Best Plasma Cutter for 2020 and Reviews for [110V & 220V]

image of the best plasma cutters

Getting into plasma cutting can be very confusing as there are so many different machines to choose from out there. Which models are best in class and which ones should go to the back of the class? Finding the best plasma cutter for you takes some research.

You don’t want to purchase the wrong model do you? Particularly, when some of these machines are very expensive. Fortunately, I’ve got your back – I’ve been testing a lot of cutters to find out which you can rely on and what exactly they are best suited to.

So, check out the 10 best plasma cutters that made the grade and see for yourself. There’s something here for every budget and for every project. Whatever you are working on, you can find a machine that will allow you to cut with confidence without spending more than you need to.

Just a quick shout out guys! Rest assured that I put these products on the list due to their quality and my personal opinion as let’s say, experienced welder (burn marks, ruined eyesight, and all).

I just want to be transparent with you and inform you that my site Weldingpros.net may obtain a share of sales or other monetary compensation from the links on this page.

So, buddy, I hope that using this article you will pick the best plasma cutter and make some nice cuts on that metal (and if not just grind it a little ;)).

Adam Mason ♠
  • Comparison table.
  • Plasma cutter Reviews.
  • Things to consider when selecting your cutting machine.

Best Plasma Cutter Comparison Table

Image
Best For the Money
yeswelder 55DS
Editor's Choice
Hypertherm Powermax45 XP Hand System w/o...
Plasma Cutter, Spectrum 625, 90PSI,...
Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter...
PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50A Air...
Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma...
Machine
YesWelder CUT-55DS
Hypertherm Powermax45 XP Hand System w/o...
Plasma Cutter, Spectrum 625, 90PSI,...
Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter...
PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50A Air...
Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma...
Rating
10% off Coupon Code:
"June -10% Weldingpros"
-
-
-
Dual Voltage
Voltage Inputs
110/230V
240V
120/240V
240V
110/220V
120V
Maximum Amperage Output
55A
45A
40 A
40 A
50 A
20 A
Duty cycle
60% at 55 amps
50% at 45 amps
60% at 40 amps
50% at 40 amps
60% at 50 amps
35% at 20 amps
Maximum cut thickness
1/2" cut and 3/4" max severance cut
7/8" cut and 1-1/8" max severance cut
5/8" cut and 7/8" max severance cut
5/8" cut and 7/8" max severance cut
1/2" cut and 3/4" max severance cut
1/4" cut
Features
Great price to quality ratio, Very high duty cycle, Portable, Smooth cutting, Non touch pilot arc, 1 year warranty
Very high quality, For heavy use, Beautiful cuts, Drag cut technology, 3 year warranty
High quality, USA brand, Wind tunnel feature and fan on demand, 3 Year warranty
High quality, USA brand, Fan on-demand and wind tunnel, Hobart 5/3/1 Warranty
Dual volt, 3 Year warranty
Drag ability, low weight, pilot arc
Best For the Money
Image
yeswelder 55DS
Machine
YesWelder CUT-55DS
Rating
10% off Coupon Code:
"June -10% Weldingpros"
Dual Voltage
Voltage Inputs
110/230V
Maximum Amperage Output
55A
Duty cycle
60% at 55 amps
Maximum cut thickness
1/2" cut and 3/4" max severance cut
Features
Great price to quality ratio, Very high duty cycle, Portable, Smooth cutting, Non touch pilot arc, 1 year warranty
Editor's Choice
Image
Hypertherm Powermax45 XP Hand System w/o...
Machine
Hypertherm Powermax45 XP Hand System w/o...
Rating
-
Dual Voltage
Voltage Inputs
240V
Maximum Amperage Output
45A
Duty cycle
50% at 45 amps
Maximum cut thickness
7/8" cut and 1-1/8" max severance cut
Features
Very high quality, For heavy use, Beautiful cuts, Drag cut technology, 3 year warranty
Image
Plasma Cutter, Spectrum 625, 90PSI,...
Machine
Plasma Cutter, Spectrum 625, 90PSI,...
Rating
-
Dual Voltage
Voltage Inputs
120/240V
Maximum Amperage Output
40 A
Duty cycle
60% at 40 amps
Maximum cut thickness
5/8" cut and 7/8" max severance cut
Features
High quality, USA brand, Wind tunnel feature and fan on demand, 3 Year warranty
Image
Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter...
Machine
Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter...
Rating
Dual Voltage
Voltage Inputs
240V
Maximum Amperage Output
40 A
Duty cycle
50% at 40 amps
Maximum cut thickness
5/8" cut and 7/8" max severance cut
Features
High quality, USA brand, Fan on-demand and wind tunnel, Hobart 5/3/1 Warranty
Image
PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50A Air...
Machine
PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50A Air...
Rating
-
Dual Voltage
Voltage Inputs
110/220V
Maximum Amperage Output
50 A
Duty cycle
60% at 50 amps
Maximum cut thickness
1/2" cut and 3/4" max severance cut
Features
Dual volt, 3 Year warranty
Image
Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma...
Machine
Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma...
Rating
Dual Voltage
Voltage Inputs
120V
Maximum Amperage Output
20 A
Duty cycle
35% at 20 amps
Maximum cut thickness
1/4" cut
Features
Drag ability, low weight, pilot arc

Last update on 2020-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you want to learn more about plasma cutting in general and are not ready to pick the machine yet, you can read this article that tackles this subject.

Best Plasma Cutters Reviews

1. YesWelder CUT-55DS 55Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter

image of YesWelder CUT-55DS

I love this machine and for the money, it’s absolutely the best small plasma cutter you can buy. It is relatively low-cost (it’s not the cheapest plasma cutter for sale on the market but it’s not far off) and it has a lot to like about it.

It has built-in non-touch technology that will make it so easy to cut through rough or painted surfaces without producing massive amounts of slag. It also preserves the nozzle tip for longer, which costs you less in maintenance fees.

The dual-voltage capacity is good and it means you can get great cutting performance on nearly any type of metal and it’s even well suited for light industrial use when you switch to the 220v plasma cutter mode.

The 30-day money-back guarantee is really impressive too, give it a try and if you’re not happy with your YesWelder then send it back for a refund, they want to make sure that you’re happy.

It’s the best value plasma cutter in my tests and the build quality is solid and the customer service they back it with is strong too.

10% off Coupon Code: “June -10% Weldingpros”
Specifications
  • Processes: Plasma cutting.
  • Cutting Thickness: Steel – 1/2in clean cut and 3/4in maximum severance cut.
  • Cuttable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel, Alloy Steel, Aluminum etc.
  • Input Power:110/230 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: DC.
  • Maximum output: 55A
  • Rated Output: 55 A @ duty cycle 60%
  • Weight: 34 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Non-touch cutting method
  • Dual input voltage
  • Best plasma cutter at price range
  • This plasma machine has a lot of power
  • Works on air consumption (for pressure)
  • Comes with 13ft pilot arc torch cable, 10ft work lead, air filter (air regulator), air hose and consumables
  • Smooth cutting process
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Inverter technology

Cons:

  • Display could be bigger

2. Hypertherm 088079 Powermax-30 Plasma Cutter

Hypotherm plasma cutters are heavy-duty machines and thus Hypertherm Powermax 30’s price reflects that. However, it has some features that cheaper models just don’t have to justify the price point.

This machine has a dual input voltage as you would expect. It’s exceedingly lightweight and it comes with a very long torch lead of 15 feet. The power supply provides excellent cutting capacity for 1/4″ steel plate and you get very good quality cuts from it.

If you want a handheld plasma cutter that can support delicate work and sculpture then look no further, this is the best choice in my cutter reviews. You get what you pay for and the plasma cutter price is fair here because the quality is outstanding.

However, it won’t gouge unlike some of the other Powermax models and some may find the fact that it’s not a 50 amp plasma cutter somewhat limiting, you can’t tackle the thickest of materials with this plasma cuter.

Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP Building America Edition Hand Plasma System with Case and 15-Feet...
  • Auto-voltage automatically adapts to 110 V - 240 V input power. Plug adapters included.
  • Comes with hard carry case, eye shields, gloves, shoulder strap, standard consumables and Fine Cut consumables.
  • Duramax LT torch design provides a sure, comfortable grip made from heat and impact resistant material.
  • Auto-voltage automaticvally adapts to 110 V - 240 V input power. Plug adapters included.

Last update on 2020-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: Plasma cutting.
  • Cutting Thickness: Steel – 3/8in neat cut and 5/8in maximum severance cut.
  • Cuttable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel, Alloy Steel, Aluminum etc.
  • Input Power:120/240 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: DC.
  • Maximum output: 30A
  • Rated Output: 120V @ duty cycle 20%, 240V @ duty cycle 35%
  • Weight: 21 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Very high quality unit
  • Professional torch
  • Supports dual volt outlets
  • Comes with safety gear, shoulder strap and standard and fine cut consumables
  • Also offers drag tip for extended durability
  • Smooth cutting process
  • Low weight

Cons:

  • Price

3. Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i 240 V Plasma Cutter

Hobart is one of the big players in the market of plasma cutters and the Hobart 40i Plasma Cutter’s price range reflects this. However, it cuts mild steel at 7/8″ at 50% duty cycle at a speed faster than an oxy torch! This is a serious machine.

Annoyingly the Airforce 40i’s a 240V machine rather than a 110v 220v dual voltage plasma cutter and that means you’re going to have to get a special input source installed which is expensive. The ground cable works in the same way though.

The Hobart Airforce 40i is one of the best plasma cutters that I’ve tested and I really like the fact that the airflow is designed to conserve air as much as possible, it allows for a lot more flexibility than most air plasma cutter tools allow for. The duty cycle is decent too.

You almost certainly don’t need this machine for home use but if you need to slice through the hot metal in the way that a knife slices through butter and you need to do it a lot – this is the one for you.

Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter 240V
  • Maximum cutting of mild steel is 7/8 in at 50% duty cycle. Cuts faster than oxy fuel
  • Auto-Refire Technology - Allows operator to cut expanded/perforated metals, as well as painted or coated surfaces.
  • Operates off 240 V input power. Fan-On-Demand: The fan only runs when needed, reducing the dust and debris that is pulled into your machine.
  • Ergonomic trigger safety, more efficient air consumption, and XT40R torch consumables..Airforce 40i plasma cutter is excellent for light and heavy industrial users.

Last update on 2020-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: Plasma cutting.
  • Cuttable Thickness: Steel – 5/8in clean-cut and 7/8in max cut.
  • Cuttable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel, Alloy Steel, Aluminum etc.
  • Input Power: 240 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: DC.
  • Maximum output: 40A
  • Rated Output: 40 A @ duty cycle 50%
  • Weight: 31 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • High quality unit with sturdy case
  • Great for professional shop and jobs
  • Wind tunnel technology (protects internal components)
  • Fan on demand cooling system
  • USA brand
  • Cuts fast through metals
  • Efficient air flow
  • Lightweight with portable dimensions

Cons:

  • Price
  • No 120v outlet support

4. Miller Electric, 907579, Plasma Cutter, Spectrum 625, 90 PSI, 12ft.

You will need to bring your own air compressor which might surprise you when you check out what price range this machine is in. However, it is a superb machine and the Miller Spectrum 625 might just be the best cutting machine of them all.

The quality is outstanding on the Miller Spectrum. The output range is among the highest of any machine I’ve tested. If you’re involved in metal fabrication on an industrial scale, you’re going to love the Miller Spectrum 625. It has an excellent duty cycle.

The Miller Spectrum’s air hose is a 12-foot lead which is enough torch line to reach cutting surfaces pretty much anywhere in a workshop. The cutting ability of this machine is second to none and if you’re used to working with a grinder, you’re going to love how much easier this is to work with.

The Miller Spectrum 625 is the best value machine in my plasma cutter reviews but only if you’re going to be working with one all the time, it’s not for home use.

Plasma Cutter, Spectrum 625, 90PSI, 12ft.
  • Price For: Each Series: Spectrum 625 X-TREME Includes: XT 40 Hand Held Torch 12ft., Heavy-Duty Quick Connect Work Clamp-20ft., X-case(TM) Power Cord 12ft., MVP 240/120V Adaptor and Extra Consumables...
  • Application: Metal Cutting Design: Inverter Overall Width (In.): 5.5 Overall Height (In.): 9 Overall Depth (In.): 13.25 Country of Origin (subject to change): United States

Last update on 2020-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: Plasma cutting.
  • Cuttable Thickness: Steel – 5/8in clean-cut and 7/8in maximum severance cut.
  • Cuttable Materials: Steel, Stainless, Alloy Steel, Aluminum etc.
  • Input Power: 120/240 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: DC.
  • Maximum output: 40A
  • Rated Output: 40 A @ duty cycle 60%
  • Weight: 21 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Highly professional machine. Beast for efficency, ease of use, quality and reliability
  • Dual voltage operation
  • USA brand
  • Wind tunnel technology and fan on demand
  • Auto-Refire technology for expanded metals
  • High quality ergonomic torch
  • Comes with great quality protective case

Cons:

  • Price

5. Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma Cutter

The Forney Plasma Cutter is a step above the entry-level. It will cut mild steel to about 1/4″ and this 120v plasma cutter is reasonably portable too (though not so light that you want to be moving it around all the time, mind you).

It has special technology for drag cutting which makes feature cutting super easy. It also means that you’ll spend less money on torch consumables in the long run and that’s always good news.

There’s a solid warranty on this and when I spoke to their servicing department I was impressed to be dealing with real professionals, it’s clear that the customer experience matters here. Replacement parts when you need them are very easy to get hold of.

The only thing missing for this mid-range machine is dual voltage capability which would be nice to have. This is the best machine at this level I could find.

Sale
Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma Cutter,Green
  • CUTS- Mild steel, aluminum and stainless steel from thin material to 1/4"* (6.35 millimeters) with ease! *(Mild Steel)
  • EASY TO USE- All you need is 120 volt power source and 1.5 CFM of compressed air. Built in regulator and air dryer make operation a breeze
  • DRAG TORCH TECHNOLOGY- Allows you to drag cutting tip in direct contact with the metal you're cutting for smooth consistent clean cuts
  • LIGHT AND PORTABLE- Forney's 120-volt 20 P Plasma Cutter is generator friendly so on the go cutting and moving to different job sites is possible

Last update on 2020-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: Plasma cutting.
  • Cutting metal Thickness: Steel – 1/4in cut.
  • Can cut metals: Steel, Stainless Steel, Alloy, Aluminum etc.
  • Input Power: 120 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: DC
  • Maximum output: 20A
  • Rated Output: 20 A @ duty cycle 35%
  • Weight: 21.5 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Good for beginners, hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts
  • Drag torch capabilities
  • Easy to use
  • Pilot arc
  • Portable and low weight

Cons:

  • Not a lot of power
  • Medium duty cycle

6. Hypertherm Powermax 45 XP Hand System w/c CPC – 20′ Leads Plasma Cutter

This is a super portable and lightweight professional cutting machine and the Powermax 45 has a price tag to prove it. The drag cutting design is an absolute joy to use and it slices through metal so easily that even a complete beginner should get the hang of it in minutes. Just don’t forget to attach the ground clamp.

Metal fabricators, on the other hand, will love the air pressure “smart sense” unit which means they never have to watch the air pressure gauge.

You can reach gouging amperage very easily and that’s not something you can do on cheaper machines. It also has a great duty sycle.

One thing I noticed is you never get hand fatigue using this machine despite the super clean cuts. The Powermax 45 is excellent and for the value it brings, it’s also reasonably priced. Easily the best plasma cutter when it comes to quality.

Hypertherm Powermax45 XP Hand System w/o CPC - 20' Leads
  • Small size and light weight provide exceptional portability for a 16 mm (5/8") rated cutting system
  • Patented drag-cutting technology makes the Powermax45 XP easy to use even for first-time operators
  • Smart Sense technology ensures that air pressure is always correctly set
  • Finish jobs faster, with cut speeds 1.5 times greater than oxyfuel on 6 mm (1/4") mild steel

Last update on 2020-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: Plasma cutting.
  • Cuttable Thickness: Steel – 7/8in neat cut and 1-1/8in maximum severance cut.
  • Cuttable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel, Alloy Steel, Aluminum etc.
  • Input Power: 240 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: single phase.
  • Current Type: DC
  • Maximum output: 45A
  • Rated Output: 45 A @ duty cycle 50%
  • Weight: 31 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Highly professional machine for wide range use
  • Of all plasma cutter brands this one is probably the best
  • Patented drag-cutting technology
  • Smart Sense technology for air pressure
  • Smooth and fast cutting
  • Beautiful edge post cutting on most thicknesses
  • Supports gouging
  • Supports CNC (computer numerical control) use
  • 3 Year warranty

Cons:

  • Price
  • No 120v support

7. Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter With Built-In Air Compressor 120 V

If you want a machine with a built-in air compressor then the Hobart 12ci is worth paying attention to. There’s no need to mess around with pressure settings on this machine, it does it all for you.

You get a very precise cut and though the input power is a little lower than we’d like, the power output is respectable and you get a very thin kerf with little slag that needs attending to. The ground clamp is easy to attach too.

The downsides are that this is a touch model and it can be hard to get used to working with. It’s also not going to handle very thick metal – it wasn’t designed like that. The duty cycle is fine, though.

However, the Hobart 12ci certainly represents the brand in a useful fashion though you might want to consider spending just a little bit more to get more functionality.

Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor 120V
  • Built in Air Compressor
  • Cuts faster than oxy fuel
  • Smaller heat-affected zone for less warping
  • No gas pressure settings for flame tuning needed

Last update on 2020-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: Plasma cutting.
  • Cuttable Thickness: Steel – 1/8in clean-cut and 1/4in maximum severance cut.
  • Cuttable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel, Alloy Steel, Aluminum etc.
  • Input Power: 120 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: single phase.
  • Current Type: DC
  • Maximum output: 12A
  • Rated Output: 12 A @ duty cycle 35%
  • Weight: 27 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Built in air compressor
  • Good option for DIY enthusiast or for simple jobs
  • Simple to operate
  • Pilot arc start
  • Fan on demand
  • Quality torch
  • USA brand
  • Hobart’s 5/3/1 warranty

Cons:

  • Not enough power for the price
  • Weight of 27lb not justified considering the low amps
  • Medium duty cycle

8. SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Welding Machine

Need a 110 volt plasma cutter that can also deliver 220 volt support? Want it at a super price? Then this 110v 220v Super Deal DC machine may be exactly what you are looking for. One thing I should note that is this not a machine for welders & plasma cutters as the name suggests, in fact, it only supports cutting. Though a welder can use it to cut, I suppose.

For this price, I wasn’t expecting very much but I was pleasantly surprised. The build is not bad and it’s much better than most budget models of kit that I’ve tested in the past. The duty cycle is acceptable for a model this cheap too, plasma cutting doesn’t have to be expensive.

The documentation could use more thinking through thought and much of it came in Chinese figures rather than imperial measurements but really, that’s a minor complaint.

If you want a machine for occasional use that provides a decent cut as maximum duty cycle with dual voltage support at next to no money? This is my top pick. I wouldn’t choose it for heavy work but otherwise, it’s excellent.

SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Welding Machine With Screen Display Dual Voltage 110/220V AC...
  • 【Superior performance】SUPER DEAL plasma cutter features PRO technology, more stable performance. High duty cycle result in less power consumption. More economical and effcient than the...
  • 【Exquisite workmanship】 Made of heavy duty iron. Its solid material construction makes it reliable and gives it strength that can be used for a long time. It not only can be used in businesses and...
  • 【Digital Display】DC output Digital LCD Display, Easy Read Front Panel Air-Pressure Guage, save energy and no noise, High cutting speed, Cutting smoothly and no polish demands.
  • 【Considerable & Safe design】Built-in over-heat protection, over-voltage protection, under voltage protection and over heat protection and lack of compressed air pressure protection. Comes with...

Last update on 2020-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: Plasma cutting.
  • Cuttable Thickness: Steel – 1/2in cut.
  • Cuttable Materials: Steel, Stainless, Alloy, Aluminum etc.
  • Input Power: 110/220 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: DC.
  • Maximum output: 50A
  • Weight: 24 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • A lot of power
  • Affordable
  • Simple to use
  • Dual voltage
  • Comes with basic mask for protection

Cons:

  • Not for any heavy use
  • No pilot arc

9. PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter

Whether you need a 110v plasma cutter or a 220v model, this has got you covered. If you want to get working with a plasma torch without breaking the bank then the PRIMEWELD Cut50 is a solid choice.

You can choose from a range of duty cycles which is good and it will cut cleanly through up to 1/2″ without any problem. However, it does seem to eat up consumables at a much faster rate than the other machines in my tests.

The PRIMEWELD Cut50 customer support is excellent too if you find yourself struggling with the training guides in the box (though they’re very well put together too).

However, the power cord is a bit short and you’re going to want to replace it to ensure you get your amps safely. The portability of this equipment isn’t great either but given that it’s aimed at the hobbyist market, that’s probably not a big deal for this too. The cost makes it a very attractive option.

PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter Automatic Dual Voltage 110/220VAC 1/2"...
  • THE ULTIMATE PLASMA CUTTER - When precision metalwork cuts matter. As one of our customers said, “It will do the job very well I have had mine for almost three years and it's been very reliable.”...
  • MAKES THE PRECISION CUTS YOU NEED - With your Prime Weld Plasma Cutter, you can cut stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, copper aluminum, and other metal materials without breaking a sweat. Have...
  • TRULY PORTABLE - If you need a portable Plasma Cutter that makes moving from project to project a breeze at a price that won’t break the bank, this is it. As another happy Amazon customer said,...
  • DESIGNED BY PROFESSIONALS - If you are serious about getting the job done, PRIMEWELD is a brand you can trust backed by our fanatical customer service. Our high-quality Plasma Cutters are perfect for...

Last update on 2020-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: Plasma cutting.
  • Cuttable Thickness: Steel – 1/2in clean-cut and 3/4in maximum severance cut.
  • Cuttable Materials: Steel, Stainless, Alloy, Aluminum etc.
  • Input Power: 110v or 220v, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: DC
  • Maximum output: 50A
  • Rated Output: 50 A @ duty cycle 60%
  • Weight: 22 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Dual volt input tool
  • Good for beginners and hobbyists
  • Affordable
  • A lot of power
  • 3 Year warranty

Cons:

  • Scratch start

10. Ramsond CUT 50DX 50 Amp Digital Inverter Portable Air Plasma Cutter Dual Voltage

The Ramsond Cut 50 plasma cutter is a cutter best suited to medium levels of use though it’s also pitched at the fully professional market, I felt that the “touch and cut” philosophy underpinning the design is not going to win over those with the most demanding applications for a machine like this.

The build-quality is OK but I do have to note that some users report serious problems straight out of the box with this model and I would strongly advise buying it through Amazon to ensure that you get some support in the aftermath (though it’s worth noting that Ramsond’s customer service is highly praised).

It does run with compressed air which keeps the overall cost of ownership down. I also found that it delivers a nice neat cut too when it comes to the cutting results.

Ramsond CUT 50DX 50 Amp Digital Inverter Portable Air Plasma Cutter Dual Voltage
  • Automatic Dual Voltage/Dual Frequency (110/220v 50/60Hz)
  • Integrated Digital Display of Current (Amps) and Pressure Gauge
  • Integrated Pressure Gauge Display
  • 60% Duty Cycle

Last update on 2020-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: Plasma cutting.
  • Cut Thickness: Steel – 3/4in neat cut and 1 inch thick maximum severance cut.
  • Cuttable Material information: Steel, Stainless Steel, Alloy Steel, Aluminum etc.
  • Input electricity Power requirements: multi voltage plug 110v or 220v, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: single phase.
  • Current Type: DC
  • Maximum amperage rating: 50A
  • Weight: 19 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Dual voltage options
  • Powerful units
  • Digital display
  • Easy to use and great for newbies
  • Low weight and size unit

Cons:

  • Many people report having issues with it
  • Not for heavy usage

Best Plasma Cutter – Buying Guide

These machines are evolving constantly. The manufacturers are working to improve and develop the functionality and user experience all the time.

That means you have plenty of options to choose from but, at the same time, you may be trapped with the paradox of choice – you can’t work out exactly what sets them apart and why some cutters are so much more expensive than others.

So, this buyer’s guide is designed to separate out the most important factors to help you find the machine that meets your needs.

Learn how hot plasma cutter is here.

Power Source

You need two power sources to run a plasma cutter. A pneumatic power source to provide air pressure(1) and an electrical one to supply current. There are some plasma cutters that use a range of gases but the most common ones are pneumatic.(2)

Pneumatic

If you want to create a plasma, you need a source of gas, for most plasma cutters that gas is air and the pneumatic power source is there to create enough pressure to get that air flowing to form a viable plasma for cutting with.

If you have a separate air compressor, then you can save a fair amount of money on buying a machine as those with integrated air compressors are more expensive.

Electrical

You also need to pay some attention to the form of electrical input that your plasma cutter will need. The top of the line, heavy-duty machine models sometimes use three-phase 240-volt supplies but the most affordable and best for most purposes will use 110/120-volt, 220/240-volt, or a dual supply which allows both types of input.

The only place you’re likely to find a three-phase machine is in an industrial setting. In most instances, it’s more useful to have a dual supply of 110/120 volt and 220/240 volt.

110/120 Volts

This is the standard supply that most people have at home. Thus, if you can use your plasma cutter at 110-120 Volt, you can use it at home. Unfortunately, this isn’t a high enough voltage to allow the machine to operate at maximum power and you may struggle to cut metal thicker than 1/4″ which means that you may need more power.

220/240 Volts

If you need this voltage, you’re going to have to install a power-point designed for this type of supply. That means spending more money. If you want to cut through thicker materials though, you’re going to have to invest in this supply. You will also find that you cut faster and of a much higher quality than on 110/120 Volt.

Plate Gauge To Cut

image of steel plate

You will find that most plasma cutters can cut through almost any kind of metal surfaces. However, it’s the thickness of the plate that they can cut that should determine the plasma cutter that you buy.

The rule is simple: the thicker the plate you want to cut, the more amperage that you will need.

You can cut through different gauges of plate based on the amperage. So, let’s say your plasma cutters can only cut 3/8″ of aluminum plate, it will be able to cut through 1/2″ of stainless steel and up to 5/8″ of steel sections.

In my experience, it’s always best to give yourself some room between the machine’s maximum stated cutting capability and the plate thickness you need to cut. You won’t get a tidy cut if you try to work at the maximum level and you won’t get the job done if you need to cut through something thicker.

Cut Finish

image of a mechanic with a plasma cutter

If you’re looking for a clean-cut then you should remember that each machine will produce a different standard of finish.

A cheap machine may be able to cut a thick plate but you’ll find a more expensive machine that will usually provide a better quality of cut.

If your cuts aren’t for decorative use, you won’t care very much but don’t forget that a neat cut is desirable because it saves on the effort to clean things up after cutting. This is true even for fabrication work that will have the cut edges eventually welded.

You should think hard on the quality of finish you need, it’s often what helps you pinpoint how much you should spend on your plasma cutter.

Types of Torches To Consider

It wouldn’t be a plasma cutter guide without touching on torches. The torch in all plasma cutters is designed to facilitate the cut but not all torches are the same and there are some important differences to think about.

The Lead:

The lead, that your torch is attached to the machine with, is a vital part of using a plasma cutter. You want a long lead if you have to move around a project without moving your plasma cutter around.

If, on the other hand, you expect your plasma cutter to sit on a bench and you bring the materials to be cut to the bench, you can opt for a shorter lead.

You should opt for the best quality of lead that you can buy too, low-quality leads will easily get damaged and can wreck the cutting action or even render working with the torch completely unsafe.

High-Frequency Non-Touch Torch:

When you use a plasma cutter, how it works is normally to create a pilot arc which when it comes into contact with the metal forms the main arc. This can make it harder to control the cut than it needs to be.

A high-frequency non-touch torch will create the main plasma arc prior to the nozzle making contact with the project. It uses a “standoff” to keep the torch as a constant distance over the cut.

You get a very tidy cut this way and it’s a very precise way to work. If you want consistency while you cut and to keep the nozzle clean because it doesn’t touch the surface of the metal then this is the best way to go.

Drag Technology:

If, on the other hand, you want to opt for a machine where the nozzle does make contact with the workpiece, you should consider drag technology. This allows the torch to cut smoothly while in contact with the work.

Without drag technology, you can end up with the nozzle adhering to the surface fo the work which creates a “double arc fault”. That can bring the cut to a complete halt or worse, it creates a sort of jumping motion that distorts the cut.

In turn, it ruins the nozzle tip and leaves ugly arc markings over the work.

If you work on artistic projects where you need to cut intricate patterns that aren’t on a straight edge – then this is the best choice for you.

Touch Start:

A touch start model is a plasma arc cutter that only starts when the nozzle makes contact with the metal to start the cutting arc. You then have to lift it slightly above the project and, free-hand, ensure that it stays in the same position as you finish the cut.

This is an awkward process and you need a super steady hand to make it work for you. No matter how good you are, you won’t get the kind of accuracy you get with a non-touch start or a drag technology electric plasma cutter.

The only real advantage of this kind of plasma burner is that it’s going to be cheap. Even then, I’m not sure they’re worth it.

What Can I Do With My Plasma Cutter?

So, what is a plasma cutter for? They are super-versatile metal working tools that can tackle a huge number of tasks and ought to repay your investment, with interest, very quickly, indeed.

If you work on build and repair projects that involve metal, you need a plasma cutter even a cheap plasma cutter will be better than nothing depending on your work environment.

Let’s look at some example projects you can work on with plasma cutters:

  • You can cut metal sections that help repair a cracked trailer frame of steel plate
  • You can cut metal (just like a band saw does) to length
  • You can cut steel plate for any project you need to
  • You can dismantle a mobile car
  • You can build a BBQ to order
  • You can chop steel to create a welding bench
  • You can make metal fencing
  • You can create sculptures from metal
  • You can remove welding that has been put on trucks and their trailers
  • You can build trailers
  • You can cut sheet metal to build toolboxes, hydraulic/fuel tanks, etc.
  • You can cut or fit tubing to roll cages

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do I Choose A Plasma Cutter?

You can determine the best plasma cutter for the money you wish to spend by taking some time to consider the power source (particularly the electrical inputs – will they be enough to support the right cutting thickness of the metal and still provide clean cuts).

As well as the finish that you need, the kind of lead you want for the torch (your projects should dictate a long or short lead), and the specific type of torch technology that you think will make it easiest for you to get the precise cutting that you need on the job site.

How Much Air Pressure Is Needed For A Plasma Cutter?

There is a rule of thumb that you should buy a compressor that provides around 1.5 times the (cubic feet per minute) CFM required by the plasma cutter and that this is then delivered at the PSI (pounds per square inch) required by the cutting tool.

Most plasma cutters will operate in a range of 60-120 PSI depending on the output range of the individual machine.

Why Does My Plasma Cutter Cut On An Angle?

A plasma metal cutter can end up plasma cutting at an odd angle for several reasons these can include: the torch nozzle has become worn, there is not enough power to the arc, you’re cutting too quickly for the power rating, there’s not enough gas flowing to the nozzle or you’re working at too slow a speed.

However, it’s worth noting that most plasma cutters will have a slight “bevel” (the angle to the cut) of about 1-3 degrees, this is simply due to the shape of the gas jet as it comes through the nozzle – you can reduce this but you can’t make it go away entirely.

Conclusion

My favorite plasma cutting machine is the YesWelder CUT-55DS. It’s a great place to get started with cutting as it is a budget plasma cutter. It’s not expensive and it packs a lot of bang for buck into the package but it will struggle with some heavier jobs. Either way, in my oppinion, it is the best plasma cutter for its price range.

The Miller Electric Spectrum 625 and the Hobart 40i are going to be the choices for many workshops that have a high demand for this kind of cutting, the extra cost is surely going to be easy to justify.

Finally, if portability features are your top priority then the Powermax45 is a really excellent pick and among the best in the top picks above.

None of the machines in this roundup will let you down, though, they’re all solid choices depending on your specific needs.

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