The Best Plasma Cutter and Welders of 2017

Please share my content!

QUICK NAVIGATION – Click on the section that you are interested in. This is a long article covering multiple needs.

What are Plasma Cutters
What is the difference between MIG Welding, TIG Welding, and Arc Welding?
MIG Welding
TIG Welding
ARC Welding
Best Lotos Plasma Cutter
Best Hobart Plasma Cutter
Best Hypertherm Plasma Cutter
Best Cheap/Affordable Plasma Cutters
Best MIG Welder
Best TIG Welder
Best ARC Welder
Best Cheap/Affordable Welder

Best Plasma Cutter Reviews

Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you have a lot of things to cut but don’t have the required tool to do your job properly? If yes, have a look at the Plasma Cutters. One tool for all, which can cut through a wide range of materials without any reluctance, varying from aluminum and copper to stainless steel and various others, a plasma cutter will be a great addition to anyone’s toolbox.

What are Plasma Cutters?

The basic function of a plasma cutter is to convert a gas such as Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Argon into the fourth state of matter (known as Plasma) for the purpose of metal cutting. The following information is vital in order so you understand how plasma cutters work.

Firstly, the gas is blown out through a very small nozzle for increasing its velocity. Then this high-velocity gas is sent through an electric arc which further enhances its temperature to such an extent which changes the gas into a highly efficient form of matter, plasma.  

As a result of this process, a super-heated torch is formed which cuts right through metals. The plasma also occupies the cutting surface, thus making it easy for the torch to do its work.

Unlike other such processes, this one is a highly efficient procedure leaving very few debris. So when you are looking to save a considerable amount of time cutting materials, the plasma cutters come handy in this regard.

What is the difference between MIG Welding, TIG Welding, and Arc Welding?

One welding process can be differentiated from the other on the basis of its mode of functionality.

Arc Welding

The Arc welding is a common welding process which uses an electrode to produce the required amount of heat. This electrode is basically covered with a flux which, on burning, produces a gas cloud. The gas cloud will then protect the weld and the electrode itself. There is no need of carrying a gas cylinder or a wire feeder as this electrode is more than capable of producing the gas by itself.

Another thing which makes this process extremely versatile is the fact that to go from one material to another, users just have to change the electrode and BINGO. They just have to adjust the current accordingly and the welder will make wonders.

There is a vast variety of electrodes currently available in the market and all of them have specialized uses. So when this process doesn’t require an awful lot of equipment, arc welding is the least expensive when compared to its counterparts. The power source for this form of welding can either be alternative current or direct current.

However, when it comes to welding thin metals, Arc welding requires utmost care.

MIG Welding

An abbreviation of Metal Inert Gas Welding, MIG Welding is normally used for the higher end applications. In place of the electrodes, the MIG uses a thin wire coming from a spool of welding wire to burn, melt and fuse two metals together.

In the MIG welder, there is a torch which in addition to delivering the filler material (wire) will also supply the shielding gas. You will need a gas cylinder and a wire feeder to cut metals with a MIG welder, so it is not as portable as the Arc welder. However, unlike the latter, the former process is extremely easy to learn even for newbies.

As per the type of metals you can weld with the MIG Welder, stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminum are the best matches. Lastly, MIG welding can be used to weld both thin and thick materials as users don’t have to worry about their own health while dealing with this welding tool.

TIG Welding

Commonly known as Tungsten Inert Gas Welding, TIG is by far the most precise welding process. This is due to the fact that in order to maintain the intensity of your arch, you are provided with a foot pedal. It works just like the accelerator pedal on your car. If you’re working with thinner metals, where the level of intensity has to be reduced, just take your foot off the pedal. So whenever you need a greater control over whatever you weld, choose a TIG Welder

In such sort of welding equipment, the torch is equipped with a tungsten electrode while the shielding gas is Argon. As far as the welding process is concerned, hold an arc with the electrode and try to maintain a proper distance from the welding material at all times.

Best Lotos Plasma Cutter

Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 1/2 Inch Clean Cut

A portable Plasma Cutter, the Lotos LTD5000D is a tool designed to do hard work for a consistent duration of time. Equipped with a sturdy construction, this cutter incorporates a dual voltage feature for the convenience of its customers.

The fact that LTD5000D can work on both 110V and 220V makes it an ideal cutter for both homes as well as professional usage. You can convert it from one voltage to the other with the help of a mere pigtail. Even if the pigtail isn’t available, this cutter will adjust itself according to the power supply. This is also a plus if you are from Europe for example where all home power supplies are 220V.

The pilot arc is extremely efficient when it comes to cut through painted and rusted surfaces as this cutter can cut a metal up to ½ inches of thickness while severing it up to 3/4th of inches. If you are not satisfied with the aforementioned thickness, this cutter is equipped with a MOSFET Transistor. Basically, it creates a higher power output to cut through even thicker metals than what is already mentioned.

The Lotos LTD5000D is fully automatic. There is no need for you to put in hard work as this cutter does that by itself. Unlike other cutters in today’s market, this one is compact and lightweight to the core. As a result, even a person who is not physically strong can use this device without any hesitation.

Coming towards its accessories, this product comes with a non-touch pilot arc which is equipped with such a special technology that it can cause severe cuts without even touching the metal. Apart from it, the full kit comprises of the ground clamp, air hose, and several connections.

Pros:

  • Non-Hazardous Compressed Air makes this device safe for long usage
  • Dual Voltage Capability makes it a versatile cutter
  • Highly efficient and extremely durable
  • Portable and Lightweight Cutter, can be used for home as well as DIY Projects
  • 1-year warranty in case of any unforeseen circumstances

Cons:

  • Smaller Air Hose wire can cause a few problems

Best Hobart Plasma Cutter

One of the best brands in the field of Plasma Cutters, Hobart has come up with yet another fascinating product in the form of 500566 Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter. This company has been in this business ever since 1917 and when the former products were of the top quality, this one hasn’t done any harm to the company’s statute either.

This plasma cutter is an extremely viable option for almost any type of customer who just wants to complete his work without wasting any time. Among this series of Plasma Cutters, this one boasts one of the highest capacities when it comes to cut through thick metals. The unit requires a 240V Power input at 50 Amperes which should tell you about how good it is in terms of cutting through metals.

The Hobart Airforce 40i can cut mild steel up to 5/8 inches of thickness and can severe it up to 7/8 inches. It works so fast that in a single minute, it can cut up to 14 inches of mild steel. In addition to it, you can use it for copper, stainless steel, and even aluminum along with an exhaustive list of other materials. Combine it with its 50% duty cycle and the Airforce 40i can work all day long even for professional customers.

Coming towards its ease of usage, the 40i is basically an improved version of 700i thanks to the ST40R Torch. This torch is equipped with a flexible cable which further enhances the comfortability of this unit. This torch comes with a 1-year warranty while the overall warranty of this unit is up to 3 years.

Pros:

  • Designed for heavy-duty usage
  • The whole unit weighs as low as just 31.4lbs
  • Can produce a maximum cut up to 5/8’’.
  • 50% Duty Cycle, Simple Operation
  • Capable of CNC

Cons:

  • Consumables required are pretty expensive

Best Hypertherm Plasma Cutter

Hypertherm 088016 Hypertherm 088016 Powermax45 Hand System With 20 Foot Lead

Portable yet high performing, the Hypertherm 088016 Powermax45 works extremely well to produce a wide variety of cuts in an imperious manner. Rated 1/2’’ cutter, this plasma cutter is especially feasible for those who have to make flawless cuts on a consistent basis. It is portable, lightweight and the lead which comes with this unit is no less than 20 feet long. So regardless of whether you’re using it at home, in a construction company or even on the road, you can instantly set it up without wasting any time.

The Hypertherm 088016 is equipped with a Boost Conditioner (on the CSA Models) which helps it to work even during voltage fluctuation periods. This unit can work in the range of 200 – 240 volt which makes it a handy cutter even on the sluggish voltage lines. So if your home or garage doesn’t have a high voltage supply, as often is the case with most of the house owners, they can work with the lower-end voltage of this unit. As per the industrial customers, who’ve to use the cutter at extremely high voltages for producing thicker cuts, the 240 volt works wonders for them.

The electrodes which are installed in this unit work 4x times longer than most of their counterparts so users have to spend less amount of money on the consumable replacements.

The Hypertherm 088016 is designed to serve a wider range of applications apart from using it as a handheld cutter, you can also use it as a CNC Production Unit. Even though it does require some time to master the art of using this particular cutter, once you start using it, you’ll never look back.

Pros:

  • Works on 200-240v Single Phase
  • Patented Drag-Cutting Technology
  • High End, Portable, and Lightweight Cutter
  • Requires CLlean Air or Nitrogen to carry out its operations

Cons:

  • Not easy to use for the newbies

Best Cheap/Affordable Plasma Cutters

Super Deal Plasma Cutter

Cheap is normally not the word associated with Plasma Cutters. When these units are famous for flawless cutting, you usually have to spend a decent amount of money upfront in order to get a high-quality device. But thanks to the recent innovations in technology (and cheap Chinese manufacturing 🙂 ), some companies have started to make plasma cutters for the budget-conscious customers which in spite of having a low price tag work extremely well without any major drawbacks. Talking about such products, the Super Deal Plasma Cutter is one of them.

Offering 50 AMP, the Super Deal Plasma Cutter offers a 60% duty cycle which is ideal for customers working in relatively longer shifts. Apart from its importance for the customers on a budget, this unit is especially useful for DIY customers who have to cut metal sheets of different thickness.

This plasma cutter can work on either 100 volts or 220 volt which eventually depends on the needs of its customer. It is equipped with a nice digital read out at the front which makes it easy to work out from the first time of usage.

This Plasma Cutter can be used on different types of metal sheets varying from Aluminum, Copper, Steel amongst many others. Now the efficiency of this machine greatly depends on the quality of the material which you’re going to cut. If the material is clean, this cutter will produce better results as compared to a material which has plenty of impurities. Having said that, if the material which you’re going to cut lies in the range of 1-12 mm thickness, the cutter will have absolutely no trouble thanks to an 85% cutting efficiency.

In order to keep the consumables cool, there is a switch integrated on the front of this unit with the help of which you can choose from a 2.5 to 5 seconds delay between successive cuts. So when there is no danger of your cutter getting burned out and it is quite inexpensive as well, the Super Deal Plasma Cutter is worth a shot by all means.

Pros:

  • Low Price Plasma Cutter
  • 60% Duty Cycle
  • 85% Efficiency
  • Works on 110/220 V, 60HZ
  • IP21S Protection Class

Cons:

  • Unsuitable for High-Grade Cutting

Zeny DC Inverter Plasma Cutter

From the fabrication industry to DIY customers, the Zeny Plasma cutter is designed to cut whatever you throw at it in its maximum thickness range of ½’’. A portable cutter, it is easy to set up and even easier to transport from one place to other thanks to its compact dimensions.  

Using either 110 or 220 volts, the Zeny is more than capable of going through metals in a swift manner. In fact, it has a remarkable efficiency of 85% as this cutter features a 60% cycle duty. It means that after using it for 6 straight minutes, this unit requires just a 4-minute rest before coming back to perform the same efficiency.

While working on metals of different thickness, it can produce current from 20 – 50 AMP which tells a lot about the value for the money you get of this cutter.

Coming towards its safety features, the manufacturers of this unit have paid special attention to making this device hazard-free for their customers. Amongst 5 different insulation ratings, the Zeny is equipped with a Class F insulation rating. So with a little care and barring any unfortunate circumstances, consumers can operate this device in a pretty safe manner.

Featuring a cutting range of 1-12mm, this unit can be used as a decent cutter in a wide range of industrial applications. You can use it for fabrications, automotive as well as for other professional work.

So if you want to live within your budget while purchasing a decent quality plasma cutter, one which cuts well without producing a large amount of debris, the Zeny DC Inverter is worth every penny.

Pros:

  • 110/220 V Voltage, 3.5/4.8KVA
  • 60% Duty Cycle, 85% Efficiency
  • F Class Insulation
  • IP21S Protection Class

Cons:

  • Customers have to purchase an Air hose on their own

Best Mig Welder

Coming from a famous brand Hobart, the 500559 Welder is designed for all customers who are going to weld a lot of materials that are equal to or less than ¼ inches thick. This unit is specially crafted for welding smaller materials as its ability to work at 115 Volts and 140 amps makes it an important household product.

This Hobart Mig Welder believes in dual functionality. Apart from running the flex core, it can also operate on the MIG process. A gas hose and a regulator are provided with the actual product to make it easier to switch from the flux core to the MIG process. If you’re interested in making this switch, the Hobart 50059 is equipped with a Polarity Changeover.

Another thing which is quite unique in this unit is the presence of a built-in contractor. During an inactivity period, this contractor keeps the wires from heating up electrically which maintain the welder’s temperature at a reasonable limit. Such a mechanism works as an extraordinary safety feature thus saving you from suffering any potential damage.

In order to make a perfect weld, this unit incorporates five heat settings. At a moment when other such welders are content offer at most four heat settings, this helps you to choose the optimum heat for an unscathed weld.

Lastly, the overall weight of this unit is 65.4 pounds which make it an extremely convenient device to use on the go as well.

Pros:

  • 115V Voltage Input
  • 20% Duty Cycle at 90A
  • Comes with Hobart’s 5/3/1 Warranty
  • Versatile Unit operates on Flux Core/Mig Welding
  • Built-In Contractor

Cons:

  • Mask isn’t included in this purchase

Best Affordable Welder

For those of you who are new to welding and/or looking for a welder for doing a DIY project, the Forney Easy Weld is one of the best options you’ll get in the market. Loaded with features, it comes at a reasonable price to allow most welders to get their hands on it.

The first feature of this welder which attracted my attention was its gas set up. Unless most welders, it is suitable for gasless flux core welding. Hence, by going gasless, it allows you to save your money which you’d have otherwise spent on buying a CO2 filled cylinder.

Also, it is packed in torch wrap, making it easier for you to take it on/off.  Since it accepts both 2lb and 10lb spools, it offers flexibility as well as versatility.

Another reason why I appreciate this welder is the low maintenance that it requires. Thanks to its simple design, it requires maintenance only after every 4-6 months. Even that, all you have to do to clean it is to remove the side panels before clearing the dirt and dust accumulated there.

That said, this welder is not without its drawbacks, the most glaring of which is the short lengths of both the wire feeder as well as the ground wires. Hence, if you want to purchase it, you might want to take this into consideration.

Pros:

  • Requires low maintenance
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a 6-month warranty
  • Provides ample storage
  • Very easy to use

Cons:

  • Both the wire feeder and workpiece ground wires are short.

Best Tig Welder

Although it doesn’t come as cheap as the abovementioned welders, the Everlast 140 amp welder has a plethora of features to justify its somewhat lofty price tag.

Standing first on the list is the energy efficient consumption of this welder. Hence, whether you don’t have access to much power, want to consume less energy or are simply looking to save money on electricity bills, this welder will come in handy.

The controls of this welder are also easy to set. It provides a digital display for simple repeatability and stress-free current setting. Hence, even if you are a welding novice, you’d have no problems while setting the controls on this device.

Another tangible feature of this welder is the auto-sensor which is integrated into it. No matter which electrical source you connect it to, the welder will auto sense it before modifying the max available amperage.

Also, the dual voltage provided by this welder offers its own advantages. For example, if you are working in your home, you can plug it in at 110V to get the desired results. However, when you use it in your shop, the 220V model will come handy for stainless steel or even mild steel.

Pros:

  • Energy efficient
  • Controls are easy to set
  • Comes with an auto-sensor
  • Dual Voltage allows you to use it both at home and in the shop

Cons:

  • The duty cycle employed by the machine is not continuous

Best Arc Welder

For those of you looking for an inexpensive welder, the Dual Voltage Input DC welder from Amico suits the bill. However, if you think that Amico has compromised on its quality by lowering the price, the features of this welder suggest otherwise.

First thing first, the small size of this welder enables it to be very easy to handle, and portable. Since it weighs only 18lbs, you can take it for a wide range of jobs, even when you have to move around a lot.

If you want to gauge how flexible it is, the 10-foot cable, a work clamp, and an electrode holder allows you to easily maneuver this welder without putting in much effort. Provided you have placed the welder on a flat surface, the holder on top of it makes it very easy for you to hold it in the right position.

Looking at its special features and the LED meter comes into play. For those who are looking for a maximum control over their device, this meter enables them to control the amperage over the machine, to suit their needs.

Finally, it is suitable to a large number of applications. Whether you want to do light metal fabrication, farm or home related jobs or even repair and maintenance work, this welder will be good enough.

Pros:

  • Won’t overheat
  • Comes with a LED meter to let you control its amperage
  • Lightweight yet sturdy
  • Inexpensive
  • Comes with an electrode holder

Cons:

  • Can slip off if you don’t hold the electrode holder correctly.