The 5 Best Plasma Cutters For The Money 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

plasma cutter reviews

Industry wouldn’t be where is today without the precision and power that Plasma offers. It is the fastest way to cut and shape metals known using the ionizing power of the sun metals can’t stand up to its heat. For emergency work, plasma cutters can get to trapped car accident victims and have saved thousands of lives on highways worldwide. But, where it really earns its keep is in the world of fabrication.

Plasma is more precise and if you use the right torch, Drag cutting becomes so simple a child can do it quicker and easier than with conventional oxy rigs. At 40,000 degrees, ionized plasma will cut through ferrous and non-ferrous metals and rust and old paint wouldn’t deter you in the slightest. This makes salvaging old ship hulls that have lined the bottom of lagoons and beach areas since WW II can now be salvaged at a fraction of the cost of just a few years ago with the use of the larger plasma cutters.

The ones we’ll be highlighting today are portable and will handle anything between metal 1/8″ and up to an inch in thickness depending on the amperage, cutter, and torch type. Look at our selection of portable Plasma Cutters and these can help you get you the edge you need in your niche business and cut the time needed to get your work done for fabrication and light construction work done in a fraction of the time you’ve been spending up until now.

So let’s see what Amazon can drum up for you in 5 of the best plasma cutters, what they look like, and their features that work for you.

TOP 5 Plasma Cutter Comparison

ItemNameRatingPrice 
Hypertherm Powermax45 XP
Hypertherm Powermax45 XP
4.5 out of 5 stars
$$$
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Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci
Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci
3.5 out of 5 stars
$$
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Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme
Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme
4.5 out of 5 stars
$$$
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Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i
Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i
5 out of 5 stars
$$$
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Ramsond CUT 50DX
Ramsond CUT 50DX
3.5 out of 5 stars
$
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Best Plasma Cutters Reviews

Hypertherm Powermax45 XP Hand System

Hypertherm Powermax

This plasma cutter will cut the time down for all your metal cutting needs. However, that’s not all. It has a short learning curve so, even a newbie who is not an expert in plasma cutting can get up to speed quickly and without strain or stress. This unit is compact and can be set up fast and that means it can go almost anywhere where the work needs to be done. So, instead of bringing the work to you. You can go to the work, anywhere where you can run a 200-240 line. When you need, the max is cutting power you can go through up to 1″ at 5 IPM and addition, 3/4″ at 10 IPM. This gives you a fast accurate cut with one of the thinnest kerfs from a mobile plasma unit.

Thermal warping is a thing of the past and you get that fabrication job done in 188% faster on 1/4″ steel over your oxy rigs you’ve been using in the past. In addition, at 1/2″ cutting and gouging, you still get a significant improvement as well.

You save on time, that equates to more work done at a lower cost per job, and that can pay for the unit in just a short time of use.

Features

  • You have drag cutting capability that is patented to make your work faster and easier.
  • You can use single phase AC so it goes anywhere.
  • Lightweight that also makes it ultraportable and easy to move to the job site.
  • You don’t have to do as much set up as the cut is clean and the unit can work in almost any environment.
PROS
  • First, it’s made in America. Next, it gets your work done faster than ever before. Lastly, it is a snap to set up.
  • If you want the best, Hypertherm is it. Not only that, but it ships from the factory and comes to you shipped the same day anywhere in the continental USA.
  • Contamination of the air is the bane of plasma cutting. The PM45 gets around this by creating a spiral tunnel of air that keeps contaminants from entering in the mix and you get a cleaner cut. Far better than most of the other portables out there on the market.
  • Costs of cutting drop when you use a Hypertherm over Oxy and Acetylene torches.
  • You can use scrap and recycled metals in your fabrication projects now and get quality work done fast. This saves on costs and your supply chain is simplified considerably.
  • Cuts fast and clean cutting steel is faster and saves on cutting tips over the other models we’ve used in the past.
CONS
  • Shield was missing for the deflector had to wait for one to be sent. Customer support was right on it and another one was sent straight away.
  • The only drawback is the cost. But once I tried it out I saw why everyone is raving about it.

Reviewer’s thoughts

This reviewer found that this cutter does a tight cut without blooming when you start you cut. This enables you to keep the plasma where you want it and makes the work go faster. But, its other great selling pint is that the tyro who is just starting to learn to use plasma for their cutting work can use it.

Fabrication goes smoother as you shape metals to an exact size and with less use of power and no excess left over to mar the work you are doing.

You now have in your hands the perfect cutting tool for any work or job you want to do. Plasma can cut through steel, aluminum, and alloy materials with ease.

It also is portable and goes where the work is being done. You no longer have to bring the metals to a table environment. You can even go out to a worksite and then you can cut metal girders and supports to match where they belong and fit precisely.

Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter

Airforce Plasma

One of the key features of this plasma cutter is that it has its own compressor. Your cutting jobs will go much faster and cleaner than using gasses. You don’t need to worry about setting the pressure of your air core and it provides you with a positive channel to direct the plasma’s cutting power. Get a precise 1/2″ cut with smoother edges. You don’t have as much clean up as well.

Neat cuts and at less cost, the unit will pay for itself in the first couple of jobs you use it on.

Features

  • No Oxy-Acetylene needed anymore to get you cutting work done.
  • Fast smooth cutting.
  • You have less bleed over from the cut as well.
  • Thinner kerfs.
  • 12 Amps of cutting power.
  • Cuts through up to 1/4″ Mild steel and 1/8″ at 10 IPM.
PROS
  • Made in the USA
  • If you want a quality cut, you have just what the doctor ordered in a compact and a relatively low cost.
  • You get industrial cutting at a bargain price.
  • I’ve had trouble getting a smooth cut. Now I get my work done and it looks like it was done by a pro.
  • Clean cuts with almost no effort.
  • Save time and cash by using plasma and don’t worry about the costs.
  • I cut scrap and now I get the work done in a flash. The cuts are smooth and now I get more material from my salvage work and get better prices
CONS
  • It wouldn’t seem to get a good plasma arc with dirty metal. So, clean your ground point well.
  • While it cuts faster than normal means. It didn’t do it as well as the higher end cutters.

Reviewer’s thoughts

Plasma has always been a favorite of this reviewer. Ever since reading about the old Hydrogen torches that used the old carbon arcs of the 20’s and 30’s it has been a dream to cut using the power of electricity to heat a gas to that of the sun. This cutter gets almost that kind of heat and lets you cut through steel like butter with a hot knife. This means you can make anything out of metal you want to put together and at an economical cost over the use of oxy rigs.

Those in the auto business will find their repair work goes quicker and when they are done, they have a neater and more accurate job afterward.

You can take a mountain of junk and cut it into usable metal that can be recycled into new and usable forms again. Thus saving vital resources and making a cleaner world in the process.

Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme Plasma Cutter

Miller Spectrum

Extreme cutting needs an X-treme plasma cutter that’ll get the job done fast and without wasting energy. It comes in a small package. But, don’t let that fool you.

Remember power often comes in small packages. The pilot arc controls the cutting and with a thermal management system keeps everything under perfect control to prevent premature torch failure and improves reliability.

The XT40 torch is shaped to fit your hand and wouldn’t slip even when wearing protective gloves. The unit is immune to external dirt and dust that can cause failures. So, in one package you have a small size and the cutting power you need for whatever cutting job you are doing.

Features

  • 40 Amps of Plasma power.
  • Powered by either 120 or 240 V.
  • Portable and lightweight.
  • Makes cuts through 5/8ths mild steel with ease.
  • Get the job done without bulky gas tanks and risk of fire or explosion.
PROS
  • If you want a light plasma cutter that gets your work done in a fraction of the time using gas or carbide cutters.
  • Clean and neat assembly of the pieces in my work area.
  • Cutting anything from steel to brass is a snap with this cutter. I don’t waste a stroke and the cuts are neat and precise.
  • My boss didn’t want to fork out the money. Now he’s ordered replacement for all out acetylene torches and we are going plasma.
  • Can you spell easy? It starts with an X and the 625 does the job right and with no hassles.
  • Set up is simple and I can cut what the boss brings into the yard and I cut it into a manageable size for resale.
  • Get a professional cut and with plasma, you don’t put greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. It uses the air around us to get the ionized arc you need to cut through almost anything.
CONS
  • It can’t be used for heavy duty work and you should use it for light to medium work.

Reviewer’s thoughts

With a carry strap, you can schlep the unit around to where you need its cutting power. However, it being lightweight means it can’t be used on those big jobs. However, for auto repair and cutting sheet metal and aluminum, it works faster than gas and you protect the environment from these gasses. However, California’s Prop 65 strictures apply to this product for other reasons.

You get a nice cut and when you are through you’ll need less finishing work. That speeds the work along a makes your job easier. The 625 will run with 120 or 240 and this means you can work most worksites with ease.

Remember, this isn’t a heavy-duty cutter so, use it accordingly. However, for piecework and thinner metals in most cases will get your work done and done fast.

Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter

Hobart Cutter

Larger and more versatile version of the Hobart 500564 we reviewed for you earlier. The major differences are that you have are more power, up to 40 amps. The more versatile XT40R torch and runs off 208-240 Volts. This gives you the same basic design as their famous 700i plasma cutter but is a more advanced. It will cut through 5/8ths inch steel at 9 IPM. However, it will go to 3/4″ at a much slower rate of 6 IPM.

So, if you are doing bodywork, light fabrication, and HVAC you now have a portable unit that packs the power you need to get the job done in record time as compared to using Acetylene/oxy rigs. You wouldn’t have a wide heat footprint around the work area and warping. The cutter can be used by beginner and pro alike.

Features

  • 40 amps 50% duty cycle.
  • 5/8″ nominal metal thickness at 9 IPM.
  • Thin Kerfs.
  • No RFI interference to local electronics like computers and Smartphones.
  • Positive cooling when trigger is released.
  • Ergonomic XT40T torch that reduces operator fatigue.
PROS
  • Cuts through thicker metal and at around 10 IPM too.
  • The XT40 is great my hand doesn’t get as tired while cutting shaping all day.
  • No ragged cuts, you don’t have to do much finishing after you are done.
  • Cuts through just about anything.
  • When I got backlogged on work The boss bought this plasma cutter in and I was able to whittle the work down in nothing flat.
  • When time counts to get the work done you need a torch that does it right and precise, Hobart delivers.
CONS
  • This is not a quiet machine and you might want to wear earmuffs while using.
  • The consumables need to include clamps as the ones provided are subject to corrosion and you can lose grounding.

Reviewer’s thoughts

Hobart is noted as being one of the tops when it comes to portable plasma cutters. You have a profession rig here that can handle up to 3/4″ mild steel. You can use in for automotive bodywork along with cycle customization as well. It is a great tool for HVAC use and you can take it with you to where you have to get the work done.

It has the power you want and it draws less than many of it contemporaries. The only downside is that it is a bit on the loud side. It needs a bit of care with its auxiliary components as they can let you down in contaminated environments.

Take care of your tools and your tools will take care of you.

Ramsond CUT 50DX Plasma Cutter

Ramsond CUT

For those who want a plasma cutter and need a low-cost unit, Ramsond gives you a 50 Amp machine that hooks up to 110 or 240 and is smart enough to know the difference. Weighing in less than 20 pounds, you have a portable cutting tool that is ready to hit the road and go out to a worksite with you. From there it can cut through 1/2″ mild steel. This will hand HVAC work or automotive work.

Features

  • 50 Amp Plasma Cutter.
  • Automatic Dual Voltage / Dual Frequency (110/220V 50/60Hz).
  • Digital Display.
  • Integrated Pressure Gauge.
  • MOSFET inverter technology.
  • German engineered cooling.
  • Max cut 1″ for salvage work.
  • Max sustainable cutting thickness 3/4″.

Accessories

  • Plasma Torch.
  • Plasma Consumables.
  • Air Filter/Regulator.
  • Ground Clamp.
PROS
  • Good cuts and with 50 Amps of power will get your work done fast.
  • Makes short work of a pile of salvage.
  • I work HVAC and it makes duct work a cakewalk.
  • Cuts most materials that my shop handles like stainless steel, carbon steel, alloy steel, copper, brass, aluminum plate and so far no problems.
CONS
  • Doesn’t come with a power plug and you’ll have to wire it into the power yourself.
  • Suffers from leaks in the system, hose, unit, and handle that takes away from the usefulness of the unit as you can’t keep a clean channel for the ionized plasma.
  • You get a lot of spatter and you need to watch your cutting angle. 45 degrees seems to be the best to let you see what’s happening with you cuts.

Reviewer’s thoughts

We have here a plasma cutter that goes through most materials with ease and has the power to be used on 1/2″ ferrous and non-ferrous materials.

However, there have been failures of this unit in various areas and thankfully, Amazon is on it with replacements. This reviewer’s unit didn’t experience these problems. However, it does spatter when in use and the plasma seemed to pulse, which would account for some of the splatter experienced.

It cuts through most materials from 1/8″ to 1/2″ with ease. Thermal warping was not a problem. But, the number of failures and other issues can’t give me a warm and fuzzy feeling when it comes to reliability.

The Best Plasma Cutter we chose was the…

Best Plasma Cutter

Hypertherm Powermax45 XP because the unit gives the neatest cut of the bunch and it beats out the Hobart cutters in thickness of materials it can cut through.

It also fills the niche in the 1/2″ cutting arena. It is reliable and has enough power to cut through most metals that you’ll be dealing with in day-to-day cutting chores. It also gives a great return on investment over Oxy rigs. Take a look again and look it over again to see if you agree.

The Cheapest Plasma Cutter and the one that does what you want is…

budget plasma cutter

Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci has a reputation and it gets the work done at a reasonable cost and will do most of the work you want a portable plasma cutter to do.

It is usable in most areas such as HVAC, light fabrication, and bodywork in an auto shop. Therefore, this makes it a viable and less expensive alternative to our choice for the Hypertherm, which is the best one in our opinion.

Final thoughts

When you need a great plasma cutter, you can choose the Hypertherm or if that is too pricey you can take our second choice as a low-cost alternative.

The other 3 can also get the work done you need and you can, of course, take your pick of them as well.

You have 5 cutters that represent the best that Amazon has to offer today. So, when you need a cutter and you want to retire your gas torch for something better. Now plasma has come down in price and does a better job more economically as well.

So, click with your mouse and get the best and at a great price at the same time.

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