As implicit from the name, plasma cutter is a metal cutting machine that utilizes gas blown at a high speed from the nozzle of the tool. The application of electrical arc to the gas will turn it into a plasma which forms a super-hot torch that does the cutting. There are different brands and models of plasma cutters on the market today. Hobart, Hypertherm, Esab, Eastwood, Lotos, Lincoln Electric, Miller are the most popular ones. But these brands are not equally made. Some are of greater quality than others. Besides, they have different features and power. This explains why they are sold at different price tags. If you require this type of cutting tool for your work, try to go for the best one in order to get value for the money. Finding the best plasma cutter may be not an easy task. Here are some of the top rated plasma cutters you should consider purchasing.
Comparison of the best plasma cutters
Hobart Airforce 27i
|27||Cutting 3/8", |
Hypertherm Powermax 45
|45||Cutting 1/2", |
|50||Cutting 1/2", |
Ramsond CUT 50DX
|50||Cutting 3/4", |
Everlast PowerPlasma 50S
|50||Cutting 3/4", |
Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme
|40||Cutting 5/8"||-||21 pounds||-|
Lincoln Electric 20
|20||Cutting 1/8"||-||20 pounds||-|
Hobart 500565 Airforce 27i
Hobart Airforce 27i is a great plasma cutter with a multi-voltage plug designed for cutting all conductive metals. It is available in a portable design. It features an inverter-based design with a power source which operates with 120 or 240 VAC in order to adapt and suit every work site. It has a multi-voltage plug which can be plugged through a standard outlet. The product does not require any special knowledge or skills in order to be set up. Any person can do that. Another feature of this product that gives it an edge over other products is its ability to cut any conductive metal very quickly and efficiently. It gives a clean and precise cut. Cutting with this tool does not require you to preheat the metal material before you will be able to cut it. If you desire a quick and precise cutting, you should consider buying this product.
Hypertherm 088016 Powermax 45
If you are looking for a portable and compact cutter with impressive performance, Hypertherm Powermax 45 should be an option for you. This product offers superior cutting and high quality gouge. Thus, the grinding and edge preparation required to produce high quality cutting are completed quickly. Hypertherman 088016 features a single phase input voltage of 200-240 and 34/28A. The product is created with Hypertherm’s patented drag cutting technology which makes usage very simple even for newbie cutting with the tool for the first time. It has severance capacity of 1 inch (25mm) and can cut any metal of 1/2 inches (12mm) thick. The system features 20 inches work lead and 20 inches hand torch. This product which is made in USA has a dimension of 16.8×6.8×13.7 inches and a weight of 40 pounds.
Lotos LTP5000D is an affordable red colored compact and portable plasma cutter which is designed to cut different kinds of metals including alloy steel, copper, mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum using a non-hazardous compressed air. This cutting tool is capable of using a pigtail to run directly on 110V 50/60 Hz or 220V 50/60 Hz power thanks to its dual voltage capability. It delivers efficient and quick cut. It features a pilot arc torch which is capable of cutting through painted, rough and rusty surface without generating any remarkable slag. This cutting tool could be used to cut both thin and thick metal. It comes with MOSFET transistor which makes the cutting of thin and thick materials possible. The package comes with a plasma torch, air regulator, air hose and its connection and ground clamp and cable. This product is very cheap because it is made in China, however the quality and features are very good.
Ramsond CUT 50DY 50 Amp
This is another affordable and portable model with a weight of 19 pounds and dimension of 14.2 x 6 x 9 inches. It is a yellow colored plasma made in China with 110V/220V dual voltage and 50/60 Hz dual frequency and 50 Amperage. It is a 4th generation of Ramsond which is created with inverter technology. It is capable of delivering cleaner and more even cutting using the pulse width modulation and V-MOSFETs made by TOSHIBA. This model can be used by both professionals and DIY enthusiastss for cutting thanks to its ease-of-use. It can be used to cut different types of metal surfaces and materials such as carbon steel, stainless steel, copper, alloy steel, aluminum plate, brass and any other conductive material. It does not require much heat in order to be able to cut the surfaces.
Everlast PowerPlasma 50S
Everlast PowerPlasma 50S is suitable for cutting both rusty and painted metal materials of any type with thickness of up to 3/8 inches. It delivers an outstanding smooth and clean cut. It features inexpensive service parts as well as consumables. The product features over current and air pressure light indicator that provides you with updates on the working condition of your unit. This cutter operates on a dual voltage of 120V/220V and 50 amperage. Everlast PowerPlasma comes with a front air pressure gauge. It features also an adjustable post flower for controlling about 60 seconds to enhance the torch life and consumable. It is quite easy to adjust the pressure via the front air pressure adjustment.
Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme
Miller is the brand that speaks for itself. Spectrum 625 X-treme is not an exception and delivers an impressive cutting performance, however the price is high enough. It has a weight of 21 pounds. It comes with a shoulder strap to make it easier for the user to move from one place to another. The product connects to 120 or 240 volt input with ease without requiring yo u to remove the cover for relinking the power source. It works on a 60 Hz frequency and single phase power. It is quite easy to cut with this model. Besides the portability, the product comes with an ergonomic handle to eliminate or minimize hand fatigue. It offers impressive maneuverability thanks to its flexible cable. For faster troubleshooting, the product is equipped with LED indicators for power, cup, temperature and pressure. This will help to eliminate the downtime. To ensure enhanced reliability, designers of this product included high-speed fan that functions when the trigger of the torch is pulled.
Lincoln Electric 20
This product is not cheap and is also manufactured by well-known brand – Lincoln Electric. It is able to cut a metal sheet of 1/8 inches thick. It works on 115 volt, 15 amp for 10.15 amperage output or 115V, 20 amp for maximum output. The product is very portable featuring inverter design of 21 lbs. It is suitable for HVAC, sheet metal fabricator, farm, contractor, autobody and homeowners. The package comes with ground clamp of 9.5 feet, plug, 8 feet cable plug and power cord. It comes with 12 months parts and labor warranty.
How to choose a good plasma cutter
All the products reviewed above are good. But there are a number of factors to consider looking for the best plasma cutter to make an informed decision.
The type of electrical service you have in your workplace is an important factor to consider looking for a good cutter. Each cutter has its electricity requirements. So, before you choose any cutter make sure that electricity service offered in your location suits the product’s voltage and amperage. Otherwise you won’t be able to use it in your location.
Portability is also an important factor. If you are taking the cutter from one worksite to another, then you have to buy a product that is flexible and has a features such as shoulder strap and handle made for easy carriage. But if you do not plan to carry it from one place to another, then these portability features may be disregarded.
The type of materials you will cut and its thickness
Each plasma is designed for cutting particular types of materials with varying thickness. There are some that can cut any conductive metal such as stainless steel, alloy steel, aluminum or copper but the thickness of the metal they can cut also differs. So, you should consider the type of metal and thickness of metal you will be cutting with plasma before you make a choice.
Your budget is another important factor to consider. There is the tendency to think that quality cutting machines are expensive. Yes, a good number of them are expensive but if you shop around, you will find a good bargains on quality products.
The cutting capacity and performance
As a rule of the thumb, it is important that you choose a product with impressive cutting performance, a product that offers precise, smooth and no slag cutting. If you buy such product you will be able to obtain a perfect cut.
The above factors will determine the product that will meet your requirements. This is because the various products are created with different specifications to suit different needs. Of course, you should buy a product that will meet your requirements and cutting needs.
Plasma cutter is very important tool for any person working with metal. It is available in a number of models. However, if you want to buy it, then electric output in your place, the type of job you are going to do and your budget should be the factors to consider.