Best Plasma Cutters Review

Best Plasma Cutter Reviews & Top Picks

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If you are interested in finding out what the best plasma cutters are, you might have discovered that the range in models, technology, and pricing is increasing each year. The top cutters will often be priced well and give you a good cut through a range of metals.

Our top choice is the Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP which although pricey, has the very best features for serious professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Best Plasma Cutter for Home Use | Overall Winner (Our Choice)

Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP

Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP Building America Edition Hand Plasma System with Case and 15-Feet Lead
  • Auto-voltage automatically adapts to 110 V - 240 V...
  • Comes with hard carry case, eye shields, gloves,...
  • Duramax LT torch design provides a sure,...

Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Long torch lead
  • Reasonable price point (for this kind of machine)
  • Nice and simple to use

Several readers have reached out to us and asked what plasma cutter to buy.

As a result of this, we have decided to collect what we consider to be some of the very best plasma cutters on the market right now.

Some of the models listed have some negatives that might preclude them from your thoughts on buying, but we have made sure to list the top plasma cutter at the top of this buying guide.

If you are new to plasma cutting and looking to cut your teeth with these powerful and useful machines, you can scroll down to the end of the post to find out some useful tips about what they are and how to use them.

Plasma Cutter Reviews Comparison Chart

ModelBest ForBuy Here
Hypertherm Powermax30
Best Plasma Cutter Reviews & Top Picks 1Best Plasma Cutter Reviews & Top Picks 2
Best in classShop on Amazon
Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i
Best Plasma Cutter Reviews & Top Picks 3Best Plasma Cutter Reviews & Top Picks 4
Interesting wind tunnel technologyShop on Amazon
Lotos LTP5000D 50ABest Plasma Cutter Reviews & Top Picks 5Best Plasma Cutter Reviews & Top Picks 6PriceShop on Amazon
PRIMEWELD 50A
Best Plasma Cutter Reviews & Top Picks 7Best Plasma Cutter Reviews & Top Picks 8
BeginnersShop on Amazon
Forney Easy-Weld 251
Best Plasma Cutter Reviews & Top Picks 9Best Plasma Cutter Reviews & Top Picks 10
PortabilityShop on Amazon

Best Plasma Cutters | 8 of the Top Plasma Cutting Machines

Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30

Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP Building America Edition Hand Plasma System with Case and 15-Feet Lead
  • Auto-voltage automatically adapts to 110 V - 240 V...
  • Comes with hard carry case, eye shields, gloves,...
  • Duramax LT torch design provides a sure,...

Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For our best in class choice, the Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 ticks all boxes for what we would consider the best plasma cutters for home use and workshop use.

Many Hypertherm plasma cutter reviews will note that the price is not the cheapest, but we consider it decent for the mix of features and quality that you get.

If you are looking for a machine to able to engrave, then you might want to consider the Powermax 45, but this obviously comes with a price bump.

We don’t think that most people looking to buy a top plasma cutter for home use will be actively looking for this feature.

But don’t think that this is an inferior machine. It can cut clean edges and is proficient in cutting easily up to 5/8 inches thick metal plate, (fine enough for decorative features, although you will want to invest in a decent grinder to clean up the edge).

Super lightweight but a high-quality build will ensure that this is a portable plasma cutter, especially when you factor in its very long torch lead at around 15 feet!

One of the best features it includes is an automatic voltage adjustment which makes this the best 110v plasma cutter and the best 220V plasma cutter.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Auto voltage adjusts to either 110V or 220V input
  • Ergonomic plasma cutting torch design ensures comfort when working
  • Comes with accessory kit and case
  • Super portable and lightweight (2.2 lbs)

Cons

  • The air valve has been reported to leak after heavy usage

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Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i

Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter 240V
  • Maximum cutting of mild steel is 7/8 in at 50%...
  • Auto-Refire Technology - Allows operator to cut...
  • Operates off 240 V input power. Fan-On-Demand: The...

Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Hobart Airforce 40i is an impressive plasma cutter and includes some pretty interesting technology…especially for the price point it’s at.

The technology in question is the wind tunnel tech, which keeps the internal parts safe from damage when the torch is in use.

The Hobart is bigger than most on this list and we would argue that its increased cutting capacity puts in more in the strong amateur to the semi-pro range of expertise.

Coming in with an ergonomic trigger safety, it is comfortable to use for longer periods of time. However, its major downfall, in our opinion, is its short lead and high input power requirements.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A lot of interesting technology for a reasonable price
  • Made in the USA
  • Ready to use out of the box
  • Ergonomic torch handle makes it easier to use for longer periods of time
  • Ergonomic torch handle makes it easier to use for longer periods of time

Cons

  • The high input voltage, (not plug and play if you are using 110V)
  • You will need to get a 50A breaker

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Lotos LTP5000D 50A

Sale
Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 1/2 Inch Clean Cut, Brown
  • ★ NON-TOUCH PILOT ARC PLASMA CUTTER: efficiently...
  • ★ SAFE AND AT LOW COST: compact plasma cutter...
  • ★ THE COMPATIBLE CONSUMABLES SETS for this BROWN...

Last update on 2020-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Lotos LTP5000D 50-amp is an interesting plasma cutter. It isn’t in the same league as the Hobart 40i in the previous mention, but for the number of features it has and its cutting ability, it is quite possibly one of the best plasma cutters for the money.

It has a non-touch arc that creates a clean cut through many types of consumer metals, includes rusty and/ or painted metal up to 12 inches!

Whilst it can cut through thicker metal, you will end up with a much rougher and unequal cut. However, if you don’t mind the refining job afterward, the skies the limit!

It has a great drag technology that ensures line tracing for straighter cuts. It also has an advanced cooling system that keeps the internals at a safe temperature. This is not an essential feature, but often one that you will find on pricier models so it is nice to have this included here.

All in all, this is a great little portable plasma cutter that is great for hobbyists looking how to start plasma cutting, but not wanting to break the bank.

See also: Our own in depth Lotos LTP5000D review

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Affordable plasma cutter
  • Cuts thick metal whether rusty or painted
  • Portable plasma cutting machine
  • Gets the job done with minimal nonsense involved

Cons

  • Comes with a ground clamp, but is weak and short in length
  • Might need to replace standoff plasma cutter drag shield

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PRIMEWELD 50A

Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A bit of an unknown entity with regards to brand names, but don’t let that put you off.

The Primeweld is a serious piece of kit that is super, we mean SUPER affordable!

Apart from the Lotos before, this is quite possibly the best value plasma cutter for home use that you can buy and still be comfortable using.

It comes included with a very nice 3-year warranty, (at the time of writing 11/03/2020. This can be subject to change though, so it is worth checking before you decide to part with your hard-earned).

Simplicity is the name of the game with the Primeweld 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter.

Simple to set up, simple to use, and a simple price that will mean that you don’t worry too much if you batter the thing around a bit, (don’t bang it around though, we do not condone tools and machinery abuse here at Pro Welder Guide!).

It can handle the main 2 input voltage ranges with relative ease by utilizing an automatic switcher.

Bottom line: The best value plasma cutter with regards to price and fun and easy to set up and use.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The cheapest plasma cutter on this list
  • Great range of features
  • Somewhat portable
  • Very nice warranty
  • Comes with plenty of hoses and connectors to get started

Cons

  • Not a well-known brand
  • Poor instruction manual in the box

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Forney Easy Weld 251 Plasma Cutter

Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma Cutter,Green
  • CUTS- Mild steel, aluminum and stainless steel...
  • EASY TO USE- All you need is 120 volt power source...
  • DRAG TORCH TECHNOLOGY- Allows you to drag cutting...

Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for the best small plasma cutter at an affordable price…and has an established and recognizable brand name; the Easy Weld ticks all boxes!

It is suitable for amateurs looking to cut at home without having to lease expensive equipment or hire contractors.

In fact, for such a decent machine, you would be surprised just how cheap it is. It isn’t the cheapest here, (that would go to the Primeweld), but it is the top cheapest mobile plasma cutters you can get.

It is portable and lightweight at only 21.5 lbs and is generator friendly by running at 120V.

It is fine for cutting easy sections of up to ¼ inch thick, however, the 20A range is not up to the same level as some of the other more expensive options.

It is easy to use and comes with a decent number of accessories to get started with, including 1 extra electrode and 1 extra nozzle.

We particularly like the easy troubleshooting light warning system which lets you know what an issue is and then how to fix said issue.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very well priced.
  • Portable for use around the home.
  • Decent length torch lead (13 feet).
  • Drag torch tech ensures a nice clean cut.
  • High quality, well-known brand.
  • Can be used for very light shop work at a push.

Cons

  • A bit underpowered when compared with the others on this list.

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Miller Electric 907529 Plasma Cutter

Miller Electric 907529 Plasma Cutter, Inverter, Spectrum 375
  • Occupational Health & Safety
  • Country of Manifacturer: United States
  • Manufacturer: Miller Electric

Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Who makes the best plasma cutter? This is a question we have been asked recently (11/03/2020) and we have to reply that Miller has a good reputation among tradesmen around the world. This is as a result of its quality and materials used.

Most Miller plasma cutter reviews will tell you about the high quality of the machines and this is for good reason.

This particular machine is by far the most expensive here, and this is really the only negative we can find about it. With that said, it is more aimed at those needing something for shop work rather than hobbyists at home.

Make no mistake, this is a heavy-duty plasma cutting machine and as such you will be able to get a whole raft of jobs done.

With all that said, it is compact and easy to stash away to keep your shop nice and tidy and although the price is more aimed towards light-duty pros, it is an easy model to set up and use so this doesn’t preclude those with money to burn from using it.

As with most things in life, you kind of get what you pay for. Here you will be paying an awful lot so we can’t really recommend this as a beginner-friendly plasma cutter, mainly because we wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending an expensive machine just to see if you want to get into plasma cutting.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Top-quality Miller product.
  • AC/DC power source.
  • Auto-refire technology (very cool and convenient).
  • Auto air regulator.

Cons

  • Expensive.

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SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Plasma-Cutter

SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Air Plasma Cutter Inverter DC Digital Display IGBT Portable CUT50 Welding Portable Machine Cutting 50Amp Dual Voltage 110V and 220V
  • 1.IGBT Technology:IGBT machine is far superior and...
  • 2. Dual Voltage: Automatic Dual Voltage / Dual...
  • 3. LCD Display: digital LCD display,easy read...

Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Cheap and cheerful.

This is a phrase that is often used when we talk about stuff that is low price, low quality but kind of does the job.

Well the SUNGOLDPOWER is not this. It’s cheap and amazing!

What you are getting here, is a cheap plasma cutter for sale that is plug and play ready and includes a handful of extras in the box to get up and running.

It has a range of between 10A to 50A of power output, but one of our reviewers has told us that you will want to keep it at a midrange output to create a cleaner cut. This is because it starts to struggle at ranges over around 30A.

It can create a passable cut all the way up to 12 inches, but while this may not be acceptable with some other machines’ you have to remember the price of this machine.

The major downside when comparing it to some of the more expensive models here’ is that it doesn’t come with drag torch technology and so cutting can be slightly unwieldy…but again, remember the price!

It is not for heavy-duty work, (or anything near heavy-duty) but it is wonderful for those looking for budget plasma cutters.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • CHEAP…so cheap!
  • It can cut through a decent range of materials.
  • Range of input voltages.
  • Ready to use out of the box.
  • You can buy it and bash it around without .worrying about the price.

Cons

  • A few people have reported that it doesn’t really like medium to heavy work, (our own reviewer didn’t have this issue).

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VIVOHOME Portable DC Inverter Plasma Cutter

VIVOHOME Portable DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Cutting Machine Dual Voltage 110V/220V CUT-50
  • Improved cutting ability, compared with the...
  • 50Hz frequency is inverted to high frequency...
  • The step down voltage and rectification current,...

Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The VIVOHOME comes very highly recommended by our resident testers, (people that we speak with who have the machine and use it at least once a week).

The reason being that it is a very good price point and it comes with some interesting plasma cutting technology such as MOSFET which can convert a low frequency to a higher one.

All in all, it’s a great plasma cutter and as we have shown on this list’ you don’t necessarily need the most well-known brands to get the best product at the best price.

Technical Data

  • Power voltage: 110/220V
  • Rate input power: 4.8KVA
  • No-load voltage: 230
  • Rate output current: 20-50A
  • Rate output voltage: 96V
  • Duty cycle: 60%
  • Motor: 1300rpm

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Extremely affordable and competent.
  • It can cut through a wide variety of metals.
  • It can cut through a wide variety of metals.
  • Fast, clean cutting up to 1/4 inch.

Cons

  • Poor owners manual with pretty janky translations.
  • Unknown brand.
  • Doesn’t come with a handle.

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Buyer’s Guide

Every year plasma cutter technology continues to improve by companies adding better functions and upgrading their machines to enhance the user experience and improve the cut’s performance.

It is always advantageous to have a number of different options to choose from. However, when there are too many options, it can be difficult to know what the differences are between them and why prices can vary so widely. 

We have created this buyer’s guide in order to discuss the factors that we think are important for you to consider and to help individuals find the best plasma cutter to meet their requirements.

Power source

Pneumatic (air pressure) and electrical are the two major power sources for you to choose from. They are both essential for running plasma cutters. 

Most plasma cutters are pneumatic, while others operate on different types of gases.

Pneumatic

A majority of plasma cutters required to have a separate air compressor in order to feed air from the nozzle to allow it to work. 

Having a separate air compressor is beneficial since the most affordable and best machines do not have an air compressor as part of their systems. 

Electrical

Another important thing to consider is the electrical input that a plasma cutter is able to take. There are some heavy-duty cutters that are three-phase 240-volt machines. 

However, a majority of small ones run on single-phase power points of 220/240, 110/120 volts, or both.

Typically, industrial workshops are the only place where a three-phase plasma cutter is needed. 

However, it is useful for single-phase machines to have the capacity for both 220/240 and 110/120 volts.

110/120 volts

At a majority of people’s homes, a standard power point is 110/120 volts. Therefore, a plasma cutter that has this type of input is desirable for households. 

However, running off that many volts will not generate enough power in order to cut through over 1/4″ of metal. So its uses are limited.

220/240 volts

If you need to run 220/240 volt, then you need to install a special power point, which will cost extra money. 

Not incurring those additional costs is preferable. 

However, if you need to cut through 1/2″ plate or even thicker, then it will be necessary to make the investment.

The extra cost will make a big difference in the quality and speed of your cuts.

Plate gauge

A majority of plasma cutters can burn through any kind of metal. 

However, it is the thickness of the plate determines which plasma cutter is the best one for you to purchase The thicker that a plate is, the higher the amperage you need your machine to generate.

Plasma cutters are able to cut through various gauge plates using the same amperage, depending on which type of metal it is cutting. 

For instance, a plasma cutter that will max out on a 3/8″ aluminum plate will usually be able to cut 5/8″ steel and 1/2″ stainless steel sections.

It is always best to allow some room in between the capability of a machine and the plate that needs to be cut. 

Usually, when you cut to the limit of a machine, it will not cut well. You also won’t have any room for cutting larger if you get an odd job that required you to cut thicker sections.

Cut Finish

Various plasma cutters will produce various finishes. Although a low-priced machine may be able to cut through the same gauge plate that a machine that costs twice as much doesn’t mean it can provide cuts of the same quality.

If your cuts are not for decorative purposes, then that will not always matter. 

A nice cut will save in cleanup time even when the cutter is severing sections off to use in fabricated projects that have welded cut edges.

No matter what you need, determining which finish is needed is an essential step in selecting a plasma cutter. 

That will help to ensure you do not purchase anything that is too low- or high-quality for what you need the cutter for.

Kinds of Torches that are Available

There are different ranges that torches are available in. In general, they fulfill the same purpose that burning a slice through metal does. 

However, they take different approaches in order to get the job done. There are other differences for you to consider.

Lead | Length and Quality

That lead that is attached to your torch is a critical element on a plasma cutter. It does not appear like much other than connecting the torch with the machine. 

However, your experience of a plasma cutter will be changed a fair amount depending on its durability and length.

It is desirable to have longer leads when you are wanting to travel to various parts of a project that need to be cut while your machine is kept stationary. 

With that said, if you are intending on your plasma cutter to stay on the bench that you bring all of your projects to cut, then you won’t need to have long leads.

The quality of the leads affects your experience as well. 

Low-quality or thin material can become damaged easily and can result in an unusable or unsafe torch fairly soon. The best option is always the highest quality lead.

Non-Touch High-Frequency Torch

The torch generates the plasma a short distance from the metal that you are cutting. It cuts through a section without the nozzle touching your project. 

The standoff is a feature that keeps the torch in a constant distance and can be adjusted sometimes for different heights in order to change the kind of cut that you need.

Machines that have these torches generate tidy cuts and provide the process with consistency and precision while making sure that the nozzle stays clean by preventing it from touching your project with dirt or metal.

Drag Technology

This technology allows the torch to smoothly cut through metal while the top of its torch is touching your project. 

If drag technology is not present, the nozzle may stick to the metal via a double arc fault throughout the cut process. 

That can either completely stop the momentum or create a jittery, inconsistent cut that lacks accuracy and precision. It ruins tips as well while ugly arc marks are created on your project.

Drag technology is great for eliminating it. 

It is the easiest way that lines can be traced when you are cutting for decorative or artistic projects where a straight guiding edge is not followed.

Touch Start

This type of technology is the least desirable for a torch. The way it works it that the nozzle touches the metal in order to create a cutting arc. 

Then it must be lifted off of the project, and then often free-hand slid over the metal while at the same time hovering over the metal accurately to complete the cut.

This can be difficult to accomplish since you need to have a very steady hand in order to keep it at the proper height. 

It also never finishes the cut with the cleanness and accuracy of the drag or non-touch start technology. 

The only real advantage that touch start torches have is they are usually the least expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who makes the best plasma cutters?

There are several brands that are well known to make good quality cutters. These include: Forney
Hobart
Lotos
Miller

What are the best plasma cutters on the market today?

We would recommend:
Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30
Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i
Lotos LTP5000D 50A
PRIMEWELD 50A
Forney Easy Weld 251 Plasma Cutter
Miller Electric 907529 Plasma Cutter
SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Plasma-Cutter
VIVOHOME Portable DC Inverter Plasma Cutter

What is the best reasonably priced plasma cutter?

We have reviewed many different, very good machines and have found the Lotos LTP5000D to be the top choice in the price category.

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