A plasma cutter is one of the best tools to buy if you need to cut steel and other metals.
It might be dangerous if you don’t know how to use it because to cut through metal, it uses inert gas that comes out of a nozzle at a very high speed. Plus, at the same time, an electrical arc is created to turn the gas into plasma.
As a result, you get a hot torch that is incredibly powerful and can help you create beautiful items out of a single sheet of metal.
With such a result, as you can see, these appliances have to be high-quality and durable. Choosing a plasma cutter is very important for its proper work and your safety. There are many factors that are combined in the best choice, and to make it easier for you, we’ve chosen 5 great cutters for different purposes.
Some of them are heavy-duty, while others only cut through thin sheets of metal, are lightweight, and portable.
After the list, there’s a buyer’s guide that will explain to you all the factors to consider before making the final choice. After combining them in one bowl, you’ll get a description of a perfect plasma cutter for your purposes.
Let’s see what we have for you!
Plasma Cutters Comparison Chart
Ideal cut thickness: 1/2"(12mm)
Voltage: 110-220 V
Cuts: Stainless steel; mild steel; alloy steel; aluminum; copper
Ideal cut thickness: 0,02-0,3"(0,5-8 mm)
Voltage: 90-260 V
Cuts: Stainless steel; mild steel; alloy steel; copper; other colored metals
Ideal cut thickness: 0,15"(4mm)
Voltage: 110 V
Cuts: Stainless steel; mild steel; alloy steel; aluminum; thin copper
Ideal cut thickness: 3/4"(19mm)
Voltage: 100-240 V
Cuts: Stainless steel; mild steel; alloy steel; aluminum; copper and other metals
|SUPER DEAL CUT50|
Ideal cut thickness: 1/2"(12mm)
Voltage: 110-220 V
Cuts: Stainless steel
5 Best Plasma Cutters (as of July, 2021)
1. Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter Review- Great Non-Touch Technology
A non-touch pilot arc plasma cutter is convenient and easy-to-use, and this particular Lotos model is very powerful. It’s suitable for cutting through rusty, dirty, painted surfaces.
Even the roughest metal can be worked on with minimal slag. The comfort of a non-touch model is that you don’t have to touch the metal.
Safety and Compatibility
The unit is compact and highly portable. The compressed air used for operation isn’t dangerous. You can safely cut through:
- Stainless steel;
- Mild steel;
- Alloy steel;
The installation will only take about a minute. There are a pre-installed industry-type D plug and an air filler. Connect the filler to your air compressor in a minute.
For that, you will need a regular coupler that most air compressors have. Find a suitable position for the housing of the cutter, and you’re all set.
The model offers a variety of DC outputs and cuts at 220/240V and 110/120V. There’s an advanced cooling system integrated, keeping proper temperature and ensuring high performance for a long time. It also contributes to the durability of the appliance.
This is a universal plasma cutter that can be used for a variety of metals. It’s safe and works both at 220V and 110V, offering high-quality, clean cuts. We love that it can cut through rough metal and doesn’t leave a lot of slug from all the paint and debris.
- Advanced cooling system;
- Safe compressed air used;
- Variety of suitable metals;
- Some consider the cut too large.
2. Coral CUT50-CA1 Plasma Cutter Review- Great Portability and Performance
If you’re a mobile worker and need a portable plasma cutter with a power inverter, this might be the one. The Coral cutter is made from high-quality materials and uses an innovative inverter for power adapting. This allows you to work at any site where the power isn’t suitable for the machine.
Portability with No Loss in Power
The performance and efficiency of this plasma cutter were improved by 30% compared to the older versions and other regular machines. Coral plasma cutter offers clean cuts and always available consumables by the same brand that are compatible with the device.
It’s also very compact and has an LCD digital display that shows all the necessary information about the process. The machine has a handle for easier transportation.
Application and Voltage
The appliance is suitable for cutting:
- Stainless, mild, alloy steel;
- Other colored metals.
The thickness it can conquer varies from 1 to 20mm (0,04 -0,8″). The best results are achieved with 10mm (0,4″) metal sheets.
As to the voltage, you can choose an input power of 90V to 260V. You don’t need to buy an external conversion plug due to the tech integrated into this machine.
What You Get
There’s a massive package with lots of additional elements:
- The cutter;
- Earth clamp;
- Cutting torch;
- A valve that reduces pressure;
- Air hose;
- 6 consumables for replacement;
- 2 ceramic cups;
- 2 diverters;
- 2 electrode nozzles for the torch, etc.
Quality and Warranty
The manufacturer has over 12 years of experience in plasma cutter production for professionals. Every buyer is offered a 3-year warranty. If something happens to any part of the cutter, you can contact the company or leave a message on its website.
All products by Coral are claimed to go through 12 tests where high temperature is applied, as well as dust, debris, cold, noise, bumps, and even heavier throws.
We love this option for its portability. You don’t have to worry about anything power-wise due to an included inverter. The number of necessary details included in the package is also impressive.
- Power inverter;
- Full package;
- Wide range of metals to work on
- Requires very careful setup.
3. HeroCut 35i Plasma Cutter Review- An Easy-to-Use Option
If you want a basic plasma cutter that has everything for mobile work, look at this HeroCut model. The company has adopted the IGBT inverter technology; the cutter is using high-frequency pilot arc starting, and it can cut through a lot of materials. The combination of portability with quality is what makes this machine great.
Suitable Metals and Tech Specs
The appliance can cut through:
- Stainless, allow, mild steel;
- Thin copper.
The cleanest cut will be at a thickness of 4mm (0,15″), but the cutter can handle metal up to 8mm thick (0,3″). It’s great for car steel and other thin metal.
The rated duty cycle is 60% at 30A and 100% at 25A.
This plasma cutter is very light yet as powerful as more bulky options. It’s also affordable and worth the price. You can carry the machine with ease to the parts that have to be cut.
The manufacturer supplies torch parts and accessories for their products.
What You Get
At an affordable price, you get a considerable set of parts:
- The cutter;
- Air regulator;
- 2 electrodes for creating the metal arc;
- 2 tips;
- Cutting torch with a connected cable (3m in length);
- Earth cable;
- Swirl ring;
- Cup shield for the torch;
- Air hose with a clamp;
- User manual.
You’re also offered a 1-year warranty for the cutter.
It’s compact and durable due to the in-built cooling system. The machine has everything you need, and it’s beginner-friendly, which is an advantage for those who only start working with metals.
- High portability;
- Variety of suitable metals;
- Impressive package;
- Supplied consumables;
- Innovative cooler system.
- Only suitable for light-duty work
4. Amico CUT-50-3001 Review – Great Multifunctional Option
This is a multifunctional plasma cutter suitable for both industrial work and hobby metal cutting. It has more than basic features, including input power adaptation, minimum maintenance, and a wide variety of working environments.
Safe and Easy-to-Use Plasma Cutter
The torch is designed for a convenient grip. It’s made from a heat-resistant material that doesn’t break on impact.
Suitable Metals and Tech Specs
The machine can cut through:
- Stainless, allow, and mild steel;
- Copper and other metals.
There’s an auto-voltage feature that will adapt the 100V to 240V input. Nothing has to be bought separately; the adapters for plugs are included in the package.
The adjustment controls and a meter are on the front of the machine, which contributes to the ease of use.
This option is great for portable use and small business projects, as well as home projects. It’s packed with useful features and is easy to use even for a beginner. The package is impressive for the price, and every part is worth the cost.
- Power adapter;
- Variety of suitable metals;
- No harmless gases;
- Minimum maintenance.
- Reported air leaks over time.
5. SUPER DEAL CUT50 Review – Superior Performance
If you’re aimed at a stable superior performance, consider this Super Deal plasma cutter. It uses pro-tech and has a high duty cycle, which leads to savings in power costs. It involves high speed and temperature for easy, speedy work with minimal effort and maximum efficiency.
Reliability and Variety of Uses
The machine is durable and reliable due to the heavy-duty iron used for the manufacture of its housing.
You can use it for small business and home projects, as a hobby, as well as at industrial sites. Use the cutter for vehicle work and maintenance, ducting work, repair, light industrial applications, etc.
LCD Display and Other Tech
The machine has a digital LCD display, as well as an air-pressure gauge on the front of the housing.
There’s overheat and over-voltage protective tech integrated. The heat dissipates very well due to smart construction and placement of the details inside the housing.
This is a very-well constructed model that is one of the safest on the list. There are adapters for everything, and if something goes wrong, you’ll know about it. Innovative tech helps even beginners use the appliance with success.
- Innovative tech;
- Good heat dissipation;
- Little noise;
- LCD display.
- No hose for air compressor connection.
Best Plasma Cutter – Buyer’s Guide: Factors of Choice and FAQ
To make the best choice, you have to know which criteria to apply. Here, we’ll talk about the most important things both amateurs and professionals have to think about before buying any plasma cutter.
Environment You’re Working In
While humidity and temperature aren’t the deciding factors, the air quality is. If you’re working in a relatively clean environment with normal air that’s not dusty, any plasma cutter will be good.
Dirty air might clog the device and jeopardize the results of your work. The cutter’s durability is also at stake.
There’s also a wind tunnel technology that offers advanced air cleaning and better cutting results.
First of all, determine what kind of duty cycle you’ll need:
- Using the cutter frequently but for a short time in one session;
- Using it continuously for a longer time in one session.
If your choice is the first one, your main priority should be the amperage output of the unit. The more output there is, the higher its duty cycle is.
If you choose the second option, the main factor is the maximum thickness of metal the cutter can work with. Usually, in the descriptions of such products, you can find information about the metals the unit can be used for and the maximum thickness of metal it can handle.
Cutting Speed and Quality
A combination of suitable cutting speed and quality is also something to pay attention to when choosing a plasma cutter. There are three main cutting qualities:
- Rated cut.
This is the best type for light-duty work; it provides a clean and quick cut. It’s used for medium thickness to thin metal sheets.
- Quality cut.
This cut is suitable for thicker metals and also provides clean results. However, you need to use it for a longer time to achieve results.
- Severe cut.
The severe cut is used for heavy-duty work with thick metals. It works very slowly due to the thickness, and the final cuts aren’t of the best quality and require touch-ups.
Plasma cutters are manufactured to be suitable for two types of outlets: 110 volts and 220 volts. It’s recommended to have a separate circuit for the unit since the power may go down if any other appliances are plugged in, reducing the efficiency of the cutter.
Also, pay attention to the amperage ratings in the descriptions before buying a cutter. Your cutter has to have a suitable minimal amperage for the outlet you’ll be using.
There are two main start types for plasma cutters:
- Contact start;
- High-frequency start.
Contact start allows you to see the pilot arc and position it better. It’s also safe for other appliances you have in the room, like telephones, TVs, radios, etc.
A high-frequency start creates interference, which may be dangerous for other electrical devices. It’s not safe to use it if you have a lot of appliances in the room. However, it’s very powerful and also allows for precision and fewer sparks.
If you’re using a portable plasma cutter, normal air or nitrogen can be used. Some users choose to carry compressed air or nitrogen in bottles and attach them to the cutter whenever needed. Nitrogen is said to cause less oxidation; it’s also more affordable than regular bottled air.
However, if you need maximum portability from the device, look for one with an in-built air compressor. It will use the air around to do the job.
Carrying bottles around and reattaching them is both time and effort-consuming, not to mention the financial factor.
If portability isn’t your priority, and you need a relatively stationary plasma cutter, you can skip this part. However, lighter weight and ease of use add to the overall comfort of your workplace.
In case you have to carry the device to the metal that has to be cut, portability becomes very important. Newer models offer superior functionality and light weight to accommodate all kinds of use.
The control panel is what allows you to operate the device. All cutters have one, but you should opt for a panel that is easy to understand, even for a beginner. This will ensure ease of use of the device and more functionality opportunities.
Another great recommendation is to read the user manual fully before assembling and using the device. The instruction should explain all of the indicators and buttons on the control panel, as well as other important things you have to know about the model.
Even if you’re a professional, consider reading the manual till the end.
Built-In Inverter Availability
If you’re working at different sites or a place with no suitable power outlet, you need a plasma cutter with an in-built inverter. Such details can convert DC power and use electricity through a high-frequency transistor-inverter. The range of use is quite wide, from 10 kHz to about 200 kHz.
Such plasma cutters are generally more expensive, but working with a standard one will be troublesome if you offer mobile services or work at sites with various power outlets. Such units are also highly portable because the housing is made smaller to accommodate the high-frequency operation.
FAQ on Plasma Cutters
Here are some more answers to your potential questions.
What gases can I use for a plasma cutter?
You can use:
There are also mixtures of these. You need one that will pass through a tight opening.
There are cutters that offer “dual-gas” or “multi-gas” capabilities. These are great for people working with a variety of metals where different gases and their mixtures are used. The more gases a cutter can use, the more flexible it is.
Using proper gas will help you balance the overall productivity, cost, parts life, cut speed and quality, etc.
What can be cut with the appliance?
A plasma cutter will work on any material that is electrically conductive. Usually, steel (regular or stainless) or aluminum is used. Additional metals can be brass, copper, and other conductive types.
Is there anything to know when cutting aluminum?
The choice of gas is the most important thing to know. For aluminum, pure nitrogen should be used. If there’s none, you can also use a mix of nitrogen and oxygen. These gases will improve part life and cut quality.
There’s only one problem that might occur – oxidation of the material. However, nowadays, you can find technologies that will prevent that. It’s also wise to consult a professional to optimize the work.
Is it possible to use a plasma cutter for welding?
Some 3-in-1 plasma cutters offer opportunities for TIG and MMA welding. However, professionals recommend buying a separate welding device and not using multipurpose appliances. If you’re only going to need to weld occasionally, a 3-in-1 model will do.
There are many factors and details in the choice of a plasma cutter. The device is incredibly powerful and can help you with anything from industrial constructions to art installations. The most important thing is to buy an appliance that suits its purpose will serve you for years.
Out for quality, not price. Buying according to your estimated budget is great, but don’t hesitate to invest in a high-quality, reliable, portable, and highly functional model.
Maintain it, buy replacement parts in time, and contact the manufacturer if something unusual happens. Some machines leak air with time, or there might be other issues. Make sure you take care of them.
Also, pay attention to the user manual included in the package. Even if you’re the best professional in your city or country, you should remember that every appliance is different. There are new technologies integrated into the newest models; you might not even know about them yet.