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Whether you run an auto repair shop, construction business or any other operation that requires you to cut through some of the planet's most hardy industrial materials, you've probably come across a plasma cutter or two. To put it simply, these impressive tools use a very hot, very fast jet of plasma to cut through electrically conductive materials, such as stainless steel and aluminum. To do this, an electric arc is sent through a gas —- hydrogen, nitrogen, argon, compressed air or others —- to elevate the gas' temperature and turn it into the fourth state of matter: plasma.

You may have used them before but never really thought about how they work or what different qualifications you might need to consider when buying one of your own, so we're here to compare a few of the best you can find online. Whether you need a portable option to tote to the job site, or your DIY hobby requires you to cut intricate shapes with ease, these are the best plasma cutters to help you precisely slice and dice your way through steel, aluminum, brass and copper like butter.

If you're looking for strong performance in a compact, portable and highly-efficient package, this plasma cutter is a great choice. Its non-touch pilot arc technology allows you to cut through your chosen material without ever touching the tip to the metal, ultimately resulting in more precise cuts and an extended lifetime of the product itself. It also has a handle for portability, and sets up quickly and easily in less that a minute. Best of all, it utilizes compressed air so you don't have to mess around with any potentially hazardous gases.

Amazon customer Ryan B. says: "I bought this little guy and it paid for itself three times over on one job. It cut conex boxes apart like a hot knife through butter on 220v ... and two years later, this plasma cutter is still kicking ass."

The Lotos LT5000D is similar to the aforementioned Lotos LTP5000D but with an even more compact, optimized design. It offers the same portability, ease of setup and utilization of compressed air with quick-hookup. It also uses Pulse-Width-Modulation (or PWM) technology to generate powerful DC welding currents via the inverter power supply. Thanks to its papst advanced cooling system, it delivers a stable performance and durability for maximum longevity — saving you both time and money. Overall, it's a great choice for at-home DIY work, and even better for light work on-the-go.

Amazon customer Lloyd Stephens says: "I couldn't believe how inexpensive this plasma cutter was when I bought it and now I can't believe how great it works. It makes perfect cuts and now I'm making more money than ever on my pastime hobby for ornamental iron and steel designs. I use it for hobby cutting, but I wouldn't be afraid to take it into a more industrial setting."



This plasma cutter boasts a high duty cycle that consumes less power, but it doesn't compromise when it comes to reliable performance. Its high speed, high temperature and high energy plasma draught delivers the power and strength necessary to make clean cuts over and over again, ensuring a long lifetime whether you use it to meet your business' demands or simply keep it at home for your DIY projects. Plus, it has an easy-to-read LCD panel, and comes with built-in protection from overheating, over-voltage and under-voltage.

Amazon customer Rickcrew says: “The machine performs flawlessly and is truly impressive. If I had the choice between this and a name brand, I most likely would buy this again. The price point is excellent and the performance really couldn’t get any better, so why spend more?”

When only the most perfect cuts will do, this PrimeWeld plasma cutter is the one you can count on. It handles cuts up to a half-inch thick, and its dual voltage has you covered wherever you need to get to slicing. In fact, it'll get the job done with ease and precision whether it's tasked with industrial and construction work, or just home and hobby use. Even better, if you need it for both purposes, it's ultra-portable too. If you're looking for a reliable plasma cutter, this one delivers high-quality craftsmanship at a super affordable price.

Amazon customer Mark M. says: “Love it! They simplified the plumbing on the back, eliminated an exterior hose and added a nice brass quick connect. Comes set up and ready to go, better than what you see in pictures here … Can’t imagine better for the money.”

This multipurpose workshop workhorse meets rigid safety standards to ensure that you acquire the high-quality, long-lasting piece of equipment you need. Not only does it perform precise plasma cutting, but it also includes quick and easily interchangeable hook-ups for TIG/stick welding and arc welding as well. With a trio of purposes all in one machine, this lightweight and portable option will make short work of all your cuts and welds on the job or at home.

Amazon customer Kamja says: "It's been about 18 months now and I have been using this little machine for a lot for various projects. It still runs and operates now like it did when I first got it ... This Primeweld machine is the real deal and I have no regrets in having purchased it."

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The MOSFET transistor on this handy plasma cutter allows it to cut cleanly and uniformly through thick and thin metals up to a 1/2-inch, and make severance cuts up to 3/4-inch thick. Plus, it utilizes non-hazardous compressed air to slice through a variety of metals with minimal slag, even if their surfaces are rough, painted or rusty. Best of all, not only is this option particularly compact, but it also has an integrated handle for maximum portability.

Amazon customer BryanF says: “This is a great little cutter, with a full range of cutting thicknesses available with the 120/240 option, and the added benefit of it having a pilot arc. It came with a NEMA L30-P twist locking plug factory installed, and a water filter.”

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