Best Budget Plasma Cutters Under $500 – Reviews 2020

Last Updated on October 6, 2020

best plasma cutterIn case you’re in a dire need of a plasma cutter but got confused scrolling around thousands of websites, this article is for you. We’ve figured out a solution and shared our reviews on the quality plasma cutter under $500. If you want to pick the top-rated Plasma Cutter, this article will give you an insight into the quality plasma cutter within an affordable price range.

Take a look at these reviews to find out some of the best plasma cutters available with a buyer’s guide to make the best purchase.

Reviews of the 7 Best Budget Plasma Cutters under $500

1. Lotus LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter  Top Overall Pick

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Lotus Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter is our top overall choice and rated the best plasma cutter under $500 because of a pretty-high performance and output for what is costs. Lotos Plasma cutter is the most reliable plasma cutter and is highly suitable for hobbyists, DIY users.
The machine is small and lightweight which features a non-touch pilot arc technology. It cuts everything under 3/16 inch like a hot knife through butter, with almost no slag formation. Lotus delivers reliable cutting performance and rich, smooth finishing just within your budget.

Key Features:

  • Includes pilot-arc technology that enables to cut through rusty, rough, and wild surfaces with completely hands-free control
  • Lotus is an excellent choice for home projects, personal learning, garage works, and DIY enthusiast
  • Cuts a variety of conductive materials leaving a professional finish
  • The machine is super easy to carry around and comes with a ground clamp, torch, a little air filter/dryer, and a bracket to mount it on the back of the machine.
  • It’s a 50amp digital inverter air plasma cutter which weighs 20 pounds only.
Pros
  • long term reliability
  • Highly affordable
  • Quick connectivity and easy set-up
  • Long-lasting tip
  • Works great on any surface
Cons
  • Weak grounding wire
  • Requires extra consumables.

2. SUPER DEAL CUT 50 DC Inverter Plasma Cutter – Best for the money

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Looking for a machine that cuts flawlessly? Super Deal DC plasma cutter is certainly a good addition to your welding accessories. This machine gives you a 60% duty-cycle with an efficiency rating of 85%. Though Super Deal is a low-cost plasma cutter, it delivers impressively flawless results.
No matter if you are a newbie or an expert, Super Deal is extremely easy to operate and install. Our favorite part of this plasma cutter is the enhanced safety protection and the smoothness of the cut.

Key Features:

  • Super Deal Plasma cutter allows superior performance with an advanced pilot arc-striking system
  • It is much faster than a flame cutter and max cutting frequency is about a quarter inch. You can go for more thickness if you take your time and enough patience with the cutter
  • This unit has a high-frequency Pilot Arc so you do not need to touch the torch to the material to start cutting.
  • It is suitable for performing a wide range of activities and delivers perfect results in a compact design.
Pros
  • Enhanced safety features
  • Solid metal construction
  • High cutting speed
  • Cost-effective
  • Digital display for easy read
Cons
  • Requires additional purchases for better results
  • Vague manual

3. Forney Easy Weld 251 Plasma Cutter

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Forney Easy Weld is an affordable choice for hobbyists that can cut light sections up to 1/4” inches. There are not many other welders as powerful and highly-efficient as this unit. We particularly like this cutter for the benefits it provides within the price.
This isn’t an easier machine to use but a little practice gives you a clean cut. Once your technique is dialed, cutting gets a lot easier. It suits anyone wanting a light plasma cutter for casual works.

Key Features:

  • Forney easy weld comes with a 13’ torch lead, eight-foot ground lead with a max clean-cut thickness up to 1/4” for steel materials whereas up to 3/16” in the case of aluminum
  • The drag torch technology enables a smooth, consistent cut by keeping the workpieces in direct contact with the tip
  • The unit works well off on rusty, roughly painted metals with a duty cycle of 35%
    A general friendly plasma cutter under $500 that comes with a 1-year warranty.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Super clean, straight cut
  • Heavy duty
  • Easy portability
Cons
  • Only works on 110/120 voltage
  • Max output 20amp

4. ZENY CUT-50 50AMP Plasma Cutter

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Zeny plasma cutter is a highly-efficient, easy to carry plasma cutter at an extremely cheap price. The plasma cutting is perfect for home projects, DIY tasks, repair and maintenance, and any light industrial usage. Not just it satisfies beginners but is recommended by professional users for its improved cut quality, high-frequency, and powerful welding current.
This unit is a good value for money under $500 and requires minimal effort to get the work done. Once it is set upright, it works great on1/8 to 3/8-inch mild steel.

Key features:

  • The ZENY CUT 50 plasma is incorporated with the latest technologies for a long-day, fast and smooth cuttings without any extra preparations or adjustments.
  • ZENY features a digital display for better readouts with a built-in over-voltage and overheat protections for more safety.
  • Cutting metal up to 12 gauge is smooth as butter with Zeny plasma cutter. The structure is compact and performs at a 60% duty cycle.
Pros
  • Long-lasting consumables
  • Faster and cleaner cuts
  • Quick set-up
  • Dual-voltage
Cons
  • Ground wire and power cable is too short
  • Underpowered torch

5. PrimeWeld CT520d 50Amp Plasma Cutter

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Primeweld plasma cutter is a multifunctional welder and cutter that provides you with an enhanced, accurate, and long-lasting performance. If you are looking for a plasma cutter that can offer you all the benefits of a welder as well, we believe this can be a great addition to your workshop.
Primeweld plasma cutter can cut any sort of material at 60% duty-cycle on maximum amps. What more about this cutter, it enables 200 amps stick and TIG welding combo and a 50A plasma cutting function. For the buck, this little machine contributes a lot for various projects.

Key Features:

  • A 3 in 1 unit that presents you with TIG/Stick welding, arc welding, and premium plasma cutting
  • The plasma cutter is listed at cutting up to 1/2″ metal but can successfully cut up to 3/4″ easily
  • It weighs only 32lbs which enables easy hand-held movement to workstations.
  • Prime weld involves precise cutting and welding on any sort of metal. The unit can be easily converted from a DC stick welder to a DC TIG welder and runs steadily on both120v and 240v outlets.
Pros
  • Multi-functionalities
  • Convenient and light-weight
  • Clean cut on a wide range of metals
  • 3-year warranty
  • Good price
Cons
  • Short leads and grounding clamp
  • Minor issues with amps

6. Hypertherm Powermax 30XP Plasma Cutter

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For an under $500 machine, Hypertherm will handle almost anything you will ever need. It cuts almost as fast as you can move the torch on thinner materials and can tackle the smallest of jobs. The unit is extremely compact and lightweight. It comes with a sturdy case and everything you need to start cutting.
Hypertherm is a highly reliable machine because of the heat-resistant torch and comfort grip. It comes in an easy to carry around case, gloves, glasses, quality consumables, and adapter plugs ensuring quick, easy cutting.

Key Features:

  • Hypertherm Powermax is a light-weight, portable unit that ensures high-quality performance within an affordable range
  • The unit is fully equipped with everything you will need to achieve precise cutting
  • Hypertherm works on most metals of up to 1/4-inch and has a duty-cycle of 35% at 240V.
Pros
  • High-power capability
  • Safely portable and light
  • No explosives gas needed
  • Dual-voltage
Cons
  • Too small
  • Needs frequent cleaning

7. HeroCut 35i Single Phase Plasma Cutter

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If you are on a budget, Hero Cut Plasma Cutter is one of the most reliable, fully equipped, and a non-HF pilot arc plasma cutter. For newbies, this is one of the easiest to use a unit under $500. Portable as it is, this solid, powerful plasma cutter is capable of delivering smooth, clean cuts without any slag formation.
Hero Cut Plasma cutter is equipped with an air-regulator, air hose, electrodes, and tips. For occasional plasma cutting or an industrial workshop, this plasma cutter exceeds all expectations.

Key Features:

  • A strong, durable machine capable of quality cut without leaving any slag
  • Hero cut plasma cutter is characterized by IGBT inverter technology that enables easy operations for beginners and hobbyists
  • The unit weighs only 16lbs. The light-weight feature and ergonomic handle enables to carry this machine wherever on the go
  • This cutter offers the job with a duty cycle of 60% at 30 amps. The quality accessories included performs excellent on 4mm-8mm severe thick materials.
Pros
  • Solid and affordable
  • Low-cost
  • Smooth cut
  • Compact design
Cons
  • Poorly packaged consumables

Things to Consider when Buying a Plasma Cutter

Are you going to use the plasma cutter for home projects? At your workstation or in a professional shop? Are you a beginner enthusiast or trying to move out to a better version of your old manual plasma cutter? Plasma cutter is one of the most helpful tools that make-or-break a task. Imagine buying a low-grade plasma cutter and ending up with all the mess at your workplace. With the advancement of technologies, plasma cutters now feature tons of important attributes that might confuse professionals as well. Lending you a professional hand, here are some important considerations before you purchase an affordable yet sturdy plasma cutter.

Ease of usage

When you are buying a plasma cutter, it is important to know if the selected machine can be used conveniently. If you are uncomfortable with the device, the plasma cutter is of no use to you and can turn out to be a waste. The controls and indicators of the plasma cutter should be designed in an easily adjustable way. This will let novice users control switches and adjust settings according to the metal to be cut. Some newly arrived plasma cutters have LED indicators for accurate reading of displays. If you’re a beginner, make sure to buy a plasma cutter that is easily controllable, regardless of any prior experience.

Thickness of the metal

One most significant attribute to consider before buying a plasma cutter is to figure out the thickness of the material you’re most going to cut. The rule of thumb is to consider a plasma cutter that has an 80% cut-capacity or above. Many plasma cutters fail to cut a required metal when the capacity level drops to a certain percentage. For instance, if you mostly cut ½-inch thick or under ½’, you can choose a system with an average cutting rate. A ½-inch plasma cutter system will also allow you to cut a little thicker material occasionally. But if you need to work with large pieces regularly, we suggest you to purchase the one that is rated for more power.
Secondly, you should take into account the type of material you are probably going to use the most. For cutting mild steel material, any average power plasma cutter will do. In the case of aluminum, galvanized surfaces, and other coated materials, considering a high-end cutter will perform jobs better.

Duty Cycle

The duty cycle is one of the most prominent factors you shouldn’t overlook before buying a plasma cutter. Duty cycle determines the time spans the plasma cutter will continuously operate to cut a metal.
You might be wondering what specific duty-cycle is intended for you. The duty-cycle specification will highly depend on how frequently you need to work with the plasma cutter and cutting process. For manual operations and cutting average metals, a 50% duty cycle is more than enough. If you are planning to use a plasma cutter continuously, choose a cutter that is compatible with the maximum thick material you’re intending to cut. Our advice is to look for ambient temperature and voltage for evaluating the duty-cycle.

Voltage

Considering your electrical outlet at your home, workshop, or job-site is crucial while deciding on a plasma cutter. Most plasma cutters require 110 volts power outlet or 220 volts power outlet. Voltage determines how smoothly you can cut a thick material without any extra-hassle.
For amperage ratings, we suggest considering your locations electrical outlet to ensure a perfect cutting speed

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Plasma Cutter?

A plasma cutter is a melting process that utilizes conductive energy to melt and cut workpieces. Plasma cutter is performed by a compressed gas that flows directly through the gas nozzle on the workpiece.

Q: Is Plasma Cutter used as a welder?

Yes, plasma cutter can be used as a welder too if it has the right welding specifications. Our recommended Prime weld plasma cutter offers users with both the benefits of a welder and plasma cutter.

Q: How long a plasma cutter can cut metals?

It is determined by the amperage output an individual plasma cutter will offer. A plasma cutter with better amperage is likely to possess more duty cycle and run for a longer time. Whereas, lesser amperage settings will work for shorter periods due to lower duty-cycle.

Q: How thick material a plasma cutter can cut?

A 50amp plasma cutter can cut up to1″ whereas a 30amp can work on a maximum thickness of 1/2″.

Q: Are cheap plasma cutters any good?

For light-weight projects, general repairs and maintenance budget-friendly plasma cutters offer premium cuttings, sturdy performance, and long-lasting reliability. If you are looking for something light yet durable cutter for light-weight jobs, our recommended low-cost plasma cutters will ensure hassle-free operations at home and work.

Bottom Line:

This wraps up our review on some of the best plasma cutters available in the market within an affordable budget. The whole list includes all the plasma cutters that are good value for the money. In any case, if you’re still struggling in choosing the one for you, we’re here to help you with our top pick. We consider the Lotus Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter as the best among all because of the superior performance, quick-connectivity, flawless cut regardless of the surface quality. Our verdict satisfies all the characteristics of an ideal plasma cutter that also happens to be affordable. Our second choice SUPER DEAL Plasma Cutter is the best budget plasma cutter as it is a multifunctional unit within an extremely cheap price. The other reviewed welders appear to be almost equal in terms of quality, built, and outcome.

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