Are you looking for the best plasma cutter under $1000? You aren’t the only one as many homeowners and professional welders try to find the best machine for cutting metal today.
In its base, the plasma cutter sends energy onto the metal surface through a very hot gas known as plasma. This results in cut metal. The air compressor helps with the release of these gases among which are nitrogen and oxygen.
Obviously, as a complex machine, the cutter consists of many features and parts that users should be aware of before making the purchase. This is where we come into the picture. After thorough research, we were able to compile the top affordable models together with the key details to be mindful of. So, let’s go!
Some people associate the lower price with fewer features or quality of performance. In reality, though, this is definitely not the case. Yes, the price plays a huge role in the choice of the right plasma cutter yet it’s not the first thing that you should look into.
At first, it’s important to determine the details and features you are looking for and then compare the models and check whether they offer everything in the price. To make the job a bit easier for you, in the following paragraphs, we’ll go over those features and details.
Sources Of Power
There are cutters that run on different power sources. Some operate on 110-120 volts while others go higher and need 220-240 volts. So, which one do you need? This largely depends on the type and thickness of the material that you are cutting. If it’s thicker than 1/4 inch or more, it requires more power and vice versa.
Nowadays, though, very popular models are the dual voltage ones that can run on both 120 and 240 volts. However, it should be noted that they tend to be heavier than the others.
It’s a fact that plasma cutters need air that’s compressed to run through the metal and cut it. Air compressors serve for this purpose. And when it comes to them, you can choose between buying a separate compressor or a cutter with an integrated one. The good news is that there are affordable models that cost less than $1000 with a built-in compressor, so the choice is yours.
Not all plasma cutters operate at the same speed. Some are slower while others are faster when it comes to cutting the metal. Understandably, with an increased speed of the cutter, users are able to complete more tasks during the day. But sometimes these machines come at a higher price, which is why it’s important once more to sort your priorities.
This cycle represents the time the machine can work without breaks before it should be turned off to cool down. Otherwise, when it passes the duty cycle, it may overheat and cause damage to the parts.
Also, it should be mentioned that the longer the duty cycle is better because it enables people to cut through deeper metal and utilize the machine continuously for a longer time. Luckily, among the best plasma cutters under $1000, there are some with fairly long duty cycles.
Best Plasma Cutter Under $1000 - Reviews Of The Top Products
Nowadays, the market is full of different cutters. Yet when it comes to the price, you should be very careful which model you end up getting. That’s why here we compiled some of the popular and worthy ones to give you an idea of what exactly you should look for. Starting from the power range and current flow up to the weight and special additions, we’ll cover it all.
1. Forney 317 250 P+ Plasma Cutter - Top Pick
There are many features that make this green model useful to welders. For starters, its arc start consists of a drag torch. This is very important because the torch should be situated at a fair distance from the surface in order to have a successful cut. And the drag makes this possible.
Then, it’s known to be portable and relatively small, which is why many homeowners get it for welding around the house. Still, it has enough space to incorporate a built-in air compressor. However, some users complain about issues with the air pressure provided by the compressor. Actually, this is among the main reasons why this model isn’t really suitable for professional work that takes a longer time.
On a brighter note, its power source is universal, allowing people to plug it everywhere. Together with the storage for consumables, which is integrated into it and the warranty of three years, these details make it worthy of at least checking this plasma cutter out.
If you are curious, more specifications are as follows:
- Power input: 120 volts
- Length of power cord: 15 feet
- Size of steel that can be cut: 1/8 inches
- Rating: 12 amps
2. Amico CUT-50, 50 Amp Pro. Plasma Cutter
This is a relatively new model on the market. Amico has incorporated many details in it that welders find helpful. And not all of the options are built inside.
Instead, it has an adjustment and meter at the front and a filter that’s inside the cutter. Since it’s digital with special inverter technology, the settings are easier to control and utilize. Still, it comes with a manual that people can refer to.
Thanks to the design of the torch, the grip is comfortable and the material is made to resist heat and damages. Not to mention that you can cut through various types of metals including stainless steel, alloy steel, aluminum, copper aluminum, and similar.
Some other specifications are as follows:
- Cutting thickness: 1 inch
- Input power range: 100-240 volts
- Output voltage: 100 volts
- Dury cycle: 60%
- Weight: 31 pounds
3. SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter
Among the things that mostly differentiate this machine from the others are the screen display and the panel at the front that can be simply read. Despite its affordable price, it’s a premium cutter that consists of heavy-duty iron. That’s why it can be used for a long time.
Also, it has extensive protection against heat, over and under voltage, and air pressure. Connected to this, various users can take advantage of it, including hobbyists and professionals. When it comes to cutting, it operates at a high speed, accompanied by high temperature and energy. Connected to this, its performance is largely dependent on the thickness of the metal that should be cut. Yet it can go through a fair thickness.
To make the process even more efficient, this cutter has a stop switch for pausing between 2.5 and 5 seconds. However, it’s known to lack an air hose and a plug, which can be bought additionally.
Here are more specifications:
- Weight: 22 pounds
- Duty cycle: 60%
- Power range: 110-220 volts
- Metal thickness that can be cut: 1/2 inch
- Efficiency: 85%
- Range of current: 20-50 amps
4. PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter
This automatic plasma cutter has a durable design that can handle heavy work at construction sites as well as projects at home. Thanks to the relatively low weight, it can be transported more easily from one place to another thus increasing the speed of the cutting process.
As for the power, it has a dual voltage with a high frequency, which is responsible for cutting through deeper metals faster than some other models. Also, the large air pressure together with the air filter cable keeps the supply of air steady and the work can be done simply and quickly.
Although it’s cheaper, it’s accurate when cutting through different materials and it’s user-friendly.
For those that are curious, some other details and specifications are:
- Power input: 110-220 volts
- Duty cycle: 60%
- Cutting thickness of stainless steel: 1/2 inch
- Weight: 22.5 pounds
- Output current: 10-50
- Warranty: 3 years
5. SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Air Plasma Cutter Inverter DC
Considering its reasonable price, this plasma cutter incorporates some worthy features that come in handy to both professionals and hobbyists.
For starters, it possesses an inverter IGBT technology that’s more advanced. It provides additional stability of the machine, as well. Depending on the material and its thickness, the current of cutting can be adjusted. And to read the pressure, there is an LCD screen with clearly accessible options.
As for the power, this is an automatic machine that supports dual voltage that enables the cutter to operate in various places around the working site. Still, it should be noted that no batteries are included in the package.
For more details and specifications, check these out:
- Power voltage: 110-220 volts
- Output power: 100 volts
- Duty cycle: 60%
- Weight: 23.9 pounds
- Dimensions: 19x10x16 inches
- Thickness of cut material: 1/2 inches maximum for a clean cut
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How much air is needed for the plasma cutter to operate properly?
Answer: This is largely dependent on the material’s thickness and the type of the cutter. Generally, though some affordable models require around 6 cfm (cubic feet per minute) at 90 psi. Still, plasma cutters are machines that need air constantly in order to perform the tasks, which is why you should look for one with a built-in air compressor or purchase one additionally.
Can plasma cutters cut aluminum?
Answer: Yes, of course. Plasma cutters can go through various materials among which are steel, copper, cast iron, and others. However, it should be noted that in the case of aluminum, the raw edges are not really suitable for welding. This is due to the oxides.
Can people perform welding tasks with a plasma cutter?
Answer: This is a bit complicated. In truth, there are some machines on the market that can perform TIG and MMA welding, which is why they are called three-in-one machines. But professionals don’t prefer them because they aren’t as efficient as the regular plasma cutters. Therefore, they should be utilized from time to time. Otherwise, it’s preferable to get systems that cut and weld separately.
What is the maximum thickness that can be cut with a plasma cutter?
Answer: Firstly, let’s make this clear – the maximum cutting thickness is actually the one that can be cut effortlessly while maintaining a smooth line. So, the maximum you can go with the cutter is 150 millimeters. And this applies to all models out there.
All things considered, plasma cutters are necessary around the household and construction sites, especially to people that work with metals with varying thicknesses that need to be cut. However, because there are many models and brands on the market, you should be careful when picking the cutter for you. If you’re looking for the best plasma cutter under $1000, you should sort out your priorities when it comes to your desired features and carefully observe what each manufacturer offers for the money. We hope we helped you with this in the previous paragraphs.
So, good luck! And tell us everything about your experience with plasma cutters here in the comments.
- 1 Buying Guide
- 2 Best Plasma Cutter Under $1000 - Reviews Of The Top Products
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- 4 Final Words