Best Plasma Cutters With Reviews & Comparisons [2021]

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Best Plasma Cutter: Lotos LTP5500D

Lotos Supreme LTP5500D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Digital Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 3/5 inch Clean Cut, Brown

The one model that comes out on top in nearly every way imaginable is the Lotos LTP5500D. The flexible current range and efficient duty cycle rating make this particular Lotos plasma cutter a king among kings.

Here’s a quick look at the LTP5500D’s key specifications—

  • 20-55A Current Range
  • 110V/220V Input Voltage
  • 60% Duty Cycle @ 55A
  • Non-touch Pilot Arc

You’ll typically find the LTP5500D used in all sorts of settings, including DIY workshops and professional auto-shops. Its delivers between 20 and 55A with a severance cut of up to an inch through steel.

It comes prewired for 220V outlets, but if you plan on working with half-inch pieces of sheet or expanded metal on 110V, you’ll need to purchase a separate L6 30R adapter.

Even though the LTP5500D is technically CNC-compatible, you’ll need to adjust the pins in the CNC port to get it set up properly. We recommend using another for CNC cutting.

Pros

  • Near-zero slag
  • Powerful and portable
  • Can cut through all metal types
  • No contact needed to start the arc

Cons

  • Power cord could be longer

Regardless of whether this is your first and 50th plasma cutter, the LTP5500D is a powerhouse that has made numerous customers happy.

Our expert reviewed articles are fact based, unbiased, and rigorously researched to help you make right buying decisions.

 
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From the vast sea of plasma cutters to choose from, finding the one that suits all of your needs can be a challenge.

Our team put in the effort so you won’t have to. After testing over forty different models, we’ve compiled a list of the best plasma cutter for every category.

Top Plasma Cutters Compared

Here’s a comparison between Top Plasma Cutters:

Product Image
Product Name
Features
Price
Lotos Supreme LTP5500D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Digital Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 3/5 inch Clean Cut, BrownBest Plasma Cutter – Lotos LTP5500D
  • Output Current: 20 - 55A
  • Input Power: 110V/220V
  • Duty Cycle @ Max Amps: 60%
  • USP: Non-Touch Pilot Arc


Hypertherm Powermax 65 Hand System - 25 ft LeadBest Premium - Hypertherm Powermax 65
  • Output Current: 20 65A
  • Input Power: At least 200V
  • Duty Cycle @ Max Amps: 0.5
  • USP: SmartSense Technology


Best Budget - SUPER DEAL CUT 50
  • Output Current: 20 - 50A
  • Input Power: 110V/220V
  • Duty Cycle @ Max Amps: 0.6
  • USP: Complete Accessory Kit


Lotos LTP8000 80 A Plasma Cutter with Pilot ARC Metal Cutter, 1 inch Clean Cut, Brown
best plasma cutter under 1000 - Lotos Technology LTP8000
  • Output Current: 10 - 50A
  • Input Power: 110V/220V
  • Duty Cycle @ Max Amps: 0.6
  • USP: Non-Touch Pilot Arc


Lotos Technology LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 1/2 Inch Clean Cut, BrownBest Plasma Cutter Under $500 - Lotos Technology LTP8000
  • Output Current: 20 - 80A
  • Input Power: 220V/230V
  • Duty Cycle @ Max Amps: 0.6
  • USP: Non-Touch Pilot Arc


PrimeWeld 3-in-1 50 Amp Plasma Cutter, 200 Amp TIG Welder and 200 Amp Stick Welder - Welding and Cutting Combo, Mobile Welding Machine, Portable Plasma Cutter, Multipurpose Welder and Cutter, CT-520DBest Budget Plasma Cutter - PrimeWeld 3-in-1 50 Amp Plasma Cutter
  • Output Current: 10 - 50A
  • Input Power: 110V/220V
  • Duty Cycle @ Max Amps: 0.6
  • USP: 3-in-1 cutter and welder


Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor 120V , BrownBest Plasma Cutter with Built-In Compressor - Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter
  • Output Current: 12A
  • Input Power: 110V
  • Duty Cycle @ Max Amps: 0.35
  • USP: Post-Flow Cooling System


Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR Hand System with 15' Lead
best plasma cutter for metal art - Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30
  • Output Current: 15 - 30A
  • Input Power: 120V/240V
  • Duty Cycle @ Max Amps: 0.35
  • USP: AIR T30 torch is rugged and designed to withstand the toughest environments


Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP Machine System CPC 25' Leads
best plasma cutter for auto body work - Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP
  • Output Current: 20 - 45A
  • Input Power: 240V
  • Duty Cycle @ Max Amps: 0.5
  • USP: FastConnect torch


CNC Plasma Cutter, HeroCut55i Dual Voltage 120/240v Non-HF Blowback Pilot Arc Non-Touch IGBT Digital Inverter Air Plasma Cutting Machine 50Amps 16mm Clean Cut, Max Severance Cut 25mm
best plasma cutter for cnc - CNC Plasma Cutter
  • Output Current: 15 - 55A
  • Input Power: 120V/240V
  • Duty Cycle @ Max Amps: 0.6
  • USP: No HF interference


Reviews of the Top Plasma Cutters

For general-purpose usage, the following top-performing plasma cutters are true works of art.

Best Premium - Hypertherm Powermax 65

best overall rating Hypertherm Powermax 65 Hand System - 25 ft Lead

Key Specifications

  • 20-65A Current Range
  • At Least 200V Input
  • 50% Duty Cycle @ 65A
  • CNC-Enabled

On a premium budget, only the best of the best will do, and the Hypertherm Powermax 65 is exactly that. With a 65A max power output, this plasma cutter cuts through 1-inch slabs of steel with ease and severs up to 1-1/4 of an inch.

Before choosing this unit, make sure you have at least a 200V circuit breaker. At its peak performance, it maintains a 50% duty cycle, improving productivity for heavy-duty cutting in your shop.

If you’d rather outsource intricate cutting jobs to a computer, the Powermax 65 is a great tool. Out of the box, it’s immediately CNC-enabled; just connect it to your table and watch the torch light up.

Watch this video to see how the Powermax 65 is set up:

 

Pros

  • Incredibly easy to use
  • Simple setup
  • Excellent performance and durability
  • CNC-friendly

Cons

  • 480V outlet required for max productivity

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty plasma cutter with all of the bells and whistles, the premium Powermax 65 is your best option.

SUPER DEAL CUT 50

best overall rating

Key Specifications

  • 20-50A Current Range
  • 110V/220V Input Voltage
  • 60% Duty Cycle @ 50A
  • Accessory Kit

Another awesome general-use plasma cutter is the SUPER DEAL CUT 50. It’s a super-compact model that delivers a powerful punch for light- and medium-duty tasks.

Its max power output is 50A at 220V, which allows the pilot arc torch to cut through half-inch pieces of metal cleanly and effortlessly.

Though compatible with a 110V receptacle, we recommend sticking to 220V for the best results.

The amazing thing about this Chinese plasma cutter is the outrageous accessory kit. It comes with all of the hardware and consumables you need to work for quite some time before needing to restock your supplies.

Pros

  • Beautiful cutting results
  • Compatible with all conductive materials
  • Portable design
  • Complete accessory kit

Cons

  • Replacement parts may be hard to find

The CUT 50 is an excellent starter plasma cutter. Its inexpensive price tag and surprising durability make it a worthy option for first-time users.

best overall rating

Best Plasma Cutter Under $500

Lotos Technology LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 1/2 Inch Clean Cut, Brown

If you don’t have a hefty budget but still want the most a top-performing plasma cutter, we recommend the Lotos LTP5000D.

Here’s a quick look at the LTP5000D’s key specifications—

  • 10-50A Current Range
  • 110V/220V Input Voltage
  • 60% Duty Cycle @ 50A
  • Non-Touch Pilot Arc

The LTP5000D outputs up to 50A of power to cut relatively cleanly through half-inch chunks of metal. When fitted for a 110V outlet, it does a decent job at cutting up to a quarter-inch of steel in a single pass.

Out of the box, it’s nearly ready for action. Simply plug your air compressor coupling into this machine, choose your power output level, and watch the non-touch pilot arc begin the cutting process.

The LTP5000D comes in a lightweight shell that’s easy to move. The ground cable is pretty short, which is why we’re thankful for the machine’s portable size.

Pros

  • Excellent ratings and performance
  • Lightweight and reasonably durable
  • Uses consumables efficiently
  • Tremendous value for the cost

Cons

  • Ground cable could be longer

For under $500, you’ll have a hard time finding a cleaner, more reliable name-brand plasma cutter.

best overall rating

Best Plasma Cutter Under $1,000

Lotos LTP8000 80 A Plasma Cutter with Pilot ARC Metal Cutter, 1 inch Clean Cut, Brown

With a budget that’s less than twice the cost of the LTP5000D, you can get another Lotos masterpiece that’s packing some serious heat—the LTP8000.

Here’s a quick overview of the LTP8000’s key specifications—

  • 20-80A Current Range
  • 220V/230V Input Voltage
  • 60% Duty Cycle @ 80A
  • Non-Touch Pilot Arc

The LTP8000 promises 80A power output at on a 230V outlet. With this much power, you can cut cleanly through a full-inch of steel.

We pushed it to 1-1/2 inches and found the sever more noticeable but still within tolerable limits.

This plasma cutter also comes with a non-touch pilot arc. With this torch, you can cut through painted or corroded metals without needing to start the arc on a cleaned-up patch.

This will also come in handy when cutting expanded metals.

The LTP8000 is nearly twice as heavy as other models on our list. Though still portable, it takes a bit of muscle to move it around when readjusting the ground clamp.

Pros

  • Astounding cutting power
  • Built for medium and heavy-duty cutting tasks
  • Durable construction
  • Cuts through corroded and painted metals

Cons

  • Could be easier to move

The LTP8000 is one of the most powerful home and light-industrial plasma cutters at a reasonable price.

best overall rating

Best Budget Plasma Cutter

PrimeWeld 3-in-1 50 Amp Plasma Cutter, 200 Amp TIG Welder and 200 Amp Stick Welder - Welding and Cutting Combo, Mobile Welding Machine, Portable Plasma Cutter, Multipurpose Welder and Cutter, CT-520D

Looking at the inexpensive side of the price spectrum, we have the inexpensive but highly versatile PrimeWeld CT-520D.

Let’s take a look at this plasma cutter’s key specifications—

  • 10-50A Current Range
  • 110V/220V Input Voltage
  • 60% Duty Cycle @ 50A
  • 3-in-1 Cutter and TIG/Stick Welder

The CT-520D delivers an amazing amount of power for such a budget-friendly tool—up to 50A for half-inch cuts. Its also a dual-voltage machine, making it usable both at home and at the office/workshop.

What makes the CT-520D shine isn’t just its super-powerful torch, but also its versatility. This machine doubles as TIG/stick welder with up to 200A output. You can cut and reattach pieces of metal with a single, easy-to-use tool.

The CT-520D undoubtedly does a flawless job when cutting, but it also surpasses all expectations as a welding machine.

Pros

  • Cut and weld with one machine
    Surprisingly clean cuts
    Excellent consumables efficiency
    Usable on most types of metals

Cons

  • Could release more compressed air

The PrimeWeld CT-520D offers the most bang for your dollar. You won’t find a top-performing cutter-welder combo tool cheaper than this one.

best overall rating

Best Plasma Cutter with Built-In Compressor

Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor 120V , Brown

If you need a plasma cutter for on-site jobs and don’t want the trouble of taking an air compressor with you, then you need to check out the Hobart Airforce 12ci.

Here’s what the Airforce’s key specifications look like—

  • 12A Current Output
  • 110V Input Voltage
  • 35% Duty Cycle
  • Post-Flow Cooling System

The Airforce 12ci is a specialty plasma cutter made for those without spacious trucks for on-site jobs.

It has a limited output of just 12A which hardly sounds like anything, but when tackling quarter-inch pieces of conductive material, it’ll certainly do the trick.

The low-ish duty cycle is mainly due to the limited capacity of the built-in air compressor. The torch could work for longer if only the compressor could keep up.

Curious as to what the Airforce 12ci can do? Take a look at this video:

 

Pros

  • Nearly zero-slag
  • Precision cuts every time
  • Decent duty cycle for a specialty plasma cutter
  • Plugs into standard 110V receptacle

Cons

  • Could produce more cutting power

Admittedly, it’s not for everyone, but the Airforce 12ci is an excellent machine for on-the-go cutting or as a reliable backup for shallower cuts.

best overall rating

Best Plasma Cutter for Metal Art

Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR Hand System with 15' Lead

When cutting complex designs out of metal sheets, there’s one tool that outperforms the rest: the Hypertherm Powermax 30 AIR.

Let’s take a look at the key specifications—

  • 15-30A Current Range
  • 120V/240V Input Voltage
  • 35% Duty Cycle @ 30A
  • Fine-Tip Consumables

Like the previous model, the Powermax 30 AIR has a built-in air compressor, but that’s not even the most noteworthy feature.

With your purchase, the Powermax 30 AIR comes with a set of fine-tip consumables that allow users to make curved cuts through thinner pieces of metal.

At its peak power rating, the Powermax 30 AIR cuts cleanly through 5/8-inch steel pieces with a 35% duty cycle.

Granted, you’ll need to wait quite a bit to allow the machine to cool down to operable temperatures, but it’ll give you time to evaluate your work and plan the next cut.

Here’s a quick look at the Powermax 30 AIR in action:

 

Pros

  • Automatically detects input voltage
  • Flexible power range
  • Can cut complex designs with fine-tip consumables
  • Incredibly portable

Cons

  • Duty cycle could be longer

To create metal-based works of art, you’ll need a keen eye, a steady hand, and the Powermax 30 AIR’s fine-tipped torch.

best overall rating

Best Plasma Cutter for Auto Body Work

Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP Machine System CPC 25' Leads

Plasma cutters are used in garages across the world to replace or cover damaged car parts. If you plan on doing this often, the best plasma cutter you can get is the Hypertherm 45 XP.

Key Specifications

  • 20-45A Current Range
  • 240V Input Voltage
  • 50% Duty Cycle
  • FastConnect Torch

Car panels are generally around 1/3 of an inch in thickness, though you may need to cut through thicker pieces to replace parts underneath the car or hood.

The Powermax 45 XP has a flexible cutting range of between 20 and 45A, which roughly translates into up to 7/8-inch clean cuts.

The FastConnect Torch reduces the amount of time needed to set the pilot arc torch up.

Here’s what the Powermax 45 XP looks like in practice:

 

Pros

  • Great for pro metalworkers
  • Easy to use
  • Long torch hose
  • Clean cuts

Cons

  • Ground system could be longer

When taking care of your baby, you’ll need the precision and quality that only Hypertherm’s 45 XP can promise.

best overall rating

Best Plasma Cutter for CNC

CNC Plasma Cutter, HeroCut55i Dual Voltage 120/240v Non-HF Blowback Pilot Arc Non-Touch IGBT Digital Inverter Air Plasma Cutting Machine 50Amps 16mm Clean Cut, Max Severance Cut 25mm

When setting up plasma cutters for CNC, the HeroCut 55i outclassed all of its competition by a wide margin.

Take a gander at the 55i’s key specifications below—

  • 15-55A Current Range
  • 120V/240V Input Voltage
  • 60% Duty Cycle @ 55A
  • No HF Interference

Everything you need to connect this machine to your CNC table and computer is available in the box. The key component, the non-HF pilot arc torch, is what makes this a CNC-friendly machine.

Without striking, the computer-guided arm can glide the torch to make complex designs when needed.

In terms of performance ratings, the 55i has everything covered. It has a max power output of 55A at 240V with a 60% duty cycle, allowing the machine to work for longer with infrequent breaks between cuts.

The arc can cut through 7/8-inch steel with little to no slag.

Pros

  • No high-frequency interference
  • Long cables and cords
  • 2T/4T
  • Air regular pre-installed

Cons

  • Could be easier to set up

Whether you rely on a computer to make the cuts or a steady hand, the HeroCut 55i is an incredibly reliable piece of equipment.

FAQs

Let’s take a time out and answer what most people are wondering.

Let’s take a time out and answer what most people are wondering.

Plasma cutters are made for cutting metals, such as steel alloy, copper, and aluminum, though the types of cuttable metal vary from model to model. Plasma cutters are widely used for car repairs, furniture making, and other businesses that involve cutting thin sheets of metal.

How much should I spend on a plasma cutter?

The cost of a plasma cutter for DIY workshops ranges between $200 and $3,500. After looking at our list, you might have noticed the key specifications and performance ratings of many of these products, both expensive and not-so-expensive, can be similar. Though it’d be easy to say that the plasma cutter’s price shines some light on its overall performance, our tests showed us differently.

What are the benefits of plasma cutters over cutting torches?

We could go into greater detail about the differences between plasma cutters and cutting torches (oxy acetylene torches), the main takeaway points are 1) plasma cutters are more efficient, 2) plasma cutters don’t distort metal objects as much, and 3) plasma cutters can cut stacked pieces with high precision.

Do plasma cutters need an air compressor?

Yes, you do, though there are exceptions. The Hobart Airforce 12ci and Hypertherm Powermax 30 AIR come with built-in air compressors. Plasma cutters are not air-intensive tools, so a smaller pancake-style air compressor might do the trick. Check the plasma cutters compressed air figures to determine whether your current compressor is up to the task or if you need to invest in a new compressor.

Are cheap plasma cutters any good?

They certainly can be. The costs of the plasma cutters on our list range from nearly-dirt-cheap to a-bit-on-the-costly-side. We personally researched and tested every model on our list (and many, many more) to find the ones that stand out the most, either as general-purpose plasma cutters or for specializes purposes.

Summary

Folks, we have come to the final section of our guide on the best plasma cutter that the market has to offer.

We’ve researched over forty different plasma cutters from popular manufacturers and not-so-well-known companies, and we’re extremely confident that you’ll find the plasma cutter that suits your needs best on this site.

If not, our comment section is open to feedback, criticism, and questions.

Last update on 2022-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Karen Taylor

Karen is an expert woodworker. He has been working as a professional in the domain for more than 12 years now. She has experience of working on a variety of power and other tools while working on her projects.

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