When you hear the words - plasma cutter - for the first time, you can't help but think that it sounds like something the Ghostbusters would use.
Dad jokes aside, anyone who has ever had anything to do with welding, can tell you of the importance of a plasma cutter.
It's a phenomenal tool that can cut through metals like a hot knife cuts through butter. Convenient doesn't begin to cover the amount of effort and time you'll save by investing in one.
The best plasma cutter on the market should be able to cut through basic metals on the job such as stainless steel, aluminum, and brass with ease. It should feel smooth and comfortable, giving you the confidence to do any job whether it's for home use or a job site.
Top Plasma Cutting Machine in 2023
1. Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP
Hypertherm is a big name when it comes to plasma cutters, and there's a good reason for that. Experts say that Hypertherm's Powermax30 is one of the best designed and manufactured plasma cutters.
Here are some of Powermax30's key features. It comes equipped with an auto-voltage option and can adapt to 110V - 240V power inputs. This versatile 30A system can cut electrically conductive metals by using nitrogen or air, providing clean cuts anywhere you go.
Additionally, the Duramax LT torch not only provides a comfortable grip but is also heat resistant, which will allow you to operate for long periods of time. And, the Powermax is suitable for both deep cutting and detailed, thin metal cutting results with ease.
2. Primeweld 50A Inverter Plasma Cutter
The Primeweld 50A is more suitable for non-professionals, who are looking for occasional-use machines.
But, don't think that takes away from the durability or functionality of this plasma cutter. If you're looking for a machine that provides precision in metalwork, then this is the choice for you.
This is one of the best plaster cutters on the market due to the inverter technology and the power in this compact machine. This plasma cutter is built with the same quality standards, but at a lower price point.
One of its phenomenal specifications is that the cutter's maximum severance thickness allows it to be used for a variety of metals such as steel, aluminium, and copper. It also has dual automatic voltage of 110v and 220v, so that you can cut through thick and thin dimensions easily.
3. VIVOHOME CUT 50 Plasma Cutter
The VIVOHOME Cut 50 is an excellent option for those who're on the lookout for a reasonably priced plasma cutter.
The Cut 50 is a non-pilot arc torch, which means the tip of the torch will need to be in contact with the metal continuously. This can affect the ease of use, but don't be too quick to write it off.
This cutting machine is both well versed in versatility and functionality with a dual voltage of 110v and 220v. You can easily cut through varying metal thicknesses without slowing down or having to change power options.
4. Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter
The Lotos LTP5000D is a quality machine with great plasma cutting capabilities. With a 60% duty cycle at 50A and 110v/220v dual voltage options, it makes this welder versatile and dependable.
Not only is the machine easy to set up and use, but it's also very reasonably priced in comparison to other cutters on the market. Its output ranges from 10 - 50 amps, and it easily cuts through 1/2 inches of steel or aluminium. Sound good so far?
Apart from that, its pilot arc torch can cut through clean and rough/rusty metals with minimal slag.
5. Hobart AirForce 27i Plasma Cutter
Hobart has a proud history that goes back almost 100 years. To say they know what they're doing would be an understatement.
The Airforce 27i cutter can handle anything you throw at it. It has a 40 amp output, and it can cut to 5/8" very cleanly. Furthermore, its duty cycle is 50%, which means it can be used all day without heating up. The XT30R torch included will help with cooling and preserving plasma consumable life.
Their advanced wind tunnel technology helps protect and maintain the machine itself for a longer life time. The internal fans will automatically turn on when it's needed to reduce the debris.
Make no mistake - this is one of the best commercial-grade plasma cutters out there.
Much like Hobart and Hypertherm, Miller is another heavy-weight in the commercial-grade plasma cutters arena.
And, if you're looking for a machine that's nothing short of a powerhouse, then look no further than the Miller Spectrum 625. Built for versatility and industrial use, it offers dual power options so you can work on your projects regardless of location.
This light weight plasma cutter is only 21 lbs. and it comes with a quality X-Case for portability and protection. This is the type of compact machine you would bring on all your cutting jobs.
As far as performance is concerned, there's nothing quite like it out there with a max cut depth of 5/8". Not to mention, the 625 can also cut through perforated metals and grates. This machine not only delivers on heavy-duty cutting, but it also offers precision.
7. Forney Easy Weld 251 Plasma Cutter
Forney's Easy Weld 251 offers quite a few features at a very comfortable price range.
However, Easy Weld is the most suitable weekend DIY-ers and non-commercial projects. It offers features that help with performance and precision, to give you clean cuts every time.
This machine can cut sections of metals like stainless steel and aluminium up to 1/4" thick. The cutter has a 120V power option, and it's generator friendly. Additionally, it also has drag-torch technology and a 20 amp output, which will give you smooth handling.
8. Goplus CUT-50 Electric Digital Plasma Cutter
One of the features that we like best about the Goplus CUT-50 is that it's weather-proof. It can work in temperatures ranging from -10 to 40 degrees, which is great for all year round welders.
This versatile plasma cutter has the dual-voltage option as well, along with an inverter that increases the machine's efficiency by 30%. This plasma cutter has Goplus's Gas-ahead technology is especially helpful in avoiding gas delays.
It's easy to set up, so that even a beginner would be able to understand. However, this plasma cutter is not recommended for heavy-duty projects, it's more suitable for smaller home jobs.
Buying Guide For Plasma Cutters
The primary purpose of a plasma cutter is to cut steel and a variety of other metals. It uses inert gas blown out of the nozzle of a welding unit along with an electrical arc. This turns the gas into plasma, forming a method of cutting through metal with ease.
A plasma cutter can make it really easy to cut through metals precisely. It’s also very quick, without the need for meticulous work. The newer plasma cutter models have been improved to include all kinds of features that will make your life easier. There are some things to consider when buying one.
When you’re shopping for a plasma cutter, look for something that provides a good amperage output. This will be beneficial if you are using your plasma cutter frequently, but not for longer periods of time. If you’re using it for long jobs, then this is when you’ll want to pay more attention to the maximum thickness of metal that a product is designed to cut through.
Thickness Of Material You'll Be Cutting
The thickness of the metal you plan on cutting can make a big difference. The rule of thumb is that, if the metal you're cutting is a 1/2 inch in thickness or more, then you'll want a powerful machine.
Plasma cutters require a lot of electricity in order to function. Your typical cutter will work with a 110 volt power outlet or 220 volt power outlet. Your minimum amperage requirement needs to coincide with the power input that you’re using. Don’t forget to assess what other equipment will be plugged into those outlets as well.
Speed of the Cut
A plasma cutter is usually rated for three different speeds of cutting. This includes:
This is the best quality cut that you can achieve. A top cutting speed will be used to get through a thinner material with clean results.
Thicker materials can be cut in a longer amount of time, but the results will be exactly what you’re looking for.
Extremely thick materials can be cut over a long period of time. The quality may also be lacking.
Type of Start
There are two different kinds of starts to choose from when it comes to creating your pilot arc. This includes contact start and high frequency start. If you’re going to be using your plasma cutter near other electrical devices, a high frequency unit can cause a lot of problems with interference. Contact start won’t cause these issues.
Frequently Asked Questions About Plasma Cutters
Q: What type of air supply is needed for a plasma cutter?
Normal air is perfectly find for cutting, but you can also use bottled nitrogen for portability. It’s also less expensive to use bottled nitrogen. The result of bottled nitrogen tends to include less oxidation.
Q: Does it matter where I use a plasma cutter?
It’s not beneficial to use a plasma cutter in a space where there’s a lot of dust or particulates in the air. This could end up affecting the accuracy of your project. Look for a plasma cutter with a fan built into the unit. This will increase accuracy.
Q: Are there certain controls or features that I should look for?
Each device is designed differently, but take some time to look at all of the different controls that are included. You want the unit to be easy to use and control. This will have an effect on your work.
Our list includes some of the best professional and non-commercial plasma cutters available on the market. But, notice they all have one thing in common - they provide great value for your money.
Be it power options, Amp outputs, duty cycles, or even maximum cut depth - all our selections have something special to offer. Though, if you ask us, then we'd certainly go for Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP
The Powermax30 does cost more than some of the options, but it is the answer to whatever your problem is. For instance, it will work just as well in a workshop as it will at your home.
It has some of the best features and only minor disadvantages. Most of all, Hypertherm is renowned for its top-notch quality - even companies like Hobart purchase internal components from Hypertherm.
But, we don't just want you to take our word for it. Before making any purchase, have a definite idea of exactly what you want in a plasma cutter. And, then carry your own market research, because only you know what's best for you.