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So you’ve been looking for the best inexpensive plasma cutter, and the model you keep seeing is the famous LOTOS LTP5000D 50Amp plasma cutter. This machine is popular among beginners, hobbyists, and professionals for a lot of reasons that can be condensed into two main factors: performance and price.
Since the release of this machine a few years back, it has attracted many users — technicians, fabricators, and artists. Its success on the market can be attributed to the value of this product compared to its price. You can’t find another pilot arc plasma cutter for $420. That alone makes this machine one of the best.
Deconstructing the Lure of the LOTOS LTP5000D
People looking for a plasma cutter are looking for something compact, portable, efficient, and durable. Many machines can boast several bells and whistles, but lack in these basic factors that make for a reliable tool. Does the LTP5000D satisfy these requirements? The short answer is, it does. This machine cuts several conductive metals. It cuts steel and stainless. It cuts aluminum and copper. Is it a perfect machine? No. But is there a perfect plasma cutter?
- Compact and Lighweight
- Affodable Price
- Excellent Cutting Capacity
- 110V/220V Dual Voltage
Its portability and compactness make up a good selling point for the LTP5000D. It’s only 26 pounds and comes with a plastic handle, so it’s one of the lightest plasma cutters. You would not hesitate taking it anywhere.
The durability, however, is a mixed bag. The durable metal shell protects the internal components from impacts. However, the torch cord, work clamp, air lines, knobs, and consumables are made of relatively cheap materials. You will have to be careful when using this machine in harsh work environments. Hobbyists who use a plasma cutter occasionally should have no problem with this machine, though.
All Lotos plasma cutters are easy to use. If you understand how plasma cutters work, you will have zero problems setting up and getting started with this one. Besides, the user manual is intuitive. You don’t need to be the most technically proficient person in this case. Once the machine is set up and you’re ready, you only need to press the torch button to start the arc.
This machine owes its efficiency to its inverter technology, which allows the machine to generate DC current. This dual voltage and dual frequency machine works at 50Hz on 110V or 60Hz on 220V. But if you want to use it on 110V, you’ll have to use a pigtail adapter cord. Apart from that, you really have to do nothing more. The dual voltage capability just kicks in automatically.
The torch connects to a 9.5-feet hose. It’s long enough for extended reach without you having to carry the machine close to your work area.
The Lotos LTP5000D doesn’t make perfectly clean cuts. If you’re looking for a machine that makes cuts with no slag, you have to look for other models. This unit creates slag even when cutting ¼-inch mild steel. The cuts are not bad, but you’ll definitely notice some roughness on the edges. This is the kind of performance you’d expect from an inexpensive plasma cutter. For many people, this isn’t much of a deal breaker, though, considering one has to polish these cut edges with a grinder anyway.
The V-MOSFET transistors allow this machine to generate sufficient power for cutting thick metal plates and produce uniform output for cutting thin metal sheets.
Lotos LTP5000D is a pilot arc plasma cutter. Non-touch pilot arc capability is a remarkable technology built into plasma cutting torches. With a pilot arc, you don’t need to hit the workpiece with the tip of the torch to kick-start the arc. Simply pushing the trigger starts the arc. This is great when cutting metals with rust or paint on them.
You can’t use a plasma cutter without its consumables. The consumables that come with this unit are easily depleted. You can prolong their life by checking that your unit has good airflow. However, you’re better off buying extra consumables, which are cheap anyway.
Is the Lotos LTP5000D safe to use?
Most of these machines are generally safe, unless you ignore safety precautions completely. The LTP5000D uses non-toxic compressed air, so this machine alone shouldn’t produce toxic gases. However, when cutting metals with paint or chemical coatings on them, then you’re essentially burning the surface and producing harmful fumes. But that’s why you need to wear respirators in these cases.
The Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp plasma cutter is the best plasma cutter under $500. At this price point, you get some tradeoffs. The quality of the cuts isn’t perfect, but you can always work around this issue by doing some polishing after cutting. Aside from that, there’s really nothing significant to complain about. What this awesome machine offers is fantastic value for your money, and you can’t find the same deal — the same set of features at the same price from another unit.