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One of the key features of the cutter is surely the presence of sufficient trigger and torch customizability options, as these allow the user to manipulate the torch to the maximum possible extent.
At the same time, users desire a unit that is portable but provides sufficient amperage for heavy cutting.
We’ve seen how the Hobart 500548 Airforce 500i matches up to some of these criteria without cutting any appreciable corners.
Lotos, a challenger with as much experience as Hobart, claims to have incorporated all of these features into the LT5000D Lotos 50A Compressor Plasma Cutter. Whether its claims are indeed true can however, be verified only after a detailed review.
- Type: Inverter Plasma Cutter
- Voltage Capacity: 110/115 and 220/230V
- Cutting Thickness: 5/8” (mild steel) ½” (stainless steel, aluminium)
- Weight: 22 pounds
- Warranty: 1 year
Build Quality and Design
Not very remarkable from the outside, the LT5000D Lotos 50A’s design is most notable for being compact enough for users to lift it in one hand using the sturdy rubberized and heat resistant handle that has been provided at the top.
The key to understanding such reduction in size is the use of inverter current, which reduces the size of the transformer significantly.
Unlike many of the best cheap plasma cutter contenders however, the unit manages to fit in multiple vents – at the sides and at the back – so as to allow for efficient removal of heat from the unit during operation.
Moving to the torch head, we find that it comes with a low-profile design that is ideal for cutting in cramped locations. This, coupled with the durable and long hose allow the unit to cut in virtually any location that has sufficient electricity supply.
Matching innovation is a solid build quality. From the durable knobs and levers to the strong stainless steel cabinet, all parts appear capable of sustaining a high duty cycle.
Indeed, according to multiple customers, the LT5000D Lotos 50A can achieve a 100% duty cycle when the amperage is high and the thickness of the metal is low. While the duty cycle naturally declines at higher thicknesses, the very fact that 100% duty cycle is possible is worth noting.
Ease of Use
Among the ideal components to have in a plasma cutter is a simple amperage selection dial, and this unit comes with one that has easily legible markings along the sides to tell the user whether the unit is at 10A, 50A or any intermediate stage.
Some users complained that while the unit was capable of adapting to 110/115V and 220/230V with ease, the plugs required for adapting to the higher voltages had to be purchased separately.
This problem though, is alleviated somewhat by the automatic voltage detection system, which ensures that when the correct plug is connected, the unit automatically changes internal settings to accept the incoming current.
Once the main unit is set up and connected properly, all that remains is to adjust the ergonomically designed torch. This torch comes with a movable trigger that allows for a custom fit, thus preventing the user from accidentally triggering the unit while handling the torch. Further, since all components are provided as part of the packaging, one can get down to cutting within minutes of receiving the package and unboxing it.
Following completion of the cutting procedure, the minimal amount of wiring associated with the LT5000D Lotos 50A can be safely wrapped up and stored away for future use.
The unit comes with an inverter-based power setup and HF (high frequency) DC current that combine together to provide a highly focused and extremely powerful beam for fast and error-free cutting. Complementing such power and accuracy are the MOSFET transistors that make high voltage cutting of thick metals possible.
At the same time, a steady stream of low-intensity plasma can be produced for thinner metals.
Coupled with the fact that the switch power inverter technology integrated into the unit increases the efficiency of the unit by 30%, these features turn the LT5000D Lotos 50A into a versatile cutting tool that won’t let you down no matter how complex the cutting job is.
In terms of statistics, these capabilities translate into a maximum cutting thickness of 5/8” for mild steel and ½” for both stainless steel and aluminum. In addition, the unit can handle a range of metals like iron, thick gauge steel, copper and various alloys.
Finally, PWM (pulse width modulation) technology allows the product to produce inverter currents at the right DC voltage for purposes of welding.
Safety and Maintenance Features
The primary benefit of using a plasma cutter is the lowered risk of flare-ups and other combustion-related accidents, but plasma cutters are not immune to heating.
To this end, the LT5000D Lotos 50A comes with a PAPST German cooling system that keeps the transformer, motor and other parts in good shape by preventing excess heat buildup.
Combined with the vents noted above, these allow the unit to stay cool even when the user is working at 100% duty cycle.
However, 100% duty cycle is never possible for higher thicknesses and so we find that the unit has been optimized for the best sustained performance.
The optimal point is generally regarded to be 60% @ 110/220V and so we find that this Lotos unit matches this duty cycle point regardless of the type of metal being used.
If used beyond this point, inbuilt heat detection sensors ensure that the unit is never in danger of becoming overheated and thus malfunctioning.
The LT5000D Lotos 50A comes with a 1 year warranty.
- Compact design and excellent build quality make for a versatile and mobile unit.
- Low profile torch cuts even in cramped spaces.
- Automatic voltage detection system reduces the risks of shorting.
- Customized trigger positioning enhances ease of operation.
- HF current and MOSFET transistors for efficient cutting of thick metals.
- Power inverter technology improves the efficiency by 30%
- PWM current at correct voltages allows for welding.
- PAPST cooling system ensures efficient performance during long usage periods.
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- Unit is somewhat noisy compared to other contenders.
- No MVP plug and higher voltage plug has to be obtained by the user.
Sacrificing both bulk and frills, the LT5000D Lotos 50A is at once convenient and powerful courtesy of a great design and a range of features enhancing the overall cutting caliber of the unit.
Though the absence of an MVP plug will lead to additional expenses for the user occasionally, the overall feature list is likely to make this a small hindrance for most customers given that it is really difficult to find a better combination of cutting power and versatility in this price bracket.