While plasma cutters offer a range of benefits regardless of build, the best plasma cutter offers an optimal combination of speed, efficiency, fuel frugality and safety that the user needs to achieve maximum productivity. The means to getting this perfect cutter are discussed in our guide.
Futuristic as the name may sound, plasma cutters have been around since the 1960s, and are today used to achieve the finest, least erroneous and fastest metal cuts. Indeed, such is their fame that they have almost completely swamped older metal-against-metal and oxy-torch cutting methods in most commercial establishments.
That said, it would be wrong to suggest that they make cutting metal – or any other hard and thick material – completely risk-free or extremely cheap. While risks and costs are reduced, making a mistake while choosing the best plasma cutter can lead to waste of money, metal and time even as unnecessary threats to your health arise on a regular basis.
The key then is to skip the endless advertorials and educate oneself so one has a great idea about what a plasma cutter truly is, what benefits it offers and finally how to choose a cutter that fits one’s needs.
However, we realize that even when armed with such information, going through endless product lists and user reviews can be a gruelling task. Hence, we decided to use our expertise (which we’ll of course share with you) and a careful study of the market to come up with the best plasma cutters available in the market today.
Do you Need One?
No matter what type of work you are in, having a plasma cutter in the shop or garage is always handy. Whether you work in maintenance, industrial or are just a do-it-yourselfer, it makes the job of cutting even the toughest metal a whole lot easier.
No longer will other less efficient methods of saws and snips be an issue with these precise and powerful plasma tools. All of the many modern improvements to analog portable plasma cutters have allowed for prices to become more affordable in recent years, giving way for many people to be able to benefit from their many uses.
I have personally experienced the great changes they can bring in my own shop. Again and again, I continue to be amazed by the power and precision of these tools.
Years ago, it was near impossible to find a portable plasma cutter, let alone a cheap plasma cutter. The technology has changed so much, and it will continue to for years to come.
In jobs where previous saws or other cutting torches would’ve stood no chance of getting a solid cut, the plasma cutter has soared beyond expectation every time and been there to deliver the pinpoint precision I’ve come to rely on.
I currently have the Hypertherm Powermax45 XP plasma cutter operating in the shop and routinely make exact cuts at well above 7/8” thick on some metals. Getting the job done quickly has also become much easier without any risk of a sloppy end result or increased danger.
Finding the best plasma cutter in for you is as simple as reading through our plasma cutter reviews.
In my opinion, these machines are above the rest, and here is a list to show just a few of the amazing benefits these machines yield.
Benefits of Using a Plasma Cutter
- Cuts nearly all metals including carbon steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys, titanium, cobalt, copper, aluminum, magnesium, and cast iron.
Unlike other cutting machines, plasma cutters are able to cut any type of metal. As long as it is able to conduct it can cut, vastly expanding the capabilities of things you can work with.
Generally, most of the machines take a little effort to carry around making their usability better than other high powered cutting machines that will be stuck in the place you set them up at.
Some older versions, while still portable, are on the heavier side, but new technology has allowed for the power and precision to increase while the weight has decreased.
I have never had to worry about one of my machines being too big or too much of a hassle to bring with me to a job that requires its use. As long as there is electric power available, these things will have no problem.
The technology, of using plasma to cut through metals, brings unmatched competition to the world of cutting tools. The extremely high heat that is generated from a stream of ionized gas to form the arc of plasma offers capabilities far beyond anything else that is available.
While it depends on what metal you’re cutting, I’ve seen cuts at above an 1” on some metals, and their speed is far greater than say an ox or fuel cutting machine, greatly increasing your inches per minute.
4. Unmatched precision
Because of the advanced method of using a high temperature ionized stream of gas to form an arc of plasma, the arc forms a sort of cone. This makes it perfect for delivering precision when it is needed.
Sheet metal can easily be cut to form angles or various shapes. This is definitely a bonus for many types of work including artists who all rely on their tools to provide the pinpoint precision that they need to ensure a good end result.etc…
When it comes to cons, there are usually very few, in general. Some people have found the price as their con, but finding a cheap plasma cutter in that still delivers reliable functioning has become easier and easier. That along with getting the correct machine for your specific uses helps to deliver the superior performance I’m sure you will come to love.
In order to help you determine which is the best cutter for you, I have put together a bit of a guide.
Choosing the Right Plasma Cutter Plasma Cutter
When deciding which is the best plasma cutter for your needs, it can be difficult with all the options that are available. With all that’s out there, if you don’t know what you’re looking for it can be quite confusing and that is why I have decided to use my extensive knowledge with these tools to review some of the best plasma cutters on the market.
Because of the work I’m in, I have had experience with all of the major brands and know exactly what to look for. Whether it’s durability, power, portability or price, there is something that is sure to fit what you are looking for.
So once you’ve finally determined that getting a plasma cutter is right for you there are many things to consider for your specific needs. Price, power, and portability are some of the main things to watch out for when browsing for a new cutter.
Below I have outlined what should be considered:
Anytime someone is purchasing a tool, quality should always be a priority. Buying a plasma cutter in can be a rather large investment for some, and because of this, one must be careful not to be tempted into low quality cutters that will just need to be replaced only costing more in the long run.
Of course, you also do not want to overspend when it is not necessary as there are much more affordable options for those not looking to hurt their pocket with extra power and accessories they may not need.
For example, the Lotos LT5000d dual voltage has an average cost around $400 which may be much more reasonable for smaller jobs than spending the $1500 on the Hypertherm Powermax30 XP, which I use in my shop. I personally couldn’t get away with skimping on the cost, as the extra quality is what I rely on to work everyday when I come into my shop.
The power and durability I receive by paying more is, unfortunately, necessary as with most power tools.
For someone who is going to be looking to only cut things like sheet metal, there’s definitely no need to go all out and buy one of the more expensive machines that include many features that you most likely will never need as this is just a waste of money.
A bit of common sense needs to be used when assessing the cost/benefit in terms of your own usage.
Depending on the job you’re doing, different output powers will be needed. For instance, 12 watts of output power may allow you to cut 1/8 in of steel whereas 60 watts of output power may give you 7/8 in of steel cutting power.
There are various charts that can be found all around the internet displaying the exact measurements that can aid in finding just what you need. Getting the correctly powered machine will also help you to not overspend.
Another thing to consider is how often you will be using your machine. In bigger industrial settings where the demands are higher, durability of your tools is a large factor to consider. Of course, when getting a product that will last longer instead of needing to replace it often, the price is sure to be a bit steeper, but will again save you, in the long run.
Another thing to be aware of when buying a plasma cutter is that you will need more than just the cutter to operate them. Most models will need an air compressor. Having a good compressor is essential in the long run if you want your torch to function at peak performance, and drastically impacts the life expectancy of most torches.
If you are entirely new to the world of torching you will also need work gloves and eye protection.
Conclusively, the best plasma cutters are great power tools to have around. No matter what type of work you are in if you have to cut metal these things are my number one recommendation.
The efficiency I have experienced in my workshop as a result of incorporating these has been more than impressive. It feels like the workload has been cut in half as a result of having the best plasma cutters on hand.
So I’m sure by now you are thoroughly convinced that getting a Plasma cutter is right for you and your shop, garage, home…etc. You may also just be looking for a solid plasma cutter. You also know what to look for when buying the best plasma cutter, but even knowing what to look for can be difficult with all that is available.
There are many very good reputable brands that are available such as Hobart, Everlast, Thermal Dynamics..etc so determining what you want can be sort of difficult.
However, with the help of our plasma cutter reviews, finding a cheap plasma cutter that gets the job done will not be hard.
5 Best Plasma Cutter Reviews
Here is our short reviews of 5 top plasma cutter form different brands.
Lotos is just now making a name for itself in the industry. This cutter is providing quality cuts at a percentage of what the competitors are charging. It may be confusing to some, as the product does not come with a clear instruction manual, however there are many resources online to learn how to use the machine to its full potential.
This is one of the best plasma cutters to take into the field with you for many reasons. The first being that it is very lightweight. It can easily be transported by 1 person, compared to heavier cutters that need a few people to carry.
It’s also great because you can easily find consumables for it anywhere and they are cheap.
The ForceCut is also a great entry level plasma cutter and is also an excellent cutter for those who have been in the industry for years.
It is known for being able to handle very large cuts without lagging and freezing up. This makes it ideal for those who need their big projects done in a timely matter. It is lightweight too.
Our guide has covered everything you need to know and all the ins and outs of plasma cutters. By using the information we have provided, you will make an informed buying decision. Make sure to always read reviews and know the products capabilities before purchasing. Nothing is worst than thinking your buying a cutter that cuts one inch metal, but it really only cuts half inch metal. Now is the time to take action and start your search for the best plasma cutter.