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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 grueling 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 products available in the market today.
5 Best Plasma Cutter Under 500 2019 Review
Here is a list of the best cheap plasma cutter under 500 you should buy in 2019. While many of this cutters have too many good features to be covered here, it has been our endeavour to cover all of the features that would be useful to the average user who expects quality without emptying out his/her pocket:
Hobart Airforce 500i Super Cutter – Best For The Money
Lotos LTP5000D Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
Ramsond CUT 50DY Super Plasma Cutter Under 500
LT5000D Lotos 50A Air Inverter Below 500
Hobart Airforce 500564 Super Plasma Cutter
Key Features of the Best Plasma Cutter
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.
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 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 the best plasma cutter – 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 that 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 the best plasma cutter 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.