Lotos LTP5000D Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter Review

Last Updated on by John Mueller

One of the common gripes of people using the LT5000D Lotos 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter is that it is unable to offer the specialized Infineon IGBT pilot arc system that some of its competitors provide.

Lotos’ answer to such criticism is the Lotos LTP5000D, a unit that maintains a moderate price while incorporating this state of the art pilot arc system as well as additional features like MOSFET transistors, PAPST German cooling systems and most vitally, a great cutting/severance thickness.

Interestingly, Lotos’ improved candidate maintains a tolerable price and weight, and this has led some to wonder about its overall efficacy. This question will be analyzed in depth through a detailed review:

Lotos LTP5000D Technical Details

LT5000 Pilot Arc Details
  • Type: Inverter based, pilot-arc equipped plasma cutter
  • Voltage Capacity: 110V (with pigtail) and 220V
  • Cutting Thickness: ½” (ideal thickness) and ¾” (maximum severance)
  • Weight: 19.4 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year

 

 

 

Lotos LTP5000D Build Quality and Design

The exterior of the machine, as one would expect, is hardly any different from that of the LT5000D, and this allows many to mistake the Lotos LTP5000D for the older unit.

Indeed, such is the similarity that despite integrating additional technologythe weight and compactness of the unit have hardly changed with the tough steel construction material, vents and even the handle being essentially the same durable and dependable ones that the LT5000D used.

The torch, in addition to offering the ergonomic low-profile design, comes with a 9ft. 5in. long hose that is specially constructed to cater to the pilot arc mechanism that is the forte of this unit.

Further, the unit has a three-pin and connection to allow for easy attachment to the main unit. Similarly, the ground clamp has a maximum width of 2 in. and this coupled with the 6 ft. 8 in. length of the unit, makes it a versatile complement to the torch.

In addition to the clamp and torch, the package also comes with an in-built air pressure compressor and frame for mounting the regulator on the wall. Included with only a handful of units, this regulator allows users to manipulate the compressed air pressure in a manner that most others do not.

In addition to the presence of a large number of durable ports and switches, this makes the unit an excellent choice for those seeking a precision cutting device.

Lotos LTP5000D Ease of Use

Like many of the best cheap plasma cutter contenders, Lotos provides virtually all the major connectors needed to run the machine. Once these have been successfully hooked onto the machine, the automatic dual voltage system selects the voltage at which power is being provided and optimizes the machine accordingly.

Some users have complained that one needs to purchase a pigtail to run the unit at 110V but given that most machines use 220V, this is not a major issue.

Once the connection is steady, choosing the right current is a one-step process courtesy of a simple red dial with detailed markings – 20A, 35A, 42A, etc. up to a maximum of 50A – for the most common amperages.

Similarly, the air hose outlet has clear markings to inform users that only hoses of 3/8” are usable, thus preventing confusions and loose connections.

Set on 6.5scfm at 65psi, virtually any air compressor should be able to pump sufficient amounts of air through the hose into the torch consistently.

Cutting itself is an equally convenient process since the torch is essentially pre-fabricated. Since the Infeon pilot arc technology is used (see below) the unit is capable of cutting thick and difficult metals within seconds of starting up, and hence makes cutting a simple and short affair.

 

 

Lotos LTP5000D Operation

The USP of the Lotos LTP5000D is surely the Infeon ICGT Power Drive Matrix technology that works quietly within the unit to produce a powerful pilot arc.

A Siemens innovation, this technology in conjunction with the MOSFET transistors, allows users to cut through mild steel, stainless steel, iron, copper and aluminium without having to make any extensive modifications to the settings.

The MOSFET transistors, in particular, are capable of maintaining a thin but steady stream of plasma for thinner metals and an extremely powerful but still steady stream for thicker and more difficult metals.
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Further, one of the benefits of using a plasma cutter with a pilot arc is that the cutter can work equally well even when the metal is rusted, painted or otherwise corroded. Interestingly, while doing so the Lotos LTP5000D does not produce slag, thus allowing users to fabricate products from the metal which have the appearance of having been made from high quality damage-free metal pieces.

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Regardless of the type and state of the material used however, the unit is capable of achieving a ideal uniform cut when thickness is ½” and a tolerable one at a maximum severance thickness of 3/4”. Both of these are better than those of the average non-pilot arc cutting units in the market.

 

 

Safety and Maintenance Features

While the pilot arc mechanism is known to be cooler than some of the competing systems, sufficient cooling is always necessary for such powerful systems and to this end we find the Lotos LTP5000D coming with a superior PAPST German cooling system. Using this system, the machine is capable of maintaining uniform cutting speed and efficiency over long hours.

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In fact, even at temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius at maximum amperage (50A), the unit is capable of achieving a 60% duty cycle, regardless of whether the incoming current has a potential of 110 or 220V.

Warranty

The Lotos LTP5000D comes with a 1 year warranty.

Pros

  • Tough steel construction and durable design
  • Excellent torch and air hose length for manoeuvrability
  • Air pressure regulator along with mounting frame included.
  • Excellent amperage controls with most common amperages mentioned clearly
  • Infeon ICGT Power Drive Matrix technology for quiet and efficient pilot arc.
  • MOSFET transistors for cutting both thin and thick metal efficiently.
  • Infeon and MOSFET combine to create power cutting arc; cuts most metals, including rusted ones.
  • PAPST German cooling system for sustained usage. 

Cons

  • Pigtail needed for running unit at 110V.
  • Ground clamp too short for users who use very thick pieces of metal.

Conclusion

Anyone who knows how to use a plasma cutter would be aware of the differences between ordinary plasma cutters and the high-end pilot arc units that have recently begun to dominate certain price brackets.

The Lotos LTP5000D not only offers this advanced technology, but combines the goodness of the MOSFET transistors, dual voltage system and PAPST cooling dynamics to create an offering that challenges the efficiency and utility of units far costlier than itself.

Coupled with the decent warranty and the fact that the excellent design and ergonomic construction, these make the product one of the few truly remarkable pilot arc units in this price bracket.

 

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