Best Plasma Cutter Reviews 2020
Primarily, a plasma cutter is a simple tool that is widely used in cutting metal materials, specifically steel. It makes use of an inert gas that is blown out of the device’s nozzle at a high speed. Simultaneously, an electrical arc is employed alongside the blown-out gas. This electrical arc tends to turn the gas into plasma, forming an ultra-hot torch that can cut through metals easily.
For the beginners in particular, knowing where to start could be the hardest part of the entire selection process, considering the wide varieties of the best plasma cutters on the market. To help you with that, it is better to start off with some of the top-rated plasma cutter reviews to widen your knowledge about the most reliable brands and models that are available today. After the product reviews, there is a comprehensive guideline that will further take you to an informed buying decision later on.
Best Plasma Cutter Reviews
Garnering an average customer rating of 3.8 stars on Amazon is the Lotos LT5000D, which is a 50-amp, dual voltage plasma cutter and a compact metal cutter. This particular model could be the best plasma cutter as it provides clean cut while delivering strong cutting performance, in spite its compact design.
It features MOSFET transistors that optimize the overall design while providing a high power output, allowing for cutting thick metal. A steady output, on the other hand, allows for cutting thin metal. The Lotos LT5000D makes use of PMW technology that is known as the Pulse-Width-Modulation where the inverter power supply tends to generate powerful DC welding currents.
Through the employment of switch power inverter, the weight and dimensions of the basic transformer are considerably reduced while increasing the efficiency by 30%. This small plasma cutter is ideal for light duty and small business projects, including do-it-yourself home jobs.
This industrial plasma machine is undoubtedly a reliable choice because the provider is Lotos Technology, which is among the leading producers of plasma cutting machines and welding equipment worldwide. Hence, the Lotos LT5000D has been engineered to handle extensive use and abuse in construction and industrial environments.
Making use of this portable plasma cutter is also a cheaper choice than Oxyacetylene. All the more, this machine requires minimal cleaning and maintenance while emitting less noxious gases and fire hazard. All in all, the torch trigger is adjustable for a custom fit that allows for a thumb or finger position while the low-profile torch head is perfect for tight spaces. The Lotos LT5000D results in less work and better and cleaner cut.
On the other hand, the Lotos LTP5000 is also a 50-amp, dual-voltage, and a non-touch arc plasma cutter. Garnering an average rating of 4.2 stars, this hand held plasma cutter provides a ½-inch clean cut. Similar to its brother, this model is also capable of delivering strong cutting performance in spite its compact design.
The Lotos Pilot is perfect for continuous cutting on dirty metal or rough surfaces. Also maximizing MOSFET transistors, this plasma machine tends to provide high power output in cutting thick metal, while a steady output in cutting thin metal. Hence, it is likewise ideal for light duty and small business projects as well as home DIY tasks.
In this particular model, Lotos makes use of a renowned IGBT technology, which is the latest high-frequency inverter, in order to provide a more consistent, more concentrated, and more precise current towards the cutting surface. The same technology substantially reduces the excessive weights and sizes that TIG welder and inverter plasma cutters are known for.
The overall design and technology used in this handheld plasma cutter allow for smooth and clean cuts of different surfaces and materials, including alloy steel, brass, stainless steel, aluminum, and many other conductive materials. It also allows for minimal heat input without the distortion of the metal.
Thus, the Lotos LTP5000D has been specifically engineered for businesses and DIYers, accommodating the full demands of both the novice and professional operators. Also, this particular model has ergonomic handle for optimum portability, while makes use of non-harmful compressed air in cutting materials. Overall, the Lotos LTP5000D Pilot can effectively cut through painted, rusty, and rough surfaces while producing minimal slag at the same time.
Meanwhile, the 50-amp and dual-voltage Ramsond CUT 50DX receives a 3.9 star rating on Amazon. This digital inverter and portable air plasma machine are among the best selling plasma cutters to date. This 4th generation Ramsond plasma machine makes use of an inverter technology while delivering high frequency.
From the Ramsond CUT50 lineup, it has evolved into the CUT50D models. Today, these series are equipped with an integrated pressure gauge that is situated on the front panel and a digital amp display. Further upgrades also include a fully insulated and foldable handle that allows for maximum comfort and portability.
It could be the best plasma cutter as it utilizes an improved German cooling system. The interior has been redesigned, incorporating Toshiba’s V-MOSFETs inverter technology, alongside a PWM; therefore, this combination results in the delivery of more consistent, more precise, and more concentrated current towards the cutting surface.
The same designs also lead to a more uniform and cleaner cut, unlike ordinary plasma machines. The Ramsond CUT 50DX allows for uniform, clean, and smooth cuts, regardless of the operator’s training and experience. It is also capable of cutting through varieties of materials like stainless steel, alloy steel, carbon steel, brass, copper, aluminum plate, and more.
The Ramsond CUT 50DX could be the best plasma cutter for you because this model has been engineered with a user-friendly interface, making it ideal for first-time users and the beginners in the plasma cutting industry. It is capable of accommodating the demands and needs of both beginners and the experienced operators, delivering a 60% duty cycle with an automatic dual-volt feature, a built-in pressure gauge display, and more.
Finally, the Hypertherm 088079 is a plasma system with a 15-foot lead and case. The Hypertherm Powermax30 receives a 5.0 star rating on Amazon, while it is not the cheapest on the list. This heavy duty plasma cutter is highly capable of delivering high performance in spite its small and portable package.
It has a 2-in-1 design that offers high-power capability in cutting metal and the fine cut consumables that result in cutting thin and detailed metal. The machine is combined with a nice carry case, cutting gloves, shaded glasses, and adapter plugs for 240 or 120-volt circuits. This all-in-one package allows you to get your cutting tasks easily and quickly right out of the box.
The high-power cutting capability of this plasma machine can handle up to a 5/8-inch or 16mm thickness. Built to last, the latest Duramax LT Torch is incorporated into this system, ensuring to withstand heat and impact. The single knob interface also allows for the easiest of operations while delivering superior cut quality and less edge preparation. Weighing at only 9.8 kilo grams, this machine is lightweight, which provides a carry strap for utmost portability.
This portable plasma cutter for sale can cut all kinds of metal that ranges from stainless steel to mild steel, aluminum, and even painted or rusted surfaces. Besides its auto-volt technology, this plasma system only makes use of compressed air, eliminating the explosive and pricey gases. All in all, the Hypertherm 088079 is a highly reliable plasma machine with the highest rating among the featured products in this review.
Additionally, the Hobart Airforce 500i plasma cutter is a 4.8 star rated product on Amazon. It is said to be the most economical plasma systems for virtually all conductive metals. Featuring an inverted-base design, this machine also provides a reliable technology and high performance that are packed in a portable design.
This plasma machine also boasts an MVP or multi-voltage plug that allows the operator to connect the device to common 230 or 115-volt power receptacles. It has a thinner kerf that results in less slag while cutting more precisely and faster than that with oxy-fuel. There is also a smaller heat-affected area that causes less warping.
With this plasma metal cutter, you are not required to configure any gas pressure settings, metal preheating, flame tuning, and gas refills or gas cylinders. With a duty cycle of 35% and a 10-foot power cord, this machine can be used through standard household outlets, and changing the plug does not require any specialty tools.
The overall design and efficiency of the Hobart 500548 provide an easy setup, allowing the operator to use it conveniently with a simple plugging, connecting the compressed air supply, grounding the work piece, pulling the trigger, and start cutting.
The Hobart Airforce kit includes the AirForce 500i with HP-50 torch, 5-meter lead and consumables, 5-meter work clamp, one airline fitting, 3-meter power cord, 6-50P MVP plugs, extra consumables, a standoff guide, and an owner’s manual. Indeed, this could be the best plasma cutter for the money, considering the fully packed kit.
Plasma Cutter Buying Guide
For some potential buyers of this machine, the best plasma cutter reviews mentioned above may be sufficient in making a final decision. However, for those who are still confused on which product to buy, it is important to read further as this section of the article provides more information that can affect your buying decision.
This factor is, perhaps, the most overlooked variable when shopping for plasma cutters. Keep in mind that an electrical outlet is very important because such device requires adequate deal of power to function effectively. Referring to the reviewed products, most, if not all, of them allow multiple-volt plug applications. Others usually require a 110-volt outlet or a 220-volt outlet. Also, take note of the amperage rating of the model you are buying, considering the electrical outlet’s capability in supporting the minimum amp required by the machine.
It is equally crucial to identify if you are planning on plugging another tool into the same circuit, or otherwise. Each of the devices will surely draw additional power where the other device might take away the power source of the plasma machine. There should be a dedicated circuit for operating the plasma cutter solely.
Although not all operators will be looking for this particular feature, another feature to look for when reading a plasma cutter review is the portability of the machine. If the machine needs to be transported or moved from one place to another, then, portability is a top priority. Nonetheless, most plasma cutters today come in a lightweight and compact size, resulting in maximum portability.
Among the important features of plasma cutter is its duty cycle. The max amp output of the machine greatly affects its duty cycle. Hence, more amperage output means more duty cycle. So, it is also crucial to identify how often you are going to use this machine, in order to rely on the max amp output for the max duty cycle. For longer shifts and continuous use, it is sensible to rely on the thickness or thinness of the materials being dealt with. You should look for a plasma cutter model that is compatible to work with the specific thickness of your material. After all, every manufacturer lists the maximum cutting capability of the machine.
While plasma cutter brands with built-in inverters cost more than ordinary models, these machines tend to provide added portability. The high-frequency transistor inverters used in the designs do not only allow for higher switching frequency but also for smaller housing, making the plasma machine more portable. Hence, built-in inverters are perfect for people with mobile services.
The vast selections of plasma cutting machines come side by side with different accessories. Each of the accessory helps in making the task easier and faster. On that note, here are the top plasma cutter accessories that you may find helpful and suitable for your needs.
- Electrodes – electrodes are the elements that create the electrical spark, which turn gas into plasma, although electrodes need replacements frequently.
- Consumables – it is the attachment and housing that contain the electrodes while controlling the plasma flow throughout the nozzle. Similar to the electrodes, plasma-cutting consumables wear out too.
- Shield Cup – this accessory is attached to the torch handle’s end, controlling the intensity and the cutting force.
- Plasma Torch – it is attached to the plasma cutter’s end and the one responsible for controlling the plasma in performing the actual cutting.
- Cutting Guides – these accessories help in aligning a cut whether in a straight line or down a predetermined direction.
- Silicone Grease – it is used on the O-ring of the plasma torch, helping extend the O-ring’s life because it always faces extreme pressure and heat.
- Air Dryer or Regulator – This particular accessory greatly helps in the prevention of moisture buildup.
- Cart – while plasma cutters come in lightweight designs, others do not, so a cart comes in handy for the heavy versions, allowing you to move the machine around the work area.
- Cutting Table – a cutting table is most important for large materials that are difficult to move.
- Circle Cutting Attachment – this makes cutting circles easier, allowing you to simply attach it to the center while the torch swings around in a circular motion at the end of the arm
- Hose – the majority of new plasma cutters already comes with a hose, but those without can buy a longer hose for better operation.
Lastly, the control panel is an essential feature of every good plasma cutter. It allows the operator to run the machine easily as it is easy to read, and it also understand controls. Some models also include easy-to-understand indicators throughout the control panel. This feature is most important for the inexperienced operators because of their limited or minimal knowledge in running such machines. For more convenience, you can look for a model with a built-in consumable compartment that is installed on the device’s control panel.
To buy plasma cutter machines, it is important to take note of the above mentioned factors and variables, including the accessories because they are equally essential throughout the buying process. Also, the featured products may be sufficient for a potential buyer to arrive at a final decision because the mentioned brands and models are no less than top-notch quality, high-performance, and excellent efficiency.
While the featured products are not the cheapest options on the market, they are affordable plasma cutter machines with multiple features that are never found in conventional and ordinary counterparts. After all, every consumer gets what he pays for and the same goes with the plasma cutters.
In a nutshell, it is important to make a thorough comparison between the products, and an intelligent selection based on the reviewed products and the considerations mentioned throughout the article. Make sure to eliminate the cost as the basis of your purchase because investing in cheap plasma cutters is not always a bargain if it does not meet your needs.
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