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While readers are often forced to glean the ideal features from plasma cutter under 500 reviews, we have decided to make life easier for you by sharing our expertise in this field through a short list of the top plasma cutters under $500.
Best Plasma Cutter Under 500 – Quick Answer
|Top||Lotos LT5000D Plasma Cutter 50Amps Dual Voltage Compact Metal Cutter 110/220V AC 1/2" Clean Cut||A+++++ (Best Plasma Cutter Under 500 )||Click Here To Check Price|
|PrimeWeld Ct520d 50 Amps Plasma Cutter, 200 Amps Tig Welder and 200 Amps Stick Welder Combo||A+++++ (Best For The Money)||Click Here To Check Price|
|Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 1/2 Inch Clean Cut, Brown||A+++++ (Most Popular Cutter Under 500)||Click Here To Check Price|
|Lotos CT520D Air Plasma Cutter/Tig/Stick Welder 3 in 1 Combo Welding Machine||A+++++ (Great)||Click Here To Check Price|
|ZENY DC Inverter Plasma Cutter 50AMP CUT-50 Cutting Machine||A+++||Click Here To Check Price|
|Lotos LT3500 35Amp Air Plasma Cutter||A+++||Click Here To Check Price|
|SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Welding Machine||A+++||Click Here To Check Price|
|SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Air Plasma Cutter Inverter||A+++||Click Here To Check Price|
|Lotos LT5000D Plasma Cutter 50Amps Dual Voltage Compact Metal Cutter||A+++||Click Here To Check Price|
Top 10 Best Plasma Cutter Under $500 – Buying Guide 2020
Here is a list of the best cheap plasma cutter under 500 you should buy in 2020:
Hobart Airforce 500i Super Cutter – Best Plasma Cutter For The Money
Lotos LTP5000D Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
Ramsond CUT 50DY Super Plasma Cutter Under 500
LT5000D Lotos 50A Air Plasma Cutter Below 500
Hobart Airforce 500564 Super Plasma Cutter
Key Features of the Best Plasma Cutter Under $500
In many cases, only when people learn how to use a plasma cutter, do they realize that minor differences in the structure and/or the requirements of the machine can mean the difference between a good and fast cut and one that comes at the cost of significant effort and/or physical risk.
The latter may be acceptable for those who are professionals and need certain specific features (for which they are willing to sacrifice others) but if you’re a beginner and want a good cut at all times without experimenting with your finances and safety, it is better to keep a certain list of key features of the best plasma cutter under 500 in mind when making your choices.
Key Structural Features
The best plasma cutters under 500 may not look very different from mediocre ones, but there are huge differences when it comes to the internal pieces and circuitry. From these factors, you can gauge the quality.
While it is not always possible to take a unit apart, but you can always rely on plasma cutter reviews and the product’s specification sheet to know if the necessary features are available:
1. Good Amperage and Cutting Speed:
While it is impossible to gauge in order to outline a chart specifying the ideal relationship between metal thickness, amperage and cutting speed, one should keep in mind the following simplified table:
When you have found the correct amperage for the metal, you should expect a good cutting speed for your choice of metal.
If the speed mentioned by the company appears to be lower than this expected level or you find that the users have complained about a lower than average speed, you should realize that one of the key features of this equipment is – the ability to achieve fast cuts – is missing from the unit you are considering.
2. HF and LA Starter Methods:
HF stands for high frequency starters and this is currently the standard for the industry. Unless the unit comes with a contact-start mechanism, you should be able to find a HF system.
However, as we mentioned while discussing the best plasma cutter under 500, the HF system can interfere with digital equipment and for this reason, some companies have started offering Lift Arc (LA) starter mechanisms.
While the LA system is somewhat more complex than the HF one, you should always consider the LA-enabled ones if you are going in for a higher priced unit as these tend to be more durable and dependable.
3. Cooling Systems:
One of the key features of is surely a good cooling system, as this enables the unit to work more efficiently when internal temperature begins to rise.
4. Air filters:
Air filters perform the vital task of keeping the compressed air free of oil. While good compressors will minimize oil presence anyhow, it is always ideal to have good air filters inside the machine so that even if one needs to use a poor compressor, the quality of the cut is not compromised.
We say so because the presence of oil leads to arcing (different from the pilot/cutting arc) during cutting and this reduces the ability of the arc to stay on the target.
How to find the Best Plasma Cutter Under 500
1. Duty Cycle:
The number of hours a plasma cutter is used at a stretch is called the product’s duty cycle. Generally, the higher the amperage, the higher will be the duty cycle of the unit, though this rule does not always hold true in the higher amperages. Such units would prove to be the best as regards money for users who have marathon work sessions without pause.
For others, however, it is not always necessary to go in for the unit with the greatest duty cycle – if one is using a product infrequently, it is better to try out a product with an average duty cycle and a good set of features. You can gauge the quality from the duty cycle.
Must Read: Plasma Cutters Without A Compressor
2. Provision for an inverter:
An inverter generally takes the current from 10kHz to 200kHz. This high frequency switching allows the product to function with a smaller housing, thus improving the overall portability of the unit. Further, an inverter, as we saw in the above plasma cutter reviews, produces current more conducive to faster and precise cuts as well.
3. Cutting Speed and Cut Quality:
Unlike many other products, cutting speed and cut quality are not inversely proportional, instead following a complex graph that requires an advanced understanding of physics to comprehend.
The good news though is that manufacturers usually list the cutting speed (in parts per hour) on the machine, and by keeping this in the middling range (neither too low nor too high), it is possible to achieve sufficient quality as well.
Of course, those working with handicrafts and fine products would require still slower speeds and higher quality, but one should also ensure that the speed does not become a bottleneck when production has to be ramped up.
4. Input Power and Phase:
Most products these days support both 110-115V and 220-230V input and thus this is more of a checklist point than a choice. More importantly, while some units are only compatible with single phase current, others support three phase power.
While it is hard to say whether a single phase current is better or worse than the latter, support for three-phase current is always desirable since this would cover all bases. This can help you gauge the power of the machine.
5. Air/Fuel Supply:
In most cases involving factories and workshops, the fuel would be the surrounding air, and in these cases,special fuel containers and attachments are not needed. In case of mobile units that can be operated anywhere, the choice is generally between bottled air and bottled nitrogen.
Many prefer the latter because it is more cost effective and tends to be drier, causing less oxidation while cutting stainless steel. Some units, however, come with an air compressor that compresses ambient air and thus removes the need for special containers.
These apart, only occasionally would special “assist gases” be required in everyday cutting. These – ranging from oxygen to inert gases and even hydrogen – reduce mobility however, and should only be used where absolutely necessary.
Rollers attach to either side of the nozzle of plasma cutters and provide uniform cuts by preventing the user from straying in line. Popular options include rollers from bevelled cuts, straight cuts and circular cuts.
7. Contact vs HF start:
A contact start will, as mentioned above, require the cutter to physically touch the metal. This process is a bit difficult to master but ensures that the entire process is free of electromagnetic fields. A HF start is contactless but might interfere with nearby communication devices.
Hence, if one is using the unit of plasma cutters near TVs, radios, etc. one should opt for a contact start unit. Further, it is generally found that the cheap plasma cutters come with contact start, while slightly costlier models offer HF start.
Must Read; MIG Welder For Home Use
8. Dirty Areas:
If the user has to work in dirty areas, it is always advisable to ensure that the unit comes with special features such as Fan on Demand and Wind Tunnel Technology that keep the dirt out and prevent dirt that has already entered from causing any damage.
9. Cooling System:
It is difficult to grade cooling systems of plasma cutters, but it is universally agreed that the unit should come with a cooling system that allows the product to maintain a steady temperature at peak performance. Temperature in this case as regards plasma cutters implies body and nozzle temperature, with the latter obviously being higher.