Plasma Cutter Guide: For Beginners and Professionals

Looking for a plasma cutter that requires minimum settings and cuts butter smooth in and up to professional settings? You’re in the right place!

​There are plenty of plasma cutter brands available in the market. Our plasma cutter guide saves you the drudgery of browsing multiple sites for exploring quality plasma cutters.

What’s inside?

We provide detailed specifications of the product along with the real life experiences of customers. We list the pros and cons of each product so that you can choose the one that suits you the best. There are still a few things you must know.

Duty Cycle

Duty cycle is the period in which a machine is active out of the whole period. For example, if a machine works 7 minutes out of 10 and needs 3 minutes to cool off, its duty cycle is 70%. Plasma cutters with high enough duty cycle ensure that your time is not wasted while working.

Types of Plasma Cutters

  • Industrial vs Light Duty - One is for hobbyists who work on DIY projects and the other type is for professionals who need to produce precision cuts in less time and need more power and deeper cuts.
  • Manual and Automated - Automated plasma cutters are used with a CNC machine. If you go for automated plasma cutter, ensure that it doesn’t use a high frequency circuit as it can erase the stored configurations.

Power and Reliability

  • Now that you know the thickness, determine how quick you want your plasma cutter to be.
  • Plasma cutters come with a IPM (Inches per minute) rating, which can help you choose the best one suited for your needs. Reliability depends on the quality of the product.
  • Buy a product which has a centralized cooling system so that the cool air is circulated through the center of the machine. The center of the machine is where the thermal components are positioned. Having effective cooling system will ensure the duty cycle is productive enough.

Here is a video for your convenience​

Plasma Cutting Guide Demonstration (Soure: youtube.com)

Top 3 plasma cutter guide Comparison table

Brief Review of Top 3 Plasma Cutter Guide

1. Hypertherm 088016 Powermax45

Hypertherm plasma cutters are known for their quality and reliability. If you’re willing to spend the extra money to get the very best product in the market, this is it.

Hypertherm is not only good for DIY projects or hobbyists, but it is very well suitable for professionals. It gives the cleanest and smoothest of cuts even at ½”.​

The Powermax 45 sports a dual angle design.

Because of this design, one can use the tip on the torch for a long period of time, hence making the tip more durable.

The 20 feet long cutter cord is a huge plus for portability.​

The powerful machine comes with a solid handle to help you move it from one place to the other. As it weighs 37 lbs, the handle is made rigid to provide firm grip on the machine. It cuts ½” like butter unlike its competitors and has a severance thickness of 1”.​

One of the common limitations of most plasma cutters is that one has to spend a lot of time on grinding and preparing edge. But the Powermax 45 eliminates the need for any such preparation. Just pull the trigger, zoom through the material and you’re done! Forget endless finishing sessions which further make you run out of consumables.​

Read our plasma cutter guide carefully to compare it with other products. Though if you are willing to spend more, chuck the rest of the plasma cutter guide and buy this one!​

Another plus point is that it is amazingly suitable for beginners despite its hefty specifications. The patented drag-cutting technology makes you easily adapt to the powerful cutting mechanism. No wonder Hypertherm is the global leader in plasma cutting. They invent the technology, have it patented and lead the way!​

Choosing the best plasma cutter can be a daunting task. So we present our plasma cutter guide to assist you with the same.​

Pros

Cons

  • Brand reliability
  • Cuts butter smooth
  • Capable of heavy duty work.
  • Best Duty Cycle
  • Cheap consumables
  • Costly
  • Could have provided a carrying case.

Hypertherm Powermax45 setup (Source: youtube.com)


2. LTPDC2000D Lotos Pilot Arc 50A

Our plasma cutter guide only showcases the best products possible for you. And Lotos LTPDC2000D is one of them. It can cut up to a thickness of ½” for clean cutting and ¼” for tig and stick welding.

One thing that makes it a part of our plasma cutter guide is the cord lengths. The torch cable is 12.5 ft. long, the workpiece cord is 6.7 ft. long and the power cable is 5.8 ft. long. Long cord length ensures that you can take your device to any part of your working area.

Otherwise shifting the whole unit is pain and a big time-waster. The unit operates both at 110V and 220V which is the optimum voltage for powerful cutting.

Our plasma cutter guide only features the best of the best and the IGBT Power Drive Matrix is one attribute of this plasma cutter that makes it one of them. In simple words, the matrix technology is there to make it more durable than its enemies in the market.

But there’s one thing that makes it stand out in our plasma cutter guide. And that is its multi-purpose quality. This Lotos unit can not only cut materials like butter, but it is also capable of welding with TIG and stick methods.

Stick welding makes use of an electrode or rod to produce heat while TIG welding uses a Tungsten electrode to generate the current for welding arc. And that is where it gets the name TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas).

We are in love with Lotos products which is the reason there are many of them in our plasma cutter guide. If you’re still not impressed, here is an outstanding feature of the product - the pilot arc.

The pilot arc not only gives butter smooth cuts but it also works on rusty and dirty material without having the need to clean them. If you’re a busy person who needs to get it done right away, this one is for you.

Pros

Cons

  • Multipurpose - Cutter and Welder
  • Pilot Arc - Fast, clean cuts even on rusty materials
  • Portable
  • Cheap
  • Long cords.
  • Capable of heavy duty usage.
  • Consumables not cheap
  • Manual isn’t resourceful enough, though information available online

3. Plasma Cutter, Inverter, Spectrum 375

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Miller is another good brand in this plasma cutter guide that is bound to astound you. There are many things that will sweep you right off your feet. First, it is very lightweight despite being a powerful machine. It only weighs 19 pounds. It has a maximum cut thickness of ⅜” which is enough for most people.

Moreover, it comes with a carrying case which gives it an edge over other plasma cutters. A case come in handy when you need to move the unit to another room or a new place altogether. The cord length is important as always. Here the cord length is 12 feet for both the cutting torch and the ground cable.

Miller also gives extra consumables which is a huge plus. Most people struggle to find consumables and they run out too fast. It also provides easy plugs which help you switch between 110V or 220V without struggling with wires.

The best thing about the miller is its smooth cuts. Numerous customers have declared the Miller as the be-all and end-all of all their cutting needs. This one is clearly the best performer in our plasma cutter guide. The only drawback is that with great quality comes a hefty price tag!

Customer experiences show that you must have a quality air compressor of suitable size. Baby compressors will inevitably fail you. Also, put the compressor on a separate electrical circuit to prevent tripping the breakers.

Pros

Cons

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Good performance
  • Extra consumables
  • Multi-voltage plugs make switching voltage easy
  • High price
  • No carry case

Miller Spectrum 375 Xtreme Plasma Cutter (Soure: youtube.com)


Conclusion

  • There are plenty of fishes in the sea. That is why you need this plasma cutter guide to hunt the right one. The Lotos give reliable performance at cheap price and good features like the Pilot Arc.
  • The Miller is a favorite of many customers. If you’re looking for the best Miller plasma cutter, the 375 Xtreme is the one to go for. The Hobart 500548 gives best-in-class performance. But for majority of customers, the best miller plasma cutter is number one.
  • Other factors like portability, cord length, price, consumable life and price also count. But when it comes to performance, the Hobart, the Powermax 45 and the best miller plasma cutter rule the way.

Image credits: Amazon.com​

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  • April 3, 2017
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