A good plasma cutter can make slicing through tough material much faster and simpler, giving you a high-strength cutting tool that can work well for cutting into all kinds of different surfaces. They’re just as useful for hobbyists as they are for professional businesses, providing greater cutting strength against materials like stainless steel while also providing a range of different cut finishes for different practical purposes. But how do you choose a plasma cutter from the hundreds of brands and designs on the market today, and what sort of features are worth getting if you’ve never bought one of them before?
View the Best Plasma Cutter, Below.
- Lotos LTP5000D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
- Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP Machine System
- SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter
- Amico 50 Amp Pro Plasma Cutter
- Hobart 500565 Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter
- PrimeWeld Ct520d Plasma Cutter
- Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma Cutter
- Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP Plasma System
- SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Air Plasma Cutter
- Miller Electric Plasma Cutter
1. Lotos LTP5000D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
The Lotos LTP5000D is designed to deliver a half-inch clean cut on a range of different materials, making use of compressed air to boost its cutting power against alloy, mild and stainless steel, as well as metals like copper, aluminum and various other related surfaces. The non-touch design means that the pilot arc doesn't actually need to touch the surface, resulting in less wear and tear while also keeping your cut quality slightly higher. The compact overall design means that all of the key technology is kept safely inside, making it easier to handle and move around for difficult cutting jobs.
The Lotos LTP5000D cutter combines a safe design with excellent cutting power to give you far more control over the end result, as well as helping you make tidy cuts on a variety of different metals and other materials.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP Machine System
This boxy plasma cutter uses a simple design to make setup, operation, and adjustment incredibly quick, even boasting an automatic gas adjustment system to let you get the exact cut strength and speed you need. The relatively high input voltage ranges allow for faster and heavier-duty plasma cutting on a massive range of materials, and the extended reach of the cutting and gouging tools make it far easier to deal with confined spaces and smaller areas. Not only that, but it's great for high-precision cutting performance and can work for a range of different applications.
The improved precision and durability of this cutter make it much more useful for varied tasks, even in tight spaces or smaller areas. The high cutting power helps it get through more difficult types of metal without forcing you to spent a long time going over the same cuts again and again, too.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter
The inverter technology used in this plasma cutter gives it a much more stable level of operation, and the built-in protection from voltage changes and sudden heat spikes makes it much safer to use with or without much experience. Thanks to the heavy-duty iron body, the entire unit is much more durable and lasts for far longer, making it great for both professional and hobby-focused purposes. Its safe design keeps the air compressor from cracking due to frequent use or the heat of the plasma from going back into your hands, making it far easier to use and much less dangerous overall.
This cutter is extremely safe and handles a massive range of situations extremely well, making clean cuts through metal accessible to even the most small-scale hobbyist. However, it's also great for industrial use thanks to its durability and cutting effectiveness.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. Amico 50 Amp Pro Plasma Cutter
This professional plasma cutter can automatically adjust to different input voltage amounts, letting it operate well at a range of different power levels. The design uses special plasma inverter technology that allows cuts up to one inch thick, making it suitable for a huge range of metal surfaces in both workplace and home settings: this includes stainless steel, mild steel, various alloys, and other major metal types. Not only that, but it doesn't take as much maintenance and cleaning, offering a clean-cut and much higher safety without needing to constantly get repaired or fully cleaned after each long period of use.
This plasma cutter combines a small and efficient design with excellent cutting power and reliability, making it a go-to choice for anybody who might need to slice open metal on the move or across several workplaces/workshops.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. Hobart 500565 Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter
This lightweight and easy-to-use plasma cutter uses a reliable set of plasma inverter technology to improve its cutting performance while also increasing portability, letting you carry it around from place to place with ease. The multi-voltage plug lets you connect it to both 120V and 240V power outlets with no modifications necessary, and it boasts a full 5/8 inches of cutting thickness to ensure that you're able to get through all but the toughest pieces of metal. It's relatively small size also means that it won't get in the way of big projects, making it much less likely that you'll accidentally cut through part of its cables or knock it off the surface you're working on.
The small size and good cutting capabilities of this plasma cutter mean that it works best as a portable option, letting you quickly carry it somewhere, set it up and start slicing straight away.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. PrimeWeld Ct520d Plasma Cutter
The high-powered plasma cutting offered by this tool isn't the only feature it offers: it can also double as an arc welding tool and a TIG/stick welder, letting you seal up cuts just as often as you create them. The high power efficiency and durable parts provide a longer lifespan and better performance overall, while the 1/2 inch cutting thickness means that it can get through almost any metal given enough time. At only 32 pounds, it's not too heavy to carry either, and boasts a duty cycle of 60% at maximum amps, meaning that its cutting speed is higher than many other plasma cutter models.
This is one of the best plasma cutters available if you need to lower the weight of your gear, acting as multiple tools in one to help you repair and cut open different metal surfaces on the fly.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma Cutter
This easy-to-use plasma cutter is perfect for cutting through a massive range of metal, including things like mild steel sheets. The cutting thickness of 1/4 of an inch gives it plenty of versatility without being too extreme to damage the cutting surface underneath, and the drag plasma torch technology lets you pull the tip across the surface to get more precise, accurate cutting results every time. Running on a 120V power source as standard, and weighing under 22 pounds, it's a very portable option for people who need a compressed air plasma cutter that they can move from one place to another very easily.
This plasma cutter may have a small body, but it's still great for cutting through all kinds of metal in a quick, efficient manner, with the low weight-saving more room for extra compressed air to keep it running for a lot longer.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP Plasma System
This plasma cutter automatically adjusts to different voltage types, having dual voltage compatibility with both 110V and 240V inputs. The torch design helps you keep your grip while cutting and offers a higher level of heat resistance, as well as reducing the chance of conventional damage causing problems to any of the equipment or components in the model. It comes with its own carry case and a range of other accessories, even including a shoulder strap and special protective gloves, meaning that the user doesn't need to buy anything separately if they forget to prepare properly.
This plasma cutter can cut through a big range of metal surfaces with its high-quality plasma torch, and the product is designed for both safety and comfort to ensure that you don't get hurt while cutting through up to 5/8 inches of thickness of metal.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Air Plasma Cutter
This portable plasma cutter uses a dual voltage system to work with two input voltage types, letting you set it up in a wider variety of locations. The built-in LCD display technology tells you everything about the current air pressure coming from the air compressor, the cutting efficiency, and other important details that can matter when you're trying to slice through 3/4 inches of mild steel. The excellent plasma torch can run for up over 30 minutes without overheating, and its high performance means that it can work against a range of different metals. To increase safety, all of the compressed air used in the cutter is safe and non-hazardous to humans.
This torch is perfect for cutting through various metals without eating up too much power or putting the user in danger, making it one of the best options for people who value performance and efficiency.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. Miller Electric Plasma Cutter
The high cutting speed and capacity of this plasma cutter makes it great for dealing with multiple surfaces independently, and it can use a dual voltage design that can connect both 120 and 240V receptacles for extra versatility. It works well at either input voltage, boasting a high level of cutting speed and precision while also automatically compensating for any variations in the air compressor. The design of the model makes it very portable and easy to carry, letting you pick it up and move it to a new worksite or location to start cutting almost straight away with minimal travel or set-up time.
This plasma cutter uses a great plasma torch and an easy-to-carry cutter design to give you maximum control over where you use it, how clean the cuts are and how often it's plugged into different receptacle voltages, giving you more versatility overall.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Plasma Cutter Buyer’s Guide
Buying the best plasma cutter for any given situation isn’t always easy since it’s not like buying a regular saw – plasma cutters are very intricate tools that are just as dangerous as they are effective. Getting something wrong can lead to the tool not working at best, and the entire thing breaking at worst, so it’s good to know what you’re getting into.
Plasma cutters are tools designed to slice through things like mild steel sheet metal, using hot plasma as the blade. This is often done using air that’s been heavily compressed and electrically conductive materials to create the plasma, which comes out of the torch (the handle). The key thing to understand about plasma cutters is that they aren’t all identical in terms of results.
The torch used on your plasma cutter can make a big difference. First of all, think about the torch leads (the cables that connect them to the plasma cutters): a longer lead gives you more freedom of movement but also means that you’re stretching a cable across a workspace or an open area. A shorter lead is harder to cut accidentally, but it won’t go as far. Obviously, if you don’t need to go very far, there’s not always a reason to go for a bigger lead.
Quality matters here, too. The weaker a lead is, the more likely it’ll be to get damaged, which can stop your plasma cutters from working properly. Plasma cutting tools need to avoid damage as much as possible, especially while they’re actively being used for plasma cutting jobs. This also goes for the air they use, since damaging an air lead or air tank can lead to something going wrong during the cutting stage.
Input Voltage and Power
If your plasma cutters require a certain level of power, you need to give it to them. Too little power will stop the plasma cutters from working since the pilot arc might not work as it’s supposed to. Too much power can overload the technology on the inside of the plasma cutter, breaking it or even making it explode depending on how extreme the new amount of power is.
Not all plasma cutters are able to operate for the same amount of time as one another, either. Cutting one sheet of metal is fine, but if you need to cut 50, plasma cutter models that aren’t designed for long-term use might overheat. Having the right technology makes a significant difference.
The Pilot Arc
Not all plasma cutters use a pilot arc, but the ones that do are often able to start quickly and maintain better cutting speeds without having to “warm-up” first. This can make it far better at cutting through multiple separate surfaces on short notice, or dealing with tasks that need to be completed as fast as possible, but it can also take more maintenance. Not only that, but plasma cutters that use them require fuel for them, which can cost more in the long run.
It’s up to you whether or not you get models that have them. You can often turn them off or remove them, but this isn’t always an option, so do your research ahead of time and make sure you know exactly what you’re buying. A pilot arc may not cause any problems, but having one that you don’t need can add to the cutter’s weight and leave you stuck with more cables you don’t want.
As strange as it might sound, visiting the right reviews makes a big difference. Some people run sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon pages of certain items, usually because they’re a participant in the Amazon Services LLC associates program: an affiliate advertising program designed to provide money and other benefits to people who promote products. This can lead to bias, especially if it’s not a technology-focused site that might not have the best level of expertise on how a plasma cutter works.
If any independent reviews mention a certain plasma cutter for sale, remember that they might be getting paid for the review. This doesn’t mean that it’s not the best plasma cutter for you, but you’ll want to avoid going in blindly and buying it “just because,” especially if you’re looking for certain types of technology.
What is the Best Plasma Cutter for the Money?
The best plasma cutter for you in your price range is whichever one can do the job best. No two plasma cutter machines are identical, and it comes down to what they can offer you – if they’re only designed to sever small pieces of metal from one another, they might not work well for larger tasks. On the other hand, if they’re rated with a low cutting inches per minute, they might not be good for jobs that have to be done quickly. Always choose something that works for you, and make sure you consider whether it actually meets your needs.
What is a Good Inexpensive Plasma Cutter?
Plasma cutter price ranges matter more than you might think. Most of the time, a higher price means better technology and safety features, at least up to a certain level. Going for the cheapest possible option can actually be dangerous, and you can’t always just install a new power supply or stick to a 50% duty cycle and hope that it fixes the problem.
What is the Best Plasma Cutter under $500?
$500 isn’t a bad price range for a plasma cutter, especially a brand new one. In fact, it might be higher than many of the best models you could find – just be aware that price isn’t the most important thing: quality and suitability are. If the ideal plasma cutter you need is slightly above your budget, it’s generally worth getting it, rather than settling for one that’s inferior just to stick within the limits you’ve set for yourself.
If you have to assemble your plasma torch, make sure you do it properly. Not only does it have to manage the electricity, but it’s also a place where gas and coolant can flow: do things wrong, and there’s a chance of causing a small explosion or overheating the entire unit.
Did You Know?
Some units can reach over 45,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is almost 25,000 degrees Celsius – that’s just under 250 times the boiling point of water.