If you’re only now just starting to research plasma cutters, you’re probably wondering how much you should realistically be spending to find the one that best suits both your needs and your budget.
There are, however, a few things that you should be aware of. Yes, you may not need to buy a model from Thermal Dynamics, but it could all end up being both better for you and cheaper in the long run – it all depends on your needs.
There are very valid options on the lower end of the spectrum if you have very limited needs, such as those offered by Lotos – in fact our recommendation here on the site. Got limited needs, then go ahead and check out the LTP5000D that you can get for less than $500.
Thickness of the metal that you’re working with
Plasma cutters have different thickness they’re rated to be able to deal with, whether it is a clean cut or a severed cut. The issue about choosing a machine that is severance rated to be able to deal with the metal thickness you’ll most often be working with is that you will be spending a lot of time cleaning up the cut. It may just be a better idea to choose a better plasma cutter in the first place.
The price might be misleading
While it may be tempting to look at the price of the plasma cutter and say “oh, this is the one I think I need”, you should know that some machines will go through comsumables at a significantly more rapid pace than is the case for other machines.
Choosing a plasma cutter does not need to be hard, but those are just some of the things to keep in mind.
Consumables for a plasma cutter can be a large part of the ongoing expenses you’re having with your machine, if you choose a cheap machine like the LTP5000D. Where you will see your money going is towards cutting tips and electrodes.
It is very likely that you may end up damaging the tip if you’re just starting out and don’t have the technique right yet. Secondly, an electrode that is way past its prime can have an effect on how much work you’re managing to get done as it will significantly slow down your cutting. When you’re wanting to not just make beautiful cuts, but also do so in a timely manner, you will end up having to make sure your consumables are also doing what they’re supposed to.
There are also other consumables to keep in mind if you don’t have a portable plasma cutter but rather a CNC. Some of these, it can even be hard to notice that they have deteriorated over time and they include the nozzle, the swirl ring, the retaining cap and the shield. Make sure that you keep an eye out for these parts so as to get better cuts in the future!
Finding the right plasma cutter for your project may not necessarily be easy. There are so many different models to go with, and it can often be very difficult to figure out whether you want a Miller, Hobart or Lincoln Electric machine for your home or shop.
This is probably the place you always wanted to find because it makes it so much easier for you to do all the work. All you have to do is figure out what your requirements are, what is important to you, and we’ll stack the different models against each other in a way that makes your decision making easy. You’re no longer having to scour the internet for days and days to figure out what the right plasma cutter is for your needs.
We have combined cheap models, expensive models, and everything in between. It’s our way to give back to the community, and hopefully we would love if you chose to make your next purchase through us – we do appreciate your business!
If you’re always on the move, getting a portable plasma cutter is the right move for you. Having a light-weight, hand-held machine just allows you to get more done than having something massive that is just a pain to deal with.
Since you came to this page specifically looking for a portable option, you may also be interested in checking out our comparison chart. It allows you to easily say “okay, this is how much I want it to weigh at the very most, and these are the dimensions I don’t want it to be bigger than.” That saves you a bunch of trouble if you know that you are either mainly comfortable carrying a certain amount, or if you know that you want your plasma cutter to be fitting in a specific space on your truck, where there is just a limited amount of space.
A lot of people are extremely happy with the Hypertherm Powermax 45, which stands at 36 lbs, but the Powermax 30 is an even lighter option at 21.4 lbs. Then it very much comes down to your personal preferences, or if you have some types of metal, or thicknesses that you know you will be dealing with a lot.
There are also a bunch of both Hobart, Everlast, Thermal Dynamics and Miller Electric models that the pros are using out there. From Miller Electric, you will find that the Spectrum 625 X-TREME is a strong contender at 21 lbs.
If you are looking for a plasma cutter with a built-in air compressor, then this is where we have all those listed for sale, that you could possibly want.
You can also go to a bunch of other pages, where we specifically have those listed that we either consider portable because of their dimensions and how much they weigh, and yet some pages are dedicated to the plasma cutters that specifically have a pilot arc.
With regards to the built-in air compressors, some of the most popular versions include the following from manufacturers such as Hypertherm, Hobart and Miller, as well as others.
- Hypertherm Powermax 30 Air
- Hobart Airforce 250ci
- Hobart AirForce 40i
- Miller Spectrum 625 X-Treme
- Hypertherm Powermax 45
Feeling overwhelmed? We get it! There’s so much information for you to consider, why we have created the easy-to-use comparison chart that will allow you to select the features you have been looking for, and see the specs for each machine that has those exact features.
The Hobart AirForce 40i plasma cutter is a really great plasma cutter from the renowned manufacturer, Hobart. In addition, it is also just one step above the AirForce 27i, that we also offer on this site for you.
At a 50% duty cycle, this is a strong machine able to cut 7/8 mild steel, and doing so a lot faster than with the use of oxy fuel, and without the headache of using oxy fuel which requires you to manage all the various settings.
It also has a fan that will only run as needed, which keeps your machine from getting excess dust and other things running through it, while being powered with 120 or 240 volt.
Make sure to watch our review of the machine to see what you can expect if this is the machine you decide to go with. At 21 pounds, it is not the most portable plasma cutter you can find, but it can run up to 40 amps and provide the necessary power to cut 5/8 clean, or sever 7/8 steel. These are the reasons why it’s a go-to choice for the person who cannot afford to have to deal with the issues of a cheap machine, and do some industrial work. The previous version was 31 lbs, so this marks a significant improvement with the new design.
It is important to mention that this machine does not have a pilot arc, if that is a feature you know that you will come to love, or have been recommended to get. If you want that feature, you can click the link that we included.
Standing at 31 pounds, this is a very portable option to go with. it is, however, important to think about the fact that this is a cheaper model, and with it comes more limitations than if you were to go for another Hobart model like the AirForce 27i.
Check out our video review of this machine so you can see what to expect if this is the option you choose to go with.
If you’re planning on cutting mild steel up to 1/4 inch, this could be the model you’re looking for from a name in the industry that you can trust. It also has the advantage of cutting faster than using oxy fuel. It’s a nice entry into the market with longer-lasting XT tips, if you’re not a fan of having to worru about the various settings of oxy cutting, such as gas settings, metal pre-heating and flame tuning.
There are many different users across the internet that will absolutely swear that getting a plasma cutter with a pilot arc is a necessity – that is why we have listed all the models we have for sale on this page.
You can find a variety of models with this feature like the Lotos models (LTP5000D, for instance), while it is a feature that will be significantly more normal for higher end machines. The Lotos model we mentioned, however, is a good cheap option to consider if you’re a DIY wanting to work on different projects.
You should also know that you probably will not want to go back when you start using a plasma cutter with a pilot arc. That is how much we believe you will love the feature!
The Cut-50 is another option that has a pilot arc on the much cheaper end, but you should also know that you will not want to get that option unless your needs are extremely limited.
If you check the various communities online, you will probably come across more than a handful of people that have mentioned that they ended up being too cheap when they bought a plasma cutter, and now they’re just waiting for someone to buy it off of them.
The Lotos LTP5000D plasma cutter is one of the most popular plasma cutters that we have for sale which is a great cheap option, perfect for people with budgets under $500, while still providing a great bang for your buck.
This Lotos model is one that will stand up to most things you throw at it, although you may have to go with a more substantial option if you have your own shop that you’re working out of, offering professional services.
This is a great pilot arc plasma cutter, if that’s what you’re looking for, and it’s both portable and powerful, making it easy to maneuver with if you’re often on the move. This machine additionally comes with a dual frequency and automatic voltage, meaning both 110/120v and 22/240v – could you ask for anything else?
Looking for something that cuts a clean 1/2 inch cut? This is the model, although it can cut as much as a 3/4 inch severance cut also.