If involved in DIY projects in your backyard that require metal, read this. Plasma cutting is the best option for cutting metal and here are the 5 best cutters for the job.
Plasma cutters are a must-have tool for DIY enthusiasts. If you like building or repairing stuff and like to work with machinery, you definitely have to work with metal a lot. You need something to cut metal with.
Plasma cutters happen to be the best option. They are superior to alternatives like oxy-fuel cutting. This article contains reviews of what we believe are the five best plasma cutters for home use.
Take a moment to look at the comparison table below. It contains all the five plasma cutters we will review.
|Plasma Cutter||Check on Amazon|
|Hypertherm Powermax30 XP||check price here|
|Super Deal Cut50||check price here|
|Goplus Cut-50||check price here|
|Zeny Cut-50||check price here|
|Primeweld Cut500||check price here|
Best Plasma Cutter for Home Use Reviews
1. Hypertherm Powermax30 XP Plasma Cutter – Highly Portable
The Hypertherm 088079 has auto-voltage that automatically adapts to 110V/240V power. Plug adapters are included.
Portability is key. The Powermax30 XP gives you high performance, while being a small-sized plasma cutter. Furthermore, it comes with a hard carry case to enable you to easily carry it around. The small size also makes it easy to store or find a spot for it in your work area.
Other accessories include shoulder strap, gloves, eye shields, fine cut consumables, and standard consumables.
The design of its Duramax LT torch ensures a grip that is sure and comfortable, made from heat and impact-resistant material.
The Powermax30 XP gets cutting and gouging jobs completed faster and more reliably at an affordable cost. It has a two-in-one design and provides high-power capability to cut thick metal. It also has FineCut consumables which enable detailed, thin metal cutting.
The kit comes with all the consumables required to operate the plasma cutter. In addition, it includes a convenient storage case for organizing and maintaining the consumables. The kit has nozzles, electrodes, swirl ring, shield, and retaining cap.
-Hard carry case
-Both thick and thin metal cutting
-Includes storage case
2. Super Deal Cut50 Plasma Cutter – Low Energy Consumption
The Super Deal Cut50 gives a stable performance. Thanks to its high duty cycle, it consumes less power when you are operating it. Furthermore, it is more efficient and cost-effective than the traditional cutting machines since it operates at a high speed, with high temperature.
It also features great workmanship, with a heavy-duty iron construction that is solid, reliable, and durable. You can use it for a variety of applications, including as a professional and at home as a DIY hobbyist.
Electrical problems are some of the risks one runs into when operating a plasma cutter. For safety purposes, this machine has protection against overheating, over-voltage under-voltage, and lack of compressed air pressure. In addition, it provides wire and mask to protect you from injury.
Its performance cannot be faulted. It can operate at a speed 1.8 times faster than a flame cutter, make smooth cuts with minimal polish demands, and cut through ½-inch thick metals. Moreover, it features a pilot arc striking system which ensures easy starts and a cleaner cut.
The Cut50 has a digital LCD display that makes operating it easier since it allows easy reading. It also has a cooling fan which dissipates excess heat, ensuring improved safety and performance.
Furthermore, it is ideal for home use because of its compact size. It won’t take up much room and is highly portable. It does not require special/costly 220V hookups from utility companies – you can easily plug it in at your workshop, garage, or home, and start using it.
-Digital display for viewing data
-Instructions are not very clear
3. Goplus Cut-50 Plasma Cutter – For Smooth Cuts
While older plasma cutters are rather heavy, newer units like the Goplus Cut-50 weigh less, yet their performance is equal or much better than that of the older ones. Furthermore, the inverter technology reduces weight and dimensions of the main transformer, and also increases efficiency by 30%.
Thanks to this reduction in dimensions and weight of the main transformer, the Cut-50 is highly portable and compact. To further enhance its portability, it features a handle, which enables you to easily take it to wherever you need it.
The Goplus Cut-50 dual voltage and you can therefore operate at 110V or 220V. The power is 60Hz.
For outdoor use, the machine can work in the temperature range between -10 degrees and 40 degrees or a maximum humidity of 80%.
The machine is useful in cutting stainless steel, mild steel, alloy steel, copper, and other metals. It cuts smoothly, with minimal polish demands.
-Portable and lightweight
-Instructions are not great
4. Zeny Cut-50 Plasma Cutter – With Inverter Technology
The Zeny Cut-50 is a highly efficient machine and an energy-saving one. It uses inverter technology. This allows for use of a smaller transformer which results in a general reduction of size and weight. It also helps save energy and increase efficiency.
The small size of the machine makes it easy to store and carry. Portability is enhanced by the Cut-50’s handle.
Furthermore, its cutting torch features an improved cooling method. This is instrumental in prolonging the life of cutting consumables. It weighs only 22.05 pounds and is excellent for home use in DIY projects or for repair work.
The Zeny Cut-50 has dual voltage and can operate at 110 or 220V with 60Hz power. The machine is also able to supply gas ahead and turn off delayed gas.
Duty cycle is the measurement used to represent the time percentage it operates within a specific duration: measured in units of 10 minutes. For instance, the Zeny Cut-50 has a 60% duty cycle, which simply means that it operates for 6 minutes and then take 4 minutes to cool down.
-Lightweight and portable
-Prolonged consumable life
-Torch button is small and rather awkward to push
-Ground wire should be extended
-Power cable should be extended
5. Primeweld Cut500 Plasma Cutter – State-of-the-art MOSFET transistors
The Primeweld Cut500 is able to cut up to ½ inches with a maximum severance thickness of ¾ inches. It is excellent for home use in DIY projects and general repair work. It can cut alloy steel, stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, copper, among other metals.
Even if you have limited outlets, there is no cause for concern. The Cut500 has that covered with its dual voltage capacity: it runs directly on 220V 50/60 Hz power or on 110V 50/690 Hz.
Portability is key because you want something flexible that enables you to easily move around. The Cut500 offers that.
Its design is based on state-of-the-art MOSFET transistors. MOSFETs have better switching speeds than IGBTs.
-Lightweight and portable
-State-of-the-art MOSFET transistors
Buying Guide: What to Look for in a Plasma Cutter
The plasma cutter is useful in small workshops and in large industrial sites. It is better than alternatives such as oxy-fuel cutting. Cutting metals with a plasma cutter is easier, more accurate, and a less time-consuming process.
As a hobbyist or a professional who has to cut metal regularly, getting a quality plasma cutter will help you get your work done quickly and accurately. The following are the factors to consider when you are shopping for a good plasma cutter:
- Duty Cycle
Duty cycle is the percentage of time the plasma cutter will operate within a given period. Duty cycle is measured based on a duration of 10 minutes.
For instance, if your machine has a 60% duty cycle, that means the arc will remain on without causing system overheating for 6 out of every 10 minutes. It will operate for 6 minutes, then take 4 minutes to cool down.
If you are purchasing a plasma cutter which you will use frequently but not continuously over a long period, then you can use maximum amperage output to determine your purchase. That is because a plasma with more amperage output has more duty cycle than one that has lower amperage output or rating.
However, if you intend to use your plasma cutter continuously for extended periods, then you should base your purchase decision on the average thickness of the materials you often deal with. Check the maximum thickness each plasma cutter can cut.
- Input Power
Don’t overlook input power. Most plasma cutters need high power to work efficiently. They are typically designed for either a 110 volts power outlet or a 220 volts power outlet.
All plasma cutters feature amperage ratings. Go for the machine whose minimum amperage requirement can be met by your electrical outlet.
Furthermore, be careful about other appliances plugged into the same circuit of the outlet as they can reduce the input power going to the plasma cutter. It is better to have a separate circuit for the plasma cutter.
- Cut Rating
Cut rating determines how effective the plasma cutter is at cutting metals. There are three types of cut ratings:
- i) Rated Cut – If your plasma cutter has this rating, it can cut thinner pieces of metal. It provides neat cuts.
- ii) Quality Cut – The cut is not as neat as rated cut. This plasma cutter is ideal for thicker pieces of metal.
Iii) Sever Cut – If your plasma cutter has this rating, its cuts won’t be neat at all and will require post-cutting cleanup. Such machines are the best for cutting really thick metals. In addition, plasma cutters with this rating cut very slowly.
Plasma cutters typically feature two kinds of starts for initiating the pilot arc. These are: contact start and high frequency start.
If you are operating a high frequency start plasma cutter in the vicinity of an electronic device such as a computer, TV, or telephone, it will interfere with the controls of those appliances.
On the other hand, contact start technology does not cause any interference. The other advantage of contact arc is a visible pilot arc, which enables you to see the arc and position the torch more accurately.
- Air Supply
Most hand-held plasma cutters use normal air for the metal-cutting process. Others may use nitrogen. Nitrogen is less expensive than air and some users believe that nitrogen is drier and produces less oxidation than compressed air – relevant in stainless steel cutting.
Carrying around bottled gas can be inconveniencing. If you feel so, you can opt to get a plasma cutter that comes with a built-in air compressor. This saves you money and makes your plasma cutter more lightweight and portable.
- Built-in Inverter
Plasma cutters with built-in inverters are particularly convenient for users working at remote sites where there is no power outlet, or those operating mobile services.
Such plasma cutters are able to take DC power and feed it through a high-frequency transistor-inverter from approximately 10 KHz to approximately 200 KHz.
A plasma cutter that has a built-in inverter may be expensive, but it has extra portability. Thanks to its high-frequency switching production, this plasma cutter’s housing is smaller, and is therefore the best choice for users who offer mobile services.
Each of the five plasma cutters we have reviewed here are great for home use. However, some are more attractive than others. Our top pick is the Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP. It has auto-voltage, which enables it to automatically adapt to 110/240 V input power. It is a portable plasma cutter with a torch design which provides a comfortable, sure grip.
Our second pick is the Primeweld Cut500. It makes precision cuts, is portable, and too has dual voltage: 110 V and 220 V.
We are curious – which of the five would you buy?