The Best Plasma Cutters of 2014

cnc plasma cutter 1Welcome to the Pro Machinist Tools plasma cutter reviews section.  The goal of this guide is to give you all the information you need to  find the best plasma cutter for for the money.  If you are investing hundreds of dollars in a piece of equipment, you want to make sure it’s going to stand up to heavy use and get the job done.  The following reviews and comparisons highlight the top rated plasma cutters on the market.

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Who Makes the Best Plasma Cutter?

There are tons of quality names out there when it comes to cutters.  Miller, Hobart, Thermal Dynamics are just a few.  They also tend to be on the more expensive side.  Just remember, while these tools are not inexpensive, the quality ones are designed to stand the test of time.  Depending on how you plan on using your cutter, you can spend as little as $500 all the way up to well over $1000.

Use common sense.  If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is.  While the best cheap plasma cutter listed below is a bargain, don’t expect it to hold up to heavy use like the more expensive and higher quality models.

If you have plans to use it in a professional capacity, or to cut heavy gauge steel, plan on spending a little extra to ensure that you get a quality model that will have little downtime.  You will be much happier with your purchase.

With all of this in mind we’ve put together this guide to help you make your selection a little easier.  It’s broken down by section based on the following:

 

Top 3 Overall

[easyazon_link asin=”B002EP4O8S” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”promachinist-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]#1. Hobart Airforce 700i 230-Volt Plasma Cutter[/easyazon_link]

hobart plasma cutter reviewsHobart has been in the business of producing quality products for nearly 100 years.  Their line of plasma cutters are considered to be some of the best in the industry.  The 700i model is no exception.

Designed for heavy workloads, this is a true commercial grade cutter.  The specifications say it is rated to cut 7/8″ steel, but it is capable of cutting even thicker sheets if necessary.  The newly designed power inverter saves space, meaning this unit is actually smaller than other units with similar capabilities.  Read Our Full Review Here.

[easyazon_link asin=”B00C8PDIL8″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”promachinist-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]#2. LOTOS LTP500D IGBT Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter[/easyazon_link]

Lotos Plasma CutterLotos is relatively new on the scene.  While this cutter doesn’t offer the same power as the Hobart, it is compact and efficient.  It can cut through sheet metal up to 1/2″ thick with no trouble at all.

Be prepared that this unit comes with practically no instructions whatsoever.  It also comes with very few of the necessary accessories you will need to actually start cutting.  But for the price, this little guy is a beast.  Read Our Full Review.

[easyazon_link asin=”B001OHTQO4″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”promachinist-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]#3. Ramsond CUT 50DY Digital Inverter Portable Plasma Cutter[/easyazon_link]

rasmond plasma cutterThe CUT 50DY from Ramsond is a very popular choice among machinists.  It offers great cutting power at a very reasonable price.  It comes with everything you will need except the end on the power cord.  The reason for this is that it will work with either 110 or 220.  Just wire it up and you’ll be cutting in no time.  Click Here for Our Full Review.

Best Portable Plasma Cutter

[easyazon_link asin=”B000R8UN6G” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”promachinist-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Hobart Airforce 500534 250ci Light Weight Plasma Cutter with Air Compressor[/easyazon_link]

hobart 250ci plasma cutterWhile the three cutters listed above are great additions to any shop, sometimes you want something that is easily portable.  And while most models are relatively easy to carry around, the Hobart 250i is the perfect unit when you need something that is both lightweight, compact, and portable.  One of the best features is that it doesn’t require an air compressor.

It only operates on 110V so don’t expect it to cut through anything thicker that 1/4″ (and even that will be slower than the models listed above) but it’s a great unit to have if you need something portable.

Best Cheap (Inexpensive) Plasma Cutter

[easyazon_link asin=”B004VFJL14″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”promachinist-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Lotos LT5000D Dual Voltage[/easyazon_link]

Lotos LT5000DLike I mentioned at the top of the article, price shouldn’t necessarily be the sole determining factor when you’re choosing a tool that you expect to last for a while.

That being said, there are some decent models out there that come in under $500.  There is one Chinese plasma cutter that gets pretty good reviews.  The Lotos LT5000D (number 2 in or top 3) is usually priced just over $400.  This is a pretty sweet deal on a piece that is very capable.

Things to Consider when Buying

Most models are going to require an air compressor.  Don’t skimp on this component.  A good compressor will force enough air through the tip that the molten metal won’t stick to the torch.  This will drastically reduce the life of your torch.

If you’re new to welding, be sure to get a good set of goggles and gloves.  Safety is important when working with this kind of equipment.

There are plenty of other models on the market.  We will continue to provide reviews of new and existing cutters.  Just remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to commercial grade tools.  A great price isn’t always a good deal.  Be sure to do your research.  Make sure the cutter you choose is capable of easily handling the workload you’re going to throw at it.

We look to feature review of models from such trusted names as Hobart, Everlast, Lotos, Hypertherm, Thermal Dynamics, Miller and more in the near future.

We will  also be discussing specifics questions such as what is the best cutter for home use or a shop, for a CNC table, auto body work, and more.

For those that are interested in metal artwork we also discuss which models are best designed for highly accurate work with sheet metal.

Plasma cutters are not a small investment.  Before you make your purchase make sure you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

That’s why we’re here.  We provide you with the vital statistics of what you need to know about each model before you make your buying decision.

Welding Accessories and Safety Gear

In addition to discussing cutters we also review accessories including plasma cutter welding machines, helmets, gloves and other essentials that you will need to safely use your new equipment.  Take a few minutes to look around our site and see what we have to offer.  And please feel free to leave feedback about models you would like us to review in the future.  We’re always looking to improve our site.

Good Luck!

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Reviews and Information on Plasma Cutters and More