10 Best Plasma Cutter – Reviews And Buying Guide 2021

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No matter if it’s at work or at home, many people need an efficient machine to cut metal with. Plasma cutters serve this purpose. They utilize a plasma torch to perform the tasks. And they complete them with precision, minimizing the dirt and extensive heat.

However, finding the best plasma cutter nowadays can be complicated. This is because the powerful models are usually very expensive and the right one for you is hard to come by. Still, it should be noted that the market is full of different cutters that don’t necessarily cost a fortune and are sufficient for the tasks of most buyers. They all incorporate useful options and are suitable for beginners and professionals.

In this complete guide that contains detailed reviews, key features, and frequently asked questions, we will go over everything you should think about before embarking on the search for the best plasma cutter for you. So, let’s go!

Top 10 Plasma Cutter Model List

Reviewing The Best Plasma Cutter Models On The Market

Best Plasma Cutter

1. Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor - Our Top Pick

If you want a lightweight model that is efficient at the same time, this is among the first ones you should check out.With it, Hobart introduced some really useful features. For one, it can control the flow of air so that it can cool down quickly after the job is done.

To accompany this, there is the so-called fan-on-demand. It’s responsible for keeping debris and dirt out of the cutter’s cabinet and saving power when it’s needed. Another detail worth mentioning is that it has an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable to use. Due to all of this, beginners will have no trouble utilizing all functions and connecting it to power outlets around their homes.

In fact, this plasma cutter is the most suitable for home usage and for cutting light-duty tasks that don’t require much power. This is one of the main downsides that users point out. Together with it, they mention the fact that it apparently has low air pressure.

More specifications are the following:

  • Input power: 120 volts
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Cutting thickness: 3/16 inches
  • Size of torch connection: 12 feet
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Amperage: 12 amps
Pros
Cons

2. Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR Hand System with 15' Lead

This is a more premium model that’s very powerful and able to complete a wide variety of tasks. At the same time it manages to maintain its low weight. Therefore, many users consider it as one of the leaders in this field.

When it comes to working with it, it’s useful to know that it operates on dual voltage. Moreover, thanks to the incorporated air compressor it can be accessed from anywhere since it always provides sufficient air pressure. This enables it to cut through a greater thickness of the steel. And the cutting speed is high, as well.

However, what users report as a possible downside is that it lacks a CNC connection. For some, the price poses an issue, as well.

For more specifications, take a look at these:

  • Input power: 120 and 240 volts
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Weight: 30 pounds
  • Cutting thickness: 3/8 inches
  • Output: 15 – 30 amps
Pros
Cons

3. Miller Spectrum 625 Plasma Cutter

Miller is one of the well-known brands in the field of plasma cutters. It produces high-quality models that can be utilized for different tasks. However, they tend to have higher prices like this one. That’s why many people count it in the category of industrial machines. On the other hand, due to its low weight and compactness, hobbyists like it, as well.

There are many features to like about it, in fact. For one, it consists of technology for automatically adjusting the pilot arc to cut metal. There is no need to change any settings for this purpose. Moreover, it’s simple to operate with automatic modifications to the air pressure and making the cutting process faster.

Yet, some downsides to have in mind include the relatively short lead and high price for many.

Here are more specifications:

  • Length of torch: 12 feet
  • Output: 40 amps
  • Power input: 120 up to 240 volts
  • Duty cycle: 20% (at 120 volts) and 50% (at 240 volts)
  • Cutting thickness: maximum of 5/8 inches
Pros
Cons

4. PrimeWeld 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter, Portable Plasma Cutting Machine

Those that look for an affordable plasma cutter that’s durable will find pleasure in this one. It’s well-known for its dual voltage and digital inverter. Also, it’s able to cut various thicknesses of materials and has a quality design. At the same time, it makes the whole cutting process faster with little or no debris in the workplace.

Regardless of all the features, the machine is portable, allowing users to carry it with them around the worksite or their house. Another plus is the long torch lead, which comes in handy to many people.

However, there are some downsides to be mindful of. For instance, the cutter tends to shut down when used extensively and it lacks a no-drag technology.

More specifications are as follows:

  • Weight: 22.5 pounds
  • Power input: 110 and 220 volts
  • Output: 50 amps
  • Duty cycle: 60%
  • Length of torch: 14 feet
  • Warranty: 3 years
Pros
Cons

5. Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma Cutter, Green

At first glance, it’s clear that this model attracts users with its green color. Its compact and simple design only enriches the overall impression. Still, it’s rugged and made to withstand possible damages. For this reason, the case is made of metal.

What many people find helpful is that it’s easy to utilize and control. Moreover, they should have a regular power source and compressed air to make it work. Not to mention that the air dryer and regulator are integrated, making everything even simpler. Leaving this aside, the machine can cut through various metals. They include aluminum, mild steel as well as stainless steel. Connected to this, the special drag torch technology makes the cuts clean and consistent. That’s how the users can be convinced of the quality of the final products.

Despite this, though, you should be aware of some downsides associated with this plasma cutter. One of the main ones is the issues some users reported when cutting thicker materials.

More specifications are the following:

  • Power input: 120 volts
  • Supported thickness: ¼ inches
  • Weight: 21.5 pounds
  • Warranty: 12 months
  • Dimensions: 15 x 8 x 12 inches
Pros
Cons

6. Mophorn Plasma Cutter Non-Touch Pilot Arc 50 Amp, Plasma Cutting Machine

Among the nicest things about this plasma cutter is the cleanness with which it handles the whole cutting process. It’s able to cut various metals without leaving much debris behind. Related to this, it easily goes through different types of surfaces like rugged ones, painted as well as rusty surfaces.

In terms of its size, it’s small and portable. This allows people to carry with them from one place to another. Also, it’s known to save energy due to the inverter technology. To accompany it, there is a system for cooling the machine to prevent damages in the long run.

Aside from all of these useful features, though, some downsides are associated with the machine, as well. According to some users, it operates well for more general tasks, including do-it-yourself projects. But it has difficulties when it comes to performing professional tasks.

For more detailed specifications, check these out:

  • Power input: 110 and 220 volts
  • Output power: 50 amps
  • Duty cycle: 65%
  • Supported cutting thickness: maximum of 14 millimeters
  • Weight: 23 pounds
Pros
Cons

7. Lotos LTP5500D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter

Lotos has been a reputable brand in the field of plasma cutters for a long time. And with this model, it proves that the offered products are of high quality and affordable at the same time. More precisely, this cutter is known for its simple and quick start. In fact, it has a pilot arc start with no touch. Thanks to this, it’s able to produce clean cuts and go through a nice thickness of the materials.

It takes advantage of technology from Germany meant for cooling it down and preventing it from overheating. To accompany this system, it also has a compressor located externally. That way, it can cut with high pressure. Speaking of this, there are also an air filter and a regulator for the pressure. This helps users set it up quickly and without any issues. Not to mention that it doesn’t weigh much considering all the features it incorporates.

As a possible con, though, that potential buyers shouldn’t overlook is the lack of connector in the package. Apparently, if you want to connect the cutter to 120 volts, you should purchase one additionally.

More specifications:

  • Supported metal thickness: 3/8 inches
  • Size of the torch hose: 13 feet
  • Duty cycle: 60 %
  • Power: 55 amps
  • Dual voltage: 110/120 volts and 220/240 volts
  • Weight: 26 pounds
Pros
Cons

8. Lincoln Electric Plasma Cutter, 10-40A, Inverter, 70 PSI

This is another plasma cutter that’s worth checking out. It may not be among the cheapest on the market, but it has some high-quality internal features and parts that come in handy in plenty of situations. For one, it’s made to be safe for users. Therefore, they can utilize it for a longer time without worrying about dangers to their health.

When it comes to its design, the case is durable and constructed to withstand blows and impact. Moreover, it offers adjustments to the arc in order to maximize the performance while cutting. And it can cut many different materials and surfaces that are painted and rusty.

However, some people complain that it weighs a bit more and it’s not very portable. Also, the lack of multiple power options is viewed as a downside, as well.

Look at these additional specifications:

  • Power output: 10 – 40 amps
  • Power input: 240 volts
  • Cutting thickness: ¾ inches
  • Duty cycle: 100%
  • Weight: 41 pounds
Pros
Cons

9. Hyperikon Plasma Cutter Pilot Arc, Dual Voltage

Although this brand may not be immediately familiar to you, it’s present on the market. Actually, with models like this one, it proves that it should be there. Why?

Firstly, this is a plasma cutter that includes an inverter IGBT technology and supports dual voltage. When it comes to safety, it has internal protection against extensive heat and high insulation to ensure its operation is secure. In addition to this, it also has an air regulator responsible for maintaining the levels of air pressure. However, a compressor doesn’t come with this model.

Another detail that’s worth mentioning is that users get clean cuts with this portable model. Not to mention that it provides options for adjusting the speed to match the task at hand. Yet, people report that this machine doesn’t perform well with heavy-duty tasks as it often has to cool down before proceeding.

More specifications are as follows:

  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Supported thickness for clean cuts: 5/8 inches
  • Power input: 120 and 240 volts
  • Color: black
  • Duty cycle: 60 %
Pros
Cons

10. Cuwiny CUT50D DC Inverter Plasma Cutter

This is another affordable model that isn’t large in size but manages to deliver a satisfactory performance nonetheless.Its green color makes it even more recognizable. Yet what’s inside wakes the curiosity even further.

For starters, it can be connected to different power sources due to its dual voltage power input. And its output is just as strong. Moreover, it’s able to cut through various materials like aluminum, copper, stainless steel, mild steel, alloy steel, and others. In this process, it utilizes compressed air, which is secure and doesn’t lift the costs.

Aside from this, the model possesses advanced inverter technology. Speaking of this, it also has a regulator for the air. It’s made as a solution to one of the burning questions users have with the regulator not being able to get pressure from the air.

Despite all of this, though, you should be mindful that this plasma cutter lacks a no-touch pilot arc and a standoff. For some people this tends to be off-putting.

For more detailed specifications, observe these:

  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Power input: 110 and 220 volts
  • Duty cycle: 60 %
  • Cutting thickness of steel: maximum of 15 millimeters
  • Insulation: F class
  • Warranty: 1 year limited warranty
Pros
Cons

Complete Buying Guide About Choosing The Best Plasma Cutter This Year

As we mentioned, purchasing the best plasma cutter isn’t as easy as it may seem. There are plenty of details to have in mind and things you should carefully examine before investing your money in this machine. Mainly, this is related to the features the plasma cutters possess and their efficiency in completing the cutting tasks with them.

Just remember that not all customers look for the same things and their priorities aren’t always similar. Therefore, whether it’s the price, variety of supported materials or the overall design, make sure you determine where your own preferences lie and then embark on this journey. Here we’ll show you in which direction to look in terms of key details that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Durability

People don’t buy plasma cutters every day. So, the machine they go for should be reliable and made to pass the test of time. Moreover, it should get damaged or stop working in the middle of an important cutting task.

For this reason, its case should be made of a durable material like metal and its components should be of high quality. You can see the specifications to discover whether your chosen product has what it takes to perform the jobs you need it for.

Weight And Size

Other meaningful details are the weight and size of the plasma cutter. As you may need to move around often, it’s handy to have a machine that is portable and doesn’t weigh much. Thanks to this, you will be able to take it with you wherever you go, no matter if it’s around the house or at your worksite.

It’s true that the larger models usually incorporate some more features and parts. But nowadays, the compact and smaller models become more and more famous as they consist of most of those features and parts. Through them, the manufacturers try to maintain quality while keeping the price at a reasonable level. At least this is the case for most of them.

Air Compressor

Understandably, this is one of the absolute priorities to look into. Why? The answer is simple. In their base, plasma cutters require air in order to generate the plasma. Later, they use it to cut the metal. These compressors can be either internal or external, depending on the model.

Still, they both manage to perform well. The choice falls solely on the customer, who should decide which one works for them best. Just bear in mind that the compressors that are located inside the machine tend to be more expensive. But they deliver better and quicker results for smaller tasks, as well.

Newly-introduced Pilot Arc for a Steady Arc

There are many innovations that arise in the field of plasma cutters. And the pilot arc is one of them. Recently, the newer models that aren’t too cheap, incorporate this feature to help users get a steady arc. This is important as the user can cut the metal without the torch touching it.

Those that are dealing with surfaces that are rusty or painted will find this especially useful since they won’t need to clean them before cutting.

Power Input

In terms of the needed power input, there are multiple options to choose from. Some plasma cutters have dual voltage, which makes them more accessible while others have a strict voltage demand that should be followed. Understandably, those that can operate on a lower voltage are more suitable for home utilization by beginners. They can be plugged into a standard outlet and controlled without any difficulties. But it should be noted that they provide slightly weaker power than the others.

Your choice on this matter largely depends on how much power you need and which power outlets you have nearby. It’s totally fine to go for a cutter with a larger voltage. But you may need a generator to connect it due to the high level of needed power.

Duty Cycle Percentage

As you may have noticed while browsing through the different models, the specifications contain a percentage that shows the machine’s duty cycle. This actually shows how long and how much it can endure when being utilized continuously.

Therefore, the higher this number is, the longer you will be able to cut with the machine. However, have in mind that the cycle decreases when the power source is larger.

Cutting Thickness

This is one of the vital details that should be on your priority list. After all, you purchase the product in order to cut through as many materials as needed that have a different thickness. A nice idea is to determine the maximum thickness of the metal and look for models that can satisfy that. Many users are surprised to see that there are models for most of the required thicknesses.

Still, it’s probably the safest to go for the cutter that supports the higher thickness just to be sure you can count on it to finish all tasks successfully.

Quality of the Cut

The cut quality is largely connected to the previous point. It represents the cleanness and efficiency with which the cutting job is handled. The plasma cutters that we discuss below and many others that are modern and efficient like them, tend to deliver a smooth cut and finish. That way, the users don’t need to clean the surface additionally to make it look nice. The machine does that for them.

Torch for Cutting

An integral part of the plasma cutter is, of course, the torch. As it’s necessary to complete the cutting process, it should be long enough to reach the surface you are working on. So, those that work in more spacious workshops should be aware that they need to choose a machine that has a longer torch so that they can get to all corners of the room. Also, if they have a plasma cutter that weighs a lot, this torch will help them do their job without lifting the cutter and moving it around all the time.

However, the users that plan to utilize it for a longer period of time during the day should look for a smaller torch that can fit their hand and rest in it comfortably.

Quick Start

We live in a busy world, so people want to start the machine at once and have it ready for the cutting task at hand. Luckily, many of the high-quality cutters are able to do this. They even have a no-touch design that enables you to cut without the torch touching the surface. This enhances the cleanness even further.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Plasma Cutter (FAQ)

Can people cut plastic or wood with a plasma cutter?

Answer: Plasma cutters are meant mainly for cutting metals like stainless steel, mild steel, copper, aluminum, and such. The wood and plastic can’t be cut with this machine. So, it’s advisable to pick a different tool like a router or a saw to handle these materials.

What temperature does the plasma cutter operate on?

Answer: Plasma cutters are hot. They can reach a temperature of as much as 20000 degrees Celsius. Not to mention that the velocity can be faster than the sound. All of this enables them to penetrate the materials efficiently and produce clean cuts. Yet, the excessive temperature and speed make them very dangerous for people. That’s why you should have protective equipment on you while utilizing a machine like this.

How much do the consumables of the plasma cutter cost?

Answer: It’s true that consumables should be considered before purchasing a plasma cutter. This is because they can increase the costs associated with the machine. Since they should be replaced over time, the cost isn’t very high. But still, every manufacturer determines it in a different way and sets a different price. Overall, one of the most acceptable ways to rate the consumables is by counting the number of pierces the plasma cutter makes before the parts of the torch need to be replaced. So, that’s what you should be asking regarding this matter. You can even contact the manufacturer directly and ask them how much more you will have to pay for the consumables if you purchase their plasma cutter model.

What type of gas do I need for my plasma cutter?

Answer: The amperage per square inch of a plasma cut can be from forty thousand to fifty thousand. And users want a precise, efficient and clean cut, especially when we’re talking about conductive materials. Such results can be obtained when you use adequate gases. These may include oxygen, nitrogen, a blend of several gases and others.

Do I need an air compressor for my plasma cutter model?

Answer: There is no short answer to this question. It largely depends on the model you own. That’s because some plasma cutters come with their air compressor, which is fully integrated into its system. However, in an ideal situation, an air compressor is desirable and can do the job amazingly.

Can I use a plasma cutter for welding?

Answer: For starters, plasma cutting and welding are very different processes. Even though they may sound similar or even the same to someone who isn’t familiar with the industry, the entire concepts and functions of these processes are different. Still, yes, it’s possible to weld with a plasma cutter, but not everyone can succeed at this. As a solution, some people mention multi-process machines. These machines encompass a plasma cutter, a TIG welder and other types of welders.

Final Words

All things considered, finding the best plasma cutter isn’t impossible if you have the needed knowledge of the key features you should consider. We hope we brought them closer to you in this guide. So, we would like to hear it from you now. What is your experience with a plasma cutter? Do you plan to buy one? Or do you maybe own it and want to replace it with a new one?

Share your thoughts here in the comments.

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