Here we review the best economical plasma cutters available on the market today. While plasma cutting is an impressive cutting technology in many industries, not everyone can afford or needs a top of the line, heavy duty model. If you need one of those, make sure to check out our heavy duty reviews.
Many of us only have an occasional need for a plasma cutter. Plasma cutter manufacturers understand this and have come out with several budget friendly models that are available in a number of sizes and specifications to meet your different needs.
Cheap Plasma Cutter Comparison – Quick View
|50||Cutting 1/2", |
|50||Cutting 1/2", |
Super Deal Zeny CUT-50
|50||Cutting 1-12mm||18.5x13.5x11"||24.4 pounds||4.1|
LONGEVITY Forcecut 40D
|40||Cutting 1/2"||15x6x9"||25 pounds||3.6|
Everlast SuperCut 50
|50||Cutting 3/8"-1"||19.5x14.1x13.2"||25 pounds||3.4|
Purchasing a Plasma Cutter
Plasma cutters are available in different power ratings, specifications, sizes and types. Thus, their price tags differ as well. Many of them are made by the same company as the more expensive models but they just have fewer features or might not have as many amps. As well, some may be built in China as compared to those built in the USA. So, your choice will depend on a certain extent on your budget. If you are on a tight budget, you can find a good deal on quality product. So what to look for in a plasma cutter?
Electrical Requirements: Do you have 110v or 220v in you work shop? Also you want to make sure your breakers have enough amps. Most common households will only have a 15amp breaker. You may need to bump up the circuit for your workshop to 20amp breakers to better handle the pulls from the plasma cutter and the compressors.
Duty Cycle: While you may not be using your plasma cutter constantly like you would in a fabrication shop, duty cycle is still important. The models that made our list are comparable to the higher powered units. They range from a low of 35% to a high of 60%. and still allow you to handle your most labor intensive DIY jobs.
Cut Thickness: I am guessing you won’t be cutting 2″ steel plate for most of your projects but I am betting you will encounter a wide variety of sizes and types of metal. Almost all of the units on the list can easily cut 1/2″ steel and that allows them to handle almost any DIY job. The only catch is that you may have go drag it a bit slower to get a quality cut or you may have to do some extra clean up with a grinder.
Consumables: These are a key element of a plasma cutter. From experience, I have noticed the less expensive models have a tendency to use more consumables, so keep that in mind and an extra set of consumables nearby.
So, with all that said, here are our top picks for the best inexpensive plasma cutters that you should consider buying.
Lotos LT5000D 50A – TOP PICK
The Lotos LT5000D is very similar to and made by the same company as our Best Price pick, the Lotus LTP5000D. It has a weight of 25.4 lbs and dimensions of 19.5 x 18.7 x 16 inches.
The product is strongly created not just to deliver impressive cutting performance but also can handle the hard conditions of everyday use of a rugged construction and industrial environment. This Lotos unit is also quite suitable for home DIY individuals.
Though the cutter has a very affordable price tag, it is packed with outstanding features: quiet operation; reduced release of dangerous gases; low maintenance requirements; less cleaning; cleaner, precise and smoother cut and less fire hazard.
It comes with an adjustable torch trigger which can be adjusted to be in the thumb or finger positions.
The product is designed to be used in tight spaces thanks to its low profile torch head. The LT5000D is capable of cutting more efficiently and quicker than standard DC plasma cutters without distorting the metal material. It can be used to cut both thin and thicker metals thanks to its optimized MOSFET transistors design which delivers the required power suitable for any type of cutting.
The product is capable of generating powerful DC welding current utilizing the pulse-width-modulation (PWM) technology. The switch power inverter technology helps to reduce not just the weight but the dimension of the transformer with a 30% increase in efficiency.
Everlast SuperCut 50 110v/220v
The Everlast SuperCut 50 is designed for cutting just about any type of metal with impressive precision and performance. The product can be used for many hours of cutting a day because it features a high 60% duty cycle.
Users of this item are able to verify the air pressure through an air pressure gauge on the front panel. They will also know when there is over current or when the air pressure is too high via the light indicators on the machine.
This 25 pound cutter features inexpensive service parts and consumables which work together to deliver outstanding smooth and clean cuts. It features an adjustable post flow which improves consumable and torch life by controlling bursts up to 60 seconds.
LONGEVITY Forcecut 40D 110v/220v
The Longevity Forcecut 40D is a 40 amp plasma cutter designed to operate on 220v for cutting of 1/2″ steel and on 110v for cutting of 1/4″ steel.
With the switch of a power plug, the product can allow 110v or 220v operation. It is capable of cutting many types of metals including steel, copper and aluminum. The front of the product features a digital display as well as air adjustment for easy operation.
It has low prices for consumables and this helps keep the ongoing operational costs very low. The Forcecut 40D is capable of using any air compressor that can generate 45-65 psi.
It can be used to cut for only a few hours at a time because of its 35% duty cycle. The Longevity Forcecut 40D is a full size cutter that is rectangular in shape, black in color and weighs 25 pounds with a dimension of 15x6x9 inches. If you purchase this product, it will serve you for years.
Why you should use a plasma cutter
Though, there are other tools such as cutting scissors or oxy-acetylene torches that can be used to cut metal materials, the plasma cutter remains the best metal cutting tool. It is faster, more efficient and gives a smoother and more precise cut than the other metal cutting tools.
If you are cutting many metal surfaces with scissors for example, it will take you hours or days to cut a reasonable quantity of metals. But this is not the case when you are cutting metals with a plasma.
Besides, some thick metals cannot be cut with scissors but plasma can easily cut such thick metals. It is also more comfortable and easier to use for cutting.
A good number of models come with ergonomic handles that reduce hand and operation fatigue.
Types of plasma cutters
Different types of metals such as steel, stainless steel, steel alloy, aluminum and copper are used in the construction industry for one reason or the other. There may be a need to cut them into different shapes and sizes for construction purposes.
But they differ in their cut thickness and strength. To ensure that these metals are cut easily and properly, different types of plasma cutters have been introduced on the market.
Each has its unique voltage and current ratings. Based on this rating, there are two major types of frequency plasma cutting, namely, blow back plasma cutting and high frequency cutting. The latter is suitable for cutting a thinner metals and the process is very simple. The former are suitable for cutting a thick or thicker materials.
Plasma cutters are now widely used by construction companies as well as do-it-yourself individuals for a number of tasks. They are available in different types and sizes as well as different price tags. All the products briefly reviewed above are of good quality and they are available at affordable price. You may consider purchasing any of them if you are looking for a quality product with a low price tag.