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Plasma cutters are nifty equipment but they come with a bane of bulky price tags, especially when you want a reliable premium-grade model. Does that mean users who are on a budget should give up their passion of tinkering with metal materials? Of course not. I would suggest looking hard and looking in the right direction to find the best plasma cutter under $500.
I know cheap price tags make people suspicious about a product’s reliability, but that’s why we are here right now. The list that we have here for you contains plasma cutters from some famous and others not-so-famous brands to meet the demands of almost any kind of metal-cutting and welding related projects. I can assure you that like any expensive model all these units also contain the same components with considerable strength, cutting capacity and more or less same nifty features, to successfully finish any metal-cutting job. The only major difference is that of cost that is kept to the lower spectrum to make them more budget-friendly.
Top 10 Plasma Cutters under $500
The list below will provide you with strengths and weaknesses of all the products to help you find the right model for your work demands.
LOTOS LT5000D Plasma Cutter
Amico Power CUT-50 Plasma Cutter
PRIMEWELD CUT50 Plasma Cutter
ZENY CUT-50 Plasma Cutter
SUPER DEAL Plasma Cutter (CUT 50)
SUNCOO 50 Amp Plasma Cutter
HITBOX HBC5500 Plasma Cutter
Forney Easy Weld Plasma Cutter
VIVOHOME Portable DC Inverter Plasma Cutter
CORAL CUT50 Plasma Cutter
1. Lotos 5000D Plasma Cutter
This plasma cutter is a constant whenever you look for a list of the best plasma cutters under $500. It’s cheap price is just the tip of an iceberg. With this you’ll not have to worry about sub quality construction usually associated with cheaply-priced products.
I really liked that, despite the cut in price, it comes loaded with some nifty features to deliver premium-grade performance. Almost all of you will appreciate the easy setup which is made possible with pre-installed NPT D plug and air filter regulator, they quickly connect to the air compressor to let you get on with work. Moreover, its dual-voltage capability will further release any hassle. Just plug it in any power source and it will run like a gazelle.
All these details hint at one thing i.e. user’s convenience and care is Lotos’s top priority. Keeping that in mind, its safety is also unquestionable. The device has a built-in cooling mechanism and uses non-hazardous compressed air to ensure your metal-cutting projects are accomplished without any harm, to both machine and user.
Also, the inclusion of pilot-arc along with the machine’s capability to deliver swift and clean cuts of 1/2-inch on any metal material makes it a solid deal.
- Pilot-arc starting torch.
- Safe and user-friendly setup and operation.
- It can neatly cut metal of 1/2-inch thickness.
- Dual-voltage capability.
- Quality of some components is compromised.
- A separate 120V connector needs to be purchased.
- Not suitable for heavy projects.
2. Amico Power CUT-50 Plasma Cutter
We placed this on second because like our top pick, Lotos 5000D, this one is also going to make you swoon with its equally low cost and efficient performance. Just look at the amount of flexibility and versatility you get with its ability to automatically adapt to voltage from 100-240V. With this worry about where to find the right power source is thrown out of the window.
It gets even better with the torch design that is composed of heat-resistant material to ensure smooth grip with no burning throughout the cutting procedure. In the backdrop of this, I can assure you that you’ll be able to deliver clean cuts on any ferrous material with up to 1.0” thickness.
My most favorite part is the less fuss that it entails – less maintenance, less slag to clean up, less fire hazard and toxic gases. Lastly, put solid construction to the equation and it becomes evident that this gem can handle any assignment, be it a light domestic one or a demanding industrial or construction project.
- Ideal for both hobbyists and home use and demanding industrial projects.
- Safe and easy operation.
- Auto-voltage adapting ability, (100-240V).
- Capable of cutting metal of up to 1.0” gauge.
- Might encounter occasional air leaks.
- No pilot-arc.
3. PRIMEWELD CUT50 Plasma Cutter
You’ll be amazed to see how much you can get for a low price only if you look in the right direction. In this case we have brought the “right direction” to you in the shape of this Primeweld plasma cutter. I am sure half of your mind will be made just by knowing that not only is this low-costing, but also comes in a rugged build – keeping the portability intact for hassle-free storage and transportation. This makes it a top weapon of choice of DIY fanatics and hobbyists.
Its lightweight construction has no negative impact on the machine’s overall performance. It promises to pristinely cut any conductive material of ½” thickness and that’s exactly what it does when put to actual test. It is specifically designed to provide high and stable power output for thick and light metal accordingly, without distorting the metal piece at hand, to ensure optimal performance.
Moreover, with its automatic dual-voltage (110/220V) functionality, you’ll not have to keep relocating the device to find a suitable power input nearby worksite. In the end, looking at the 3-year warranty that it offers, I would say it’s as best as it can get.
- Rugged build in a portable body.
- Automatic dual-voltage functionality.
- Maximum metal-cutting thickness of 1/2-inch.
- 3-years warranty.
- Its scratch start torch requires consumables more frequently.
- A little slow on 120V.
4. ZENY CUT-50 Plasma Cutter
When it comes to best cheapest plasma cutters available, nothing can beat Zeny DC inverter plasma cutter. This will be a treat for passionate DIYers as the design and construction is focused on strength without compromising on lightweightedness and easy-to-carry quality. You might have guessed it but I’ll say it anyway; it’s a reliable companion for general repairing projects and DIY assignments alike.
It’s compatibility to connect with both 110V and 220v power sources makes its operation a breeze. Zeny really surprises you with its effective cutting performance because one would think of it to be a flimsy machine due to lightweight construction, but it can actually make smooth and neat cuts on metals of 1-12mm thickness.
With its energy saving ability and increased efficiency, that results due to the incorporation of advanced cooling mechanism for cutting torch, it’s without any doubt the best machine that will let you enjoy such impressive performance for the price.
- Sturdy and lightweight.
- Runs on both 110V and 220V.
- Cuts any metal sheet of over ½” thickness.
- Suitable for DIY and regular repair projects.
- Highly efficient performance.
- Setup is a tad bit tricky to understand.
- Weak arc power due to sub-quality air regulator.
5. SUPER DEAL Plasma Cutter (CUT 50)
Super Deal isn’t just a catchy phrase, it’s a promise that what this machine offers for a budgeted price can only be described by that: “Super Deal.” I can see the judgemental look on your face – “it’s cheap, so it’s definitely trash.” Not in this case. This one is constructed with heavy-duty iron to give it longevity. That’s how it’s able to meet the needs of anyone including an occasional hobbyist and pro welders.
What really pleased me, and will definitely appease many users, is its clear digital display and air-pressure gauge. Together they turn the whole operation into a walk in a park. Besides, there are plenty of built-in protection mechanisms which ensure that along with ease-of-use you also get complete safety throughout the cutting session.
And now the crowning feature, which is my personal favorite because it allows it to surpass some pricey rivals, is its special PRO technology. It not only makes the machine energy-efficient but also brings stability to its overall performance. Throw any task including metal-cutting, fabrication, or light industrial project and you’ll realise that my previous statement wasn’t exaggeration.
- Tough construction.
- Safe and easy operation.
- Stable and efficient performance.
- Pilot-arc is present.
- Can be used for a variety of applications.
- NPT threads are of weaker quality.
- Placement of cord is tad bit difficult.
6. SUNCOO CUT-50 Plasma Cutter
Price tag and brand name are not always the best indicators for judging the reliability of a product and that’s why we included this model by Suncoo in our list. It’s not as famous as Lotos, but works equally well. Like most models on our list, this one also has the ability to automatically switch between 110/220V, giving users a leeway to run it on most worksites.
More amazing is its digital display and the control that you’ll have to adjust its current output from 20-50 amps. This makes it able to smoothly cut a metal material of up to 1/2-inch thickness without the possibility of deforming it.
The highlight of this model lies in its heavy-duty construction because that’s where you actually witness the height of superior workmanship. Despite the beefy built, it’s super lightweight and portable. With its shoulder strap, you can carry it almost anywhere. Moreover, the sturdy build gives it versatility to take on a vast variety of tough construction and industrial works as well as light home and DIY projects without any trouble.
You can trust this one with your and your money’s safety because it comes integrated with safety features for heat dissipation and overvoltage and overcurrent protection, eliminating any dangers that can damage the machine.
- Durable, lightweight and portable.
- Automatic dual-voltage compatibility.
- Current adjustment from 20-50 amps.
- Metal cutting capacity of 1/2-inch.
- Hassle-free setup.
- Non-pilot arc mechanism.
- Setup might be a little baffling, especially for beginners.
7. HITBOX HBC5500 Plasma Cutter
This plasma cutter is an epic illustration of “less becoming more.” Don’t believe just my word, look for yourself. In well under $500 bucks, this comes with everything to make it a reliable pro-grade plasma cutting machine. Its ability to cut metal plates of up to 16mm thickness with finesse is a proof of it being a solid deal. Now, you can cut metal in various routes including galvanized pipes without any trouble.
My personal favorite is its humanized design to make it as easy for use as possible. The presence of a built-in air compressor not only saves you money but also furthers the purpose of convenient usage. In addition, equipping it with LCD display and a sturdy handle takes ease-of-use and carrying to a whole new level.
With 220V power input and DC inverter IGBT technology, running it will not be a problem once it’s plugged in a suitable power source. Also, working with this you’ll be completely at ease since the machine assures safety of operation, thanks to use of non-hazardous compressed air and electro circuit protection to prevent voltage and current fluctuation.
Its high quality components not only ensure lasting durability but also increase its work efficiency by 40% compared to other competing models.
Lastly, with a 1-year warranty what else is left there to fret about?
- Professional-grade machine at a budgeted price.
- LCD display for easy control.
- Cuts up to a 16mm thick metal plate.
- Safe operation.
- 1-year warranty.
- It’s not a dual voltage machine.
- Occasional air gauge leaks.
8. Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P
We picked this plasma cutter to blow away all your misconceptions about cheap being not good for anything. This unit will not cost you a fortune but it still has a solid structuring to give a tough competition to some high-end expensive plasma cutters.
Its working on metal will also leave you surprised. With the help of its drag-cutting technology you’ll be able to get clean and precise cuts on any metal sheet as long as it is under the cutting capacity of 1/4-inch thickness.
You should thank the beefy construction that allows this beast to take on any demanding metal-cutting task. However, let me clear your doubts. Although the machine has iron build, it’s still very lightweight to be easily transported or stored.
Coming towards the crown jewel, it has a unique troubleshooting guide that makes use of a colour light to indicate any form of glitch in the machine.
I really liked how Forney has kept the setup and use to the simplest to make it at par with needs of hobbyists and handymen. A 120V power source is all that’s needed and you’ll be ready to get on with work.
And with a 12-month warranty, I don’t think there’s anything left for you to fuss over.
- Durable and portable build.
- User-friendly design.
- Pre-installed troubleshooting guide for indication of glitches.
- Designed for hobbyists and passionate DIYers.
- Cleanly cuts a metal plate of 1/4-inch gauge.
- Cannot endure heavy-duty professional use.
- Only compatible with 120V power input.
9. VIVOHOME CUT-50 Plasma Cutter
This model of plasma cutter is included in the list because it has everything from inexpensive price to durable build to efficient working to make it suffice for light metal-cutting assignments.
With its 20-50A power output, it empowers the user to cut a metal object of up to 3/4-inch thickness with precision. Also, with a 60% duty cycle at 50A, it will deliver continuous cutting. I find it quite impressive considering the cheap price.
Moreover, with its flexible nature to run on both, either on110V or 220V, you’ll have no trouble using it on almost any jobsite.
The thing that might be a put off for many users is its non-pilot arc which means, due to constant contact of the torch’s tip with the metal surface during cutting, its versatility and convenience during operation is quite limited.
However, you’ll be pleased to find out that it makes up for the loss with portability which is increased with a shoulder strap – it helps in carrying the machine wherever you want.
- Inexpensive option for lighter projects.
- Able to run on 110V or 220V.
- Smoothly cuts a metal plate of 3/4-inch thickness.
- Power cord is short.
- Limited versatility due to non-pilot arc.
10. CORAL CUT50 Plasma Cutter
This plasma cutter has the looks, strength and performance to steal the limelight when placed among premium-grade models. It’s called one of the best plasma cutters under $500 because it’s a true depiction of superior craftsmanship as the machine comes with a rugged yet lightweight framing.
Equally appreciable is its no-fuss usage which has been made possible with its compatibility with dual voltage (110/220V) and the inclusion of digital LCD display. Together, they make its operation a walk in the garden. Another perk that makes life and work easier, it’s also associated with dual voltage, is that it will come in handy on a broad range of worksites.
Metal cutting is the prime concern and I can assure you that it will no longer remain a concern because this unit cuts through metal like a knife slices through butter. Any metal item within 1-20mm thickness is a cinch for it.
Considering all the above, it’s suffice to say that this one will prove to be a reliable inclusion in armories of seasoned welders and metal workers.
- Durable and portable design.
- Can work on both, either 110V or 220V.
- Easy-to-read LCD display.
- Delivers clean cuts on metal materials of 1-20mm thickness.
- Suitable for pro welders and metal workers.
- Setup isn’t very easy.
- Perfect air pressure is hard to figure out.