Best Plasma Cutter Reviews – Top Models Compared
Plasma cutters serve to a good variety of industrial projects. From cutting thick and thin steel sheets to various shapes and sizes, molding structures and many other likewise tasks, a fine and sharp plasma cutter is a must. Plasma cutting is not the easiest kind of welding work. One needs a lot of experience and practice to master the technique. Taking appropriate safety precaution is not only critical, but a mandatory part of plasma cutting. In this comprehensive guide to choosing a suitable plasma cutter, I have tried to describe some important factors about plasma cutters and plasma cutting in detail to help you purchase the best plasma cutter without breaking the bank.
Best Plasma Cutter - Our Top Picks
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Our Top Plasma Cutter Reviews
Lotos LTP5000D Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
Lotos Pilot Arc Plasma Cutters with a fine tuned arc have been praised by many welding tools aficionados for the finesse it adds to the cutting. Quickness is another major benefit of this model. The object doesn’t directly come in touch with the cutter which helps you achieve finely cut steel sheets within an incredibly short period.
With amplified precision comes slag less, dust-free cut. This dual voltage machine works on both 110v and 220v at the frequency of 50 Hz and creates current flow rate of 50 Amp. The base station of the Lotos Pilot Plasma cutter has a compressor hooked to it which has to produce minimum 3.6 Standard Cubic Feet per Meter.
To accomplish a deep, accurate cut of the steel sheet, the model has been integrated a duty cycle of 60% for the two different voltage. Equipped with the highly advanced IGBT technology, this appliance certainly appears to be the most worthy contender of this list of the top plasma cutters.
Lotos LT500D 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter
Lotos, apparently the most trusted name in the industry with several critically acclaimed plasma cutters credited to it, has rolled out another super-sharp plasma cutting device called Lotos LT500D 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter. Like many other famous Lotos products, this one, too, comprises of a dual voltage unit as its input.
Capable of producing a current output of 50 Amp, the inverter plasma cutter provides a brilliant accuracy without leaving the edges jagged. Moreover, the system automatically monitors the cutting action, preventing the nozzle from making potholes on the steel due to unstable voltage.
You’ll be pleased to know that the unit also runs on a DC power source. The duty cycle, at a room temperature, extends up to 60% at both 100 and 220 volts. The ideal thickness of the specimen is preferably is ½”, nonetheless, handling a thickness up to ¾” is a cakewalk for this rock solid device. The cooling system is considered to be a vital part of a plasma cutter.
Thankfully, this model is armed with a premium PAPST German cooling system. The manufacturers have ensured the air passed through the nozzle is purified and completely dry to ignite sparkling, symmetrical flame with a 65 PSI force of gas. The thoughtful design of the machine lessens the possibilities of fire accidents which is the reason why it has successfully maintained an unblemished reputation over the years.
Miller Spectrum 375 X-TREME Plasma Cutter
For the devotees of extreme force, extreme finesse and extreme speed, Miller Spectrum 375 X-TREME Plasma Cutter is a dream device. Smoothness, this one word epitomizes the modern marvel Miller is. The 375 spectrum provided on the fly interchangeable multivolt plugs lets you tweak the voltage settings without dealing with the wires.
The cord length is conveniently 12 ft. long which makes it easy to carry around and tackle in the workstation. It also acts a secure proof of the welding tools against flames and melting metals. Despite being packed with manifold features, this machine is very light on palms and looks classy as ever.
At a maximum current flow rate of 30 Amp, it efficiently delivers up-to-the-mark results in various constructional projects, repairing work, aviation and manufacturing purposes. Due to the minimal weight and easy handling, this machine has been extensively adopted for training amateurs at training institutions.
Hobart Airforce 500534 Light Weight Plasma Cutter
It’s next to impossible to highlight all the main features and advantages of this ultra powerful plasma cutter from Hobart. If it’s about slicing feather-light conductive metal like tin, steel and copper sheets etc. without jagged ends, it has to be Hobart Airforce 500534.
The limited size is a bonus for the customers who are looking for a portable yet highly functional cutter for multifarious constructional and repairing projects.
The combination of black and white color on the body with a curvy front enhances the style quotient of the product. The front area has two separate hoses assembled, one for the cutting object and another for the inlet air pipe. Mimicking the boathook plasma cutters, Hobart Airforce 500534 too holds a hook for connecting the specimen to it. The torch is built with care to allow the passing of air to emblaze spark to create substantial plasma arc on the specimen. If portability with breathtaking functionality is your parameter, Hobart Airforce will aid your business reach new heights of success.
Everlast SuperCut 50 110v/220v
The Everlast Supercut is a tried and tested product that serves you with the depth and finesse of laser cutting. With the capacity to punch a 50 amp output on 1 inch, it indeed is a model to be taken seriously.
The air pressure adjusting knob designed on the frontal part of the unit is a big plus. It enables you to neatly slice the steel sheets by adjusting the pressure of the air flowing through the nozzle. The product also includes an air pressure gauge which displays the current air pressure. At the end of the day, the device passes all the tests you put it through, and there's nothing more that you can ask from a decent plasma cutter.
Hypertherm Powermax 45
This is an excellent CNC plasma cutter for the beginners. The equipment can take care of steel thickness up to ¾”. The light weight doesn’t affect the output in any way. Being adaptable to an array of plasma cutting tables, Hypertherm Powermax 45 provides a great command over the cutting action.
The system can be manually fine-tuned on the table for improved results. It assured an optimal security of the specimen after rigorous heating. The price is duly reasonable compared to the quality of the service. All in all, a great value for money product among our list of the top plasma cutters.
Process of Plasma Cutting
There are several kinds of conductive materials such as aluminum, tin, steel and the likes which need refined cut and proper welding for a host of industrial purposes. To acquire precise cut on steel sheets, you got to get hold of a compatible plasma cutter and the right cutting technique. Long story short, there are two prominent methods of plasma cutting applied in the commercial arena. Each process involves a distinctive combination of specific current and voltage setting. Henceforth, before finalizing the deal, carefully go through the ratings of the product.
High Frequency Plasma Cutting
High-frequency plasma cutting technique is contrived to fulfill heavy-duty plasma cutting tasks. A perfect match for this rigid process is a sensitive torch nozzle to perforate thick steel sheets at a high temperature. The thicker the steel is, the tougher the challenge gets. Therefore, picking up a suitable plasma cutter is not only critical but also mandatory for precision controlled, fine steel cutting. With high-frequency cutting, it’s almost impossible to get any loose end on the finished product, irrespective of its grade and thickness.
Blow Back Plasma Cutting
This is the simplest form of plasma cutting used excessively to produce flawless steel cuts at a large scale at a low cost. The application of blow back plasma cutting is commonly noticed in home appliances manufacturing factories, board and tin shade cuttings. In blow back plasma cutting, a gas mixture is forced through the nozzle exactly when the specimen comes in touch with it directly. The nozzle blows long flames right at the moment which sears the steel surface and snips off the sheets. If you intend to practice blow back method with your plasma cutter, it has to feel light in your hand.
Advantages of Plasma Cutting
Manual cutting of steel sheets require a lot of energy. Plasma cutters are no less than a blessing to the industry which sustains upon and flourishes over perseverance, perfection and innovation. It’s important to keep the technologies up-to-date to survive in the competition. Plasma cutters have effectively juxtaposed breakthrough technologies in a single frame to boost the productivity and work quality simultaneously. Do you think human hands could be fast enough to handle different sizes and kinds of steel sheets to keep up with the accelerating demand of electricity and automobiles? Next to impossible.
In this era of majestic technology and clashes of the industrial titans, time is a rare treasure. Time literally transforms into cash when you make the best use of it. According to the statistics, Return on Investment (RoI) increased to a massive scale after the manual labor was decreased subsequently after the invention of plasma cutter. What a handmade saw could do within a certain time span, a plasma cutter could do ten times faster. It added a whole new dimension to the automobile and steel industry. The consequential benefit translates into greater productivity, sale and profit.
How to Choose the Good Plasma Cutter
Now that you’ve learned about the various interesting facts in terms of performance, specifications and price, it’s perhaps time for you to browse for a suitable product to serve your needs. Our reviews will definitely help you in deciding upon a particular model. In addition to that, here I’m listing down a couple of key points that comes into play while deciding among an array of lucrative choices:
- Most plasma cutters are compatible with two types of voltage levels-100v and 220v. Dual voltage plasma cutters administer both. Such systems have their own share of merits. As you’ve already read in the plasma cutter reviews section, the ability to switch between two different volts provides fine arc to make cutting easier, quicker and slag-free.
- Torch lid is the heart and soul of any plasma cutter and therefore, demands your highest attention. A torn or distorted lid won’t create appropriate arc compulsory for a crack-free, precision cut of the specimen. It will also hamper the rigidity of the material causing it to get chipped at places.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for a sample-test from the manufacturer before placing the order or clearing the payment. This is to ensure the product you’re about to buy solves your need. Focus on the current rating, if it deviates heavily, be happy to skip it.
- Along with the torch lid, also check all the control button and knobs while trying the equipment on a sample specimen. At last but not the least, you’ve to assure the power cord attached to the cutter is compatible with the power source at your workstation.
- Dear welders, kindly never opt for any electronic appliance which doesn’t come with a warranty card. Many vendors refuse or simply don’t bother to give proper money receipt or proper guaranty card of the manufacturer for their own sake. It’s your responsibility to purchase your stuff from a trusted vendor to avoid getting fooled.
Maintenance of a Plasma Cutter
Even when you successfully pass the one hell of a test that finding a great plasma cutter is, you’re still only halfway through the path. The main challenge is to maintain a complicated electronic equipment like this for a long run. Due to the nature of the work plasma cutters perform, it’s obvious to inhale a pool of dirt and dusts throughout the time. You can buy a blower, which is a sort of fan with air flowing hole, to suck out the dust from the unit. Don’t leave the spring inside the clamp unclean for over a week. Another point to keep in mind is to make sure the hose surface is cleared off any distortion. As I’ve already mentioned in the plasma cutter reviews above, it is a good idea to keep checking the entire hosepipe once in a while.
Safety & Precautions
When it comes to performing plasma cutting, your approach towards the task accounts for the ultimate result you get. Without substantial safety measures, plasma cutting can be tricky and lead to irreparable damage. Learning the proper ways of safety during the job is a crucial step of your training process. There is a series of points you ought to lock in your memory before getting started on your pursuit to getting the best plasma cutter.
- Plasma cutters are basically electronic devices. So, it’s vital to have an earthing connectivity at your workstation to guard yourself against fatal electric shocks. You should use a good welding helmet that offers an adequate level of safety. For further safety, put on rubber shoes while dealing with plasma cutters.
- The nozzle of the equipment produces high flames to sever the steel sheets. You don’t need to remind that working with fire is not a toy-game and involves certain risks. Always keep the fire extinguisher handy in your garage or factory during the task. In case the fire extinguisher isn’t available, keep a drum filled with water and a sack of dry sand right by your side.
- Remember to connect the power line of plasma cutter only to the main power source of your house. Avoid the other connections for light or computer because they are not dragged through circuit breakers. When a short circuit or sudden surge in voltage takes places, the circuit breaker immediately stabilizes the voltage and saves the machine going haywire.
- Unprotected plasma cutting emits harmful UV rays that can be extremely injurious to your eyes. Never try to do the work with bare eyes otherwise be ready for permanent visual impairment. There are lots of eye gears, face masks and shields with in-built UV protective glasses available in the market. Every welder should be in possession of these safety tools and use it for the task every time, without fail.
- Despite taking all the necessary steps, occasional nicks and cuts, burn injuries are an inevitable part of a welder’s life, whether you’re using a plasma cutter, an MIG welder, or even a TIG welder. No matter if you’re working alone or in team, it’s best to carry a first aid box with you and keep it within reach at the workplace. Apart from antiseptics and ointments, a box of cold ice or a bottle of cold water should always be on the ground to provide immediate relief to burn injuries.
Wrapping Up Our Plasma Cutter Reviews – The Last Words
There are more variations of plasma cutters sold in the market than you can count on your fingers. Plasma cutter is a part and parcel of the automobile industry. The demand of technologically sound, flexible plasma cutters are never ending here. Its use also expands beyond this particular sphere and occupies a place in your home’s toolbox as well. The best part about this tool is that it makes difficult tasks unbelievably easy. Choosing a model that caters to your basic needs, prevents potential fire accidents and stays strong for long requires you to undergo a heap of meticulous research. This comprehensive article was penned with the target to save you the time and labor of it, in addition to enriching your basic knowledge about plasma cutters.