Helping you pick the best plasma cutter for your needs.
Many people in all types of occupations benefit from having a plasma cutter. Everything from welding commercially, maintaining property, or having expensive hobbies such as fixing cars or motorcycles, you might find yourself in a situation that needs immediate plasma cutting attention. No doubt these machines can be pretty expensive, but it also is wise to consider the amount of money you can save if you do plasma cutting yourself. Many plasma cutters today have a multitude of built in functions that can handle a wide variety of difficult welding tasks. Simply put, a plasma cutter is a great investment for anybody. We have picked the top rated plasma cutters based on price, features, and customer ratings. Our guide covers plasma cutter reviews to help you decide which one is right for you.
We also explain below what and how a plasma cutter is and works. You can skip to the plasma cutter reviews through the table of contents.
Ramsond Cut 50DX
Automatic Dual Voltage/Dual Frequency (110/220v 50/60Hz)
Integrated Digital Display of Current (Amps) and Pressure Gauge
Integrated Pressure Gauge Display
60% Duty Cycle
Max Severance Thickness: 1-Inch Max Cut thickness: 3/4-Inch
Miller Spectrum 625
XT40 hand-held torch with 12-ft.
(3.7 m) cable
Heavy-duty work clamp and flexible cable with quick connect
12-ft power cord with 240 V L6-30P twist lock plug for MVP adapters
X-CASE provides protection during transport and storage
Compact Plasma Cutter Handle for Portability Uses Non-Hazardous Compressed Air
Both HF start hand torch control and Support Precise Foot Pedal Welding Heat Control
Adjustable Hot Striking Arc Current - Suitable for Welding with Different Kinds of Acid or Basic Electrode
Dual Voltage Capability Run Directly on 220V 50/60 Hz Power, or 110V 50/60 Hz with Use of a Pigtail
Superior cut and gouge quality
Small size and light weight portability for a 1/2" rated cutting system
Patented drag-cutting technology makes it easy to use even for first time operators
200-240V single phase input voltage, 34/28A
Cutting Capacity: 5/8" recommended 1-1/8" severance
Hobart Airforce 40i
Maximum cutting of mild steel is 7/8 in at 50% duty cycle
Cuts faster than oxy fuel
No gas pressure settings for flame tuning needed
More precise cut, thinner kerf, les slag to clean up
Smaller heat-affected zone for less warping
What is a Plasma Cutter?
One of the best tools for cutting metal is a plasma cutter. It is effective and convenient to use, and thanks to the latest technology being used in the area, it is now possible to cut metal with almost laser precision.
A plasma cutter tools operates differently than a conventional welding torch. Instead of using a flame generated from a burning oxyacetylene-welding gas, a plasma cutter uses a jet of inert gas such as compressed air and then applies a very high voltage charge for effectiveness. The electric charge looks through the air jet and ionizes the gas. The ionized gas reaches extremely high temperatures and becomes the so-called plasma.
This highly loaded and hot temperature beam of plasma is able to melt through metal at the contact point without having a massive influence on the surrounding material. This makes a plasma cutter a very precise way to cut metal.
For small jobs in a workshop where metal is cut to make a body patch or a replacement panel, plasma cutters are the ideal solution. One of the most important aspects of plasma cutting machines is that they use an inert gas. This takes away the added stress about the storage of volatile and explosive gases.
In the past, plasma cutters were rather inaccurate at cutting metal due to their large “flame”. Thanks to advances in the materials and technology used to manufacture plasma cutting machines, they can now achieve a much more focused production of flame. This gives the operator a more accurate and proper cut, but is able to do it with lesser force.
How does a Plasma Cutter work?
The plasma cutter is basically a simple and relatively easy to use tool to cut steel and other electrically conductive metals. The working of plasma cutter is done using a high voltage electrical arc and compresses gas. A concentrated arc of plasma is created at the cutter’s tip as an electrical arc generated by an internal electrode ionizes gas passing through a nozzle. A high circuit is developed as the arc comes in contact with the working surface thereby melting a section less than 1/16″ wide. The force of the plasma then completely blows out the molten area on the work piece. Thus a clear cut takes place without any slag. The rate at which the plasma arc flows through the nozzle would be as high as 20,000 feet per second and the temperature would reach as high as 30,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Plasma Cutter power
It has been seen that light portable cutters take in 110 volts with an output of around 12-35 amps. On board air compressors are often found in these machines in order to simplify their use. The large plasma cutters would have an output between 50 and 80 amps and they would be 220 volt systems. For cutting any conductive metal up to ½ inch thick, hand-held plasma cutting equipment would be available. However, for industrial purposes larger ones are used which can cut through 2 inches of metal.
Plasma Cutter advantages
There are many advantages in using plasma cutters in welding industry. One of the main advantages is that during plasma cutting the surface of the metal outside the cutting area remains relatively cool. This would help in preventing the warping and paint damage that happens with other flame cutters. For precise curved line cutting, there are thin heat affected zone (HAZ) also allows the use of templates. Since the plasma does not rely on highly flammable gases, they have the capacity to cut up to five times faster than traditional torches. Sometimes it act as gougers and are capable of cutting metals accurately and quickly. So with all that information, lets get into the plasma cutter reviews!
Lotos CT520D (This is our top pick in all of our plasma cutter reviews!)
One of the things that we absolutely love about this plasma cutter is the fact that this is a 3 in 1 product: it’s a plasma cutter, a tig welder, and a stick welder. And one thing is for sure: it will be able to deliver high quality products no matter if you’re cutting, tigging or sticking weld. This makes it the best plasma cutter for the money if you need all 3 of those options.
The ability to cut up to 1/2” which is absolutely amazing. Plus, you can use it with both 220v and 110v.
- Comes with a long cable meaning that you can completely focus on your work instead of worrying about the dirt or sparks that may get into the unit, damaging the internal components.
- Although this plasma torch doesn’t include the pilot arc feature, it is still able to provide you with an impressive and clean 1/2” cut without any problems.
- Only uses air or argon, this also makes this unit a lot cheaper and clean.
- One of the main advantages is the fact that the frequency and voltage adjust automatically to the different frequency and voltage of the inputs.
One of the things many people worry about is with the TIG, However, this one is surprisingly good, especially considering the price of the Lotos CT520D. Although the plasma torch of the Lotos CT520D could be a bit better, especially in terms of flexibility, it will do its job just fine.
If you’re considering getting a plasma cutter, the Lotos CT520D can be your best choice, especially if you’re going to use it mainly as a do-it-yourself. Can you see why this is our top pick out of all our plasma cutter reviews?
Hobart Airforce 40i
The Hobart Airforce 40i is not meant for beginners but for professionals. When you compare the Hobart Airforce 40i with other similar models in its series, you’ll see that there’s a clear distinction among them: the ability of the Hobart Airforce 40i to be used at 50% duty cycle for the cutting of mild steel of 7/8 inch thickness. That is why this plasma cutter is number 2 in our plasma cutter reviews.
One of the main advantages of the Hobart Airforce 40i is the fact that you can use it to cut a huge variety of materials including copper, stainless steel, steel, aluminum, among others.
If you look at this plasma cutter, you’ll be able to notice that it has an inverted design which makes it even more powerful and able to stand out among their direct competitors. This design feature is not only about looks; it has more to do with power.
When people think about a unit that allows them to cut steel, most tend to think about getting an oxy-acetylene cutting torch. However, when you can use a simple technology that uses compressed air and an electrical arc, which one will you choose? Pretty evident, right?
Why are we considering the Hobart Airforce 40i as one the best among our plasma cutter reviews? It is able to cut steel faster than when you’re using oxy-fuel.
- You will get a thinner kerf, a more precise cut, and less slag.
- There’s no need to use flame tuning or gas pressure.
- Since there is less warping, the heat-affected zone will be smaller.
- You won’t need to preheat the metal before you cut it.
We consider the Hobart Airforce 40i as one of the best welders and plasma cutters on the market at the moment. One of the things that we absolutely love about the Hobart Airforce 40i is the XT40R torch. This feature includes an ergonomic trigger safety and was designed thinking about your comfort.
One of the things that many welders and plasma cutters tend to have problems with is particles and dust. The Hobart Airforce 40i includes the Wind Tunnel Technology that prevents both the particles as well as the dust from entering the unit and damage the internal components. If anything happens and you just don’t know what’s happening, the LED lights will give you a quick troubleshooting of cup, power, and pressure situations allowing you to solve the problem immediately and continue with your work.
The Hypertherm Powermax45 is made by one of the most trusted USA brands and this isn’t one of those tools that you just need to use a couple of times to then store it forever. This is a professional tool that is made to be used hard.
But why are we saying that the Hypertherm Powermax45 is one of the best plasma cutters on the market? Despite there are many others plasma cutters out there, as you surely know, there are some benefits that are offered only by this unit (or that are offered in a better way):
- It’s incredibly lightweight. When you compare it with the other plasma cutters on the market and see all that it offers, you’ll agree that 37 pounds are lightweight.
- The-20 feet cutting cord is exceptional. This allows you to work without even wonder about if any sparks or falling metal are hitting the machine.
- The torch handle is perfect even if you’re wearing welding gloves. Some other plasma cutters have very small triggers which make your job a lot harder.
- You can easily disconnect the machine on the cutting cord. You don’t need to get to the machine to turn it off.
- Allows you to cut up to 1/222 steel at 20 inches per minute (IPM).
- This unit is perfect even if you’re a beginner since it includes a drag-cutting technology.
- The cut quality and higher gouge demand less edge preparation, saving you a lot of time.
- The precision of the cuts is truly remarkable, even if you compare it directly with other 1/2” units.
One of the best things about the Hypertherm Powermax45 is the fact that it is incredibly easy to use and pretty straightforward. When you hit mode, you’ll be able to switch between 3 different operational modes:
#1: Continuous Pilot Arc: When you need to cut rusty, painted, or perforated metal.
#2: Non-Continuous Pilot Arc: This is basically the standard setting and you can use it to cut metal plate with different thicknesses.
#3: Gouging: When you need to punch holes in plate metal. Please note that there are specific gouging consumables that you should use to achieve the best results.
You’ll manage to do everything you need with consistent and clean cuts up to 1/2” thick. Any questions about this welding machine? Then lets continue on with the rest of the plasma cutter reviews!
Miller Spectrum 625 X-TREME
Why are we considering the Miller Extreme 625 as one of the best plasma cutters? With so many different models out there to choose from, why did we choose this particular model?
The Miller Extreme 625 was specially designed for DIY and for light construction. However, you can be sure that it won’t disappoint you. One thing is for sure: don’t let its weight allow you to think that this isn’t a powerful plasma cutter. Despite it was though to be used every now and then, it can still hold up for your needs and work for many hours.
- Featuring a lightweight design, the Miller Extreme 625 is a portable and extremely flexible plasma cutter.
- Despite the Miller Extreme 625’s dimension and weight, it is still able to cut different conductive metals like mild steel, aluminum, and stainless steel.
- Auto-Refire technology – automatic arc and trigger control during cuts
If you’re one of those people who just hates having to use another tool just to connect this unit to the 120-140 VAC, then the Miller Extreme 625 is perfect for you since it includes an auto-line circuitry system which works automatically.
- Dimensions: 13.25 x 9 x 5.5 inches
- Weight: 21 pounds
- Voltage Power Input: Dual 120/240 V
- Amperage Output: 20 – 40 V
- Duty Cycle Percentage: 20 amps at 35 percent/27 amp at 20 percent/40 amp at 50%
- Metal Thickness: 5/8-inch mild steel; ½ inch stainless steel; 3/8-inch aluminum
- XT40 hand-held torch includes a 12-foot cable; durable work clamp with a flexible cable that features quick connect; MVP adapters that twist on to fit different size plugs; 12-foot power cord; Auto-Line and Auto-Refire.
One of the main features of the Miller Extreme 625 is the Auto-Refire technology. When using the Miller Extreme 625 with this technology, it will automatically control everything during the cutting, no matter the thickness of the metal. When the metal is thicker than normal, the arc will move and it will be able to still cut it. Whenever you’re cutting thicker metal, you don’t even need to worry about hitting any trigger; this will be done solely by the unit. This makes sure that the fatigue is considerably reduced.
If you intend to use the Miller Extreme 625 regularly, you’ll find the LED control lights quite handy. They will let you know the temperature, pressure, power, and cup. These lights will also become very handy with troubleshooting.
When you buy the Miller Extreme 625, you will also get an X-CASETM case. You can use it to take your Miller Extreme 625 from one work site to the other (which becomes very easy since the unit is lightweight and the case includes a shoulder strap) and for simple storage. Almost done with the plasma cutter reviews!
Ramsond Cut 50DX
This Ramsond Cut 50DX is the result of an upgrade of previous models and one of the things that put it ahead of them is the fact that it is portable. The Ramsond Cut 50DX now includes a fully insulated foldable handle that makes this unit portable, which is a great advantage. But this isn’t the only change when you compared it to the previous models.
The fact is that the Ramsond Cut 50DX now includes a digital amp display and an integrated pressure gauge right on the front panel. However, this plasma cutter continues to use the German made cooling system.
One of the major changes that took place on the Ramsond Cut 50DX is the complete interior redesign it suffered. It now includes the latest inverter technology made by Toshiba and that includes the V-MOSFETs, as well as the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). This last feature is simply a combination that will help you obtain a deeper, more precise, and more consistent cut.
As a result of all this changes and upgrades, the new Ramsond Cut 50DX is now a lot smaller than it was once before. And we’re not only talking about the size, but we’re talking about the weight as well.
One of the main advantages of the plasma cutter is the fact that it is suited for both do-it-yourself as well as for professionals.
- Easily cut any kind of material you can think off including aluminum plate, copper, carbon steel, carbon stainless steel, brass, alloy steel, among other types of constructive materials.
- No distortion of the metal
As this unit is made also thinking about beginners, you can be sure that you’ll easily learn how to deal with it. And while it might surprise you, you would like to know that more and more semi-professionals are choosing the Ramsond Cut 50DX. Many people have been using it for multiple goals like the construction of ornaments garden furniture in small family businesses, or for a simple car repair. Even though this plasma cutter is last in our plasma cutter reviews, do not think it doesn’t compare to the others!
Now that you understand a bit more about plasma cutters, we hope you found our plasma cutter reviews helpful! It is totally up to you which one you pick, but we personally recommend the Lotos CT520D as our top choice! If you have any questions or comments, be sure to leave them below.