Plasma Cutter Reviews: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide
So it’s finally time to buy that new plasma cutter! That’s great, once you get one you’re going to wonder how you ever lived without it. Cutting metal will never be the same, and honestly it’s also a lot of fun. Now before we get to the specs and the reviews, we need to understand what we’re looking for and how to make sure that’s what you need for your shop.
Right below here, you’ll see a quick chart I put up if you’re in a hurry. These are the top-selling brands with the best reviews from amazon. You can go there and get an idea of what’s available and whats specs are on the plasma cutter. The entire specs sheets will be thoroughly gone over, so you know what to look for when reading the plasma cutter reviews.
Image Title LT5000D Lotos LT5000D 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter Dual Voltage 110/220VAC 1/2" clean Cut Ramsond CUT 50DY 50 Amp Digital Inverter Portable Air Plasma Cutter Dual Voltage Hobart Airforce 500534 250ci Light Weight Plasma Cutter with Air Compressor EVERLAST PowerARC 140 140amp Lift Start TIG / Stick IGBT Welder Dual Voltage Feature Automatic Dual Voltage / Dual Frequency (110/220V 50/60Hz)
TOSHIBA Transistors (MOSFET)
PAPST Advanced German Cooling System
Max Severance Thickness: 3/4"
Max Cut Thickness: 1/2"
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
Hobart AirForce 250ci lightweight plasma cutter with air compressor, powered by standard household current
Designed to cut up to 1/4-inch mild steel; uses an electrical arc and compressed air to cut steel, aluminum, and other conductive metals
Use it for a more precise cut, thinner kerf, and less slag to clean up with faster cuts than oxy fuel
Includes 16.5-foot heavy duty work clamp, 7 -foot power cord with 115 VAC plug, extra replacement tips, and a convenient cable management strap
10-by-7-1/2-by-13-inches at 27-pounds; backed by Hobart limited warranty
DINSE 25mm style connectors for easy connection. Lift Start DC TIG setting for steel and stainless welding. 17V series with manual gas valve built into torch handle
140 Amp, Dual Voltage 120/240V. (85a amp max output on 120V.)
PowerARC series CC IGBT inverter: Stick/ DC Lift start TIG welder. Processes: SMAW, DC GTAW. Dual Voltage 120/240V PowerARC 140ST
Price $409.00 $419.00 $765.00 $275.00 NumberReviews 153 36 10 17 Rating Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews
Why do you need one?
What is plasma cutting? A plasma cutter is a very handy tool to have in the shop. Cutting metal is not easy to do, and obviously you need some hard-core machines to do it. The nice thing about a plasma cutter is, its small enough to haul around and you won’t really have to hook up all the extra’s to get it to work.
A plasma cutter serves many needs in a shop, fabricators use this tool everyday. Artist use this to create art by cutting metal and welding them together. If you need to cut steel or many other hard metals, this is the tool you need! Plus it’s portable and it’s cheaper than using Oxyacetylene.
What makes a good cutter?
A plasma cutter that is a good one, will be able to cut through hard metal without a problem. The size of the metal that it can cut will make a good cutter as well. Can it cut through 1/2″-3/4″ steel, and how fast and accurate can it do that?
Price is another factor, do you get what you pay for? Maybe. I know tons of happy people who paid $425 for a good one, and they are completely happy. I also have a bud, who paid big bucks for his over $1400. And that’s great too, he uses his in his auto garage daily, loves it!
Things to look for, and I’ll go through each down below.
- Voltage/Frequency – Power supply 110 or 220v
- Cooling System
- Max Cutting Thickness
So let’s take a look at some of the features that come with a cutter.
Automatic Dual Voltage / Dual Frequency
Depending on which machine you choose, you may have to configure the wiring. What this means, is your machine can be wired for 110 or 220v. But your shop or garage at your home might not be wired for 220v. So, keep that in mind. But most machines will come with 110 or 220 and you will have to screw the wires into the body of the cutter. Or the machine might be screw in, a nice and easy way to go. Pretty easy. But some machines come wired to 220v right off the bat, they may come with the 220 to 110 adapter and you can just plug right in a go. Look for a multi-voltage plug (MVP) to be safe if you’re not sure.
A dual meter in the front of the machine will allow you to adjust to the proper amps if whether you’re using 110 or 220v.
Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) plasma cutting technology
Metal Oxide Semi-conductor Field Effect Transistor (MOSFET)
Plasma cutting machines will have either, the IGBT or MOSFET transistor. I have read several forums of people discussing the pros and cons of both types of transistors. And what I can gather from that is, depending on how hard you’re going to use your machines, the transistor can make the difference. Here is the short of it:
If you are using your machine a few times a week, than MOSFET will be good.
If you plan on using your machine more than that, IGBT has been known to hand the amp & temperature requirements of higher amp plasma cutters.
Built in cooling system for the machine are essential for the machine to work and the overall longevity.
Max Cutting Thickness
This is a really important feature to not overlook when reading the reviews. Make sure the machine is able to cut your desired thickness. If not, you could be in trouble and not be able to cut all the way through that piece of steel.
The machines will defiantly list the Max Cutting Thickness and the Max Severance Thickness. It might look like this
Max Severance Thickness 3/4″
Max Cutting Thickness 1/2″
The max cutting thickness you need is up to you, and it will be the difference in money when you purchase. Possibly $100 for more max thickness. So, be sure to know what you’re going to be cutting before you start looking.
The torch holds the consumable electrode in a chamber where gas heats up to form plasma. The tip of the torch holds the constricting nozzle with an opening for the arc and plasma to pass through. As the arc and gas pass through the opening it forms into a more constricted and focused column that increases the velocity and heat of the arc.
Consumables, machines come with starter sets, but you’ll want to grab some extras just to have in stock.
Your new machines will come with a new torch as well. Some torches are customized for your fitting. The torch trigger can moved to your liking. It can be used in thumb and finger positions. Torch heads are usually low profile for tight spaces.
They run on compressed air. So you will need to add a compressor with around 70 psi and the machines will run beautifully. If you don’t have a compressor, you can pick one up for under $75.
As we add more reviews they will be added here. Check back often for reviews. If there is a machine you want us to review, let us know. Or just leave a comment about your machine, we’d love to hear from you. But thanks again for stopping by to read our reviews and comparisons guide. Feel free to contact Us for more information.