To shape and cut a wide range of metals, a plasma cutter is one of the most effective tools. For occasional repair work or larger cutting volumes, this plasma cutting tool is the best option.
Plasma cutting is the most efficient cutting process used in the manufacturing and construction industries.
If you’re somehow involved in the construction or manufacturing industry, you might know about this amazing plasma metal cutting equipment.
But, how much is a plasma cutter handheld?- from cheap to expensive-we’re here to help you understand the value and much more.
At the end of this topic, there are some more points about this excellent tool that is nice to learn.
How Much Is a Plasma Cutter
Plasma cutting machines differ in the category, capacity, specific features, quality, and technological advancement. So, there is no specific answer to this inquiry- “How much does a plasma cutter cost?”.
For the convenience of our discussion, we’ve divided the plasma cutting machines into three different ranges based on prices:
- Cheap/ Inexpensive
Cheap Plasma Cutter
If you’re on a lower budget limit but require a cutting tool for the simple metal cutting task at home or DIY projects, a cheap plasma cutting machine is perfect for jobs.
In fact, inexpensive plasma cutters come with some basic features and limited adjustments. However, you have a lot of options to pick from as per your needs.
So, are you concerned that the cheapest plasma cutters are not that much ergonomic and reliable to use?
In fact, if you can choose them after proper research and use it properly, they might serve you a long time.
Identifying the best cheap plasma cutters that won’t compromise too much on performance and quality is a challenge.
Nonetheless, there are several models that fit a budget of $300 or less still operate satisfactorily to meet your basic needs.
So, what is a good cheap plasma cutter?
The following are some of the basic models for the best plasma cutter under 300:
Top Features: Automatic Dual Voltage 110V/220V AC with Plasma Torch & premium and rugged plasma cutter kit, 1/2″ Clean Cut
Top Features: Dual Voltage 110/220V AC, 1/2” Clean Cut, DC output, Digital LCD Display, Built-in over-heat protection
3. SUNCOO 50 Amp Plasma Cutter, Portable Pro. Cut 50 Electric DC Inverter Metal Plasma Cutting Machine
Top Features: 110/220V, Digital Display, 1/2 inch(12mm) ideal clean-cut under 220V, Built-in over-heat protection, over-voltage protection
4. Hiweld Plasma Cutter, CUT50 50 Amp 110V/220V ±15% Dual Voltage AC-DC IGBT Cutting Machine With LCD Display And Accessories Tools
Top Features: Dual Voltage 90V-260V(110V-220V), Plug and play, 1-20mm cutting thickness, 10mm Optimal cutting thickness
What are the best plasma cutter under 500?
Lotos Ltp5000d is our top pick under 500. This model comes with several great features that make it a solid choice for those who need a truly reliable and efficient for their DIY or small project. It’s also one of the best plasma cutters for home use.
Mid-Range Plasma Cutter
If you plan to invest some more money in a plasma cutter, you may go for a mid-range option. Keep in mind that to get a comparatively more dependable and reliable unit, you have to spend around $1000 or more.
Hobart Airforce 500566 240V 40i is a standard and best mid-range plasma cutter available. You may also consider Hypertherm Powermax 30 and XP Powermax45 Hand System.
These three options come with a marginal price range. For medium-level professional cutting tasks or medium construction objects, these mid-range units can be a great option to buy.
Expensive Plasma Cutting System
Large project? Need a high-end, heavy-duty plasma cutter to get the job done?
There are many high-end units available for bigger projects like big construction sites, steel manufacturing industry or automobile production industries.
These machines are industrial-grade and offer top-notch performance. They come with too much price ranging $50000+.
So, is plasma cutter inexpensive than other cutting tools?
Surprisingly, plasma cutting machines come with a higher price tag than other cutting tools.
There is a significant difference in product price and cost.
Well, plasma cutting machines offer superior cut quality and fast cutting speed. These two features help in increasing production rate saving time and money. Thus, these two factors help to minimize the overall production cost.
Additionally, to cut with a plasma cutting machine, the workpiece doesn’t require any pre-heating. It saves resources and fuel as well.
Furthermore, most of the handheld plasma cutters need compressed air to run eliminating the delivery charges and cylinder rental costs.
Best Value Plasma Cutter
What is the value? How do you value a plasma cutter machine?
Certainly, it’s a good question.
In fact, the best “value” in a plasma cutter (also any machine) depends on what is most “valuable” to you!
Some factors that might affect the value of a machine:
- Purchase cost
- Operating cost
- Production rate
- Cut edge quality
What is the best value machine – laser, plasma or waterjet?
Taking into consideration the initial cost to buy a cutting tool, the lowest cost would be a plasma cutting machine.
How much is a CNC plasma cutter?
Price of CNC plasma cutting machine
Industry-grade or programmable plasma cutters or CNC plasma tables are very expensive. CNC plasma cutter prices typically range from A$30,000 to A$100,000+. But there are several CNC table compatible handheld plasma cutters.
CNC compatible plasma cutters come equipped with an interface port to ensure the CNC table to communicate with the plasma cutter. When it comes to the best CNC-compatible cheap plasma cutters, there are several options to choose from.
Most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is Plasma Cutter?
We don’t like to give a complicated physics lecture here. So, let’s get a little more practical.
The most straightforward definition of a plasma cutter is it’s a cutting tool that uses a high-velocity jet of hot ionized gas. It can cut through various conductive materials in seconds. These machines are available for typical material thicknesses.
The main components of a plasma system are:
- Power supply
It converts single or three-phase AC line voltage into a constant, smooth DC voltage. This DC voltage helps to maintain the plasma arc throughout the cut
- Arc starting console (ASC)
It produces an AC voltage to create a spark inside the plasma torch that generates a plasma arc.
- Plasma torch
It provides cooling and proper alignment of the consumables.
What are Some of the Plasma Cutting Applications In The Field
Over 50 years, plasma cutting technology is being used for metal cutting and processing. This process offers numerous conveniences over other cutting methods.
This technology also has enormous usability in the field. Plasma cutting machines are usable where there is the availability of air and power sources. Latest plasma cutting systems are possible to run on generators which are coupled with a fair-sized portable air compressor to deliver maximum and full performance.
Besides this, lightweight and compact portable plasma cutters are easy to transport. One of the big advantages of a plasma cutting machine is you only have to take the assembly that runs on compressed air. No flammable gases need to be transported. So, there is no risk of transporting flammable gases for plasma cutters.
Is plasma cutting machine is ideal only for thin materials?
“Plasma cutting technology is only applicable for thin metal/ materials”- in fact, this was true about 20 years ago for earlier handheld plasma cutters. At that time these could only meet the user’s expectation on performance for cutting thick metal/ materials.
However, with the advancement of modern plasma cutting technology, plasma cutter has overcome this problem. The advanced technology and design make this unit compact but powerful.
The modern plasma cutting units have smaller dimensions and increased duty cycles. Now, this machine is five times faster than any conventional mechanical cutting tool.
It also ensures cutting accuracy and precision. For these reasons a plasma cutting machine has been a “mostly desired cutting tool” on the market.
The advanced design of nozzles, torches, power and consumables has provided this tool with better cutting power and thicker penetration capacity. Hence, today plasma cutting machines are also able to cut through thicker materials up to 1-inch.
Is plasma cutting machine easy and safe to use?
Truly say, the underlying technology of the plasma cutting process is somewhat complicated. But this cutting machine is easy to operate. Even, novice users can achieve superior quality cutting results.
These machines are also safe to use. From the latest air plasma unit to Technocrats plasma system, no gases need to be regulated. What’s more, with additional features such as nozzle shielding, users don’t need to hold a standoff.
It makes the cutting process simple and easy as the operator drags the plasma torch along the surface of the workpiece. Most of the torches are also ergonomically designed and also have a quick-connect feature. These also enhance the ease of use of a plasma cutting system.
Is plasma cutting machine perfect only for cutting?
Plasma cutting machines are highly versatile. They are useful not only for cutting materials but also for piercing and beveling electrically conductive metals/ materials of all types, shapes and sizes.
Some plasma cutting systems are also excellent gouging tools. In fact, this system is considered to be one of the best gouging machines as it produces less noise and less smoke.
Can a plasma cutting machine be used for materials other than steel?
Many metalworkers purchase their first plasma cutting system to work on stainless steel. They believe that the plasma cutting system is perfect for steel and other ferrous materials only.
In fact, plasma cutting technology is more effective for cutting different conductive metals such as aluminum, copper, brass, and so on. But this technology is also useful for cutting many other non-ferrous metals also. It’s also ideal for cutting even dusted or painted metals.
With a plasma cutter, the non-linear cut is no more a hassle. For cutting expanded metals, it’s also an excellent option.
Additionally, for many different applications such as fabrication shops, industrial construction, automotive repair, salvage & scrapping operations, and so on a plasma cutter is a brilliant tool.
Amazingly, this tool is also usable for underwater cutting purposes.
In short, the plasma cutter is a perfect piece of equipment that has widespread uses from a personal or small shop to large-scale constructional CNC and industrial applications.
What is the best cheap plasma cutter?
With a plasma cutting machine, you’ll get exactly what you pay for. However, some lower-quality plasma cutters pose as being high-end. My recommendation is to go with a Lotos unit. Several models of this plasma cutter brand come with several great features that make those units a solid choice if you need a truly reliable and efficient machine for your small or DIY project. During my experiments, I’ve found Lotos Ltp5000d is the best plasma cutter under $500.
After reading through our article, hopefully, you feel like you know more about plasma cutter prices than when you started.
First, compare the price of this tool and consider your project requirement, then get the best plasma cutter.
All the best on your new plasma cutter shopping and future metalwork projects!
I’m Ivan D. Mitchell. I’m the Chief Engineer, Manufacturing Engineering Tool and Launch, specialising in automotive equipment design and build which meets World Class Manufacturing methodology. I have 15 years of work experience as a Tooling Specialist on some of the leading automotive manufacturing companies. When I launched this site, I wanted to create a platform where you’ll get everything about tools in one place. I also wanted to share my experience in the tool industry. I’ll do my best to share the information you need to truly make your tool using experience better. I hope you find our guides, reviews, information HELPFUL. If you have any inquiries, I’m always here to help you.