Finding the best plasma cutter to meet your needs doesn’t have to be a difficult experience. As long as you have an idea of what you need to cut, you’ll be able to secure equipment that has the appropriate tip and strength so that you can fabricate in style. Although you can find some tools that run on nitrogen, most DIY’ers and shop professionals will find that a plasma cutter running on compressed air will meet their needs. Are you ready to find the best tool to meet your needs today?
Here Is the Best Chart for Plasma Cutters
There are several different features that a plasma cutter may have. How can you know which tool will be right for you? Use the chart below to compare and contrast these features so the strength of each tool can be evaluated for the task you have at hand.
|Lotos 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter||3.9||$$|
|Lotos LTP5000D Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter||4.5||$$$|
|Hypertherm Powermax 45 Plasma Cutter||4.5||$$$$$+|
|Hobart Airforce 250ci Light Weight Plasma Cutter||3.8||$$$$|
|Lotos Technology LTP7000 Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter||4.0||$$$$|
|Ramsond CUT Digital Inverter Portable Air Plasma Cutter||4.1||$$$|
|Everlast SuperCut 50 Inverter Plasma Cutter||4.5||$$$|
|Lotos Pilot Arc IGBT Plasma Cutter||4.6||$$$$|
|EVERLAST PowerARC 140 Lift Start TIG / Stick IGBT Welder||4.3||$$|
|AHP AlphaTIG 200X IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with Pulse||4.4||$$$$|
What Is a Plasma Cutter and Why Do I Need One?
What are you going to do when you need to cut some metal? Sometimes a reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade on it isn’t a good enough tool to get the job done. What the best plasma cutters will do is generate a thin, hot stream of plasma to give you a fast cut with very little distortion. This is why fabricators use this tool frequently, but you can use it as well for a number of different needs.
The hardest part of plasma cutting isn’t the actual cutting task. It’s finding the best plasma cutter to meet your needs. To make sure you’re getting the best tool possible, you’ll want to ask yourself three specific questions.
- How thick is the metal that needs to be cut?
- Will there ever be a need to cut thicker metal than the current job at hand?
- How fast does the job need to be completed?
Plasma cutters are a lot like a welding machine in how they are measured. You’ll be able to see how strong the tool is based on its voltage capacity and amperage. Strength comes from low amperage and high voltage, so keep this in mind as you compare tools today.
As for the need of a plasma cutter, you will find that they are remarkably versatile in what they can do. They can cut through a wide variety of conductive metals and will do so without the inconsistency that a saw blade can create. Even a small plasma cutter will work better to cut through thin metals than a Sawsall or similar product. Automotive, plumbing, and even artists will all benefit from having this tool on hand.
How Do I Find the Best Plasma Cutter For Me?
The best thing to do with a plasma cutter is to evaluate the tool’s cut rating. You’ve got three basic cut measurements that each tool should have: a sever cut, a quality cut, and a rated cut. Sever cuts are the slowest and will require the most clean up afterward because the plasma cutter is being pushed to its very limits. The rated cut, on the other hand, is the type of cut that the tool was designed to make. Don’t confuse the ratings because you may wind up not having your expectations met by the tool.
A great place to begin your journey is with the best plasma cutter reviews that are available online today. Don’t rely on blogs or websites that try to sell you one specific product. Look for reviews that will give you a factual look at what each tool can do and its strengths and weaknesses. The point of a good review is to make sure you make the choices, not the writer of the review. That’s what you’ll find with the reviews on this site.
A final consideration is the primary power source that you intend to use. Many folks only have a 115v power source, but you can still can get a plasma cutter that will work for you. There are several 12 or 25 amp plasma cutters that will work on this type of circuit.
What Are Some Common Issues With Plasma Cutters?
There is one main issue that comes up with even the best plasma cutter: a dirty environment. When there is dirt and debris floating around your garage, shop, or shed, then this can interfere with the tool. Metal shavings from grinding work can be particularly problematic. If this is your environment, then you’re going to want to invest in a plasma cutter that offers some sort of fan or wind tunnel technology to keep the tool cleaner and cooler.
Plasma cutters are also difficult to use for mobile applications because of their bulk and need for compressed air. To solve this issue, there are several brands that have built an air compressor into the actual tool. This allows for faster HVAC work, thin metal cuts out in the field that are reliable, and other maintenance tasks to be completed in a reliable way.
The tip of the plasma cutter is also going to be your best friend. Keep it clean from slag and debris and you’ll extend its life. Having a built-in drag shield is also a great feature to have to solve the cleanliness issue if you expect to face thicker cuts on a frequent basis.
How Much Do Plasma Cutters Cost Today?
When shopping on a website like Amazon, you’ll find that most plasma cutters that can provide you a clean cut on 0.5 inch materials will cost about $400 on average. If you’re looking for something that can just cut through thinner materials, then you will be able to save a few dollars. Thicker cuts or more specialized gases for fuel will drive the average price point higher for you.
What Do Our Reviews Have to Say?
We really loved the dual voltage capabilities of this particular plasma cutter. This allows the machine to run on 220 volts at 50/60 Hz power or on 110 volts if you have a pigtail on hand. Either way, because of the MOSFET transistor, the plasma cutter will produce a clean, efficient cut on thin or thick metals. Not even rust is going to stand in the way of this particular cutter. The PAPST advanced cooling system is German designed and contributes to the consistent results that can be achieved. Keep the tip clean and you’ll have a good experience with this tool.
If you need to have a plasma cutter that is lightweight and compact, yet incredibly strong, then this is the best plasma cutter to meet your needs. The conical flow of this cutter increases the overall arc energy output and this creates a superior cut every single time. You can’t ignore the drag-cutting technology that has been included with this tool because it means that everyone, even first time cutters, can still get the job done in a surprisingly short amount of time. The design of this tool even helps to keep the internal components cooler. It will be an investment, but it will provide long-term results for the price that you pay.
With a 60% duty cycle and automatic dual voltage and dual frequency, this is a feature rich plasma cutter that can meet the needs of many homes and shops. It offers users a 1-inch maximum cut thickness and will give you a digital display of the current amps that are being used. A pressure gauge is centrally located on the tool and easy to read as well. The design leads to a more uniform cut and the inverter technology from Toshiba gives you consistent power for results on everything from brass to aluminum. This tool will always deserve a second look when you’re shopping for a new plasma cutter.
With front air pressure adjustments and an adjustable post flow for your power plasma, this is the one plasma cutter that really offers flexibility to your cutting experience without forcing everyone to pay a premium price for it. Light indicators will help you make sure that your air pressure and current are at the appropriate levels. It cuts metals in a 3/8 inch to 1-inch range and offers dual frequency and voltage options as well at 50 amps. This plasma cutter is going to stand up to the rigors of commercial use, but hobbyists and DIY’ers will find this to be one of the best tools on the market today.
A plasma cutter isn’t a tool that everyone needs, but it is a useful tool to include in your garage, shed, or shop for those moments when you will need it. Use this guide to select yours today and you will have made an investment that will pay dividends over and over again.