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, a plasma cutting machine is the best option.
Plasma cutting is the most efficient cutting processes used in manufacturing and construction industries.
If you’re somehow involved in the construction or manufacturing industry, you might know about this amazing machine.
But, how much is a plasma cutter?- 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 are 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.
So, what is a good cheap plasma cutter?
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.
Mid-Range Plasma Cutter
If you plan to invest some more money on a plasma cutter, you may go for a mid-range option. Keep it 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 the marginal price range. For medium-level professional cutting tasks or medium construction object, 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 site, steel manufacturing industry or automobile production industry.
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 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 that eliminates 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 effect on 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.
Additional Information- Nice to Learn
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 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 plasma arc.
- Plasma torch
It provides cooling and proper alignment of the consumables.
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 makes 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 tools.
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 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 to say, the underlying technology of plasma cutting process is a somewhat complicated. But this cutting machine is easy to operate. Even, the novice user 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 machine 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 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.
Plasma Cutting Applications In The Field
Over 50 years, the 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 source. 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.
Most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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 price 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 future metalwork projects!