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Last updated: August 19, 2021
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Undoubtedly, a plasma cutter can be quite the investment, but it is undeniable that the results are well worth the cost. A plasma cutter is extremely popular for those who are looking for a tool that is precise and accurate. The plasma cutter is also known to be one of the most effective methods to cut metal.
For this article, we’ve examined 44 different products on the market to narrow it down to our top 6 picks. At the top of our list of the best plasma cutters under $1000, we have the Lotos LTPDC2000D. We love that it is a 3 in 1 combo, meaning it has TIG, Stick, and MMA capabilities. It also comes with a handle for portability as well as a one-year warranty. If you are looking for something slightly different, we have 5 other excellent choices for you to consider.
To find our top 6 picks, we’ve spent 58 hours and researched each product description as well as referenced verified customer reviews. Some of the features we took into consideration included the different power ratings of each plasma cutter as well as its cut thickness and max severance thickness so we could accurately recommend a cutter that is the best match for each project. Next, you will find information about the materials you can cut with these tools, their input voltage, and the warranty. We also included an overview table, detailed reviews of each product, and a comprehensive buying guide below so we can assist you in finding the best plasma cutter under $1000 for you and your upcoming projects!
At the top of the list, we have the Lotos LTPDC2000D, which also happens to be our Editor’s Choice. One of the main advantages of this model is that it can function as both a plasma cutter as well as a welder! As a plasma cutter, it has the power of 10-50 A, and when using it for welding, it has the power of 15-200 A.
The Lotos LTPDC2000D has a good cut thickness size of ½”. As is to be expected the max severance thickness of ¾”. It has a medium to larger dimension and is sure to provide an excellent cut through a wide range of materials, including stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, copper, and aluminum.
The unit can run on 110 / 120 volts or 220 / 240 volts, which makes this plasma cutter quite a versatile option. The Lotos LTPDC2000D has a 1-year warranty on all its parts as well as its labor, which will guarantee customer satisfaction and quality of the product for some time after the purchase. It also comes with a pre-installed NPT 1/4” industry type D plug, as well as a handle for ease of use and portability! Unfortunately, customer service is not that responsive.
As our Best Value pick, we have the Reboot CUT50 Plasma Cutter. With a power of 20-50 A, this is not the most powerful machine on our list, but it is sure to get the job done!
With a similar dimension to that of our Editor’s Choice, the Reboot CUT50 Plasma Cutter has a cut thickness of ½ inch and a max severance of ⅗ inches. This model is capable of cutting stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, copper, cast iron and chrome, which proves that this plasma cutter is extremely useful and can tackle a large variety of projects.
The Reboot CUT50 Plasma Cutter has the input voltage of 110/220 volts and comes with a one-year warranty that is sure to please even the most difficult of customers. It also has some impressive duty cycle parameters, with it performing at 60% at 50 A and 100% at 40 A and requires 60-70 PSI of air pressure to operate.
The convenient feature that you can find here is a digital display, which makes this product very easy to use and adjust. As a drawback, some people mentioned that restart function didn’t always work.
Next, we have the Eastwood Versa-Cut 60 Plasma Cutter, which appears to be our premium pick. With the power of 60 amps and an input voltage of 220 volts, this is quite an effective plasma cutter!
This unit has a very large cut thickness of ⅞ inches, which is the highest parameter to be featured on our list.
The materials that the Eastwood Versa-Cut 60 Plasma Cutter can successfully process include mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.
Moreover, the product comes with a three-year warranty, which also happens to be one of the largest here. The three-year warranty is ideal for a nervous potential buyer as it will guarantee that the purchased plasma cutter will work properly for the years to come.
The Eastwood Versa-Cut 60 Plasma Cutter is a portable unit, which adds to its ease of use. The duty cycle of the Eastwood Versa-Cut 60 Plasma Cutter is 60% @ 60 amps, which is a very effective stat. Furthermore, the unit comes with an adjustable air pressure regulator. However, it is not a dual-voltage model, and you will need to find a 220v power source for it to run.
The W Weldpro CUT60NH Inverter Contact Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter is a quite reliable unit, which is sure to be one that you won’t want to miss!
With a power rating of 20-60 amps as well as an input voltage of 115/230 volts, this plasma cutter can be used for various tasks and projects.
The W Weldpro CUT60NH Inverter Contact Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter can deal with everything from 24-gauge steel to 0.787-inch metals, which also makes this model highly versatile. The max severance thickness of the W Weldpro CUT60NH Inverter Contact Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter is the same size as well, a large 0.787 inches. You can use this tool to cut stainless steel, aluminum, copper, cast iron, carbon steel as well as several other kinds of metal.
The W Weldpro CUT60NH Inverter Contact Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter comes with a 2-year warranty. Some of the additional features that the product offers are a blowback start and high-temperature and overload protection. It uses 50.7-65.3 PSI and has a 60% at 60 A duty cycle. Unfortunately, some people found it a bit too large and bulky for the parameters it has, but this is a minor drawback.
Next on our list, we have the Everlast SuperCut 51P Plasma Cutter. With 50 amps of power, this can be an ideal option for your needs.
As a dual-voltage model, this plasma cutter has an input voltage of 120/240 volts. The Everlast SuperCut 51P Plasma Cutter also has a cut thickness of ⅝-inch and a max severance thickness of ¾-inch. While these are not the largest parameters to be found here, the unit still shows great performance and is sure to get your projects done! The recommended materials to cut with the Everlast SuperCut 51P Plasma Cutter are steel and aluminum.
The product has a three-year warranty on parts and labor, which happens to be among the longest on our list. Therefore, you can rest assured that you get a reliable and quality product.
You can expect to get clean and low-dross cuts with this unit to achieve perfect results for your projects. The cutter comes with the air pressure regulator and features a high-frequency start. Unfortunately, a few people received a defective plasma cutter and had to wait for a replacement.
Last but not least, we have the Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor. A compact-sized machine that is best suited for smaller, and more detailed and intricate projects, the Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor has a power rating of 12 amps.
With a cut thickness of ⅛-inch and a max severance thickness of ¼-inch, this model is sure to provide the best detail-oriented attention to the smaller, more complicated cuts. You can use this unit to cut stainless steel, mild steel as well as aluminum.
The Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor has an input voltage of 110/ 115/ 120 and comes with the 5/3/1 Hobart warranty.
Some of the additional features that come with this model are its built-in air compressor as well as the Fan-On-Demand function, which adds to the product’s ease of use.
The duty cycle rating of the Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor is 35% @ 12 A, which is best suited for smaller projects.
Trying to find the right plasma cutter under $1000 for your projects can seem like a huge task that only the group of experts can accomplish, but that could not be further from the truth! With just a little bit of research and knowing what to look for in potential models, anyone can find several plasma cutter options that are best suited for their specific needs. Ready to learn more about what to look for in a plasma cutter? Read on!
Main advantages of plasma cutters
When you first start your search for the best plasma cutter model, you may wonder what advantages they have, as opposed to other traditional cutter models. One of the key factors why a plasma cutter is better is because it provides a higher level of precision compared to other cutting tools, such as the oxy-fuel cutters. The plasma cutter is also extremely versatile and allows each operator the option to cut a variety of shapes and so much more. The plasma cutter also requires a little-to-no clean up as it uses an electrical charge to cut instead of the heat like the oxy-fuel models. The plasma cutter models are not usually best suited for cutting metal that is exceptionally thick, but they are able to cut aluminum as well as stainless steel, which is difficult for oxy-fuel cutters to handle.
Things to consider before buying a plasma cutter under $1000
There is a variety of features to check when purchasing a plasma cutter. The power, as well as the cut thickness, are two main features that can tell you a lot about the unit’s performance. Next, you will want to check the materials that you can cut with a particular model and also its input voltage, duty cycle, warranty, and accessories that come with the tool. Aside from that, when looking for the best plasma cutter under $1000, you will want to take the price of the model into consideration. These are important features to take into account when looking to purchase a model as each buyer will want to make sure that the plasma cutter can perform to their expectations when working on a project.
Plasma cutters use both air and electricity to cut, so it is important to see how much power you can get from it. The power is measured in amps and can range anywhere from 12 amps to 60+ amps. If you are looking for a heavy-duty model for various tasks, you will want to get a powerful model. On the other hand, for a smaller project, you don’t need that much power.
The cut thickness is the measurement of how thick a piece of material the plasma cutter can effectively cut through while still providing a clean performance. The cut thickness can vary, ranging anywhere from ⅛-inch to ⅞-inch. For example, the Eastwood Versa-Cut 60 Plasma Cutter has the largest cut thickness among the models featured on our list. This is an excellent option for those who are looking to tackle a larger project and are not as concerned with executing very small and detailed cuts.
Some plasma cutter models also offer a pilot arc feature, which assists in cutting more difficult materials, such as expanded metals, painted or rusted materials. This feature is ideal for anyone who is looking for continuous cutting.
Max severance thickness
Similar to cut thickness, the max severance thickness is the measurement of the maximum thickness a plasma cutter can cut through. However, it is important to note that a max severance thickness is not a clean, neat cut. Rather, it is a rough cut, just enough to cut a piece of material into two parts, often leaving some melted parts still attached. The max severance thickness is slightly larger than the cut thickness. For example, the Reboot CUT50 Plasma Cutter has a cut thickness of ½” and a max severance thickness of ⅗”.
Like we mentioned earlier, one of the main advantages of using a plasma cutter is that it can cut through materials that other cutters on the market can’t. When looking through the product description of each plasma cutter, be sure to notice what materials are listed there. The more recommended materials are listed, the more versatile the plasma cutter is! If you are looking for a plasma cutter that can deal with a good amount of materials, try the W Weldpro CUT60NH Inverter Contact Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter. This model can cut stainless steel, aluminum, copper, cast iron, carbon steel, and some other different kinds of metal.
Next, you should check the amount of voltage needed to supply the plasma cutter’s system. This is important to take into consideration as each user needs to be careful not to overload their plasma cutter’s system and connect it properly. Often, in the product description, you will find dual-voltage models, such as the Lotos LTPDC2000D. This means that the plasma cutter can operate using both 110-120 volts as well as 220-240 volts. It helps to make a plasma cutter more accessible and easy to use in a variety of locations. If a plasma cutter is not dual, it can cause the need for some finessing down the line.
For 220v models, you will need to get a generator to provide the correct amount of voltage for your plasma cutter to function.
The duty cycle is another key product feature that is essential to take into account. It refers to the amount of time within a 10 minute period that the plasma cutter can operate safely without any damage or overheating. This rating is most often listed as a percentage and decided based on its relations to amps and how much amperage the cutter uses. If you are looking for a plasma cutter, which is long-lasting and can be used extensively, perhaps a model such as the W Weldpro CUT60NH Inverter Contact Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, which provides 60% at 60 amps would be a great choice for you.
It is also very important to research if there is any warranty offered by each plasma cutter’s manufacturer. If a plasma cutter does offer a warranty, then be sure to find out how long it lasts for and what it covers. A warranty ensures that each product will be fully functional for the years to come. In the off chance that a part is malfunctioning or something breaks, the warranty ensures that every problem will be fixed and the buyer will have a flawless product once again.
After researching all of the above-recommended features, it is wise to look into what additional accessories are offered with each plasma cutter under $1000. Some of the most commonly found accessories are cutting torches, ground clamps, facial masks, hammer brushes, and power adapters, and so on. All of them can be found with the W Weldpro CUT60NH Inverter Contact Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter.
Each of those accessories adds to the overall value of the product. You want to check if everything is included in the package to start your projects right away.
Often, it is the accessories that ultimately sell the buyer on the product. The main reason for this is that the additional features often are specific and cater to exactly what the buyer’s needs are.
What else can be useful?
Other features that could prove to be extremely useful with the plasma cutter include anything that either adds to the ease of use or enhances the cutting process. A built-in air compressor is a rare feature that is found only on some plasma cutters, such as the Hobart Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter with Built-In Air Compressor. This combination of two units into one definitely adds to the ease of use.
Some plasma cutter models also include other functions, and some even offer the function to weld! This makes the plasma cutter extremely versatile and can provide results that a plasma cutter without these features could not!
There are two main types of plasma cutters: the plasma cutters that have the high-frequency starting system or the plasma cutters who have the contact start torch. The way that the high-frequency starting system models work is that they have a high voltage transformer, capacitors, and spark-gap assembly, and a spark is created between those three parts. The contact start torch uses a moving part, which is either a moving electrode or a nozzle. This movement then starts a spark that lights the pilot arc.
There are not many consumables that you will need for a plasma cutter. The first and most basic consumable that you will need is a retaining cap, which essentially holds all the other parts together. The next is a nozzle, which focuses the arc and gas flow direction. After the nozzle, we have the electrode that carries the current. Next is the swirl ring, which transports the gas through the torch. And last but not least, you have the shield which helps protect all that was mentioned above.
Plasma cutters may seem difficult to use, but they are actually fairly simple when you follow the proper instructions! First, be sure to adhere to all the safety instructions mentioned in the manual. Then, to start, connect your plasma cutter to your air compressor. If you have an air compressor built into your plasma cutter, you can skip this step! Then connect your cutting torch. Next, attach your ground clamp to your plasma cutter and make sure it is securely fastened as well as all the other attachments. Then adjust the setting for the project’s metal thickness and test the torch for airflow. If there is airflow, you are ready to get started!
When using a plasma cutter, it is important to make sure that you are protecting your eyes and face from any damage. Most plasma cutter operators use a welding shield that has a #5 lens to protect their face and eyes. This actually works quite well as the plasma cutters are similar to welding machines here. If you want to get more protection, a welding helmet provides fuller coverage, which gives the operator extra safety.
At the top of our list, we have the Lotos LTPDC2000D. It is a fantastic 3 in 1 combo, meaning it has TIG, Stick, and MMA capabilities. This unit is pretty powerful, and it comes with a convenient handle for better portability as well as a one-year warranty.
Next, the Reboot CUT50 Plasma Cutter appeared to be out Best Value pick. This affordable model is extremely versatile and can deal with various materials. Moreover, it has a digital display for accurate adjustments.
Last but not least, we have the Eastwood Versa-Cut 60 Plasma Cutter. This premium plasma cutter has a large cut thickness as well as a 3-year warranty and is a portable unit. It is no wonder why this model is included on our list of the best plasma cutters under $1000!