Last Updated on by John Mueller

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.

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1. Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
A+++++ (Best Plasma Cutter Under 500 ) Click Here To Check Price

2. PrimeWeld Ct520d 50 Amps Plasma Cutter, 200 Amps Tig Welder
A+++++ (Best For The Money) Click Here To Check Price

3. Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
A+++++ (Most Popular Cutter Under 500) Click Here To Check Price

4. Lotos CT520D Air Plasma Cutter/Tig/Stick Welder 3 in 1 Combo Welding Machine
A+++++ (Great) Click Here To Check Price

5. ZENY DC Inverter Plasma Cutter 50AMP CUT-50 Dual Voltage
A+++ Click Here To Check Price

6. Lotos LT3500 35Amp Air Plasma Cutter, 2/5 Inch Clean Cut
A+++ Click Here To Check Price

7. SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Welding Machine With Screen Display
A+++ Click Here To Check Price

8. SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Air Plasma Cutter Inverter DC Digital Display IGBT Portable
A+++ Click Here To Check Price

9. Lotos LT5000D Plasma Cutter 50Amps Dual Voltage Compact Metal Cutter
A+++ Click Here To Check Price

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:

  1. Hobart Airforce 500i Super Cutter – Best For The Money

Hobart 500548 Airforce 500i
 Airforce 500i Plasma Cutter reviewThis contender from Hobart comes with a simple but efficient cutter that is capable of working with both 110V and 220V outlets using two different wires. In addition, the unit comes with complete compatibility with engine-driven welders, turning the device into a 2-in-1 offering

When in cutter mode, however, the product uses a special post-flow air cooling technology that cools the electrode and tip rapidly after the cutting has been done in order to prolong their lifespan. Complementing this are the fan which runs “on demand” to remove and keep out abrasive dust particles that may damage internal components, and the wind tunnel technology, which prevents those particles that still get through from causing any damage later on.

While the cooling technology ensures that the unit never suffers a meltdown, Hobart has covered all bases by providing the unit with a thermal overload mechanism that shuts down the unit when temperatures rise to104 degrees Fahrenheit at the 35% duty cycle stage.

Lastly, a cable management cord allows users to wrap up the cables quickly when transporting the unit from one place to another.

  1. Lotos LTP5000D Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter

Lotos LTP5000D Pilot Arc

Another Lotos product that provides inverter DC power, the LTP5000D comes with a 50A inverter that feeds a cutting system that replaces the HF system of the previous product with a pilot arc unit. This pilot arc, along with the IGBT Power Drive Matrix, allows the unit to start cutting within a very short time, thereby reducing the waste of consumables substantially

Such reduction is equally in evidence when the product is dealing with rusted, painted or otherwise difficult to access metal surfaces. These are coupled with a MOSFET transistor that ensures a steady flow of current regardless of the voltage with which the user is working.

This feature enables users across the world to use the unit without making extensive changes to the wiring system. Coupled with the easy to grip and easier to carry portable design, this feature makes the unit powerful and versatile in equal measure.

  1. Ramsond CUT 50DY Super Plasma Cutter Under 500

Ramsond CUT 50DY
Perhaps the epitome of an easy to use unit, this Ramsond contender comes with a pilot cut mechanism that not only provides a great cut but ensures that the user is fully cognizant of its status through a pressure and amp display that have been integrated at the back of the unit.

Further, Ramsond realizes that such a powerful system cannot function without adequate cooling, and to this end, a German cooling system has been integrated for improved performance. Complementing these is an improved V-MOSFET transistor system that has been made especially for Ramsond by Toshiba. This transistor system, along with PWM mechanism, allows for a more precise current to flow into the machine.

With a versatile foldable handle completing the impressive list of features, this unit is indeed ideal for anyone who seeks an easily portable and controllable yet powerful unit.

  1. LT5000D Lotos 50A Air Inverter Below 500

LT5000D Lotos 50A Air Inverter
One of the few inverter plasma cutters, this product benefits from the fact that the inverter’s DC currentproduced using pulse width modulation (PWM) method, is ideal for smooth, fast and accurate cuts. Speed in particular is further accentuated by the presence of a HF system that replaces standard plasma with HF plasma. Such HF plasma interacts with the metal to produce faster cuts.

All of this, interestingly, does not cause any shorting or overloading since the unit has been provided with state-of-the-art transistors that are capable of supplying a steady stream of powerful current.

Indeed, such is their capability that this unit is capable of cutting much thicker pieces of metal than the average cutter, without forcing the user to start wondering how to maintain a plasma cutter before the scheduled maintenance date.

Last but not least the unit comes with a movable trigger that allows each user to custom fit his/her finger into the groove.

  1. Hobart Airforce 500564 Super Plasma Cutter

Hobart Airforce 500564

The last of our short plasma cutter reviews focuses upon another Hobart unit, this one being an inverter unit with a built-in air compressor. This ensures that the unit has an unlimited supply of compressed air without the user having to shell out anything extra.

Further, the compressed air allows the unit to handle a wide range of conductive metals very quickly and efficiently. Despite these, it is interesting to note that the unit works on ordinary input current and not any specialized circuitry. Equally interestingly, the unit comes with a total body weight of just 27lbs, making it one of the most portable units in the market.

With the unit also having the cooling and strap mechanisms of the previous best plasma cutter under 500 contender, these features make it clear that the product is capable of addressing virtually any metal cutting needs that may arise in the average workshop with ease.

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 apartbut 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 industryUnless 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.