Best Cheap Plasma Cutters Under 500 – Top 5 Budget Cutters

Best Overall

Lotos LTP5000D
Available at Amazon
Check price
Best for Hobbyists

Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P
Available at Amazon
Check price
Very Popular

Primeweld 50A CUT50D
Available at Amazon
Check price

Plasma cutters are fast and efficient tools designed for cutting metal with precision. They are an essential part of any tradesman’s inventory and even a useful addition to a DIYers toolshed.

However, a quick look at the market will reveal tons of expensive cutters that might deter the budget-conscious DIYer.

When buying a plasma cutter, it is important to select a machine that balances price and performance. An expensive cutter that is too powerful for your needs, and a cheap cutter that is not sufficiently powerful are both a waste of money. It is important to assess several options and choose a model that fulfills your requirements without being too heavy on the pocket.

This is certainly possible as there are several budget options that perform tremendously well. Be sure to go through our recommendations as we go over some of the best cheap plasma cutters under 500 dollars.

Best Cheap Plasma Cutters Under 500 dollar

In a hurry? Here are the best plasma cutters under 500 dollar on the market today.
Best Overall: Lotos LTP5000D
“offers tremendous value to the budget-conscious customer”


Best for Hobbyists: Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P
“consistent and clean cut and requires less effort on the user’s part to keep the cut steady”


Very Popular: Primeweld 50A CUT50D
“perform smooth and clean cuts up to a maximum thickness of 0.5 inches”


Great for Beginners: Sungoldpower 50A Air Plasma Cutter
“a machine that delivers superior performance more consistently than others”


Very Power Efficient: Vivohome DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Cut 50
“can operate at a faster rate than other acetylene-based cutters”


Best Overall: Lotos LTP5000D

Reasons to buy:

  • Sufficient cutting capacity for the price
  • Dual voltage automatic switching
  • Can cut through a variety of different metals
  • Produces clean and efficient cuts with minimal slag
  • Lightweight and easy to use
Reasons not to buy:

  • Not suitable for heavier jobs

View at Amazon

When you’re looking for a plasma cutter, you are looking for a certain set of features, even if you haven’t consciously made a list. The cutter should ideally be compact, portable, versatile, durable, and it should deliver efficient cuts. Additionally, it must do all this at a price that you can afford.

Lotos, a reliable manufacturer of budget welding equipment, has made a plasma cutter that incorporates all of the above.

The LTP5000D combines all of your essential requirements for a budget plasma cutter in the best possible way. It is capable of cutting through a variety of conductive metals including mild and stainless steel, alloy steel, copper, brass and aluminum.

However, it should be noted that the LTP5000D is a small-job plasma cutter due to its limited power.

It works great as an addition to a casual DIYers shed and will also work well for carrying out repairs. The plasma cutter is capable of undertaking plumbing repair and cutting jobs, general auto repairs and muffler repairs.

At its market price, it offers tremendous value to the budget-conscious customer. The LTP5000D is a non-touch pilot arc plasma cutter that can effectively cut through difficult surfaces such as rough, rusty or painted metals.

It produces a minimal amount of slag. Its pilot arc capability means that you can produce precise cuts without having to touch the tip to the surface you are cutting. This results in a finer cut and low consumable usage so they last longer.

The plasma cutter is also incredibly safe and easy to use. Lotos includes a top handle for better portability. Furthermore, it uses non-hazardous compressed air in the cutter which reduces the chances of accidents.

The LTP5000D features dual voltage input of 110/120 V and 220/240 V. At the lower voltage, the device delivers a 10-35 A DC output along with a 0.3-inch clean cut and a 0.4-inch maximum severance cut. At the higher voltage of 220/240 V, the device achieves an ideal clean cut of 0.5 inches and a maximum severance cut of 0.75 inches.


Best for Hobbyists: Forney Easy Weld 251 20 P

Reasons to buy:

  • Comes with additional accessories
  • Easy to use and setup
  • Awesome customer support
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Drag Torch technology produces fine cut
  • Rugged and durable build
Reasons not to buy:

  • Produces rougher cut on dirty and painted metal

View at Amazon

Coming in second place is an equally impressive piece of equipment from the popular manufacturer Forney. Forney’s tools have a reputation for being incredibly easy to use. The company’s Easy Weld 251 follows in the same footsteps. The problem with plasma cutter manufacturers is that they often overcomplicate the design of their machines. This is an issue Forney addresses with this device.

The Easy Weld is incredibly easy to set up and use. This doesn’t mean that it is an entry-level cutter designed for new users. The plasma cutter packs a lot of power in a small body for the price it is being sold for. But it also takes a simplified approach to welding, one that benefits the new user as much as the professional.

The plasma cutter cuts a range of mild steels, stainless steel, and aluminum up to a maximum thickness of 0.25 inches. It cuts smoothly, requiring less effort, so you end up with a clean cut. The rest of the operation is easy as well considering that Forney has put a lot of attention to the machine’s ease of use. All you need is a 120V power supply, 1.5 CFM compressed air and basic knowledge of how machines work. With the Easy Weld 251, anyone can get on with cutting and welding like a professional welder.

Another feature of the plasma cutter that makes the operation easy and effortless is its Drag Torch Technology. With Drag Torch, users can place the cutting tip on the metal surface and drag it along in the pattern they want to cut. This achieves a consistent and clean cut and requires less effort on the user’s part to keep the cut steady.

With a power requirement of 120V, the Easy Weld 251 is a portable and versatile plasma cutter. It is light in weight, and the power requirement allows it to be used with portable power supplies such as generators.

It’s ideal for tradesmen as they can use the cutter at different worksites without having to worry about the power supply. Forney also includes a bunch of accessories, including a power adapter, ground clamp, and an extra electrode and nozzle.


Very Popular: Primeweld 50A CUT50D

Reasons to buy:

  • Advanced air inverter technology
  • High-quality internals
  • Professional-grade construction
  • Perform clean and precise cuts
  • Comes with all essential accessories including air regulator
Reasons not to buy:

  • Brand-specific consumables may be difficult to acquire

View at Amazon

The Primeweld CUT50D attracts a lot of attention with its low price tag, power-efficient features and good value for money. This will not come as a surprise to those aware of Primeweld’s product offerings. The company has made a name in the manufacture of efficient plasma cutters that incorporate modern inverter technology and high-quality internals. The company’s 50 Amp air inverter continues the same legacy.

This affordable plasma cutter from Primeweld is one of the most versatile we have reviewed at this price. The 50 Amp unit can cut through a number of metal surfaces including mild steel, alloy steel, stainless steel, aluminum and copper. It also works efficiently on a range of other metal sheets depending on the surface and the thickness of the material.

Primeweld CUT50D can perform smooth and clean cuts up to a maximum thickness of 0.5 inches. The device’s uniform cut is achieved through its use of optimized MOSFET transistors.

However, the device does not stop there. It is capable of performing deeper, albeit rougher, cuts up to a maximum severance thickness of 0.75 inches. This makes it suitable for certain demanding construction work, provided finesse is not a requirement for the task.

The device comes with dual voltage compatibility. This gives it an edge over many other models, considering that this feature is generally exclusive to more expensive models from other manufacturers. CUT50D can be used with either a 110V or a 220V power source. This eliminates the need to use voltage adapters which are often flimsy and unreliable for continued usage.

The CUT50D is an entry-level small job plasma cutter with air inverter technology. It performs significantly better than you would expect an entry-level cutter to perform. It is an excellent choice for casual users, DIYers, and homeowners who don’t shy away from simple maintenance and repair activities.

It is also ideal for use in small workshops and for general automobile repairs. Consider it an initial investment to get you started with a ton of repair activities without consuming all the budget.


Great for Beginners: Sungoldpower 50A Air Plasma Cutter

Reasons to buy:

  • Dual-voltage input
  • IGBT inverter technology
  • Simplified design
  • Compact and lightweight
  • LCD information display
Reasons not to buy:

  • Short ground cable

View at Amazon

What we have started seeing recently is that a lot of cheaper devices from newer manufacturers keep appearing on the market. Although priced considerably lower than more popular offerings from well-known manufacturers, these devices boast newer technology and better efficiency than some of their older counterparts. Sungoldpower is one such manufacturer that has become considerably active on the scene.

Sungoldpower’s 50 Amp plasma cutter, the CUT-50, is a lower-end device priced almost fifty percent lower than devices of similar capabilities from other manufacturers. It is an entry-level plasma cutter, so don’t expect a great level of performance on thicker metals and more demanding tasks. Go in with your expectations in check, and you will be pleasantly surprised since this machine has a lot to love.

An LCD display, simplified front panel and adjustable cutting current make usage easier and give users a great deal of control over their cutting tasks. The CUT-50 breaks from protocol by featuring newer IGBT soft-switch inverter technology rather than the MOSFET inverter technology that we commonly see on many machines. Due to its choice of IGBT over MOSFET and air inverter technology, Sungoldpower has been able to develop a machine that delivers superior performance more consistently than others.

Much like other newer plasma cutters that we are seeing, the CUT-50 also comes with dual-voltage compatibility. It can be used at the frequencies of 50 Hz and 60 Hz on both 110V and 220V power sources. In addition to multi-voltage compatibility, the cutter also ships with plug adapters that increase its versatility of operation. Regardless of the worksite you find yourself in, you will find the CUT-50 completely capable of making itself useful through a number of power sources.

As far as performance is concerned, the SUNGOLDPOWER CUT-50 does not disappoint. With an AC power output between 10 Amps and 50 Amps, this plasma cutter is capable of delivering clean cuts of 0.5 inches. It delivers rougher cuts of 0.75 inches for tougher welding works that require a lower level of finish. Using non-hazardous compressed air, the machine cuts through various mild steels, iron, aluminum, copper, and other metal sheets.


Very Power Efficient: Vivohome DC Inverter Plasma Cutter Cut 50

Reasons to buy:

  • Generates more work in less power
  • Fast cutting speed
  • High duty cycle
  • Good cutting capacity
  • Delivers powerful performance at its price
Reasons not to buy:

  • The plug needs to be purchased separately

View at Amazon

Vivohome comes as a welcome solution for the budget-conscious DIYer. Incorporating advanced DC inverter technology called MOSFET, the Cut 50 consumes less power by converting 50 Hz frequencies to frequencies higher than 100 kHz. By doing this, the plasma cutter achieves more in less power; the effects of which you will observe in the long run if you use the cutter on a daily basis.

With the Cut 50, Vivohome has focused on making a power-efficient device that does not compromise on performance. To this end, various technologies have been incorporated into the plasma cutter that complements the machine’s DC inverter technology.

PWM technology allows the inverter to convert the rectification current and the step-down voltage into a powerful DC welding current.

The use of an inverter switch control enables the primary transformer to have a smaller form factor while still producing a 30% increase in efficiency.

The machine’s piloting arc system employs high-frequency oscillations to effortlessly strike the ark with increased efficiency. The Cut 50 also efficiently manages the gas used in the cutting process by pre-supplying it ahead of the process and automatically cutting it off when required.

The Cut 50 generates more power than the traditional plasma cutter in this price range. Its inverter technology allows it to cut thicker steel sheets with a maximum thickness of 0.47 inches.

The cutting is fast and smooth, and does not leave rough edges even when working on thick surfaces. The cutter’s high power and versatile operation make it suitable for cutting mild steel, alloy steel, stainless steel, copper, and a range of other metal sheets.

Due to the machine’s power-efficient technology, it can operate at a faster rate than other acetylene-based cutters. The Cut 50’s cutting speed is approximately 1.8 times faster so users can get tasks finished faster. Because of its high cutting speed, this portable device is the perfect companion for larger and more extensive projects that require the use of a plasma cutter for a long period.

The cutter also offers a high duty cycle of 60% which also helps with getting work done quicker.


How to Choose the Best Plasma Cutter on a Budget

There is a wealth of plasma cutters on the market at various price ranges. A larger variety means more to choose from for the average tradesman. However, if you’re not a tradesman or are just getting into the craft, this variety can prove to be a bane rather than a boon.

Getting a cheap plasma cutter will only be beneficial if the cutter fulfills your requirements and serves you well. Similarly, a more expensive cutter could be a huge waste of money if your requirements can be fulfilled by a more affordable alternative. We have crafted this concise but useful guide for first-time buyers. Taking the following factors into consideration, you can ensure that you buy only the right product for your needs.

Consider Your Budget

Apart from the performance considerations that we will go over below, this is probably the most important consideration when you are out looking for a plasma cutter. The market, as we mentioned, is filled to the brim with plasma cutters.

You’ll see cutters from some familiar power-tool manufacturers, and you will see some lesser-known names on the shelf as well. When you’re out shopping, it is easy to get carried away and stretch your budget or go over it if you see some truly exceptional hardware.

However, consider your requirements, then practically consider if you need a powerful and expensive plasma cutter. If you are just starting out, the chances are that you don’t need the most expensive cutter. Talk to experienced users and get expert advice on the amount of power you need for your tasks and spend accordingly.

Duty Cycle

This is an important factor that you need to consider for the plasma cutters that fall in your budget. The duty cycle is the measure of how long the device can function during a single session. If you will be undertaking tasks that require the use of the plasma cutter frequently but not continuously, consider the machine’s duty cycle. A machine with a lower amperage output will have a smaller duty cycle, and one with a higher output will have a longer duty cycle. This information is always present in the specifications of the particular plasma cutter that you are considering.

If you will be using the plasma cutter less frequently but for a longer period in a single session, then consider the machine’s maximum amperage output rather than the duty cycle. The more powerful a machine is, the thicker it will cut. For reference, a 30 Amp plasma cutter will produce clean cuts up to 0.38 inches; a 50 Amp cutter can go up to 0.5 inches.

Voltage

This is another important consideration as it affects both performance and safety. If you are a new user, take some time to go over and understand this particular factor; overlook it at your own expense. All power cutters, regardless of their price, require a good amount of electricity to function.

If the device does not get the required amount of electricity from the power source, it won’t function. If it continues to demand more power than the source can provide, it can end up burning its internals and even the power source. To prevent this from happening, match the machine’s power requirement with the available power source.

Smaller machines that require a power input of 110V to 120V can be used with most indoor power sources. These devices are suitable for light usage by homeowners and DIYers for light repairs. More powerful machines that require a 220V power source should only be connected to generators. Dual-voltage cutters can be used with both power sources.

Speed and Thickness

While the thickness a plasma cutter can cut is determined by the amperage, how efficiently its cuts is determined by the speed. This is why we will be considering both these factors together. When purchasing a cutter, determine the thickness you will be cutting, then consider the maximum thickness at which the machine can deliver a fine cut.

The speed of the plasma cutter will determine the quality rating it comes with. This rating is often mentioned in the specifications. We’ll go over each of the three cut ratings so you know what they mean. Match these to your requirements, and you will have a cutter that serves you well.

Rated Cut

This is the finest cut rating, suitable for projects that require a certain level of finesse. Plasma cutters with this rating provide a fine cut at a fast speed, but can only cut through mild steels and thinner metal.

Quality Cut

This is a balanced rating. Cutters with this rating deliver a good quality cut on thicker metals. They do tend to take a bit longer though.

Sever Cut

Plasma cutters with this rating are the slowest, so expect your tasks to take longer. However, they cut deeper than other machines and are suitable for use on thicker metals. The deeper a machine cuts, the less refined the quality of the cut is.

Conclusion

We hope that this guide has made you more aware of the factors you need to consider in order to purchase the right plasma cutter. We find that the Lotos LTP5000D is the best plasma cutter under 500 dollars. It has proven itself time and again with its clean cut and its consistent performance. However, do keep in mind the considerations mentioned above to make your purchase in line with your needs.