Best Plasma Cutters Under $500 Reviews & Comparison 2023

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OK, so you want to buy a plasma cutter but you don’t have a huge budget and you can’t afford to waste your money?

I understand that because it’s a common issue in these troubling times to say the least, and fortunately, it’s one that we can help with.

featured image fro best plasma cutters under 500 article

We’re going to walk you through the range of best budget plasma cutters and explain their strengths and weaknesses as discovered during testing. Then, you’ll be able to buy your sub-$500 plasma cutter with confidence and know that your investment will achieve the results that you want it to.

After that, we’ll review the most frequently asked questions about these devices to ensure that you have all the information you need to make informed decisions.

Best Plasma Cutters Under 500$ Comparison Table

Cutter ImageSpecialsVoltage inputsOutputMax. Clean Cut Thickness:Duty cycleWeightCheck Price
Primeweld 50A Plasma Cutter
Primeweld 50A Plasma cutter
/Dual
110V/
220V
50 A5/8" clean-cut,
3/4″ in a max cut
Rated Output at 60% Duty Cycle 50 A22.5 lbsCheck Current Price Amazon
Primeweld 3 in 1 welder cutter
PrimeWeld 3 in 1 CT520D
/110V/
120V
Plasma: 50 A,
Stick: 200 A,
TIG: 200 A.
1/2″ in max cutPlasma Rated Output at 60% Duty Cycle 50 A32lbsCheck Current Price Amazon
CUT-55DS 55Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
CUT-55DS 55Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter

Get 10% Off With Coupon: "-10 WELDPROS"

Dual
110V/
220V
35A/55A5/16"@110V,
1/2"@220V
15/32"@110V,
3/4"@220V
100%@35A, 60%@55A14.55lbCheck Current Price YesWelder
Plasma Cutter CUT-45DS Dual Voltage 110/220V
Plasma Cutter CUT-45DS Dual Voltage 110/220V

Get 10% Off With Coupon: "-10 WELDPROS"

Dual
110V/
220V
25A@110V,
43.5~58PSI, 45A@220V,
58~87PSI
1/8"@110V,
5/16"@220V
100%@35A, 60%@55A11lbCheck Current Price YesWelder
Eastwood Versa Cut 20 Amp Plasma Cutter
Eastwood Versa Cut 20 Amp Plasma Cutter
/110V15Aup to 1/8”
thick stock
40% @ 15 Amps20lbCheck Current Price Eastwood
Forney Easy Weld 20P Plasma Cutter
Forney Easy Weld 20P Plasma Cutter
/110V20A1/4 mild steel35% @ 20A24.0 lbsCheck Current Price Northern Tool

Best Plasma Cutters Under 500$ Reviews and Features Reviews

  • PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50A plasma cutter
  • YesWelder CUT-55DS plasma cutter
  • Zeny SUPER DEAL DC plasma cutter
  • PRIMEWELD 3-in-1 CT 520D plasma cutter
  • Eastwood Versa Cut 20
  • Forney Easy Weld 20P
  • SUNCOO Plasma Cutter Cut 50
  • Lotos LT3500 plasma cutter
  • VIVOHOME 3 in 1 Multi-functional Plasma Cutter
  • Goplus CUT-50 plasma cutter
  • Vipercut 30amp Plasma Cutter

1. PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50A

primeweld 50a plasma cutter

Some cheap plasma cutters just aren’t up to the job but this is a high-quality dual voltage model that will provide serious value for money.

It uses a high-frequency DC current that will cut through thicker materials than the average cutter and with a greater level of cut quality too. The 60% duty cycle is very reasonable too.

It’s very easy to operate and you should have no problems setting up this quality plasma cutter and you can be assured it will get the job done.

Though I’d note that if you want to cut thick materials – you might want to crank up the power to 220 Volt input. It is also supported with a decent warranty and comes with some of the best customer support that we’ve seen for welding products.

Finally, at just over 10Kg this unit is relatively portable and you can use it pretty much wherever you have metals to cut. If you want welding functionality, however, you might want to check out its big brother the Primeweld CT520d.

Pros & Cons Summarized

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Has high amp output with a high maximum cut
  • Great duty cycle
  • Lightweight and portable plasma cutter
  • Great customer support

Cons

  • You have to touch the metal to start cutting

Specifications

  • Process: Plasma cutting
  • Cutting thickness Metal: – 5/8 inch thick clean-cut 3/4″ in a maximum cut
  • Cuttable Materials Steel: Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum
  • Input Voltage: 110/220v, 60 Hz
  • Input Phase: 1-phase
  • Current: DC
  • Maximum output: 50 A
  • Rated Output: 50 A @ duty cycle 60%
  • Weight: 22.5 lbs

2. YesWelder CUT-55DS – Best Budget plasma Cutter With Air Compressor

yeswelder cut-55ds plasma cutter

If you are looking for an affordable plasma cutter under 500 that brings great capability and excellent cut results, don’t look further YesWelder CUT-55DS. This is a budget plasma cutter rated at 55 amps, based on IGBT inverter technology which makes it efficient, lightweight and portable.

At the maximum output of 55 amps at 220V, you can use CUT-55Ds to clean-cut 1/2″ steel, which is common among both cheaper plasma cutters and high-end machines.

However, maximum severance thickness is rated at 3/4″, but keep in mind that will take time and patience to do it. I liked the non-touch pilot arc technology that helps you cut without touching the base metal.

As a result, you can cut dirty, rusty, or painted metal without wasting torch consumables. In addition, there is a built-in post-gas flow that improves torch cooling, extending its lifespan.

While CT-55Ds is quite a useful machine for a small shop, there is a more powerful model, CUT-65DS, that brings more features and higher cutting capability. However, its price exceeds our $500 budget limit, so if you decide to invest so more, CUT-65DS might be a better choice. In addition, if you think 50 amps is too much for you, you can opt for YesWelder CUT-45DS.

Get 10% Off With Coupon: “-10 WELDPROS”

Pros & Cons Summarized

Pros

  • Great value for the money spent
  • Built-in air pressure gauge
  • Reliable plasma cutter with smooth cutting surface
  • Maximum cutting thickness of 3/4″
  • A lightweight machine that weighs 14 lbs
  • Great for rusty or pained metal
  • Excellent 220V capability

Cons

  • Not so powerful at 110V

Specifications

  • Process: Plasma cutting
  • Cutting thickness: 1/2″ clean cut 3/4″ in maximum severance thickness.
  • Cuttable Materials: Mild steel, Stainless, Brass, Aluminum, and other Conductive Materials
  • Input Voltage: 110/220v, 60 Hz
  • Input Phase: 1-phase
  • Current: DC
  • Maximum output: 55 A
  • Rated Output: 60% Duty cycle at 55A
  • Weight: 14.55 lbs

3. PRIMEWELD 3-in-1 CT 520D

image of primeweld 3in1 plasma cutter

If you want more than just a plasma cutter and feel like a stick welder and tig welder would come in handy then you should check out this plasma cutter under $500. The Primeweld CT520d is an excellent product.

There’s no non-touch pilot arc but again, for the project’s that you’re working on with this kind of cheap plasma cutter – you probably won’t care very much.

However, it’s a pretty good all-rounder and for TIG Welding I was surprised at the quality of the weld that the Primeweld CT520d produces. It was great working with mild steel.

As for cutting? The cutting speed is fine. I found that the Primeweld CT520d provides a nice clean cut and it’s very easy to use.

It’s quite a heavy-duty model when you compare it to some of the other cutters in our review and that also makes it heavier than some of the other models – at nearly 20 Kg, it is portable but you might want a hand when moving it around.

While it’s not the cheapest machine in my tests, it’s a low-cost option when you consider just how much functionality you can get out of this cutting machine and welding machine.

Pros & Cons Summarized

Pros

  • Quite cheap considering everything that was packed in it
  • Multi process machine
  • High amp output rated at 60%
  • Great customer support
  • 3 Year warranty

Cons

  • No pilot arc for plasma

Specifications

  • Process: Plasma cutting, Stick, TIG
  • Cutting thickness: 1/2″ in maximum cut
  • Cuttable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel, Copper, Aluminum
  • Input Voltage: 110/220v, 60 Hz
  • Input Phase: 1-phase
  • Current: DC
  • Maximum output: Plasma – 50A, Stick welding – 200A TIG welding – 200A
  • Rated Output: Duty Cycle of 60% for maximum amps on all three processes
  • Weight: 32 lbs

4. Eastwood Versa Cut 20 Amp – Plasma Cutter for Automotive panels

image of Eastwood versa cut 20amp

Eastwood has been part of the autobody industry for decades, and its Versa Cut 20 is just the right machine for automotive panels, rusty floors, and fenders. With a maximum output of 15 amps at 110V input, this cutter is aimed at metals up to 1/8-inch thick.

The 110V input allows Versa Cut 20 to work almost anywhere, as you can plug it into a regular household outlet. In addition, air pressure requirements are quite low, with 3 CFM at as low as 30 PSI.

However, the limited power of 15 amps means you shouldn’t expect miracles or cut thick metal. Nonetheless, with a 0.65 mm cutting tip, you can achieve extremely precise and clean cuts, which is crucial for autobody panel fit. The rated duty cycle of 40% at 15 amps is more than enough to finish the job.

Even though Eastwood Versa Cut 20 is pricier than some budget plasma cutters rated at 50 amps, you get a well-made, brand-name machine. In addition, there is a 3-year warranty which is rare with inexpensive plasma cutters and in the sub $500 price range.

Pros & Cons Summarized

Pros

  • Great cutter for autobody panels
  • Low-pressure requirements
  • It can be plugged into any regular household outlet
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around the shop
  • Excellent cut precision with clean cuts
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Limited to cutting thinner metals

Specifications

  • Process: Plasma cutting
  • Cutting thickness: the maximum thickness of 1/8″
  • Cuttable Materials: Mild steel, Stainless, Brass, Aluminum, and other Conductive Materials
  • Input Voltage: 110/220v, 60 Hz
  • Input Phase: 1-phase
  • Current: DC
  • Maximum output: 15 A
  • Rated Output: 40% Duty cycle at 15A
  • Weight: less than 20 pounds

5. SUPER DEAL DC – Zeny Cut 50 DC Inverter Plasma Cutter

image of the Superdeal CUT50

If you want a super deal, then this SUPER DEAL DC plasma cutter is exactly that. This isn’t the best plasma cutter to choose for a machine shop, it’s clearly aimed at the hobbyist market and has a price tag to match. Depending on the market, this unit is also marketed as ZENY DC inverter plasma cutter.

But if you want good quality cutting in a very affordable box, this is probably the ideal choice. That’s not to say that this purchase doesn’t have some cons as well as pros.

Firstly, when I took it out of the box – there were no imperial measurements on the table included for working out the power. You can look them up easily but that’s not ideal.

It also doesn’t seem to power down until a few seconds after you switch it off. Ignore that though and it works well. I found the contact tips were fine and that the non-touch pilot arc wasn’t needed for most projects you’re likely to do with this.

One of the big cons of this unit though is that the build quality isn’t great. Another one of the cons is that you won’t receive world-class customer support but let’s be fair about this – this what you pay for with other models. On the pros side of the equation, this is a 50 amps plasma cutter that does what it says it will on the box. Another pro is that the Zeny Cut 50 comes with a 1-year warranty.

Pros & Cons Summarized

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Light and portable
  • Has a sturdy body
  • High amp output with high duty cycle

Cons

  • Scratch start
  • Not for any heavier work

Specifications

  • Process: Plasma cutting
  • Cutting thickness: 1/2″ in maximum cut
  • Cuttable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel Aluminum
  • Input Voltage: 110/220v, 60 Hz
  • Input Phase: 1-phase
  • Current: DC
  • Maximum output: 50 A
  • Rated Output: 50 A @ duty cycle 60%
  • Weight: 24 lbs

6. Forney Easy Weld 20P Plasma Cutter

Forney Easy Weld 20P Plasma Cutter

Forney easy weld 20P is another great light-duty plasma cutter for auto body, farm and ranch, HVAC, plumbing, contractor work, metal art, and other do-it-yourself applications. Like Eastwood Versa Cut, this is a 110V cutter rated at 20 amps.

As a result, you can use it to cutting carbon steel, mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, galvanized steel, brass, and copper up to 1/4 in., and aluminum up to 3/16 in. o run it, you will only need a 120 Volt power source and 1.5 CFM of compressed air. However, there is no internal air compressor.

I like the rugged all-metal case for increased durability, while the machine remains lightweight and easy to transport. In addition, this is a generator-friendly unit, meaning you can use it at a remote job site. A built-in regulator and air dryer will extend the lifespan of the Forney Easy Weld 20P.

Compared to cutters under $500, such as YesWelder CUT-55Ds, this one uses drag torch technology. While dragging the torch on the metal increases precision, consumables can get damaged by rusty or painted metals.

Pros & Cons Summarized

Pros

  • Versatile machine for light-duty applications
  • Requires a low 110V input and pressure
  • Portable, lightweight, but also rugged
  • Generator friendly machine
  • Built-in regulator and air dryer
  • Suitable for different plasma cutter options

Cons

  • Not suitable for thick metal
  • Requires external air compressor

Specifications

  • Process: Plasma cutting
  • Cutting thickness: the maximum thickness of 1/8″
  • Cuttable Materials: Mild steel, Stainless, Brass, Aluminum, and other Conductive Materials
  • Input Voltage: 110/220v, 60 Hz
  • Input Phase: 1-phase
  • Current: DC
  • Maximum output: 15 A
  • Rated Output: 40% Duty cycle at 15A
  • Weight: less than 20 pounds

7. SUNCOO Plasma Cutter Cut 50

image of Suncoo plasma

This cut 50 plasma cutter under $500 comes with a decent but not outstanding 1-year warranty and despite the low price, it’s great for cutting metal.

In my tests, it cut easily through steel alloy, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, brass, and cast iron without any difficulties at all.

In fact, there are very few material specifications that it can’t handle (assuming they are OK to be cut with plasma cutting machines – it doesn’t work miracles).

It will only cut to a maxim of 1/2 inch thickness, so if you need something that will go to 2-inch thickness this won’t get the job done. It will give very easy clean cuts up to near its maximum cut thickness though.

It is fully dual voltage and you get 110 220v input power support as standard and it’s quite easy to drag around as it weighs a very portable 25 lbs.

They use an energy-saving technology that allows the use of fewer consumables and less power, allegedly. Overall, for the price range, this is a solid plasma cutter with a decent duty cycle that will suit any hobbyist and potentially those with light plasma cutter needs in a workshop too.

Pros & Cons Summarized

Pros

  • Good price
  • Lightweight and with small dimensions
  • Very clean cut
  • Good cutting thickness

Cons

  • Instructions are not well written
  • Feels a bit cheap

Specifications

  • Process: Plasma cutting
  • Cutting thickness: 1/2″ in maximum cut
  • Cuttable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel, Steel Mild, Aluminum
  • Input Voltage: 110/220v, 60 Hz
  • Input Phase: 1-phase
  • Current: DC
  • Maximum output: 50 A
  • Rated Output: 50 A @ duty cycle 60%
  • Weight: 25.4 lbs

8. Lotos LT3500

image of LT3500 plasma cutter

Another 110 220v plasma cutting machine is the Lotos LT3500. This is an air plasma cutter than can handle 2/5″ cuts. It is a super cheap plasma cutter that will suit any hobbyist with occasional needs for a plasma cutter that works with their air compressor.

It uses digital inverter technology to provide up to 35 amps of power. To get air pressure you just connect it to the NPT 1/4″ D Plug on your compressor.

The duty cycle isn’t great but it shouldn’t matter too much as long as you’re not expecting high cutting performance levels.

It will cut alloy steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, brass, and cast iron, and while you won’t get the best cutting performance compared to more expensive models, on high power the cutting torch is more than good enough to give you cutting power for the jobs you are likely to tackle at home.

In fact, I’d say this is a strong contender for the best cheap plasma cutter on the market. Don’t forget that you will need to buy an air hose separately to attach the source of compressed air, this is a very “basic” model. There’s no air filter in the box, either.

With less expensive models I like to make sure that the customer support is responsive and I can confirm that Lotos deal with any problems you have in a fast and efficient manner. However, if you need a more powerful machine, you should consider Lotos LTP5000D, which is rated at 50 amps.

Pros & Cons Summarized

Pros

  • Very good price
  • Lightweight and with small dimensions
  • Has a good cutting ability considering its only 110v
  • Very simple to use

Cons

  • Instruction manual is not perfectly clear
  • Requires 30 amp breaker

Specifications

  • Process: Plasma cutting
  • Cutting thickness: 2/5″ in clean cut and 3/5″ in maximum cut
  • Cuttable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum
  • Input Voltage: 110/220v, 60 Hz
  • Input Phase: 1-phase
  • Current: DC
  • Maximum output: 35 A
  • Rated Output: 35 A @ duty cycle 60%
  • Weight: 17.6 lbs

9. VIVOHOME 3 in 1 Multi-functional Plasma Cutter

image of Vivohome CT520DF Blue

The second, of our 3-in-1 plasma cutters, is the VIVOHOME Model. You won’t get a high cutting speed as with some of the specialist plasma cutters but a severance thickness of 3/4″ is nothing to be sneezed at.

The stick and TIG welding functions are very good and, in fact, the TIG welder side of things was one of the best performances from a cheap welding machine that I’ve seen with a welding current of 200 amps, it’s surprisingly efficient. If you want an easy weld experience this is a great way to go about it.

This is a full non-touch pilot arc plasma cutting solution and it will cut metal easily and consistently.

You can select your own input power with both 110 v and 220 v sources working just fine thanks to the dc inverter technology they use. The duty cycle for all 3 functions won’t break any records but should be more than enough to handle most small jobs too.

As you probably already know, working with a pilot arc plasma cutter can give you a lot of control over the cut and this is what I found with this model.

This is one of the best budget plasma cutting machine options if you want tig/stick support and it’s nice to find an affordable dc tig welder, in particular, included in this very reasonable price. The consumables are also fairly low cost as long as you keep your orders down to what you need rather than trying to lay in large stocks “just in case”. There’s even a 1-year warranty supplied.

Pros & Cons Summarized

Pros

  • Very good price
  • Multi processing
  • Superior and clean cutting
  • Very simple to use

Cons

  • Instruction manual is not perfectly clear
  • Internal design, wiring, mounting can be better

Specifications

  • Process: Plasma cutting, TIG, Stick/MMA
  • Cutting thickness: 1/2″ clean cut 3/4″ in maximum severance thickness
  • Cuttable Materials: Stainless Steel, Alloy Steel, Carbon Steel and Nonferrous Metals
  • Input Voltage: 110/220v, 60 Hz
  • Maximum output: 50A Plasma Cutter; 200A TIG; 200A STICK/MMA Weld
  • Rated Output: Plasma Cutting 50 A @ duty cycle 100%; TIG Welding 105 A @ 100%, MMA/STICK Welding @ 95 A 100%
  • Weight: 41.1 lbs

10. Goplus CUT-50

image of Goplus CUT-50

Right in the center of the price range for these plasma cutters is the Goplus CUT-50. It needs a constant air pressure of 8.8-11 lbs. which ought to be easy to provide with a home compressor.

It uses dual voltage 110 and 220 volts input sources and works using a high-frequency oscillation drag torch technology to provide a solid level of performance.

The duty cycle is pretty much what you’d expect for something at this price point.

The construction is a little flimsy but we found that it worked fine to cut metals and that’s really all you’re going to be worried about when you buy a system like this. The 50 amp output range is one of the standard features of the best plasma cutters.

I had no problem when cutting mild steel with these cheap plasma cutters and though it would tackle 1/2 inch, it sliced cleanly through 1/8″ as though it wasn’t there.

It was nice to have some consumables in the box with this, though they won’t last long. So, make sure to buy extra materials when you order it. There is also a 1-year warranty provided by the manufacturer. The cut 50 plasma cutter is a solid budget option.

Pros & Cons Summarized

Pros

  • Very good price
  • High cutting speed
  • Save-Energy And No Noise
  • Weatherproof construction makes it great for rugged use

Cons

  • It does not have a pilot arc

Specifications

  • Process: Plasma cutting
  • Cutting thickness: 1/2″ clean cut 3/4″ in maximum severance thickness
  • Cuttable Materials: Stainless Steel, Alloy Steel, Mild Steel, Copper And Other Color Metal Materials
  • Input Voltage: 110/220v, 60 Hz
  • Maximum output: 50 A
  • Rated Output: 50 A @ duty cycle 60%
  • Weight: 24.4 lbs

11. Vipercut 30amp Plasma Cutter

image of the VIPERCUT-30

This unit has an inverter that only produces 30 amps of power and that means a much lower duty cycle than other plasma cutter options.

A 30 amp plasma cutter isn’t quite as puny as you might expect though and it will cut through 3/4″ materials with a little effort and it can handle most metal to a thickness of 1/4″.

One thing I did like about this plasma cutter was that they included a ground clamp in the box and not every plasma cutter manufacturer pays attention to small details like this.

The cutting work on metals that I tested this on was clean and it was no less effective even it was a little slower to start with and required a bit more pressure to finish the job.

For a low-cost unit, this comes with enough features, a passable warranty, that even if it’s not the best plasma cutter ever made, it’s more than good enough as a plasma cutter for a keen hobbyist. The Vipercut 30 is a solid choice.

Pros & Cons Summarized

Pros

  • Very good price
  • Easy to use
  • Great cutting power for 30A plasma cutter
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons

  • Check everything is assembled properly before use

Specifications

  • Process: Plasma cutting
  • Cutting thickness: 1/2″ clean cut 3/4″ in maximum severance thickness.
  • Cuttable Materials: Mild steel, Stainless, Brass, Aluminum, and other Conductive Materials
  • Input Voltage: 110/220v, 60 Hz
  • Input Phase: 1-phase
  • Current: DC
  • Maximum output: 30 A
  • Rated Output: 35% Duty cycle at 30A
  • Weight: 21 lbs

If you are interested in more durable and better plasma cutters (read more expensive) You can check these reviews about top plasma cutters on the market or these about plasma cutters that are around 1000 us bucks.

Frequently Asked Questions [F.A.Q]

Can You Plasma Cut Galvanized Steel?

A: Yes, in fact, a plasma cutter is quite capable of cutting galvanized steel and it often provides the best finish too. There is, however, a problem – using plasma cutting on this kind of steel will release poisonous smoke that if inhaled will result in “metal fume fever” (thanks to the Zinc in the smoke).

This means that you need to work with plasma and galvanized steel in a very well-ventilated area (consider the use of a respirator) if you want to do this. You might be better off using an angle grinder or reciprocating saw, otherwise as they won’t create anywhere near as many fumes.

Conclusion

As you can see, you have plenty of great value plasma cutter options under $500. In our opinion, the best of them is the PRIMEWELD Premium & Rugged 50 Amps model.

If you want a cheap entry-level plasma model then you might want to go with the LOTOS 3500 which offers impressive plasma cutter technology at a very affordable price.

Alternatively, if you want to add a little more functionality to your home workshop then you could consider the PrimeWeld 3-in-1 CT-520D which brings you a TIG welder and Stick welder for a little extra investment in your plasma cutter.

Resources:

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Adam Mason

Welder by trade for a decade and more. Now also a web designer and a blog owner. Doing product reviews and writing blogs about welding trade and perks and minuses of being a welder.

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