skip to Main Content

Best Plasma Cutters for Your Metal Work

Best Plasma Cutters For Your Metal Work
Share
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Technology is advancing pretty fast. These advancements include tools used for metal works, such as plasma cutters. Plasma cutting technology has reached a point where it can now be accessed by anyone. Whether they are professionals or hobbyists.

You’ll understand the importance of having a quality plasma cutter if you’ve experienced cutting metal. Not only does this ensure a clean and smooth cut, but a precise and polished look as well. And yes, it saves you a lot of cleanup time!

Here we’re going to show you which plasma cutters are the best. We will look at models that can stand up to serious cutting, high-duty cycles, and high-powered amps.

Take note that there are different kinds of plasma cutters. There are models that focus on strength and ones that specialize in giving a cleaner cut. So instead of trying the many brands out there, we’re going to make it easier for you.

What is a Plasma Cutter?

In its basic form, a plasma cutter is a tool that will use an inert gas blown out at a high speed from a triggered nozzle. As this gas escapes, an arc is applied to it so that a hot torch is created. This gives you the ability to cut through many metals or alloys with ease. The best plasma cutter reviews will help you to find the right tool to add to your shop, garage, or business today.

Before anything else, it would be wise to know what a plasma cutter is. Well, this is a tool that uses inert gas to cut through metal. This gas is blown straight from its high-speed trigger nozzle. An arc then forms as soon as the gas mixes with air, resulting in a hot torch. This enables you to cut through any kind of metal or alloy easily.

Reviews of Top 10 Best Plasma Cutters

Best Plasma Cutter ModelsHighlightsPrice 
1. Hobart Airforce 27iWind Tunnel technology, cutting efficiency, XT30R torch, user-friendly, made from high-quality materials, ergonomic$$$Check Price
2. Lotos LTP5000DPAPST cooling system, MOSFET transistor, dual voltage settings, portable and compact design$Check Price
3. Hypertherm Powermax 45Hypertherm drag cutting technology, works very fast, portable, 1-inch severance capacity$$$$Check Price
4. Ramsond CUT 50DX 50 AmpPowered by Toshiba’s V-MOSFET, 60% duty cycle, 50-amp$Check Price
5. Everlast PowerPlasma 50SIPT-60 torch, 50-amp rating, CNC port as a light gauge$$Check Price
6. Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme40-amp plasma rating, max cutting of 5/8-inch thick metals, lightweight$$$$Check Price
7. Lincoln Electric P209.5-reach torch assembly, requires 3.5 CFM at 65 PSI, cuts through 1/8 inches, lightweight$$$Check Price
8. PrimeWeld Cut50Can cut through 1/2-inch stainless metal and 5/8-inch mild steel, power requirement of 230 to 240 VAC$$Check Price
9. Hobart AirForce 40iCan cut through 5/8-inch steel, 50% duty cycle$$$$Check Price
10. Lotos CT520D3-in-1 tool, maximum severance thickness of 3/4-inch$Check Price

1. Hobart Airforce 27i

The Hobart Airforce 27i features a multi-voltage plug that is designed for easy cutting of all metals. This unit features inverter-based design and the 120 or 240 VAC compatibility.

We find this one of the most user-friendly plasma cutters. This is because it can be operated easily with a few tinkering. Setting this up is also easy. Cutting different kinds of metal efficiently and fast is what this plasma cutter is all about.

It does this while ensuring its final output to be clean and precisely cut. You don’t even have to preheat the metal before cutting it. The Hobart Airforce 27i can cut through it even if the metal is cold.

Technical Details

This plasma cutter can cut through 3/8 mild steel and can sever through 5/8 mild steel. We also find its fan-on-demand feature to be energy-efficient as it only runs when needed. This saves you the worry of having to deal with debris and dust being sucked into the unit. The XT30R torch works pretty good as well as it is supported by a 12-foot lead. The Hobart Airforce 27i is designed with the latest Wind Tunnel Technology. This prevents dust and other abrasive particles from damaging its internal components.

Who is this for?

First-time users of plasma cutters will have a great time using this due to its user-friendly design. This is also ideal if you’re looking for one that cuts metal really fast. Take note. It works fast without sacrificing output quality.

PROS

  • It’s very efficient especially in cutting through metal and alloy. This does its job fast.
  • User-friendly. This can be used by beginners and experienced users.
  • The Hobart Airforce 27i is made from high-quality materials.
  • Has an ergonomic design making it comfortable to be used even for hours.

CONS

  • It isn’t the most powerful plasma cutter due to its restricted amp rating. Nonetheless, its efficiency makes up for it.

2. Lotos LTP5000D

The Lotos LTP5000D is a compact, yet highly-capable plasma cutter you might want to consider. This can cut through various types of metals. So whether you’ll be cutting copper, alloy, regular or stainless steel, or perhaps aluminum, you surely won’t go through any hassle. Lotos LTP5000D accomplishes this using its compressed air that’s assured to be non-hazardous.

Using this cutter is also easy as you can use a pigtail for it to run on 220V 50/60 Hz or 110V 50/60 Hz. Quickly cut through thick or thin metal with LTP5000D. And this machine isn’t just about performance, as it also is one of the best-looking plasma cutters in town. Its sleek matte black finish won’t make you look like a mechanic from the ‘70s.

Technical Details

What makes LTP5000D a high-performance plasma cutter is its pilot arc torch. It assures you that the unit can cut through not only different metals, but various surfaces as well. Also don’t worry about slag as it doesn’t produce any. The Lotos LTP5000D doesn’t overheat because of the PAPST German cooling system.

Dual voltage capability allows the machine to run directly on 220V 50/60 Hz power, or on 110V 50/60 Hz with the use of a pigtail (sold separately).

Outputs are uniform because it has a MOSFET transistor and is powered by a 50-amp digital inverter plasma cutter. And did we mention that it’s capable of dual voltage settings? It weighs 23 pounds and measures 15 x 6 x 12 inches.

Who is this for?

The Lotos LTP5000D is best suited for people who want to prioritize power over anything else. This also suits users who are always on-the-go because of its portable and compact design.

PROS

  • It stays in place even when cutting through thick metal.
    Energy efficient despite its high-powered capability.
    Can last for years as long as it is properly maintained.It’s very efficient especially in cutting through metal and alloy. This does its job fast.
  • User-friendly. This can be used by beginners and experienced users.
  • The Hobart Airforce 27i is made from high-quality materials.
  • Has an ergonomic design making it comfortable to be used even for hours.

CONS

  • Some customers have reported premature failure of this unit.

3. Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP

Here’s another high-powered compact plasma cutter. The Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP offers easy cutting, precise output, and value for money. A small amount of grinding will do to do the job right for this one thanks to its 34/28A and 200-240 single phase input voltage. It looks pretty sleek due to its combination of black and matt gray. This one’s perfect if you want to have an aesthetically pleasing cutter.

Technical Details

It is powered by the patented drag cutting technology of Hypertherm. This plasma cutter has a 1-inch severance capacity. The cutter can cut through metal with a maximum of 1/2-inch thickness.

You’ll have an easy time cutting through most metals thanks to its 20-inch work lead and 20-inch hand torch. The Hypertherm Powermax 45 does its job fast. This is made possible thanks to its speed that has been recorded to be 1.5 times faster than those that run on oxyfuel.

Who is this for?

The Hypertherm Powermax 45 is ideal for people who want to cut through metal fast. This one’s for you if speed is your priority and not power. First-time plasma cutters will like how user-friendly this thing is.

PROS

  • Works really fast all while ensuring output quality.
  • Manufactured by a reputable brand that specializes in tools.
  • Aesthetically pleasing.

CONS

  • Bit expensive for its size.

4. Ramsond CUT 50DX

Ramsond CUT 50DX is a compact, best for money plasma cutter you can get. It has a rating of 50-amp. This goes well with its dual frequency setting of 110V/220V and 50/60 Hz.

Ramsond had been making metal cutters for years now. And the Ramsond CUT 50DX is their fourth generation plasma cutter. This model is powered by inverter technology.

Ramsond CUT 50DX enables its user to cut smoothly through stainless and alloy steel, carbon, aluminum, and brass.

Technical Details

One of the things that makes this unique is that it cuts using pulse width modulation. The plasma cutter also is powered by Toshiba’s V-MOSFET inverter technology. This  technology makes it more efficient and safer to use.

You’ll find the integrated digital display useful especially if you want to be specific about its stat settings. It has a 60% duty cycle, weighs 19 pounds, and measures 14.2 x 6 x 9 inches.

Who is this for?

This is intended for people who want to have a handy metal cutting companion. It’s lightweight, fully-capable, but has strong vibrations. This makes it perfect for those who aren’t too particular with aesthetics. After all, plasma cutters are meant to cut metal and not for show, right?

PROS

  • Low-amp and high-amp settings work seamlessly.
  • Cuts very fast with minimal resistance to different metals.
  • Ergonomic thanks to its well-thought-out design.

CONS

  • Some customers have reported problems with the reliability of the unit.

5. Everlast PowerPlasma 50S

Cut through painted or rusty metals with ease with the Everlast PowerPlasma 50S. This plasma cutter can cut through anything with a maximum thickness of 3/8 inches. It’s one of the most affordable plasma cutters you can get. Why? It’s because its parts are made from inexpensive materials.

We find the front air pressure gauge to be useful when you want to be more specific in cutting. The post flower is completely adjustable. And can go about 60 seconds for maximum torch life efficiency.

Technical Details

The Everlast PowerPlasma50S has an upgraded IPT-60 torch that has a rating of 50-amps. This is supported by a blow-back start technology and 110/220 dual voltage pilot arc. You can also use its CNC port as a light gauge anytime you want. It weighs 42 pounds, which is kind of heavy, and measures 21 x 15 x 14 inches.

PROS

  • High-powered. Can take even very thick metals.
    Cuts very well. Precision and smooth cutting output is what this cutter is all about.
    Construction is stable and solid.It’s very efficient especially in cutting through metal and alloy. This does its job fast.
  • User-friendly. This can be used by beginners and experienced users.
  • The Hobart Airforce 27i is made from high-quality materials.
  • Has an ergonomic design making it comfortable to be used even for hours.

CONS

  • A bit too heavy for its size. Not the best if you’re going to use this in different places.

6. Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme

Miller has been in the business of making arc welding and cutting equipment since 1929. And because of this, their Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme is worthy of recognition. It features a shoulder strap so that you can bring it with you anywhere easily. Portability speaks for itself here.

It can be connected to 240 or 120 volt inputs without removing its cover to relink the power source.

Users will appreciate the ergonomic handles which are helpful in minimizing hand fatigue. The Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme can be easily maneuvered too. LED indicators also do a good job in notifying you of its cup, power, pressure, and temperature.

Technical Details

The Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme comes with a high-speed fan you can turn on by simply pulling a trigger. It is powered by a 40-amp plasma rating and can cut through a maximum of 5/8-inch thick metals. This plasma cutter weighs 38 pounds and measures 30 x 13 x 10.2 inches.

Who is this for?

This is perfect for people who want to have a portable, yet highly-capable plasma cutter. Just take caution, though, as this isn’t suited for beginners. Oh and yes, expect to spend lots of dollars. The Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme isn’t for the budget buyers.

PROS

  • Made of durable and high-end components.
  • Cuts through various metals fast.
  • Lightweight. You can bring this anywhere and everywhere.

CONS

  • Sometimes its power is too much to handle especially if it’s your first-time.
  • Has an expensive price tag.

7. Lincoln Electric P20

Lincoln Electric is another well-known brand when it comes to heavy-duty cutting tools. Because of this, their Lincoln Electric P20 plasma cutter made its way into our list. This is a portable and lightweight product but is capable of diving into even the thickest of metals. Though it comes at a cost, it’s still very much worth it because of the high-quality construction metals it’s made of.

Technical Details

The Lincoln Electric P20 can cut through metal with a maximum thickness of 1/8 inches. It uses its built-in standard compressed air which requires 3.5 CFM at 65 PSI. Weighing in at only 21 pounds, you can bring this with you anywhere. It includes a 9.5-reach torch assembly, power cord, 8-feet cable along with its ground clamp, and a plug. Its measurement is 19.5 x 11 x 13.7 inches.

Who is this for?

The Lincoln Electric P20 is ideal for HVAC professionals, farm owners, and metal fabricators. This is also well-suited for auto body manufacturers and hobbyists. You’d want to consider Lincoln Electric P20 if you want a reputable brand that has years of experience in the field.

PROS

  • Lightweight and capable of doing its job fast.
  • Seamless cutting output.

CONS

  • A bit too expensive. There are other brands that have the same features but have lower price tag.

8. PrimeWeld Cut50

Here’s a plasma cutter with a great bargain price. The PrimeWeld Cut50 is a plasma cutter that’s powered by an inverter. This is similar to the Powermax45 but is sold at a much lower price. This uses the same cutting technology that was used by Hypertherm in the early ‘80s.

And though this is a bit dated, it still does a pretty good job. One of the best things about this is the level of control you get when cutting through thick metal. It does its job fast but still yields great results. You also don’t have to worry if you’re going to cut thin metals because it can still do the job for you.

Technical Details

The PrimeWeld Cut50 can cut through 1/2-inch stainless metal and 5/8-inch mild steel. This weighs at around 22.5 pounds which is decently light for its capabilities. It measures 15 x 6 x 12 inches and has a power requirement of 230 to 240 VAC. This plasma cutter also needs an external air compressor to operate.

Who is this for?

This plasma cutter is perfect for people who are on a tight budget. But don’t let its price fool you because this still does a good job in cutting through thick or thin metal. This one’s for you if you constantly on metal cutlery and you want to do it fast and smooth. It works great for farms, home shops, or hobbyists alike. Accuracy is the name of the game of the PrimeWeld Cut50.

PROS

  • Works accurately on thin metals.
  • Very affordable and lightweight.

CONS

  • Incapable of intense and high-cutting works.
  • Lacks pilot-arc and CNC control features.

9. Hobart AirForce 40i

Hobart is another reputable manufacturer that has been offering quality products for more than a century. Hence, it’s safe to say that their Hobart AirForce 40i plasma cutter will do the job for you.

​This is considered as one of the most efficient and economical cutters in the market. Apart from the fact that it can work on all metals. It is powered by inverter technology which assures its utmost reliability and efficiency. The Hobart AirForce 40i is all about portability. However, it doesn’t disregard capability above anything else.

Just take note that this isn’t the most flexible as it needs 240V instead of the usual 120V or 220V of other cutters.

Technical Details

The Hobart AirForce 40i can cut through 5/8-inch steel smoothly. You can even try using it to sever a maximum of 7/8-inch thick steel. It has a duty cycle of 50% when cutting 5/8-inch metals while running at 40A and 240V. It features a 400V Wind Tunnel technology. This prevents abrasive particles from damaging internal components. It weighs 34 pounds and measures 17 x 18.2 x 11.6 inches.

Who is this for?

The Hobart AirForce 40i is an ideal plasma cutter for people who want a legitimate commercial grade cutter. Not only does this save space because of its size and design, but this is also a portable one. So if you’re always on the go, then this one’s for you. Light or heavy industrial users will get a lot of help from this plasma cutter.

PROS

  • Cuts through metal like a knife through hot butter.
  • Very user-friendly due to its ergonomic design.
  • Good quality.

CONS

  • Price is a bit too expensive for its capabilities.
  • A bit heavy.

10. Lotos CT520D

The Lotos CT520D might be a budget plasma cutter, but there’s a lot going on for it. This is a 3-in-1 tool unit that can cut metal, tig weld, and stick weld. It’s a bit heavy though but that’s the compromise from its multitool capability.

This is a fully capable budget plasma cutter that needs an external air compressor to operate. Be sure, though, to buy an extra foot pedal so that you can weld metal. It’s one of the most flexible tools out there.

This plasma cutter is a value for the buck as well as it doesn’t need a separate stick and tig welder. Its tig welding performance is pretty nice due to its starting high-frequency. The arc also works stable even if it isn’t the most flexible.

Technical Details

The Lotos CT520D is a 50-amp plasma cutter that can cut through 1/2-inch metals. It has a maximum severance thickness of 3/4-inch. It can cut alloy steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, and mild steel. This is made possible thanks to its non-hazardous compressed air. This model runs on 220V and 50/60Hz using its built-in pigtail. A 30-day satisfaction money-back guarantee is included along with a one-year limited warranty.

Who is this for?

This plasma cutter is for people who want to have a multi-tool that can be used for different metal works. The Lotos CT520D works great for cutting and welding. This one is for you if you’re on a budget and want something that can work on different areas.

PROS

  • Can work on different areas aside from cutting metal. 3-in-1 tool.
  • Affordably priced.
  • Works efficiently.

CONS

  • It’s short on power and it’s not the strongest. The components are spread to three different functional purposes.
  • This model isn’t the best when it comes to durability.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Plasma Cutter

Built-in Inverter

Know whether the plasma inverter runs on inverter technology or not. There are some cutters that feature a built-in inverter. However, those that have are more expensive than the others that don’t. Nonetheless, that’s not a big issue because its added portability makes up for it.

Power Capabilities

Know its power specifications to determine how thick of a metal it can cut through. This also lets you know how long it’ll take for the cutter to cut through. Check its amperage and voltage as its power specs depends on these two factors.

Voltage

Cutters that can operate on standard 110 and 120 volt outlets are more affordable than those that run on 220V and 240V ones. However, the latter are commonly dual voltage ones and can accept heavy duty work.

Amperage

Knowing the amperage lets you choose the right plasma cutter. The amps are the electrical currents that enable a cutter to generate cutting arc. The higher its amperage is, the better it can cut through various metals. Ensure that the breaker for the plug you are planning to hook your plasma cutter into has more amps than the plasma cutter you are about to buy. 

See to it that you match the amperage to the type or thickness of metal you’re planning to cut. Most home users choose plasma cutters that are between 40 to 50 amps. On the other hand, those that use it for commercial tasks go for 200-amp plasma cutters.

Metal

Low-amperage cutters or those that are around 25-amps can be used if you’re going to cut through 1/4-inch thick metal or less. You can, however, go for 50-amp cutters if you’re cutting 1/2-inch metals. Go for 80-amp cutters to cut through 3/4-inch thick metals.

Controls and Indicators

See to it that the plasma cutter you’re getting has good controls and indicators. It must have a well laid-out power switch and can be adjusted to your chosen current settings. It would also be better to choose one that has LED indicators. This should be easy to read and better if it’s located on its front panel. A cutter that has specific digital controls would come as a bonus.

Housing

A cutter that has a built-in housing is more durable than one that doesn’t have any. These are ideal to be used outdoors and can operate under extreme conditions.

Duty Cycle

The Duty Cycle is the ratio of cutting time to its non-working time. This means that your plasma cutter will have six minutes to cut continuously if it has a 60 percent duty cycle.

Consumables

Plasma cutters come with consumables. Examples of these are electrodes and nozzles. Choose one that has consumables that have long life spans. Check how long these consumables last and how much they cost.

Cutting Quality

Every plasma cutter has its own cutting quality. The expensive ones usually have fine cuts. But if you’re just going to do rough cuttings than the cheaper cutters will do.

Types of Plasma Cutters

Semi-Portable Plasma Cutters

These are one of the most common types of plasma cutters you’ll find. Semi-portable cutters usually weigh around 80 to 110 pounds. It can cut through a maximum of 1-inch thick metals whether it be outdoors or indoors. They aren’t the lightest, but they sure can be brought anywhere you’d like.

Heavy-Duty Plasma Cutters

Heavy duty plasma cutters are the ones that are used for commercial purposes. However, you can also use these if you want to focus on power instead of portability. These unites can easily cut through 1-inch thick metals and can handle materials with up to 1.5 inches of thickness. Don’t choose this type of cutters, though, if you’re just going to cut through thin metals as it’ll be an overkill.

Inverter Plasma Cutters

Inverter plasma cutters have fewer consumables that need to be constantly maintained. This means that you’re going to spend a lot less if you’re going to choose this type. Consistent plasma flow is better in inverter plasma cutters than the other types. It’s all about reducing maintenance costs for inverter cutters.

More Things to Ponder on Before Buying One

Getting a plasma cutter might seem like an easy task with all the many choices out there. However, choosing the right one for you is harder than you think. The aforementioned tips are effective, but here’s more:

First off, is that you need to consider the cut rating of the machine.

This means that you need to be aware of the cutter’s ability to cut through a material. The material’s thickness is the one that comes to play here. But take note that your cutter’s output amperage is directly related to the cut rating. Don’t worry though as you can see this in the specs sheet.

Another helpful tip is to choose a plasma cuter that can cut through the metal thickness you’re going to cut. If you’re not going to cut through 1.5-inch metal, then choose the cheaper ones. On the other hand, if you’re going to do the cutting on thick metals, then it’d be wise to choose the heavy-duty ones.

It’s important that your cutter can cut through metal as fast as possible. This avoids molten splash back that can shorten your cutter’s lifespan.

Conclusion

All of the reviewed plasma cutters are durable, efficient, and does the cutting job properly. However, the one that stands out among the rest is the Hobart Airforce 27i. Not only is it efficient and long-lasting due to its Wind Tunnel technology. But it can also work on heavy-duty metal works because of its high-quality construction.

Apart from that, it’s also very user-friendly thanks to its ergonomic design and easy setup. And yes, it’s affordable as well!

Get the Hobart Airforce 27i if you want to have the best plasma cutter. You’ll surely see the difference it makes to your next metal cutting job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top