Best Plasma Cutter Under 500 To 1000 Dollars [Reviews & Buyers’ Guide]

Instead of spending thousands of bucks, how about, you can achieve almost the same result with the best plasma cutter under 500 dollars? Things get better if it has a pilot arc, right? From industrial to construction works, you can use it for your weekend garage works too.

If you are looking for a portable plasma cutter with built-in air compressor, you are in the right place. They are small in size but cut and pierce metals just like the bigger boys. 

Best Plasma Cutter Under 500 Dollars Comparison Table

Frankly speaking, only a few of them are doing great for now. But it takes a great deal of time to pick the right one. So, I have prepared a comparison table based on their popularity and recommendations from the experts and experienced users. 

ImageBrand/ModelDetailsPrice
Lotos LTP5000D
  • Pilot Arc? Yes
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LOTOS LT5000D
  • Feat. Air Inverter
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PRIMEWELD
  • Feat. Air Inverter
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Lotos LTPDC2000D
  • Pilot Arc? Yes
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Amico CUT-50
  • Feat. DC Inverter
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Cheap Plasma Cutter Under 500 Dollars Reviews 2020

If you have determined the right model, it’s time to read it’s the in-depth review. Though I strongly recommend reading all the reviews and then make up your mind. All the below units are most popular right now and have impressed a lot. 

Lotos LTP5000D Dual Voltage

From fine art to massive industrial packages, it’s suitable for everything! It’s highly reliable and lots of big names users have recommended this for people on the fence. Whereas other big brands would cost you 3x more, you will barely notice any differences in performance.

best plasma cutter under 500 from Lotos
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It can slice rotten rusty metals as you have never seen before. Lots of commercial weld shops have been using it a lot. Perfect for anything under 3/16 inch metal. With the right air and heat settings, there will be almost no slag. 

Even if you got a thick sheet metal and are wondering whether it can get the job done, yes it can. Just like butter, it can cut ⅜ inch mild steel. Many have tried it on 16 GA sheet metal, a piece of cake! With the right cutting speed, it can cut ¼ inch steel without any slag. And all of the above can be done on just 110v!

For the real test, many welders have tried to cut a very old rusty 1/2″ plate. They were amazed by seeing how beautifully this little thing cut it! Of course, you have to go slow for such situations. But do not doubt its power! It cuts thin metals like cutting papers with razors. It can cut 3/16 inches stainless steel flawlessly. 

If you are wondering how fast it eats the consumables, many have confirmed it’s normal. Also, consumables for the Lotos LTP5000D are very cheap. 

Out Of The Box Tips
To make the tip last longer, swipe a wire brush handy quickly over the cutting tip to remove excessive spatter. Also, you will notice airflow through the tip when you are done. This is normal to make the tip last longer. 

Now, watch its action in a video!

More Features

  • Features 6 feet long ground clamp and 13 feet long torch. 
  • Requires 5000-watt electricity. It’s dual voltage too. To use the regular 110v, you can get a pigtail too to cut up to ⅖ inch metals to use it as 110v plasma cutter. 
  • Pretty handy to deal with uneven or rusty metals. Thanks to the pilot arc! So if you are looking for the cheapest pilot arc plasma cutter for sale, this is it. No need to touch the tip of the metal as well.
  • For your safety, it uses non-hazardous compressed air to cut mild steel, copper,  stainless steel, alloy steel, and aluminum. 
  • Comes with two spare nozzles and electrodes. 
  • Highly portable. Thanks to its handle on the top. It’s a lightweight model that you can carry with one hand. Very easy to bring it to your work or anywhere you like.
  • To avoid slag, you should slow down when you try anything above ⅛ inch sheet metal.
  • Very easy installation. It should not take more than a few minutes to set it up.

Cons

  • Little consumables.
  • Short ground clamp. 
  • The gauge does not have any PSI marking on the air regulator.

 

LOTOS LT5000D 50A Air Inverter

Another Lotos plasma cutter with built in compressor that’s got huge appreciation and recommendations. This is not a frills machine but it works great. After completing several metal art projects and cutting ⅜ inch metals efficiently, people have come to the conclusion that it’s the real deal!

LOTOS LT5000D 50A Air Inverter
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It’s powerful enough to hold 65 PSI and for that, you don’t have to get any extra powerful regulator. The regulator comes with it, is more than enough. Cutting rusty ⅝ inches steel is smooth and consistent. Yes, it will be slow but for the price, it’s really great investment as a garage project machine. 

Yes, it’s a dual-voltage model but it does not have to run on 240v always. For the 120VAC, just get a converter cable and you can take it anywhere you want. All you have to do is make sure the service panel has a decent sized breaker and a wall receptacle. 

Not just for ornamental steel and iron designs, it can do a lot more than that. After cutting the stock steel plate having 4″ wide 1/8″ flat, many have said it’s small in size but a solid one. I know someone made a rotisserie smoker for that he cut ⅜ inch steel without any issue. 

So, it’s not just a hobbyist tool, you can make a lot of money using it for your creative works. It’s not suitable for shop use because of its plastic made hose and cover, but for occasional usage, it’s a great portable plasma cutter with built in air compressor.

It runs smooth and cuts clean and for the price, this is truly another best plasma cutter under 500 dollars. Again, for the price, it’s simply unbeatable. It brings two wonders for you. First, the price will wonder you, and then, the performance will ‘wow’ you. Works really great. 

Useful Tips
After cutting for hours, if the arc does not stay in one place (it happens sometimes), make sure the air pressure is set to 65psi @3.6 CFM or above. Also, double-check whether the metal is clean. If the problem continues, contact LOTOS tech support. 

Pros & More Features

  • Requires 3.6scfm @ 65PSI air pressure. 
  • Again, another dual voltage model from LOTOS. If you plan to run it on 110v, make sure you have 40 amps. Also, for 220v, make sure to use L5-30A 220V plug.
  • For a generator, it requires an 8000-watt generator.
  • Comes with two nozzles and two electrodes. If you have a better cutting skill, you can use them for a long time. 
  • Since it comes with an air regulator, you don’t need to buy any air compressor. 
  • Cuts any mild steel very clean.
  • Lasts really long. Many have been using it for years.
  • For stable performance and to ensure its durability, it features an advanced RAPST cooling system. 

Cons

  • Expensive consumables to replace.
  • It does not have a pilot arc but perfect for any clean metals. 

 

PRIMEWELD Premium

Other than LOTOS, it’s another great choice that cuts clean and works really well. Already impressed a lot. You will be amazed seeing how lightweight and portable it is that can perform its functions as expected. Fixing things and creating beautiful things are so much easier now. 

PRIMEWELD Premium
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With smooth and fast cutting, you will love the quality of the cut. Apart from the solid torch and higher quality ground clamp, just the trigger will give you a nice feeling. It’s inexpensive and within your budget. But the performance is great and cut metals like the highly expensive Hypertherm machine!

With just the 110v set up, you can cut up to ⅛ inch steel smoothly. Anything above is also possible with 220v. With the comfortable position and if you go slow, you can cut ½ inch plates easily with 80 PSI air pressure at the rate of 50 amps. 

Of course, that depends on how good you are too. Thanks to the dual-voltage cutter that has made life easier a lot now.  Let me remind you that if you go too fast you may find sparks on the tip and that’s not the fault of the machine. 

It’s like cutting paper with scissors when it comes to cut 3/16 inch steel. And with little to no effort at all, it can cut ¼ inch steel. From a 2 inches pipe to ⅜ inches steel wall, you can do a lot more than your expectations. The consumables seem to last relatively well too.

You got nothing to worry about your investment. Their after-sales service and tech supports are awesome. They are there to take care of any problems for a very long time. Many have praised their amazing customer service. There is no chance you will be disappointed.

More Features & Pros

  • Compact and lightweight. And the sturdy top handlebar has made it a great handheld portable plasma cutter. 
  • Not just for home and hobby use, it’s perfect for construction and industrial works too. 
  • For the faster and distortionless workpiece, it’s a great choice for the money.
  • It provides steady output for thin metals and high power output for the thick metals. Thanks to its MOSFET transistors!
  • Features drag/contact tip torch. You will find the trigger on the bottom side.
  • 12 feet torch lead and cables.
  • You will be needing the compressed air of  3.6 cfm @ 65 psi. 
  • You don’t need any plug for this. It comes wired with 220 plug. 
  • I don’t know if you need to know this, but it works with a 6500 to 8000-watt generator too. 
  • Courteous customer service like you have never experienced before.

Cons

  • Smaller length leads.
  • Chincy hoses. 
  • No pilot arc. So, if you have plans to cut dirty/rusty metals, it’s not for you. 

 

Lotos Plasma Cutter [Model: LTPDC2000D]

Another pilot arc plasma cutter for sale from LOTOS and its popularity is increasing day by day. And if you need a stick or MIG welding machine with a plasma cutter within your budget, I strongly recommend it. To tell you the truth, experienced people from marine and automotive industries have recommended it a lot. 

Lotos Plasma Cutter
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Since it has the arc pilot, just pull the trigger! No need to clean the dirty rusty metals first or you don’t have to worry about uneven metals. You will love how smoothly it cuts ¼ inch or ¾ inch steel. It surprised a lot of cutting thick metals already. 

Not just the heavily rusted steel, you will find cutting the aluminum so easy. You will get about an inch of plasma when you ignite the torch and then it cuts most metal types you wish to cut. At just 80 AMPS, it cuts ¼ inch mild steel surprisingly well. You will hardly notice any slag.

Many metalworking shops have recommended it because of its versatile operation. It’s flexible and economical that cuts clean and very quickly. So, not just for small home projects, it’s perfect to make your business more profitable. From car fenders to 28 gauge sheet steel, it’s really efficient to cut them.

Not just for the professionals, even if you have never used a Lotos plasma cutter under $100 – it’s a perfect choice for you. The setup is just a matter of a few minutes. Besides, the welder and the cutter combo is a good deal for beginners. 

It comes with 3 consumables. With just the one, many beginners have cut 3/4 inch ar500 steel hours after hours continuously without any issue. For cutting such thick hard steel for hours, these consumables last really well. You have to be careful about the speed and airflow to get optimal results. 

More Features & Pros

  • Being an inverter machine, it can be your go-to handheld portable plasma cutter!
  • Need to weld dirty metals too? You will love the stick/MIG welding functionalities.
  • Anemic plasma torch function. Whereas the tig uses 100% pure argon, the plasma needs air. 
  • Nice safety feature with automatic shut off when it gets too hot.
  • If it is wired to 220v, the clamp can accept 5/32 rod and there won’t be any issue burning them. 
  • Features 10 feet long leads. You can order longer leads too separately. 
  • As usual, it’s dual voltage. But you will be surprised how well it cuts with just the 110v. However, you should wire it to the 220v for the intense work.

Cons

  • It’s not a plasma cutter with built-in compressor, you have to get your own air compressor.
  • No pedal. 
  • Since it’s a DC unit, you can’t weld aluminum.

Amico CUT-50

After comparing reviews, features, etc. among lots of plasma cutters of various brands, many have ended up buying this one from Amico. Many of you know the brand to deliver high-quality stick welders, right? You can cut and pierce ½ inch metal like butter without a cleanup requirement if done right. 

Amico CUT-50
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Of course, it’s a dual-voltage plasma cutter under 500 dollars and you should always stick to the 220v to cut mild steel. But to give you an idea of how great it is, you can cut a rusted steering shaft setting it up at 110 volts at just 20 amps. 

Without any problem, it cuts sheet metal with 110VAC. Slicing ¼ inch crusty angles flawlessly are now so easy! Those who are looking for a reasonably priced plasma cutter, this is it!

This bad boy is not just for home use, it’s a perfect choice to fabricate machine parts at your work/shop too. Frankly speaking, it can cut thicker metals better than what I have reviewed above. The trick is you just have to cut thicker metals slowly and you will get flawless results.

If you compare it with other brands like  Harbor Freight, it has better air pressure. Many have patched truck body cutting 3/16 inch steel, and it was easy and the cut was clean. Awesome fast cut without any mess! A lot have confirmed that the cut quality is fantastic. 

It’s a great tool to have in your arsenal. For your realistic jobs, it’s perfect. Even if you set the air pressure on 30 to 40 PSI (green), it can cut ½ inch thick metal. Cutting ⅛ inch metals will give you the experience of cutting butter. Considering its lower cost, it’s another best plasma cutter for the money. 

Pros & More Features

  • Perfect option for industrial and constructional works. However, you can use it as your weekend garage work too.
  • Comes in pure black color.
  • Auto-voltage adaptations. Thanks to its plug adapters. 
  • It takes any standard consumables. Slices steel better than your expectations. If you think it can’t cut a thicker metal, bring it on!
  • Reduced fire hazard and less noxious gas. I strongly recommend you wearing an auto-darkening helmet though. Better prepared than sorry.
  • 50 AMP breaker is required. 
  • Features built-in air dryer. But you have to get a decent air compressor to keep up. You don’t need any gas though. 
  • Huge longevity, so you are investing in a very good machine. 
  • Easy to set up within minutes.
  • Caring after-sales support. They really stand behind their units. Lots of impressed users just because of their tech support. 

Cons

  • No pilot arc 🙁 Many miss this great feature. 
  • A few internal air leak issues. Contact tech support for remedy. 
Buying Guide For The Best Plasma Cutter Under 500 Dollars

lotos plasma cutter

Behind the technology is changing rapidly. In the past, you did not expect such brilliant performances from such tiny in size cheap plasma cutters. Some come with air regulators and some don’t. There are a lot of things to consider even if you have a decent budget and want to get the best plasma cutter under $1000. 

If you are a beginner, it becomes serious that you consider all the important features before you make your pick. So, these the important factors you should keep in your mind:

Thickness of Metals

If you plan to use it in your workshop to make your business more profitable, this is the first thing you should consider. Dealing with heavier metals like 1 inch or ½ inch requires a powerful one. In this case, Amico should be your choice. But if you need a plasma cutter for metal art or other light applications, all the rest 4 are good choices. 

Drag Technology

For smooth metal cutting, you should seriously pay your attention here. Without the drag technology, there will be inconsistency in the end result, lack of precision as well. For your metal art project, this is a must-have feature. 

Speed of Consumables Eating

If you are in this game for a while now, you may notice consumables may become expensive too, right? Some plasma cutters eat consumables fast, so you will be buying them a lot. I would pick the one that requires the replacement of such consumables less frequently. 

Lightweight & Portable

If this is for your home projects, you need to consider how portable it is. So, it has to be lightweight because you will carry it with your one hand. And definitely it should have a sturdy handle on the top to carry it easily. If you use it professionally in your workshop, portability plays a great role too. People need a tiny one because they need a handheld portable plasma cutter. 

Cutting Speed

It’s a complex issue that needs some elaboration. Of course, you should pick the one that cuts fast and be done with your project already. Almost all the modern plasma cutters are fast and all the models that I reviewed above cuts mildly thick metals really fast. But let me remind you the quality of the cut depends on your skill largely. You may create a mess if you cut too fast. 

Durability

I know they are inexpensive and you can buy almost all of them with just $400 to $500, but that does not mean they won’t last for a fair period of years. In fact, they last so many years that you don’t last for these long periods. Read their warranty period to have an idea.

Positive Reviews

What did the maximum users say about the one you intend to buy? If there are hundreds of thousands of positive feedbacks and recommendations, you should be confident about having that one. 

Final Verdict

LOTOS is the right brand to pick the best plasma cutter under 500 dollars. It has the pilot arc and it can cut mild steels fast without any hassle. Yes, I am talking about the first one I reviewed above. It’s fairly priced and I am super confident you won’t regret having this for a very long time.

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