inch industry type D plug. So, all you need to do is connect the plug, and it will automatically be connected to the air compressor. Moreover, the plug is suitable for 110v wall outlets. To help you further use the device comfortably, the package comes with the necessary accessories like consumables, cutting torch, clamp and so on.
Overall, all the existing features make the Lotos LT3500 plasma cutter not only the best home plasma cutter but also one of the best 110v plasma cutters in the market. So, it's a great device that is safe to use at home and comes at an affordable price.
3. Goplus CUT-50 Electric Digital Plasma Cutter
For our third top rated plasma cutter, we have chosen the Goplus Plasma Cutter. If you purchase tools and instruments often, then you must have heard about the brand Goplus. They have been consistently manufacturing good quality products with advanced features and selling them at a budget-friendly price. Let's discuss its features in detail.
One of the significant aspects of the Gloplus plasma cutter is its multifunctional use. You can not only use it as a cutter but also for repairing metal sheet, automotive or ducting work and maintenance purposes. So, it's a multi-purpose device that you can use in different types of work.
Nevertheless, another feature that makes this device attractive is the compact design and portability. So, if you need to carry the device from one place to another for indoor and outdoor use, you can easily carry it with the handle provided. Also, it's lightweight so you won't have much trouble carrying it.
Besides, when we are working with plasma, we should take safety measures beforehand. Therefore, sometimes you may need to arrange the protective accessories. But, if you purchase a Goplus Plasma Cutter, you will get a mask for safety. Another feature that makes this device stand out is the high-quality plasma torch. You can use comfortably and efficiently use this torch for cutting metal continuously.
So, the compact size, design, and lightweight feature makes it another best portable plasma cutter. Moreover, for comfortable use, the package comes with necessary accessories. Overall, it's a device that you may consider to purchase for home and outdoor use.
4. Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Plasma Cutter
If you are still searching for the best plasma cutter for home use and haven't found your ideal one yet, here is our another recommendation from Lotos. It's another strongly recommended cutter from this brand with some additional features. Let’s check them below!
Even though the Lotos LTP5000D couldn't make it to the top three, still it is strong and efficient to deal with different types of metal including stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, copper, and aluminum. One of the significant factors of the device that distinguishes the cutter from others is the build quality and using non hazardous compressed air.
So, when you are using this plasma cutter for any purpose, you don't have to worry about having an accident due to gas. Moreover, the inverter technology also reduces the need of having an external source of gas and air to operate the device. Besides, to the metal cutting job perfectly, the device certainly comes with a pilot arc. Due to the arc feature, it's very easy to control and use for any accuracy and precision cut.
Another important feature of the device is you can set the device for both 110V and 220V. So, depending on the thickness of the metal, you can choose the right volt before use. Overall, this device does not lack a single feature that you would need for your creative project or home use. Definitely, you can consider purchasing this amazing product which also comes at a budget-friendly price.
5. ZENY DC Inverter Plasma Cutter
Do you need a handy, little, yet the best small plasma cutter? If yes, then we have the right option for you. For our 5th recommended plasma cutter we have picked an inverter based cutter from Zeny. Even though it's a small cutter, it surely comes with all the advanced features and technology. Do you want to know what they are? Keep reading!
The reason we choose this product on our list is it's a great deal that comes with a low price. Even though the price is low, the device comes with a lot of additional accessories that you need during work. As you purchase the product, you will get a cutting torch, clamp, air regulator, plasma tip, eye protection goggles, welding face mask and so on. So, as you purchase the compact pack, you are not only getting a plasma cutter but also safety kits that we often tend to ignore.
Another reason we have selected this product for your valuable readers is the lightweight feature. You won't believe it, this ZENY DC Inverter Plasma Cutter is the lightest cutter in the market. So, whether you work on an indoor project or need a portable cutter to carry here and there, this Zeny plasma cutter will give you comfort.
As it's a lightweight device, it's also recommended to cut maximum 1 to 12 mm thick metal. Overall, the convenient size, design, weight, and color make the device an easily portable, storable device you want to have. Also, what more can we expect when the price of the product and the maintenance cost are also within the affordable limit!
6. Lotos Technology 04-ZVGR-0O8D Plasma Cutter
Again, for our 6th best plasma cutter, we couldn't help but choose 04-ZVGR-0O8D Plasma Cutter by Lotos Technology. This trustworthy brand has been manufacturing tremendous quality plasma cutters with a diverse variety that the users also find their products reliable. So, if you are ready to have a good budget for an amazing plasma cutter, thus searching for a plasma cutter under 1000, then this product is another option for you.
The first aspect that attracts the users the most is the multifunctional use of the plasma cutter. It's a 3 in 1 combo device that comes with A Pilot Arc, TIG Welder, and a stick welder. Nevertheless, regarding the metal cutting, the 50 pilot arc can cleanly cut any metal that has rough, painted, and rusty surfaces without actually touching it.
Due to this feature, you can use the device for a long time. Moreover, depending on the thickness of the material, you can use the device at 220v and 110v. Besides, to help you work with the device indoor and outdoor, the device comes with a handy design and portable weight.
So, if you need a multipurpose plasma cutter to come welder for DIY project or business, you can have this Lotos Technology 04-ZVGR-0O8D Plasma Cutter in the collection.
7. SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter
If you are not satisfied with the ZENY DC Inverter Plasma Cutter and want to see other options, you can check out this DC Inverter Plasma Cutter by SUPER DEAL. First of all, compared to the price, it's a bit higher from Zeny’s. Now, it's time to see what other features it has to offer.
This plasma cutter has been popular due to its PRO technology which ensures superior and stable performance. Not only that, but this device also promises to consume less power. So, the combination of both the features makes this device an economic and efficient one.
Also, compared to other devices, this plasma cutter can cut any metal at a higher speed in less time. Such a highly performing device must ensure durability, isn't it? Therefore, the device is also made of heavy-duty iron and construction of the device make this a strong and durable plasma cutter. So, it's a device you can use for long hours continuously.
Regarding the advanced features, the device comes with a digital display for readable front panel air pressure gauge. Also, to ensure safety, the device comes with overheat protection, over and under voltage protection and lack of compressed air protection. So, if you need a plasma cutter not just for any DIY project but also for other purposes such as repairing, automotive, maintenance, and light industrial work, you can check out this SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter.
8. Mophorn 50Amp Plasma Cutter
Well, Mophorn might not be the top brand, but their 50Amp Plasma Cutter is a great device that comes at the best price. If you are on a tight budget and need a plasma cutter for multi-purpose use, then you can consider this plasma cutter from Mophorn. Now, let's discuss its outstanding features.
Compared to all other plasma cutters, the 35% duty cycle of the Mophorn cutter ensures it's extensively efficient. However, even though this plasma cutter has the capacity to give you a smooth and precise cut, it's only capable of dealing with 12mm metal thickness. Nevertheless, the adjustable current output and LED display to ensure the cutter is in the top rated plasma cutters race.
Sometimes when working with electric power, often we face voltage fluctuation. To avoid such hindrance, the device also comes with voltage compensation function. Additionally, to work on different thickness of metal, this device can also be operated with two different voltages.
Do you need more? Here is the good news! The device also ensures safety protection for the device by including an air pressure gauge. This feature smoothly eradicates problems like over-heat and over-pressure. So, as we said, it's a multi-purpose device that comes with the highest duty cycle at a budget-friendly price that you shouldn't miss.
9. SUNCOO Cut-50 Plasma Cutter
The SUNCOO Cut-50 Plasma Cutter is our 9th best plasma cutter under 500. Just like any other good quality cutters, it comes with all the necessary and advanced features for DIY projects. It's also easy to operate to get the smooth cut on metal materials. Below are some of the other features.
As per the name, it's a 50Amp plasma cutter which means you don't need an external part to provide air or gas. Besides, it's a digital cutter that comes with an LCD display with the readable front panel. Overall, it's a powerful cutter that can smoothly cut through ½ inch metal, carbon steel, copper, stainless steel, iron, and aluminum.
Besides, when you search for plasma cutters, not many of them promise to have an energy saving feature. However, the SUNOCO's Plasma Cutter belongs to the energy saving category. Now, to tell you more about the cutter, it's made of heavy-duty iron that ensures sturdiness and durability. So, you will be able to use it casually and certainly for a long time.
Additionally, and more importantly, it's a multi-functional device that can be used in repairing and maintenance service at industrial work, site work, business, and DIY projects. It's definitely a compact plasma cutter at a low price.
10. CORAL CUT50 50 Amp Plasma Cutter
Lastly, our final best is from Coral. It's another 50 Amp cutter that comes with essential features for industrial and DIY projects. Even though Coral is not a new brand, the built quality, performance and users’ review make the product stand out among many. Further, we will discuss its other aspects.
To start with, the construction of the plasma cutter is not just made of heavy duty material but also comes with advanced inverter switch power. Overall, the construction and performance make the device an efficient and high performing device.
Also, to help you carry easily for site work, it comes with a portable design, handles, and lightweight. Besides, when you use the device, to be able to understand the readings, it comes with an LCD display. Additionally, you are getting the device with dual voltage.
However, you don't need an external plug to work with different voltages. Finally, it's a multipurpose device that is easy to use and suitable for cutting stainless steel, alloy, and mild steel, copper and other metal-based materials up to 1-15mm. Even though it's our last product in the review list, it's still one of the best in the market that you can consider purchasing.
How To Buy Plasma Cutters?
How do you cut metal without actually damaging it? Well, it's a tough job when the metal is too thick. You not only need to be strong enough but also need a lot of time to break it with a hammer. But, the end result isn’t pleasant. You end up with an uneven and jugged piece of metal after spending hours. That is why here we are going to introduce you to the best one which will make your job done easily.
Certainly, in recent times the plasma system has made the life of DIYers, technicians, mechanics, carpenters, and people who deal with steel and metal items so often. Using this amazing device people can now cut a smooth piece of metal even in less time.
Since, this cutter is widely popular in the market these days, finding a suitable and great quality cutter is not that easy. There is the diverse quality of plasma cutters available in the market from different brands. You need to spend hours on research on a market study and analyzing reviews to sort out the popular ones. Yet, you may purchase the inappropriate plasma cutter. Because depending on the projects, you would need a plasma cutter with certain features.
Reading all these complexes making you worried? Please don’t! We understand your problems and considering all of the dilemmas you may have, we have picked the 10 best rated plasma cutters after around 78 hours of research. Here, we are going to give you the most authentic and honest plasma cutter reviews based on our experience.
Additionally, to help you have a proper understanding and essential regarding the plasma cutter, we are also going to address what is a plasma cutter, its types, how the device works, how to use it, accessories and safety measures you should take, the must-have features to consider before purchase and the risk factors.
So, in our list, we will make sure no stone is upturned. Therefore, to have a profound knowledge all about plasma cutter, keep your eyes on the article.
Now, let’s get started with the reviews first!
What is a plasma cutter?
Since you are looking for a plasma cutter, you perhaps already know what a plasma cutter is. As we have already mentioned that we want our readers to have a clear understanding of this tool, we would like to take the opportunity to reintroduce the tool for all types of users. Even though it's not possible to entirely describe all the factors of the plasma cutter in a few sentences, still we will try to address the key aspects briefly.
To begin with, a plasma cutter can easily cut any type of metallic material such as aluminum, steel, cast iron, and similar other materials. The idea of plasma cutting has been derived from welding technology.
Usually, the plasma technology cuts conductive materials using hot plasma. As the device is turned on the plasma torch works as the cutter. Starting from DIYer to technicians or mechanics use this device to create, repair or scrape types of tasks for small and big projects. More importantly, in recent types, the plasma cutter has been very popular in industrial CNCs as well due to its capability of fine cut in less time.
Types of the plasma cutter
When you look up the internet searching for the plasma cutter, you will encounter different types. Which one should you go for? Well, to pick out the right one for you, you need to know what each type is suitable for. Below, we will introduce you with some of them briefly.
Mainly, there are two types of plasma cutters that can be found in the market. Mechanized and manual. Even though they cut metal with the same technology, there is a slight difference in application and set-up requirements.
Mechanized plasma cutter
This plasma cutter is used for industrial and manufacturing purposes. The mechanized cutters are computer operated and able to cut metal in a large sphere. Therefore, this plasma cutter is considered to be the best CNC plasma cutter for industrialists. It also comes with diverse features and is extensively powerful.
Manual plasma cutter
Manual cutters are mostly used by DIYers and hobbyists for small projects or repair purposes. They are often found as a handheld cutter. So, if you need to cut light metals, steels or aluminum for repairing, home use, creative project, and maintenance purpose, you can use the manual cutter. The manual plasma cutters are handier and easy to use.
Now, based on the operational technology, there are mainly two types of torch commonly seen in plasma cutters in the market. And the difference is in the device’s cutting torches.
Basically, this type of plasma cutter produces high frequency as the device is started. As a result, it creates a spark using the high voltage transformer, and some other internal parts. So, the benefit of using this high-frequency torch type plasma cutter is, you can cut the metal at the targeted point directly. You don't need any additional types of equipment to work on your metal. However, you need to be careful from encountering any other electrical types of machinery.
Contact start torch
This type of plasma cutter comes with a nozzle. So, the electrical spark is created right at the pilot arc to cut the metal. It's very easy to use as soon as the device is turned on. And more importantly, this type of plasma cutter is not encountered with other electrical equipment.
So, these are the basic two types of plasma cutter torch. Besides, there are some other variations in plasma cutters in terms of features that you may find which are ideal for cutting different types of metal. Therefore, based on the user-friendliness mostly for DIY projects, below are some of the other types of plasma cutter available.
CNC plasma cutters
The CNC plasma cutters are quite popular these days due to its budget friendliness and easy application. A user can easily operate this device using a push button to cut any types of metal parts. However, you may also find two different types of CNC plasma cutter, one is Air Plasma Cutters, and another one is Mixed-Gas Plasma Cutters. So, depending on the thickness of the metal, either one of them is used.
Hand-held plasma cutter
As from the title, you may realize this plasma cutter is handheld. It means you can easily hold the cutter in your hand during use. Moreover, it's a portable plasma cutter that you may carry anywhere for any quick repairing, gouging paint or scraping work.
Semi-Portable Plasma Cutters
The semi-portable plasma cutter weighs less than 100 pounds. You can comfortably use this cutter for indoor and outdoor work. Like other great quality plasma cutters, you can easily cut metal with this device. However, it can cut up to 1-inch thick material.
Heavy Duty Plasma Cutter
Sometimes we need to cut a very thick material. Therefore, we need a strong and heavy duty plasma cutter. So, to work on such material which is more than 1-inch thick, you can use a plasma cutter with an acetylene torch.
How plasma cutter works
A lot of hobbyists' curious minds want to know how actually the plasma cutter works so amazingly. It's time to address it too. Actually, the technology is very simple.
Usually, a plasma cutter is constructed with plasma, cutting and shielding gas and torch electrode. And, most of the plasma cutters you find in the market are operated on compressed air. So, as you turn on the device an electric arc is sent through the opening.
This gas may vary from nitrogen, argon to oxygen. As a result of the electric arc, the gas temperature accelerates and raises it to the fourth stage. After passing through the stages the gas meets the plasma. Then, the plasma is transferred at high speed through a nozzle on the targeted metal to cut through.
So, overall this is the ideal technique of plasma cutter technology. There can be more process added for more benefits as the technical development emerges. But, this is basically how a plasma cutter works in most of the cutters.
How to use a plasma cutter?
When you purchase a plasma cutter, you will definitely get a manual instruction inside the box. But, before you actually get such an item in your hand, you can prepare your brain beforehand for better understanding. Besides, if you have already seen or used a welding machine, you have nothing to worry about. The process of using a plasma cutter is pretty similar.
Below are the steps describing how to use a plasma cutter that you may follow-
Step 1: Choose a free and open space to work on metal. You need to ensure you can easily hold onto the metal safely during work.
Step 2: Turn off the unit and plug in the plasma cutter unit.
Step 3: Connect the Air compressor to the plasma cutter and attach the required fittings.
Step 4: Turn on the air flow and secure the lever properly.
Step 5: Get a ground clamp and attach it near the work area.
Step 6: Turn on the machine.
Step 7: Set the current at the right frequency.
Step 8: Remove the safety and use the trigger to activate plasma.
Step 9: Put the torch or cutter close to the metal and allow it to cut. You can use a guide for a precision cut.
Step 10: Once the cutting is done, turn off the machine.
Step 11: Turn off the air using the liver.
Sep 12: Detach all the equipment and keep them in a safe place.
What are the accessories I need to have before using a plasma cutter?
When you purchase a plasma cutter, most of it comes with required accessories that you may need during application. Since different toolbox may come with different accessories, sometimes one or two items may not be included. Therefore, to help you use the device without missing any equipment, here we will take the opportunity to enlighten you what types of accessories are usually needed.
A machine cart or wheel kit
Well, this cart is not recommended for portable or small size plasma cutters. But, if you have a powerful cutter, then it may be of a bigger size and heavy. Therefore, to carry it easily you may need a machine cart or wheel kit.
A welding table
No matter what size of material you are going to cut, a welding table will help you keep the items in place. It will reduce the risk of losing items and also hold them securely for measurement or cut.
Head protector for the plasma cutter
When you use a plasma cutter, it becomes hot. Therefore, to protect it from overheating and catching the molten metal, the head protector will work as a shield. You need to attach the protector on the cutter torch.
In order to keep all the accessories and small items in place, you may need a storage kit.
Safety Tips for working with a plasma cutter
We have already shared some tips you may consider to protect yourself from having an accident. And, to protect your important tool, plasma cutter, and metal from getting any damage. But, before you start working, you can go through the below tips for safety.
1. Wear protective clothing and headgear for protecting your eyes, face, head and the full body. Make sure the clothes are resistant to heat and fire. And for protecting your eyes, you may use goggles. Moreover, to protect your face, you are recommended to use a welding mask.
2. You are also recommended to use a welding helmet to secure your eyes from the bright light produced from the plasma cutter.
3. To protect your hand and feet, make sure you are wearing gloves, full trousers, and long sleeve clothes. Don't let your skin exposure to the plasma.
4. Before you start to work with a plasma cutter, make sure you are standing on a rubber mat.
5. Make sure the work location has a proper air ventilation system. Since plasma cutters work on gas, it may have health hazards during long use.
6. If you are using an electric plasma cutter, make sure there is no existence of water. Also, the work location is not wet. Therefore, always check the work location beforehand and make sure the place is dry.
What are the must-have things to consider to purchase the best plasma cutter?
So far, we have discussed all the background and basic information regarding a plasma cutter. If you have searched the internet, you will also find a wide variety of plasma cutters from renowned brands and extraordinary features and significantly with price variation. Now, does that make you confused how to find the best value plasma cutter from thousands?
Well, you may go through pages after pages searching for DIY plasma cutters or cheap plasma cutter reviews. However, you may still make the wrong decision if you don't know what features need to be there in your ideal plasma cutter. Therefore, to help you take the wise decision and evaluate your targeted plasma cutter before purchase, here we are going to present some of the key features for you to consider.
So, whether you purchase a plasma cutter from enlisted reviewed products or from outside, these features will certainly help you take the right decision. To know what feature we are talking about, keep reading!
Whether you are searching for the best cheap plasma cutter or the best 120v plasma cutter, the first and foremost thing you should check in a plasma cutter is the power. The price of such a tool varies due to the power specifications. Also, depending on the power performance, you will be able to know how thick metal it can cut and how fast. Therefore, when you are checking out your targeted plasma cutter, you must pay attention to its voltage and amperage.
So, if you are looking for a plasma cutter at a low price, you can choose one that comes with 110/120 volt and 40 to 50 amps. On the other hand, if you want a more powerful plasma cutter, you may choose 220/240 volt and up to 200 amps. Here, remember the later ones can cut very thick metal in less time, but they belong to the expensive category plasma cutter.
Another important feature you must not miss in your plasma cutter is having a built-in compressor. Because when you are using such a tool, you don't want an additional device for air or gas supply. It would be an added burden but nothing else. Therefore, to stay away from all the complexities, make sure the plasma cutter comes with a built-in compressor.
The next feature you should consider is the metal thickness the targeted tool can cut. So, if you need a budget-friendly cutter and you choose one with 40 to 50 amp, you can easily cut ¼ inch thick metal. Nevertheless, if you need a strong cutter to cut ¾ inch thick metal, then you should choose an 80 amp or more amperage plasma cutter. It means the more amperage and volt; the thicker metal it can cut. So, keep that factor in mind.
When you are using a plasma cutter, the quality of the cut also depends on the cutting speed. So, how do you know the cutting speed of your desired plasma cutter? Usually, it's not written on the toolbox. But, let me tell you a trick. Usually, the cutting speed depends on the amperage. It means you can easily understand how fast your device will cut comparing the amperage of the plasma cutter with one another.
Inches Per Minute
To understand how fast your targeted plasma cutter can cut through any thick metal, check out three things on the toolbox. Duty cycle, inches per minute and thickness of metal. For instance, if a device promises to cut a ½ inch thick metal with 10 IPM at 20% duty cycle, it means you can use the device to cut up to 20 inches without waiting for the device to cool down.
Indicators and Controls
Having indicators and control on a plasma cutter are very essential. Especially for the DIYers and hobbyists. In that case, you must check if the device comes with a power switch, an adjustable current setting, and indicators like LED and so on. So, look for such indicators in your plasma cutter and don't forget to check if they are user-friendly and positioned in the right place.
When it comes to dealing with electronic tools and devices, who doesn't love comfort! Here, the automated functions on such devices ensure to assist the user. But, remember that the many automated functions are present in your device will increase the price of the device. Having said that, if the plasma cutter comes with an automated cooling fan or similar functions, it would be fun to use.
Since plasma cutters are used on metal and run on electric power, having the durability is a must. This durability is also related to construction material, design and usage time. So, when you are purchasing a plasma cutter, make sure to check every part of it properly.
Cut Quality and Performance
As already mentioned the cutting speed depends on the volt and amp. It also depends on how thick metal you are going to cut. So, to understand how finely and accurately the device can cut, don't just rely on the amp and volt. Rather, read through the specifications and reviews.
Inverter-based or not
All plasma cutters do not come with an inverter. Usually, the inverter-based plasma cutter is expensive. However, they can make the device lightweight and give protection against electrical fluctuations. So, if you are looking for a plasma cutter to use outdoors, you may choose an inverter-based plasma cutter.
If you decide to use your plasma cutter only for indoor projects, then you can ignore this feature. Also, if you purchase the best one for CNC (computer numerical control technology) for your professional use, this feature may not be needed for you.
But, some users tend to use the device indoors and outdoors. For them, portability is a major factor. Fortunately, you may find different sizes of plasma cutter in the market which will vary in weight as well. So, to have a portable plasma cutter, you can choose an inverter based cutter. Also, check if the device comes with a handle to carry easily.
Whether you are looking for a portable or indoor use plasma cutter, the device must be strong and durable for long term use. Therefore, you must check if the device is made of sturdy material.
Ease of use
If you are a DIYer or need a plasma cutter for home use, then this feature is important for you. If the device is complicated to use, it would be time-consuming and a hassle job. Therefore, to avoid all sorts of complications and risk of damage, check if the operating system of the plasma cutter is easy and user-friendly.
The versatility of the plasma cutter would depend on including the required and advanced features. If a device comes with all the automated functions, fast cutting speed, ability to cut metal or steel with any thickness would make it a versatile plasma cutter. So, check how versatile your plasma cutter is beforehand.
The term “Duty Cycle” in a plasma cutter means how long it can run without any overheating. Usually, the duty cycle is mentioned in the toolbox. So, if you are looking for a plasma cutter for continuous use, make sure it comes with a higher percentage of the duty cycle. Because you don’t want to take frequent breaks while working with metal. Also, some cutters come with a cooling fan and thermal protection that also facilitate in having a good range of duty cycle.
Most DIYers love to use plasma cutters with the pilot arc. It's very easy to cut using the torch on the metal without actually touching it. Also, this torch helps to get a precise and clean cut on thin to thick materials. Even though such pilot arc oriented plasma cutters are expensive, this feature makes the product versatile, user-friendly and advanced quality.
Efficiency and accuracy
Usually, the plasma cutters are designed and constructed in a manner to ensure accurate cut with proficiency. To get the best accuracy, you need to make a measurement beforehand. Compared to a laser-based plasma cutter, the air/gas based cutters make a more accurate cut without making any complicated adjustments. But, consider that lasers can make a more precise cut in less time.
By consumables we mean, when you use a plasma cutter, eventually some of its parts are damaged. And, they need to be replaced. Therefore, to ensure you don't need to purchase another plasma cutter, make sure it's parts are available in the market.
Whether you are searching for a cheap plasma cutter or best quality plasma cutter, the budget is very important. Usually, the price depends on the higher amps. But, if you are an amateur, yet looking for the best inexpensive plasma cutter, then you can search for such cutters within $220 to $500. Here, remember they may cut from ¼ inch to ½ inch thick metal.
But, if you need a powerful and heavy duty plasma cutter for a long time, then you may keep your budget from $1500 to $2000. These ranges of the device will help you cut 1-inch metal. However, we always recommend you to prioritize quality over price. So, it would be a good choice if you can be a bit flexible in terms of the budget while purchasing a plasma cutter.
What might happen if you don’t consider the must-have features
No matter how much money you have in your budget to buy any product, we always want to get the best within that price. But, spending that money on the most popular product may not always be the best purchase. When it comes to purchasing tools like a plasma cutter, it's even riskier.
Because from the above discussion you already know there is a wide variety of plasma cutters in different features and prices. It's very difficult to identify the best among all when hundreds of the plasma cutters are available from renowned brands and highly popular. Therefore, no matter what your budget is, to pick the most suitable plasma cutter for your particular project, it's extensively important to pay attention to the must-have features. Otherwise, you would mistakenly take a decision prioritizing factors like budget, popularity or customer reviews.
Let me inform you, a 5 star in a product review may make the product a reliable one. But not considering the features may result in having a plasma cutter which does not have a long-lasting duty cycle or inverter. Moreover, if you need a plasma cutter for indoor use but due to the limited budget, you may purchase a portable plasma cutter without a built-in compressor.
And guess what! This would result in having an additional air compressor to supply air or gas to run the cutter. It also means having an added cost. Besides, you may check out features like IPM, duty cycle, cutting speed and power but did not think about durability or safety. Certainly, your investment in the plasma cutter may seem perfect initially. However, it may not last long or may cause damage to the material accidentally.
So, there are a lot of risks when you are intending to purchase a plasma cutter if you avoid the key features. Therefore, to make the best decision and a long term investment we are providing you the must-have features in detail. Hence, no matter whether you are searching for the best CNC plasma cutter for the money for industrial use or a handy plasma cutter for home use, these features will work as a guide for you to easily understand the product before and after you purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best plasma cutter?
There are a lot of great quality plasma cutters from renowned brands available in the market. Therefore, it's difficult to name only one as the best one among them. As per our research and studies, we would like to recommend the Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter for both industrial and DIY projects. It's one of the top rated and best selling products in the present market.
Who makes the best plasma cutter?
There are a lot of brands in the market that have been consistently producing amazing plasma cutters. Therefore, it's a tough call to name only one brand as the best. However, looking at the progress, quality and technology development, Hobart is in the leading position in the race.
Best plasma cutter for the home shop?
Nowadays, a lot of people use a plasma cutter for the home shop or DIY projects. For this purpose, they need a handy and easy to use the cutter. Considering these features, we have found out that Lotos LT3500 35Amp Air Plasma Cutter is the best for the home shop.
What can a plasma cutter be used for?
Generally, a plasma cutter is used to cut metal. Using a plasma cutter, a person can finely cut steel, aluminum, metal, stainless steel, and similar material. Even though some plasma cutters may come with multifunctional use, the basic use of this cutter is to cut thick metallic material for fabrication, repair and maintenance services.
Will plasma cutters cut stainless steel?
Certainly, a plasma cutter can cut steel and metal. However, before you cut such material make sure your device is compatible with the material thickness.
We are at the end of our best plasma cutter review. We have tried our best to provide you with the most honest and authentic review from a neutral perspective. Not only that, but we have also tried to incorporate all the detail and necessary information regarding a plasma cutter. We hope you now have the complete understanding and knowledge about this metal cutting device.
Our days of effort will be worth it if you can invest your money in purchasing the right plasma cutter for your project. Certainly, every plasma cutter has its own weakness; still, we hope you make the wisest decision. But, before you actually pay for your desired plasma cutter, we strongly recommend you to go through the types of the plasma cutter and the must-have features attentively. Hope the review was easy to understand and helpful for you. Thank you for spending your valuable time reading our article!