Best Budget Plasma Cutter Under $500

Welcome to my article about the best budget plasma cutters under $500! Before I get into the pros and cons of my top 7 models, let’s first discuss why you might want to consider a budget plasma cutter as opposed to a high-tier one in the first place.

Best Budget Plasma Cutter Under $500 – Introduction

A plasma cutter is an efficient piece of equipment well-suited for multiple cutting applications from auto repair, to restoration work, to home, recreational, or metal art projects.

If you use plasma cutters occasionally for your hobbies, or are just starting out, a professional-grade plasma cutter that has a high price tag probably won’t be ideal for you.

There are affordable plasma cutters available that can provide excellent cutting performance and withstand regular usage without the high price, meaning that you can get started on your project without too much of an investment or risk.

So if you’re on the lookout for the best budget plasma cutter, read on as I present you the best ones under $500 available today. They may not be able to outgun the $1000 cutters, but rest assured they will still deliver high-quality results.

At A Glance

The best budget plasma cutters under $500 are:

  • PrimeWeld Cut50D Air Inverter Plasma Cutter
  • Lotos LT3500 Plasma Cutter
  • Zeny DC Inverter Plasma Cutter
  • PrimeWeld CT-520D 3 in 1 Plasma Cutter
  • Forney Easy Weld 251 Plasma Cutter
  • Lotos LTP5000D Plasma Cutter
  • Super Deal DC Inverter Plasma Cutter

From the list above, here are my top picks:

Most Affordable
Best Value
Highest Rated
Lotos LT3500 Plasma Cutter
PrimeWeld Cut50D Plasma Cutter
PrimeWeld CT-520D 3 in 1 Plasma Cutter
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Reviews of the Top 7 Best Budget Plasma Cutters Under $500

PrimeWeld Cut50D Air Inverter Plasma Cutter

Best Value Plasma Cutter Overall!

primeweld cut50D plasma cutter

The PrimeWeld Cut50D Air Inverter Plasma Cutter takes the position of my favorite, best value plasma cutter out of all the models reviewed in this article!

This cutter is suitable for stainless steel, mild steel, alloy steel, copper, and aluminum. Its high-frequency arc control and adjustable current flow and speed provide capabilities of cutting into 1/2”-thick metals, with a maximum severance cut thickness of up to ¾”. These features also mean faster cutting with less distortion.

It features state-of-the-art inverter technology which makes this unit lightweight and compact for easy transport. The MOSFET transistors provide powerful and steady power output that is perfect for cutting thick metals, yet quiet at the same time.

It comes with adjustable, dual-voltage compatibility, enabling you to adjust between 110V and 220V easily. This makes it great for more detailed projects that might need a range of cutting strengths.

The Primeweld 50A comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty which is great as models within the same price range usually offer only up to 1 year.

I think the PrimeWeld Cut50 has more features, and performs better, than any other plasma cutter in it’s price range. It’s also really easy to use, versatile, and a great option for a beginner looking to purchase their own plasma cutter for the first time.

As such, this is the best value budget plasma cutter available today! If you’re unsure which plasma cutter to purchase out of the ones reviewed in this article, we recommend the Cut50.

Pros

  • Lightweight at a mere 23 lbs.
  • Built-in overheating and power fluctuation protection
  • Comes with an air filter that reduces the amount of noxious gas produced during use
  • Consumables are cheap and readily available
  • Excellent value for money
  • Versatile and beginner friendly

Cons

  • Non-pilot arc start
  • Not suitable for prolonged or extended use
  • The machine tends to use consumables faster

Lotos LT3500 35 Amp Air Plasma Cutter

Most Affordable Plasma Cutter!

lotos lt3500 plasma cutter

The Lotos LT3500 35 Amp Air Plasma Cutter is one of the most affordable plasma cutters available today, and the most affordable out of all the models reviewed in this article (I chose not to include any other plasma cutter under $180 in this article as their quality wasn’t up to scratch).

The Lotos LT3500 offers incredible value, performance and durability for it’s price, and is a compact machine best designed for light-duty cutting and small industrial projects.

It is a 35-amp digital inverter plasma cutter suitable for alloy steel, stainless steel, copper, mild steel, and aluminum. Its maximum rated clean-cut thickness is 2/5” while the maximum severance thickness is 3/5″.

It measures only 14” x 5.5” x 9”, making it quite small and compact, and super easy to transport to different job sites.

It runs on 110V so you can easily use your standard 110V wall outlet. It also has an automatic dual-frequency capability at 50 or 60 Hz. Compared to oxyhydrogen cutting, this plasma cutter is safer, quicker, and more cost-efficient.

It has a built-in air filter regulator with an NPT 1/4” industry type-D plug that is ready to connect to your air compressor.

It comes with a 30-day refund or replacement guarantee and a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.

If you’re looking for a really low budget option, the Lotos LT3500 is the plasma cutter for you. Unlike other plasma cutters at such a low price range, the Lotos LT3500 is still durable, reliable, and provides a good quality cut.

It’s a great option for those purchasing a plasma cutter for the first time and want a budget option without all the bells and whistles.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Equipped with pilot arc and HF start function for precise cuts
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Equipped with a built-in cooling system

Cons

  • Does not have a dual voltage system
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty use
  • Produces more spatter thus producing more post-work clean-up

ZENY DC Inverter Plasma Cutter

zeny dc inverter plasma cutter

The ZENY DC Inverter Plasma Cutter is another highly affordable plasma cutter, with a solid build that comes with a number of impressive features.

It measures 19” x 14” x 11” and weighs 24.4 lbs. It is compact and lightweight enough to be extremely portable and easy to transport.

This plasma cutter is equipped with inverter technology that provides steady power output while saving up to 50% of energy consumption. It is built to provide clean and flawless cutting results for different-sized metal sheets.

It runs on either 110 V or 220 V, with 3.5 or 4.8 kva, 16 or 22A fuse, 20 to 50A current range, and 230 no-load voltage. It has a 60% duty cycle that provides 85% cutting efficiency.

It has an easy-to-read front panel that displays the air pressure gauge, the maximum input, and output current.

Its cutting thickness capability ranges from 1 mm up to a maximum of 12 mm. It is suitable for use with stainless steel, aluminum, mild steel, and copper.

Whilst I prefer the Lotos LT3500 over the Zeny DC, this is still another great little model that is highly affordable.

Pros

  • Equipped with a pilot arc-striking system that gives quick starts and clean cuts
  • It has over-heat and over-voltage protection from its cooling fan
  • It also comes with a pair of goggles to protect your eyes.
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Directions for setting up are quite complicated.
  • Air regulator is not the best quality and tends to weaken the power of the pilot arc.

PrimeWeld CT-520D 3-in-1 Plasma Cutter

Highest Rated Plasma Cutter!

PrimeWeld CT-520D 3-in-1 Plasma Cutter

The PrimeWeld CT-520D Plasma Cutter is a 3-in-1 plasma cutter unit suitable for a variety of welding and cutting functions. It’s also my highest rated, and best performance, plasma cutter out of all the ones reviewed in this article.

You can use it as a TIG welder, a stick welder, and a plasma cutter. It is quite versatile.

It features an IGBT inverter technology that allows you to switch easily from the TIG function to the stick welder and back. This also makes the transformer lightweight and compact, perfect for transport from your home or through various job sites.

It has a duty cycle of 60% with a maximum power efficiency of 85% and is able to cut through cast iron, steel, cobalt, aluminum, titanium, copper, magnesium, and nickel alloys with great accuracy and precision up to ½” thick.

It comes with accessories and consumables that are high-quality, from the TIG torch to the electrode holder for the stick welder function.

This machine is covered by a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.

If you’re looking to invest in a mid-tier plasma cutter, the PrimeWeld CT-520D is the plasma cutter I recommend. It’s still affordable enough for most beginners while offering amazing versatility, durability and cutting quality.

Pros

  • Dual voltage and dual-frequency capacity
  • Low noise output
  • Easy to read user manual
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Leads are a bit short which can lead to poor connections
  • Can be difficult to set up and operate for the first time
  • Starting mechanism does not have a high frequency nor blow-back arc

Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma Cutter

forney easy weld 251 plasma cutter

The Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P Plasma Cutter is a powerful yet user-friendly plasma cutter that is ideal for applications such as sheet metal to thin plate cutting, auto body, farm and ranch, HVAC, plumbing, metal art, and DIY projects.

It measures 15.125″ x 8.125″ x 11.57″ and weighs 21.5 lbs. It is suitable for use on mild steel, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, galvanized steel, and copper up to 1/4” thickness, and aluminum up to 3/16″.

Its input power is 120V at 20A or 15A with a rated output of 20A. It has a duty cycle of 35% at 20 A, and an air pressure requirement of 60 – 100 PSI.

Its drag torch technology allows you to drag the cutting tip directly with the metal you are working on to give you smooth and consistently clean cuts.

It is also a generator-friendly plasma cutter with a minimum rated continuous output of 4500W.

Pros

  • Equipped with a built-in air dryer for clean air emissions
  • The cooling fan ensures even cooling of the machine during prolonged use.
  • Its thermal overload protection automatically stops the machine in cases where the duty cycle is subjected to undue pressure.
  • The post-flow system extends the lifespan of the consumables.

Cons

  • The expected duty cycle is extended resulting in a lower duration.

LOTOS LTP5000D Plasma Cutter

lotos ltp5000d plasma cutter

The LOTOS LTP5000D Plasma Cutter is a compact unit that provides solid cutting results even on rough or dirty surfaces.

This is made possible by its pilot arc feature that proves effective on metals such as stainless steel, mild steel, alloy steel, copper, mild steel, and aluminum, making it an outstanding option for DIY home projects and light-duty business jobs.

It is equipped with Pulse-Width-Modulation or PWM technology and MOSFET/IGBT transistors that supply steady DC welding currents and reduces the size and weight of the main unit yet increasing power efficiency by 30%.

It measures 15” x 6” x 12” and weighs 26 lbs. Its lightweight and compact design plus carry handle makes it extremely portable.

Its maximum severance cut thickness is 3/4”, for mild steel it is 5/8” at 50A, for stainless steel it is 1/2” at 50A, and for aluminum, it is 1/2”.

Pros

  • Non-touch pilot arc allows cutting without touching the tip to the metal prolonging the lifespan of consumables.
  • It has a dual voltage and dual-frequency capability.

Cons

  • It does not come with a pigtail that is necessary for proper use of the tool.
  • It doesn’t have a guarded torch trigger.
  • It has a short standoff.

SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter

super deal dc plasma cutter

The SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter is an efficient and cost-effective alternative to the traditional methods of cutting metals. It is suitable for both professional and DIY users.

It features PRO technology that provides more stable performance with a high duty cycle that results in reduced power consumption. Its high speed, high temperature, and high-energy plasma draught provides more efficient and economical results.

It is suitable for sheet metal fabrication, automotive work, light industrial use, ducting work, and repair and maintenance services.

It is a 240-volt plasma cutter with an easy-to-read digital display. It is capable of cutting through metals up to ½” thick and does it 1.8 times faster than any flame cutter.

It has an easy dial function where you can choose up to 50 Amp of maximum input current, an adjustable output current, and allowing you to choose between 2.5 or 5 seconds of continuous air to cool off your torch quickly between cuts.

Pros

  • It is quite easy to set up.
  • It has built-in over- and under-voltage protection.
  • It has a cooling fan that dissipates excess heat.

Cons

  • The user manual is quite difficult to understand.
  • It is not suitable for prolonged cutting or cutting metals more than 1/2” thick.
  • The unit does not come with an air hose and plug which can add to your costs.

Best Budget Plasma Cutter Under $500 – Conclusion

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review of the best budget plasma cutters under $500! Here is a recap of the plasma cutters I most recommend:

  • Lotos LT3500 – Most affordable option, great for those on a tight budget or looking to spend the least amount of money possible (while still getting a plasma cutter that is actually worth it)
  • PrimeWeld Cut50 – Best value option, great for those who want the best features and highest quality for the most reasonable price. This is the best model for those just starting out with plasma cutters and is my most recommend plasma cutter overall
  • PrimeWeld CT-520D – Highest rated option, slightly more expensive than the others but comes with more advanced features and a slightly better cutting quality. Great for those doing more detailed work or are looking to invest more in their cutter.

With that said, all the plasma cutters reviewed in this article are the top of the market for plasma cutters under $500, so you really can’t go wrong with any of them!

Here are some related articles you may also enjoy:

Best Plasma Cutter under $300
Best Plasma Cutter with Built In Air Compressor

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