Plasma cutters, with their wide range of applications, are now emerging as an essential part of every household. Engineers, Mechanics, Artists and even House owners need a good plasma cutter for their day-to-day activities. But due to an abundance of options, choosing the best plasma cutter under 500 has become next to impossible. That’s why we decided to bring to you an extensive guide and a list of top rated plasma cutters to educate and ease your pursuit of the best plasma cutter under 800.
WHAT IS A PLASMA CUTTER?
Plasma cutters use a beam of ionized gas which pours out of the nozzle at such high speed that it slashes the electric conducting material in two. Plasma cutters can cut through Copper, Steel, Iron, Aluminium etc. If the material can conduct electricity, it can be cut up by a plasma arc cutter.
The best plasma cutter under 500 offers more versatility in its functions. You can utilize these plasma cutters for welding cuts, piercings at any angle irrespective of their complications.
Best plasma cutters are also very easy to use. A novice with no prior experience in such fields can easily master the art of plasma cutting. No special training is required in mastering handheld plasma cutters. All you need is a curious personality and a focusing mind.
Consumables are the components of a plasma cutter that require changing after certain periods of time as they tend to wear out. The life of each consumable varies from model to model. We are going to discuss the 5 main consumables of a plasma cutter.
Nozzles are one of the fastest deteriorating components of even the best plasma cutters. The nozzle is expelling out a very hot mass of gas so it is self explanatory to why it deteriorates. Sometimes you might have to change a nozzle more than once in a single day depending on your use.
Shield cap’s job is to guard the other components of the portable plasma cutter from heat and metal constituents.
Retaining cap is responsible for keeping every part of the plasma cutter together. Since it is present at the heating end of the plasma cutter, it also melts down.
Swirl ring revolves the gas around the plasma which results in cooling of the nozzle. Thanks to swirl rings, a protective layer of gases emerges between nozzles and plasma, safeguarding it from excessive heat.
Electrode induces the electric current on the target body. Since they are directly involved in the whole process, they themselves become a victim of overheating and melt out rapidly.
TRAITS OF THE BEST PLASMA CUTTERS
HIGH DUTY CYCLE:
Duty cycle is the measure of the effectiveness of a handheld plasma cutter for a specific time period. If a plasma cutter is used beyond its duty cycle limits, it will begin to give scarce and inaccurate cuts.
Duty cycle refers to a 10 minutes time span in which a plasma cutter works and rests. For example if you are opting for a 30% duty cycled cheap plasma cutter then your machine will require 7 minutes worth of rest after working straight for 3 minutes.
If you have to use it frequently, not constantly, and can entertain a few breaks in between then opt for the best small plasma cutter. No need to spend lavishly on high-end 8 minutes duty cycled industrial plasma cutters.
The higher the amperage, the greater the depth a plasma cutter can reach in a single attempt. Amperage in simpler words is a measure of the output of the plasma cutter.
Opt for an amperage that resonates with your target material. If your work involves slashing thin sheets of copper then a vest low cost plasma cutter will be ample. The large industrial plasma cutter has high amperage and is used to cut thick and broadsheets of Aluminium, Silver, or any other substance other than these best plasma cutters under 500.
Higher amperage also presents you with the variety in cutting. With higher amperage, you can literally cut any electrically conductive material out there irrespective of their size.
While dealing with amperage, you will also have to consider the power outlet available in your shop, garage or wherever you are going to use it. Plasma cutters usually work on AC input sources of 110/120 volts or 110/220 volts.
There are also dual voltage plasma cutter options available which alters the power source with a single flick of your finger.
Even the best cheap plasma cutter sucks a lot of power. All plasma cutters have specific amperage ratings which give you an idea how much power you must expect from your outlet. In order to avoid such complexions, most people use a separate outlet altogether.
Most of the best home plasma cutters have built-in air compressors. As a small hobby plasma cutters require simple air for their normal functioning. But in the case of industrial plasma cutters, they demand special bottled Nitrogen as it is not as humid as normal air and works best for long chunks of stainless steel.
The bottled nitrogen can be very hard to manage and also affects the portability of the unit. That’s why using an air compressor is the best practice if you don’t have to deal with an industrial level of workload.
TOP RATED PLASMA CUTTERS UNDER 500
VIVOHOME 3 In 1 Multi-functional Plasma Cutter
SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter
Plasma Cutter, CUT50 50 Amp
PrimeWeld 3-in-1 50 Amp Plasma Cutter , CT-520D
Amico CUT-50, 50 Amp Professional Plasma Cutter
LOTOS LT5000D 50A Air Inverter Plasma Cutter
Our team sat down and trial and tested almost 11 products individually. They listed the following 6 products as the best plasma cutters under 500 due to their efficiency and durability.CHECK PRICE
- WEIGHT: 40 pounds
- DIMENSIONS: 25-17-13 inch
- MATERIAL: Iron
- BATTERY: Not included
This is a multi-functional plasma cutter and can be used as a welder too. One might think that its multi-functionality may render it inefficient. But it isn’t the case. It is capable of cutting so cleanly that there is no need left for polishing.
With a 60% duty cycle, it can work continuously for 6 minutes straight. This is one of the best home plasma cutters thanks to its dual utility. You can comfortably perform your day to day task with it. This is also a dual voltage plasma cutter and can work efficiently on both 110 and 220 volts power sources.CHECK PRICE
- WEIGHT: 25 lbs
- SIZE: 19-11-14 inches
- BATTERY: Not included
- MATERIAL: Stainless steel
This product is a premium level plasma cutter which provides best results with a below-average power consumption. It is also one of the most exquisitely designed products.
This model is also packing a duty cycle of 60% which is astonishing considering its price range. It is also dual voltage adaptable so power inputs won’t be a problem. It can comfortably and beautifully slash 0.5 inches of the target material in a single go.
Portability is another plus point of this model. With its heat resisting handle, you can comfortably maneuver it from one location to another rendering it one of the best plasma cutter under 500.
This product is used by professionals and hobbyists alike. Special energy saving feature of best plasma cutter under 500 reduces its maintaining costs at a large extent.CHECK PRICE
- SIZE: 14-6-13
- VOLTAGE: 110/220 Volts
- DUTY CYCLE: 85%
- WEIGHT: 21 pounds
This is one of the most efficient products in our list. With their 85% duty cycle. They can cut anything below 20 mm. This affordable plasma cutter is mostly used to cut thick sheets of stainless steels, alloys, copper or any other electricity conductive material.
It also has a digital interface to give you in-depth knowing of the operation being undertaken. You don’t need to manually check every time the status of your operation. Experts have ranked the CUT50 plasma cutter as 30% more efficient than its competitors thanks to its inverter switching.
The consumables in this product are also way more durable. They are off the best quality and are easily accessible everywhere. With its metal built, the longevity is guaranteed. Once you have your hands on this amazing model, you won’t be needing a plasma cutter for many years to come.
It can also operate on both 110 and 220 input power voltage. You can set it up anywhere in a matter of seconds and it is good to go.CHECK PRICE
- MATERIAL: Stainless steel
- SIZE: 24-17-12
- FUNCTIONALITY: Welder and plasma cutter
- DUAL VOLTAGE: Supported
This is also a multi functional unit which has the tendency to act as both welder and plasma cutter. It is a sole solution of all of your usual metal related problems.
With a 60% duty cycle, it is best suited for mid-ranged plasma cutting. It is ideal for 15 mm target materials and slashes them like a knife passing through butter. Even with such excellent productivity it manages to act as an energy efficient unit. You won’t be spending lavishly on managing it that’s for sure.
It can work as a plasma cutter, 20 A stick welder and 200 A TIG welder. But the most amazing feat of this unit is its amazing altering. You can switch from a plasma cutter to a stick welder with just a few snaps of your fingers.CHECK PRICE
- SIZE: 18-8-14
- WEIGHT: 31 pounds
- MATERIAL: Metal DUAL POWER SOURCE: Enabled
This model is best known for its convenience. You can easily set it up anywhere. Its sturdy metal built allows it to be used in any environment. It is also dual sourced to further increase its feasibility.
The most interesting aspect of this product is its futuristic design. The handle of its torch is embedded with heat resistant material and allows you to comfortably reach every corner of your target material. It also has a factory built air dryer which makes it impossible for any fire related accident to take place.CHECK PRICE
- WEIGHT: 22.5 pounds
- DUTY CYCLE: 60%
- SIZE: 10-13-26 inches
- MATERIAL: Metal
This model is a small handheld plasma cutter and is ideal for small businesses and households. It offers a decent 60% duty cycle which is more than adequate for such small operations.
It also has dual input mode so you don’t have to make any special arrangements. This product is especially designed for people with little to no prior knowledge in this domain. Anyone can easily set it up in less than one minute. With its supportive interface and extensive manuals, mastering this machine is a piece of cake.
Plasma cutter brands like Lotos and Super deal are rolling out tens of products every year. With such a variety of choices of these best plasma cutter under 500, you have more chances of getting screwed up by choosing the wrong product. Every brand tries their best to hide their shortcomings and you can trust no one on the internet. That’s why we decided to create an extensive guide and top products that are trialed to save your precious money and time.
Is an air compressor essential for a plasma cutter?
Air is responsible for expelling the plasma out of the torch. An air compressor’s job is to create this pressure that blasts out air. That’s why an air compressor is necessary for a plasma cutter.
Can plasma cutters be run on a generator?
Most of the plasma cutters need a stable electric input to provide the optimum temperatures. Some models like spectrum 3080 can work with a generator but they still require 8 kW or more power. Though, it isn’t recommended to use a plasma cutter on a generator.
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